*The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 3 goes to Kevin Grant of San Mateo High School in San Mateo, CA. *
The San Mateo Bearcats continued full speed ahead, adding another win to their perfect 3-0 record Friday night shutting out Los Altos High School by a score of 34-0. With trick plays, miscommunication and injuries all a part of the game on Friday, the win was anything but "by the books" for the Bearcats. Although the win did not happen how Head Coach Jeff Scheller had drawn it up, it made room for one of their Senior wide receivers, #81, Kevin Grant, to rise to the occasion.
After a very slow start to their offensive game, Coach Scheller called a trick play in the second quarter on a 4th and 7, resulting in a 29-yard touchdown pass to Grant.
"We worked on this trick play with Grant the past couple of weeks, never thinking we would use it…our game was stalling and it was time," explained Scheller. This was only the beginning of Grant's second quarter break-out play.
On the next possession, the Bearcats took advantage of the run game they had previously established, choosing to unload a 40-yard pass to a wide open #81 in the end zone. Grant's third touchdown of the quarter was perhaps the most telling of his true character and style of play. In the final 2 minutes of the half, after a miscommunication on a play call, the offense ran the same play twice. However, this time, #81 stayed calm, capitalized on the lack of defensive coverage, and snagged his final 32-yard touchdown pass. Three catches, 101 yards, and three end zone appearances; Grant played an offensive game for the books.
Scheller simply stated, "He had a break out game, and he deserved it."
"Offensively he has risen to another level this year…after missing half of his Junior season, he has gotten into a groove this year," boasted Coach Scheller. "He put in two-a-days in the weight room this summer and has worked hard to get here." Grant's dedication to the team and determination on the field are both valued and highly praised by the Bearcat coaching staff.
Grant finished the second half with an aggressive and tactful performance as a corner, snagging two interceptions for the Bearcats on defense.
Although the Senior is not a captain of the team, he plays a larger role in the coaching staff's eyes as a member of the Varsity team's leadership council.
"We have plenty of leaders, but he chooses to lead to show younger kids how to be a Varsity player," explained Scheller. "He picks and chooses when to speak with the team, but when he chooses, it carries a lot of weight."
Coach Scheller continues, "The team knows Grant works hard for everything he gets whether it's on the football field, through his participation on the Bearcats track and field team, or in the classroom and that has earned him respect from his teammates."
As fiery as Grant's game is on the field, he is known for his humble demeanor and respectful attitude by his family members, teachers and peers. Coaches realize his maturity is a quality that is hard to find in high school guys these days. Coach Scheller stated, "The coaches just see Grant as an old soul."
When Grant isn't performing on the football field, he continues working hard in the classroom, holding a 3.98 GPA and stays busy as one of the school's spirit commissioners.
Scheller explained, "San Mateo is known for their Bearcat spirit which is driven by our commissioners…Grant and the other commissioners host all the pep rallies and are truly the face of our school spirit."
Coach Scheller explained Grant's high school involvement and achievements as, "a true testament to him… he is a well-rounded, hardworking guy who strives to make his peers feel welcomed and supported."
As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week, San Mateo will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, Grant will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field during pre-game. At the end of the season, Grant will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, will officially present him with his award.
Congratulations Kevin and keep up the hard work on and off the field!