Longtime assistant and Granville alumnus J.R. Wait took over the Blue Aces program in the offseason with the retirement of veteran head coach Mike Hensley.
Now, Wait will try to lead his alma mater to its third straight playoff berth
and fourth in school history.
* Players to Watch – LB/WR Austen Harrison (6-2,
190, Sr.), DB/WR Ross Comisford (5-11, 70, Sr.), QB David Hettler (6-6, 225,
Sr.), RB Tyler Link (6-0, 185, Sr.), RB Graham Rucker (5-7, 180, Sr.), LB/WR
Austen Harrison (6-2, 190, Sr.), DL/OL Michael Hofer (6-4, 240, Sr.), WR Josh
McKenzie (5-10, 160, Jr.)
Outlook – Veteran head coach Mike Hensley retired
from the Granville head coaching position in the offseason but a new face won’t
be roaming the Blue Aces sideline in his place.
That’s because longtime assistant and Granville alumnus J.R.
Wait has taken over the top spot.
“It is a great honor and a great responsibility. It has special meaning to me,” Wait
said. “I learned a lot from Mike and was fortunate
to be given a lot of responsibilities by Mike. That has helped a lot getting
ready and prepared for the many different things this job throws at you. It is
definitely one of those jobs you can be prepared for but until your name is
actually on it you don’t really understand it.”
Wait retained the entire coaching staff.
“I am very familiar with our coaching staff and that makes
the transition a little easier. I have great familiarity with the players,” he
said. “It is a learning process but it is a great job and a great staff and
“I know more about the situation than someone who would be
coming in fresh.”
With Granville looking for its third straight playoff berth
and fourth in school history, expectations are high this season.
some high goals,” said Wait. “The academic and athletic expectations are high
here and we embrace that challenge.
“Over a long period of time, it is just a great place to
teach and coach.”
Granville has to replace WR Adam Alderman and QB Cory
Becher on offense, which combined, claim five school records.
“We don’t replace those guys necessarily,” Wait said. “You
try to collectively make up the gap and I think we have a lot of guys that are
ready to do that.”
Link returns as Granville’s leading rusher and is a threat
to catch the ball out of the backfield, according to Wait.
Hettler takes over at quarterback.
“He’s done everything he’s been asked to do playing behind
a very talented player. It is a learning process and he is going to have some
ups and downs but I think he is ready,” Wait said.
Hettler has prototypical pro-style quarterback size.
“He’s the only 6-6, 225-pound spread quarterback that is
being recruited by nobody,” Wait laughed. “His (college) future will most likely
be in basketball.”
Wait said there is some concern about depth on the
offensive line and that is the reason for the spread offense.
Harrison is Granville’s best all-around athlete, according
“He is someone you definitely want to build a defense
around,” he said.
Now that Blue Aces have snapped on their helmets for
two-a-days, the Wait era is officially underway on the field and he is
optimistic about it.
“It looks good – very good future,” he said
Aug. 28, Johnstown-Monroe, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 4, at Utica, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 11, at Grandview Heights, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 17, at Gahanna Columbus Academy, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 25, Bexley, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2, Newark Licking Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9, at Whitehall-Yearling, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16, Heath, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23, at Hebron Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30, Newark Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
* Note: Hensley was hired to take over the Fisher
Catholic football program in early August