CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s football team hasn’t won a conference title in any conference since winning the Montcalm County Championship in 1962.
The Eagles could rectify that if they can beat Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart Friday in Mount Pleasant. If they beat the Irish they would clinch no worse than a share of the Mid-State Activites Conference South Division title. They could claim it outright with a win against Ashley the following week.
Doing so would mean a lot to coach Jason Gray.
“A ton of credit goes to my assistant coaches as they put in a ton of work to prepare our kids each week,” Gray said. “We have made some tremendous strides this year and the foundation has really been laid over the past couple seasons. I’m not surprised at the position we have put ourselves because our kids work extremely hard. We really have a program full of great people that do things the right way.”
But first things first, and that is beating Sacred Heart Friday, though the goals of CC-Crystal will still be intact even with a loss, Gray noted.
“We have guaranteed our first winning season since 2004 and we will still be alive for a playoff berth,” Gray said. “Ultimately, we strive to win our league. But it is not our only measure tool of success. So if we do lose, we have a lot to still be happy with and goals to attain.”
Gray knows how good the Irish is.
“Sacred Heart is an outstanding program,” he said. “They won a state title 2 seasons ago, lost by three points in the playoffs last year to a team that made it to the state finals, and are 5-1 this year and playing really well. They have incredible skill players at quarterback and wide receivers.”
Gray said the Eagles have to control the ball to win.
“If we can limit their possessions, take advantage of opportunities and play physical than I am confident in the outcome on Friday night,” he said.
There is one facet of football that will determine who will win Friday night, Gray said.
“The team that makes the least amount of mistakes and tackles the best will win the game on Friday night,” he said. “We understand that Sacred Heart is probably the most talented team on our schedule but we welcome the challenge of taking them on. Champions measure themselves by going against top competition. We believe we are one of the best teams on their schedule and they are one of the best teams on our schedule. So it is going to be a great game and we are excited.”