Holmes planning to help Bucks on offensive line

LEROY — Pine River’s football team opens its home season on Thursday, and players like Raden Holmes have been spending a lot of time getting ready.

Holmes is a 6-1, 190-pound junior center and right guard, who was moved up to the varsity for playoffs last season. He’s been contending for a starting varsity spot this season. He played center for the JV. It’s a position he’s played for seven years on various levels.

“At first, it was a position I was put at,” Holmes recalled. “But I’ve loved it ever since.”

The key to being a good center, Holmes pointed out, is “being able to have good form and try to be consistent. You can’t have the ball everywhere, otherwise plays will be messed up. Containment is a big thing, trying to get the (the offense) to go to the middle.”

The Bucks opened the season at Kalkaska on Friday with a 26-13 win. They were 8-4 last season and district champs, and graduated some key players from that team. But Holmes predicts another strong season.

“We’re stronger and faster and have a lot more multi-athletes,” Holmes said. “A lot of people know what they’re doing. Over the summer, we’ve done a lot. We’re ahead of the game from where we were last year.”

For the Bucks to win games, “we have to work together, run the plays through, give 100 percent effort,” Holmes said.