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Friday Night Lights: Wally Grant selected as Imperial Valley Coach of the Year

Grant led the Yellow Jackets to back-to-back CIF titles in fourth season with program

YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - Credibility and respect, or lack there of, came at a minimum to Palo Verde's football program for quite some time - until Wally Grant made his way to Blythe in 2019.

Just three years in, the Yellow Jackets became CIF champs in Division Five. A year later, they were crowned CIF Division Four champions - all while moving up a division and cruising through the top three seeds in the bracket after being handed a surprising No. 7 seed.

Grant and the coaching staff were the masterminds behind one of the most lethal rushing attacks that the state of California has ever seen - rushing for over 5,600 yards and over 4,000 of them coming from the dynamic duo of Markus Macon and Xzavier Bejarano.

The team rushing number resulting in more than 4,000 yards above the national average.

Grant and the Yellow Jackets running an almost unstoppable offense, especially late in the season and into playoffs.

It was a kind of two-year run that brought the small community of Blythe together. One of those wonderful "small-town sports stories that you see in the movies" as Grant referred to several times this season.

The back-to-back title being the cherry on top for a program that was disrespected with such a low-seed despite ripping off nine straight regular season wins. Nonetheless, Grant and the staff were able to keep their heads straight and rally the group to another stunning year.

While Blythe continues to fight for respect, they will walk into the 2023 season hoisting two straight titles and their head coach coming back for more.

Article Topic Follows: FNL Honors

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Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

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