The way Grundy running back Gabe Fiser was moving Friday night, he probably could’ve outran the bus back across Route 83 on its trip back from Bradshaw.
Behind Fiser’s 336 yards—a new Grundy school record—and three touchdowns, the Golden Wave returned from River View (WV) with a 40-12 victory. The performance from the senior tailback has given him the nod as CoalfieldSports.com’s Offensive Player of the Week for Week 2.
“It’s an honor, honestly,” Fiser said.
The senior tailback wasted no time in making his mark in the Wild and Wonderful state.
On the first play from scrimmage, Fiser took off from 61 yards out for a touchdown to put the Wave in front for the rest of the contest.
The Wave’s pursuit to drown the Raiders was on. However, Fiser did not find the end zone again until the third quarter when this time, he extended the Grundy lead to 28-0 after a 43-yard sprint to pay dirt.
After RiverView found the score board for the first time in the fourth quarter on a Jacob Collins touchdown plunge, Fiser made his last mark on the field in Bradshaw.
On his longest touchdown run of the evening, Fiser rumbled to the end zone for the third and final time from 63 yards out. This Fiser flash put the Wave up 34-7.
Fiser also saw a 57-yard touchdown run come back via a holding penalty, however, the final stat line read, 27 carries, 336 yards and three touchdowns.
The Grundy Golden Wave could head towards Slate Creek to put some new ink in the record book.
In 2017, Fiser was named the Black Diamond District’s Offensive Player of the Year behind 1,562 yards and 25 touchdowns. The hype surrounding the tailback, who is a three-time defending state champion wrestler, was loud.
While the record breaking performance comes as no surprise to those who follow the Golden Wave, Fiser’s approach to the week two matchup with RiverView was no different than any other.
“I knew I could make some things happen, but I didn’t know it would go that well,” said the Golden Wave tailback. “I don’t think my coaches knew either. They just kept calling my number. My blockers were running all over the field protecting me and laying some great hits.”
Fiser’s 336-yard performance moves him past Tyler Berglowe’s 333-yard performance against Tazewell in 2010 a top the most rushing yards in a game list at Grundy High School.
It is an accomplishment that the 5-foot-9 165-pound senior has eyed for years.
“It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to break one of these records—ever since I was a little kid,” said Fiser. “I watched Tyler Berglowe break it when I was in fourth grade. I’m just very privileged to be mentioned in some of those great names (of tailbacks at Grundy).”
With Jacob McNutt’s departure, Fiser took on the role as the main leader of a Golden Wave team that took on an identity behind McNutt the past four seasons. Being a senior leader is something Fiser takes head on with a smile.
“It’s awesome being able to lead my brothers. I learned a lot from watching guys like McNutt, he’s taught me a lot,” said Fiser. “I just try to make everyone around me better everyday on and off the field.”
While week one’s matchup with Ridgeview was one of the most anticipated contests in the CoalfieldSports coverage area, the loss is one Fiser says his team will use to their advantage for the remainder of 2018.
“It lit a fire into our whole team. We weren’t satisfied and we still aren’t. We are going to be playing with a chip on our shoulder for a while,” said the senior tailback. “We don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. We are very motivated everyday. We practice and compete against each other in a positive atmosphere.”
This week, the Golden Wave travels to Lebanon to take on a 0-2 Pioneers team.
Lebanon has a stout tailback in Seth Stanley; however, do not expect the Grundy mindset to waver under Fiser’s watch.
“The coaches know we cant slow down,” said Fiser. “We want to be the guys at the top.”
As for his week two performance in Bradshaw, that is one that will be a topic of conversation at Peking for many days to come.
I am a graduate of Richlands High School—class of 2014. In May 2018, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and History with a minor in war and Society from Virginia Tech.
My passions in life are numerous. We don’t have all day. This is not the place to divulge into Hokie Football, so I will shed some light on one of my other favorites.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of southwest Virginia—Richlands to be exact. I remember the first time I ever went to a high school football game (Richlands-Tazewell ’02). Since then, a passion has grown that is stronger than the current in the Clinch River. As a football player in this region, I was able to witness the passion oozing out of the hills firsthand. It was something that when I began college, people had a hard time believing the spectacle that is high school football in the coalfields. Luckily, I was able to go 42-8 in between the white lines on Fridays and Saturdays from 2010-2013. I look forward to having another platform to tell you my stories, your stories and their stories. Here’s to the good times and hoping I don’t leave you like I did Coach Greg Mance numerous times—by saying, “Gosh Durn It!”
Let’s talk, SWVA sports, Hokies, history or maybe even barbecue.