In Play with Tom Markowski


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Mona Shores out to prove 2014 was not a fluke with a new quarterback and a solid senior class

By: Tom Markowski, August 10, 2015, 10:00 pm


Norton Shores – No player was more frustrated and disappointed in Muskegon Mona Shores’ loss to Warren De La Salle in the Division 2 final last season than Hunter Boersma.

And he didn’t even play.

Boersma was diagnosed with mononucleosis just a few days before the state final and watched as his Sailors were embarrassed by De La Salle by the score of 44-8.

“It was the worst news I’ve got,” Boersma said of his illness. “Our luck ran out after the semifinals.”

Those who saw Mona Shores for the first time at Ford Field that day didn’t see the team that won 12 of 13 games and reached a state final for the first time in school history. It should have been the crowning achievement playing for a state title but the way Mona Shores lost left those involved with the program flat and many of those first-time watchers thinking the Sailors really weren’t that good and that possibly the season was a fluke.

Boersma will enter his senior season having started at receiver and defensive back since his sophomore year. He vehemently disagrees with the naysayers. He played a major role on a Mona Shores team that qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 2013 and is part of a senior class coach Matt Koziak calls the best in school history.

On Monday Mona Shores opened practice on its practice field amid music blasting out of twin speakers raised six feet off the ground and a pleasant breeze coming off of Lake Michigan that helped cool what was otherwise a warm summer afternoon.

“It wasn’t a fluke,” Boersma said. “It was our first finals. We didn’t know how to act. It was bigger than we thought. It was the biggest crowd we played before. We didn’t handle it well.

“It’s a long season. You have to take care of your body. You get more experience by playing 14 games. You get more game experience. Our team has great energy. I love getting back into the swing of things.”

Boersma (Western Michigan) is one of three Sailors who have committed to a Division I school. Receiver Colby Bruce (Miami, Ohio) and multi-purpose back Darece Roberson (Western Michigan) are the others.

But much of Mone Shores’ success this will depend upon a player who committed to a Division I school for baseball.

Tyler Trovinger started at strong safety last season but will take over for Tyree Jackson, who graduated, at quarterback. Trovinger, a shortstop, committed to Oakland University and saw limited time at quarterback as a junior.

In the semifinal victory over Farmington Hills Harrison, Jackson suffered an injury and Trovinger rushed for one touchdown and completed a conversion pass. In the state final he filled in for Boersma at receiver.

“We expect to win the O-K Black (Division),” Koziak said. “It won’t be easy with Muskegon there. And the last time we played a game we had a running clock used against us. That never happened before.

“Last year we talked about winning the (state) title but when you haven’t been there before it’s different. That experience is a big difference coming into this season.”

Mona Shores isn’t near the level of its big brother (Muskegon High) but last season the Sailors made a big step forward. Koziak said it lifted a negative stereotype of Mona Shores players.

“I played here,” Koziak said. “I coached at Muskegon for 10 years and the word was (Mona Shores players) don’t put in the work. That stigma isn’t here anymore.”