MONTAGUE, Mich. (WZZM) — It was the longest offseason for Montague football in twelve years. And now it’s over.
The Wildcats rolled to an 8-1 regular season in 2012 but were sent packing from the playoffs in round one in a 45-20 loss to Hemlock. “It’s a motivator obviously,” says head coach Pat Collins. “They’re a mature team and they all know that we wouldn’t have necessarily been early exiters with the right draw or without injuries. Our guys really overachieved last year but this group knows that more can be done.”
Montague lost star Brandon Moore to graduation. Sophomore Jacob Buchberger takes over at quarterback. “He’s been working hard. He’s a young guy but has a lot of talent,” says Collins. “There’s a lot of guys in the program that have been waiting for this moment. I can’t wait to see them finally get out and have a chance to shine on Friday nights.”
It’s been four years since the Wildcats won the second of back-to-back state championships. The new seniors hope they can do their part to add to Montague’s winning tradition. “It’s kind of scary looking at all the past guys,” says wide receiver-safety-kicker Wyatt Ford. “We’ve had pretty good athletes, great athletes like the ’08 and ’09 teams. We’re looking forward to this.”
The Wildcats open the season against Orchard View and then begin West Michigan Conference play against Oakridge in week two.
Follow the Wildcats and all the West Michigan teams all season on WZZM’s “13 On Your Sidelines” with Tom Clyde, Dan Harland and Brent Ashcroft Fridays at 11:15pm.