Tonawanda News — At the end of last season, Tonawanda football coach Rob Gross thanked his entire graduating class of seniors for their dedication to the program and the impact they made, which helped the Warriors become a competitive football team.
Now that the Warriors are competitive, Gross thinks the next step will be to start winning the close games.
“I said the first day I got here that I have no timetable (for turning things around), however we’re in a position where now we’re competitive,” he said. “Now that we’re competing we’re in a position to win more games. We’ve been competitive for a while and now we’re in more games at the end and losing by three, six or seven points.
“Now we have tot take the next step toward winning and that can happen when you have a competitive football team. We need to take our close losses and turn those games into wins.”
The Warriors went 1-6 last season, but almost pulled off a huge upset over cross town rival North Tonawanda in the annual T-NT Classic, losing 17-14 after failing to hang on to a halftime lead. Tonawanda will play its first season as a Class C team this season.
Tonawanda kicked off camp this week just like the rest of the teams around Western New York, and Gross said it’s an exciting time for high school athletes.
“It’s always exciting. I saw a coach from UB (Tuesday) morning in line for coffee and I said, ‘This is the time of year where we remember why we love it,’” Gross said. “He nodded his head and agreed. The hours are long, it’s a ton of work but it’s a lot of enjoyment, excitement and urgency.”
For the first week of practice Gross has the junior varsity players working with the varsity team for a good part of each practice. He said it’s always interesting to see how the freshman adjust to the increased pace of practice and responsibility.