GRAFTON, W.Va. – There are always high expectations of success for the home football team at McKinney Field in Taylor County, but this year, the Grafton Bearcats are looking to take a different approach heading into this season — don’t make headlines, stay quiet, and stay under the radar.
“We just stay humble, we don’t talk. We just, we play. Less words – words mean nothing, it’s all about what you do on the field,” said Justin Spiker, a senior wideout and safety for the Bearcats.
“I just want to win some games,” said senior wideout and corner back, Kaden Delaney. “I think we just have to put everything together, play as one, play as a team, and we should be good.”
After going 3-7 last year, the Bearcats are hoping to end a postseason drought that dates back to 2011. A key in doing that is staying stable at the quarterback position.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of bad luck here, and we’ve lost several kids, and (had) key injuries,” said Grafton head coach, Rich Bord. “Blake (Moore) was always a very tough kid, a very talented athlete. It’s not easy to replace a kid like that it’s not.
“I’m not saying Tanner’s here to fill his shoes. Tanner’s here to create his own name for himself.”
The schedule certainly presents the chance for a turnaround, as Grafton is scheduled for just two games against 2020 playoff teams. But there will be new players surrounding starting QB, Tanner Moats.
“We’ve lost some key offensive linemen, and that’s one of our concerns, which means if you’ve lost those key offensive linemen in a school like ours, you’ve also lost a couple key defensive linemen,” Bord said. “We’ve also lost our top two running backs from a year ago, so that’s a concern.”
Avoiding injuries will be key for Grafton this season, as well as taking advantage of four-straight home games to finish the year, which gets started next Friday against Pendleton County.