MONTAGUE, Mich. — It is not often that a high school football program wins a state championship and then has a coaching change, much less hires a new coach from outside the program.
That is the case at Montague this fall, but new coach Justin Dennett is trying to keep as much continuity as possible.
"Normally as a first-year coach you're coming into a situation that maybe they struggled a little bit and you got to kind of change the culture," Dennett said. "That's all in place here, and so I'm kind of able to just come in, a lot of the coaches came back and so there wasn't a whole lot of change, which I think has been nice for the kids."
The Wildcats won the program's third state title beating Clinton in the division six state championship game in January at Ford Field.
The players say they are pleased with their new coach.
He's definitely filled in perfectly," senior quarterback Andrew Kooi said. "Coach Collins said he wanted to leave us in the best hands possible and I think he's done that done that tremendously with Coach Dennett being here. I think Coach Dennett has really brought us together as a team, Coach Collins did that but coach Dennett is doing that too and he's just been a great coach."
The Wildcats return five starters on each side of the ball including Kooi who started at wide receiver last fall with Drew Collins being the team's quarterback for the past three seasons.
Montague is scheduled to open its season against division four power Edwardsburg at home on Thursday, August 26.