Reed City end-linebacker likes team’s upcoming chances


REED CITY — Chris Barton is a senior tight end who has been providing the Reed City Coyotes key contributions in what’s been a drive to their fourth-straight Central State Activities Association title. The Coyotes, in the expanded CSAA’s Gold Division, whipped Chippewa Hills 60-32 to wrap up title No. 4.

They are at home this Friday in the playoffs against Newaygo.

Barton is in his second varsity season and played various positions last year, but has had a starting shot this fall.

“I think we’re doing really well,” he said. “A lot of new guys are stepping up. We’ve had a couple of injuries. People have been filling their shoes.”

The Coyotes are a run-oriented team, but Barton has had a chance to be on the receiving end of two passes. He caught a 14-yard touchdown pass against Chippewa Hills. Otherwise, he’s been providing blocking support.

“I’ve been working a lot on catching and I’ve gotten better,” he said, adding that as a blocker “I’ve been playing a (consistent) role on outside containment.”

Getting a lot of tackles has been Barton’s main role as a defensive end.

“It’s been a lot of containing on the outside, trying not to let anyone get outside of me,” he said. “I’ve been doing well. The Central Montcalm was probably my best game. We played against the quarterback really well Everyone had an assignment. I feel everyone executed well.”

Going into the Chippewa Hills game, Barton noted that containing the Warriors’ wide receivers would be critical.

“Our defensive backs will have to step up and lock them down,” Barton said.

As an outside linebacker, Barton indicated he was seeing the ball well and where it’s going. He wants to improve on his speed “and getting to know offensive schemes a little better.”

Overcoming adversity has been a key to his team’s success, Barton indicated.

“We had a really bad game against Newaygo (in a 14-6 loss),” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to get it a game at a time. When we get to playoffs we’ll take it from there. We’re hoping to get a district (title), but we’ll see how we do.”