IRON COUNTY—Football started flying through the air on Monday, as football practice got under way at both West Iron County and Forest Park.
Except for helmets, the athletes won’t wear any protective equipment until Thursday, Aug. 9. That’s a state rule.
Both the Wykons and Trojans will play full nine-game regular seasons this fall. Forest Park filled its Week 5 gap this season by adding North Central to the schedule. The Jets will visit Dick Mettlach Field on Sept. 21, and the JV teams will meet at Powers Sept. 20.
Week 5 was when the Trojans used to play Ewen-Trout Creek. It was an open date last year.
West Iron had to scramble to find a Week 1 opponent. In 2011, the Wykons were supposed to play Three Lakes, Wis., in Week 1, but the Bluejays forfeited due to injuries. For 2012, the Wykons had to find a new opponent.
Coach/AD Mike Berutti finally found one close to the Ohio state line. It’s Pittsford, which also needed a Week 1 game. Pittsford is a Class D school, enrollment 215. Their colors are also blue and white.
In 2011, the Wildcats went 6-2. In the Division 8 playoffs, they defeated Morenci 20-7 before losing to Climax-Scotts 15-7.
Since the schools are over 500 miles apart, the game will be played at St. Ignace on Saturday, Aug. 25. The JV teams will kick off at 12:30 p.m. (Central Time), with the varsity contest following at 3:30.
Meanwhile, Forest Park opens its 2012 season at home Aug. 24 against Bark River-Harris.
For Week 2, Labor Day weekend, both varsity teams play on Thursday, Aug. 30—the Wykons at L’Anse and Forest Park at Norway.
West Iron’s first varsity game at Nelson Field will be Sept. 7 against Iron Mountain. Other home games are Sept. 14 vs. Ironwood; Sept. 22 vs. Houghton (Saturday afternoon; Homecoming); and Oct. 19 against Bark River-Harris.
Besides the Bark River and North Central games, Forest Park’s other home games are Sept. 7 against Hurley; Oct. 5 with Baraga (Homecoming); and Oct. 19 vs. Lake Linden-Hubbell.