EL PASO, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He’s barely older than his player and he’s just as excited as they are about the start to the high school football season.

The new coach at El Paso-Gridley is 24-year-old Tanner Benedict. He’s been on the staff as the Titans JV coach and is only six years removed from being one of the team’s star receivers.

“It’s something I’m extremely excited to be a part of,” Benedict said. ” We have great community support. Our coaching staff has been phenomenal, helping me out. We are excited to work with these kids and see what we can do in, hopefully, a normal season.”

Benedict says he has about 40 players out for football and roughly six returning starters on each side of the football. He is looking to restore some postseason glory at EPG, which has been absent from the playoffs since 2017.

“It’s pretty cool to have an alumnus of El Paso-Gridley as coach,” said senior running back Conner Betts. “We has really good in high school That gives him credibility for coaching now. He knows what he’s doing. It’s really good.”

El Paso-Gridley opens the season Friday at Macon Meridian.