Patriot Game Takes Over “Overtime on the Road”

TRAVERSE CITY – Defending Big North Conference champion Traverse City Central welcomes in rival West in the fifth annual Patriot Game and for our “Overtime on the Road” matchup on Friday.

Honoring current and former members of the armed forces, this year’s Patriot Game benefits the Traverse City branch of Veteran 2 Veteran Mentoring, an organization that matches veteran mentors with those returning from activity duty and adjusting to civilian life.

“The Patriot Game and its significance surrounding the game, there’s a lot more community involvement, community members,” Central coach Eric Schugars said. “It’s just a great atmosphere for our young men to be able to play a football game and also honor veterans and first responders in the process.”

“What we’ve done with the Patriot Game and the stage and the platform that we’ve been able to create for veterans and fallen heroes and their families has, in my mind, been equally as important as what’s going on the football field,” added West coach Tim Wooer.

West leads the all-time series at 12-7 and will look to snap a two-game skid to Central, having dropping the previous two meetings by a touchdown.

With both programs entering undefeated for the first time in the rivalry’s history, the game carries an extra incentive.

“It’s a lot like a college atmosphere, really,” West senior Bobby Howell said. “You’ve got all these people, you’ve got the band and you’ve got the two teams. We’re here to honor those who have served in our armed forces. It’s just a tremendous atmosphere to be playing in.”

West continues Big North play next Friday at Petoskey, while Central returns to non-league action, hosting Portage Central.

Categories: Football