Quarterback looking to elevate Coyotes’ passing game

Football: Chad Samuels of Reed City goes through a drill. (Pioneer/Greg Buckner)
Football: Chad Samuels of Reed City goes through a drill. (Pioneer/Greg Buckner)

BIG RAPIDS — The Reed City football team had about the best regular season it could have last season with its second consecutive 9-0 record and another Central State Activities Association title.

But after dominating Manistee in the first round of the playoffs with a 48-14 victory, the Coyotes fell short in the Division 5 district final with a 30-29 loss to Newaygo.

The memory of that close loss has stuck with senior quarterback Chad Samuels this offseason as he prepares to lead Reed City for one last season.

“It was a heartbreaker,” Samuels said of the way last season ended. “But we’re keeping it in the back of our head. It’s been our boost this offseason. We think about that game and we just want to go harder and harder. We want to get back to that point and have another chance to get past that level.”

With last year’s disappointment motivating him and the Coyotes this offseason, Samuels said he’s been putting in the extra work with his teammates to prepare for the task of getting back to the district final.

“It’s been a good offseason for us,” Samuels said. “We’ve had a lot of good workouts. We’re in the weight room everyday, we’ve been doing a lot of 7-on-7’s and blocking camps and just doing all we can to get to where we want to be.”

As one of the top quarterback prospects in the area, Samuels has also been going to plenty of passing camps and combines across the state to continue improving his game, including a stop at Wednesday’s Lake Michigan Football Report “Best of the Best” Football Combine at Big Rapids High School.

“It’s a lot of fun going to all these camps and seeing the skill level at these different camps,” he said. “There’s a lot of good competition to measure yourself against.”

After throwing for 700 yards and rushing for 400 last season on the way to an All-CSAA first-team selection last season, Samuels said he’s also been spending plenty of time with his receivers this offseason to try and elevate the Coyotes’ passing game.

“I’ve been working with my receivers a lot to try and get our timing down so that we’re ready to go for the season,” he said.

With all of the work Samuels and the Coyotes are putting in this offseason, he said he feels that the Coyotes will be ready to bounce back after the disappointing end to last season.

“We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning and just working on getting better each day,” he said. “We’re ready to put last season behind us and we’re just focusing on being ready to go this season.”