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Red Devils start practice with new coach Niemi

IRONWOOD - Ironwood started practice with a new coach for the first time in six years.

Ryan Niemi took over the helm this year and the Red Devils started practice as did other Michigan teams on Monday.

The Red Devils had 22 players on the first day, but Niemi said they expect to have between 32 and 34.

Ironwood went through a lot of new stuff on the first day.

"There was a lot of excitement in the air," Niemi said. "The kids are recharged and more upbeat."

Ironwood has a lot of juniors and sophomores, but they are lacking in freshmen and seniors.

"I'm really optimistic, with the kids we have now, we have good athletes," Niemi said. "We're pretty physical or at least we will be. I think we're going to have a pretty good year."

Niemi said Ironwood plans on having a JV team. They are trying to boost the number of JV players in order to do that.

Ironwood will play in a scrimmage in Lake Linden on Aug. 21 with the Gogebic Miners, Lake Linden and L'Anse.

They go to Hurley on Aug. 28 for the first game of the regular season.

See Wednesday's Daily Globe for a look at the Gogebic Miners' first practice.

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