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Schoolcraft football takes to the frozen gridiron with regional title in their sights

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Schoolcraft's linemen hit the sled as they slide through the slush on their practice field (WWMT/Luke Edwards)

The handful of teams from West Michigan still alive in the Michigan High School Athletic Association football playoffs were able to put on full pads for the first time in over a month and a half.

Schoolcraft has soared through their last six games winning by an average of 37.6 points. The Eagles lone loss came to Division 3 powerhouse Chelsea. The last time Schoolcraft took the field was Nov. 13 in a 42-7 win over Lawton and just when it looked like the Eagles had all the momentum, a two-week pause on high school sports turned into nearly a six-week pause before teams were able to put full pads on. Eagles head coach Nathan Ferency credits his team for staying focused despite all they've been through.

"Hats off to my guys. They have endured and endured and endured and they've done everything we've asked and their spirits are up and they've stuck with it. If the opportunity eventually comes we'll be ready," Ferency said.

Senior wide receiver Harmon DeVries has been one of the veteran leaders keeping the team dialed in at the task at hand.

"It's definitely been tough. We've had a lot of hope everyone just thought that we were going to keep on going we got stopped unfortunately after we beat Lawton but we all just have the same mindset as a team and we're going to stay focused. We're going to keep being ready, we're going to keep working out doing what we can, so we got our opportunity and here we are out here in the snow and we're really thankful and really happy that we can be out here and finish our season," DeVries said.

Throwing a football around in the snow with snow gear has been something kids have done for fun, but senior lineman Connor Webb has enjoyed playing in the snow-covered ground with something at stake.

"It's been a lot of fun especially with me as a lineman, I feel like linemen have more fun with it sliding around everywhere in the dirt and the mud it just brings you back to when you were a little kid playing in the snow with all your gear on. It's a lot of fun," Webb said.

Schoolcraft was scheduled to face Lumen Christi on Jan. 9, 2021, with the game slated to be played at Portage Central's McCamley Field with kickoff times yet to be determined.