Game of the Week: Gwinn at Hancock
GWINN/HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) -
High school football kicks off this Friday, and there’s plenty of great matchups across the Upper Peninsula. For week one, our Game of the Week is Gwinn at Hancock.
The Gwinn Modeltowners will play their first game without head coach Dion Brown up in Hancock at McAfee Field.
“It’s a lot of adjustments, and I think our coaches are doing a really great job with it,” said Reid Hill, a senior lineman for the Modeltowners. “Coach Olsen has been doing a great job covering and helping us get through this.”
The Bulldogs know what the Modeltowners will be playing for, and hope they’ll be able to match that energy on the field.
“It’s going to be a huge emotional game,” said Bulldogs head coach Ramon Sagee. “So we have to be able to match them emotionally and withstand those emotions through the first quarter.”
These two teams, like all others in the state have had to struggle with a shortened training period, and with limited live contact in practices.
“We’re going off the film that we have from last year, we’re hoping that they’re going to run similar stuff because that’s all that we have on them,” said Ben Olsen, Modeltowners head coach. "They’re probably thinking the same thing about us that we’re doing kind of the same stuff that we were doing last year because there’s nothing other than what you have from the previous years.
“The big thing is to just be ready for anything, so we’ve kind of prepared for whether they could go double tight or they could go spread on us, and we’re ready for anything,” said Sagee.
The best that teams can do is look to get going quickly out of the gate, a problem Gwinn didn’t have last year. It was finishing games that the Modeltowners struggled with.
“Last year, we went into Gwinn and they were up 12-0 driving for a touchdown when we made a turnover for a touchdown and got the game back under control, but, they gave us everything we could handle,” said Sagee.
“Dion’s big thing was that we were going to come back this year and prove everyone wrong that we weren’t a 1-8 team, we just had an unfortunate season and things didn’t turn out how we wanted,” said Hill.
Gwinn and HanCock both aim to start strong and put up and down performances of last year behind them. Every team is secured a spot in the playoffs, but they’ll still be working hard to have the best record when those games begin.
“Going into the season every year, you’re not worried about making the playoffs, you’re just taking it one game at a time and we’ve got the ability to be a really good football team and we just got to work on what we can do everyday,” said Austin Salani, senior running back and linebacker for the Bulldogs. “If we do that, I think we’ll be successful and just like every year, we’re going to take it one game at a time.”
Kickoff at McAfee Field Friday night is set for 7 p.m. You can catch the highlights on your Friday Night Fever at 11 p.m.
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