Historical Highland Title Within Reach for Lake City

LAKE CITY – A storyline three decades in the making is taking shape on the Lake City gridiron this fall.

A year after a 2-7 campaign, an undefeated Trojan squad is in line to claim their first Highland Conference title since sharing the league crown with Pine River and Marion back in 1989.

With a win over Pine River on Friday, Lake City can claim at least a share of that long sought-after conference title.

“We’re kinda putting that Lake City football mentality back on the map,” senior Wyatt Bisballe said.

“It’s kind of hard to really to put into words. I mean it’s been such a long time,” added second-year coach Kyle Smith. “It’s been 28 years ago since this has happened — I was three years old at the time. These kids, though, they’re really excited, but they deserve it. Every team works hard, but I just feel like our team has really put in, like, the maximum amount of effort.”

An honorable mention team in the latest Associated Press Division 6 poll, the Trojans are off to their first 5-0 start since 2013 and have a chance to go 6-0 for only the third time since 1987.

“We had high expectations coming into this year, and we’re just hoping not to let anybody down,” junior Miles McLeod said.

“I feel like we had high expectations and I definitely think that so far into the year we’ve met them and we still have four more games and hopefully more after that, that we should continue to strive for,” added senior Jimmy Young. “We have a lot going behind us, we have a good community support and it’s really something special to put a number up on a banner.”

Lake City added another feather in its cap last week with its come-from-behind 20-14 homecoming win over Beal City, which marked the first win over the Aggies since 2011.

“We knew that we were going to have success. I mean, I’m not going to lie I thought that we were going to be as good as what we are,” Smith said. “As a coach, I’m trying to be positive, and I say yeah, I thought that we could do this.”

With league games against Pine River and Evart still on the docket before closing out the regular season with Alcona and Morley Stanwood, Lake City is taking it one week at a time.

“These games are just as important, you know, they’re trap games,” McLeod said. “We just really got to focus on and keep our heads in the right place and take it to them.

Lake City travels to defending conference champion Pine River on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Categories: Football