Fruita’s Grasso showing he can be a feature back
Big things can come in small packages.
The Fruita Monument High School football team has one in 5-foot-7, 165-pound running back Vince Grasso.
The junior has provided a spark for the Wildcats’ offense this season.
“He runs hard and his vision is getting better,” Fruita coach Sean Mulvey said. “He is a quick, strong kid. The more time he gets on the field, he breaks more tackles. He keeps getting better.”
Grasso has rushed for 490 yards in four games, including a season-high 187 in the Wildcats’ victory over Glenwood Springs.
He began his sophomore year as a wide receiver in the new spread offense under coach Shawn Marsh.
“Last year, it was a lot about learning the offense,” Grasso said. “There was a lot of competition at running back.”
He had to prove he can handle the workload and beating of a running back last season when he weighed 145 pounds. By the third week, Grasso started getting some carries.
That fueled his hunger to prove he could do the job. Grasso has added 15 to 20 pounds of muscle to his frame since last season.
“This year, I feel like I have something to prove,” Grasso said. “You always get some people talking crap on the field.
“I don’t think much about it during the game. I focus in on playing and what’s going on.”
Fruita quarterback Zach Thorpe has seen Grasso put in the offseason work and was confident he could handle being the workhorse running back.
“Vince is a tough kid,” Thorpe said. “He runs a lot stronger and harder than last year. He’s hard to see, especially behind our line, but when he gets going, he’s a good load to take down.”
Now, he is the featured back.
“His reads are a lot more natural,” Mulvey said. “He does the right things. He gives us an opportunity to be competitive.
“The running game is crucial all the time. We want to run the ball and be a physical team.”
Grasso and the running game could play a large role for the Wildcats (1-3), who are looking to make a run into the playoffs.
Fruita, though, needs to start winning some games now, beginning its homecoming game at 7 p.m. Friday night against rival Central at Stocker Stadium.
“Homecoming game, it’s a huge game,” Grasso said. “We need to put wins together. We look to keep getting better. Playing a conference game, there is an added level of intensity.”
“It’s an important game for us, especially to bounce back from a loss to Regis,” Thorpe said. “We have to look at it as another game and not put any more hype on it than it needs.”