Grossmont football hits some heavy competition

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The hardest part about being at the top is staying there. For football powerhouse Grossmont High School, the battle to keep on top of the standings has brought a fairly young team through a tumultuous month. 

With a loss against Bishop’s and Eastlake, and wins against Olympian and Hilltop, Grossmont head coach Tom Karlo said he is optimistic about where the team is headed. 

The hardest part about being at the top is staying there. For football powerhouse Grossmont High School, the battle to keep on top of the standings has brought a fairly young team through a tumultuous month. 

With a loss against Bishop’s and Eastlake, and wins against Olympian and Hilltop, Grossmont head coach Tom Karlo said he is optimistic about where the team is headed. 

“Sitting at 2-2 is not anything to be upset about,” he said. “After four games, we’re at the top of the Open or the bottom of Division I. We’re not going to have any easy games but we’re progressing well. We’re moving slowly to where we want to be but we constantly have to battle. We have tough games day in and day out.”

One of those tough games was on Sept. 15. The Foothillers’ homecoming game against Eastlake drew quite a crowd, but left fans disappointed when the Titans took the lead and kept Grossmont from scoring at all in the second half. Eastlake won, 32-19. 

Sacking sophomore quarterback Jamie Odom in three consecutive downs and catching a whopping total of six interceptions, two of which were in the endzone, the Titans served as a humble reminder to the Foothillers that the road to victory is neither painless nor easy. 

But Karlo knows this already. 

“We’re a top team and we’re going to play top teams,” he said. 

And it is a young roster, said Karlo. A slew of seasoned standouts made their departure last year, including wide receiver sensation Domonique Guevara, leaving the Foothillers with just eight returning starters. Karlo said mistakes are going to be part of the learning process. 

“Like anything else in life, you have to correct mistakes and we made a lot tonight,” he said. “We’re kinda young and inexperienced at the quarterback spot but Jamie will come along. And those young guys are coming along. They’ll be good, we’ll be fine.”

Odom said the mistakes were mostly misreads on his part. As a young quarterback with a young team, those are likely to come with the territory and be fixed with time. Grossmont will hit harder next time, said Odom.

“It’s tough to lose but we’ll just bounce back next week,” he said. “One game never defines the season. We just keep working hard.”

Karlo echoed the sentiments of his young starter. 

“We just take it one week at a time,” he said. “We don’t look ahead ever. The most important game we have right now is Buena Park because it’s the next one.”

The Foothillers’ home game against Buena Park will be their last before beginning league play, which they will begin with two games on the road at El Capitan on October 6 and at Valhalla on Oct. 13.