(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)- From Friday night's on Noyes' Field at Central High School to Saturday afternoon's on Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium, Derek Gray Jr. lives and breathes football in St. Joseph.
"He's a great one," Griffons head football coach Matt Williamson said. "He's one of those guys that you want to be around all the time and his work ethic is in the top of the charts."
From Friday night's on Noyes' Field at Central High School to Saturday afternoon's on Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium, Derek Gray Jr. lives and breathes football in St. Joseph.
Coming off a 4-7 record in 2017, Gray and the Griffons took this summer to come together to work out as one unit.
"Football is a fun game, but it's all about friendships and you want everyone on the field to gel together and be able to produce, and honestly the first thing to do was get everybody here this summer," Gray said. "On top of that, throughout the whole week and the whole summer with workouts, just making sure everybody showed up."
It didn't matter which level of football he played growing up, Gray has always been motivated, which he said comes from his parents.
"They raised me to be a leader and never follow anybody and just go your own route, so that's what I've done my whole life and when I got here I did the same thing," Gray said.
Whether Gray sees it directly or not, there's no denying he is a role model for local high school football players.
"Good for those kids in St. Joseph, three regular high schools and the other schools to see the talents that St. Joe has, but also what people can accomplish," Williamson said.
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