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High expectations for Rogers City football

Senior wide receiver J.D. Ellenberger runs passing route at midnight practice.

ROGERS CITY, Mich. — The Michigan High School fall season is finally here, and that means football is back. Two Northeast Michigan teams kicked off their season in style right under the stadium lights, Posen and Rogers City. The RC Hurons lit up opening day with a midnight practice and camp out at Gilpin Field.

“It feels so good to be back,” said senior wide receiver/safety J.D. Ellenberger. “I’ve been missing this ever since last season was over.”

After finishing the 2018 regular season (8-1), the Hurons lost in the first round of playoffs. This season, second-year Head Coach Jesse Fenstermaker is excited about their dual threat offense with seven returning seniors, four of which are on the front line.

“Teams aren’t going to know what to make of us whether we’re going to run or pass. We’re going to keep them on their toes.”

First-year varsity quarterback Isaac Hein has a cannon for an arm, and he will lead the charge as a junior.

“Ever since he was on JV we knew he’d be a stud when he was playing,” said senior receiver/corner back Jaylen Fleming. “He can throw a beautiful ball. As long as his heads up, we should do great.”

Rogers City can count on their receiver corp, especially Ellenberger who has great hands on offense and defense. He caught seven interceptions last season.

“You can always count on him if you get burned,” said Fleming. “You know he’s back there. He’s got some hops. He has really good hands.”

The Hurons will have to rely on their skills instead of their size.

“Probably a lot faster team,” said Ellenberger. “We’re not that big, but we’ve got some guys that can take care of business, so pound them you know.”

Rogers City looks to start their season off strong against Whittemore-Prescott for a North Star League Showdown on Friday, August 30 at 7 p.m. on the road. Last year, this opening matchup resulted in a 20-17 victory for the Hurons.