Pine River two-way player eager for start of season

Hunter Varney



LEROY – Hunter Varney is an offensive tackle and inside linebacker for Pine River, who has put in a lot of summer work and is getting ready for the football practice season, which begins on Aug. 9.

A senior, Varney feels his strengths at offensive tackle are “knowing the playbook really well, knowing where I need to be and getting blocks.”

On defense, “I feel I am quicker and am pretty smart when the ball is snapped and I know where they’re going with the ball,” Varney said. “This year will be my first year at linebacker.”

With that in mind, he feels offensive tackle will be his best spot.

But he’s confident he can exceed in both positions.

Pine River and other area football teams closed down their summer seasons on Friday.

“It’s pretty fun and helps you get in shape,” Varney said. “It helps you with team bonding.”

Pine River opens its season at Mancelona on Aug. 27 in nonleague action and opens Highland Conference play at Lake City on Sept. 2.

“I feel we play together,” Varney said. “Our whole offensive line is seniors. We always move around on defense. I definitely feel we can learn to play together and do pretty good.”

It’s been a busy offseason for Varney.

“I’ve gone to a lot of camps this year,” he said, adding the atmosphere is better now that it was a year ago with the pandemic posing a threat. “A lot of us didn’t know last year if we were going to have a season. So this is a lot better.”

Varney is also a wrestler at Pine River and said he’ll do track next season.