GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — West Catholic is the defending OK Bronze champion, in fact the Falcons haven’t lost a conference game since 2006, that covers 39 games and 3 leagues. Can any Bronze team knock them off in 2013? Here is a preview:
GRAND RAPIDS WEST CATHOLIC
The Falcons were division 5 runners-up in 2012 and outright OK Bronze champs. West returns quarterback Travis Russell who got better as the season went on as a sophomore in 2012. Andy Corey is another tremendous weapon for the Falcons who can be used at running back, receiver and quarterback especially in the wildcat. David Bancuk and Drake Wooten return at receiver and 2 offensive lineman also return. On defense, Max Boorsma begins his 3rd season as a varsity linebacker and Mitch Stanizek is also very talented but missed a large portion of 2012 with an injury. West has to be considered Bronze favorites in 2013.
GRAND RAPIDS NORTHVIEW
The Wildcats made the playoffs for the 1st time school history in 2012 and now begin year number 2 under head coach Greg Ganfield. Northview lost a bunch of really good seniors, but they do return Brandon Lawrence at running back who is really solid and Devon Houston is likely the quarterback in 2013. On defense there are only 2 starters back led by defensive end Tommy Brown.
FOREST HILLS NORTHERN
The Huskies were 4-5 last season and 4 of their 5 losses were by 8 points or less. Northern returns 3 really good 2-way starters that make up their entire backfield on offense, Jacob Howe (fb/lb), Marcus Matthews (rb/olb) and Justin Farah (rb/lb). Bob Halso (c/de) also was a starter on both sides of the ball last year as a junior.
The Yellowjackets are a very similar team to FHN in that they were 4-5 last season and lost some very close games. Like Northern, Greenville returns a lot of talent, 12 starters in all. Carter Stephens had a nice season at running back as a junior in 2012 and Chase Harington started at tight end and linebacker as a sophomore. The Yellowjackets should have a good chance to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
The Red Hawks were 4-5 last season and return 7 starters. Dylan Block and Cameron Klompstra started on both sides of the ball as juniors, quarterback Austin Hilyer saw some time as junior in 2012 as well.
FOREST HILLS EASTERN
The Hawks were very young in 2012 and won only 1 game. Now they return 15 starters and welcome a new coach in former East Kentwood and Charlotte head coach Eddie Ostipow. Luke Wilkerson started at quarterback in 2012, Sam Harrison, Ethan Thomas, Will Blank and Jon McCready were all 2-way starters last season and return.