SUNNYSIDE — Being smart on offense and defense requires the ability of being able to carry out game plans on both sides of the football is one of team’s key attributes for practicing without pads and personal contact due to COVID-19 restrictions as Grizzly players continue to excel in voluntary workouts.
The 90 minute, cold weather practices have centered around conditioning stations and training drills across multiple fields with pods of players engaged to learn how to succeed within the team’s systems assigned by Sunnyside High School (SHS) coaches.
“These guys are going to be a lot smarter than any of the other teams that we’ve had because we’re talking more about scheme now versus technique on tackling,” SHS Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach Greg Stroh stated.
First and second string interior linemen and linebackers are integrated in both A and B pods to maximize their ability of working together in establishing a cohesive bond and learning all aspects of playing in the box, according to Stroh.
“It’s definitely a blessing to be here and we have the opportunity to continue to practice and work with our brothers. It’s special because we thought there wasn’t going to be a season and our coaches have given us hope,” senior linebacker and three year varsity starter Favian Oseguera Carrasco explained.
The defensive coordinator also noted their talented secondary of cornerbacks add to an accomplished defensive unit, prepared to make an impact on the program that has finished 5-1 in Big 9 Conference for the past three years.
“This is a really good team. I’m really excited about this season and really want to see these guys mesh,” coach exclaimed. “We’re all motivated and committed to this program.”
Two starting linebackers and defensive linemen return from last season, providing a strong core to build around an aggressive defense, already in place and eager to earn the right to carry out the traditional sledgehammer.
“We’re trying to get game ready. We’re brothers out there and working hard to get better every day,” junior Raymond Ramirez reported.
“It takes a lot of heart to be the team we are. We don’t have the size or height but honestly, the dedication that we have is what separates us from everyone in the valley.”