By Haley Stesiak
The former Mountain View coach has led Mesquite to a 3-0 start on the season, the school’s best start since 2010.
“The kids are working hard and buying into what we’re doing,” DeGrenier said to Sports360AZ.com. “It’s very rewarding.”
The changes with this year’s team began with practices, senior wide receiver Robert Ortiz said.
“Practices are more up tempo, they’re a lot faster and I definitely get a lot more work out of this year,” Ortiz explained. “He [DeGrenier] makes sure there is perfection, so we don’t end practice until everything is perfect.”
DeGrenier has brought more to the team than just his talent as a coach. He has helped develop a new team bond.
“He brings a lot of discipline to us and he united us,” senior running back Joseph Eubanks said. “Especially compared to last season we weren’t really as close…this year we really feel like we are a family.”
Ortiz feels the change in team chemistry, as well.
“It’s not like previous years with Mesquite,” Ortiz said. “We’ve had groups, where the juniors would be a group, the seniors would be a group…this year since camp we’ve all bonded as one.”
That family bond is what has helped lead to the early success Mesquite is seeing this season, DeGrenier said.
“They had a unique situation,” DeGrenier said. “Being my first year, they’ve started to lean on each other and develop a good family bond. Any team that’s going to win football games has to come together as a family and they’ve done that.”
DeGrenier is proud of where the team is but still sees room for improvement, he said.
“Our defense has done a good job, [they’ve] given up 20 points in three games,” he said. “Offensively we got better last week throwing the football…continuing to improve upon the passing game is going to be critical for our success.”
The successful start the Wildcats have had with DeGrenier at the helm has the team feeling positive as they head into the rest of the season, Ortiz said.
“The confidence is definitely there now knowing that we are a good football team,” Ortiz said. “We’re going to practice every day for the state championship.”