Athlete of the Issue: Rashawn Grant

Despite the influx of change that the football team has experienced this year—including the addition of new coaches and a new offensive system—one thing remained constant: co-captain and four-year team member Rashawn Grant ’17.
Rashawn played football for the first time in second grade on a flag-football team. He joined a tackle football league in fifth grade. As a young football player he played running back and full back. Since then his for love the game has flourished. One of the reasons he loves the games is the teamwork aspect that is so vital to the sport. “Football is a sport where you need all eleven players on the field to be on the same page in order to be successful, and you don’t get that in any other sport,” Rashawn said.
When Rashawn arrived at Groton, he played his first year of football on the Thirds Football Team. That year, Rashawn began playing the positions he still plays on the offensive and defensive line. Rashawn contributed to what has become known as one of the greatest thirds football teams in Groton history by leading the team to an impressive record of five wins and two losses. A fellow member of that year’s Thirds team, Matt O’Donnell ’17, said about Rashawn, “Even then he showed just how good he was along with the potential he possessed, Rashawn was one of the most dominant players we had on an already talented team.”
Rashawn’s good play did not go unnoticed, and in his fourth form year Rashawn made the Varsity team. But in the first game of the season, Rashawn tore the meniscus in his left knee. Rashawn showed an extraordinary amount of grit by playing during the next four games with a then-undiagnosed torn meniscus. After the fifth game, the extent of Rashawn’s injury became clear and he was sidelined for the last two games of the season, including St. Mark’s. Watching the team beat St. Mark’s on the bench was bittersweet for Rashawn: “It was good seeing my teammates win and I was happy for them, but I wish I had played with them. But it still was an emotional win for me.”
By the end of the summer before his fifth form year Rashawn was cleared to play again. Hungry from the year before, Rashawn was determined to make an impact on the team. He did just that by starting on both sides of the ball at Offensive Tackle and Defensive Tackle. On defense Rashawn recorded 23.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks, an impressive stat line for a Defensive Tackle who is limited in his exposure to the ball. Through the first three games of the season Groton was undefeated, in large part due both to Rashawn’s blocking ability on offense, which allowed John Beatty ’16 to run for a substantial amount of yards and also to Rashawn’s work on defense, closing the holes for opposing ball carriers which would then be swallowed by the Groton defense. Rashawn’s impressive play caught the eye of college coaches, fielding interest and opportunities from multiples teams. The team finished at .500 posting a record of three wins and three losses.
At the end of his Fifth Form year, Rashawn was elected team captain alongside Taggart Eymer ’17. When talking about Rashawn’s ability as captain Taggart said, “As a co-captain with Rashawn, it is a pleasure working with him. He is a good motivator and his motor never stops.” Rashawn has also received praise from coaches such as defensive coordinator Harold Francis who said, “It has been a pleasure watching Rashawn grow from a Thirds football player, to a Varsity captain. He came into this season in the best shape he has ever been and hasn’t missed a down.”
After losing key players and size from last year’s team, the team had holes they needed to fill. Rashawn demonstrated his high football IQ and adaptability by switching positions on both the offensive and the defensive line. Continuing his dominant play, which the Groton football program has become accustomed to, Rashawn continues to start both ways, this time at Offensive guard and Defensive end. When asked about Rashawn’s work this year, Tripp Stup ’17 said, “Rashawn has been dominant this year and has been a true leader. He is always willing to offer instruction to newer players and always keeps the team focused on the goal ahead.”
In addition to being a force in football, Rashawn is also a impact player on the Varsity lacrosse team. He began playing for the first time in third form as FOGO (“face-off, get-off,” a name for a centerman who is only on the field during the draw) and made the Junior Varsity team. He has become an adamant believer in the phrase “FOGO’s are people too.”
Due to his torn meniscus Rashawn was not able to play lacrosse his fourth form year. He still attended many practices and games, providing coaching tips to the Groton FOGO’s. In Fifth Form Rashawn made the Varsity team and started as the teams FOGO. He posted an impressive 42.039% winning percentage at the faceoff against talented ISL competition. We, at the Circle Voice, are excited to see what Rashawn has in store for the future in football and lacrosse.