Miller, Rawson play key roles for Pine River

LEROY -- Tom Miller and Cason Rawson are two key seniors who hope to help the Pine River football team enjoy significant success this season.

Miller is 6-2, 205 pounds at defensive end and offensive line. He started both ways last year in his varsity debut.

“Our record (2-7) wasn’t that good but I think our team bonded a lot,” he said. “I gave it my all.”

Miller recalls a win over Benzie Central the second week as being among the highlights of the season for the Bucks.

“We were the only team that beat them during the regular season,” he said.

Miller had a busy offseason for the Bucks.

Miller anticipates that this will be his best season. Offensively, Miller said he’ll go on the line wherever he’s needed.

“I’m a physical player,” he said, adding that on defense, “I can stay low and I know how to find the ball.”

An intra-squad scrimmage is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.

The preseason scrimmage for the Bucks is Aug. 17 at Mancelona. The season opens Aug. 24 at home with Kalkaska.

“We’ll have some fast receivers and backs this year,” he said. “We have a pretty good team bond.”

Miller is confident the team can make the playoffs this season.

“We have to play all four quarters and not slack off anywhere with everyone doing their job,” he said.

Rawson, a 5-8, 158-pound fullback and defensive end, saw some starting action defensively last season.

He’s looking to see action in the offensive backfield and possibly at defensive end.

As a ball carrier, “I have quickness and hard hitting. I don’t like to go down,” Rawson said. “Just because somebody is tackling you doesn’t mean you have to go down. I like to go around the edge.”

The Bucks have a talented passer in quarterback Skyler Nelson but Rawson anticipates having a strong running attack.

“I like to bull through,” he said, adding that as a defensive end, “I’m quick, I’m strong.”

It’s critical for the Bucks to stick together this season, Rawson added.

“Skyler is a quarterback on offense and will give us a boost,” Rawson said. “On defense, we have some solid linebackers.”

Rawson is also confident the team could make he playoffs.

“We’re not the biggest team out there,” he said. “We’re small and quick as heck. We just need to stick together and support each other.”