GREENWOOD — Greenwood quarterback Jace Presley was a little late to the party, so to speak.
But that's where the story takes on a life of its own. You see, there are no tardy slips when you run coach Rick Jones' offense.
Presley, the Bulldogs' first-year quarterback, learned a long time ago that five minutes early is actually five minutes late.
"He (Jones) has got to me where I freak out if I'm late anywhere, even if it's at the dentist," Presley said. "If you're five minutes early, you're actually five minutes late. That's one big thing I have noticed with coach Jones. You better be on time."
A standout baseball player, Presley didn't start playing football until he was 10. Now, he's the starting quarterback for one of the more revered programs in the state.
The Bulldogs (1-0) host Southside (0-1) today at Smith-Robinson Stadium.
"There are no words for what it means to play here," Presley said. "Even the pep rallies. everybody is in to it. I don't know if it can get any better. The students here, the teachers ... they're all into it."
Presley was almost spot on in the team's 38-10 win over Northside, completing 22-of-34 passes for 285 yards and four touchdown passes.
Being the BMOC (Big man on campus) is a thrill, and an honor, for a kid who like his predecessor, Peyton Holt, plans to play college baseball.
"It means a ton," Presley said. "It's such an honor; I don't know how to explain it. Being out there, you're the dude. I think it means more at a place like Greenwood because they take it (football) more serious."
Presley said he wasn't nearly as nervous prior to last week's game as he thought he might be.
"Honestly, I thought I would be very, very nervous," he said. "I was so anxious to get out there. My teachers were talking to me about the game; students were talking to me. It got me amped up.
"(But) it was easier than going into the game for the last couple of plays last year — I can't really explain it."
Greenwood amassed 429 yards in last week's win over the Grizzlies. Today, they'll face a Mavericks' team that fell behind 37-0 in its 2019 debut before losing to Bentonville West, 37-13.
Southside allowed 487 yards against the Wolverines.
For the Bulldogs, who've now won 11 straight home openers, and are chasing a third straight state title, Presley believes the key to following in the path set forth by Jones is stay together.
"I think we have to have every guy with us and stay with us," Presley said. "Everybody's has to be all in. That' s the key to us."
A standout baseball player who's already committed to Crowder College, Presley didn't put on his first pair of shoulder pads until he was a fifth-grader.
But he caught on quickly.
"I think it started when I was playing t-ball; I've always loved sports," Presley said. "When football (season) comes around, my dad's (Ryan Presley) got four TVs up watching all the game. I got into it and started loving it. I started football in the fifth grade and was playing for the Pitbulls in the sixth grade."