TRAVERSE CITY — There'll be a lot of familiar faces on the field Saturday when the Traverse City Wolves open up their 2013 season against the Muskegon Mustangs.
And that familiarity won't be limited to one side.
The Wolves bring back a fair number of players from last year's squad, but the Mustangs will also have a lot of faces who dedicated Traverse City fans will remember.
Muskegon is coached by former Wolves coach Brad Haney — and have a roster littered with ex-Wolves, including quarterback Aaron James, running back B.J. Chandler, defensive backs Holsey James, Corey Edwards, Kajauntae Pennington and Evest Briggs and linebacker Karey Morrow-Bey.
"There's probably between 10 and 15 players on their team that came up and played for us when Brad was the coach," TC head coach Rich Micham said. "It's going to be a good war, because we know a lot about each other, even though we haven't watched each other play much."
Haney coached Traverse City for the 2010 season and was in a different league last year before returning the Great Midwest Football League in Muskegon, which is a much shorter commute from his hometown of Grand Rapids than Traverse City.
"It'll be something different," Wolves linebacker Matt Ohlert said. "But then again, playing the big TC Central-TC West rivalry games, we're used to having a few friends from across town on the other side of the ball. Yeah, they do live a couple hours away and we did play with them a few years ago, but come game time, it's a different story until after the last whistle blows."
Muskegon has already played one exhibition game, as well as a scrimmage. The Wolves played a scrimmage game two weeks ago, but haven't had an exhibition yet before opening up the season Saturday at 7 p.m. at Thirlby Field.