KINGSFORD, Mich. (WJMN) – ‘WIN, WIN, WIN,’ that’s the motto for the 2022 Kingsford Flivvers.
“Win in the community, win in the classroom, and win on the field,” said Issac Olson, a senior center and nose tackle for Kingsford. “We’re going to want to do all three of those. On the field, we’re going to make sure we work as a team. In the community, we just did ‘Flivver Fest’ and went and helped the little kids out at Woodland. That’s always been their message to us; football is not just about the game, it’s about the community and the classroom to help you become a better person.”
On the field, the excitement is rising for the upcoming season as the Flivvers look to defend their share of the Great Northern Conference crown.
“I’m pumped,” said Nic Nora, a senior receiver and defensive back for Kingsford. “We put in a lot of work in the offseason in the weight room and going to camps and everything. The young guys have been stepping up a lot so I’m just really pumped to get out here and finally start practicing with all the guys and just really excited for hopefully a really good upcoming season.”
The Flivvers will look to new faces to help fill the void left by the departure of some big-time talent. That includes All-UP Dream Teamer Zach Person, Brody Kopp, Diego Przeslakowski, and Lucas Tappy. Along with All-U.P. First Teamer Toby Wilcox, and Levi Fiorucci.
“We were a senior dominant team last year and had a really talented, nice football team,” said Mark Novara, the head coach for Kingsford. “Our young guys growing who were juniors last year now are seniors this year is key for us and will take that from those guys last year.”
They return players like Nic Nora, who was named to the All-U.P. first team as a returner, and Cole Myllyla who came on strong for the Flivvers last season.
“I feel like when I’m on the football field I feel free,” said Nora. “It’s like my second home. It’s where I belong and I always want to touch the ball. So, when I touch the ball I’m always thinking endzone. No matter what it takes to get there I’m willing to do it. So, whether it’s making a cut, running people over, whatever it is when I get the ball my goal is to get to the endzone.”
“He’s a difference-maker,” said Novara.”We have to find ways to get him the ball whether we hand it to him, we throw it to him, we snap it to him, we got to make sure he is touching the ball. Along with Cole, to high-end athletes that can do some damage.”
“I think it’s really amazing to be out there,” said Myllyla. “If either one of us scores it’s mutual of how excited we are for each other.”
Kingsford will have a new quarterback under center in Nick Novara. He takes over for Michael Meneguzzo who was an All-U.P. honorable mention selection after throwing for 17 touchdowns last season. The sophomore signal-caller has had a strong start to camp and has been impressing his teammates.
“He’s done an excellent job so far,” said Nora. “He’s been outperforming everyone and he’s been throwing great balls and really trusting us on the outside. He’s just been a great piece to our team that we really needed.”
One thing that will help Novara’s transition to a starter will be a young and athletic offensive line.
“I think our offensive line is going to be really good,” said Novara. “We are really young there right now but they’ve worked hard in the weight room and they’re ready to go and do a good job. We’re going to fight. We’re going to be fighters that’s the mainstay of Kingsford football and we’re going to be real aggressive up front and we’re going to be real aggressive on defense.”
“I think that our offensive line is going to be really athletic and really strong,” said Olson. “I think that’s going to be something we’re going to be looking forward to this year that we didn’t have last year is a lot of that speed and aggression. I think our defensive line is going to be much of the same story. We’re going to be really quick and really strong.”
“It’s just amazing to see those guys,” said Cole Myllyla, a senior receiver and defensive back for the Flivvers.”We’ve got a great O-line and all of them work. I’m not the biggest guy back there, but having those guys in front of me is just a huge blessing.”
If the Flivvers can reach their potential this season – the sky is the limit for this group.
“We want to be relevant in the conference and I think we’re there again,” said Novara. “Our schedule is tough again and each week we want to be putting our best performance out.”
“Everybody wants to win a state title,” said Myllyla. “Really, I think just to make a huge run in the playoffs. I feel like we can actually do that with this talent and hard work.”
“We really want to have a good regular season,” said Nora. “The goal is to go undefeated and have a deep playoff push and just really strive to be better than last year.”
Kingsford opens up their season at home against Green Bay East on August 26th.