Looking to take the next step

MAKING A RUN: Reed City is one of three area teams looking to claim their first district football title on Friday. (Herald Review file photo)
MAKING A RUN: Reed City is one of three area teams looking to claim their first district football title on Friday. (Herald Review file photo)

Reed City, Chippewa Hills, Evart all looking for first district football title

REED CITY — There are several reasons why none of the three remaining teams in the high school football postseason have ever advanced into the third round. Reed City coach Monty Price is hanging his hat on luck. The Coyotes will be making their fifth trip into the second round and in search of their first district crown when they host Newaygo . A lot of factors play into why Reed City hasn’t been able to win in this round, with luck as important than any other. “To be honest, I’m a firm believer to make a run at the high school level, you need a little bit of luck,” Price said. “And when I say luck, I mean the draw. We haven’t had much. If you look back, the teams we’ve lost to made long runs, so it is the luck of the draw.” Also trying to advance to the second round are Chippewa Hills, which will travel to Ogemaw Heights, and Evart, which will take on Lake City on the Trojans home field. The Coyotes are making their ninth playoff appearance and advancing to the third round would be huge for a group of seniors that have worked hard, Price said. “It would be awesome to be honest,” he said. “These kids have worked hard and dedicated themselves to the program, especially the seniors. “We’ve been traditionally a playoff team and the kids coming up through the program have experienced it and now it is an expectation,” Price continued. Chippewa Hills coach Larry Jose, however, doesn’t put a lot of stock into past success leading to success this season. “Every year is a new district, a new opponent with new kids,” he said. “When it comes down to it, Johnny isn’t going to make that tackle because of what happened a year ago or previous years.” To Jose, to take the next step, it starts in the offseason by getting players into the weight room, 7-on-7s and camps. “If you want to be district champion or a regional champion then get in the weight room,” Jose said. “Don’t be singing those songs without doing the work.” Evart is making only its second postseason appearance and the first since 2007. Friday’s victory over Carson City in the first round was the first win in the postseason in school history. Wildcats coach Pat Craven said the difference between happy to be there and wanting to win is mindset. “We have to continue to be hungry,” he said. “I think they do understand that they are capable of doing great things and that they can look back after the season on what they have accomplished.” However it happens, each coach hopes that there will be a week 12 and hopefully beyond. “We feel good about our opportunity and feel a district championship is possible,” Price said.