Coaches Corner: Matt Gracey
New Mesquite football coach Matt Gracey is still finishing the school year in California, but he’s traveled back and forth a couple times during spring to try and learn about his new school and new kids. He took a few minutes to talk about the little he’s been able to muster about his 2011 squad.
What was your timetable to come out here?
We’ve been hooked up with some good people. I might be on my own for a little while, while my wife takes care of some loose ends. I want to get out there as soon as I can because it’s valuable time I’m losing. You want to get everything installed and feel comfortable for the kids. Everybody wants to be on the same page and get going. It’s a frustrating situation, but we’re a heckuva lot further along than I thought. You don’t want pieces missing, and it’s no more aggravating than me being gone.
Given it’s so early to know much, but do you have any grasp yet on what your players can do?
What I do with the spread and aggressive nature I enjoy, I think we have kids who play well into that. I can’t say much yet, but I like the aggressive style and kids who can really fit into that. Some pretty good athletes and good leadership I’ve seen.
Steven Bevan ended last season as the Wildcats’ QB, will he start?
Steven for what I like to do and his rugby background fits in well. He’s been very patient and willing to help anyone. You want to see that helping the kid but that leadership is priceless. He’s done it at QB, (Josh) Bamrick with the LB and (Anthony) Lopez with the RB and DB. Everyone is doing it and they’re willing to work with other guys at their position. It’s been exciting to see some of them take on leadership roles.
You’ve been friends with (Desert Ridge coach) Jeremy Hathcock and others since you coached against each other in 3A years ago, have you heard from your coaching peers?
Jeremy and I have been friends since our 3A days. I’ve talked to Max Ragsdale at Campo Verde, Rodger Schenks (San Tan Foothills), Tom Joseph this week, he’s a heckuva coach. It’s making friends with some Gilbert coaches and guys around here first. I’m a real proponent of friendly competition. With Jeremy I guarantee you neither is going to take it easy on the other. You compete more against your friends than your enemy. We all knew each other and the kids liked each other. You don’t want to lose to the guy you like.