Gray earns starting job as Owls open season at Greenwood


Seymour quarterback Will Gray broke his ankle at Jeffersonville last year during the second week of the season.

It was a devastating injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the year.

In came Bret Perry, who ignited the Owls to a solid season, especially in the second half of the year.

As Gray recovered, head coach Tyson Moore knew he would have a tough decision to make for 2022. Who will be the Seymour starter under center?

As the Owls get set their season opener Friday night at Greenwood, Moore has officially named Gray as the starting QB.

“Will has made a lot of progress since his injury last year,” Moore said. “This is one of the harder QB battles that I’ve ever been around as a coach. We did not take this decision lightly.”

Gray’s ability to rehab from the broken ankle is something that impressed Moore.

“He came back a lot better than I thought he would have,” he said. “To see him be able to come back from that and really develop past where he was and get better, it was real promising.”

The decision to name Gray the starter became a little easier after last Friday’s scrimmage with Silver Creek when sophomore standout Jaylan Johnson went down with a fractured fibula.

“Jaylan getting hurt made that decision a little easy. Once that happened, we knew we needed to have Bret out on the field,” Moore said. “We needed another solid receiver out there. He was disappointed because he wanted to play quarterback, but he knew we needed him more so at the slot position to help us with our pass game.”

As far as Johnson’s status, Seymour hopes to have him back at some point this season, looking at more toward the second half of the year.

“If everything goes right, he should be able to come back eventually. He is hopeful and we’re hopeful as coaches. We’re not going to push him,” Moore said.

Another takeaway from last week’s scrimmage was that Moore was pleased with the passing game. He thought Jack Pennington stepped up as a receiver. Moore wants to see the running game improve, which was a big key in practice this week.

Defensively, Moore wants his team to improve up front.

“Take control of the trenches on both sides,” Moore said.

He thought the linebackers played really well as well as the defensive backs aside from a few plays.

“The second and third levels, especially the linebackers, is definitely the strength of our defense,” Moore said.

When looking at Greenwood on film, Moore expects the Woodmen to be one of the stronger teams Seymour plays against.

“Greenwood is pretty stout, probably one of the bigger offensive lines we’ll play this season,” he said. “Their D-line is strength of their defense. They play a 3-4 and have stout linebackers. We need to get their front seven blocked to have success on offense.”

This Seymour team has a lot of players back from last year’s sectional title game run that saw the Owls come mere seconds away from obtaining the trophy.

New Albany scored a walk-off touchdown with under 10 seconds to win, and this Owls team hasn’t forgotten that.

“Ever since we walked off the field in New Albany, it left a bitter taste in our mouth. That’s the blessing of having a younger team is they’ve experienced it and don’t want to feel it again. They’ve worked their butts off all offseason to get to this point,” Moore said. “They’re excited. It’s finally game week. We feel like we’ve got a lot to prove this year. Getting off to a good start with a win against Greenwood would really continue to help our momentum and show teams, ‘Hey, we’re not messing around. We’re not the Seymour that people just come in and run over.’ This is a new team, this is a new program, and I’m excited to get these things going.”

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