Shadow Expecting Big Season From ‘Grumpy Old Men’

Synergy can go a long ways in sports.

It’s an understood and unmistakable chemistry both in athletics and everyday life which has drawn Shadow Mountain senior athletes Darion Spottsville and Jordan Pace so close. According to Pace, a starting wide receiver and safety for Matadors, his friendship with the starting quarterback and fellow safety Spottsville dates back to the fifth grade. Last season Spottsville threw 31 touchdowns, 13 of those went to Pace.

The two just seem to click, even without a single word being spoken.

“We just smile at each other, we just know it’s going to be a good play,” Pace told with a wry grin about what’s said in the huddle. “If we like the matchup we’ll give each other a quick wink and a smile and we’ll be good to go.”

Head coach Brock Farrel is hoping for plenty of winks and smiles as the Matadors look to build off their 4-6 2015 season. What’s been evident since Farrel began coaching both as sophomores has been the commitment to hone their craft in a sport which hasn’t produced a .500 varsity record since 2012.

“He’s gotten a lot faster,” Farrel said of his six-foot-three, 195-pound receiver Pace. “He was already a deep threat and he’s just improved on that. He’s shown a lot of growth in just his understanding of what the route is trying to accomplish…it’s been fun watching him do it.”

Farrel in some ways owes an assist to Shadow Mountain head basketball coach Mike Bibby who has helped the pair on the hardwood. Pace and Spottsville make up the back half of the Matadors’ secondary because of their lateral ability to “each cover half the field” according to Farrel.

The long, rangy Spottsville has improved his leg strength since last fall and is hoping to slide into more of a leadership role after Shadow graduated a host of talented players like Jalen Scott and Jake Welsheimer.

“First goal is to make it to the playoffs,” Spottsville said without hesitation. “Have a better season than Shadow Mountain’s ever had. That’s the main goal.”

Seems the “Grumpy Old Men” have a solid plan in place. Farrel referenced the early-90’s comedy when describing the long-time friends who can go from brotherly bickering to “besties” as fast as one of Spottsville’s quick-release spirals.

For Pace and Spottsville sports and friendships never sleep.