SADLER — Suzanna Griffin has always been busy throughout her time at S&S. The senior is a cheer captain and a band section leader for the saxophones. She is the senior class vice president, in Beta Club and on the Math Team. She plays basketball, softball, runs track, does competitive dance and plays soccer outside of school. To top it all off she is in line to be valedictorian.
"At a small school like this, the coaches and everybody do a really good job of working together to make sure we can be included in everything," Griffin said.
But in her previous two seasons as the Rams kicker, there wasn’t a whole lot of action.
The team had a 1-19 record in that stretch and touchdowns — with the ensuing extra points and kickoffs — were hard to come by.
Things have turned around for Griffin and her S&S teammates. She did more in the season-opener than almost all of last year and the program looks to continue its upswing.
S&S (2-0) was scheduled to host Alvord (0-2) in non-district action on Friday but the Bulldogs were forced to cancel after a positive COVID-19 test led to a number of Alvord’s varsity athletes to be quarantined.
The Rams will treat this week as a second bye and return to action next Friday at Collinsville to close out non-district play.
"We have 15 seniors on the team and we really want it," Griffin said. "It’s been exciting that we’ve won more this year and it’s great to see my teammates being successful when they’re out on the field."
The Rams have opened with consecutive victories for the first time in three years and already won more than 2018 and 2019 combined. S&S is keeping the past right there, however, and focused on what it can accomplish going forward in the second season under head coach Josh Aleman.
"We started June 8th and had 99 percent of our team there. Didn’t miss a workout. Didn’t miss a skill session," Aleman said. "The kids have put in a lot of work. They’re ready to play ball. Winning has a way of making you want to get it more. 2-0’s great but we’ve got to have a short memory."
Griffin gave her right leg a workout in the opening 70-0 victory against Tom Bean — the most points scored by the Rams since a 70-0 victory over Prosper to end the 1965 season. With 10 extra points and 11 kickoffs, it was almost as many of those combined by the team — senior Edgar Aguilar has also kicked off at times — from the entire 2019 season (23), excluding two-point conversions. Griffin converted nine extra points and made a 32-field goal against Henrietta as a junior.
Her sophomore year was much of the same as the Rams scored just nine touchdowns and she kicked a pair of extra points and made two field goals.
Even with all of the activities Griffin is involved in, she didn’t give it a second thought when it came to trying out for the football team. Her older brother, Nick, had been the Rams kicker. And when she saw her predecessor miss on a PAT while watching a game, the idea popped into her head.
"I was like, ‘I could do that. I kinda had a knack for it," Griffin said. "My form was hideous. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better. Now extra points are candy."
So far through two weeks, S&S is getting the job done with its defense — which is under the direction of new coordinator Noble Polk. Polk came over from Anna to join Aleman, his former Sherman teammate.
"I think it’s the style. He brings a good energy. He hypes everyone up," senior defensive back Blake Smith said. "I think we’re all really excited but we know we still have stuff to work on."
The Rams have shut out back-to-back opponents for the first time since 1998 and opened a season with two straight shutouts for the first time since 1963. The last time the Rams shut out three straight opponents was 1967.
Last week S&S picked up a 14-0 victory over Callisburg, scoring on its first and last drives of the game. Colby McSpedden had 19 carries for 71 yards and a TD while Jake Reynolds totaled 11 carries for 35 yards and a score and was 5-of-16 passing for 60 yards. Colten Courville had a reception for 38 yards.
"That was a really, really physical ballgame Friday," Aleman said. "You’ve got to be physical in practice if you want to be physical in the game. We’ve got to win the line of scrimmage if we’re going to be successful."