Lack of numbers won’t deter Mountaineers this season

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Mountaineers football team has improved on their win total in each of the past three seasons. Last year’s team went 8–3, their highest win total since 2011, when the Mountaineers made it all the way to the state semi–finals. So needless to say, a tradition has clearly been established inside the yellow walls.

“Hats off to that senior class last year. There were 16 seniors that did well in the game of football. They will do well in the game of life. They had great parents, great attitudes and a good head on their shoulders. You’d like to think are juniors last year learned from them in terms of how to practice and how to prepare and how to play the game of football so we’re hoping that carries through to this year,” said head coach Robin Martilla.

“The coaches have been expecting a lot out of me. They’ve taken me to the side a few times to talk to me, just making sure I’m pushing good attitudes on the rest of the players. Make sure I’m not hearing anything negative and just stepping up as a leader and a senior,” quarterback Jacob Tucker said.

“It’s a lot of weight on our shoulders, the two senior captains, me and Jacob. We have to lead this smaller team and try to get them to work hard,” said tight end Evan Geronimi.

How small are those numbers? Last year’s squad had close to 30 players and going into this season, Iron Mountain will have just half. But Coach Martilla isn’t too concerned.

“Your numbers every year might be a concern if you have injuries. This year it’s a little more focused because of the fact that we need to stay healthy. We got 17 guys here that are working hard and trying to stay away from the injury bug, just like you would if you had 30 guys. That’s something we’ve talked about on a weekly basis, and just do the best job we can with the guys we got. I guess that’s our focus on a daily basis, worried about us and trying to improve and trying to get better,” Martilla said.

The Mountaineers will open their season on the road next Friday against Ishpeming.