By Frank Vajcner
We now head to the alma mater of Jeff Grodi. A new era for Jefferson Football takes shape, as Eric Tipton takes over as head coach. How does the schedule shake out for Year One?
Aug 25 Onsted
Sept 1 @ Riverview
Sept 9 Flat Rock
Sept 16 @ Huron
Sept 23 Grosse Ile
Sept 30 @ Airport
Oct 7 Milan
Oct 14 @ SMCC
Oct 21 @ Erie Mason
Gut-Check Game: Riverview is the obvious choice here, as the Pirates are the defending Huron League Champions. Asking for a win might be too much for Tipton and company, but a better showing than last year’s 48-9 beatdown will definitely show growth.
Trap Game: I have to go with the season opener against Onsted. The Bears prevailed 13-10 in an emotional win last season, and with Riverview looming in Week 2, Tipton will have to keep his squad from peeking ahead. And another note, the Wildcats will have a new coach as Aaron Amthor takes over for Dan Terryberry.
Snoozer: Once again, no gimme games for another Huron League team.
Non-Conference Challenge: In addition to hosting Onsted, the Bears will travel to Erie Mason in Week 9. The Eagles went 5-5 last season, and have qualified for the playoffs the last two seasons.
Notable: This will mark the first time the Bears and Eagles will face off on the gridiron since 1982. The Bears are 10-3 all-time against the Eagles.
Thoughts from Frank: Much like Flat Rock, if the Bears get through the first three weeks with a 2-1 mark, confidence will be soaring. But in order to be considered a playoff team, stealing games in the back half will be paramount.
Thoughts from Chris: I really like the Bears’ non-league schedule. I think both of those games are winnable. Throw in a tough Huron League schedule though and the Bears are possibly on the outside looking in and a playoff spot.
Thoughts from Gary: love the non-league games. lower division but winnable. Bears need wins. I like it. 3-2 is possible for Jefferson. From there, with some confidence, this could be a turnaround year