There were several strange sights on Friday night, some had to do with what happened on the football field and others were what happened before the football season.
For starters, not seeing Rochester Adams in the state playoffs was one of the great absences that I can remember in recent years. This was the first time since the late 1990's where we did not see a playoff game from the Highlanders. The streak had to come to an end eventually, but it was a very strange sight to see Adams and head coach Tony Patrito missing from the sidelines last week.
Another team that had gotten used to playing after the regular season was finished, but was unfortunately absent in the first round of the playoffs was Walled Lake Central. Head coach Bob Meyer and the Vikings had made several consecutive playoff appearances over the past few years, but unfortunately missed out this season. It was going to be an uphill battle for what was an extremely young Vikings squad, but much like Adams, it was odd not seeing Central playing in week 10.
One strange happening that took place on Friday night was something we haven't seen in a while was Farmington Hills Harrison being sent home after the first round. The Hawks, who won the state title in 2010 and lost at the hands of Brother Rice, the eventual state champion in the third round of last year's state tournament.
All three of these have one thing in common: they're all young. The Highlanders have a number of playmakers returning next year, including quarterback Matt Sokol and running back Clarence Broadnax. The Vikings will have sophomore quarterback Nick Krumm and running back Zach Goor returning next year, while the Hawks will have star junior running back Lorenzo Collins, as well as sophomore quarterback Ryan Brand. While it was a bit of a step back this season for these teams in 2012, expect a big bounceback year for all three squads in 2013.