By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal

Muskegon Heights Public School Academy is still seeking football games to fill its 2012 schedule.

Athletic director Glen Metcalf said the Tigers currently sport a six-game schedule and are tentatively set to open the season on Saturday, Sept. 8 with a home game against Harper Woods. The jayvee game will start at 1 p.m., followed by the varsity contest about 3:30 p.m.

Metcalf nearly had a game lined up for Week 2, but Henry Ford Academy backed out of that contest. Metcalf is seeking a game for Aug. 30-31 against other schools which have open dates on that weekend. He has calls in to Mio and Bronson.

Oakridge, Muskegon and Inkster dropped games against the Tigers due to the uncertainty about football during the Heights’ transition to a charter school operation. Week 4 also is currently open on the Tigers’ schedule.

Heights’ scheduled games are against Harper Woods, Manistee, Gary Bowman Academy, Muskegon Catholic, Melvindale Academy and Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart.

Metcalf hopes the Tigers can line up a Week 2 opponent, so the team can start playing games after being idle in Week 1.

“I don’t want the kids to sit that long,” Metcalf said. “If we don’t get that game, we only have six games. If we can get to seven games, I will feel good. I want the kids to play as many games as possible this year.”

Heights currently has a five-game jayvee schedule. Metcalf said the jayvees currently have about 20 players and he expects to attract more participants.

Fruitport will honor former head football coach Steve Wilson before Thursday’s home opener against Reeths-Puffer.

A tailgate begins at 5 p.m. – a  $10 purchase gets fans a ticket to the game, a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad and a drink. The cost is $30 for a family.

Wilson will be honored at 6:45 p.m. before the 7 p.m. kickoff against the Rockets.

Wilson stepped down after 23 years as head coach. He compiled a 148-79 record with 13 state playoff appearances and one state runner-up finish.

Former Muskegon Heights football coach Willie Snead has left the college scene and returned to the high school game. He is the head coach at Florida’s Palm Beach Lakes High School, which finished 1-9 last season and 2-8 in in 2010.

Turning around programs is nothing new for Snead, who’s best known for his fast-paced, no-huddle spread offense.

Snead left Heights in 2011 to become the offensive coordinator at Division I-AA Hampton University in Virginia. Hampton made big strides on offense and averaged 28 points per game under his direction.

Snead, a native of nearby Belle Glade, Fla., coached Glades Central to a state title in 2006. He also coached Holland Christian to a Division 4 state crown in 2008 and led Muskegon Heights to a spot in the Division 5 state semifinals in 2009.

His son Willie Snead IV is a wide receiver at Ball State University. Last season as a freshman, Snead made four starts with 28 catches for 327 yards (11.7 avg.) and two touchdowns.

Former Newaygo coach Jeremy Gasper is back on the sidelines as a head coach at East Kentwood.

Gasper was named the interim head coach after Greg Hudkins resigned on Aug. 6.

Gasper was elevated to interim head coach after serving for three years as an EK assistant, including duties as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

Note: Have any prep football tips, story ideas? Email Mike Mattson at [email protected]