Newcomers look to contribute to Redwood football

Jacob Klionsky

With only 12 players returning from last year’s playoff football team, Redwood was in need of new talent coming into the 2017 season.

Creating a winning team with a mostly new group of players is the tough task that Coach Allen Talley has to face. Having just two returning starters on offense and only five on defense, Redwood’s team is challenged with finding its new identity.

Although most of Redwood’s replacements came from last year’s freshman/sophomore team, seniors Aiden Metzner and Landon Gregg look to contribute as first year football players.

Having had no prior experience playing organized football, Metzner claims that it was a tough transition to start, but after just two weeks he can already see his potential.

“The people at my position have been playing their whole lives, which is tough. But hopefully I can improve a lot every week and be able to either start or put in a lot of snaps off the bench,” Metzner said.

Gregg, who played varsity basketball as a junior, had always considered playing football but never committed to it out of fear of getting injured for basketball season.

However, Gregg finally decided to lace up his cleats this year. Although it’s only his first year of playing a contact sport, Gregg believes that he can make an impact this season.

“Football is a lot more about athleticism than about technique, and I would consider myself a decently athletic kid, so I think I will be able to contribute,” Gregg said.

Coach Allen Talley calls plays in Redwood’s win vs. Ukiah on September 9th
Coach Allen Talley calls plays in Redwood’s win vs. Ukiah

Coach Allen Talley is fully supportive of the seniors coming out and playing for the first time and thinks that high school is a place for people to try new sports. Talley acknowledges that some kids get an earlier start on football than others, but still doesn’t see a problem with entering the sport later on.

“[The newcomers] will definitely contribute to our team,” Talley said. “Different faces, different spots, move guys around, it’s great that the kids decide to come out to play.”

With the help of new players like Metzner, Gregg and the rest of varsity’s newcomers, Redwood is looking to build off last year’s success. After the 2016 team led Redwood to it’s first NCS playoff win in school history, this year’s team strives to go even farther.

Coach Talley believes that although they will have to be dependent on some younger players, the team is only getting better. With more time to practice and improve, it’s looking like Redwood may have another successful year in store.

“That’s the biggest thing, just work hard and it’s the players’ team and we’re just here to help them out. They put in the hard work and will get better everyday,” Talley said.