The Lions ended their season with a loss to Grant 28-14 in the MHSAA playoffs. The Lions had a 5-2 record in the CSAA and 7-3 record overall. The Lions finished 3rd in the CSAA with their two losses coming to #1 Reed City, and #2 Chippewa Hills.
Cooper Heinzman was the lone senior on the 1st Team All-Conference list for the Lions. Cooper was a defensive back and running back for the Lions. Heinzman had 848 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns offensively, and on defense had 96 tackles with 4 sacks. Heinzman was also name to the All-Area Team.
Linebackers, Noah Graff and Andrew Goodin, quarterback Connor Swinehart, running back Zachary Rodriguez, and lineman Mike Lafontsee were also named 1st Team All-Conference. Junior lineman Dylan Moore was named to the Honorable Mention Team.
Mike Lafontsee and Dylan Moore were a huge part of the line offensively and defensively. Lafontsee, a junior, was named to the 2nd Team All-Area.
Offensively, quarterback Connor Swinehart had 15 touchdowns, 768 rushing yards, and 799 passing yards on the season. The Junior was also a part of the Honorable Mention All-Area Team. Junior running back, Zachary Rodriguez had 494 rushing yards with 6 touchdowns to add to the Newaygo offense.
Junior Noah Graff (linebacker) had a team high 125 tackles with 7 sacks. Fellow Junior linebacker, Andrew Goodin had 75 tackles with 3 sacks. Graff was named 2nd Team All-Area while Goodin was a part of the Honorable Mention All-Area Team.
“We are looking to build on a strong foundation that our senior class started. My first season at Newaygo was a fun one, and I am looking forward to continuing to build Lion Pride. The guys worked extremely hard all year and bought into the hard work and dedication to the program. We will miss our seniors, but we are looking forward to getting back in the weightroom and working toward our goals,” Coach Van Essen.
A big thank you to our Senior Class: Kevin Abbott, Corey Crotser, Jarred Heideman, Cooper Heinzman, Anthony Hudson, Dalton Jones, Hunter Postma, Nick Simington, and Branden Verburg.