VanAlstine a key player for Reed City football
REED CITY – Blake VanAlstine and his Reed City Coyotes are off to a strong start for the 2020 football season at 3-0.
This is VanAlstine’s junior season. He was moved up to the varsity as a sophomore player.
“I’m not going to lie, it was kind of scary going up against bigger dudes,” VanAlstine said of moving up to the varsity as a sophomore. “I pushed myself in the weight room and ended up being on top of the leader board my sophomore year in all of the main lifts and pushed myself. (Head coach Scott) Shankel pushed me a lot.”
VanAlstine said he felt comfortable after the second game of the 2019 season.
“The varsity has the bigger dudes and it’s a lot bigger ballgame,” he said. “About the second or third game, I started getting confident.”
VanAlstine played defensive nose guard as a sophomore.
As a nose guard, “I can split double teams all day long,” he said adding as an offensive lineman, “I am a shorter kid but am pretty stout. I can get a good push.”
Initially, the MHSAA announced football would be moved to the spring.
“I was very bummed out,” VanAlstine said at the time. “On top of that, Shankel’s mother had passed away. Now my whole spring season is for Shankel and his mom. I’m dedicating the season to his mom.”
The season was later switched to the fall.
“We’ll be ready to go,” VanAlstine said coming into the season. “Shankel will push us as much as he can. I’m hoping I can lead the team as a junior and lead the line to be aggressive. We have to be aggressive both sides of the ball.”
Shankel has been happy with the line play of guys like VanAlstine and Dylan Scheibel.
“They are both doing good,” Shankel said. “It was a slow start for both of them as they are both in new positions on the line. Last week we ran for 150 yards behind them. I am very pleased with both of them and how they are playing on the offensive line.
“VanAlstine also plays nose guard on defense and he is doing good there too. From week one to week two, they both made huge improvements and I look forward to another week of improvement.”