Attitude adjustment: Central administrators and coaches have made common reference in recent years to "changing the culture" at their school. The idea is a general academic-athletic upgrade, if not expectation, and that was evident this week in the Grizzlies' questioning why they were ONLY listed sixth in The Bee's preseason Central Section rankings.
"That's OK," Central coach Casey Quinn said in a motivational reference, "it will help us." And they may not need much a year after going 13-2 among freshman, junior varsity and varsity programs. Further, the former Clovis West assistant notes, he has 65 players on the varsity and 180 total in the three programs.
And has that ever been matched in Orange and Black? Doubtful. Tonight, at home, the Grizzlies will be immediately tested by Paso Robles, which has authored 55-42 and 44-7 conquests of Central the past two seasons.
Wildcats athletic director Roger Oliver, meanwhile, is confident the program will take off under the former Reedley coach: "It's amazing how quickly Justin has gained respect on campus and within the community. It's incredible. It may not translate into wins this year, but it will down the road. He sees the big picture; he gets it." Sunnyside will open next week at Lemoore.
PLAYERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
OTHER GAMES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
– Follow us: Keep up with the action tonight at fresnobee.com, the SportsBuzz blog and on Twitter. Coverage will be provided by Andy Boogaard (Clovis East vs. Edison at Sunnyside) and Nick Giannandrea (Merced vs. Clovis West at Veterans Memorial).
Coaches: Got a score to report? Call (559) 441-6379 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org