The Grizzlies got off to a slow start in 2013, losing 4 of their first 6 games to Kapaun, Dodge City, Bishop Carroll and Heights. They're making sure 2014 is much better out of the gate.
Third-year head coach Steve Martin attributes the team;'s early struggles to a lack of offensive line depth. The team had no returning starters in the trenches in 2013, but the opposite is true this season. The entire offensive line returns as the heart of the new Grizzlies. Martin hopes that is enough to compensate for having just one returning starter (WR Karol Williams) at the skill positions.
"Last year, we were very excited about our skill people and we were returning zero lineman on the offensive side of the ball and that's where we started to struggle a little bit. So now, we've got to rely on the offensive line to pave the way for everybody else and I think we'll be fine," Martin said.
Martin will have two players in the secondary, Brendan Johnson and Romello Cotman, who are getting looks at the Division 1 level.
"Those two are very different players where Brendan is going to come up and strike you but Romello, I want to say he had only 1 or 2 balls completed against him this year," Martin said.
In the practices leading up to Week 1, Northwest is focusing on limiting turnovers on the offensive side of the ball and limiting big plays on defense. They'll get their chance to put their practice to work against Bishop Carroll September 5th.