East Grand Rapids loves the competition in the O-K White

(WZZM) -- East Grand Rapids has had one of the most solid football programs in the state.

The Pioneers won five straight state championships from 2006 to 2010, but they haven't made the playoffs since 2011.

Head coach Peter Stuursma is confident the team will excel in 2014 and enjoys the competition in the O-K White conference.

"It's the fact that you get physical teams every night that are going to bring the heat. What that does is that, then, you find where your depth is and you're going to have to have guys step up," Stuursma explains.

"Top to bottom, they're tough schools to compete with and they always have been."

Even though they haven't had success in recent years, Stuursma says that the team doesn't dwell on past seasons.

"Nobody is going to feel sorry for East Grand Rapids... That's the way life is. It's a balancing act. We don't talk a lot about it but our guys know it's there and they know what's in front of them."

Quarterback Mikey Roth has been part of the program for three years and grew up in Grand Rapids.

The great competition in the O-K White is one of the things he loves about being a Pioneer.

"Every week it's a big game, there's never a low point. Always the stands are filled, people come out and support, and every week you have to be laser focused."

East Grand Rapids plays their first game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central on August 29th.


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