Just got off the phone with a very busy Pat Neal at Grimsley High School and the Whirlies have a lot going on this week, with their practices going on from 6-8:30pm…Coach Neal and the Whirlies are putting the time in and they have a lot to do in preparation for the Ragsdale Tigers on August 22…
(Our thanks to Coach Res at Grimsley for helping us get set with Coach Neal on a hectic Tuesday evening)….
Our 10 questions tonight for Coach Neal:
1)Who will be your team leader?
Malik Stimpson(QB) and backup (SS)…Daniel Godwin(OLB/DL)
2)How many years have you been coaching and is this your last stop?
I have been at it for 18 years and this will be my second year as the Whirlies head coach….Coach Neal got his start in coaching football at Ben L. Smith High School and he says it is too soon tell, if Grimsley will be his last stop….
3)How many players on Varsity?
35 players on Varsity and 50 on JV….The JV is growing and we are seeing a nice movement of increased numbers there and that should help with the development of our Varsity team in the future…
4)Who is the toughest team that you have ever coached against?
East Forsyth and Coach Todd Willet….We were close at halftime, but in the second half East took over and it was a total game of adjustments…The East Forsyth Eagles made more and better adjustments than we did and they beat us….
5)The coach you have learned the most from?
Tony McKee at Smith High School….Coach McKee taught me in the beginning and he taught me the right way to be a football coach….(Coach Tony McKee is now deceased and he is well thought of by everyone within the Guilford County high school football community.) Coach Neal said he also learned from all the head coaches that he has worked with at Grimsley….Coach Todd Shuping, Coach Saunders, Coach Samet and Coach Damon Corio….
6)Your Top offensive returning players?
Grimsley only has three returning players on offense and three returning players on defense….
Tops on Offense right now:QB Malik Stimpson…..WR Bruce Davis…Davis a JV basketball player from last year and he should make for a very good target for Stimpson…
7)Top defensive returning players?
DL/OLB Daniel Godwin and the other linebackers Corbett Weathersby and Daniel Canyon…
8)Who will win the Metro 4-A Conference?
Dudley and Page will be the favorites and neither has the upper hand yet…The Smith Golden Eagles will be your ‘Sleeper’….
9)Your greatest satisfaction you receive from coaching?
Being with the young men and seeing the young men buy into the academic side of high school…The football will not be possible without the players taking care of their of the academic responsibilities…Last year we had 18 players ineligible due to academic difficulties and this year we only had one, for 2014, that can not play due to academic shortcomings….(That is a big/huge improvement and Coach Neal and his staff are to be commended for this effort to get the academics and athletics in line among the young men that choose to play football at Grimsley)…You have to get the kids to ‘buy in’ and then that time spent ‘in the books’, will pay off….
10)Among the Guilford County Schools from today or from the past, your program most resembles?
Coach Neal says we want our program to resemble Dudley…..Dudley has the work ethic and that is what we want our kids to see and believe in…Also we hope our kids can resemble what Ragsdale does with their program…They have developed a winning tradition and people/football fans have come to expect teams like Dudley and Ragsdale to there at, or near the near the top, every high school football season…
*****Our thanks to Coach Neal on a busy Tuesday afternoon and our thanks to all of our coaches for bending their ear to us, during our preseason high school football interviews….Hope to have some video coming this week from the teams’ practices, right now busy getting the coaches….*****
+++++I also asked Coach Neal who mows the football fields and takes care of the grass when it needs to be mowed at Grimsley and he said the maintenance staff takes care of the duty.+++++