FRASER – Despite the injuries and adversity, the losses and the setbacks, Fraser High’s football team continues to battle on.
And coach Pat Threet couldn’t be more proud of his Ramblers.
“I’ve got kids who are dedicated,” Threet said. “We’re losing. We’re 1-7. No one’s quitting. They’re here every day. They show up. They’re great young men.”
Fraser’s 18-17 homecoming loss to Macomb L’Anse Creuse North Oct. 12 was full of examples of what the coach was talking about.
The Crusaders, who picked up their sixth win and are headed to the playoffs, scored an early touchdown. The Ramblers weren’t intimidated, answering quickly and eventually taking a 17-6 lead. North ended up retaking the lead, but Fraser never quit, battling all game long.
It turned out to be the team’s third close loss of the season — all coming against playoff teams. Fraser started the season with a touchdown loss on the road at Marysville High. Two weeks later, the Ramblers lost again by just seven points to Macomb Area Conference Blue Division champion Grosse Pointe South on the road.
And Fraser has fought its competition hard, despite losing starters to injuries, as Threet noted that “third- and fourth-string guys are in there battling and giving their whole heart.”
One such player was junior Nate Heyward, a linebacker who has had to add running back duties to his plate because of injuries to other players. Heyward rushed for about 90 yards in an Oct. 5 loss to Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse. He then went over the century mark, racking up more than 100 yards against L’Anse Creuse North during the homecoming game, including rushing for a touchdown while getting banged up, himself.
“We think he’s got something for the next year,” Threet said about the emerging two-way star. “And he showed us that, some glimpses. He’s a good kid and works hard.”
North coach Anthony Kiner was impressed by Fraser’s fight.
“They fought. We knew coming in here they’re a good, physical team,” he said. “They fought their butts off. They’re a heck of a ball team, and I look forward to playing them in the future.”
Threet knows that no matter what the future brings, his team will be ready.
“To have kids that come back day after day after day when you’ve got one win, these kids are absolutely incredible,” the Fraser coach said.
The Ramblers wrap up the regular season on the road at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Sterling Heights High.
For more details from Fraser’s homecoming game against North and photos from the Ramblers For A Cause game against Grosse Pointe North, visit our website at www.candgnews.com.
Chippewa drops one to Dakota
Chippewa Valley, meanwhile, was looking for its sixth win of the season and a playoff berth hosting rival Macomb Dakota Oct. 12. Chippewa shot out to a 13-0 lead, but Dakota wound up winning 17-13 to take the MAC Red title outright and drop the Big Reds to 5-3 on the season.
Chippewa will look to lock up an automatic bid into the postseason when it hosts MAC White champs Port Huron High at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 in the regular-season finale. While six wins automatically qualify teams for the playoffs, some squads may make the playoffs at 5-4, depending on the number of automatic qualifying teams across the state.