GRUNDY CENTER (KWWL) — Grundy Center head coach Travis Zajac is having quite the first season.
“It’s been a wild ride since we moved to town, a testament to the assistant coaches, our players, and their families,” says the the Spartans’ new head coach, “They’ve embraced us with open arms. It’s been a fantastic ride up to this point.”
The ride’s not over. On Thursday, his Spartans will play in a state final for the first time in 31 years, something few expected when this season rolled around.
“The last three years we haven’t done well,” admits senior Jesse Mackie, “but this year we really came together, and as a team that wasn’t really supposed to do well, we got it done.”
It didn’t come easy. After a last second loss to district champ North Tama early in the season, the margin for error was gone, but that’s when things really started to click. Grundy Center has now won six straight to punch their ticket in to the class A final.
“We won two big games against Hudson and Wapsie Valley,” says sophomore quarterback Logan Knaack, “We kept going. We beat Belle Plaine and went up to Monona and beat them. We worked together and we got it done.”
Now comes the biggest challenge in top ranked West Hancock,a team that’s run for nearly 5,000 yards this season, but after shutting down a powerful attack in Saint Ansgar last week, there’s no shortage of confidence in the Spartans.
“We’ve been able to affirm that we can play with anyone at anyplace at anytime, and we’ve been fortunate enough to play in a competitive district,” says Zajac, “West Hancock’s a very good football team, but I know that we are too, and we can’t wait to compete against them.”