It only appears on Friday nights that Devon Lynch is playing everywhere for the Port Huron football team.
The reality is he can be seen in the backfield at either running back position for the Big Reds, at tight end, split out in the slot, and at either inside or outside linebacker. But Lynch probably knows how to play the rest, too.
“I don’t just learn my spot,” Lynch said. “I learn everyone’s spot, so if they need me somewhere, I can go there.”
Even offensive line?
“Oh yeah, for sure,” Lynch said with a smile. “Coach (Ken) Semelsberger knows that. Coach, could I play on the offensive line?”
“Sure, he could play any place he wants to,” the offensive line coach said. “If he wanted to play offensive line, I’d take him tomorrow. Any place he wants to play, I’ll take him.”
Semelsberger likely won’t get Lynch in the final week of the season, but the senior’s versatility makes him one of the more valuable players in the Blue Water Area. He’ll take the field for the final time as a Big Red Friday night when his team plays cross-town rival Port Huron Northern. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Lynch and his teammates want nothing more than to close out the season by beating the Huskies, something Port Huron has done four straight times, and seven out of the last times the two have met.
“Going back to when I was 8-years old, I’ve never lost to them,” Lynch said. “And I don’t plan on it.”
What also goes back to being 8 is Lynch’s versatility. He said that through his time in the Thumb Area Football League, middle school and as a freshman, he played all of those positions previously mentioned and more.
As a sophomore, he was moved to the varsity to play in the Big Reds Hulk position, which is essentially an H-back. He played there as a sophomore and junior.
“He’s pretty unique,” Port Huron coach Ryan Mullins said. “His first two years on varsity, he’s been a strong runner for us. With graduation, we had a need for him defensively (this season), and he’s really excelled and been a starter there. We’ve kind of tried to spot him on offense, and try not to expect too much out of him, but as the game goes on, he’s gotten better and better at playing more snaps, so it’s tough to keep him off the field. He’s always just ready to play.”
Lynch’s versatility has been on display throughout the season, and fortunately for Port Huron fans, they’ve been able to see two of his best games at Memorial Stadium. Against Roseville, he returned a fumble for a touchdown, had two interceptions and added two rushing touchdowns on offense. Against Utica this past Friday, he had a pair of receiving touchdowns, the second tying the game for the Big Reds late in the fourth quarter.
“He’s always been very capable of catching the ball, and in the first couple years, he didn’t have a lot of opportunities to be split out as a receiver,” Mullins said. “So really, just by need, he’s had to fulfill that role. Obviously he did a great job of it. The moves he made on a short pass to elude two or three defenders, he showed a lot of elusiveness. He’s a very instinctive kid. He understands the game and watches a lot of film, and it pays off for him.”
It’s certainly paid off this season, as Lynch’s preparedness has allowed him to have a breakout year.
“He’s taken every opportunity he can,” Mullins said. “The nice thing is, he’s just an unselfish player who just wants to help the team. He knows his role, and he just wants the team to do well. That’s really what I know the coaches appreciate the most about him. He’s turned into a great leader for our team. He’s a great example for our young kids to look at and go, ‘This is what happens when you really commit yourself to being the best you can.’”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.
Port Huron (2-6) vs. Northern (4-4)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Memorial Stadium
At Stake: Brick Fowler Trophy