Reed City hopes home field will pay off against Newaygo

REED CITY  —  Reed City has definitely made the most of its home field advantage in previous seasons, although building a 31-game winning streak during the regular season also means winning games on the road.

But the next four games are at home for the 2-0 Coyotes, including a major showdown Friday against Newaygo, a conference foe Reed City has had to battle hard to conquer the past two seasons for the CSAA title.

Both teams will put 2-0 records on the line in Friday’s showdown.

“They’re really good,” Reed City coach, Monty Price said. “They’re very good. Coach Andy Busch has a good program going on over there. I think everybody is aware of the success they’ve had. They look like the typical Newaygo football team, tough fast and athletic. We’ll have our hands full.”

Newaygo lost some good players last year in Weston Butler and Heath Harrington, but have talented returnees with Alex Bulson, Achy Cantu, Ron Heinman, AJ Bays and Matt Melbourne.

“This season, we hope to be in the hunt for a CSAA conference championships and another postseason playoff run,” Busch said. “We have a solid group of experience players who were battle tested the last few years during playoffs.”

Newaygo was 8-1 during the regular season in 2013, losing only to the Coyotes.

“They play very aggressive defense,” Price said. “It’s the same old Newaygo. They’re probably similar to most schools and lost a handful of players (from 2013). They have some good JV kids coming up and returning a good crew of kids. They’re solid.”

Price smiles while saying he can’t really complain with a 2-0 record right now.

“I don’t think we have played our best,” he said. “We’re right where we want to be and how we got there doesn’t really matter. We’ll have to play more disciplined football this week. Penalties cannot be a factor. We have to play with composure. We have to keep improving and keep getting better.”

Price would like to think the home field will be an advantage in a game of this magnitude.

“We have a pretty good track record at home even in years prior to being undefeated and the streak,” Price said. “Our home field has been a place where we’ve been very successful. We think it gives us an advantage. We hope to have the community advantage and momentum from the crowd, fans and student section.”