LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With just over a week until the high school football season kicks off in Michigan, the next two stops of the 6 Sports Two-A-Days feature rivals in the CAAC Blue, who met twice in 2022.
Grand Ledge and Holt, who shared the league title last season.
The Rams won the regular season meeting on the road, 14-6, but the Comets got the last laugh and won on the road in the district title game, 21-20.
Shawn Foster was key in Grand Ledge winning its first district title since 2015 and is now playing at Grand Valley State. Foster ran the offense for the Comets and accounted for 30 touchdowns a season ago.
With Foster’s graduation, 5th year coach Joe Brya is weighing his options at quarterback and has three players vying for the job.
Senior Jameson Patten was a wide receiver last season and last played quarterback in 2021 for the junior varsity team.
“It was honestly very helpful being a receiver last year because it helped me learn the plays more, what the other guys on the field are doing,” Patten said. “I think that will be helpful going forward, and even if I play receiver, I know that too.”
Brya said, “Jameson is an outstanding kid. He does a great job, very team-first oriented player, very humble, and he works really hard. So, he’s a great leader for us, but we have a lot of great leaders, and we’re going to be relying on those guys to help some of the younger guys along.
Grand Ledge starts the season on the road against West Ottawa, who’s second-year stadium costs more than $20 million.
Holt will be looking to replace standout Isaiah Foster, who was one of 33 seniors on the Rams roster last season.
Chad Fulk will have a young team as he enters his ninth season as head coach and 29th with the program. Despite the varsity experience, the team has been making serious improvements since camp started.
“Their cup might not be full of knowledge yet, but they’re eager to have that cup filled up,” Fulk said. “Monday to Friday last week, I think we had the biggest jump I can remember in 29 years, but that also means we had a lot to learn to begin with.”
“Our offensive line, they made a lot of improvements,” Holt senior lineman Maddox Wright. “I’m really proud of some of the younger guys who stepped up and… taken on a spot they really haven’t played, learning some things they haven’t done before.”
The Rams return two starters from last season, both will be juniors in 2023, and Fulk believes there’s a player poised to break out and have an Isaiah Foster type impact on the team.
“I feel like there’s a few,” Fulk said. “He might be a sophomore, he might be a junior, he might even be a senior, but he hasn’t broke out yet. I feel like there’s someone on the verge. You’ll have to stay tuned on that one.”
Holt opens the season on the road against Mason on August 24.