Buttermore aims to take football program to the next level

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The victory bell that the players hope to ring after every home game.

Josie DeCaro

BY JOSIE DECARO (’19)

The football team recruited a new coach this year after the retiring of JR Wait, who coached for 18 consecutive seasons. Coach Justin Buttermore took over the position with high expectations, and to bring players determination and strength throughout the team.

Buttermore moved from Tri-Valley to Granville after fourteen years after being their head coach. Prior to that, he spent five years as head coach at Hilliard Davidson while also teaching there.

Buttermore, who also teaches World History at the high school, moved to Granville because he said he hopes to expose his three children, junior Bo, freshman Doak and seventh grader Quinn, to a better academic environment.

“I think Granville is a unique town,” Buttermore said. “It has a great mix of high expectations for academics and also athletics and that is what I was mostly looking for.”

Buttermore also brought resources with him, including offensive coordinator Cam West. The new coaches seek stability as an important asset to the team and, eventually, to win it all.

“We are trying to take the next step as a program,” Buttermore said. “They have been a little inconsistent from year to year so we are trying to bring some consistency and take the next step not only make it to playoffs, but win play off games.”

The players say they notice the team evolving and are becoming more enthusiastic and passionate about getting out and dominating on the field.

“I think our team worked a lot this summer, a lot more than we have in the past,” senior outside receiver Ethan Tackett said. “Coach Buttermore went to the State Championship last year so he knows what he is doing.”

To strengthen the players determination Buttermore has the team schedule planned out all the way to the State Championship, according to Tackett.

The previous season, in 2017, the league record was 3-1 and their overall record was 8-3 including a loss in their first playoff game to Bellefontaine. Buttermores dreams fuels the players to pursue and conquer and be the first in school history to win a playoff game.

Buttermore’s past successes with Tri-Valley have shown that he can take a team to the playoffs, and win due to his ten postseason appearances and 12 play off wins. Granville has made seven postseason appearances and won zero games. This is history that Buttermore wants to change and really take the program to the next level.

Instead of having two-a-days practice, they had one practice in the morning from 8:00am until 3:00pm for three weeks in a row. Tackett said it has benefitted the team by picking up their speed and strengthening the connections and bonds between them.

“I think he has a very keen view of what we need to do, and how were gonna get there,” senior cornerback Patrick Steyn said.

Buttermore has brought a new defensive scheme to the team they did not have in the past. This year the team has proved that they are more of a run heavy team than a pass heavy team. Last year one of the main focuses of the team was passing but a change has partaken and now the team is a 60-40 run to pass ratio.

The boys’ hard work prevailed through their first game against Hamilton Township with the score of 35-7. During the game, senior quarterback Cameron Crouch, had a break through 62 yard run and celebrated with a big hug from Buttermore and West.

“For me and the rest of the team, I think coach is a blessing to have around,” Crouch said. “From a life and football standpoint he has definitely taught me a lot and no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t run through a wall for both of them.”

The players say the coaches are  teaching the players persistence and comprehension to make the game more fun and easier.

“We seem to be a lot more up-beat and higher tempo, and Coach Buttermore has brought a lot to our team and the different defenses and offenses that we are running,” said junior running back Trevor Crumley. “There seems to be a lot higher pace and a lot of higher understanding between all of the players.”

Former head coach JR Wait is impressed with the progress and the strong lead to the start of the season with the arrival of the senior class.

“I think it’s starting really well. Expectations are really high and it’s a really good class,” said Wait. “The team and coaching staff look like they’re on the same page, it is a good start to the season.”

Spirits on the team are high and the players are excited to see how the year unfolds and to eventually see all their hard work pay off.

“Coach, if you’re reading this, let’s get this money,” Steyn said.