Reed City football juniors look ahead to next season

REED CITY – Austin Hansen and Darien Sweet are two Reed City football players that performed key roles on this year’s team that was 10-1 and district finalists and undefeated Central State Activities Association champions for the second straight season.

But not being able to go farther than the second round of the playoffs was a disappointment to both Hansen and Sweet, who hope to help the 2013 team go after that elusive goal.

Sweet, a junior, played right guard and started all season for the Coyotes.

He earned all-CSAA first-team honors.

It was his first varsity season and Sweet made a successful transition from junior varsity to varsity.

“It took a couple of practices to get the feel for it,” Sweet said. “I was pretty happy, but I thought I could do better for the season and the playoffs.”

The Coyotes were hoping for their first district title but lost 30-29 to Newaygo to end the season.

“We dropped two or three balls that could have been touchdowns,” Sweet said. “We just didn’t execute very well.”

But it’s not easy to go 9-0 during the regular season, Hansen and Sweet noted, pointing to the wins over Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills and Newaygo as top moments.

Helping his team do it again next year will be a goal for Sweet.

“It will mean work hard in the offseason and work hard in the weight room,” he said. “I feel we’ll do pretty well. We have a couple of guys that will step up”

Hansen played nose guard and earned second-team all-CSAA honors for the Coyotes.

“I don’t think we necessarily played our best. We had a lot of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on,” Hansen said. “Obviously, I’m greatly disappointed. But that’s something we can strive for next year.”

Defensively, “I think I played very well,” Hansen said. “I made a lot of key plays and a lot of little ones that helped.”

As a lineman “I’d get off the ball quick. i was small, it made it harder for them to block me,” Hansen said. “We lose key players but have a big offensive line coming up from JVs. We’ll be able to refill those spots. Defensive linebacker with Jake (Vincent) and Jordan (Rolston) will be tough to fill

“We’ll have a good shot at it.”