Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

JV football stops all opponents from scoring

 

Granite Falls Junior Varsity football team played an incredible season this year not only winning every game but they played defense so well that no team even scored a point against them.

Head coach Ryan Blacker, along with several assistant coaches and trainers, prepared the kids well before starting the season.

"Our kids have the great ability to understand different offensive schemes. And they tackle very well. We work hard on tackling every practice, hitting and wrapping up," Blacker said. "Their advanced ability to learn and apply and then even adjust as needed in game situations makes them unique and also they are a very tight knit group, watching out for each other."

Most of these boys have been playing together their entire football career, which has created camaraderie among the players.

"Most of them have been playing youth football together here in Granite Falls and I think the key to their success this season has been the fact that they have been coached by great youth coaches like Randy Harris, Shawn Roberts and Dion Smith," Blacker said.

Shawn Roberts agrees that the coaching staff has been instrumental in teaching the kids to play a good game and that Blacker has been an integral part of that success.

"It was such a pleasure to serve on Ryan's staff this year. He's a great coach with an incredible track record of football coaching success. That is reflected in him turning our Middle School program around from a season ago where the seventh and eighth grade program had a combined 1-11, to this season with a combined 9-3 record and the team he specifically was hands on with being 5-0 (our seventh grade squad)," Roberts said.

Having a productive JV team will help the High School program be successful as well.

"It will generate more interest in playing for our football program and it, in turn, should create more interest in the community," Blacker explained.

Blacker has been coaching for 17 years starting when he was only 24 years old.

"This is my seventh year as Middle School Head Coach," he said. "Prior to this season I took two years off."

He has also coached at Granite Falls High School for two years and for almost nine years as a youth coach for the Granite Falls Youth Football League.

Blacker is proud of his team and all they have been able to accomplish this season. He also looks forward to watching them in the future as they become the future GFHS football players.

"They are a great group of kids with fun personalities. Not only do we work hard every day, but we have fun too! They also hit hard in practice so that they are more than used to contact when game time comes around," Blacker said. "It has been an injury free season and we rep plays over and over and over so that it becomes second nature in game situations."

 

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