It came down to the final five minutes of the game and another outstanding performance by Granite Bay’s all-star quarterback Josh Neal to gain a victory over the Pittsburg Pirates. With five minutes left in the game, Neal completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marc Ellis, putting the Grizzlies on top 39-35. The final touchdown was the icing on top of a stellar performance by the senior quarterback who threw for 280 yards, and five touchdowns.
“Josh is a leader out there,” said head coach Skip Albano, “He steps up vocally when needed and can spot plays, but mostly he leads by example and is a true team player.”
Neal’s team player personality shines through his goals as an individual and for his team. The college-bound senior plans to attend the University of Nevada Reno to study Criminal Justice, with the intention of becoming a FBI agent once he steps off the football field and into the career field. As for the remainder of his senior season at Granite Bay, Neal is simply striving to do his best for his team in leading them to another section championship title.
“Setting goals is important,” said Neal, “These goals are what keep me motivated and they provide a constant sense of direction.”
Josh has spent the last ten years learning and organically adapting the fundamentals, drive, and excitement that lie behind his favorite sport. His father Bill Neal has acted as both a mentor and a coach through it all. Bill is the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Granite Bay and has played a key role in encouraging the continuous progress of Josh’s success.
“As a coach and a mentor, my father is the one who always keeps me focused on doing the right thing on the field and in life,” expressed Neal.
Averaging over 200 yards per game, the senior quarterback now has 1,647 yards on the season with 17 touchdowns.
“My teammates, our school, and the football tradition at Granite Bay High School keep me motivated, stated Neal, “These things will continue to drive me to bring the best to my team that I possibly can.”
As the home school of 49ers High School Player of the Week, Granite Bay High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program. Neal will receive a 49ers hat and t-shirt, a certificate signed by 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh, two tickets to a 49ers home game and recognition on 49ers.com. At the end of the season, Josh will be invited to the 49ers Training Facility in Santa Clara, CA to accept a trophy recognizing his achievements.