REED CITY  — It’s going to be a challenging early-season start for the Reed City boys basketball team.

Several players are coming off the football season which ended Nov. 14. Some are nursing injuries included those related to football.

The Coyotes are coming off a 15-6 season and were tied for second in the Central State Activities Association (CSAA). Lakeview won the conference. Reed City is in the CSAA Gold Division this year with Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills, Central Montcalm, Grant, Newaygo and Tri County.

Players back for the Coyotes include seniors Chris Barton, Patrick Jobes, Nolan Patterson and  T.J. Patterson, and junior Taylor Pelton.

Nolan Patterson missed the season due to injuries. Barton and Pelton had “decent” minutes, coach Dean McGuire said while T.J. Patterson and Jobes also saw some action.

“It will be an interesting year for us,” McGuire said. “We’re going to be young, we’re going to be energetic and it’s going to be interesting. We practiced seven kids (Monday). We’re beat up pretty good right now. We took a week off. The success of our football team was phenomenal. At the West Catholic game we got beat up pretty good. We lost one player for the season. We have 13 guys on the team and practice with seven so we have six out due to injuries.”

One injury is a broken hand while two are bad ankle injuries. Others have concussions.

“Collin Hatfield, an incoming junior we’re very excited about is out with a torn ACL, MCL in his knee (from the football game),” McGuire said. “He’s out for the season. A sophomore point guard (Trent Sturgell) we’re pulling up injured his knee. It’s been a rough start for us.”

The junior class “has unique individuals on what they bring to the team,” McGuire said. “We’re excited about that.”

Mykel Dillard, Andre Jones, Matt Mund and Schuyler Smith are among the key juniors for Reed City.

“We lost a lot last year,” McGuire said. “We lost a lot of scoring. About 85 percent of our scoring graduated last year. We have to get healthy. That’s our No. 1 goal last year.”

Practices didn’t start until Nov. 21, a few days after the allowable first date.