Coyotes look to Samuels to lead

Chad Samuels prepares for his third season as Reed City quarterback. (Herald Review/Justin McKee)
Chad Samuels prepares for his third season as Reed City quarterback. (Herald Review/Justin McKee)

Chad Samuels hoping to have ‘great year’

REED CITY — Chad Samuels started playing football when he was seven years old. He’s made an impact in the sport ever since then. Samuels, who is beginning his third year at quarterback for Reed City, originally did not begin in that position. Samuels was born in North Carolina. His family moved here when he was in the elementary years. Samuels is in his third year as Reed City’s quarterback. “I started playing Rocket football when I was 7 years old,” he said. “You’re not supposed to start until you’re eight. I started a little early because I wanted to play.” Samuels started out as a defensive back and plays that position. But he recalls he was too small to play quarterback at first. “I grew up wanting to be the quarterback,” he said. “That’s how it happened.” After playing on the JV as a freshman, Samuels came up to the varsity where he would play with Mike Barton at QB and also see action at safety. He did not see action at safety last season because of an injury. He relished the opportunity to play quarterback as a sophomore. “It was really exciting to play with the older guys that I looked up to,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.” Samuels remembers as a sophomore when he had a 70-yard touchdown run against an outstanding Morley Stanwood team toward the end of the game. “His sophomore year, we know he was a very talented kid and had a great deal of potential,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “We did a two-platoon system with a senior named Mike Barton but Chad had a lot of quality reps and nice plays for us, sharing that role. It prepared him to step right in as a junior. “He’s undefeated in the regular season as quarterback right now. He’s 20-2 as a starting quarterback. He’s a very valuable kid for us who has put in a lot of time during the offseason. He’s put in a lot of time to fine tune his techniques and throwing mechanics. He’s taken himself to another level because of that work ethic.” Defeating arch-rival Big Rapids also has always been fun for Samuels. Last season, Samuels was a member of the Pioneer Dream team as a quarterback. He was able to torment teams with his arms and legs while earning first-team honors in the Central State Activities Association. Samuels rushed for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for more than 700 yards and six scores. But Price is excited with Samuels’ 2013 potential. “Without question, he has to have a great year for us,” Price said. “We’re looking to do different things in terms of offensive schemes and philosophies. He’s going to be a big part of that. He’s going to have to do a great job and be a top level performer for us again.” Samuels is ready for the challenge. “I hope to improve a lot,” he said. “Well do more passing. I want to be a good teammate.” As a passer, Samuels has been effective in finding the open receiver and has faith in knowing that his teammates can catch the ball. He prefers sitting in the pocket but considers himself to be effective running or passing. “I can do both, whatever the coach wants me to do,” he said. “I feel I have some good blocking.” As effective as he is at quarterback, Samuels also takes pride in his defense. “My strength definitely (defending) the pass,” he said, “and being a good leader and motivating my guys.” Samuels is looking to play college football on the Division II or III level, preferably at quarterback. But in his last season, Samuels wouldn’t mind seeing the Coyotes duplicate their regular season record from the past two years and go farther in the playoffs. But he realizes it won’t be easy. “We have a lot of potential, but we have to work hard,” he said. “Everyone wants to beat us. We have to be ready to play.”