KENT CITY—Football practices got underway on Monday as local teams prepare for season openers in approximately two weeks.
The Kent City Eagles are one of many local teams that will be under the direction of a new head coach.
Coach Zach Gropp is taking the helm at Kent City after spending five seasons on Coach Bill Crane’s staff. During Crane’s tenure, the Eagles composed a 43-15 record including four CSAA Silver championships and five playoff appearances. Gropp coached at Portage Central for one season after graduating from Olivet College where he played linebacker for the Comets.
This year’s schedule features White Pigeon (Week 8), Gropp’s alma-mater. It will also be a special game for the first year coach as his father Mike Gropp is a long time assistant coach for the Chiefs. Coach Gropp hopes to lead the Eagles to another conference championship and return to playoffs after missing them in 2021.
There will not be much of learning curve for the players at Kent City as a majority of the staff is back after coaching several years under Bill Crane. One major change for the Eagles on day one were the white helmets, after years of wearing red.
Check out some of the practice session below on Monday at Kent City. Photo’s are courtesy of the Kent City Athletic Department.