REED CITY

Reed City will be facing the Coyotes’ perennial arch-rival, Big Rapids, in the first game Friday to open the 2012 season.

But whether it’s game one or game nine, Coyote coach Monty Price emphasizes that it’s Reed City vs. Big Rapids.

Enough said.

“It will be a dogfight,” Price said. “They look really good. They have some outstanding athletes.”

As for the timing of the game, “I don’t care, it’s going to happen one of the nine weeks,” Price said. “It doesn’t make it any bigger or lesser of a game. It’s BR and RC and it’s what the community wants to see. So we’re playing them early.”

Reed City scrimmaged last Thursday at Montague against the host school, plus Muskegon Catholic Central and Shelby.

“We just try to get a feel for where we’re at,” Price said. “I was pleased with our effort. We didn’t tackle as well as I thought we should have. “

The Coyotes are defending Central State Activities Association champions. All nine games in the regular season are CSAA battles.

EVART

Evart opens the season at home Friday in nonleague action against Suttons Bay.

“They’re a traditional powerhouse in the Northwest Conference,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. ”They want to run the football. They usually have pretty good speed. We’ll have to play good defense and tackle well.”

The Wildcats scrimmaged at St. Louis Thursday against the host school, Meridian and Tawas.

”We saw some good things and other things we need to improve on for this Friday night,” said Craven. “Overall, our kids played well and played hard. I thought we came off the ball well. I thought we attacked very well. We executed things fairly well.”

PINE RIVER

Pine River has a non-league home opener against Kalkaska Friday to open the season.

“They’re very talented at the running back position,” said Pine River coach Chad Phillips. “Zach Hill was their running back in the past and he hurt us with his feet. But now they’ve moved him back to tailback. He’s an exceptional athlete.

“We have to keep them bottled up. If they get out in the open, it’s not going to be good.”

The Bucks scrimmaged last Thursday at Mancelona against the host school, plus Frankfort and Grayling.

“We were pretty happy,” said Phillips. “Defensively, I thought we played well. We had maybe two or three breakdowns. Offensively, we have more concerns. we’re more ahead on defense than offense, but that’s typical this time of year. Offenses are more complex and it takes a long time to put them in.”