CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal coach Jason Gray had a blueprint for success when he took over the Eagles program in 2009.
Slowly, the team has progressed from a 1-8 record in 2009, to 3-6 last year to a playoff qualifying 7-2 this season.
Gray preached a three-key plan of strength, schemes and recruiting. All three phases have worked.
“Number one was building a solid strength training program, which we have done,” Gray said. “We are stronger than we’ve ever been. In our preseason conditioning testing we had 15 kids that benched over 200 pounds. When I got here two kids could do that.”
The second key was running schemes that would be adaptable to their players. Not forcing schemes, but going with what provides a chance for the most success.
“We had to take advantage of the strength of our kids and of our coaches,” Gray said. “We feel that we’ve done that with our schemes. We have been successful both on offense and defense.”
Finally, you can’t play football without bodies. Gray has increased the size and interest in football by recruiting and retaining.
“Our varsity team has 24 players this year. That is highest since I’ve been here,” Gray said. “We have been able to get kids out and we have been able to keep them. Now that we have been successful I think that will help even more.”
In addition to the three keys of victory, more than anything, staying healthy was the biggest key this year.
“We knew coming into this year we would be pretty good, because of who we had back,” Gray said. “The biggest thing that helped us this year was staying healthy. We haven’t lost anyone to a major injury. With the hard work and staying healthy allowed us to make that turn toward success.”
Gray said it’s been a great season and they are hoping to continue it for as long as possible.