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Muskegon-area high school football previews

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  • By Mike MattsonLocal Sports Journal

    Muskegon Catholic Cen-tral coach Mike Holmes knows first-hand the quality of Muskegon-area football.

    Holmes, the dean of area coaches who begins his 25th season at the helm, said he believes Muskegon is a spe-cial place for the high school game.

    We play quality football and that becomes important, Holmes said. People have pride in general for this area and pride in their school.

    I just think we have quality teams, Holmes added. In 2008, it was a culmination of the rest of the state looking at Muskegon and saying, They

    play quality football there.In 2008, half the state

    championship trophies came home to Muskegon County. Muskegon (Division 2), Oakridge (Division 5), Montague (Division 6) and Muskegon Catholic (Division 8) were all crowned state champions.

    Muskegon County schools have racked up many state titles Muskegon Catholic (8), Muskegon (5), Ravenna (4), Oakridge (3), Montague (2), Reeths-Puffer, (1) and Orchard View (1). MCC, Oakridge, Ravenna, Montague and OV also have finished state runner-up over the years.

    In addition, Spring Lake, Fruitport and North Muskegon have made appearances in

    state-title games.And remember, Muskegon

    is the states winningest pro-gram and among the win-ningest in the nation.

    On Thursday, area teams will begin the next quest to reach Ford Field on Thanksgiving weekend.

    They will start by vying for conference titles.

    They will hope to qualify for the playoffs.

    And then, they will seek five straight wins to remain the lone team standing in their division.

    Indeed, new memories will be created this season for all area coaches, players and fans.

    Friday night football is the hottest ticket in town as thou-

    sands of fans flock to their favorite stadiums for the big games.

    Music from marching bands and inviting scents from concession stands will fill the air.

    For sure, Muskegon foot-ball fans will turn out to sup-port their teams because its a tradition.

    Nobody needs to remind Holmes this is a special place for high school football.

    Certainly, there is excite-ment and anticipation, Holmes said about the season. People have pride in the county of Muskegon and in their football. We are a blue-collar town and people are proud of their kids and their kids efforts.

    Your guide to local sports at localsportsjournal.com

    Issue 1 Fall 2012

    Fremont Page 2Fruitport Page 3Grand Haven Page 4 Hart Page 5 Holton Page 6 Mona Shores Page 7 Montague Page 8

    Muskegon area set to reclaim supremacy

    ocal ports ournalare you ready for some

    Cost: $3

    Thank you for purchasing the 2012 Local

    Sports Journal special football section.

    Inside you will find in-depth coverage

    of your favorite area high school football

    team as well as schedules and several other

    football-related items.

    This section was written by a group of

    writers with more than 100 combined years of experience writing

    area sports.

    You also will find this 24-page publication to be the only one of its kind previewing area high school football teams.

    Our staff worked hard on this project and is proud to have been

    able to assemble this information and get it into the hands of die-hard area sports fans.

    Writers

    Mike MattsonMark LewisRon Rop

    Shawn LiveranceDave Tomczak

    Jason GoormanJim Moyes

    Photographers

    Rachel ResterhouseCole MyhreMark LewisRon Rop

    Shawn Liverance

    Design/LayoutWarren Kent III

    Printer

    Hi-Lites Graphics, Fremont

    For more on the

    Local Sports Journal, see Page 23

    About Us

    Muskegon Page 9Muskegon Catholic Central Page 10 Muskegon Heights Academy Page 11Schedules Pages 12-13 North Muskegon Page 14Oakridge Page 15Orchard View Page 16

    Ravenna Page 17Reeths-Puffer Page 18Shelby Page 19Spring Lake Page 20Whitehall Page 21Other Schools Pages 22-23Sponsor Page Page 24

  • PACKERS

    F R E M O N T2 Fall 2012

    PackerPieces

    By Ron RopLocal Sports Journal

    Leaders of the Fremont Packer defensive

    unit want to take the pressure off the offense this season.

    Defensively, we want to give up 15 points per game or less, said Kavan Russell (6-foot-2, 260). We want to keep the score low and keep them to two touchdowns or less per game.

    The Packers werent too far off from that goal last year, giving up an average of about 18 points per game. But in the latter stages of the season, the Packers were shut out twice and missed out on a chance at the Lakes 8 title and a berth in the playoffs.

    Fremont is confident it can put some points on the board this season.

    The Packers have a strong-armed quar-terback in Christian Wade (6-foot-1, 185). Wade played most of last season on the jayvee team, but did perform quite well in two starts at the end of the year.

    His teammates know just what to expect from their young quarterback.

    Hes got a good arm, James Bacon (5-foot-10, 165) said.

    Wade will be turning and handing the ball to junior Wyatt Campbell (5-foot-11, 190) much of the time. His teammates say hes got some moves, and hes shifty.

    Hes got strength and good speed,

    Fremont coach Rob Pouch said. And hes got good vision. He fits in very well in our speed offense.

    Then comes the corps of receivers. Pouch said there are no superstars in the group, just guys with good hands who run good routes.

    That group includes senior Troy St. Peter (6-foot-3, 190), Bacon and Mike Siegel (6-foot-4, 185).

    This is the most depth weve ever had at receiver, Pouch said. They are above average kids who can catch.

    Russell, a senior who spent some time at fullback earlier in his Packer career, will play guard on the offensive line. The other guard spot will be manned by Frank Strubble (6-foot-2, 200).

    At the tackle position, Pouch has three players, two juniors and a senior, battling

    for the two starting spots. All three possess good size up front.

    The senior is Jared Meeuwenberg (6-foot-3, 250) while the juniors are Caden Dombrowolski (6-foot-2, 240) and Jesse Powers (6-foot-3, 260).

    Pouch will have several two-way players.

    Russell and St. Peter will take up two spots on the defensive line.

    Ryley Bradley is a senior and Charlie Dakin (5-foot-9, 180), a junior, will play linebacker.

    In the defensive backfield will be Wyatt, Bacon and Jake Deur (5-foot-8, 165), who is a senior.

    We know on offense we have speed and quickness, Pouch said. We have kids who can control the line of scrimmage.

    Defense needs to dominate for PackersThe top returning defensive leaders for the Fremont Packers include, from left, Jared Bacon, Troy St. Peter, Ryley Bradley and Kavan Russell. (Photo by Ron Rop)

    Rob Pouch, head coach

    Coaches: Rick Tank, Rob Wood, Mark Bridges, Mark English,

    Jason Robbins and Jake Kuck.

    Last year: 5-4.

    Returning starters: Offense 5, Defense 6.

    Strengths: Depth at the skilled positions will be a definite plus

    for the Packers, who have an experienced quarterback

    and a solid corps of receivers.

    Weaknesses: There is just one starting lineman back from last

    years team. There are plenty of candidates to fill those spots,

    but the experience just isnt there yet.

    Offensive outlook: Its no secret the Packers will spread the field

    with their strong-armed quarterback and 4-5 solid receivers. They arent superstars,

    but they are solid pass catchers.

    Notable: Pouch is heading into his fourth season as the Packers head coach The Packers have seen an increase in players this season. That includes 12 seniors, 20 juniors and three sophomores The Packers were in a position to not only win

    the league title last year, but qualify for the playoffs. However, they lost

    three of their last four games, and neither happened.

    Quotable: If we keep getting better

    and we take baby steps, we can compete. Our goal is to continue

    to get better. Coach Rob Pouch

    Projected finish: Ludington and Fruitport are expected to be the front

    runners in the Lakes 8, but with an explosive offense, the Packers could find themselves in the thick

    of the league race.

    Playoff history: Qualified for the playoffs seven times. In those seven

    postseason appearances, Fremont has a 2-7 record.

    Their last appearance was in 2009.

    Stadium: Pine Street Athletic Field, located on Division Street,

    south of Main Street.

    2011 scores:Sparta 23, Fremont 8

    Fremont 21, Orchard View 6Fremont 28, Spring Lake 13

    Fremont 21, Grant 14Fremont 33, Tri-County 22

    Fruitport 21, Fremont 0Fremont 14, Newaygo 7Ludington 17, Fremont 0

    Montague 41, Fremont 20

    WATCH FOR

    Wyatt Campbell6-foot-1, 230 pounds,

    junior, tailback/defensive back

    Christian Wade6-foot-1, 185 pounds,

    sophomore, quarterback James Bacon, 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, senior, wide receiver/defensive back

    Troy St. Peter, 6-foot-3, 190, senior, wide receiver/defensive line Kavan Russell, 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, O-guard/D-line

  • Tyler Fehler6-foot, 165 pounds,

    senior, quarterback/defensive back

    Jacob Breese6-foot, 187 pounds,

    senior, tight end or slotback/linebacker

    TROJANS

    F R U I T P O R TFall 2012 3

    First-year head coach Greg Vargas will rely on veterans as Fruitport shoots for a Lakes 8 conference championship. Four players who will be called upon to have solid sea-sons are (clockwise from top left) Tyler Fehler, Jacob Breese, Aaron Veihl and Amilio Flores. (Photo by Ron Rop)

    First-year coach aims for conference titleBy Ron RopLocal Spo