Lancaster, Ohio linebacker Trevor Griffith and his Golden Gales teammates were feeling pretty good about their chances entering the 2006 playoffs. They had just completed a perfect 10-0 regular season that included a 34-3 victory over Gahanna Lincoln, their first playoff opponent.
But, the unthinkable happened and Lincoln pulled off a stunning 33-28 upset.
"I don't know what happened, I guess we came out overconfident," Griffith said. "You could tell; they took it to us."
Heading into his senior year, Griffith, a 5-foot-10, 213-pounder, plans to use that playoff loss as motivation for the 2007 season.
"I want to be a leader and make sure that everyone knows what teamwork is," he said. "I want to make sure everybody knows that they can get better and we have to work hard."
Griffith played his junior season at outside linebacker. As a senior, he expects to see time on both sides of the ball.
"This year I'll play running back and SAM linebacker or one of other linebackers," he said. "I played running back early in the season during one of our scrimmages but then they switched me to just linebacker."
He's excited about the chance to have the ball in his hands.
"I like to run people over," he said.
Griffith's junior season was his first time on the defensive side of the ball. He grew more and more comfortable with the position each week of the season.
"I made little mistakes like misreading the ball or missed my assignments," he said. "At the end of the season, I knew what I was doing. I was flowing to the ball and hustling, like I always do. I definitely got better as the season went along."
Griffith possesses a blend of size and speed that has caught the attention of college coaches. Recently, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds and on the bench press he performed 32 repetitions of 185 pounds.
"I got some things from Indiana and Cincinnati, that's pretty much it," he said. "I went to Cincinnati for their junior day; that was really nice."