Morrison eager for another strong season at Pine River

LEROY — Senior Chase Morrison continues to be a force on the offensive line for the Pine River Bucks this season.

Morrison, a guard in the past, said going into the season he could see action at center.

This is Morrison’s fourth varsity season. He was moved up to the varsity as a freshman when the JV numbers got thinner.

Last year as a junior, “I improved quite a lot,” Morrison said. “I didn’t miss a whole lot of blocks and I knew a lot more than I did my sophomore year. I knew what I was doing better, I could concentrate more on the technique aspect of it rather than where I’m supposed to be.”

Defensively, Morrison (6-0, 262) will be a right tackle. He’s ready for a possible spot on offense.

“I think I understand stuff a lot better, being able to go from one position to another, I know the whole scheme of the line,” he said. “I prefer center because it’s new to me and it’s more interesting. I can do whichever one I need to go.

“Our line will be very strong this year. I think we have, maybe, one or two kids that weigh less than 210 pounds.”

Earlier in the summer, Morrison went to Fargo, N.D., to participate in the national Greco-Roman and freestyle national tournament. He wrestled in both styles.

“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, obviously,” Morrison said. “I wanted to go there and hopefully place. It’s such a big tournament. I lost my first one in both styles. So I was deep down in the loser’s bracket, and it was hard to win back. But I did better than I did last year.”

As a football lineman, Morrison said his strengths are “knowing where to be and being able to communicate with guys next to me and have them know where to go as well as where I’m going.”

Pine River is coming off a district title-winning season last year.

“There’s at least six or seven people squatting more than 350 pounds,” Morrison said. “So we’re faster and we’re stronger.”

The 2014 season increased the program’s increase in popularity.

“It should be a pretty good year,” Morrison said. “One of our team goals is to be conference champs.”

Pine River opens at home Thursday against Mancelona.