By Sue Moore
It was likely preordained that Grant Deal would be a standout athlete. His father, Brian, is the head coach for Vicksburg varsity baseball and assistant varsity football coach. The only query was in which game he’d excel.
The answer? “I like baseball but it’s too slow moving for me. Football appealed because I like to hit somebody on every play. Football is always a rush,” Deal said. Because he weighs in at 270 but is reasonably short for a tackle, he plays on the offensive line as a guard. He has a lineman’s body according to Tom Marchese, his football coach. He has been playing guard since his days in Rocket football.
After graduation in June, Deal will prepare for college life at Ashland University in Ohio. He will be red-shirted his freshman year as he prepares and learns the system of a team that plays Division II in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic conference.
“The coaching never ends,” Grant said, discussing his father’s input.
“I told Coach Marchese to treat Grant just like any other player,” Brian Deal said. “We were coaching together long before Grant was on the team. These last three years with Grant on the varsity we’ve been figuring it all out. Like when to be quiet and when to get after him. He would never hear from me in practice, but he might when we got home.”
It’s an honor to be recruited by Ashland, where he won’t be alone in the incoming freshman class, Deal said. A long-time buddy from Portage Central, running back Eli Potts, has also accepted an offer from Ashland. Lee Owens, Ashland’s head football coach, has been the recipient of many honors with his team’s playing for championships in a league that competes with Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University.
“I visited the school in July of 2018 and loved the environment. It’s not real big so I won’t get lost. It has top notch facilities,” Deal said. He plans to major in business as there are lots of things he feels he can do with a business degree after college. He declares that he doesn’t like to take center stage and get up in front of people, preferring to let his playing ability to speak for him.
His mom, Heather, is a nurse at Bronson Hospital. He has a sister, Anna, and a little brother, Luke.