Taking over as the starting quarterback of a varsity football team is never an easy task for a sophomore to handle, but Plainville’s Frank Griffin made the position his last year and now has the chance to come back as a seasoned veteran despite still being just a junior.
“He’s gotten a little bigger, a little heavier,” Plainville coach Tim Shea said. “Year two in the offense, a lot more is going to be expected out of him. Pretty much every day, about his reads, about his play, about his overall growing with the team.”
The team went winless last year and while Griffin played very well under center, the scoreboard rarely reflected that. Yet once again, he knows the pressure’s on him in many ways to turn the team’s fortunes around.
“Playing quarterback, there’s just always a lot of pressure,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on me last year. This year, just as much. A lot of it’s on me just to get us rolling and get some wins.”
Getting the team’s first victory this season will help ease the burden on everyone considerably, he said.
“We really need that to just move forward,” Griffin said.
One big advantage Griffin will have this year compared to last is just the confidence of having already handled the position before.
“We’ve been doing really good in the preseason,” he said, “and I feel very confident in myself, a lot more than last year, just because I’ve been out there on the field and I know what to expect when I go out there. I’ll be a lot more calm in the pocket. My composure will be there.”
That composure may be a key, as Plainville’s offensive line looks to be its biggest potential weakness, at least at the start of the season. Griffin said he’s already been working on getting the ball out faster to compensate for an anticipated lack of time in the pocket and his own relative lack of height to see over oncoming rushers.
“It’s a whole new offensive line,” he said. “We had all seniors last year and these guys have never played the offensive line position before.”
Yet while the line lacks experience, Griffin will have the benefit of several familiar targets downfield in seniors Ben Root, Cody Marquis and Jailen Lindsey, plus junior Brady Callahan - all of whom return after starting last year and two of them earning all-conference honors.
“It’s good having those skill-type kids around,” Shea said. “Up front’s going to be the challenge. If we can protect, things will be better.”
The experience of Plainville’s skill position players is likely to be the team’s biggest strength this year, and Griffin is at the center of that.
“[The experience will] help me out a lot and help the other guys out, too,” Griffin said. “We look a lot better than we did last year. I have a lot of confidence in everybody, and that’s just something we didn’t have last year.”
Now it’s time for Griffin to show what he and the team can do.
Paul Angilly can be reached at 860-973-1800, or firstname.lastname@example.org