East County Sports

GRIFFINS REBUILT, IN LINE TO COMPETE

The Grossmont College at its first practice at Grossmont High.

2018 COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW

GROSSMONT GRIFFINS

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (8-21-2018) – The Grossmont College Griffins are a team that had a major overhaul for the better.

2017 was a tough one for head coach Mike Jordan and Co.

A tremendous amount of pressure felt from the gate, filling the shoes of his father, defensive coordinating guru, Dave Jordan.

Coach DAVE JORDAN had a long history of winning at the East County community college. Jordan was inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Hall of Fame in February of 2012.

This honor included such household names as former San Diego Chargers head coach Don Coryell, Dick Vermeil, former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden, Pete Carroll, Aaron Rodgers, and many others.

Dave Jordan finally got his dream job at Grossmont Community College in 1971. As head coach of the Griffins in 1974, he guided the team to 17-straight wins and won the state championship.

In 2005, the Griffins won state and national championships.

Since 2006, the Griffins have been creating a legacy under Dave Jordan’s son, MIKE JORDAN. Head coach Mike Jordan will be starting his 13th season as the skipper of the men in green.

A simple quote that speaks volumes about the Jordan family, and was written by my father, Bill Dickens, as he spoke to then-head coach of Mount Miguel in 2012, now current head coach of the Grossmont High Foothillers, coach Tom Karlo said: “The Jordan family built the Griffin program into a powerhouse with no stadium and no facilities.”

The College is still working on the stadium, yet still remains one of the more respected colleges, especially for football.

In 23 years as the head coach of the Griffins, Dave Jordan posted  a phenomenal record of 135-89-9. He served as an assistant for 13 years.

Dave Jordan is one of those coaches that really wanted the kids to be successful, and with his animation on the field, he displayed such passion.

Mike Jordan believes in the same principles as his father, and several freshman and sophomores on this year’s squad, all echo the same sentiments about Mike Jordan.”  

“They believe in us and treat us like family, “said freshman defensive back ANDREW LIRA.

Grossmont will be joined by one other huge rival from the South Bay, the Southwestern Jaguars.

The Jaguars have been facing Grossmont almost every season for at least a scrimmage.

Now, they will join Grossmont in the National Southern Conference, one of the toughest in Southern California that features powerhouses like Saddleback and Fullerton Colleges.

The Griffins are very familiar with these programs and feel they have the talent and capability this season to really compete with both of them.

Grossmont College football home games will be played at Grossmont High School this year, as construction crews prepare to build a fantastic new field, updated seating and much more, just in time for the 2019 Griffin football season.

Grossmont has been awaiting these field improvements for quite some time, hopefully, will have the field and facilities to go along with the academic offerings and solid athletic programs Grossmont has always offered to their students.

“The difference this season in the quality of guys we have in preseason camp was our recruiting process, we started a lot earlier, had a lot more substance to show, the academic backing, and the transfer rate to the four-year colleges, without the facilities,” said Mike Jordan.

Top returners defensively for the Griffins are defensive lineman KYREE WOODS (Steele Canyon ), defensive lineman DACHELLE JOHNSON (Mount Miguel), and defensive lineman KYLE CALIVER (Cathedral Catholic).

Top Freshman standouts for the Griffins are defensive lineman MATHEW FA’ALELE (Point Loma), defensive back Lira (Grossmont High), Linebacker CHRIS McDONOUGH (EL CAPITAN), and ANTHONY SOLA (Morse).

Top Offensive returners for Grossmont are QB JOSH HARRIS (Oceanside), offensive lineman JAKE SINES (Valhalla), offensive lineman MARCO FOWLER (West Hills), and offensive lineman JAY WILLIAMS, who played defensive line last season.

Freshman offensive standouts are wide receiver JACOB ROZAR (BONITA VISTA), QB ANTHONY POSADA (Bonita Vista), and RB JARIUS BURNETTE (Georgia).

The special teams, often overlooked, could be the difference between winning and losing an important regular season, playoff, or championship contest.

Whether it’s a 100-yard kickoff or punt return, a routine point after touchdown, a punt that is kicked skillfully and lands at the 1-yard line, most importantly a kicker that boots a 45-yard field goal in a nail-biting, must-win, playoff game.

The kicker in this situation was chosen very carefully,

Mike Jordan and his staff have great regard for that position as they chose former Mt. Carmel kicker, freshman ETHAN ALBERTSON.

Albertson had some very impressive stats as a Sundevil, with 28 kickoffs with 27 touchbacks, 15-for-15 for PAT’s, with his longest field goal of 43 yards, and 4-of-7 field goals.

Albertson was one of the best in the North County last season.

“There is a big difference at the community college level, the speed of how quickly opposing defenses rush, about a half second difference, which is a lot to get that punt and kick away,” said Albertson.

Amazingly enough, Albertson kicked his first football his sophomore year as a Sundevil. There is no lack in this freshman with a big leg.

Not only do they have the youth movement, but also the return of former Oceanside alum and second-year Griffin, Harris.  

Not only does Harris discuss football,  but also a more important step forward in this outstanding young man’s life, Harris decided that there was more to life than just football.

Josh decided to embark on a mission trip to Nicaragua.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” he said. “I also have a cousin on the team that went on a mission to Cambodia and it was definitely a life-changing experience for both of us.

Said Harris: “It really was a special experience for me in Nicaragua, to get outside of our little bubble back here at home and to see the real issues of whether or not the people are going to eat or not. It was all of our focus on serving the people down their and nothing else.

“Being down in Nicaragua really helped me put the world and my love for football into a different perspective.

Josh stated that he was also already familiar with his running back from when he was serving in Nicaragua with him.

Harris also spoke highly of the team as a whole of how much talent they have at each position.

With four quarterbacks deep, including Posada from Bonita Vista, and even JAKE SIEGFRIED from Granite Hills, Grossmont is more than likely gonna give the nod to Harris, not only for his physical performance but also his leadership skills.

The size and speed of the Griffin defense led by Woods.

“The mentality of this team is if I need to change positions and it is better or the team, let’s do that, all about team effort this season,” said Woods.

“Originally, I was talking to my cousin that played at Grossmont, and we decided if I was gonna move far away, I should go to Arizona Western or Fullerton. Then we decided to stay local, save money if I’m gonna go JUCO, and also I decided because of all the connections this program has when we transfer is the best, said Woods.

“Leadership and experience are what makes the defense great this year,” the former Cougar continued. “We returners know a lot of the formations and can train the incoming freshmen on what to look for, little tricks of the trade.

“I like the tough competition because you are competing against the best athletes that in turn will prepare you for the next level, you will be ready for the best.”

Ballard is another one of coach Jordan’s young talents from Point Loma High.

“The pace of the game is definitely something to prepare for, also I have learned that effort cannot be coached, it has to come from within,” said Ballard.

Grossmont DL MATT BALLARD

Ballard went on about the many reasons he chose Grossmont.

“The players and coaches treat me like family, they really showed me how much they wanted me to be a part of the program,” said Ballard. “Grossmont’s campus is my second home.”

Former Foothiller Lira, now a freshman defensive back, may end up being a returner on special teams.

Andrew was a very fast and physical defensive back and returner at Grossmont High and should also add a spark to a fantastic defense.

“Brightest spot in camp so far is four returners on our offensive line,” said Mike Jordan.

“Special teams definitely set with the best kicker and punter in the state,” Jordan said. “Kid is only 17 and a very bright young man.”

Grossmont needs to turn around some of the scores allowed on defense over the last few season.

“Defensive line is big athletic and we have a lot of depth at the position,” said the coach.

According to Jordan, this team has a 100-percent turnaround and will also have the talent and depth to compete with Saddleback and Fullerton. The Griffins travel to play a very talented Long Beach City College on Saturday, September 1, at 5 P.M.

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