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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

Football team heads to Hastings for season opener

Game will be streamed live
After+watching+his+athletes+perform+in+a+game-like+setting+during+their+scrimmage+on+Aug.+18%2C+head+coach+Justin+Haberman+gives+the+team+a+pep+talk.
Laci Smith
After watching his athletes perform in a game-like setting during their scrimmage on Aug. 18, head coach Justin Haberman gives the team a pep talk.

Tonight is the night.

At 7 p.m. the varsity Griffin football team will kick off their season in Hastings vs. Hastings High School. The Tigers finished their 2022 season with a 2-7 record but they have their leading rusher and team leader in tackles back this year.

To prepare for the game, the team has bought in all week and has done 5 a.m. practices, individual film sessions and has gotten different looks on offense and defense from their younger core.

“We’ve been watching their last year’s film all week,” junior defensive lineman Kaehle Toledo said. “I think we have a bit of an advantage knowing that we have film on them while they don’t have any on us, knowing we haven’t played a game yet.”

Despite having a slight disadvantage of having a smaller team since there is no current seniors, the team is full of talent. Head coach Justin Haberman said in an interview with Brody Heidemann that the strength of the offensive side will be the run game, having three running backs who can all play at a high level. Being a former defensive coordinator, Haberman will be the guy to call the defensive this year. He noted how they are going to keep the game plan simple and let the kids play fast. 

Prior to tonight’s game,  the team has had much exposure. They have been featured in news reports, radio talk shows and there has been chatter throughout the summer about the team and their goals. Their first opportunity to show the community what they had in store was on Aug. 18, at the Gatorade Scrimmage which took place at the Gretna football stadium.

The scrimmage started off with a showcase of the special teams with the kickoff and punt teams. After that, the team went into a live scrimmage between the first-string offense versus the first-string defense. After a couple of plays from the first string, the second string played are followed by the third string taking the field.

“I thought the scrimmage went very well,” junior safety and receiver Grayson Fisher said. “It was a good opportunity to show our community what we’ve been working on throughout the summer.”

 Tonight’s game will be live-streamed on Hastings’ Striv TV.

“It’s going to be exciting to be able to come out each week and compete at a high level with my teammates.” junior Luke Johnson said. “I think if we play well on all three sides of the ball, we could have success this year.”

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About the Contributor
Drew Rhoades, Reporter
Drew Rhoades is a junior at GEHS and was on the Gretna Media staff at Gretna High last year.  This year he is on the GEHS Wingspan staff. He serves as a reporter and photographer. He won sixth place in Sports News Writing at the NSAA High School State Journalism competition. He joined journalism to take pictures of sports and write articles about them.  From taking great action shots to writing about a close game of football, Rhoades is always busy and working hard. Outside of journalism he plays golf, basketball and hangs out with his friends. While journalism is not something he plans on doing in the future, he still wants to use his skills throughout his life. 
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