GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Paw Paw won the east and Dowagaic the west in 2012, we will see who challenges those programs for Wolvernine conference supremecy this season, here is a preview:
The Redskins won their 3rd consecutive Wolverine conference title and the initial east division crown in 2012. Paw Paw returns 2-way starters in Caleb Hall (rb/lb), Ross Beck (wr/de) and Tim Wielinga (rb/lb). The Redskins also lost 4 2-way starters to graduation, but Brad Hessler always has the Redskins ready to go, expect 2013 to be no different.
The Trojans are coming off of back-to-back playoff appearences for the 1st time in school history after a 7-4 finish in 2012 and 2nd place finish in the Wolverine east division. Quarterback Grant Pell did graduate, but Carter Yaw was used in passing situations in 2012 and is back to play quarterback. Ryan Britton and Homer Roblyer both saw time at running back last season and return in 2013. 3 starting offensive lineman also return along with 4 defensive starters. Plainwell should challenge for a 3rd consecutive playoff spot and a divisional title.
The Bulldogs have qualified for the postseason 4 consecutive seasons, but are still looking for the first playoff win in school history and are hoping this is the season. Otsego will return 9 starters in all, 5 on defense. Quarterback Mitchell Kiel must be replaced after graduation.
The Bulldogs missed the playoffs a season ago finishing at 3-6. Vicksburg was in every game, this season they hope to get over the hump aganst some of the conferences better teams. Brad Spieldenner returns at both wide receiver and linebacker and Jarrad Whited started at tight end and defensive end as a sophomore in 2012. The Bulldogs bring back just 9 total starters, 6 on defense.
The Tigers were 2-7 in 2012 and now must replace the talented Gary Jones who moved on to play at Central Michigan. Allegan does return 11 starters, 7 on defense. On offense Kyle Simaz started at quarterback as a junior last season.
The Colts were winless in 2012 and haven’t won more than 2 games in a season since 2007 when they went to the regional finals.
The Wildcats finished 3rd in the west division in 2012 but made it all the way to the regional final before falling to eventual state champion South Christian. Three Rivers returns only 6 starters, 4 on defense from last seasons team. Kyle Walczak started at both wide receiver and linebacker in 2012.
The Rams finished 1-8 in 2012 for the 4th consecutive season. South Haven returns quarterback Trenton Smiley who started as a sophomore last season. Will Anders was a 2-way starter as a junior and Colin Hayes also returns at linebacker.