Coach pushes for player academics, receives state and regional notice

REED CITY — High school athletics often ride a rollercoaster — a good class followed by a not so good class. That often leads to unpredictability from year to year. The same could be said for academics. Reed City football coach Monty Price was pleased with his squad’s grade point average — a 3.84 which placed sixth in Division 5 this season. But he also realized that average would oftentimes be academic all-state, not honorable mention, like it did this year. Leslie sported the top GPA in Division 5 with a 3.901 with Freeland’s 3.88 taking fourth. The top four schools are recognized as academic all-state. “This is the first year I felt we have a shot,” Price said. “Typically (all-state) is around 3.6 or 3.7. Last year, 3.84 would have made it, this year, there’s just a lot of high GPAs in Division 5.” Reed City’s 3.84 would be all-state in Divisions 4, 6, 7 and 8 this year. “This is a huge tribute to our kids for the time and commitment they put into the classroom,” Price said. The Coyotes went 9-0 during the course of the regular season for the second straight year, winning the Central State Activities Association. Reed City won its opening playoff contest against Manistee before falling in the district final to Newaygo. Price said there is a correlation between success in the classroom and on the gridiron. “Success in the classroom takes sacrifice, commitment and dedication and you have to be goal oriented,” he said. “As coaches, you are looking for the same things on the field.” Besides the success in the classroom, Price was honored as the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Region 3 coach of the year. It is the second straight season Price has been honored. “That’s an award voted by your peers so it gives you a good feeling that your peers feel you are doing good things and that you are recognized,” Price said. Price first started with Reed City in 1997 and became the head coach in 1999. Since that time, he has had the same goal. “Everyone wants to win a state championship and be recognized as the best,” Price said. “Are we there yet? No. Are we working hard toward it? Yes.”