Never quit mentality evident in Pottstown’s 3-0 start

Don Grinstead could see it. His Trojans were spent.

Even worse, his Pottstown football team was in danger of letting a commanding lead to Boyertown slip away in the uncharacteristic September heat.

He called the timeout.

Brandon Tinson, battling severe leg cramps the entire the second half, batted a Gatorade bottle 10 yards down the field. A few electrolytes weren’t about to cure what ailed him.

Aaron Diamond collapsed by the 20-yard line, laid down and started to stretch himself out. The rest of the team hunched over, visibly drained after many had played both ways to stake themselves to a late lead over Boyertown.

They looked defeated.

In previous years, that probably would have been the case.

This year’s squad, however, decides to be different.

This team is 3-0 and could reach 4-0 for the first time since 2002 with a win over Pope John Paul II on Friday.

All because of the gutsy performance the Trojans exhibited Saturday afternoon.

Much of the attention was brought to Tinson, the senior captain and leader, at the tail end of the third quarter has he lay on the field, writhing in pain.

His body, after carrying him and his team through two and a half quarters on both sides of the ball, had begun to fail him.

He blamed himself for letting his body cramp the way it did Saturday, as a player would and should, but after seeing Boyertown’s Jerry Kapp catch a touchdown pass on the next play, he knew that he needed to do something.

And he did.

He returned to the field the very next series and found paydirt from 38 yards out.

He chugged Gatorade, water and whatever fluid was provided to him in able to make it through the next quarter and a half.

He left the game four times during that span, but never for good.

That wasn’t his style.

That’s not Pottstown’s style.

Bryant Wise had battled both ways the same as Tinson, providing his best work when the team needed him the most, reeling off a back-breaking run in the tail end of the fourth quarter that set up the team’s final score.

Isaiah Mayes had become a battering ram during the game, his physicality never waning until the postgame interview where he gave an emotional statement that he has “a good feeling in my heart. We’re going to be something. We’re not the same Pottstown that we were the year before or the year before that.”

His sentiments were reinforced by the play of an offensive and defensive line that muscled its way throughout the contest. Reinforced by the play of Ernest McCalvin who was hunched over throughout the second half yet still found a way to battle it out as Boyertown gave its best and hardest punch in an attempt to comeback.

Tired and wilted, the Trojans didn’t break.

A breath of fresh air for a team devoid of a PAC-10 title since 2002 and who trotted out 19 kids two years ago in a blowout loss to Spring-Ford.

Things looked decidedly different on a steamy September afternoon.

Three games in, Tinson and the Trojans are working to resurrect a Pottstown program that’s found itself a footnote of the PAC-10 more than they’d like.

Sam Stewart is the Assistant Sports Editor and lead football writer for The Mercury. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @Samuel_Stewart7

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