Gregory Staying Humble, Despite Back-To-Back State Championships
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For the last two-seasons, the Gregory Gorillas football program has ended their season hoisting the state championship trophy.
They were a team who was certainly one of the best in the state, including one of the most experienced, with twelve seniors on last year’s squad. Leading the seniors in 2017 was star quarterback Andy McCance, who threw for over 2,500-yards and 40 touchdowns during his senior campaign. He is now continuing his football career at the collegiate level for the University of South Dakota.
So what’s next for the Gregory Gorilla’s? Who will fill the void at the quarterback position? Gregory Head Football Coach Brian Allmendinger weighs in...
“It’ll be Grant Thomas! He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s working hard,” explained Allmendinger. "He’s a good leader and he’s a very positive kid. I think he’ll be alright for us.”
It’s something every high school program in the state deals with at the end of a season, the departure of a senior class and incoming waves of new regime (freshman).
For Gregory, it’s the plan for junior Grant Thomas to be the starting quarterback. They also have an incoming freshman quarterback in Coy Determan, who coach Allmendinger hopes to develop. He said the system they have right now is perfect for the situation.
“Coy [Determan] is coming in as a freshman and Grant [Thomas] is a junior, so the plan is that Thomas, the junior, will start and then [Determan] can learn for a few years,” said Allmendinger. “It’s a vital position and we expect our quarterback to execute our plays well.”
It’s a new year with new excitement, and Gregory knows, since they've won state championships the past two years, they’ve got a target on their back.
“We’re going to get everybody’s best shot once again, similar to last year,” said Allmendinger. “This team hasn’t proven anything yet. We need to remain humble and work just as hard or harder than last year.”
Of the eight regular season games this year for Gregory, six of their opponents made the post-season in 2017.
Opponents who made the playoffs last season:
Kimball/White Lake: Lost to Irene-Wakonda (semi-finals)
Parkston: Lost to Irene-Wakonda (first round of playoffs)
Rapid City Christian: Lost to Kimball/White Lake (first round of playoffs)
Bon Homme: Lost to Kimball/White Lake (quarterfinals)
Wolsey-Wessington: Lost to Gregory (quarterfinals)
Miller/Highmore-Harrold: Lost to Gregory (semifinals)
Gregory will start their 2018 season at home on Friday August 17th against Kimball/White Lake.