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The Grant County Braves football team will be gearing for rival Owen County during game two of the Grant County Bowl Aug. 27.
After losing to Harrison County 33-14 Aug. 20, Braves first-year coach David Arvin saw some positives from their game, despite the score.
“Defensively, Lucas Button played strong for us and he played so hard, he had to go to the hospital, he had nothing left in him,” he said. “They had to take him to pump fluids back into him. He was coming off an illness. That is someone who gives you everything he has.”
Button said he was nervous he was going to go into shock, but was thinking of the team at the same time.
“I was just praying for my team to pull through and was thinking of them every chance I got,” he said.
Arvin said missed executions and tackles, nearly 50 in the game, hurt the Braves defensively.
“That just gets back to teaching tackling and getting back to fundamentals,” he said. “It is just going to take time for them to learn. They are just behind in those areas, but they are going to work hard at it and get there.”
On offense, Arvin said the team missed three opportunities in the red zone, which is 20 yards or less from the end zone, that could have meant a two-point win instead of the loss.
Even with those missed opportunities, Arvin said the game is just a game and not a culmination of a season.
“They don’t hand out trophies or state championships after the first week, so it is a good learning tool for us,” he said. “We are going to get after it this week and try again when Owen County comes to town.”
A vital key to preparing for an opponent, is watching film and Arvin has his offense watch film for an hour before school starts and then his defense watch film for an hour after school before hitting the field for practice.
Arvin has had some small issues with getting film together for the players, since the fieldhouse at the high school has had some renovations, making room for a facility for Erica Lanham, the school’s athletic trainer.
“Film is the most vital thing for you as a coach,” he said. “That is the thing we have been struggling with, is getting the facility together so we can do that. The way it is now, it is a lot on the coaches and I, because we have to do a lot of the things at home and those are things we should be doing at the school. We are just not set up yet, but we are getting there and I am told it is going to be done by the end of this week. It has put us at a bind and a disadvantage to other teams, because we haven’t been able to show the players film all summer.”
With the first home game of the season approaching, Arvin is looking forward to taking on the field with the players and having them the opportunity to play in front of the community.
“We want everyone to know and understand how hard these players work, because that is important,” he said. “I don’t think people understand what goes into a successful program and that is what we are trying to build here. It is not to just have great teams, but to build sustain success so that long after we are all gone, we want Grant County football to be good.”
“We are excited to run out on the field with the players and hope the home crowd can give the players the boost they need, because the big thing right now is they’re unsure because they haven’t had success,” he added. “They don’t know what it tastes like. When they finally get that first win, and they see what it takes, it will show them what it takes and they will never forget that. It will build a foundation for future success.”
Last season, the Braves lost a close game to Owen County, 10-9. Button is hoping to get the opportunity to meet the Rebels again on Aug. 27.
“I can’t wait. I want to drink a lot of fluids to get ready and hopefully knock some heads,” Button said. “I am excited for it.”
If you plan to go...
Date: Aug. 27
Time: 6 p.m - Gallatin Co. vs. Berea
8 p.m. - Grant Co. vs. Owen Co.
Admission: $5 Adults