Gass brings maximum effort to Servite
MAY 03, 2013 6:20p ET
The Friars 2013 schedule is written in black.
Aug. 30 at Bishop Gorman is the season opener.
Other non-league games include Long Beach Poly, and a visit from the Bob Ladouceur-less Spartans of De La Salle. That’s all before facing the usual suspects in Trinity League play.
Advantageous to say the least, especially for a team coming off of a three-win season in 2012 and just one win in league play.
Gass has been selected to get the program back on track following Troy Thomas’ decision to return to his pwn alma mater, Crespi.
It’s going to take the same things that got them to the top of the mountain – toughness, hard work, commitment, determination, effort – to get them back there. A couple of things that Gass knows well.
It’s Thursday afternoon and Gass is in office asked to re-tell the story of one of the greatest excursions of commitment, determination, maximum effort, and …“poor planning.”
During his football playing days at Servite, Gass, who was living in Corona at the time, needed to get to campus for summer workouts. He missed his ride and barely had enough for bus fare which didn’t go far at all.
“By the time I left Corona, I spent that money on something to drink,” said Gass, leaning back in his chair in the office. “It was a 90-degree day.”
An 8 a.m. excursion turned into an all day affair with Gass attempting to walk to Servite from his Corona home.
It wasn't until around 6:30 p.m. that Gass found himself anywhere remotely near the Servite campus. His mother had no clue where he was after going to Servite, only to learn he wasn’t there.
In the pre-cell phone era, by chance the two happened to meet at a local convenience store at the same time and returned home.
Gass began the trek with the mindset he had to get to campus. He was locked in a position battle. Although, for all intents and purposes, he lost that day, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Clearly he was determined to get there.
Obviously, that showed a lot of effort, right?
“Or lack of intelligence,” Gass fired back. “One of the two.”
We’ll choose the former. At least that’s the message he’s going to send to his team whenever that particular story is brought up.
It was that type of effort that made him an All-WAC linebacker at Fresno State under Pat Hill and led to three Grey Cups (he won two) during a 10-year career as a member of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos.
Of course, it is the extra effort that has always fit into the framework of Servite football. It was when Gass was a player. It was when the Friars were winning back-to-back PAC-5 titles under Thomas, and Gass hopes it continues under his leadership.
He’s undeterred by the short comings of a season ago.
“The effort, the attitude, and the work was always there,” Gass said. “A lot of things just didn’t go our way and our record reflected that.
“If we can get the most out of what they’ve been given then everything else pretty much takes care of itself.”
First on the agenda is finding an offensive coordinator. The Friars had more than their fair share of issues on offense in 2012. Matt Mitchell was dismissed as offensive coordinator two games into the season and the Friars had trouble finding the endzone, averaging just 14.8 points per game.
The offense is a year older and has plenty of “weapons” Gass said. The key is finding the right fit to maximize all of those weapons in an OC.
And the right facilitator in a quarterback. Seniors Neil Pauu and Anthony Medina along with junior Travis Waller will compete for the starting job.
It’s a program Gass believes is on the rise from a talent point of view and will transform their scoring deficiencies from a year ago into a distant memory.
Defensively, he’ll be in control of a young defense serving as his own defensive coordinator.
“When you have a group of kids who’ve brought in and they’re excited they can overcome pretty much anything and team’s here in the past have proven that and we just got to get back on that track,” Gass said.
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