FORT SMITH (KFSM)--After losing nearly 30 seniors from a team that earned a playoff bye last season, Northside now must replace key pieces all over the field.
"I can’t say enough about them," said Northside head coach Mike Falleur. "They were a great group of kids not just football players, but good young men, did great in the classroom. It was a group that we hated to see go but it’s just the natural progression."
"It’s been weird," said Northside senior Hunter Linam. "But, we have put in a lot of work without them we miss them they had really good leadership and we still look up to them."
The Grizzlies took the biggest hit on the defensive side of the ball as eight players went on to play at the next level, leaving just two returning starters to slow down opposing offenses.
"We challenged our young guys," said Falleur. "Even the guys that are going to be seniors that really hadn’t played a lot to back in January, these guys have set kind of a tone of how we want to keep it and we got to go to work and you are going to have to learn as you go."
When Falleur took over as the Grizzlies coach in 2013, he wanted to bring back the Northside tradition of stingy defenses. Now, a new batch of players is ready to build on that.
"I really think we can," said Linam. "Because have how hard people have worked, and people just staying focused and doing the right thing so I’m excited for it."
Northside will be at greenwood September 1st for their season opener.