Football teams ready for scrimmages on Thursday

REED CITY — It’s the second week of preseason for area football teams, who will test their skills in scrimmages on Thursday.

Reed City is at Muskegon Catholic Central, Evart at home and Pine River at Manistee for the non-scoring scrimmages.

They all open on Aug. 28 with Reed City at Baldwin, Evart at White Cloud and Pine River at Kalkaska.

Reed City will not face all the schools at the MCC scrimmage but will take on Shelby, Ludington and Montague with action starting at 6 p.m. The Coyotes will play 15 minutes on offense and 15 minutes on defense against each opponent.

“We have to install a little more of our offense,” Coyote coach Monty Price said. “We have a little left to install defensively. We’ll be fine tuning everything. We want to have all of our boys compete at a high level.

“We’ve gotten a lot in. We’re sticking to the basics. We’re looking on fundamentals on hustle, effort and tackling and blocking. We’re plugging along as usual.”

Key returners for the varsity include third-year players Collin Hatfield, Andre Jones and Taylor Pelton. All three might play both ways. Hatfield and Jones are backs both ways and Pelton an offensive lineman is a defensive linebacker.

“We have about 14 seniors,” Price said. “We have several other kids with varsity experience like Dylan Chrispell, Seth Root, Schuyler Smith, Jacob Ringler, Leland Yonkin, Mykel Dillard and Trent Sturgell. We have a good mix. Logan Straub was on varsity as a sophomore. We’re balanced in terms of experience.”

Evart’s scrimmage starts at 11 a.m. with Farwell, St. Louis, Sanford Meridian and Tawas. Action will be at the game field.

“We’re going to be looking to see how far along we’ve gotten on our defensive and offensive lines in the last week and a half, and work on some timing stuff and technical things like that,” Evart coach Pat Craven said.

The Wildcats were hurting for numbers last season but have around 50 right now in the program. Craven is looking at around 23 varsity players.

“We’re trying to make sure we can put the best kids out there to help us succeed and put kids where they can be successful,” Craven said.

Pine River is at Manistee and will see Boyne City, Mason County Central and Shepherd, plus the host school. The varsity will scrimmage at noon. The Bucks will have 15 offensive and 15 defensive plays against each team.

“We want to get good reps at game speed against some other pretty quality opponents,” Bucks coach Terry Martin said. “It will be an excellent challenge.”

The Bucks have 26 players on the roster.

“We’re hoping to platoon as much as we can,” Martin said. “We’re looking to possibly avoid two-way starters. We may have two offensive starters that share a defensive position.”