TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Wolves are back.
After opening the season on the road last week with a 28-0 victory over the Southeast Michigan Mercenaries, the Wolves will be in action at home today at 5 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
A year ago, the Wolves finished 5-5 and just missed out on the playoffs. This marks the fourth year for the Wolves and their second season in the Great Midwest Football League. Second-year head coach Rick Micham recently talked about his team and the season with the Record-Eagle.
R-E: What were your biggest impression from the first game?
RM: I made the decision to step Tyler Alpers up to defensive coordinator. He had been a starting captain for me basically since the inception of the team. We've basically kept the same defense year to year, so he was able to step in and get the job done, better than I could've, in my opinion. Being head coach and being able to delegate two other people who can get the job done for you really helped us start the season off strong. We had a leg up defensively in that first game. That's expected, based on our history.
R-E: I'm sure Tyler brings a different perspective, since as a (former) player on the team, he's been out there doing it.
RM: And that's something I haven't done since high school. Like I said, it was probably one of the best moves we could have made this year, putting him in that position. I've been coaching right around 10 years and I was fortunate that I was able to call plays on defense my very first year, and almost every year since. Letting go of that was kind of hard, but it was the right thing to do. But this was the first game where I was able to watch the whole thing and orchestrate the sideline stuff that I couldn't do prior when I was calling the defensive plays.
R-E: How many new players are on the team this year?
RM: I bet we're pushing close to 60 percent. Not necessarily first-year players, but new to us as an organization. A lot of the guys that are back have been with us since Year 1. Brian Mauer, Pablo Bocardo. Those are two guys that have been with the club from the get-go.
R-E: What are some strengths with the new players you have?
RM: We have a lot of talent at defensive backs and the receiving corp. Pablo's younger brother, Emilio, he came out really young last year. Just that extra year of growing in age, he's showing much more poise this year. He'll be a go-to player (at receiver) for a long time, I think, if we don't loose him to college. Which is our goal as well. We want to send them off somewhere.
Of course I'd like to dress 55 guys, but being northern Michigan, we have logistics to deal with. It's a challenge for us up here to dress the number of players we want, when they're not getting paid to do what they're doing. It's just the love of the game. And it shows on the field. Every team we play says we're one of the hardest hitting teams. That comes with being northern Michigan footballers. Even the guys that come up from Muskegon and Grand Rapids, when they come up here, they adopt our attitude in a hurry. We try to carry on the (former TC Central coach Jim) Ooley era. He set the pace many years ago and we're just trying to follow in his footsteps.
R-E: Who are a couple of impact players this year on offense?
RM: One is (quarterback) Brian Mauer. We had never really looked at him at the quarterback position, which may have been a coaching mishap. I worked him out at defensive back the first couple years. Last year in our first game, our starting quarterbacks went out in a hurry. Brian was actually injured too, but when he got healthy he stepped in and became a great leader for us.
A new player coming up from the Detroit Diesel is Jon Craven. He's a very fast receiver, he's got a great attitude and he's an instant leader. The only reason he's not a captain is because he's not a returning player. We just need him to get used to the northern way a little bit.
R-E: On defense?
RM: Returner from Year 1 and an All-Star two of the three years is Tim Ohlert, a lockdown corner for us. We throw him on the offense as well, because he has a motor that doesn't quit. Another player defensively, (end) Maurice Gilmar. He's been making a lot of the practices and is just moving his family here from Saginaw. He found a job here, he loves what we have to offer. He's a big boy and has been a two-way player for us. He's very dedicated to his new organization, and his attitude just rolls over to everybody else.
R-E: And on special teams, you've got (kicker) Pablo Bocardo back?
RM: Pablo's still kicking. He's got a great deep ball. Compared to some of these semi-pro teams, he's got such a level head that we're comfortable trying to get the three points when we need it. A lot teams will go for two-point conversions because their kicker isn't so good, but he's nearly perfect on extra points. We're excited to have him back. We can throw him in at linebacker — he had a pick-six in our first game. We don't start him on defense because of his foot, but he's ready to go at any time. And, he can take snaps at fullback. He's probably our No. 1 utility player.
R-E: You're sitting 1-0 so you're off to a good start, but realistically what are your expectations for the season?
RM: Undefeated is always our No. 1 goal and you're disappointed if you don't get that. Of course we want to win every game, but we have to make playoffs. If we don't make playoffs, it's a failure. I don't want to make playoffs at 7-3, I want to make playoffs at 10-0. That's the way you're supposed to do it. I believe in our league, we have probably the second hardest schedule, playing the (Detroit) Ravens, the (Michigan) Gators, the (Metro Detroit) Wolverines and the Cougars. Those four teams are actually top 10 teams in the state right now out of all the semi-pro teams. If we can get through them with wins, that just sets us up for the playoffs. We won't see tougher teams.
Micham eyes a GMFL playoff berth
TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Wolves are back.
Wolves fall to Detroit
The Traverse City Wolves fell to 2-1 with a 33-13 home setback against the Detroit Ravens.Continued ...
Wolves crushed in season opener
Things started pretty well for the Traverse City Wolves. It all went downhill from there.Continued ...
Traverse City Wolves play Saturday
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.Continued ...
Traverse City Wolves 2013 roster
2013 roster for the Traverse City Wolves football team:Continued ...
Traverse City Wolves tryouts Saturday
Open tryouts for the Traverse City Wolves will be held Saturday.Continued ...
- Monday, April 1, 2013
Snowmobile crash victim remembered for his humor
Jeff Gross' distinguishable laugh could be heard across Long Lake, where he lived with his family. He'd spent his free time around the lake, visiting buddies or driving his boat.Continued ...
- Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Sports in Brief: 02/27/2013
Harman to play in all-star game; Osorio set to sign with Concordia.Continued ...
- Saturday, August 11, 2012
Wolves looking to finish with a victory
It's a little earlier than hoped, but the Traverse City Wolves season ends tonight.Continued ...
- Monday, July 9, 2012
Wolves fall to Gators
The Michigan Gators improved to 4-1 with a 37-13 win over the Traverse City Wolves.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 23, 2012
Liles new owner of TC Wolves
The Traverse City Wolves host the Steel City Patriots tonight at Thirlby Field — with a new owner.Continued ...
- Friday, June 22, 2012
TC Wolves return to Thirlby
Saturday’s Traverse City Wolves game against the Steele City Patriots will be held at Thirlby Field at 7 p.m.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 10, 2012
Wolves fall in home opener
Lakeshore scores fourth-quarter TD for 35-27 winContinued ...
- Saturday, June 9, 2012
Wolves ready for home opener
Every year when the Traverse City Wolves take the field for the first time, the dream of returning to the game of football is realized for plenty of first-year players on the team. Ryan Salisbury and Nick Radamaker were among the first-year Wolves to experience that last weekend.Continued ...
- Monday, June 4, 2012
Wolves win opener
The Traverse City Wolves opened their Great Midwest Football League season Saturday night with a 28-0 win over the Southeast Michigan Mercenaries.Continued ...
- Sunday, August 14, 2011
Wolves win season finale
A determined Traverse City Wolves finished the regular season with a 38-7 win over the Grand Rapids Thunder Saturday at Thirlby Field. The win gave TC a 5-5 record for the season.Continued ...
- Sunday, August 7, 2011
Tigers beat Wolves; playoff hopes still alive
The Traverse City Wolves dropped a virtual must-win game, but still has a glimmer of hope to make the playoffs. The West Michigan Tigers defeated the Wolves 33-28.Continued ...
- Sunday, July 24, 2011
Winning streak ends for Wolves
The Lakeshore Cougars proved why they’re the top ranked team in the Great Midwest Football League.Continued ...
- Sunday, July 17, 2011
Defense leads Wolves to win
Ray Gidley started the party. Shane Pennington and Michael Stagg joined in while Tim Ohlert finished it. All four starting defensive backs for the Traverse City Wolves came up with an interception Saturday as the Wolves picked up a 25-6 win over the Southeast Michigan Mercenaries at Thirlby Field.Continued ...
- Friday, July 15, 2011
New quarterback has Wolves in Hunt
Family brought Florida native Trevor Hunt to Traverse City.Continued ...
Here, he's found another family with the Traverse City Wolves.
- Monday, July 11, 2011
Wolves beat London on Bocardo OT FG
Pablo Bocardo kicked an overtime field goal to give the Traverse City Wolves a 32-29 win over the London Silverbacks.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 26, 2011
Wolves hang on for victory
Ryan Brown returned from an injury and led the Traverse City Wolves to a Great Midwest Football League win over host Grand Rapids on Saturday. Brown was the standout on defense for the Wolves, including being in on the game-saving tackle.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wolves fall to Tigers
The Traverse City Wolves dropped a 20-3 decision to the West Michigan Tigers.Continued ...
- Thursday, June 16, 2011
Elk Rapids grad takes reins for Wolves
Imagine the scenario.Continued ...
In the first quarter of Rick Micham's first game as head coach of the TC Wolves, the team's first two quarterbacks are knocked out with injuries and Micham has to turn to his All-Star kicker to go take snaps.
For most coaches, the situation may have come with a lot of stress. But most coaches don't have Pablo Bocardo.
"We would have very easily put him at that starting (quarterback) role, but as valuable as he is kicking the ball, that's huge for us," Micham said.
The Wolves play Saturday at Thirlby Field against the West Michigan Tigers.
- Sunday, June 12, 2011
Wolves punish Punishers
The Traverse City Wolves posted their first win of the season on Saturday with a 32-0 victory over the host Southwest Michigan Punishers.Continued ...
- Wolves fall to Detroit