By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
They consider themselves family. A close-knit band of brothers who join forces and take to the gridiron in the name of Montcalm High School.
Last season the Generals played to a 5-4 mark, the first winning season players on the team had at the high school level. This year a trio of seniors hope to go out with a bang and bring their school additional success on the football field.
Jason Grose, Dakota Lanter and Ryan Absher are senior captains for coach Jimmy Redmond’s Generals. Grose talked about the 2012 season and what the Generals must do in 2013.
“We left with a good feeling and a winning season. We’re expecting to have a better season this year,” Grose said. “The key is hard work, dedication and commitment. We’ve got to be ere every day running, doing more push ups, spending more time in the weight room.”
Montcalm has 24 players on its roster, quite possibly the most players they’ve ever had. The smallness in numbers allows players to get to know each other and that is something that appeals to Grose.
“I like to get to know all my players. Marcus Bailey graduated last year, our fullback. I got to know him personally and I trusted him, so getting to know the players is the biggest thing for me last year and this year,” Grose said.
Dakota Lanter is the quarterback this season. For him team unity is important.
“Ever since I started playing I’ve played with almost everybody on the team,” Lanter pointed out. “Being so close together brings unity to the team and I think it’s important to like each other so you don’t have little sprawls between the cliques on the team.”
Wideout Ryan Absher said the friendships made off the field affect the team’s play on the field.
“We know what we can do, our capabilities, and we know what we can’t do and what we can’t do we get other people to help us out,” Absher said.
Grose said, “You see us all in the hallways in school and we’re always together, walking around, standing at each others lockers. We try not to be late to class, but we all like to stand there and talk about football.”
For Lanter, he will be undergoing quite a change in becoming the team’s quarterback. Last season he was in the trenches.
“It’s a big change. I played line the past two years. It’s going to be a lot different,” Lanter said. “I am used to pushing up front and keeping the quarterback safe. Now I’ve got a lot of responsibilities, got to know what the play is, where the play is, everything. It’s a lot to handle.”
Lanter last took snaps when he was in the eighth grade for Montcalm Middle School. He hopes this season is as good as that one.
“I’m hoping this year will be kind of like it was in eighth grade because I took the middle school to its first victory in like five years,” Lanter said. “That was a good chance for me. I’m hoping this year will be good.”
All three players believe if they do as they have been taught and execute as they should, the Generals should do just fine when they step onto the field.
“We’re going to have to work hard, that’s for sure,” Lanter said. “We’ve got a lot of new teams on the scheduline that I’m looking forward to, like Tri Cities Christian.”
Absher added, “We’ve got some new seniors this year that haven’t played before and if we can teach them, I think we’ll be fine. If we continue our success and run our plays like we’re supposed to, I think we’ll do fine.”
Grose summed up the team’s attitude and talked about preseason camp and the season ahead.
“It (camp) has been harder than last year, but better,” Grose said. “We’ve been pushing, encouraging each other more and more. We got the tast of winning and we want to keep it.”
Montcalm opens the season Aug. 31, hosting Hundred in a Saturday matinee.
— Contact Bob Redd at