Grannis, Saez, Coyote teammates thriving on football playoff pressure

REED CITY —  It’s playoff time and the focus and intensity goes sky high compared to the regular season.

The Reed City Coyotes are 10-0 and gearing up for a district title showdown against Muskegon Oakridge at home on Friday. Players like Eric Grannis and Josh Saez would dearly love to lead the Coyotes to their first 11-0 start and a district title

Grannis has been starting at middle linebacker for the Coyotes and also has been playing tight end. It’s his second varsity season. The 9-0 regular season was the third straight for Reed City.

“I think it’s a big accomplishment for our school and our program,” Grannis said. “It shows the type of potential our program has and hopefully we can continue this tradition in the future.”

Regardless of the team, it’s never easy to go 9-0, even for one season. But the Coyotes have done it three straight times.

“We’ve stayed focus as a whole and we take the opportunities in very game that we can get,” Grannis said. “I think the playoffs are a lot more intense. As soon as you lose, you’re done. For the seniors, that’s a big deal because then we’ll never play again.

“Practices are all business and all focus. Coaches are more intense. Players are more intense to get the job done right.”

“It’s extremely focused,” Saez agreed. “There’s not much horsing around.”

As a linebacker, among Grannis’ favorites was the Newaygo game.

“They were driving the last two minutes. Me and our defensive line charged into the quarterback and got a big sack on third down,” he said.

The Coyotes prevailed 49-7 over the Clare Pioneers in the first round of the playoffs.

“We have to be focused and come out with more intensity than we did in the regular season,” Grannis said.

Saez had a big pass catching day early in the season against Morley Stanwood and admits that was a major highlight. He’s been a wide receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. The Coyotes have been solid defensively in basically every game, he noted.

“Are we playing our very best? I think we have more improvement to do,” Saez said. “We’re really good.”

Saez indicated he’s been strong in staying with the receiver during pass coverage.

Saez added that it’s relatively easy to explain the Coyotes’ past successes.

“It’s when we get down, we keep focused and get back at it,” he said.