Iron Mountain, Mich. (WJMN) – After a deep postseason run that saw their state title aspirations fall just short, The Iron Mountain football team is looking to turn the page for a new chapter in 2020.
The Mountaineers were unable to reach the peak of the mountain in 2019. They were defeated by Pawamo-Westphalia in the division 7 semifinals, falling one game short of a trip to Ford Field.
“You know, you look at it we played an extra four football games. Obviously, the regular season you hope has nine games. We had an extra four weeks of practice. An extra four weeks of practice for the sophomores that came up that were fortunate to join us. So, it just helps everything, you know, in terms of what the expectation is, what playing football is all about. So yeah, it’s great that you can do that and we’re hoping it pays dividends this year,” said Robin Marttila, the head coach of the Iron Mountain football team.
Iron Mountain will return several players on both sides of the ball but will look to replace big-time talent. 11 seniors graduated from last year’s team, including All-U.P. Dream Team quarterback, Marcus Johnson.
“You probably look at Caleb Evosevich-Hynes, Caleb Burklund, Dante Basanese, Bryce Pietrantonio, Joe Dumais, Jon Carrion. Guys like that that have experience through the wars. As I said, they need to step up. We have a lot of skill back. I guess, a lot of teams would like to have that skill, but we’re just trying to put that skill in the right spot to be successful. Again, it’s a work in progress just like every other year. We’re happy where we’re at early on in the preseason.”
In a year that is anything but predictable, Iron Mountain plans to stick to the script.
“Mountaineer football, I guess on offense we want to have everyone on the field taking a turn making a play. We don’t want to be one-dimensional. I think we want to do that one a yearly basis. Defensively, we want to line up correctly and then get eleven Mountaineers to the football. Strengths, you know, I think our experience in the backfield. You know, those guys I talked about have a number of games under their belt. I guess I’m hoping our team speed is a little bit above average. So, we’re just working with that.”
With the pandemic still holding the high school football season in limbo, Iron mountain is focusing on what they can control.
“Well obviously, we’re following the covid guidelines to the best of our ability. Obviously, you see the mask here that’s different, but then again you see it on tv, on espn, and in the pro’s and that’s just the world we’re at. But everyone is in the same boat. But, it will definitely be different without a scrimmage in the preseason. Um, we’ll have to do some things here at mountaineer stadium to try and get ourselves ready. Try to evaluate some kids. But, it’s definitely going to be different. We’re just going to try and to the best we can with it. Everyone is in the same boat and we’re hoping to play a football game at negaunee on august 28th,” concluded Marttila.
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