LAS VEGAS – Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
football coach Bob Milloy had never heard of Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell before Thursday.
But after meeting the Ultimate Fighting Championship champs on Thursday – and seeing how his team responded to them – "I'll be rooting for them forever," he said.
The team and staff met with Griffin and Liddell for about an hour following practice Thursday morning at
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
. If tonight's nationally televised game between the country's 10th- and 11th-ranked team goes as well as its meeting with the UFC champs, Milloy will be pleased.
"Those two guys are some heavy hitters," Milloy said. "They couldn't have been better with the kids. They signed autographs, were very personable and shared stories. I was very impressed. "
Gorman coach Tony Sanchez and staff set up the private meeting at a local hotel. The Gaels have strong ties with UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta, a Gorman alum whose son Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. is a senior tailback and defensive back for the Gaels.
"I'm glad it went well," Sanchez said. "(Griffen and Lidell) are great guys."ROUGH START:
Good Counsel's flight to Las Vegas Wednesday didn't go nearly as smooth as the private meeting with the UFC fighters.
A heavy rain and lightning storm caused major havoc in the airways and on the ground and the team's flight had to circle Las Vegas for almost an hour before landing.
Once grounded, it took almost another hour, according to Milloy, before the plane got to its gate. "There was evidently lots of backup," Milloy said. "A five-hour flight took seven. Hey, it landed safe and we're all good so that's all that matters."
A couple of first-time fliers from the team were a little unnerved. Asked if he'll have trouble getting them on the flight back to Washington D.C. and Milloy quipped: "It's a long way. They'll be on."
The first big storm of the summer dumped two inches of rain all day Wednesday, forcing Good Counsel to practice some indoors at UNLV. Las Vegas' average rainfall per month is about a half-inch.
"We get rain where we're from, so we're used to it," Milloy said. "We just weren't expecting it in the desert."
All was dry and unusually humid on Thursday in Las Vegas with a high of 99, down from its average of 106. SCOUTING/THE GAME:
Milloy wasn't real pleased Gorman got video of its teams' first two scrimmages, but wasn't sweating it either. He was curious how the Gaels secured the tape.
Good Counsel, he said, has no such tape on the 2012 Gaels, only tape from last season.
"They're obviously very talented and well coached, we've seen that from last year," Milloy said. "They're impressive in all regards."
Milloy said he would have gladly exchanged scrimmage tape, but that conversation never happened. Sanchez wasn't exactly apologizing Thursday, especially considering Good Counsel has had 25 days of practices and Gorman 10.
"At the end of the day, we both just have to go out and play the game," Sanchez said. "We can't wait. (Good Counsel) is enormously talented and extremely well coached. We'll have our hands full."
Both teams do. Both have approximately 14 Division I college players in the program. Most of the college commitments are spread around the skill players.
Both coaches have mentioned concerns on the line. Gorman needs to replace three starters on the offensive front. Good Counsel's offensive line has looked a little shaky in the two scrimmages.
"The first scrimmage we didn't know who to block," said Milloy, in his 12th season at Good Counsel and 42nd overall in coaching. "The second we knew who to block but didn't do it very well.
"Bottom line we're tired of practicing. We're ready for a game."E-mail MaxPreps senior writer and columnist Mitch Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MitchMashMax.