GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The West Catholic football team came up 3 points short in the division 5 state championship last season against Portland, this season they hope to make it back to Ford Field and finish the deal. “The kids are really excited about the direction of our program and our goals for the season so we are really excited about where we’re at with our football program right now” head coach Dan Rohn said.
Travis Russell started at quarterback last season as a sophomore and hopes to build off that run to the state championship game this season. “I learned how to manage an offense, I learned how to stay clam and stay poised leading a team being in the pocket and making decisions, everything I’ve learned has made me become better for this season” Russell said.
The defense was very good in 2012 allowing just 16 points per game, but only a few starters remain from that unit like linebacker Max Boorsma who enters his 3rd year as a varsity starter. Another 3-year varsity player is defensive end Mitch Stanitzek who missed most of last season with an injury, but returns this season at 100%. “We’ve got a little bit bigger team this year, everybody is giving their full effort and wants to get on the field, we had high expectations that we met but didn’t quite complete last year, this year we want to meet those” Stanitzek said.
The Falcons have won 39 consecutive conference games dating back to 2006 and that includes all 5 OK Bronze games a season ago in the 1st year of the conference. West Catholic will open the season at home Friday August 30th against Muskegon Oakridge, a team they have played in the postseason 4 times since 2007, including defeating the Eagles 13-6 in the district final last season. All of the Falcons 4 non-conference opponents made the postseason in 2012.