Griego joins fellow Bobcat as Simpson football signee
There will be a Bobcat reunion in Indianola next football season.
Marshalltown seniors Kyle Griego and Keaton Baccam have played on the offensive line together for years, and their time as teammates will continue for the next four seasons as Griego signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Simpson College football program on Monday, nearly a month after Baccam signed on with the Storm.
Griego said his decision to join with Simpson was based on many factors.
“It’s a great program, the coaches really endorsed the program to me well and showed me everything,” Griego said. “Also the scholarship they offered me was really nice.”
Bobcat head football coach Adam Goodvin said Griego should be almost a blank canvas for the Storm coaches to work with.
“I have a lot of confidence in him and I think he will continue to work hard and improve,” Goodvin said. “A big thing about him is he also has a lot of room to grow, I think he will get into the system and into the groove of things and he’ll be just fine.”
Griego played both sides of the ball for Marshalltown, but at Simpson it looks like he will be focusing on defense.
“I’m so used to playing both side of the ball, but defense will probably be better suited for me,” Griego said.
On the offensive side, Griego played the all-important center position for a Bobcat team that had 1,936 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, both of which were the best marks in the last decade. He said having that experience playing the center position will actually translate well to focusing on defense.
“Especially with pulling and down blocks, read blocks, you can tell what the O-line is going to do just by what the center does,” he said.
Goodvin said both Griego and Baccam, who were both captains this season, were crucial parts of why Marshalltown football had a 4-5 record this year, their best record in 10 years.
“That’s where it all starts, without those guys nothing happens. It all starts with their hard work and their commitment to our program,” Goodvin said. “Those two, they did an outstanding job of taking leadership. Kyle is a kid who is one of the strongest in the school and it’s really paid off for him. It’ll be exciting to watch him down the road.”
Griego said when he looks back he is proud of what the offensive line specifically came together to accomplish.
“The O-line just worked really hard this season, way harder than any other season I’ve seen Bobcat football work,” Griego said. “It was really nice, and just by the different scheme we ran this year it was way different than last year and it helped us improve.”
As for his boys joining together at Simpson, Goodvin said it would be hard pressed for Griego and Baccam to find a better place to continue playing.
“They have a great program in Division III and they are doing the right things,” Goodvin said. “Obviously something stuck out that caught their attention and they want to be a part of it. I think that will be something special to be a part of and they are going to enjoy their time there.”
While the two Bobcats will be on the same team, as of now it looks like Griego will be on the defensive line and Baccam the offensive line, meaning they will have plenty of chances to go against each other in practice.
“We will definitely be pushing each other all four years,” he said.
In all seriousness, Goodvin said those two signing with the same program will help in their development.
“They are going in knowing somebody down there that they’ve known their whole lives almost and that will probably ease the transition a little bit,” he said. “Whether they play both sides of the football down there or not, who knows, but that will be easier for them knowing someone and helping out there.”
With four years to work on his craft, Griego said he’s not necessarily worried about stepping right into a starting role for the Storm, just to get better at the sport he loves.
” It’s especially in the weight room, that’s where it all starts. When you work in [official team activities] in the summer, that really pushes you to do better in the season,” he said. “Growing is one of the main things I’ve been focused on, especially in the weight room and practices. Eating right and making sure I’m getting bigger and stronger every single day.”