After a very successful run in which the Irish reached the MHSAA football playoffs in nine of the previous 10 seasons, Father Gabriel Richard struggled with a young team in 2018. FGR lost its first five games before winning two of the last four to finish at 2-7 on the season.
All signs are pointing to a better season for the Irish and a quick start could get the momentum and confidence heading in the right direction. The Irish open the season at home against Clio. The Mustangs have won just 17 games since 2002 and have gone 2-7 the past two seasons.
The Irish then play Detroit Old Redford (1-8 last year) before playing Macomb Lutheran North in week three – the Mustangs beat the Irish 13-7 last year and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Preparation leading up the opener have been going well for FGR – and getting better starts on the practice field.
“Practice has been efficient and the kids have worked hard to improve from last season,” said FGR Coach Matt Giarmo, in his first year running the varsity program. “We need to improve every day and compete every game.”
The Irish have experience back at key positions and a solid offensive line anchored by talented (and big) senior Andrew Covert. Brandon Victor is back and will play running back, tight end and linebacker while QB Greg Kendzicky also returns for the Irish.
“Our backfield is one of our strengths,” said Giarmo. “We need to play more physical and build a team mentality.”
FGR kicks off the season at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29 at home against Clio.