Published Weekly since 2017
Williamston is set to take on Detroit Country Day this Saturday in Okemos. On offense the Hornets are balanced and frustrate teams into playing honest. The offensive line is strong enough to thwart the blitz and rushes, and teams are forced to decide who they want to try and stop - Cade Conley or Sullivan Sparks?
If you try to double up on Conley, you open up the lanes for Sullivan Sparks, if you stack the box Conley is open on the outside alleys and inside slants. On top of that you have Sparks who consistently plays his best football late in the game when the defense is wearing down. Williamston wears teams down this way. On defense Williamston brings an underrated secondary that will be tested all game long by Detroit Country Day's athletic receivers. This matchup will most likely dictate who wins the game.
Should be a great game Saturday that you can listen to live on Lansingherald.com. Coverage starts at 12:45pm, kickoff at 1:00pm.
Even though the calendar has changed to January, Williamston football is in the air once again. The Hornets have been anxious to resume their playoff run and are set with their Regional championship matchup against Milan Saturday January 9th. Though the game is being played in downtown Williamston, due to covid-19 protection protocol spectators will not be permitted to the game. Williamston has staved off the complacency of the paused season thanks to an unlikely and unexpected source – the players themselves.
“The one thing we have for sure is a group of very committed seniors. They've done a lot of work on their own…I know they've been working out in the fitness center at our high school in the mornings. I take a morning jog around the high school and look in and notice that there are a lot of cars that I recognize. I see those seniors and junior vehicles and I'm well aware of who they are and I know they are in the weight room working out.” Williamston head coach Steve Kersten said of his players efforts to stay active. “The linemen are doing a good job of that. We have our quarterback and our receivers getting together to throw, so a lot of what has taken place since the season was suspended is our seniors getting guys together. making sure that people are in shape just getting ready for the return, for when it’s going to happen.”
Saturday’s game is unique and in many ways groundbreaking. January football is common in Michigan, just not at the high school level. Part of that uniqueness has been motivation for the coaches and the team.
“We are telling our kids that we are making memories right here, and we will talk about 2020 for anything, especially the pandemic, There's never been a high school football team anywhere in the state of Michigan that has played December or January football.” Kersten commented. “We've played in some cold games. We played in Escanaba two years ago in the regional championship - what's different now is practicing in cold weather. We have had some cold Friday nights in the sleet and snow, but now you have to practice every day in preparation for a game that is also going to be cold. So I think that's going to be the challenge of for us coaches and players… I think the game itself will be okay, but it depends on the weather January 9th. I think it’s more of preparation and getting ready to play in a cold setting.”
Milan is going to be a challenge for the Hornets because they’ve proven they can win in any fashion. Milan twice has put up 50 points or more this year, but has also won close scoring grinding games which is expected to be the pace Saturday. The Hornets will counter that with leadership and camaraderie that simply cannot be matched.
“The character of our team overall and the character of our seniors was is top notch. These kids are great kids, not just great football players, but they're great kids and the reality is we have a ton of leaders...I can name ten kids who have all led in different ways at different times throughout the season.” Kersten said of his players. “When you have a strong core of seniors who care and are competitive and are willing to lead - which is hard sometimes - you've got to confront your peers - which they are willing to do. It makes for a great season which we've had already, and we are hoping to extend a great season so that we can spend more time hanging out with these great kids.”
You can listen to the game live this Saturday for free on Lansingherald.com starting at 12:45 pm, kickoff at 1pm.
The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association recently recognized outstanding area players for post season awards. Here are your Williamston honorees:
Congratulations to all on your achievements!
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Jan. 13 – Three more Michigan High School Athletic Association non-contact Winter sports will be allowed to restart practice Saturday (Jan. 16) per the updated epidemic order announced today by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), while four Winter contact sports may begin indoor practices Saturday with non-contact activities.
Girls gymnastics, girls and boys bowling, and girls and boys swimming & diving, as “non-contact” sports, may also begin competition before the end of this month – swimming & diving Jan. 22 and gymnastics and bowling Jan. 25. Masks will be required of all participants except when they are actively participating in gymnastics and swimming & diving. Spectators will be capped at 100 persons in school gyms or 250 in stadiums and arenas, per MDHHS orders.
Basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling are considered “contact” sports and may begin non-contact practices Jan. 16, with their first competitions scheduled for Feb. 1. Because of the later start to competition schedules in those sports, the MHSAA will adjust its tournament dates for those four to conclude on later dates than what is currently scheduled – those dates will be announced later this week.Girls and boys skiing, as an outdoor non-contact sport, was allowed to begin in December.
“We are glad to have three more sports join skiing in returning to full activity, but we understand the disappointment and frustration on the part of our athletes and coaches whose sports are not yet able to restart completely,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “We will continue to adjust schedules to provide all of our winter teams as substantial an experience this season as possible, as part of our greater plan this school year to play all three seasons to conclusion.
“We have shown with our remaining Fall sports this month that our schools can participate safely, and we’re confident teams will continue to take all the appropriate precautions as we jump back into indoor Winter activities.”
Additionally, spring sports teams and fall teams not participating in the MDHHS rapid testing pilot program may begin four-player workouts and resume conditioning Jan. 16, but only with non-contact activities. Fall teams finishing their seasons in girls volleyball, Lower Peninsula girls swimming & diving and football have been able to do so by taking part in the MDHHS rapid testing pilot program for COVID-19; volleyball and swimming & diving will conclude with Finals this weekend, while football will finish Jan. 22-23 with 11-Player Finals.
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