Fortune, Bowen spark Evart backfield

EVART — Evart’s football team graduated outstanding players like Austin Grein and John Danley from last season’s playoff squad.

That’s why seniors like quarterback Jacob Fortune and running back/outside linebacker Derek Bowen are expected to play key roles in the Wildcat attack this season.

Fortune made his debut at quarterback last season.

“I think things went pretty well,” he said. “I felt from the first game on that I got into it pretty well.”

The Wildcats went to the second round of the playoffs before losing to a strong Lake City squad.

Fortune, because of work commitments, didn’t put in as much time during the offseason for football as he would have preferred. But he’s been working hard to get caught up and get ready for that first game.

Fortune expected to see a balanced Evart offensive attack. He hopes to be a strong runner.

“I can read the defenses better and know when to pull and when to hand it off,” he said.

Evart opens at Suttons Bay Thursday.

“We definitely lost a lot of good players,” Fortune said. “We should be able to fill the spot. We have a pretty good line.”

Fortune is hopeful of a win at Suttons Bay and is confident the Wildcats can make some noise in the Highland Conference.

He’ll be focusing on one side of the ball while Bowen hopes to spark the Wildcats on two sides.

“I thought I came on good for outside linebacker,” he said of last season. “At running back, I need to work on my strength and speed.”

He focused especially on linebacker last season but expects to see more carries on offense.

“We have a lot of strength but our speed will hurt a lot of teams. Our quarterback has a great arm and we’ll be able to pass,” he said.

The defensive line will be young but Bowen is confident the defense will have a strong season.

“We’re going to be a solid team,” he said, adding that against tough teams like Beal City and Lake City, “we’ll have to be disciplined. We can’t have penalties. We have to be together as a team.”