Reed City football team begins pursuit of another league title

REED CITY — The Reed City Coyotes are embarking on another football season that they hope will be more of the same from the last three years.

The practice season kicked off on Monday at midnight for the Coyotes who now have a 29-game regular season unbeaten streak, and three consecutive Central State Activities Association (CSAA) titles. They have gone 9-0 the last three regular seasons.

“The kids came out, worked hard and are also excited,” coach Monty Price said. “I’m already starting to see some leadership unfold and team chemistry develop. That’s a big bonus on day one.”

Reed City is reporting healthy numbers with 27 players on the varsity and 35 on the junior varsity.

“I’m very pleased with the numbers,” Price said. “I would say it’s par for the course. We’re a little shallow in offensive line depth. We’re a little concerned with that. We have 11 or 12 offensive linemen. They’re good ones. We just hope they can stay healthy.”

The season starts Aug. 28 at home against Baldwin in league action. The Coyotes begin pursuit of their fourth-straight CSAA title on Sept. 5 at Tri County.

In the meantime, Price and his coaching staff will look for the answers to various questions in upcoming days.

“We’ve had a lot of kids showing up over the summer putting in good work and we’ve gotten a good evaluation of a lot of kids,” Price said. “As a matter of fact, 19 of our varsity kids were 100 percent in attendance this summer. We got to evaluate a lot if kids. But we’re at no point designating our starters yet and the competition is plentiful and we’re anxious to see how it pans out. We’ll let that take care of itself.”

Three-year starter Chad Samuels has graduated from quarterback. Nolan Patterson is among the candidates to replace him.

“He might be the frontrunner right now,” Price said. “But there’s still a lot of camp left. He’ll have to go out and earn it.”

The whole backfield returns with Jon Green, Colin Hatfield and Andre Jones. Among the key graduates is all-state linebacker Eric Grannis.

“We lost Chad, a three-year starter and 1,000-yard passer and a pretty good wide receiver in Josh Saez and a couple of outstanding linemen in Dean Eichenberg and Darrien Sweet and a tight end in Kyle Wright,” Price said. “Every senior you lose is someone you’re going to dearly miss. They’re seniors and they’ve been in the program for so long.

“We lost 14 seniors and they all contributed. We have to fill the holes and piece it together again.”

The preseason scrimmage is Aug. 21 at Montague against the host school, plus Muskegon Catholic Central and Shelby.