MAPLE CITY — In the past two years the Glen Lake football team has won 16 regular season games and won a game in each of the last two playoffs.
But an argument can be made the Lakers are doing their best work off the field.
For the second straight year Glen Lake has won the Steve Spicer Memorial Team Leadership Award, an honor handed out annually by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. The award is presented each year to a select few teams in the state for being actively involved in community service-type work. This year the Lakers put in 472 hours of community service on a variety of projects to help the team earn the award.
“It’s just one of those things that we strive for every year,” said Glen Lake head coach Jerry Angers. “I think it means that we’re doing the right things with these kids. They’re unbelievable.”
Throughout the year Angers’s team takes on several different tasks, including helping the Glen Lake Women’s Club haul books for the group’s book fair each summer, volunteering to get roughly 1,000 competitors’ kayaks out of the water during the M-22 Challenge and assisting the DNR with building trails, cleaning up trash and stacking wood in the Pigeon River Forest. On Sunday, more than a dozen members of the team went to Grand Traverse Mall and used money earned from the team banquet to buy close to $900 worth of Christmas gifts for the needy.
“I think this is our fourth year of Christmas shopping. Jennifer Lee organizes it for me,” Angers said of the gift-buying initiative. “She has all these little envelopes with the sizes and how much everything is going to cost to buy the things. The kids drive into the mall, a 30-minute drive, they shop for an hour and a half and have a half-hour drive home, taking time of their own. It’s them being able to do that, knowing there’s going to be a smile on the faces of the kids with Christmas gifts they probably couldn’t afford.”