CC-Crystal working hard on football field

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:33 am on Thursday, August 09, 2012

Carson City-Crystal coach Jason Gray, right, demonstrates a blocking technique with Thomas Marek (54) during Tuesday’s practice.

CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s football team started full team practices Monday, and coach Jason Gray already likes what he sees.

Gray noted there were 23 players on the varsity football team this season, which is the most he’s had since becoming a coach of the Eagles.

“We have 23 varsity football players and I feel comfortable playing all 23 playing on the field a lot of playing time. We’re very deep at each position so it’s really exciting from the perspective of having so many kids that can go in and play where maybe in past years we didn’t have that opportunity.”

The summer practices were very helpful, Gray noted.

“We’ve had a great summer,” he said. “Our attendance was awesome in 7-on-7s and in the weight room. Kids showed up to camp in shape and their really excited about the schedule this year with new opponents. It’s neat as a coach to start day one and the kids already knew what the rules were for each play and where they’re supposed to go and what technique they are supposed to use.”

The Eagles are going to play their first year in the Mid-State Activities Conference South Division, moving from the Central Michigan Athletic Conference.

“I know that regardless of who our opponents are, our kids are going to show up to the games ready to play, whether its new opponents or old one,” Gray said. “I’m excited to go up against Seminary in week one.”

“Seminary” is Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, where CC-Crystal will play Aug. 24 in the season-opener.

“They’ve been to the playoffs the past two years,” Gray said. “Coach Smoogie up there does a great job. But our kids are excited to show the improvement they’ve made over the past year.”

Gray described the improvement.

“We’re faster than we’ve ever been,” he said. “We did testing this past weekend on the bench squat and 40-yard dash and we had 10 kids that ran a sub-4.9 40 or faster, which is the fastest we’ve been. Strength-wise we had guys benching and squatting more than they’ve ever squatted because of the work they put in.”

Gray even went so far as to say the Eagles have the potential to win eight games this season. That would be a marked improvement over the 1-8 record the team had last season.

2011 results

at Pewamo-Westphalia    L 44-0

vs. Fulton    L 35-25

at Bath    L 35-26

vs. Portland St. Patrick    L 41-27

at Dansville    L 55-28

vs. Saranac    L 56-33

vs. Laingsburg    L 63-34

at Fowler    L 57-22

at Potterville    W 53-6

Overall record: 1-8

2012 schedule

8/24    at Michigan Lutheran Seminary

8/30    at Traverse City Christian

9/7    vs. Big Rapids Crossroads Academy

9/14    vs. Vestaburg

9/21    at Coleman

9/28    vs. Montabella (HC)

10/5    vs. Sacred Heart

10/12    at Ashley

10/19    vs. Potterville

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