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Grass Lake High School football coach Randy Cole, center, will count on players, from left, Blake Stark, Andrew Stockton, Tyler Fautsch, and Josh Claussen in the 2021 football season. 

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(August 11, 2021 12:13 PM) For the first time in a number of years, inexperienced players will hope to fill the void for the Grass Lake Warriors varsity football team.

Grass Lake only has four returning starters total on offense and defense this season.

But longtime Coach Randy Cole is not hanging his head when talking about the 2021 season.

“Our kids are hungry and working hard in the off-season,” Cole said. “A lot of guys started for us at times in 2020, but it is tough for players to pick up the speed of the game.

“Everyone is getting plenty of reps this summer.”

Grass Lake finished 5-3 overall in 2020, 3-2 in the Cascades Conference. The Warriors lost 41-35 to St. Marys Catholic Central in the Division 7 district opening game last season.

Like all teams playing in 2020, COVID-19 affected the Warriors – cancelling the first three games of the season. At one point, the season was put on hold.

“I learned to play every game like it was your last one,” junior running back Andrew Stockton said. “You realized the season could get shut down at any point.”

Stockton ran for 459 yards a year ago and scored four touchdowns for the Warriors.

Other key returnees include junior Josh Claussen (OL/DL), sophomore Jack Reid (LB), and Jack Pine. (WR/DB). 

Cole said Reid can play any position on the field on the offensive side of the football.

Junior Tyler Fautsch and senior Brock Harms are also expected to see increased playing time for the Warrior this season. 

Newcomers expected to make an impact are junior quarterback Blake Stark and receiver Jeffery Peterson. Both may have a chance to also play in the defensive backfield for the Warriors. 

Grass Lake expects to start all juniors on the offensive line with Odin Robinson, Ben Pokornicki and Braylon Carr.

Kahner Tripp – another junior – is expected to start on the defensive side of the football. 

“Our players are doing everything we have asked,” Coach Cole said. “We are going to have to do a great job of teaching.

“The challenge will be learning quickly.”

Especially with Tecumseh and Reading on the docket for weeks one and two, respectively.

“I told our players don’t just stick your toe in the water … jump in,” Cole said. “We will be ready for those challenges.”

Grass Lake High School

2021 Football Schedule

Aug. 27 Tecumseh at Grass Lake 7 p.m.

Sept. 2 Grass Lake at Reading 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 Grass Lake at East Jackson 7 p.m.

Sept. 17 Hanover-Horton at Grass Lake 7 p.m.

Sept. 24 Michigan Center at Grass Lake 7 p.m. 

Oct. 1 Grass Lake at Napoleon 7 p.m. 

Oct. 8 Grass Lake at Addison 7 p.m.

Oct. 15 Manchester at Grass Lake 7 p.m.

Oct. 22 Big 8/Cascades Conference crossover 7 p.m. 

A Grass Lake High School receiver, right, battles for the football during a 7-on-7 drill at East Jackson in late July. Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
Lester Brothers Jackson Michigan

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