RAISED expectations greet the Adams State football team when it opens practice this week for the 2023 season. 

It’s been a decade since the Grizzlies logged a winning season. But with key starters returning from a season ago, including quarterback Marckell Grayson, Adams State is in a stronger position with its roster than it has been in Head Coach Jarrell Harrison’s first two years at the helm.

In the offseason, Harrison also made a key change with his coaching staff when he replaced himself as defensive coordinator and named Brandon Perkins, defensive backs coach from a year ago, as the defensive coordinator.

“I called the defense last year, which was a lot on me as far as controlling the team from a schematic standpoint,” Harrison said during a taping of The Valley Pod, a podcast produced by Alamosa Citizen. 

You can listen here to the full podcast episode.

With Perkins now in charge of the defense, Harrison said he can concentrate on the bigger game picture. For a team that returns not only its starting quarterback but starting center in Matagi Dupont and other key lineman, running back Dalen Boddie who rushed for 541 yards a season ago and wide receiver Kentrell-Petite, there’s a lot for Harrison to be hopeful about when it comes to the Adams State offense.

The Grizzlies are equally talented on the defensive side, returning middle linebacker Viliami Schaumkel and defensive backs Daniel Mendoza and Tommy Lujan to anchor the defense.

“We still gotta go out and do it,” Harrison said of his veteran team.

Adams State opens practice for the 2023 season on Thursday – and 23 days later opens the season Sept. 2 at Rex Field against Lincoln University from Oakland, CA. The full schedule:

Sept. 2 (Sat), 6 p.m., Lincoln University (Calif.), Rex Field.                                        
Sept. 9 (Sat), 6 p.m., at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Tex.

Sept. 16 (Sat), Noon, at Colorado School of Mines, Golden.        

Sept. 23 (Sat) 6 p.m., HOMECOMING Fort Lewis College, Rex Field.                                      
Sept. 30 (Sat) 1 p.m., at New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, N.M.                        
Oct. 7 (Sat), 2 p.m., at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Pueblo.

Oct. 14 (Sat), 1 p.m., Chadron State College, Rex Field.        

Oct. 21 (Sat), 1 p.m., at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction.                           

Oct. 28 (Sat),  1 p.m., South Dakota Mines, Rex Field.      

Nov. 4 (Sat), 1 p.m., at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D.                                
Nov. 11 (Sat) 1 p.m., Western Colorado University, Rex Field.