Joey McCann poised for another banner season


Joey McCann poised for another banner season

This season, Joey McCann is picking up where he left off last year. In other words, the blossoming young quarterback from Florida is once again doing great things on the football field.
As a fifth grader in 2013, McCann led the Winter Springs Grizzlies Junior Pee Wee team to an 8-1 record while averaging a touchdown pass per game. In the spring, he played 8-on-8 football.
Now a sixth grader, McCann is back quarterbacking the Grizzlies in Pee Wee League play, and he threw 3 touchdown passes and rushed for 1 more in Winter Springs’ season-opening 50-0 win.
“The kids I’m playing against this year are a lot better than the ones I played against last year,” McCann said. “I was extrememly happy with the first game. All the hard work we did in practice paid off, definitely.”
Having McCann at QB is a big reason the Grizzlies are primed for another big season. He’s been playing quarterback since he was 5 years old, and McCann has enhanced his rapid development by attending NFA camps the past four years.
Based on his team’s impressive showing in the first game of this season, it’s not surprising McCann has set some big goals.
“Going undefeated,” he said. “We work extremely hard in practice so I think it’s definitely possible.”
Winter Springs is employing an offense this season that takes advantage of McCann’s already sizeable skills. He can throw out of the spread and run the football when the offense switches to the pistol.
“I like the offense a lot,” McCann said. “With the spread offense, we’re going to throw at least 20 times a game. And we can run the ball if we have to. It’s a really good offense.”
After playing 8 league games, the goal for McCann and the Grizzlies is winning 3 more division playoff games and 3 statewide games capped off by a a trip to play at Walt Disney World.

Strong work ethic

McCann, who also plays safety and enjoys the physical nature of the position, does not set high goals with hopes they come true. He puts the time in to achieve success.
“I worked extremely hard to get ready for this season,” he said. “When I didn’t have anything going on, I worked hard every day in the summer to get better.”
McCann spent much of his summer preparing for the Duel, and he finished in third place among incoming sixth graders. In his first trip to NFA’s showcase event in Massillon, Ohio, – in the summer of 2013 – he placed second.
With rising young quarterbacks of similar age attending the Duel from all across the country, back-to-back Top 3 finishes is quite an accomplishment for McCann.
“It helps my confidence a lot,” he said. “It was a hard competition but I had confidence I could do it. Doing so well at the Duel, it makes me think we can win more games and I can play a lot better this season.”


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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University