VALLEYCITY (NewsDakota.com)–The first indicator of positive momentum in a football program is usually in the numbers, as in the number of players that report when the bell rings in early August.
The Griggs-Barnes County Titans appear to have momentum.
Despite a couple of disappointments with players that chose not to go out, the Titans saw 32 men put on cleats when practice opened a week ago, two months after the same number of players made their way to Valley City State University for a summer camp.
Clearly, second-year head coach Davy Zinke has begun to create a football culture in a co-op whose parent teams, Griggs County Central and Barnes County North, used to both struggle to fill and finish with complete 9-man or “A” 11-man football teams. This year’s Titan team has the post-season set as their finish.
Signs of the progress were seen a year ago, when a Titan team that suffered greatly from injuries put Carrington on the ropes in the non-conference season, defeated the Hi-Liners in Valley City, and came within an eyelash of upsetting Wahpeton on the road with their third quarterback of the year.
Zinke says there was, and is, no intimidation by the “AA” game, but the team did learn about execution in their first season at the new level last year.
Griggs-Barnes County participated in a scrimmage with Milnor-North Sargent, Northern Cass, Turtle Mountain, and Larimore in Valley City Tuesday, and Zinke says it led to perhaps the best day of practice he’s had with the Titans since taking over.
Tim Erker has taken over the quarterback responsibilities for the team, and Zinke says the team is much farther along defensively than they were last year, led by impressive lineman Pete Fehr.
The Titans open with an afternoon game in Buffalo against Maple Valley-Enderlin August 24th, with a gametime set for 4:00 p.m. The Raven 103.1 FM will broadcast all nine Griggs-Barnes County football games this season.
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