Pigskin Preview: Kingsland ready for the high energy that comes with 9-man football

(ABC 6 News) — The Kingsland Knights are in what has been a very competitive Section 1 for 9-man football these past few seasons.

Both Spring Grove and Leroy-Ostrander have won the section and gone to the State Championship. With such a quick pace of play, many of the knights are ready to embrace facing the tough tests and intend to thrive off the high energy.

“Obviously, hit people hard, 1-0 every single play,” senior Beau Wiersma running back/linebacker said. “That’s what we preach every day at practice. Also strap up, all the wide receivers out there. It’s a goal of ours every day so, 1-0 every rep.”

“The atmosphere, the crowd and all the lights shining down,” senior wide receiver/defensive back Ayden Howard added. “It’s a pretty cool atmosphere down there and just everybody watching you. I feel like there’s no other sport that has that type of crowd.”

Wiersma will be a key cog in Kingsland’s offense after rushing for nearly 1,500 yards last year. Sophomore quarterback/defensive back Kaaleem Reiland is eager to lead the Knights on offensive drives as Kingsland has every intention of utilizing their receivers and letting the ball fly.

“It leaves our tight ends open for more opportunities, our wide receivers,” Reiland mentioned. “And with me having a year under my belt, I’m able to throw more, more (comfortably) in the pocket. Rushing, getting outside of the pocket, I have more trust in my wide receivers who have put in a lot of work in the offseason, tight ends, centers, it’s just the little things that matter.”

“We’re going to try to get to the edge a few times,” Knights head coach Matt Kolling said. “But (also) get up the middle and block it right, then there’s only one guy to stop you there too (at the) second level. It’s really just getting the athletes out in space with the ball is what it all amounts to.”

Kingsland Football’s first game of the year is against Mabel-Canton at home on Friday, September 1.