After Pioneer lost its season opener to Anchor Bay in the final seconds, Pioneer Coach Bill Bellers talked about not only about life lessons but life itself.
“It was a very emotional game,” Bellers said after Pioneer lost 16-13 after a late field goal. “It was a tough game to take. But I told them that it’s a game and it’s like life. It’s a struggle. Like in life, there are struggles and hardships. They worked extremely hard and it still didn’t come out the way they wanted to and that happens in life every day. Football is a great correlation to how life goes.”
A LOOK AT WEEK 2 IN HS FOOTBALL: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/08/29/week-two-a-look-ahead-at-this-weeks-high-school-football-matchups/
Life also moves on and the Pioneers have moved on. They will hit the road in week two and face St. Johns on Thursday. The Redwings (5-4 last season) lost 40-6 in their season opener to East Lansing.
“They play in a pretty tough league up there,” said Pioneer Coach Bill Bellers. “This will be their first home game so we are both going to be looking for that first win. It’s a big game for both teams.”
Pioneer spent the week working on areas that needed improvement and reinforcing what worked during the game with Anchor Bay.
“There are lessons that we can take away from it and it’s hard to let that sink in for them in the moment because their emotions are so high,” Bellers said. “We are fortunate that we have eight more games to play. We have time to correct the things that led us to this outcome in the first game. We need to use that game as a way to get better.”
There were plenty of positives despite the final score. The defense showed great speed, athleticism and intensity, not only chasing down runners and covering pass plays but creating turnovers. This defense will keep the Pioneers in a lot of games this year.
“Our defense played very well,” Bellers said. “We had some turnovers but we also had a few takeaways. We made big plays that kept us in the game. Yes, there are things that need to be fixed but there also are plenty of good things to build on.”
A great story to come out of the game was the play of senior Dave Brines. He was in the mix for the starting quarterback position during camp but lost out to sophomore Conor Easthope in what Bellers called a close competition.
Brines found another way to contribute, and contribute in a huge way. He blocked a punt and then blocked what would have been the game-leading extra point in the fourth quarter.
“The guy we had in as a starting safety hurt his ankle in the middle of the week so Dave stepped up and played really well,” Bellers said. “Those were two big plays on special teams for sure.”
Pioneer opens the SEC schedule on Sept. 7 against visiting Tecumseh.