REED CITY -- A football team like the Reed City Coyotes, who went 9-0 the past two regular seasons, obviously had a high number of talented valuable players. That list obviously includes Jake Vincent, the 2012 Pioneer Dream Team Defensive Player of the Year.

Vincent patrolled the middle of the field at linebacker for the Coyotes, accumulating 106 tackles with 12 for loss, plus one fumble recovery and two interceptions.

“He’s one of the finest linebackers in the area, without question,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. Price said he knew Vincent had a bright future playing the linebacker position at an early age.

“Since seventh grade I think I’ve watched him play,” Price said. “Ever since I saw him, the thing that stuck out to me about Jake was his toughness. He has a very good nose for the football. He moves very well. He has good speed for a tall lanky kid. He’s very disciplined. He reads his keys well and plays it the way we teach him. It helps him have success on the football field.”

Vincent also led the way for a solid Reed City running attack with his performance on the offensive line.

It was his second year on the varsity. He played right side as a lineman.

“The whole team improved, not just me,” he said. “We played together better this year.” Vincent said his quickness improved this season.

“I could fill the gaps a lot faster,” he said. “I was definitely stronger than last year.”

Vincent played both ways but as is typical from a lot of players, he really enjoyed the defensive aspect because of the opportunity to do some hitting.

“We played so good together,” he said of the defense. “We all have our responsibilities. Everybody did their responsibilities.”Price said Vincent did his part in leading the defense this season.

“By the nature of our schemes, all 11 kids have to work well together,” Price said, “It’s based on what every kid is doing. They have to work as a team and have great chemistry out there. They have to know what they’re doing and execute their assignments flawlessly for it to work successfully. Jacob was one of our leaders as an inside linebacker. He just did a fabulous job.”

Perhaps the crowning point of Reed City’s defensive achievement came in its win against Chippewa Hills and being able to contain the dangerous Warrior passing game and receiver Trent Karcher.

“The Chippewa Hills game, they’re supposed to have a couple of good receivers and they only had a couple of good catches,” Vincent said. “We just played solid against them. It was one of our best defensive games, I think.” It wasn’t easy, but Vincent and the Coyotes got the job done in that game.

The Coyotes, for the second straight season, went 9-0 as undisputed Central State Activities Association champions, won the first game of the playoffs and then lost in the district finals.

Vincent is also playing basketball for the Coyotes basketball team which started practices Nov. 12, but doesn’t mind the transition in sports at all.

“I like being in so many sports,” he said. “I stay in shape. As soon as one sport ends and the next one starts, it all works out.” He also runs track in the spring. But football ranks as Vincent’s favorite sport.

“Rocket football, I started playing as soon as I could,” he said. “I’ll miss playing defense.” Vincent indicated his athletic career might be over and he’ll focus on his academic career.

But being a standout player on a team that went back to back 9-0 seasons is something Vincent will remember for a long time.