Indeed, it was a chicken-skin comeback for Tyler Graunke, whose experience (more than four years in this system) meant more than his practice time (three full workouts this season).
It also was the breakout game — actually, 30 minutes — for Aaron Bain, Mike Washington, Greg Salas and Malcolm Lane.
While the Warriors have eight new starters on offense, this is an experienced unit. As the understudies to Ryan Grice-Mullins and Davone Bess, Bain and Washington never redshirted. They are now seniors. And, as Graunke correctly pointed out, they have waited for a long time to prove they deserved more playing time in previous seasons.
Lane and Salas also have been waiting. So much that Salas refuses to be held back despite a fracture in the ring finger of his left hand.
Salas said the finger is sore, but “I’m not going to think about it while I’m on the field. I’ll take some Advil before the game.”
Graunke said: “Because we have eight new guys on offense, people don’t think we can play like we know what we’re doing. But we know what we’re doing.”
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Brashton Satele is fulfilling his promise as a big-hitting middle linebacker. And Solomon Elimimian is showing he has hte speed and skills to play on the outside. With Adam Leonard doing well at the other outside position, the Warriors will be faced with an interesting decision when Blaze Soares is ready to return.
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JM2375 is our winner. Call me at 256-0223 to claim your volleyball tickets.
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Happy birthday to Wena and to my favorite baseball player of the late 1980s, Howard “HoJo” Johnson.