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Chelsea Freshman Football: Injuries Mount, Guys Continue to Compete

(Chelsea Update would like to thank coach Chris Orlandi for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea freshman football squad is 2-3, starting with a tough 28-26 loss to Trenton where starting QB Caden Steele was lost to injury that night, so I was proud to see us compete so well under those circumstances, said coach Chris Orlandi.

Brady McKale threw 2 TD passes to Sam Dawes late to give us a chance.

The team lost badly the next week to Gibraltar Carlson, again losing one of its best players during the game, Draper Montgomery.

“This game was a low point. The injuries affected the team beyond measure and nothing went right that night,” the coach said.

During week 3, “I think the players realized we had nothing to lose anymore,” he said.

Since then, the mentality of these kids has been positive and supportive. We played really well in a huge 40-8 win over SEC White rival Jackson. Guys like Hunter Burk, Luke Cavanaugh, Ben Fischer, and Wyatt Matusik really started stepping up as leaders.

We lost another skilled player in this contest Braxton Allen (who also happened to be our 3rd QB).

To make matters worse, our backup QB Brady McKale got hurt during the following week of practice.

Going into week 4, we were down to our 4th QB – Ben Van Hoek and we were facing a JV team from Voyager Prep High School in Detroit.

We had a tough time handling the Voyager team, but our offense was outstanding that day. Van Hoek was terrific at QB, and the offensive line of John Chapman, Ben Fischer, Preston Kummer, Tanner Linde, and Mitchell Rezler allowed us to rack up yards on the ground.

Max Collins also had a big game at receiver. After recovering an onside kick, CHS had the ball with a chance to tie the game at the end. We weren’t able to earn the tie, but what the team accomplished with a 4th QB against a quality JV team was tremendous. The final was 46-38.

This week, we squared off against another SEC White opponent in Adrian. It was the defense that rose to the occasion this time. We forced 3 turnovers and a safety in an 8-0 defensive slugfest.

Defensive linemen Cody Kennard, Kaiden Trevino, Michael Niles, and Ben Van Hoek were instrumental in the win. Wyatt Matusik and Sam Dawes were leaders at the linebacker level, and Wyatt Sisler had a big interception in the secondary.

In addition, the team has had an excellent player Alex Venegas out for all 5 games.

“Our guys just keep competing. They keep working hard in practice. They trust each other. Most importantly, they care for and respect each other. For that reason, coaching this team has been a truly rewarding experience for me personally,” Orlandi said, adding. “I’m glad we are only halfway done. I’m excited to see how we improve in our last month together.”

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