The Coloma football program ended a 10-year drought last season by making their first postseason appearance since 2008.

The Comets are hard at work trying to prove that last year’s appearance wasn’t a fluke.

“We had a good first week,” coach Joe Stephens said. “The kids have taken in a lot of information. Now that we have everything installed we’re working on going fast and physical.”

The Comets lost 15 players from last year’s team, including 2019 Herald-Palladium Male Athlete of The Year Zach Goodline, Zack Lake (FB), Caleb Ellis (RB), and Sin’cere Taylor (WR).

Goodline was a three-time all-conference quarterback for Coloma, recording a school-record 55 career touchdowns. He passed for 1,022 yards and rushed for 1,002 as a senior last season.

Seniors Kenyon Boyd and Michael Case and junior Drew Goodline will share snaps at quarterback to begin the season. Boyd was an all-conference selection last season as a running back and safety, and will line up at those spots when not under center.

“Each of them does things well,” Stephens said. “Michael Case has gotten game reps. Drew Goodline is Zach’s younger brother and was our JV quarterback last year. He’s in the mix, too.”

RB/DB Noah Schwanke will help Boyd in the backfield. Senior first-year player Michael Dancer is a key contributor for the boys basketball team and gives the Comets another dynamic athlete.

“We got (Dancer) to come out for football,” Stephens said. “He’s an electric kid who should contribute for us right away. Noah will help fill the void left by Ellis and Lake. We have to have these guys step up.”

The offensive and defensive lines figure to be strengths for the Comets, with senior four-year starting tackle Cole Alsup spearheading both units.

“Cole has been a D1, D2 recruit the past few years,” Stephens said. We’re looking for him to lead up front with Charlie Cullitan. They’re two major linemen. We’ve got a good group there.”

The SAC Lakeshore was considered one of the best small-school conferences in the state last season, with five of its six teams qualifying for postseason play. Kalamazoo United and Schoolcraft will again be the teams to beat in the conference this year.

Contact: mharden@thehp.com, 932-0371, @HPMaxwellHarden