ROCKFORD-There's one thing that E-Rab fans can bank on this season. Their team will be intense and physical.

"We will be as physical as anybody you'll see all year. I can promise you that," says new head coach Gary Griffin.

That was evident in one drill the E-Rabs were running while our camera was rolling.

"We've got to be tough. We've got to be tougher than everybody else," says Griffin. "The last week or so we've been saying teams are going to run in, but they're going to limp out."

Griffin comes to East from Lutheran High School where he was the athletic director. He has previous head coaching experience at Bay View High School in Milwaukee. Even if East doesn't have the pieces to be a winner right off the bat, he wants the E-Rabs to have the attitude of winners.

"Our kids have a great attitude. They're working hard. They're here every day. And we're just getting better every day."

"It's really positive here. A good surrounding. Coach is good," says center Jordan Ciaccio.

"We've all got the attitude to win. We're ready this year," says running back Jacob Posch.

Griffin likes the potential of his defense, especially in the secondary with big hitters like Martavion Jefferson, Ronald Davis and Spencer Gorsuch.

"Guys that fly around and hit guys in the mouth," says Griffin.

Joshua Martinez will quarterback the offense. Harlem transfer Traidyn Thomas brings a ton of athletic ability to the backfield.

East's last winning season was in 2001. Griffin knows the history here. He's not expecting miracles right away, but he is expecting the E-Rabs to compete with everyone on their schedule.

"We practice for an hour and and 45 minutes, and we're out of here, but our tempo is flying around the whole time. We're ready to go," says Griffin.

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