Edwardsburg Eddies led by experienced senior class; preparing for run at state title
EDWARDSBURG, Mich. (WNDU) - The Edwardsburg Eddies football team has played in state semifinal the last two seasons, but they didn’t punch their ticket to Ford Field on either occasion.
However, they’re huge class of seniors is using those experiences that they went through together to reload this upcoming season for another run at a state championship.
The Eddies spoke with 16 Sports about this year’s team chemistry, and how they’re hoping that gets them over the hump.
“We feel really good,” says senior lineman Brennen Brady-Brittain. “We have a lot of seniors coming back, 27 total, and we have a lot of people that have been in those big games that we’ve had last year. We have a lot of people that had experience, so we feel really confident this year.”
Senior linebacker Blake Ludwick agreed.
“I think the team chemistry is really what’s going to set us apart from a lot of other teams because we love each other,” Ludwick says. “The locker room conversations are great. There’s not really any two people in that locker room that don’t get along, so it’s really a brotherhood.”
Head Coach Kevin Bartz also expressed confidence in this year’s team.
“There’s a lot of kids that have been with the program since they were seven years old, and the captains that I have this year have been phenomenal,” Bartz says. “Along with that, when you’ve got that many seniors—guys that know what’s going on, those that can help the younger ones—it’s just been a really easy group to work with.”
At the beginning of fall camp, Bartz told his team they’ll be “burning the boats”, which is reference to Cortés landing in Mexico and telling his crew to burn their boats—they’ll either take over or die trying. And as a team that’s lost in back-to-back state semifinals, they’ve embraced that.
The Eddies start their run for another state championship on Aug. 26 against Grand Rapids West Catholic at Hope College’s Ray and Sue Smith Stadium in Holland. And considering the Eddies averaged 57 points per game in Wolverine Conference games last season, this could be their biggest challenge until the postseason.
“Obviously, going against a team that’s going to be a state power in their division also this year,” Bartz says. “It’ll be in front of a big crowd. We know it’s going to be a lot of excitement, so obviously going into that, if we can get a win against West Catholic, and on the other hand if we don’t, it’s just a measuring stick.”
Brady-Brittain and Ludwick both say that a win over the Falcons would be a big boost of confidence for the Eddies.
“A week one win would be really big for us,” Brady-Brittain says. “It would give us a lot more confidence because they’re really good. They obviously have that all-state running back that is really good, so if we win, it’s going to put us on the map.”
“This would be a perfect way to start the season, Ludwick says. “You go into a college campus, you play one of the other powerhouse programs in the state and getting a win would be huge.”
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