CC-C football team focusing on selves, not Big Rapids game


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:42 am on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carson City-Crystal’s Garner Cusack (in the black shirt) gets ready to run a play during a preseason practice. — File photo

CARSON CITY — After a big win against Traverse City Christian last Thursday, one would think the Carson City-Crystal Eagles would be sky-high about it.

Not so, said coach Jason Gray.

The Eagles are more focused on themselves as they get ready for a home game against Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy on Friday.

“We’ve been focused all week long,” Gray said. “The big victory over Traverse City Christian hasn’t fazed us. We have a lot of work to do. We’re focused on ourselves and getting better as individual players.”

That means CC-C isn’t thinking much about the Cougars, who come into the game looking for their first points of the season. They’ve been outscored 110-0 in games against Ashley and Au Gres-Sims, which is 11 losses in a row dating back to 2011.

“We self-evaluate ourselves without looking at the other team,” Gray said. “We’re not worried about Crossroads or Vestaburg or Coleman. We’re looking at ourselves. We’re not good enough yet to think we will come to the field and beat someone.”

Carson City-Crystal players work on footwork during a pre-season drill. — File photo

But Gray isn’t so focused on his team that he doesn’t know a lot about Big Rapids Crossroads Charter.

“They run a double-wing offense which has a lot of deception,” Gray said. “Defensively we saw on the film in the game against Ashley they (Ashley) got down to the 20 and didn’t let them in.”

Gray is looking at trying to do the same things that got the Eagles 77 points against Traverse City Christian.

“We’re preparing that we’re playing for a league title because we’re eventually going to play for a league title,” he said. “So we’re preparing for Crossroads as if it’s championship week.”

Part of that is making sure to keep blocking to the whistle, Gray noted.

“We have to establish our blocks,” he said. “The first game of the year we were getting to our spots but we weren’t sustaining our blocks. If we can come out against Crossroads and sustain our blocks we believe we’ll be successful. We find a lot of speed and deception and if we can sustain our blocks we can be successful.”

Other games on Friday include Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg at Greenville, Belding at Coopersville, Lakeview at Newaygo, Manistee Catholic Central at Montabella and Central Montcalm.

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