After four months of getting ready behind the scenes, new Gridley High School football coach Matt Kemmis is ready for his team to hit the field and see what they can do in 2017.
But he’ll have to wait another week to do so.
The Bulldogs have a bye in what’s known as Week 0 of the 2017 season. That will allow Gridley’s kids who are involved in agricultural activities to fully participate in the Butte County Fair, which runs this Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 24-27.
That means the Bulldogs won’t have the mid-season break other teams will have, but Kemmis said it’s a good move for his kids.
“We have a lot of kids who are going to be involved in the fair, so for this week, they can focus on that,” Kemmis said.
The Bulldogs did finally have a chance to hit the field against other area teams last Saturday when they took part in a scrimmage at Harrison Stadium in Oroville.
Kemmis liked what he saw from his team, especially on defense.
“We blocked and tackled well, and those are going to be keys for us this season,” Kemmis said.
There are about 25 players apiece at the varsity, J.V. and freshman levels, so numbers are good, Kemmis said.
The extra week will allow Kemmis and his staff extra preparation time.
Kemmis said he has been fortunate to have last year’s staff back to help him in 2017. That includes assistant Nick Dreesmann, who is also working hard with the kids on fair activities this week as one of Gridley’s main ag teachers.
It also includes former Biggs head coach Ron Carr, who is coaching the J.V. for Gridley this season after serving in a similar capacity at Live Oak last year.
For a complete preview of the Bulldogs, Biggs and Live Oak, see Pigskin Preview 2017 in the Friday edition of the Gridley Herald.