A returning quarterback can go a long way toward the success of a football team on offense.
The Farmersville football team is relying on that with Brady Gray, who returns as the starting signal caller for the Farmers in the 2022 season. The rising junior returns after starting most of the season for the team after an injury to start EJ Chairez, leading the in passing yards and touchdowns.
For head coach Zac Quinlan, it’s Gray’s intangibles that are key for the Farmers.
“He’s a great leader,” Quinlan said. “With a year under his belt, he’s only going to get even better. EJ did a great job before he got hurt and we were just young behind him. We’re feeling a lot better for us this season.”
When talking about his leadership skills, coach Quinlan said Gray is one of the most coachable players on the team. He’s always interested in learning and making himself and his teammates better every day.
“He’s a lead by example sort of player,” Gray said. “His job is to be sort of the point guard of the offense. We have skilled players around him and he knows how to distribute the ball quickly and give his guy’s opportunities to be successful around him. But he’s not a yeller or a guy who commands attention from his teammate, he’s just always doing the right thing.”
Gray is also the starting catcher for the Farmers baseball team, spending the summer playing travel baseball. One area of focus for coach Quinlan and Farmersville offensive coordinator Josh Howard was to keep some continuity in the offense this season, something that will help Gray hit the ground running in August.
“It’s going to be huge for us,” Quinlan said. “Brady is a baseball player as well, so we haven’t got a lot of time with him this offseason. So, him already knowing the offense will be huge for us. He’s one of several multi-sport athletes for us and he’s going to have a lot of knowledge already.”
As the Farmers enter the new year, one area that Gray will have to be prepared for is a difference in play-calling with the new team. While the playbook will largely remain the same, expect the Farmers to pass the ball more and be a more balanced team in 2022, with the loss of senior running back Braejon Tidwell and the return of several receivers and offensive linemen to the team.
“Our offense is built to be multi-faceted,” Quinlan said. “You’ve got to be able to score when you need, but as he understands the offense and develops further, he’ll know how to distribute the football and take advantage of what the defense is giving us. The biggest difference between this year and last year is that we can get deeper into our playbook because we’re executing it better and better.”
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]