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Coach Mac Leads the Oilers to the Playoffs

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Kyla Henry
The oilers face off against the titans of Traverse City West at the home pink out game.

The Mount Pleasant Oilers Varsity football team is currently 9-1. Coach McIntyre, who has been coaching football since 1997, and varsity football since 2006, has led the team to victory game after game, with the exception of the Saginaw Heritage game. It was the first game of the season, and Heritage has a very strong football program so it was tough. But coach Mac said that it was a good eye opener for the team and that it helped them to improve overall. Even though they lost to Saginaw, Mac said that the most challenging game was actually the Bay City Western game. It was Bay City’s homecoming game so they were locked in and fired up. And on top of that, Mt. Pleasant didn’t play very well and had to come through in the last few plays to secure the win.
Football is a tough sport mentally because you only play one game a week, so the players have to make sure they’re in the right mindset and stay healthy. One of the reasons that the Oilers do so well is that they have great leadership, there are 23 seniors on the team and to make it even better, they are a very tight knit group. With that many seniors the team has lots of experience and it shows on the field, but in terms of football itself they compete very well and have great passes. Since they went undefeated in the conference, Mt. Pleasant is conference champions for the 3rd year in a row, but with a tie for the Champion title last year. This has never happened before in Mt. Pleasant’s football program’s history, so it’s really exciting!
Since it’s such a team sport and one player can’t really win the game for the team unlike other sports, it’s difficult to point out the players that have been excelling this year. But Coach Mac was able to come up with a few that are doing especially great. Kal Kowallic is a lineman that has had an amazing season. But there have been some players that have surprised everyone, like Jaxon Dern, Riley Olson, and Easton Day. Even though players like Logan Borodychuk and AJ Dennis are talked about a lot and are key to the team, Mac likes to focus on the players that come out and surprise the team. “Those guys are kinda the unsung heroes that have really stepped up and have been playing really well for us.”

The varsity football coach and SVL coach of the year, Jason McIntyre is excited about the upcoming playoff game.
(Sylas Snyder)

Coach Mac calls himself an “Old school Coach” because he likes to run the ball even though some people find that boring, he really enjoys seeing the team do well running the ball. He also likes to throw some trick plays in there as well, they had a big one against Bay City Western. But his all time favorite plays are when all 11 players do exactly what they’re supposed to on the field all at the same time. What a lot of people don’t realize is that a ton of choreography goes into football, getting everyone to go to the right places at the right time requires a lot of work, but it’s worth it when they succeed and look good on film. One of Coach Mac’s favorite memories this year was when Tyler Hutchins intercepted the quarterback right before halftime and returned it for a touchdown during the Traverse City Central game. But most of his favorite memories though are the just the exciting moments with the team and team bonding, like at the senior retreat in the summer.
Something that makes football so special is that football is a sport that you can’t play after you graduate, unless you play in college. But for most seniors, their senior season will be the last time they play football competitively. Coach Mac remembers his last high school game, he was playing against St. Johns. They were 7-1 and hoping to make it to the playoffs. He played really well in that game and they beat them but unfortunately didn’t make it to the playoffs. Throughout high school Mac played quarterback, and moved to wide receiver and defensive back his senior year, and in college he was a defensive back again.
This year Coach Mac was voted coach of the year for the entire Saginaw Valley league 2023 season. He has put tons of work in and really deserved this honor! His favorite year from all of his years of coaching is 2011, when they were playing the 5-time defending state champs in the state semifinals. They had to kick a field goal with 7 seconds left to send them to the state championship. They were down 13 points in the 3rd quarter and came back, then kicked the 37 yard field goal to win the game! Everyone rushed the field and celebrated! To make it even better that was the first field goal that the player had kicked of the season! That team from 2008-2011 had a lot of the same players throughout it and won 35 straight regular-season games. Those years were some of Mac’s favorite years of coaching, the energy was great and every year they would progressively win a more important game, like district, regional, or playoff games! He liked to joke around with that team by saying “They were too dumb to know they were losing” but they were such a tight knit group and never gave up. They had full confidence in their teammates and that made them better themselves. Something different about this year’s team is that they’ve had so much success that it’s kind of expected. So coach Mac has to encourage them to keep working hard and not slack. But they have amazing leadership so they’ve been able to push through.
The main reason that Coach Mac has become so successful is his dad, he said that without him he wouldn’t be here today. His dad has always been there for him, from when he started football in 5th grade, to when he needed his help through his first few difficult years of coaching, and when he washes the teams uniforms on Saturdays after games. His mentorship and guidance is what kept him going when there were challenges that he didn’t know how to handle.
Now Coach Mac is the athletic director at MPHS as well as being head coach. He used to be a science teacher here, so time management was a lot easier, but now it’s very difficult. He has to miss spending time with the team after games and just hanging out with them because he has to go to other sporting events like soccer and volleyball. But he has great assistants like Mr. Dennis and Mr. VanOrman who help out a lot and make it work. Even though he loves his new job he still misses teaching, he loved teaching and telling his stupid jokes to his students. What he’s most afraid of though, is walking around the school and having no one know who he is. Since he’s not a teacher anymore people don’t really get a chance to get to know him, so he’ll just be another anonymous face in the hallway. But we assured him that his legacy will never be forgotten and everyone will always recognize him as the greatest football coach that Mt. Pleasant’s ever had!

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About the Contributors
Ach Wilson, Former Staff Reporter
Ach Wilson is a junior it is his first time on the pipeline he is mostly interested in covering football and basketball. He enjoys things like football, fishing, baseball, and most sports.    
Sylas Snyder, Former Staff Reporter
Sylas Snyder is a freshman first-year staffer on the pipeline. He is most interested in covering football and basketball. He enjoys things like fishing, and watching football.
Willow Gott, Sports Editor
Willow Gott is a junior and this is her first year on the staff of the pipeline. She joined the staff because of her interest in sports writing/photography and discovering more about the other sports at MPHS. She is looking forward to being able to explore more writing about sports and the teams. When she isn’t covering sports, you can find her playing golf, tennis, or skiing. But most likely she's listening to her favorite song, Life is a Highway.
Kyla Henry, Multimedia Manager
Kyla Henry is a junior and first-year staffer on the Pipeline. She was drawn to the pipeline by her interest in photography and discovering more about MPHS. She is most interested in photography and media content. When Henry isn’t keeping up with the media or photography, you can find her running, reading, shopping, or hanging out with friends.
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