Grandview 2013: Breakthrough season

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: March 2, 2014 - 10:30 PM

Grandview has long been viewed as a team that was much better than their record would show. The last few seasons the Bulldogs would get to the end of the season with only a few victories and even more losses against some of the better teams in the Metro.
In 2013 Grandview turned moral victories into actual wins. The Bulldogs finished the regular season at 4-5, earned a first round win in the Missouri Class 4 postseason and had some big wins along the way.
Grandview got wins over three Class 5 teams Oak Park, William Chrisman, and Belton and then added a 27-21 overtime win over rival Raytown South. The Bulldogs beat Nevada in the first round of the postseason before losing to an undefeated Bolivar to end the season.
Bulldogs’ coach Andy Leech said his team took a big step forward in 2013.
“That was our first playoff win since Josh Freeman was a sophomore (2003),” Leech said. “Also, the overtime win against rival Raytown South for our homecoming game was big moment for our players.
“We really improved at running the football and sustaining drives on offense. Defensively we showed signs of becoming a much better tackling team and improved at forcing turnovers. We finished in the positive in turnover margin for the first time in several seasons which was a major focus for our team.”
After a season that saw his team make marked improvement in almost every area, Leech said his team is focused on continuing the trend in 2014.
“We will continue to focus on running the ball, tackling and turnover margin,” Leech said. “In addition we will also work to get our quarterback a little more involved in the run game and to become a little more efficient in the passing game.
“Our off season is going well. We have many player involved in basketball and wrestling currently and I expect we will also have many involved in our track program as we look to a win a fourth consecutive state track championship. I like for our kids to compete in other sports. Year round competition is exactly what our athletes need. Those not involved in other sports have put in work in the weight room as well.”
That group that is working hard in the offseason will be asked to do a lot this upcoming season. The Bulldogs lose 15 starters from the 2013.
“We graduate several big time players on both sides of the ball so we will look to teach our younger players to get ready and get ready fast as we will have many new players seeing varsity minutes for the first time,” Leech said. “We have an outstanding group of underclassman waiting for their chance to compete and just enough senior leadership to spark a nice 2014 season.”