Grand Rapids, Mich — No doubt there are and will be more junior quarterbacks that play key roles on their teams, but it became clear last season that the class of 2015 has some talented signal callers.
I start this list with Mona Shores quarterback Tyree Jackson who has started every varsity game under center since becoming a high school student. Head Coach Matt Koziak took over the Sailors program 2 years ago and immediately handed the reigns of his offense to Jackson. He showed great improvement from freshman to sophomore and nearly got Shores to their 1st ever playoff in 2012. If Jackson shows similar improvement this season, the Sailors should be heading to the postseason.
Next is another Sailor quarterback, Grand Rapids South Christian’s Jon Wassink. He exploded onto the scene by throwing for over 300 hundred yards in his 1st varsity start against eventual state champion Grand Rapids Christian last season. Wassink and South would win a state title of their own in 2012 despite the fact that he did not play in the championship game against Detroit Country Day. Wassink fractured his collarbone late in the semifinal win over Comstock Park. With Wassink’s ability to both pass and run and his poise and intellegance he appears to be well on his way to becoming a division 1 quarterback. He will also lead one of the best football teams in the area again this fall.
Another quarterback who led his team to Ford Field as a sophomore is West Catholic’s Travis Russell. The Falcons lost to Portland in title game, but Russell showed great improvement as the season moved along. West rode a strong defense for much of 2012, but it can be expected that they will rely a great deal more on the offense in 2013 under the direction of Russell.
Fremont’s Christian Wade led the way for the Packers in 2012. He led Fremont to 49 points and a win in the season opener over Sparta. Fremont was just 2-7 last year and will be counting on Wade to help get them to the playoffs in 2013.
Forest Hills Eastern did not have a junior varsity team in 2012, but started no less than 8 sophomores on varsity including quarterback Luke Wilkerson. He showed a strong arm last year and with a year of experience for all of the sophomores and a new coach in Eddie Ostipow, the Hawks will be looking for a big rebound year in 2013.
Some ’15 quartebacks came on during the season as starters. East Grand Rapids’ Mikey Roth, Hudsonville’s Mason Opple and Coopersville’s Tucker Kloote all saw playing time as sophomores and will all look to lead traditional programs back to the playoffs as juniors.