The Grizzlies are back

The glory days of Ashland Grizzly football have returned under the guidance of Head Coach Charlie Hall.

The die-hard fans in red and white couldn't be more thrilled. When Hall was hired three years ago, he represented an immediate connection to the best and the brightest of Ashland football. Hall was an assistant coach to Ashland's last state championship team, working under Jim Nagel in 1998. This year, almost a decade later, the swagger has finally returned.

The urban legend of Ashland is that nearly half of the current residents moved here in the last seven years. If that's true, that means half the city has no idea how dominant the Grizzlies once were. All they've known the past seven years is a team that routinely was devoured like red meat by the stronger football powerhouses from Medford.

But it hasn't always been that way. The 1998 championship team was the third of Nagel's two-decades as the coach of the Grizz. His departure led to a steep decline on the gridiron. That is, until now.

Hall and his determined team have brought the pride back to Ashland, winning a league championship, hosting a playoff game and having a undefeated season for the first time since that wonderful 1998 season.

The team is just that, a true conglomeration of hard-working athletes who more than make up for the star power they lack with determined play and a commitment to teamwork. One way or another, all season long, this team has figured out what it takes to win. Every game in fact.

The playoffs start this Friday at Phillips Field in Ashland. The red and white pride of the Grizzlies will be back on display, with thoughts of another state championship floating in the fall air.

With Hall and his team, anything is possible.

Regardless of the outcome, this team has already moved Ashland High football forward, by recapturing a bit of its past.

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