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  • Jim Townsend

St. Patrick’s football team looks to continue winning ways in 2017

The Shamrock varsity football team is coming off a spectacular 2016 season, where they finished with a 10 win and one loss record.

On the offensive side, they must replace starting quarterback Jarrid Pline, who threw for 599 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, as well leading rusher Sam Hodge who ran for 889 yards on the season. The whole starting offensive line also graduated last year.

When asked about preparation leading up to this week’s opening game, assistant coach Aaron Thelen said, “The guys put in a lot of good work over the summer in the weight room and conditioned really well. We came into the first week of official practice ready to go and the guys look ready for another great season.”

Returning seniors Isiah Smith, Will Simon and Colin Cook will play an important role for the 2017 Shamrocks. Smith will be playing running back and linebacker, while Simon plays cornerback and receiver, and Cook is a receiver and defensive end.

Coach Thelen also has some high hopes for the newcomers to the team. Thelen said, “Junior QB Tanner Lawson has emerged as a major bright spot for our team. Paul Cook, Ned Smith, John Schneider, and Alex and Riley Kissane will be big contributors on both sides of the ball.”

Thelen added, “We have a lot of team speed and we tackle well. We may not be the biggest team around but we won't shy away from a hit.”

The St. Patrick’s varsity football team participates in the Central Michigan 8-Man Conference.

This is St. Patrick’s sixth season participating in 8-Man football according to Thelen. As of July 13, 2017, the Michigan High School Athletic Association lists 61 teams statewide participating in 8-man football for the 2017 season ( The MHSAA has sanctioned 8-Man football since the 2009-2010 school year (

The team’s head coach is Patrick Russman. He is assisted by Thelen, Ben Cross, Todd Davlin, Ross Schneider and Mike Coyne.

The Shamrocks will host Waldron at Portland High School this Friday at 7:00 PM.

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