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Golden Valley football leaning on wideouts

Posted: August 11, 2013 10:21 p.m.
Updated: August 11, 2013 10:21 p.m.

Wide receiver Mike Beckett of Golden Valley is one of several potential targets this year.

 

The Golden Valley football program has been led by a pair of standout running backs the past two seasons in Earl Johnson in 2011 and Leon Jacobs in 2012.

But with head coach Robert Fisher expecting to use a running-back-by-committee approach this season, the wide receiving corps could be more important than ever.

And that group is made up of almost all new faces — with five of the top six receiving yards leaders from last season lost due to graduation.

Looking to fill the role this season is a group of seniors, Malik Young, Mike Beckett and Mikey McCormick, along with junior Joshua Pacheco.

But Fisher says as many as five to seven guys could see time at the position in games.

And so far, according to both Fisher and senior quarterback Robert Phillips, the Grizzlies aerial attack should be a strength.

“They’ve put in a lot,” Phillips said of his receivers. “I’ve been there with them almost every day working on routes, footwork drills. We work out a lot. We’re ready to compete this season.”

The wide receivers know that the pressure may be on them more so than any group of Grizzlies wideouts in years.

“It’s a lot of pressure for the passing game,” Young said. “The receivers are the ones that need to make the plays.”

Last season, that was a struggle for the Grizzlies, as the team combined for just 670 yards receiving.

Only one true receiver with yardage in 2012 returns in senior William Harvey, who amassed 185 yards on 19 catches and a touchdown in eight games last season.

Because of the lack of experience, a big portion of the summer was spent trying to grow together as a unit.

Young didn’t play at all his junior season and Beckett (East Chaple Hill High School in North Carolina) and McCormick (Dinuba High School) both transferred into the school this season.

Beckett played defensive back in North Carolina and had 12 total tackles in four games. McCormick saw limited action at Dinuba, hauling in one pass for 15 yards and rushing once for three yards while playing in just three games.

Pacheco was part of a junior varsity team that saw some success last season, with wins over Canyon and Saugus.

“We had to learn how to be together as a team. We really want to win a league game. We want to prove other people wrong. A lot of the guys are trying really hard,” Pacheco said.

Winning a league game would mean a lot not just to the team, but to a school that has been starved of success on the gridiron.

And this season, perhaps more than any other, the receiving corps could play a big factor in where Golden Valley ends up when it’s all said and done.

“We still have to do something the school has not been able to, and we have a big role in this offense,” McCormick said.

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