WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It’s the final day of the Blitz on six preseason previews and we are looking at the cross town rivals and we start with the Wichita Falls High School Coyotes.
When Grant Freeman took over in 2017, he outlined a three year process for rebuilding Coyote football.
After making the playoffs last year for the first time in four years, they are ready for the next step.
“Now as we have hit our third year, now we have kind of set our standards a little higher," WFHS head coach Grant Freeman said. "It’s playoffs, it’s taking that next step of winning a gold ball, winning a district championship or winning a playoff game. That’s really what the progression has been.”
After doubling their win total last season and claiming the fourth seed in the playoffs, the Coyotes are ready to continue the progress they have made.
“This is a team that has got some experience," coach Freeman said. "A big senior class that has really played a big role as juniors last year. Their experience is going to play a bigger role.
"It’s probably the most experienced team we’ve had in the three years that I’ve been here.”
“The maturity has really launched through the roof," WFHS junior WR/Safety Zack Williams said. "Everyone knows their jobs, there’s no confusion in what we are doing, it’s just breaking it down and getting to the little bits.”
Even with seven returning starters on the offensive side of the ball, the quarterback position is one that will have a new man taking over.
Zy Gravitt impressed in JV last year and in his junior year is already impressing.
“We’ve seen a lot from him, he’s got some shoes to fill. Anthony did a great job for us last year but Zy is going to be his own quarterback and that’s all we ask," coach Freeman said. "We don’t ask him to be Anthony, we aren’t asking him to be anyone else, we just want him to be himself and how he kind of fits within our offense.”
“His decision-making," Williams said about Gravitt. "He takes real good care of the ball and the zip that comes off the ball when he throws it.”
“He looks really good," WFHS junior LB/RB Justin McKay said. "He’s really consistent, looks like he is really confident in his ability and I really like that.”
There are also some changes on the defensive side, namely a new defensive coordinator and in the first year for coach Gravitt, the guys are already bought in.
“It’s going great, I love the defense that we are putting in," McKay said. "We are all working hard, all in good positions and I think we look really good this year.”
“We are going to look good," Williams said. "We got some people stepping up for people that left and we got people coming in at new positions, but they have really filled their positions well.”
Last season the Coyotes were all over the board in terms of consistency and coach Freeman says that is a big priority for them if they want to improve this year.
“We can’t be up and down like we were last year," Freeman said. "We just have to find our groove and stay in that.”
Week 1: T 8/29 vs Chisholm Trail 7pm
Week 2: F 9/6 @ Saginaw 7pm
Week 3: F 9/13 @ Dumas 7pm
Week 4: F 9/20 vs Burkburnett 7pm
Week 5: T 9/26 @ Lubbock Estacado 7pm
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: T 10/10 vs Canyon Randall 7pm
Week 8: T 10/17 vs Abilene Wylie 7pm
Week 9 F 10/25 @ Lubbock Cooper 7pm
Week 10: F 11/1 vs Plainview 7pm
Week 11: F 11/8 @ Rider 7pm