"With this year's group, the senior class has stepped up in a leadership role, which they've really never had to before because the class ahead of them had a lot of good leaders in it. But this year's senior class has embraced that and that's been a good thing. Hopefully we can get the other guys to follow them. That's going to be the key to us being successful," Grafton Head Football Coach Mark Yoho said.
The Grafton football program has been defined by success in recent years. However, a big piece of that graduated last season in the ever-spinning cycle known as high school football. This year's Grafton seniors can already see a difference heading into the upcoming season.
"I think a lot of leadership," Bearcats senior Abrahm Blair said. "Last year sometimes it seemed like we gave up. But this year I don't think we're going to give up at all. Just keep going as hard as we can."
You can bet the bleachers at McKinney Field in Grafton will be filled on Friday nights. The Bearcat fans will have a lot to look forward to this season as three-year starting quarterback Ivy Bartlett returns to an already talented roster.
"He understands what he has to do now," Coach Yoho said of Bartlett. "Now with him it's just being patient, letting the game come to him and trying not to force too much because you're the senior and you want to get it all done. When he does that he's really, really good."
For this Grafton team, the goal remains the same.
"Well the main goal is always a state championship," Grafton senior Lineman Ryan Helmick said. "But first let's make it to playoffs."