ST. PARIS – Graham’s football team hasn’t posted a winning record in several years, but new head coach Shane Cahill hopes to change that trend quickly.
Cahill comes to Graham from Mechanicsburg, where as an assistant coach, he helped lead the Indians to the playoffs on an annual basis.
“Coaching with Kurt Forrest and the Mechanicsburg staff over the last three years was an amazing experience,” said Cahill. “The community, school, football staff and kids were welcoming from day one and continued to help me grow throughout my time there.
“Kurt preaches building relationships and making memories and that is a great idea to live by,” he added. “The motto at The Burg is ‘Fight’ and that greatly influenced our ‘Win the Moment’ mantra at Graham. Kurt always stressed to the kids that they must constantly fight and never give up no matter what adversity you face. I also watched the Mechanicsburg kids become some of the strongest high school football players I have ever been around. Their love for the weight room is contagious and I am trying to instill that love with the kids here at Graham.”
Returning starters for the Falcons include Levi Allison OL/DL Sr.; Gage Braun QB/DB Sr.; Austin Brayton RB/DB Sr.; Zach Caudill WR/DB Sr.; Jaret Knoop WR/DB Sr.; Michael Shook OL/DL Sr.; Krizdon VanHoose TE/DL Sr.; Caleb Horner WR/LB Jr.; Logan Thompson OL/LB Jr.; Nick Yoh OL/DL Jr.
Those challenging for varsity playing time include Austyn Collier OL/DL Sr.; Dalton Oder K/OL/DL Sr.; Chandler Stroud WR/DB Sr.; Caleb Anderson TE/DL Jr.; Austin Gibson RB/LB Jr.; Josiah Newport OL/DL Jr.; Trey Pence OL/DL Jr.; Donny Sands TE/LB Jr.; Jacob Washburn RB/LB Jr.; Brady Anderson WR/DB So.; Tylar Bailey RB/LB So.; Nick Baker OL/DL So.; Chapman Driskill OL/DL So.; Brandon Suttles OL/DL So.
“Our goals are to change the culture. Our slogan is ‘Win the Moment’ and we have focused on responding and overcoming adversity on a daily basis. Also, learn to love the weight room. We will be lifting four days a week throughout the season. We are lifting to improve not only the football program but all of Graham athletics. And we also want to become a family. We have to learn to be selfless and sacrifice for our teammates. Individual accomplishments are nothing compared to team success.
“We have a lot of returning guys with varsity experience and we need to be able to handle adversity on a Friday night,” Cahill added. “We have to accept our roles on the team and support the family.”
Graham plays at West Liberty-Salem to open the season Friday night.