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Fenstermaker eager to lead as new Rogers City football coach

Jesse Fenstermaker

ROGERS CITY–Jesse Fenstermaker has been waiting a long time to lead a varsity football program.

Now he’s finally getting his chance.

Fenstermaker was approved as the new Rogers City varsity football coach on Monday and is eager to get started.

“It feels great. I’ve been a part of it (the program) for seven years now,” Fenstermaker said. “To have my chance to lead the team has been my goal for a long time.”

Fenstermaker, an Onaway alumnus, has been a mainstay in Rogers City’s football program since 2011 and is a logical choice to take charge of the Hurons. He succeeds Cory Malocha, who coached the Hurons for each of the last two seasons and six games in 2015.

He started as a volunteer assistant under former coach Tim Nagy and has been Rogers City’s JV coach since 2013. As a resident of Rogers City for 10 years, Fenstermaker has made a point to be involved in Rogers City football at all levels. He started a K-4 flag football program and has also helped the PeeWee program in addition to his high school coaching duties.

While serving as a varsity assistant under Nagy and Malocha, Fenstermaker coached both the offensive and defensive line and special teams.

Fenstermaker will be tasked with bringing consistency and stability to Rogers City’s program.

It’s a challenge he’s ready for and one he plans on investing some time in. He’s kept on eye on his high school players beyond football season, regularly attending winter and spring sporting events.

“I plan on retiring in this community. I love this school and I love the kids. I plan on being here a long time,” Fenstermaker said. “I invest a lot of time in the kids and they see that I care about them as people.”

Rogers City hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009 and the Hurons have had four different head coaches between 2010-2017.

Mike Kosiara wrapped up a seven year tenure in 2010 and was succeeded by Joe Fairbanks for the 2011 season. Nagy led the program for 30 games from 2012-2015 before Malocha took over.

The Hurons went 5-4 in 2014 and 4-5 each of the next two seasons, but sputtered to a 2-7 finish last year that included two losing streaks of three games each.

Fenstermaker said he learned a lot from both Nagy and Malocha and his experiences as a JV coach have prepared him for this chance. With all he’s learned, Fenstermaker still has some of his own plans for the program, including breaking things down position by position to utilize the talent on his roster.

The Hurons will graduate several members of their offensive and defensive lines from the 2017 season, but should have quite a bit of talent returning at the skill positions.

“My plan is to get as much out of these kids as I possibly can,” Fenstermaker said. “We have great talent here, quite a bit of it.”

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