CARSON CITY — The first Mid-State Activities Conference South Division game between Carson City-Crystal and Vestaburg has taken on added significance.
The game was originally designated by the Eagles and Wolverines as the “Salute Our Soldiers” game, with a large number of activities surrounding Friday’s game.
But more was added to the game when the United States Air Force designated the game as the “invitational rivalry game of the week” and gave the game a traveling trophy for the winner.
Also a $500 scholarship will go to a senior on each team before the game.
“We were thrilled and privileged picking our game as the game of the week,” CC-Crystal coach Jason Gray said. “We notified our recipient of the scholarship (Logan Forist) Wednesday. I was more happy about the scholarship offer than the traveling trophy.”
“I didn’t really think nothing of it really,” said Vestaburg coach Dan Ryckman, a veteran himself. “We had been planning on this for a year. I know Coach Gray had got with me when they first came into the league. He brought up the Air Force was going to give a scholarship and it was nice.”
The day will start at Carson City-Crystal Middle/High School with a pep assembly at 1:45 Friday. A member of the National Guard will speak.
Games and activities for the entire family will start at 3 p.m. Wristbands will be available for $10 for unlimited use of the games and activities. There will also be food like cotton candy, pop and hot dogs available.
At 6 p.m. The gates to Community Field will open and representatives from all of the armed forces will have activities and giveaways.
Just before kickoff local military personnel, both active and non-active, will be called onto the field and ceremonies will begin.
This is something Vestaburg has been looking at also, Ryckman noted.
“We’ve been looking at how Lowell has been doing with the Pink Arrow Game and we were going to do something,” he said. “Three of the five coaches in Vestaburg are veterans.”
As far as the game itself, Ryckman said CC-Crystal is a good team.
“They (CC-Crystal) are disciplined, they’re big and fast,” he said. “We’re going to have to be on top of our game. We have to make sure we handle their outside run game.”
Gray had a good understanding of the Wolverines’ offense.
“They (Vestaburg) run a full-T offense which is based on deception,” he said. “Their skill players are really fast. In order to tunnel in their speed they have to read their keys and go to where their key takes them to go. If we play disciplined and make tackles we’ll be successful.”
Ryckman wasn’t tipping his hand on how he would attack the Eagles.
“We have to play 11-man football on offense and on defense everybody runs to the ball,” he said.
Gray said the game will be high-scoring.
“They’ve only given up six points but Vestaburg hasn’t seen a team like ours with the wing-T,” he said. “My intuition is that it will be a high-scoring game. We’re looking at the team having to score in the 30s to be the winning team.”
Other games on the schedule Friday has Greenville at Byron Center, Chippewa Hills at Lakeview, Grand Rapids Creston at Belding, Montabella at Coleman and Morley Stanwood at Central Montcalm.