Reed City running back adds key spark for Coyotes

Erickson has played key role in team's success

Zach Erickson  

Zach

Erickson

 

Pioneer photo/John Raffel

REED CITY – Reed City ended the regular season for football at 8-1 overall and ranked fifth in the state for Division 6 teams.

The Coyotes entered Friday’s district title game against Montague at 9-1 and among the reasons for that success has been depth at running back.

Sophomore Zach Erickson has played a huge role in that success.

He’s enjoyed some big runs including a 60-yarder against Fremont, which he indicated was his most memorable run.

“I had a great hole on that run and linemen blocked very well,” he recalled. “I had a lot of open field all-around.”

Erickson was moved up to varsity at the start of the season.

“I was excited about it,” he said, adding the biggest adjustment from varsity to JV was “recognizing things and getting used to the speed.”

As a halfback, “I have speed,” he said, noting he usually tried to be utilized on sweeps.

The key to the team’s success “has definitely been our effort and physicality on the front lines,” Erickson said, adding the season loss to Cadillac was a major motivator to a nine-game winning streak.

The key to keep having success, Erickson said, “was being more physical than the other team.”

Erickson also plays basketball and baseball but said football has been his favorite. He also worked on summer baseball.

Coach Scott Shankel has enjoyed having Erickson in the lineup.

“Zach has been sharing time with Bryson (Hughes) and Nick (Wirgau) at running back and defensive back,” Shankel said. “Zach stepped in for us when Bryson was injured at Big Rapids and did really well. He played really well in the four games that we were without Bryson.  He has had a good sophomore season on varsity.

“I am really proud how he has stepped up in big time games and helped the team not miss a beat. I believe in two of the four games he rushed for over 100 yards and had multiple touchdowns.”