GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Grand Rapids Catholic Central went unbeaten winning the conference in 2012 but it was South Christian that won a state championship. In 2013, CC and South should both be good again, here is a preview to find who might challenge them in the OK Gold:
GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL
The Cougars had an undefeated regular season and an OK Gold title in head coach Trip Gallery’s 1st season. Returning in 2013 is quarterback/linebacker Joe Nixon, wide recevier Nick Marosi and 3 offensive lineman. Along with Nixon on defense, Alex Hicks returns at linebacker. The Cougars will no doubt have talent in 2013, expect that their game with South Christian will decide the league title, just as it did a year ago.
GRAND RAPIDS SOUTH CHRISTIAN
The Sailors have to be considered the conference favorite after winning the division 4 state title a year ago. Quarterback Jon Wassink is as good at his position as anyone in the area, he returns Eric VanVoorst at receiver and 2 starting offensive lineman. Geoff Plasman saw some action at running back last season behind Chad Sterk. On defense linebacker David Boomsma leads the way but the defensive line should be stout with returners Todd Postma and junors Mitch Quakkelaar and Brendan Huyser, Kyle Haan is also back at safety.
The Saxons started 2012 6-1 and had hopes of an OK Gold title before losses to Catholic Central and South Christian at the end of the season. Hastings has their share of talent to replace but their wing-t offense does return 2 running backs in junior Jason Slaughter and senior Stephen Shaffer to go along with 2 returners on the offensive line. Defensively, Hastings brings back 7 starters and should be a real good on that side of the ball. The Saxons open the season with 2 new opponents, West Branch Ogemaw Heights and Petoskey.
The Trojans finished 3-6 in 2012 and lost the majority of their starters to graduation. Left tackle Kyle Kraus started a year ago as a sophomore and linebacker Kameryn Kidder was 3rd on the team in tackles in 2012 as a junior.
GRAND RAPIDS OTTAWA HILLS
The Bengals were just 3-6 last season, but were a young team starting 14 non-seniors. Juniors Tevaughn Hill (quarterback), Rashaun Reid (running back) and sophomore Sam Beal (wide receiver) all had their moments a year ago. I would think the Bengals would be much better in 2013.
The youngest team in the OK Gold was no doubt the Wayland Wildcats. Last season Wayland started only 4 seniors, which means they should be a very experienced team in 2013. Michael Shaendorf returns at quarterback and Mike Miklusicak and Jack Phillips also return in the backfield. Shaendorf and Phillips also started on defense a year ago. Quentin Sweeney and Justin Eastman also started both ways as juniors in 2012.