Younger Gophers are up to the Task as Season Begins

2 years ago Caela Fox 0



Coming off an 8-3 season a year ago, the Florence football team is looking to its younger guys to step up in their first game of the season against the Page Sand Devils.

One of the biggest positions that needed to be filled is the quarterback spot after Jared Wood, a three-year varsity starter, graduated. Other positions were left open after the graduation of several starters.

Gophers head coach Scott Howard announced 6-foot-2, 168-pound sophomore Chris Walter will take his first varsity snap in Friday’s season opener.

“He’s done a great job for us in the preseason, so he is going to get the first team reps against Page,” Howard told

With only11 seniors on this year’s roster compared to 19 last year, the younger players are going to need to step up.

“I think that for a young group we are pretty hungry, they know the expectations (and) traditions that we have here at Florence. This group is ready to carry it on and we’re excited about that,” Howard said.

With having all spring and summer to prepare for the season, it will be interesting to see how the young guys react to being on the field, playing at a faster throughout the game. Junior wide receiver and defensive back Josh Maignan is looking forward to seeing that throughout their first game of the season.

“I’m most looking forward to how our young guys react, how we react to the game, and how we react to the speed of the game,” said junior wide receiver and defensive back Josh Maignan.

Maignan is one of the veteran players for Florence. He knows what it takes to perform well throughout the season and how to be a leader. He also said that he feels like the young guys “are very determined, they are ready to go and ball out.” He believes the Gophers have a very good running game that they can rely on game in and game out.

According to Howard, the Gophers strengths are their skill positions on the offensive side of the ball and on the defensive side they are physical. “We are going to go out there and bring the helmet and shoulder pads,” he said.

The Sand Devils are also coming off an 8-3 season, and a win against Payson last week. This game should be a very interesting matchup with Florence kicking off their season and Page having their season opener.

The Florence Gophers will face off against the Page Sand Devils on Friday, Aug. 24. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Page High school.