By JAMES COOK firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — David Lipscomb is going to make a little history Friday night.
The Traverse City Christian senior will become the first player to become a four-year starter for the Sabres, who aim to make big steps in the program’s fourth season.
“It’s an honor,” Lipscomb said. “It’s a lot of fun. I’m glad I was able to start it up and be a part of this program.”
A.J. Weber is the only other senior on the team, which has a program-best 20 players.
“We used to only be able to play eight-man football, because we just didn’t have enough guys,” Lipscomb said. “But now we almost have enough guys to scrimmage ourselves. It makes it a lot easier.”
It appears the Sabres will be guaranteed at least one win. The lone squad they defeated in last year’s 1-8 season — Big Rapids Crossroads — is already listed as a forfeit for its Week One game against Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest.
Lipscomb started his prep career as an offensive guard for his first two and a half seasons, but injuries to running backs last year necessitated his move to halfback, which is more of a blocking position in coach Darryl Wiggins’ motion back option offense.
“He would be, in my opinion, potentially an all-state guard,” Wiggins said. “He’s that good at guard. But with the lack of running backs, we put him in as a blocking back. He’s a fantastic blocker.”
Wiggins said the scheme — which he calls the Sabre Offense — is a motion back option one based on Wing-T principles, similar to Ohio State University’s.
“I can use what speed we have and get them outside and do some reading to help our line out,” Wiggins said.
The Sabres won their first game in program history last year, 66-48 over Crossroads. Wiggins said he aims to surpass that number this season, the program’s second playing 11-man football.
The team has eight players with returning experience, more than they’ve had before. Last season, the entire team had 14 athletes put on the TC Christian helmet.
“I’m really hoping we can win three this year,” Wiggins said. “We won one last year. I’m hoping this year we can take three. ... We’re a lot better team this year than last year.”
And of the 20 on the squad, many are from the team’s large sophomore class.
“If these kids stay with it, I think we’ve finally got a good core group,” Wiggins said. “A lot of sophomores. We’re probably about 70 percent sophomores now.”