“Once Rivals, Now One Team” : Granville-Whitehall Football Holds Awards Banquet.

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By Keith Harrington

The Granville-Whitehall football program recently held its end-of-the-year banquet at the Elk’s Club Lodge in Whitehall. Players, coaches, and families were treated to a spaghetti and meatballs dinner, speeches were given, and awards were distributed.

In the second year of the merger between the former longtime rivals, the team started the season 3-1 before finishing 3-6. Despite the five-game losing skid to end their campaign, head coach Kevin Gebo believes the potential is there for success in the future.

“There’s been a lot of time and focus just bringing the two schools together. I’m so glad they came together. I am so very thankful that the two schools saw that there was a need. The goal is for the program to keep getting better, Gebo explained. “There’s a lot of young talent and great senior leadership that has been passed along.”

Gebo feels that the next logical step for the program is to come up with a team name. Warrensburg-Lake George is the Wolverines. Hoosick Falls-Tamarac is the Wildcats. Granville-Whitehall still needs a unified nickname.

“We need to get a name”, Gebo said. We’re the Granville-Whitehall football team. We need a name.”

Quarrymen is a name that has been discussed and someone even shouted it out during Gebo’s talk.

Granville-Whitehall assistant coach Jason Rathbun spoke about how respectful the players on the team were this season in regards to their feelings about the coaching staff.

“I couldn’t ask to be part of a greater program,” Rathbun said. “These gentlemen show a lot of respect to our coaches, and they are tremendous gentlemen on and off the field. I commend the parents. You have raised a bunch of great gentlemen.”

Gebo announced that the Most Valuable Player award would now be named the “Coach Si Loomis Award” after the assistant coach who has meant so much to him and the players.

“The reason I thought that was important was because of his character. He’s a military veteran who fought in World War I,” Gebo quipped. “Actually a Vietnam veteran. His leadership is one of the most important values you can have.”

The Coach Si Loomis Most Valuable Player award went to senior quarterback RJ Monger.

“When I met RJ, any time I talked with RJ he would look at me eye to eye. When he came over and asked me for a play he would look right into me,” Gebo said. And when I looked back at him I needed to make sure that he didn’t see anything other than confidence.”

The Offensive Player of the Year Award went to CJ Monty.

The Defensive Player of the Year Award was won by Patrick Egan.

The Playmaker Award was received by Nick Powers.

The Dedication and Determination Award went to Tommy Barber.

Matt Ingerson and Brayden Carroll were honored with the Coaches Awards.

Gebo closed the evening by reiterating that the former heated rivals need to continue to grow together to be successful. And that the merger needs to be in place to stay despite doubts from some people.

“I one hundred percent believe that Granville and Whitehall need to be together in a football program, and many other sports. The school districts are no longer the same size that they were,” Gebo concluded. “That’s all I ever heard was about the rivalry. Well, you know what? Once rivals, now one team.”