LEROY — Brandon Fulks is among the key seniors for the Pine River football team this season.

It’s Fulks’ third varsity year for the Bucks, who were 3-6 last fall.

Last year “I was a little bit disappointed,” he said. “We could have won more games.”

But under new coach Terry Martin, Fulks thought the program made some progress.

Fulks will be playing a slot back, with the assignment of doing both running and pass catching. The Bucks offense will have a new quarterback with either Tyler Wing or Mason Powell. Last year’s quarterback, Skyler Nelson, has graduated.

“They’ll be more runners,” Fulks said. “Skyler was more of a passer.”

Fulks will provide the Bucks offense with some speed.

During the offseason for football, “I came to everything that was offered,” Fulks said.

The season opens Aug. 28 at home with Kalkaska.

“We should be able to make the playoffs,” Fulks said. “We need to play defense.”

Fulks will be a cornerback on that side of the ball.

On the schedule, Fulks expects defending state runners-up Beal City to be strong again along with McBain. Kalkaska has had Pine River’s number in previous seasons in the opener.

“This game will be pretty important,” Fulks said. “We want to get off to 1-0. I think (Kalkaska) is a little down this year. They lost quite a bit.”