By David Troppens
Lake Fenton — About a year ago, Lake Fenton’s varsity football team was doing some of the same things they are doing this year.
The Blue Devils are getting ready for a new season.
However, the atmosphere surrounding that preparation has taken a complete 180-degree change mentally.
A year ago, the squad was leaving a conference and wondering if there really would be a conference season. The death of the Genesee Area Conference (GAC) meant the Blue Devils had to play Jackson, a team about twice Lake Fenton’s size, just so the Blue Devils could have a nine-game regular season schedule.
This season, the squad begins its first season in the Flint Metro League. As members of the Stars Division of the league, Lake Fenton gets to continue its area rivalries against squads like Goodrich and Corunna. And instead of finishing the season with a school located more than an hour away, the Blue Devils will play neighborhood rival Linden for the first time since 1981. And with the eighth week being a cross-over week, who knows, a battle with area squads Fenton or Holly could happen as well.
And there are other positive changes happening as well. The Blue Devils will be playing on a new turf field. The players are excited about the upcoming season.
“To go into my senior year and still have those GAC rivalries with Goodrich and Corunna and being able to create new rivals in the Metro League is great,” senior Michael O’Brien said. “The entire team is excited for week nine at Linden.
“Plus, we are going to be playing on the new turf. We’ll be the first team to play on it. We are all stoked.”
“It definitely feels like a more exciting season this year,” senior Ben Muenzer said. “I think with the new league, playing Linden and potentially Fenton, is really exciting us.
“Every time we go to the field for team camps or practices we check out the field and see what they are doing. ... We are really looking forward to them putting (the turf) down.”
The Blue Devils had a hard 2018 season. The squad finished 4-5, finishing with only the team’s second losing record since the 2011 season. This year the Blue Devils are expecting a bit more and are optimistic after their summer sessions.
“Summer has gone very well,” Lake Fenton varsity football coach Marty Borski said. “We’ve done a lot of things in terms of getting ourselves ready, and not just your normal weight room stuff. We’ve done our seven-on-sevens and team camps with other schools. We’ve prepared ourselves pretty well for what we are about to see in August.
“I love the way this team hangs out, the way this team has bonded. I think it’s pretty common to have clicks occasionally. That’s life in general. But if we have them, they seem to be different all the time. I see kids doing things with kids they never did before. This is a tight group of kids.”
“Compared to my past years on varsity it seems a lot more people are dedicated,” O’Brien said. “We have had a lot more numbers in the weight room. We are hard working and working together. I think it’s going to be a good year.”
“We have some really good leaders coming back,” Muenzer said. “Myself included with James Hamilton and Michael O’Brien, we are three-year players coming back. We are looking forward to bringing our leadership to the team, and we have a couple of young players on the team, so we are looking forward to that. As a whole, I think we are going to be well-rounded and we are going to be strong.”