REED CITY – The Big Rapids-Reed City boys basketball game the first week of the regular season has typically given the winner frontrunner status in the Central State Activities Association race.

Reed City coach Jesse Kailing wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case again.

“The kids are looking forward to that game,” Kailing said. “Hopefully, we can reverse from what happened last year.”

Big Rapids beat Reed City twice during the regular season last season on its way to the CSAA title. Reed City defeated Big Rapids in the districts.

“We definitely have some things we have to work on going into our first game with Cadillac,” Kailing said on Monday. “Defensively, we’re not where we want to be yet. Offensively, we’re a little ahead.”

Key returnees for the Coyotes are Jared Holmquist Chad Samuels, Dakota Saez, Ricky Droke, Glen Ryder and Trevor Mund. Trent Sims, who saw extensive playing time a year ago, was to report for his senior season but faced shoulder surgery from a football injury.

It’s sounds like 6 to 8 weeks of recovery,” Kailing said. “We we got him back, it would probably not be until late February.”

PINE RIVER

Pine River opened its season against Harrison on Tuesday. On Monday, Pine River coach Scott Benson was cautiously optimistic.

“We didn’t play well,” said Benson said. “They threw some zones on us and our kids weren’t patient. Nothing went smooth (last season). I’m hoping that won’t be the story this time. We had a scrimmage over the weekend with Gaylord and Baldwin. We looked really good, especially against Gaylord. Gaylord is really good. We played really well.

”Baldwin we played tough too. They’re not very big but they’re quick and very athletic.”

Pine River won’t play again until next Tuesday at Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

“It will be a typical Sacred Heart team, 6-3, 220 pounds, athletic,” Benson said. “They’ll pressure us on top. Last year, we lost by 11. We didn’t shoot very well. We have kids this year that can shoot over that zone. We’ll work on that the rest of the week. They run a good flex offense.”