Ben Murphy
Contributing Writer

The official start of the high school football season isn’t until August, but that hasn’t stopped the Potterville football team from working hard this summer, preparing for things to come. The Vikings have been busy with summer workouts and are training hard for an upcoming camp and of course their first live action in August.

“It’s going good,” head coach Jason Baker said. “What we do is hard, we put them through a lot, we expect a lot out of them, and we have a lot of potential there this season to be competitive in a lot of games that Potterville hasn’t been competitive in historically. We have a pretty unique opportunity to change that this year. We aren’t going to win every game, but there’s games we will win that the school hasn’t won the last 14-to-15 years.”

The Vikings played a mix of varsity and junior varsity games last fall due to their youthful roster. Jump ahead to this season and the team plans to play a full varsity schedule; with a complete slate of Central Michigan Athletic Conference games.

“Aside from beating Saranac in 2020, that was the last real CMAC win that they had, but I feel like we can change that this year if the boys continue to work hard and we develop as a team like we did last year,” Baker said. “There’s a lot of excitement with what we were able to do and we just have to build on that and keep moving forward.”

Potterville opens the season with three straight home games: opening with Maple Valley and then taking on Dansville and then Bath.
Maple Valley has a new head coach and is also making a transition back from 8-player to 11-player football this fall.

“They will be a challenging match-up for us, we don’t know what their offense will look like or their defense,” Baker said of their week one foes. “It will be interesting, but we will do our best to scout and we will see what we can find out about them.”

Their week three home match-up against Bath will double as their military appreciation night. They’ll have special uniforms and paint markings on the field; but that’s just scratching the surface for what they have planned.

“We are trying to get as many active duty and retired military members there as possible, so we can say thank you,” Baker said. “We have a lot of things that we are doing to try and show our appreciation for the military. There’s a lot of excitement for that this year.”

Baker is also hoping to have his hand in more than just football at Potterville. With three open spots on the school board, he is throwing his hat in for that role too.

“Ultimately, I just want what is best for the school,” he said. “I’ve invested a lot of time and resources into improving the school and I want to make sure that the district is in the best situation moving forward. There has been a lot of negative press on the school board recently, and I want to get rid of that… We don’t have to agree on every topic but we have to be rational with things and do what is best for the district and not having our personal agendas in there. Ultimately the education of the students is what is most important.”

As for the football season, they’ll take some time off in early July and then it is all systems go.

“We take a week off for the Fourth of July and then we go back to our three day a week schedule with weightlifting and conditioning,” Baker said. “We are excited, but conditioning wise we have to be ready to go, we have to be ready to play a full game of football.”