***This article has been taken from a summary written by MSR Broadcaster Scott Morgan who called all of the events that took place in Coopersville Friday night.***
“Do what is right – Avoid what’s wrong” Jim Meerman
There was great anticipation for tonight’s game as this date was circled on the calendar for a couple reasons. Not only is it the biggest rivalry game of the year against Allendale but it was also the dedication of the stadium in honor of Jim Meerman, Coopersville’s longest tenured coach of 25 years and winningest coach at 177 wins and 77 losses. The Broncos were playing purely for their pride Friday since they have been eliminated from playoff contention, but they could alter the plans of the Falcons of Allendale, who were still fighting for a chance to make the playoffs by winning 2 of their last 3 games.
It was a tough loss for Coopersville but at the same time as I walked out of the stadium and looking back at the gate and seeing “James P. Meerman” on the gate it reminded me that this is still only a game. What really matters are the people and the impacts that they will have on your life. Jim’s impact will be felt for many generations as his former players have families of their own and pass on the knowledge he has instilled in them.
The hurt of the loss went away and the warmth of the memories of him ought a smile to my face. I miss him as much as most of the people in this community does but now as you pass the stadium and see his name up there on the gate it makes you smile and think of all of the good times that were spent in that stadium. As you remember him on the sidelines guiding his players to a victory of not only on that field but in life. Thank you Jim for being you and to the Meerman Family.
As for the game….
The Falcons struck first in front of a huge crowd that came out to honor Coach Meerman, not only from Coopersville, but from Allendale as well as Jim’s son-in-law is a member of the Allendale coaching staff. Colten Kloote scampered for 54 yards to score first and give Allendale the lead, Jeremy Wiersema kicked the PAT making it 7-0 early in the 1st quarter. Coopersville struck next with a 32 yard Field Goal by Gerrit Buth in the 2nd qtr bringing the score to 7-3. Allendale would strike one more time before the end of the half with a pass from Kloote to Nate Umlor for 5 yards, the PAT by Wiersema was no good. The score was 13 – 3 at half time.
The second half began and the Falcons once again strike first with a 63 yard run by freshman running back Owen Burk, son of coach Ben Burk. The Falcons went for the 2 point conversion and were successful, making the score 21 – 3 Allendale.
Still in the 3rd quarter Kloote scored again on a big play of 25 yards, and Wiersema’s PAT was good. Coopersville then responds with a big play of their own, as Riley Johnson hit Connor Hilton with a 50 yard TD pass, but the PAT was no good. The score at the end of the 3rd quarter was 28-9 Allendale.
Allendale Jared Dankowski scores on a 2 yard dive and the PAT by Wiersema is good, bringing the score to 35-9 Allendale. The Broncos once again scored on a big play from Johnson to Austin Fritz for 63 yard TD pass making the final score of 35-16 with Allendale winning the Battle of the Bridge.