#HSFT21 Stop #27 – Gordo Green Wave
GORDO, Ala. (WCBI) – “Our motto this year has been win the last one,” senior quarterback Tanner Bailey said.
After falling one win short of a Class 4A state championship, the Gordo Green Wave is determined not to let that happen again. The team’s 35-20 loss against Handley has been the fuel to the team’s fire this offseason.
“Whatever happens in the season is going to happen,” Bailey said. “It’s going to mold us as a team. Our leadership and traits as a team. We’re going to win the last one. That’s our main goal this year.”
“We’re going to make the best out of this year to make it back,” senior nose guard Ikeltian Byrd said.
“It’s not a redemption tour,” senior linebacker Ben Capps said. “It’s just us doing our thing, working hard every day to get back. We get better every day. We came up a half short. We were down one at the half. We all have the same thing on our minds. The same goal. We don’t have to talk about it because we have the same mindset.”
The Green Wave bring back a loaded offense featuring all-state quarterback and Oregon commit Tanner Bailey. His focus this offseason has been improving his leadership.
“Be more vocal,” Bailey said. “Correct guys when they need to be. Also, being a good leader and not snapping off on them or anything. Just being that guy they want to talk to and be teammates with.”
“Anybody who’s down he tries to pick them up,” Byrd said. “He tries to help all the way around. Not just at his position, but anyone else’s.”
“Me and him have been starting now on this team for four years now,” Capps said. “The chemistry we have together is crazy. He knows where I’ll be. I know where he’ll put the ball. It’s great having a leader like him. I have the defense. He’s got the offense. Together, we make it work.”
The glue that holds it all together at Gordo is the coaching staff. Head coach Ryan Lolley has established a program that year in and year out competes for state titles.
“Our coaches push us to the max,” senior safety and wide receiver Lawson Neel said. “They give us bad situations in practice to make the game easier.”
“We try to push ourselves,” Byrd said. “We know what he wants us to do. We know his expectations and what he wants us to do.”
After playing last season, either on the road or on a neutral site, the Green Wave are back home in hopes of making a title push in front of all the fans.
“It’s going to be special,” Bailey said. “We can enjoy it a lot more knowing last year we didn’t have a field. This year we do. I think the senior class will enjoy it a lot more.”
“We’re ecstatic,” Capps said. “It’s my senior year. A lot of our guys senior year. We played 15 neutral or road games. To be back this year with guys in the stands now gives a hometown vibe we can’t wait to get back.”