The Winslow Bulldog football team will meet 4A Flagstaff Coconino High School in a controlled scrimmage at 6 p.m. on Friday in Winslow. Scores will not be kept in this scrimmage which is for all intents and purposes a joint practice session for the two teams. Winslow will open the regular season at Holbrook on Sept. 1.
Coach Matthew Gracey has been working with the team for two weeks along with assistant coaches Chris Gilmore, Emil Nasser, Darryl Smith and Steve Sartain. Those four have been joined by Tom Breeze and Jon Atkinson who are also working as assistant coaches.
Nasser is a retired Winslow High School coach who has garnered many honors over the years including being elected to the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He helped coach last year as a volunteer assistant at Arizona State 1A Champion Joseph City and worked with a club football league team in Puerto Penasco, Mexico as a volunteer assistant coach.
Nasser said that he has been impressed with Gracey and the program he is working to establish in Winslow and will be happy to help in any capacity.
The Bulldogs have been working hard in practice and quite a few players have demonstrated the talent and attitude that will be needed to build a winning football program.
Among the players who have drawn the praise of the coaching staff are senior center/linebacker Kendall Ybarra, junior linemen William Beamon, Jim Curnette and Josh Mattox and sophomore linemen Hershal Clark, Brandon Mitchell and Brian Mitchell.
Among the offensive players drawing praise were senior fullback/defensive end David Manthei, senior fullback/linebacker Robert Padilla, senior quarterback/safety Kevin Huckabee, junior wingback/safeties Dub Ward and Shawn Mead and junior wingback/cornerbacks Michael Martinez and Arthur Brito and sophomore quarterback/safety Anthony Carter.
Also proving of value already in the young season are "Bulldogettes" Tiffany Foster, Jenna Adams, Jennifer Miller, Jamie Brewton and Laura DeWitt. The girls will act as managers and keep statistics along with other duties.