NEGAUNEE — In Irontown USA, high school football is back and the Negaunee Miners are ready to turn their work in the off season into success on the field.
“Went through the winter and spring, and all the preparation for this time right here to be able to come out and start your 2016 season. We’re excited. The kids are excited. We got good numbers this year and we’re just looking forward to getting practice over with and start playing games,” head coach Paul Jacobson said.
Negaunee went 7–3 last season, losing to Calumet at home in pre–districts. The team was carried by a solid group of seniors who left their mark on the team.
“Last year was a good group. They led by example. And I think that’s what they passed on. They know what it takes to win. They know what it takes to have success and the hard work that goes into it. I think that’s the biggest thing our seniors were able to do last year is show the younger guys what it does take to have success,” Jacobson said.
The Miners will be led this year by senior quarterback Brock Aho, who was thrusted into the starting lineup last year after a season–ending injury to Ben Luke. He says the experience he had was invaluable.
“It was very big because I don’t know if I would’ve had the confidence that I have now. Starting off last year was kind of shaky, and then once I got into it, I was pretty confident and I think that helps this year for sure,” said Aho.
“He responded well. He wasn’t phased. He’s got a tremendous work ethic. He assumed his role and knew what he needed to do. He’s a team player and I think that’s just going to help him that much more this year,” said Jacobson.
The team will have some stiff competition within the Mid–Pen Conference, but they know the focus and intensity must be at an all–time in order for them to reach the next level of success.
“We got to focus on what we got to do. Do good on practicing plays, get used to them, go home and look at them, study them just so we can be ready,” Aho said.
“We just got to work on maintaining and getting better each practice and focusing on what we need to do as a team and what level we’re at,” Jacobson said.
Negaunee will open the season on the road on August 26th at Manistique.