3 Questions: Muskegon Catholic Central football

Duncan MacLean • Aug 11, 2018 at 12:15 AM

There are few teams in the area that truly can claim their success standards as state championship or bust.

Muskegon Catholic Central football is one of those teams.

After winning four straight Division 8 state titles, the Crusaders were thrown into a blender last year. First, a loss to their perennial playoff rival Mendon in the district finals ended their prolific streak. Next, their ace-in-the-hole, surely NCAA Division 1-bound quarterback Cam Martinez took his talents to the Muskegon Big Reds, and finally, a merge with traditional Lakes Eight rival Western Michigan Christian bumped MCC up two divisions into the Division 6 ranks.

Talk about an offseason.

The Crusaders are taking it all in stride, ready to re-establish themselves as the team to beat in their new division. With plenty of talent on the roster and sophomore quarterback Max Price as a dynamic playmaker in his own right, the Division 6 field is just a whole new world to whoop on.

Here are three questions for the MCC football team, posed to head coach Steve Czerwon:

The realities of the merger: How's it going, what is the plan?

"The most important thing for us is that when the kids come here, they are ready to work and follow the same expectations we have always had. That is true for anybody new joining the team whether by transfer, freshman or merger.

"So far, it has gone pretty well. Pretty seamlessly, actually.

"We are hoping it is going to be a long-term thing. We have about eight or nine kids out from WMC right now and hopefully, that will continue growing over the years.

"We know the strength of WMC is in their freshmen and things like that, so we're looking at is as a long-term investment for both schools.

"One of our goals here is to add a junior varsity program, and we're hoping this will help us do that in the next couple of years."

How do you feel about Division 6?

"Fine. If you play deep enough into the playoffs, you are going to play good teams. If I look back, in 2016 in Division 6, Glen Lake was in the finals. Frankfort beat Glen Lake, and we put a running clock on Frankfort.

"Now, sometimes those things are irrelevant. It depends on who goes where, but you are going to play really good competition that is pretty similar from Division 5 on down if you are playing deep enough.

"We feel OK about that. You would be happy to play in November and give ourselves a chance.

"We won't change anything. What we are doing is what we are doing. Hopefully, we are adding more athletes. We're down to 126 kids enrolled now, even in Division 8, you are playing schools with 150. I don't want to be playing schools double our size, so it made sense to get somebody else to come with you."

How will you replace the guaranteed scoring of Cam Martinez?

"We are going forward with the guys that we have. No matter what team it is or what happened you are looking at the guys you have and how to best utilize them. We are just focused on the guys that are here and how we can best utilize them.

"Max Price is going to play quarterback. He was the backup last year and was going to play some quarterback this year regardless of who was on the roster. He throws the ball really well, has great timing, a quick release and above-average running skill.

"Past that, we have a really nice rotation of backs between Carson St. Amour, Tiovanni Knight, Dawson Steigman and Soloman Waller, along with two younger kids, Dane Rutts and Billy Williams, who are freshmen and are going to contribute somewhere.

"So again, we have a nice number of athletes. It is just getting them a little more seasoning and getting them ready for games.

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