Friday, August 17, 2018

Airport 2018 Preview and Prediction

Airport is coming off of a 4-5 season in 2017. The Jets were involved in numerous close games and could have finished with anywhere from one to seven wins. Airport alum Jim Duffy returns for his 2nd season with the Jets. Airport has missed the playoffs 5 straight seasons after qualifying every year from 1999-2012.

On offense,  the Jets return 6 starters. Senior Lucas Goins will take over the QB position and will have two very elusive weapons out of the backfield in fellow seniors Bryce Bondy and Steffan Dyl. Seniors Lucas Gratz and Hunters Boyless will anchor the offensive line while T. J Potcova will play TE.

Defensively, Airport returns 7 starters from a unit that gave up nearly 31 ppg last season. Senior Tanner Plensdorf will play on the defensive line while the LB corp will include junior Avery Adkins and Andrew Smith. Bondy and Dyl will contribute on defense along with Noah Blankenship and Cole VanWashenova.

The Jets have some talent and much could depend on how week 1 goes against Monroe High. Weeks 2, 3 and 4 are against beatable league opponents before getting into the meat of the schedule against many of the league favorites on the backside of the schedule.

Chris's Pick: 4-5
Gary's Pick: 3-6
Frank's Pick : 6-3

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Scrimmage Forum

Chris and I were able to see several teams today. Here is a brief synopsis of what we saw.

Flat Rock: Flat Rock was impressive against Berkley, Thurston and Edsel Ford. Their defense was active and the offense was a s diverse as usual. Don't look for the Rams to go away anytime soon. They will be a tough opponent against any team on their schedule.

Riverview: Thoroughly dominated two sub-par teams in Southgate Anderson and Lincoln Park.  If anyone thought View was going to take a big step back this year, think again.  Physical up front with excellent ball carriers. Wood, the QB, threw some nice balls and made some plays from his corner spot.  I’m not sure if Southgate gained a single yard.  No joke.

Huron: The Chiefs played some teams still working things out as well; in Melvindale, Summit and Annapolis. Huron has a nice mix of players. The Sophomore QB throws a nice ball and has good size.  Blosser ran hard and had a big day. Huron will contend to get in the top 4.

SMCC: Played a solid Trenton team and D2 Roseville. The Falcon defense will be stiff this year. Big plays behind the line of scrimmage helped tie Trenton at 7-7 and beat Roseville 7-0, only playing 1Q in that one.  CC moved the ball station to station, as they do, against a pretty good Trenton defense. CC will make a run at the top tier in the league.

Monroe: The Trojans ended up not scrimmaging today over at Wyandotte. Not sure what happened and I didn't get the memo. Chris did manage to watch Canton/Belleville. Belleville is as good as billed. The Tigers scored 6 times on Canton, a team that eliminated them in the Regional Final last season in just 14 plays.

Tell us what teams you saw and your thoughts.

Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 2018 Season Preview and Prediction

SMCC is coming off a 7-5 season, finishing tied for 4th in the Huron League and making it to a Regional Final.  The Falcons have qualified for the playoffs 18 of the last 21 years.  In his 4th season, Adam Kipf will once again patrol the sidelines for the Green and Gold.

Offensive Starters Returning: 5
Defensive Starters Returning: 6

Players to Watch: Briggs Hehl - OL, Toby Huber - LB, Nick Marino - RB/DB, Bryce Iott - TE, Connor Bogdanski - OL, Mason Gullen - DL, Gus Flint - TE/LB, Sam Cousino - RB/LB, John Ritchie - RB/DB, Ian Adler - OL/DL

New Players To Watch: Alex Morgan - RB/DB, Nieko Castiglione - TE/LB, Shane Gessner - OL/DL, Brendan Sloan - OL/DL

Coaches Thoughts: " We will have more size up front than the last few years.  A strength should be our offensive  and defensive lines.  We also have a lot of kids with varsity experience as well.  Staying healthy will be the key to success this year.  The roster is going to be filled out with 23-25 players.  I like our linebacker corp as well."

Coaches Outlook:  " The league is becoming more power oriented once again.  Teams are lining up and playing smash mouth football.  There are no easy ones as this looks to be another year where there is great balance among league teams."

FNV Thoughts:
  Despite the low numbers, SMCC has the makings of a league champion.  That could be said for a few teams in the league however.  If the Falcons stay consistent, keep their focus and avoid the injury bug, this may be a big year.

Gary's Prediction: 7-2
Chris's Prediction: 7-2
Frank's Prediction: 7-2

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Whiteford 2018 Preview and Predictions

By Frank Vajcner

Last season, Whiteford thoroughly dominated anyone standing in their way en route to the Division 8 State Championship. The Bobcats have also qualified for the playoffs in each of the last six seasons. The quest for a repeat will begin with six starters returning on both offense and defense.

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: Jason Mensing (61-13, seventh year at Whiteford, 99-62, 16th year overall)

Assistants: Kris Hoag, John Nagle, Tom Eitniear, Bob Ondrovick, Jay Gilmore, Brent Orr, Charlie Butz, Tony DuPree, Shane Wellman, Todd Thieken

Offense: The Bobcats’ explosive Double Wing offense will have a familiar name at the controls, but a new face. Senior Ty Eitniear replaces his decorated brother, Tommy, at QB. The younger Eitniear will have no shortage of playmakers to get the ball to. In the backfield, seniors Logan Murphy, Zack Bertz, and Hunter Lake all return, and junior Devon Shaw could work his way into the mix. Senior Bradyn Clark-Gilmore will be the go-to option at SE, while fellow senior Nate Bauman could see action at receiver or RB. On the offensive line, senior DeShaun Williams returns at tackle, while Ian Slick (guard) and Nick Donnelly (center) will anchor the interior.

Defense: The Bobcats weren’t just tough to stop last season, but tough to score on, as they only allowed 13 points per game. Williams and Slick will both anchor what should be another very good defensive line. Treylan Hess, Josh Hagan, and Noah Bauman will also see time there. Bertz, Clark-Gilmore, and Nate Bauman will head up the linebacking corps, while the secondary will feature Murphy at safety, and Eitniear and Lake at corner. Newcomers Nick Marchant and Braedon Mills will also push for playing time in the secondary.

Coach’s Outlook: We believe the TCC is going to be highly competitive this season, Sand Creek has the fastest player in the state and will be improved, Clinton returns much of their unit,  Summerfield and Morenci have proven to be very consistent and strong programs, Madison and Britton Deerfield participation numbers are way up, and Whitmore Lake had a very competitive team last year and returns much of their defense. 

FNV Thoughts: Despite losing some talented seniors on both sides of the ball, the cupboard is still stocked in Ottawa Lake. An opening visit from a much-improved Blissfield team could provide a good test, but in conference play, until someone knocks the Bobcats off (their last conference loss was October 23, 2015), they could mow through the TCC again.

Frank's Prediction: 9-0
Chris's Prediction: 8-1
Gary's Prediction: 9-0

Ida 2018 Preview and Predictions

By Frank Vajcner

A new era in Ida Bluestreaks Football began last season, as Jeff Potter took over as head coach. Many people thought that the Bluestreaks would struggle, but they kept on truckin’ as they finished 8-3 and qualified for the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. The Streaks return seven starters on offense and four on defense.

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: Jeff Potter (8-3; second season)

Assistants: Chris Leonard, John Groll, Dave Potter, Dave Morelli, Jermaine Lehr, Mark Flotow

Offense: Ida will shift from the Full House T to the veer, which is similar to what Bedford runs. Senior QB Clay Sampson will be looking to build off of a steady season, but will likely be featured more. At RB, seniors Jake Weilnau and Sam Brettschneider return, with Weilnau coming off of a 1000 rushing yard season. Senior TEs Tommy Colpaert and Zack Johnston return as well, and senior Alex Longenbarger will anchor the offensive line. Junior Ronan LaRoy will be a new face on the line, while fellow junior Travis Wegener will see action at RB.

Defense: Potter brought in his father, Dave, to help coach a relatively inexperienced defense, as only four starters return. Longenbarger returns to the defensive line looking to build off of a solid junior season. Senior Zach Stein and Weilnau return at linebacker, while Colpaert and Brettschneider will anchor the secondary.

Coach’s Outlook: The kids have worked hard in the off season and their focus is on getting better each day.  We expect them to compete every time they step on the field.  The LCAA is very competitive from the top to the bottom, so you have to be ready to go each week.

The Streaks exceeded expectations last season. Will they be able to continue the success? Despite having skill player returning, Ida has a killer road schedule with games at Brooklyn Columbia Central, Hudson, and Blissfield. This is a team capable of making the playoffs, but they could be sweating it out come Selection Sunday.

Frank's Prediction: 5-4 
Chris's Prediction: 5-4
Gary's Prediction: 4-5

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Grosse Ile 2018 Preview and Prediction

Last season Grosse Ile finished with a disappointing 2-7 record, but was able to beat a solid  Flat Rock team in week 5. Veteran coach Jon Bodner will once again be roaming the sidelines for the Red Devils. Grosse Ile has qualified for the playoffs every other year since 2012 and after missing the playoffs in 2017 appear to have a shot this season.

The GI offense will be led by senior Zak Thompson who threw for nearly 1,400 yards last season to go with 10 TD's. Senior Luke Harwood will be the main ball carrier after rushing for 465 yards last season. Look for senior Drew Ramirez to be a threat at receiver along with junior Max Athens. The offensive line in anchored by seniors Maverick Lamothe, Antonio Alongi and Matthew Dishon.

On defense, the Islanders return a solid corp of LB's in juniors Johnny Blanzy and Josh Zemmin along with senior Chance Marx. Senior Tyler Symons will start at DT and will be joined on the DL by Dishon, Alongi and Lamothe. Look for Jackson Lonc to start at a CB along with Ramirez while junior Justin Riggs holds down a safety spot. A wild card for the Red Devils maybe P/K Joey Pizzo. The sophomore may be the best kicker in the Huron League.

This could be a big year on the island this season and the Red Devils may be a sleeper in the Huron League race. GI has a host of returning players and are rarely, if ever, down two straight seasons under Bodner. Week 1 against Riverview Gabriel Richard on the island will be a stiff opening night test as the Pioneers finished 9-2 last season.

Chris's Pick: 6-3
Gary's Pick: 5-4
Frank's Pick: 5-4