COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – Much has changed within the Comstock Park football program.
“After a 1-6 season, we knew we had to change a lot of things,” said second-year head coach Doug Samuels.
The team are off to a 6-0 start for the first time since 2013, when the team made the third of three consecutive trips to the state semifinals.
“It has changed in school too, the teachers are saying a good job and it’s a bit new because we haven’t won a lot lately,” said senior quarterback Jackson Gates.
Comstock Park football pays tribute to local heroes
Confidence is growing within the program but also within the Comstock Park community.
“Everyone is excited, every day at school and people talk about our 6-0 record and our wins, a lot has changed,” added senior lineman Jon Watson.
Gates and many seniors remember when the Panthers’ program was dominant less than a decade ago.
“It reminds me of when I was little,” Gates smirked, “we were all water boys for the team and they went like 13-0 I think in 2013, so it’s almost like that, we are believed in more and I hope that the stands will be full this Friday. “
In the six weeks of the season, the team have only played one game at home, but will play their last three games of the regular season at Panther Stadium, which has players excited.
“It will be nice to look up and see it full, the whole area of grass full, there should only be standing,” said Gates.
This Friday night, the CP football team will continue to honor local heroes as they did in Week 4 in this home win over Godwin Heights.
The Panthers are taken to the field for every home game by these local heroes, who are different for every game.
“At the start of this year, with last year being so unique, we decided to honor some of the heroes of CP in our community,” added Samuels.
Panther’s four home games will be dedicated to a different group of people who gave their all during the pandemic; health workers, first responders, teachers, small business owners and even parents.
“In the only home game we had COVID first responders, firefighters and stuff like that,” Watson added, “they were talking to us and putting the pressure on us before the game. “
Gates says players love having the community leaders with them for the pre-game.
“That’s a reason a lot of us are still here, they fought the most during the pandemic and all of that good stuff is good to appreciate it and show them that we appreciate it.”
It’s a simple way to say “thank you” to those who have given and continue to give so much of themselves.
“I think something that we don’t do enough as a human race is to show our appreciation and tell people that you are grateful for what they do,” Samuels said, “so if we are able to do that to a small extent to have them take us on the pitch, I think that’s something that we should do and be 6-0 and do it, it’s really very special. “
The Panthers will host Calvin Christian on Friday night at Panther Stadium with the goal of going 7-0.