They’re pretty excited at Blooming Grove, and for good reason.
“The big thing for our kids is that the expectations are real high,’’ Blooming Grove coach Gary Grubbs said. “Last year was our first winning season in 15 years. They expect to win now.’’
“We had a great offseason,’’ Grubbs said. “The kids are excited and worked hard.’’
Blooming Grove will have to replace quarterback Jayd Kirby, an all-Golden Circle first team QB who threw for 1,414 yards and ran for 1,577 more and combined for 23 TDs.
But the Lions are confident in Tyler Ellis, who did a little of everything as a sophomore last year. He was an all-state honorable mention at kicker, and also played receiver (13-314) and defensive back.
Grubbs knows the mentality has changed and that’s what his kids will bring to two-days on Monday.
They are so pumped up at Wortham they can’t wait to get on the field — they literally can’t wait.
“We’re having Midnight Madness,’’ said Wortham coach Shane Doege, whose team will take the field at 12:01 a.m. “We’re not going to waste a second. We want to be working while others are sleeping.’’
Doege, who is in his second year as the Wortham coach, is looking forward to a big season in a program that made giant strides a year ago.
“There is a stronger sense of where we belong in the football landscape after making the playoffs for the first time in eight years,’’ he said. “I’ve had kids drop by the house this summer. Last year was exciting for them and it has carried over. It’s eve n more exciting for them now.’’
The feeling is like that all over Wortham.
“The coaches and the kids are excited,’’ he said. “We’re ready to put the key in the ignition and ready to drive.’’
It’s just a matter of finding out what kind of car they’re driving.
“We will see when the smoke clears,’’ Doege said. “It could be a Porsche. We don’t want it to end up being a Pinto.’’
Doege hits the light switch at 12:01 for what could be called two-a-nights.
“We did it last year,’’ he said. “When I went to the superintendent to get permission to do it, he thought I was crazy. But the kids really enjoyed it and we’re going to do it again.’’