David Myers watched from the press box during Garfield’s opening game last year as his team left the field in the third quarter.
Myers, who wasn’t the head coach then, didn’t know what was going on because the team’s headsets weren’t working (they had to buy new ones the next day). He, like everyone else, soon found out what happened: Former Garfield coach Kelvin Goliday was upset with the officiating and pulled his team off the field in the third quarter in protest.
The Bulldogs forfeited, and Goliday was suspended.
Then, later that year, Garfield was involved in a bench-clearing fight in the fourth quarter of a game against Ballard.
“It was the most tumultuous football season I’ve ever been through,” said Myers, who took over as interim coach after that first game and now takes over full-time. “Hands down.”
In the world of Garfield football, that preamble about last year’s events must come before anything about this year’s team. Because as much as Myers is trying to move on, his team still needs to shed the negative light that followed them around a year ago.
And he, as much as anyone, understands that.
“I have pretty open conversations with some of my players of how things are different, and for some of them it’s a frustrating thing,” Myers said. “We’ve actually asked some players not to come back as a result because they didn’t fit in with the new higher expectations. Or they didn’t want to.”
Myers is comfortable with the group he has back. Lloyd Proctor is a talented receiver who Myers said made great strides during the offseason. Amahn Edwards played middle linebacker as a freshman and returns bigger and more mature as a sophomore. Plus, Myers has three running backs he likes, each with different skill sets.
“I think we’re going to be more competitive than people expect,” he said. “I don’t know how competitive though.”
Garfield struggled with getting assistant coaches last year – Myers had to call an old coaching contact the morning of a game to get another body in the booth – but he hired four assistants before this season. Plus, he said, he has a young and eager team ready to get better.
“We think the program, the actual structure, if we can get that close to the schools we’re competing against, our athletes will really be able to produce and will really flourish in that situation,” Myers said.
Players to watch:
QB Hayes Gorecki, 6-0, 185
LB Amahn Edwards, 6-1, 205
RB Winfred Roberson, 6-1, 195
RB Liam Albright, 5-9, 190
OL Evell Nelson, 6-2, 250
Game to watch:
Aug. 31 @ Franklin. One of the city’s oldest rivalries will be played again for the first time since 2009.
Will Garfield’s young team be able to compete against far more experienced KingCo teams?