One of the most dominant football programs in the Desert Southwest is looking to continue their dominance
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Palo Verde Yellow Jackets are ready to sting their way back to the top, this time in Division III.
The Yellow Jackets have had quite the success winning the CIF Division IV and Division V Championships over the past two years.
The state of California has taken notice and elevated the Yellow Jackets for the third straight year.
Head Coach Wally Grant says this year is going to be a lot more challenging with losing over 25 seniors and only four starters returning.
He adds his Yellow Jackets will be ready for the challenge.
Although the Jackets are young, Coach Grant feels he has the talent to remain competitive but the first few weeks will be a work in progress.
Grant says he's old school and won't change the way he coaches. He also credits his incredible staff behind him.
"We've hit the ground running and that's what's fun. It's out there and I'm watching these youngin's start to bond, start to figure it out and it's just starting back from scratch," says Grant. "It is beautiful to watch the process just unfold."
Coach Grant says besides his returning lineman, right now all positions are open competition and he's going to let the kids battle it out.
He does reiterate that he's not worried about individual stats.
"Now it's trying to get them to understand that now the name on the front of that jersey is what we're all striving for. I don't put names on the back of our jerseys," continues Grant. "We're all here to be one thing and that's a team and all we're concerned about is trying to get that W Friday night and hang another banner in the gym."
Coach Grant says he was asked if he was done coaching after last season and he said, "No I'm not going to quit on these kids and they aren't going to quit on me."
Palo Verde's first game will be on the road on Friday August 18th against Calexico.