GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — 5 of the 6 OK Green teams had winning regular seasons in 2012 and 4 of them made the playoffs. Here is a preview of how the conference could look in 2013:
The Dux shared the conference title last season with Holland Christian and finished at 7-4. Jordan Lambert played most of the season at quarterback as a junior in 2012 before an injury late in the regular season. Marcus Lambert was really good at both fullback and linebacker as a junior last season as well. Jordan VanDort will begin his 4th season on varsity as a tight end and also sees time at defensive tackle. Danny Bauder and Cole Hession both were excellent running backs when they got carries last season and both figure to play prominent roles in 2013. This looks like a good team and the favorite in the OK Green in 2013.
The Maroons were 5-5 last season, sharing the OK Green title with Zeeland West. Holland Christian was very good on offense in 2012 under 1st year head coach Jim Caserta, but they return only 2 starters on that side of the ball. Wide Receiver Kyle Steigenga is 1 of their returning starters and is one of the better pass catchers in the area, at 6’4″ he can really go get the ball. On defense, 4 starters come back for Holland Christian led by linebacker Matt DeKock. Josiah Coleman started at both left tackle and defensive tackle as a junior last season.
The Bulldogs was 1 of 4 OK Green teams to finish the regular season at 5-4, but the only 1 that did not get selected for the playoffs. The Bulldogs have plans on making the postseason in 2013 led by 12 returning starters, 8 on offense. Austin Snyder is back at quarterback and although they must replace a really good running back in Garrett Cross, Eric Chard and Jarod Rodgers return and should help pick up the slack. 4 offensive lineman return plus tight end Quinn Humphrey. The defense does not have as many starters coming back, but linebackers Mickey Strum and Al Lake were solid players last season.
The Hawkeyes made the postseason last season and finished 6-5. This season they not only replace 3-year starting quarterback Nick Kronemeyer, but also head coach Chris Myers. junior varsity coach Chad Miller takes over as head coach and inherits just 7 returning starters. Leading the returners are linebacker Dylan Buresh, fullback Heath Dannenburg and wide receiver/safety Jared Overbeek.
HUDSONVILLE UNITY CHRISTIAN
The Crusaders were 5-5 last season and qualified for the playoffs for the 5th time in the last 6 seasons. Unity brings back 8 starters, 6 on defense. Quarterback Tyce Dykstra is 1 of the offensive returners. Linebacker McCoy Wondergerm and defensive end Levi Dekkinga lead the defensive returners.
The Dutch did not win a game last season, and now welcome a new coach in Andrew Pratley who was the head coach at West Branch Ogemaw Heights the last 9 years. The Dutch top returners are both quarterbacks, Mason Rosado and Wade Buckman.