TC West lineman taking charge

He's considered one of the best prospects in northern Michigan, but senior offensive guard-inside linebacker Carter Kiogima is especially concerned right now with leading his Traverse City West team to the state playoffs.

TC West was 8-1 during the regular-season last year and lost its first playoff game.

"We had a pretty strong season last year," Kiogima said. "It didn't start out too well. We had too many unknown guys. Once we got going, I thought we did OK."

Compared to a year ago, "I think I've improved quite a bit," Kiogima said.

"I made as lot of strides over the summer and was involved in a lot of weight training."

As an offensive guard, "I'm pretty strong,' Kiogima said, "even though I'm not one of the biggest offensive linemen. But I can get off the ball quick and get to my blocks."

As a linebacker, "I'm pretty good in reading where the guards will be going," Kiogima said.

This year's team "has a lot of juniors that need to step up," Kiogima said.

The TC West senior has been contacted by a few schools including the Coast Guard Academy, but is considering Division II schools such as Michigan Tech.

College football is not a top priority, but I'd like to play," he said. "It'd be a great opportunity. I need to get stronger."

Kiogima is hopeful that TC West can be a state playoff contender. "We've got Jackson High the second week of the season," he said. "We've never played them before. That's a pretty good team. They'll give us a good match up. Gaylord will be another strong team we'll see this year."

Kiogima expects Traverse City's offense to be a headache for the opposition this year.

"Tyler Berkett, our quarterback, can run the ball pretty good and throw, too. Defensively, he's one of the hardest hitters on the team," Kiogema said.

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