DAVIDSON – Will Grier turned the extraordinary into routine on the football field.
Grier, Davidson Day’s All-American senior quarterback, capped his prep career by crushing several North Carolina records and winning a third straight state championship. He is The Herald Weekly’s Football Offensive Player of the Year.
Grier’s statistics were staggering. He completed 314 of 446 passes (70 percent) for 4,989 yards and 77 touchdowns. He also threw for 12 two-point conversions. Grier wasn’t a stand-in-the-pocket passer, either. He rushed for 1,252 yards, 13 touchdowns and five two-point conversions, hurting opponents with his legs as much as his arm.
The 77 touchdown passes were a state record. Previous record-holder: Will Grier, with 69 last season.
And he didn’t load up against weak teams. Grier, for instance, had nine games with six or more touchdown passes. Only one other lake-area quarterback accomplished that feat once this season (Hough High’s Josh Stilley).
Grier had at least one completion for 40 or more yards in every game. His numbers could have been larger, but he didn’t play in several fourth quarters because Davidson Day (12-1) had huge leads and substituted liberally.
In three playoff games, Grier threw 24 touchdown passes, including nine in a victory against Concord Cannon.
Grier did, however, save his best for last. He passed for a season-high 599 yards and seven touchdowns in the 69-28 victory against Harrells Christian in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II championship game. Grier completed 32 of 42 passes. He ran for a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions.
In other words, he was as dazzling as every other week during the season.
“With all the hard work I’ve put in, that’s how I wanted it to end,” said Grier, who will play at Florida next season. “It seems like all the hard work pays off.”
Davidson Day began the season with a bit of doubt as three of last season’s wide receivers (all with 1,000 or more yards) graduated. But Grier erased those concerns quickly with seven touchdown passes in the opener and seven more in the second game. By season’s end, the Patriots had three new 1,000-yard receivers (Mike Stevens, Jordan Brown and Glen Coates).
Grier was named North Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight time. This week, he’s in San Antonio, Texas, playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He’s also a finalist for several national player of the year awards, including the U.S. Army, USA Today, Student Sports Magazine, MaxPreps, Gatorade and Parade Magazine.
Grier never got caught up in his statistics. Often, he'd say he didn't know what they were. He stressed that winning was the goal, and the ultimate prize was a state championship. He did that three times in the first three seasons Davidson Day had a varsity team, a feat that is unmatched in state history.