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Cam's gone but a cast of characters are ready to lead Muskegon to a state title

Losing a superstar is nothing new for the Big Reds. That's why they're confident about their chances in 2020.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — For the first time in three years, Muskegon can’t rely on the talents of Cameron Martinez to save the day. But if you think they’re in crisis mode after losing a two-time Mr. Football, well then you don’t know what the Big Reds are all about.

“You know, Anthony Bradford is playing at LSU, we had to replace him. Ladarius Jefferson is at Michigan State, we had to replace him. KP (Kalil Pimpleton) was at Virginia Tech, now he’s at Central, we had to replace him," said Muskegon head coach Shane Fairfield. “Now we just got to find a way to replace a kid who is playing at Ohio State.”

Experience gives Fairfield, entering his 11th year in charge, a sense of comfort as he hands over the keys to the offense to Amari Crowley, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior quarterback who already has offers from both Cincinnati and Central Michigan.

“He’s had a great summer,” Fairfield said. “He’s worked really hard. He’s very deserving of the recognition that he’s gotten. “

RELATED: 'It's an honor' | Cameron Martinez reflects on legacy at Muskegon

Crowley will be asked to do a lot this season, but he won’t be asked to do it all alone.

“We got people to help Amari Crowley like me,” said senior slot receiver Tyreese Oakes. “(We have) senior safety Julius Sims, and senior guard Tayvid Elmore, and all the rest of the seniors that are going to help.”

Tyreese Oakes is a guy you’ll want to keep an eye on. The senior slot receiver has over 10 Division I offers and has been a key contributor to Muskegon’s recent playoff runs.

Despite a new cast of characters leading the way this year, Oakes believes they’ll get back to the title game once again and win their first championship state title since 2017.

“We had bigger guys last year and we kind of went down in height and weight but we’re still going to bring what we got,” Oakes said.

The Big Reds are still a work in progress but just as their revamped stadium is ready for opening night, Muskegon is confident they’ll be ready too. 

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