Orion football opens with Hall
After missing the playoffs with a 4-5 record last season, Orion's varsity football team is working hard to improve.
Coach Chip Filler is entering his 14th season with an 85-45 record.
"We're excited to see just how this team stacks up," Filler said. "These boys have worked extremely hard in the offseason and have been extremely motivated. With all the experience, we should be extremely competitive."
The Chargers should be improved in all areas of the game, the coach said.
Returning varsity letter winners include seven seniors. They are Cole Kratzberg, running back and defensive back; Lane Johnson, running back and linebacker; Blayden Murdock, Kameron Weaver and Keagan Blessman, wide receiver and defensive back, and Kate Stropes and Quincy Perry, offensive and defensive lineman.Also returning are juniors Nolan Loete and Luke Dunlap, offensive and defensive lineman, and sophomore Duncan Adamson, tight end and defensive lineman.
New to the varsity are four seniors, including Drake Gunn, quarterback and defensive back; Connor Green, running back and linebacker; Gabe Masias, tight end and defensive lineman, and Andrew Meiresonne, wide receiver and defensive back.
Also new to varsity are junior Ty Moore, tight end and linebacker, and Maddux Anderson, running back and defensive back.
Projected starters are freshman Kale Filler, quarterback, who has grown up watching the game from the sidelines; Kratzberg, running back and defensive back, and Murdock, wide receiver, defensive back, kicker and punter.
"We feel like all the experience we have returning puts us in a great position to be very competitive," Filler said.
Last year the Chargers were 3-3 for fourth place in the Three Rivers Rock division. This season the coach expects Rockridge, Monmouth-Roseville and Erie-Prophetstown to battle for the top spot.
The Chargers open with three games against Three Rivers Mississippi opponents. They are Spring Valley Hall, coming to Charger Field on Friday, Aug. 26; Princeton, hosting Orion on Thursday, Sept. 1, and Sterling Newman, traveling to Orion on Friday, Sept. 9.
Orion has an open date on Friday, Sept. 16, which was supposed to be the Homecoming game with Rock opponent Riverdale. The Rams only have seven varsity players and opted to cancel the season. The Chargers are hoping to find an opponent to play on Friday night or maybe Saturday, Sept. 17.
The remaining conference schedule stars with a trip to Erie to play Erie-Prophetstown on Friday, Sept. 23. Monmouth-Roseville comes to Charger Field on Friday, Sept. 30.
Final conference games of the season are Friday, Oct. 7, at Morrison; Friday, Oct. 14, versus Sherrard at Charger Field, and Friday, Oct. 21, at Rockridge.
The Sherrard game will be senior night and perhaps Homecoming, too, if no opponent is found to replace Riverdale. All kickoffs are at 7 p.m.