Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week 2 Oakland County Football Predictions

Last Week's Record: 11-5

Farmington at Southfield
Last week, we all had a chance to see just how dangerous Farmington running back Jordan Degreffenreed was on offense, this week look for him to do some damage on the defensive side of the ball as well as the offensive side.
Farmington 31, Southfield 27

South Lyon East at Walled Lake Western
If the Cougars can pull off the upset, they will be in a great spot to possibly make the playoffs. But the Warriors have been there and done that already and will pick up the narrow win on Thursday.
Western 45, SLE 42

Plymouth Salem at Walled Lake Northern
The Knights gained nearly 600 yards in the run game last week in a heartbreaking loss to Churchill. Northern probably won't gain quite so many rushing yards in week two, but enough to pick up the win.
Northern 49, Salem 42

Troy at Rochester
Terrance Cherry burst onto the scene in week one, and look for more of the same in week two while Justin Losey will take care of business through the air.
Troy 35, Rochester 27

Novi at Lakeland
Anthony Waite flew under the radar throughout the year last year, but is proving to be one of the area's elite running backs and Novi will see just that on Thursday.
Lakeland 38, Novi 28

Farmington Hills Harrison at Rochester Adams
Jake Slobin was a force to be reckoned with during Harrison's week one win, and should match that performance in another OAA White "Clash of the Titans" on Friday.
Harrison 35, Adams 21

Stoney Creek at Pontiac
Stoney Creek head coach Brad Zube returns to Pontiac on Friday and will leave with a 2-0 record for the Cougars behind some big time play from the dynamic duo of Sean Scullen and Justin Allor.
Stoney Creek 28, Pontiac 21

Bloomfield Hills Lahser at Ferndale
Ferndale had a strong defensive showing in a week one loss to Seaholm, but slowing down the Lahser offensive attack led by Spencer McCourt and Nate Emery is going to be a tall order for the Eagles.
Lahser 42, Ferndale 31

Southfield-Lathrup at Oak Park
Coach Carter and Co. have picked up some early season momentum and it's going to be hard to slow down BrianWilliams and the Knights.
Oak Park 35, Lathrup 22

Orchard Lake St. Mary's at Toledo St. John's
A tough opening loss for the Eaglets, but look for the Linehan-Watts-Jackson connection to get things going for a week two win on Friday.
OLSM 31, TSJ 21

Lake Orion vs. Troy Athens (at Ford Field)
Look for Lake Orion linebacker Derric Williams and the Dragon defense to make life hard on the Troy Athens offense on the big stage of Ford Field.
Lake Orion 24, Troy Athens 10

Livonia Stevenson at Walled Lake Central
The punishing Central rushing attack is back at it again with Zack Goor leading the way to a 2-0 start on the season.
Central 21, Stevenson 9

Holly at Linden
A pretty surprising week one outcome won't repeat itself for Johnny Williams and Co. in Holly.
Holly 42, Linden 24

Waterford Mott at Northville
The Corsairs got the season off on the right foot in week one, now let's see if Dakota Kupp and Co. can get a winning streak going in Waterford.
Mott 33, Northville 28

Detroit Jesuit at Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Is there a more dynamic offense in Oakland County than Country Day's? With Tyler Weigers, Moe Ways and Richie Wilson leading the attack, I really don't think so.
Country Day 49, Jesuit 35

Birmingham Groves at Auburn Hills Avondale
Avondale looked like a team in midseason form against Hazel Park, but Groves will be hungry for its first win in week two. This one might come down to the very end.
Avondale 31, Groves 28 (OT)

West Bloomfield at Clarkston
The Clarkston offensive attack might be as punishing as it gets, and West Bloomfield might have to find that out first hand on Friday.
Clarkston 42, West Bloomfield 21

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

James Young leaving Troy for Rochester

On Tuesday, James Young, one of the nation’s top prep basketball players indicated on his twitter account that he would be transferring from Troy, where he played the first three years of his high school career and would be attending Rochester for his senior year in 2012.

There had been speculation for the past several months that Young would in fact be leaving Troy for another area high school, but over the summer, those rumors died down for the most part and had most believing that he would be staying at Troy for his senior year.

Young enters his senior season with a five star rating and is the No. 8 ranked player in the country according to and is the No. 5 ranked player in the nation according to

The senior-to-be already has offers on the table from Syracuse, Michigan State, Louisville, Kansas Arizona as well at defending national champion Kentucky along with several other schools.

Young, who is widely considered as the state’s top player for the class of 2013, averaged 26.5 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists per contest as a junior. Among the highlights of Young’s junior season, was his 49-point performance against Clarkston back on February 12th.

It’s not yet clear if Young will be eligible to play from the start of the season for John Pleasant’s Rochester squad due to MHSAA rules and regulations regarding transfers.

With one of the nation's top players in Young on board with the Falcons, Rochester instantly becomes one of the top contenders in Division 1 for the 2012-2013 season.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oakland County Football Rankings - Settling In

1. Clarkston
Ian Eriksen is already looking like the next great running back to come through Oakland County. A dominant six touchdown effort from the junior paired with the dominant Clarkston offensive line and a strong defensive performance has the Wolves sitting at No. 1 this week.

2. Novi Detroit Catholic Central
A strong defensive performance that resulted in a week one shutout win, the Shamrocks are looking like one of the more balanced teams in Oakland County.

3. Farmington Hills Harrison
The duo of Garius Coleman and Jake Slobin made their presence felt early and often on Friday, and you can expect or of the same in week two.

4. Birmingham Brother Rice
A tough loss to defending Division 1 state champ Cass Tech, but it's safe to say that the Warriors will be more than ready next week.

5. Southfield
The Blue Jays got the season off to a shaky start on Saturday, but thanks to the dangerous trio of Darius Danzy, Brandon Bean and Tre Walton, Southfield pulled out a thrilling overtime win on Saturday.

6. Lake Orion
Much like Southfield, the Dragons had a bit of trouble in the early stages of Friday's game, but thanks to Jacob Miller, Lake Orion scored 17 unanswered second half point to start the season 1-0.

7. Farmington
Farmington running back Jordan Degreffenreed was nearly unstoppable last season. This year, he might be impossible to stop, just ask the John Glenn defense.

8.Orchard Lake St. Mary's
The Eaglets lost narrowly to Muskegon in the season opener, but you can expect St. Mary's will have to bounce back quickly for Toledo St. John's in week two.

9. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The duo of Richie Wilson and Tyler Weigers might be the best in Oakland County when it comes to quarterback and running back combo's and Detroit Mumford found out that out in the opener.

10. Oak Park
Brian Williams showed just how hard he is to contain on Saturday as he snared the game winning catch from quarterback Dellonte Johnson on Saturday and helping the Knights get out to a 1-0 start.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Elite Eight - Friday's Opening Arguments

8. Alex Spratke – South Lyon East RB
Stratke did plenty of damage in a couple of ways on Friday night as he rushed for 112 yards on 13 carries while making 4 catches for over 125 yards as well to help lead the Cougars past Waterford Kettering in the season opener.

7. Jordan Degreffenreed – Farmington RB
Degreffenreed picked up right where he left off in 2011 on Friday night as he carried the ball 18 times for over 200 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-14 win over Westland John Glenn.

6. Nate Emery/Spencer McCourt – Bloomfield Hills Lahser RB/QB
While Emery didn’t get a ton of touches on Friday night, he made his presence felt in a big way as he found the end zone four times and rushed for 84 yards on just eight carries. McCourt only tossed a couple of passes, but threw for three touchdowns and over 100 yards for the Knights.

5. Sean Scullen/Justin Allor – Stoney Creek RB/QB
Scullen and Allor were a dynamic duo on Friday night as Scullen tallied five touchdowns on the night and over 180 total yards while Allor shredded the Royal Oak defense through the air with 216 yards passing and three scores of his own.

4. Jacob Miller – Lake Orion RB
Miller rushed for almost 150 second half yards on Friday night and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead Lake Orion to a 17-10 win over rival Oxford.

3. Bloomfield Hills Lahser Defense
The Lahser defense was unleashed on Friday night as the Knights held rival Bloomfield Hills Andover below zero total yards from scrimmage in the final rivalry game between the two squads en route to a 70-7 shellacking.

2. Anthony Waite – Lakeland RB
Waite rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries on Friday night as Lakeland literally ran past Northville in the first game of the season, 39-14.

1. Ian Eriksen – Clarkston RB
Eriksen put on a show on Friday night as the junior scored five rushing touchdowns as well as a 99-yard kickoff return. Eriksen finished the game with 242 yards on 27 carries on the night to lead Clarkston to an impressive win over Rochester Adams.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Elite Eight - The Best From Thursday's Openers

8. Waterford Mott head coach Chris Fahr
Wins haven’t been easy to come by for the Corsairs in recent years, as Mott had just picked up two wins in two years prior to Thursday night. But in his first game as head coach, Fahr helped lead Mott to its first victory of the season in convincing fashion over Wayne Memorial, and has the Corsairs back on track.

7. Zach Goor – Walled Lake Central running back
Goor proved to be the latest of a long line of bruising backs to line up in the Viking backfield as he helped lead Central to a 28-14 win over Saginaw Herritage with a 154 yard, two touchdown performance on Thursday night.

6. Birmingham Seaholm defense
The Maples simply shut the Ferndale offense down on Thursday as they pitched the shutout for the first win of the season. Seaholm limited the Ferndale offense to less than 150 yards of offense on the night and looks to be a frontrunner in the OAA Blue.

5. Terrance Cherry – Troy running Back
Cherry put on a show on Thursday night in the Colts backfield as the senior went off for over 130 yards and rushed for three touchdowns as he led Troy to a narrow 24-21 win over Romeo on Thursday night.

4. Jermaih Johnson – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep running back
Johnson was well known for his defense entering Thursday night, but proved that he can be equally dangerous on offense as he shredded the Almont defense for 164 yards on just 17 carries to help lead the Irish to a 17-14 win.

3. Chauncey Bridges – North Farmington running back
Bridges did it all for the Raiders on Thursday as he rushed for over 170 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns, including a 55 yard punt return to help carry North Farmington past Bay City John Glenn.

2. Richie Wilson – Birmingham Detroit Country Day running back
Wilson showed just how electric he can be on Thursday as he accounted for three of the first four Yellowjacket touchdowns as Country Day dominated Detroit Mumford, 41-0.

1. Taylor Timko – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep kicker
What can’t Taylor Timko do? One of the state’s best girls soccer players and one of the best in Michigan in track and field, Timko took her talents to the gridiron and what did she do? She drilled the game winning field goal with less than three minutes left to play to lead Notre Dame Prep to a 17-14 win over Almont. CAN YOU SAY CLUTCH?!?!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week 1 Football Predictions

Last Season's Record 145-54

Oxford at Lake Orion
The Dragons will have revenge on their mind on Friday after the blowout loss they suffered at the hands of Oxford last year. Jacob Miller and Chazz Miller are in for big games in the opener.
Lake Orion 31, Oxford 17

Rochester Adams at Clarkston
New starting quarterback D.J. Zezula is in store for a break out performance in week one, but could get a challenge from Adams QB Matt Sokol
Clarkston 35, Rochester Adams 34

Bloomfield Hills Andover at Bloomfield Hills Lahser
Lahser is primed for a big time season in what will be its last, and it’s going to start in the opener behind a big time performance from Spencer McCourt.
Lahser 38, Andover 20

Livonia Churchill at Walled Lake Northern
The push for the playoffs begins for the Knights on Friday and look for a big game from running back Jake Ginster lead Northern to its first win of the season.
Northern 31, Churchill 28

Brother Rice vs. Cass Tech (At Wayne State)
Brother Rice running back Brian Walker is going to torture defenses all season long, and the Cass Tech defense will be the first of many
Brother Rice 24, Cass Tech 20

Southfield vs. Detroit King (At Wayne State)
The connection of Tre Walton and Brandon Bean is going to be showcased on Saturday, look for at least 2 touchdowns between those two.
Southfield 35, King 22

Hazel Park at Auburn Hills Avondale
Avondale’s been known for its passing attack from recent years, but look for a big time running attack led by Michael Johnson to lead the way this season.
Avondale 49, Hazel Park 45

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep at Almont
The Fighting Irish were unbeatable during the regular season last year, and you can expect more of that this season.
Notre Dame Prep 17, Almont 10

Birmingham Detroit Country Day vs. Detroit Mumford (At Detroit Renaissance)
Richie Wilson’s breakout season begins on Thursday and you can expect big things from him against Mumford.
DCD 35, Mumford 14

Southfield-Lathrup at Pontiac
The new look Phoenix will have one big factor going for them this season, and that’s quarterback Jody Harrison.
Pontiac 33, Lathrup 24

Ferndale at Birmingham Seaholm
A big race for the OAA Blue title and it may come down to these two teams, but the difference on Thursday will be Ferndale quarterback Eric Ellis.
Ferndale 21, Seaholm 18

Royal Oak at Stoney Creek
The Brad Zube era will get off to a great start for Stoney Creek on Friday night.
Stoney Creek 24, Royal Oak 14

Birmingham Groves at Berkley
Berkley running back Eric Hudson won’t be flying under the radar anymore after this week.
Berkley 28, Groves 21

Farmington Hills Harrison at Detroit Renaissance
Ed Huckelby and Jake Slobin will make life miserable for the Renaissance offense on Friday.
Harrison 35, Renaissance 10

Saline at Walled Lake Western
Western quarterback Kyle Bambard is as dangerous of a quarterback as there is and Saline is about to find out.
Western 38, Saline 28

Oak Park vs. Detroit East English (At Wayne State)
Expectations might have been a bit too high for Oak Park last season, but this year, people can expect big things from Team Carter.
Oak Park 35, East English 24

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oakland County Football Preview - Top 50 players

1.Jon Reschke – Birmingham Brother Rice
Another great linebacker to come out of Brother Rice and will be the leader of what could be the state’s top defense in 2012.

2. Josh Jones – Walled Lake Western
Big time playmaker in the secondary that will do even more damage as a safety this year and will see time on the offensive side as well.

3. Wyatt Shallman – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
Spent much of last season on the sideline due to injury, but should bounce back as one of the state’s best two-way players.

4. Poet Thomas – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Thomas will be a force in the trenches on both sides of the ball as he continues to rack up big time BCS offers.

5. Isaiah Gourdine – Farmington
Gourdine is another big time playmaker from the safety position and will help hold down what could be the best secondary in the county.

6. Jesse Chadwell – Clarkston
The anchor of an experienced and massive offensive line that will be one of the area’s most dominant forces all season long.

7. Brandon Bean – Southfield
Arguably the best receiver in Oakland County and can do just about everything, can make the big play and is one of the best pass catchers there is.

8. Derek Edwards – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
Edwards will help pave the way for the usual punishing rushing attack for Shamrocks, with Edwards back, expect plenty of running room for Catholic Central.

9. Clark Clancy – Auburn Hills Avondale
One of the more dominant players on the offensive line from the county, Clancy has shown the ability to pass and run block with the best.

10. Grant Niemiec/Parker McInnis – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Possibly the best 1-2 backfield punch in Oakland County, both are more than capable of making the big play and running over defenders.

11. Lorenzo Collins – Farmington Hills Harrison
One of the most versatile backs there is, powerful and fast, and makes plays in the passing game as well.

12. Cam Thomas – South Lyon East
One of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state, can make plays through the air and can pull the ball down and pick up big chunks of yards with his legs.

13. Austin Johnson – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Possibly the state’s best pure run blocker, Johnson will help pave the way for Niemiec and McInnis and should see time on the defensive line this fall.

14. Jalen Watts-Jackson – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
One of the best deep threats that the area has to offer, Watts-Jackson is a name to watch this fall against the CHSL.

15. Richie Wilson – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Wilson will be one of the most exciting two-way players that the state has to offer. Has home-run ability out of the backfield and is a shutdown corner in the secondary.

16. Sergio Perkovic – Birmingham Brother Rice
One of the best pure pass rushers there are, look for Perkovic to rack up double-digit sacks this season on the Warrior d-line.

17. Johnny Williams – Holly
Williams might be the most underrated player that Oakland County has, but make no mistake, he’s as good as it gets when it comes to making plays from his quarterback position.

18. Kyle Bambard – Walled Lake Western
Another one of the best dual threat QB’s around, Bambard can make plays with his arm and his leg. Bambard is also one of the best kickers in the nation.

19. Anthony Darkangelo – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The second half of the one-two punch with Shallman, Darkangelo will give the Shamrocks a speed aspect to its running game which will make them even more dangerous.

20. Jake Slobin – Farmington Hills Harrison
Another dominant lineman from Oakland County, Slobin will be a force on both sides of the ball for the Hawks in 2012.

21. Timmy Cason – Clarkston
Cason emerged as lockdown corner during his sophomore campaign and much of the same will be in store for his junior year this fall.

22. Jordan Degreffenreed – Farmington
Degreffenreed will continue to build off of his strong junior season where he broke out as one of the more explosive backs in the county.

23. Brian Walker – Birmingham Brother Rice
Walker could end the season as the top back that Oakland County has to offer with his combination of speed and size which will give defenses nightmares.

24. Tre Walton – Southfield
Making the transition from wide receiver to quarterback won’t be easy, but Walton is one of the best playmakers when the ball is in his hands and look for him to excel under center

25. Matt Kosmalski – Walled Lake Northern
Possibly the fastest player in Oakland County, Kosmalski is as dangerous as they come when he gets into the open field. Might be the best “Home Run Threat” there is.

26. Garius Coleman – Farmington Hills Harrison
Jack-of-all trades on offense, Coleman will be a big time contributer in the running game as well as the passing game for the Hawks.

27. Ed Huckelby – Farmington Hills Harrison
Might be the surest tackler that Oakland County has and Huckelby is also one of the biggest hitters that you’ll find this season.

28. Nick Mattich/Craig Columbo – Clarkston
Two more members of the dominant Clarkston O-Line, Mattich and Columbo will be two of the best interior linemen in the OAA.

29. Lucas Cherocci – Birmingham Brother Rice
Will line up right next to Reschke at linebacker, Cherocci makes up the second half of the best one-two linebacking punch there is in the area.

30. Collin Buchanan – Southfield
Bruising lineman who is very good when it comes to run blocking and pass blocking and will make Walton’s life at quarterback much easier.

31. Brian Williams – Oak Park
Williams should serve as a two-way standout for Oak Park in 2012 as he will be a go-to receiver and a shutdown player in the secondary.

32. Greg Weber – Troy
Weber is one of the biggest and strongest offensive linemen that you’ll see this year and look for him to continue his dominance along the line.

33. Antjuan Herbert – Southfield-Lathrup
Another star receiver to go through Lathrup, Herbert is primed for a huge season this fall and will play a big role on defense as well.

34. Michael Johnson – Auburn Hills Avondale
One of the area’s top returning backs, Johnson will help carry the new-look Avondale offense in a number of ways.

35. Derric Williams – Lake Orion
Another top tackler to come out of the linebacker position, Williams is one of the most consistent players returning for the Dragons.

36. Juan Johnson – Madison Heights Madison
Only a sophomore, but could be considered the most electric player that the county has to offer by the end of the fall.

37. Matt Boulis – Walled Lake Central
One of the few returning starters this year for the Vikings, Boulis will be one of the leaders in the middle of the Central defense.

38. Dylan Roney – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
One of the fast risers in Oakland County, Roney is quickly becoming one of the best pass rushing ends in the area.

39. Connor Mohr – Farmington
Punishing running back who will serve as a nice change of pace in the Farmington backfield this fall and will be a top linebacker as well.

40. Connor Francek – Royal Oak Shrine
A name that everyone will know by the end of the season, Francek is about as good of a field general as you will find.

41. Alex Larson – Milford
Yet another outstanding dual-threat quarterback who is just as dangerous throwing the ball as he is when running it.

42. Jacob Miller – Lake Orion
Miller quietly developed into one of the top backs in the county last year and should make more noise this year.

43. Matt Sokol – Rochester Adams
Tall order of replacing Tony Annese, but Sokol will step in as one of the top signal callers and linebackers in the OAA.

44. Nathan Drews – Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest
Drews can do it all under center for the Crusaders, whether it’s in the passing game or running game, Drews is a big time playmaker.

45. Keith Bucholtz – Hazel Park
Has flown under the radar for much of the past couple of seasons, but 2012 could be his breakout season, keep an eye on the Hazel Park linebacker.

46. Manny Mendoza – Rochester
Mendoza is the prototypical wide receiver with his size and speed and when the ball is in his hands, he’s simply electric.

47. Joe Shields – Troy Athens
Can flat out shut down opposing passing attacks, Shields can shut down top receivers with the best of them.

48. Jody Harrison – Pontiac
One of the best quarterback’s you’ll find when it comes to throwing the deep ball, Harrison has plenty of arm strength and is extremely accurate.

49. Ross Williams – Birmingham Groves
Another shutdown corner on defense, but Williams is just as dangerous on offense out of the backfield for the Falcons.

50. Spencer McCourt – Bloomfield Hills Lahser
One of the high risers at the quarterback position, McCourt can make just about any throw from the pocket or on the run.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oakland County Football Preview - Top 10 Teams

1.Biringham Brother Rice
The Warriors are stacked for the 2012 season, especially on defense where they return Michigan State-bound middle linebacker Jon Reschke. Joining Reschke on defense will be another big time producing linebacker, Lucas Cheroccci, as well as pass rushing ends Sergio Perkovic and Kevin Henry. Offensively, look for junior running back Brian Walker to carry the majority of the load in the backfield, as he takes over for Devin Church.

2. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
The Eaglets will be led by a massive offensive line led by senior Austin Johnson that returns all of its starters from the 2011 season. The offensive line will pave the way for the backfield duo of Grant Niemiec and Parker McInnis who could both rush for 100 yards in any game. Look for the St. Mary’s to have a big time passing game as well this year with senior quarterback Matthew Linnehan and junior wideout Jalen Watts-Jackson primed for a big season.

3. Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The Shamrocks will once again have a dominant run game in this year with a punishing run game led by Wyatt Shallman and Anthony Darkangelo carrying the load out of the backfield and Central Michigan commit Derek Edwards anchoring the Catholic Central offensive line. Defensively, the Shamrocks should have one of the best front-sevens in the state with defensive end Dylan Roney and a deep linebacking group led by Brandon Malinowski.

4. Farmington Hills Harrison
The “Big 3” might have moved on to the next level, but that just leaves the door open for the next group of star players at Harrison. With big time offensive playmakers Lorenzo Collins and Garius Coleman, the Hawks will once again have a dangerous and explosive offense. Defensively, look for Ed Huckelby to hold down the Harrison linebacking group while Jake Slobin will continue to be a dominant force on both the offensive and defensive lines.

5. Southfield
The Blue Jays will be one of the fastest teams in Oakland County in 2012 with Trey Walton making the transition from wide receiver to quarterback while standout receiver Brandon Bean will return as one of the state’s best receivers. Look for Collin Buchannan to anchor the Southfield offensive line, while Willie Duncan and Jeff Madison will lead what should be a bruising linebacking group for the Blue Jays and Darius Danzy holding down the secondary.

6. Lake Orion
The Dragons should once again have one of the area’s most consistent offenses this fall with running back Jacob Miller and wide receiver Chazz Miller serving as two big time playmakers for the Lake Orion offense. Defensively, look for linebacker Derric Williams to be one of the area’s best tacklers while Nick Booker will be one of Lake Orion’s best on the line.

7. Clarkston
The Wolves will have one of the most dominating offensive lines in the county with Illinois commit Jesse Chadwell, Nick Mattich and Craig Columbo leading the way for new quarterback, D.J. Zezula. Defensively, Clarkston will be relatively young, but senior linebacker Chris Calvano and junior cornerback Timmy Cason will give offenses headaches all season long.

8. Walled Lake Western
The Warriors only return one full-time starter from last season, but they will still be as dangerous as anyone in the county this fall. Senior defensive back Josh Jones will be a key contributor on both sides of the ball this year and junior quarterback Kyle Bambard will be back this year after splitting time with C.J. McGorsk last fall. Bambard is also one of the nation’s top kickers as well, so keep an eye out for him there.

9. Farmington
The Falcons will have one of the county’s best defenses this fall as they will have a very deep secondary led by safety Isaiah Gourdine and corners Jordan Degreffenreed Josh Craven. Offensively, the Falcons will have a thunder and lightning combination in the backfield of Connor Mohr and Degreffenreed, which could take the Falcons a long way in the playoffs.

10. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets are going to feature an explosive offense this fall with junior running back Richie Wilson who could emerge as one of the best in the state by the end of the season. Quarterback Tyler Weigers and receiver Moe Ways will also give Country Day a big play threat in the passing game, while Poet Thomas should be his dominant self on both sides of the ball on the line.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elite Eight - Thursday's Scrimmage Stars

1. Richie Wilson – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Showed off his playmaking ability on both sides of the ball and could be the most dangerous running back that Oakland County has to offer this fall.

2. Tyler Wiegers – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Showed a little bit of everything under center for the Yellowjackets, with some impressive arm strength and accuracy while making plays in the passing game on the run.

3. Ross Williams – Birmingham Groves
A shifty two-way player for the Falcons showed off some speed and athleticism on offense, while slowing receivers defensively.

4. Chauncey Bridges – North Farmington
Bridges made some plays for the Raiders in the run game as well as the passing game, and when he finds the open field, he can make things happen.

5. Austin Johsnon – Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
Will be one of the anchors to the Eaglet offensive line, but displayed some playmaking ability from his defensive tackle position on Thursday.

6. Tim Cason – Clarkston
One of the main members of the Clarkston secondary made plenty of plays defensively, and look for him to make some noise offensively this year as well.

7. Matthew Linehan – Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
One of the area’s top pocket passers heading into this fall, but showed off his accuracy while throwing on the run on Thursday.

8. D.J. Zezula – Clarkston
This will be his first season as the starter under center for the Wolves, but led Clarkston on several long drives with his arm as well as his legs.

8. Parker McInnis/Grant Niemiec – Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
Both have big time play ability and continued to prove that on Thursday with both picking up large chunks of yardage on several occasions.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oakland County Training Camp Tour (Soccer Edition) - Taking Flight Towards a Repeat

With some unfortunate weather towards the end of last week, I thought I’d change my Oakland County training camp tour up a little bit for today with some soccer.

For the first time in school history, the Auburn Hills Avondale boys soccer team enters a season where, as the defending Division 2 state champions, the Yellow Jackets will be chasing down a chance to repeat in 2012.

With two narrow, 2-1 wins in the state semifinals and finals, Avondale picked up their first ever soccer championship and will now have a big target on their back on a game-in, game out basis this fall.

While the Yellow Jackets did lose plenty of contributors from last season’s squad, including Michigan-bound Nate Chapman as well as Danny Swanson and Joe Davidson, the cupboard is far from bare this season for Avondale who returns 10 players from last year’s group.

Led by senior captains Mark Shoemaker and Eric Koberstein, as well as junior captain Garrett Ritterhaus and senior Skyler Russ, who netted the game winning goal in the state championship game with less than two minutes left to play, the Yellow Jackets will without a doubt be in contention for the Division 2 state championship once again.

Look for Shoemaker, Koverstein and Ritterhaus put together one of the area’s top midfield’s as all three played key roles in last year’s state title run.

Holding down the backline for Avondale will be sophomore center back Stuart Russ who should be one of the state’s top sophomores this year and one of the best defenders going forward during the next three years.

It won’t be an easy road back to the state finals for Avondale, but with 10 returners from last year’s edition of the Yellow Jackets, long time head coach Dave Muczynski’s squad has just as good of a chance as any to finish off the 2012 season just like they did in 2011.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Oakland County Training Camp Tour - Chasing Down Number Six

The magic number is six.

That’s been the number that the Walled Lake Northern football team has been chasing down over the course of the last couple of years. After back-to-back 5-4 seasons, the Knights are once again in search of that elusive sixth win that would ensure them of a playoff berth.

Senior Matt Kosmalski will be one of the main returners from last season’s squad for the Knights as he will see plenty of touches in a number of ways offensively as the Knights will make good use of his speed and athleticism and will hold down the Northern secondary from his safety position.

Splitting some of the carries with Kosmalski for Northern out of the backfield will be senior Jake Ginster who has had several impressive performances over the past couple of seasons.

Quarterbacking the Knights this season will likely be senior Collin O’Donnell, who started the final eight games of the season in 2010 as he took over for injured starter Kirk Thomas who quarterbacked the Knights last season.

But would could be a major strength for the Northern offense this season could be the offensive line, where the Knights return starters Mitch Curl and Anthony Camarda who will help anchor what will be an experienced offensive line.

Defensively, the Knights will have another two-way playmaker to watch for as senior Mike Peer will one of the main contributors for the defense from his outside linebacker position, while also seeing time at wide receiver on offense.

Much like the offense, a strength for the defense could be the line as well where the Knights will have senior defensive end Kody Harthun, who proved to be a difference maker towards the end of last season and will be joined by senior defensive tackle Brett Cordes and junior end Ben Forhan.

With big time difference makers like Kosmalski, Ginster and Peer and a big senior presence filled with numerous returning three year starters, Northern should finally be able to pick up that sixth win and possibly more.

Northern will begin its push for the playoffs on August 24th where they will open the season at home against Livonia Churchill.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oakland County Training Camp Tour - Blue Crush

The Farmington football team is a squad that is flying under the radar for the 2012 football season, and overlooking the Falcons this year is a big mistake.

Head coach John Bechtel’s squad is going to feature one of the area’s best defenses which will be led by Cincinnati bound safety, Isaiah Gourdine. But Gordine won’t be the only big time player in the Falcon secondary as he will be joined by safety Curtis Brunson as well as cornerback Josh Craven all of which will make life hard for opposing quarterbacks looking to find open receivers.

With a deep secondary like that for Farmington, look for defensive tackle Michael Purry to do plenty of damage against the run, while also turning up the pressure in passing situations.

Carrying the load offensively for the Falcons this fall will be the Thunder and Lightning duo of Connor Mohr (Thunder) and Jordan Degreffenreed (Lightning). Mohr and Degreffenreed will be one of the best 1-2 backfield punches that Oakland County will have to offer next season, running behind a big offensive line that will be led by Ryan Caprathy.

Look for Mohr to punish defenses and wear them down while Degreffenreed will simply use his electric speed and athleticism that makes him so dangerous. Both players should be contributors for the Falcons defense as Mohr should see plenty of time at linebacker, while Degreffenreed will be yet another dangerous piece to the Falcon secondary.

Keep an eye out for Craven on the offensive side of the ball as the junior could emerge as one of the go-to receivers in the Farmington passing game.

Farmington will be one of the more experienced teams in the area in 2012 as the Falcons return plenty of starters from last year’s squad that snuck into the playoffs with a 5-4 regular season mark and also picked up a convincing win in the first round of the playoffs.

Now the Falcons are hoping to extend their playoff streak to five straight years and have a very good chance of doing just that and possibly much more with this team as Farmington will showcase its combination of speed and athleticism at its skill positions, and some serious size to take note of in the trenches.

Bechtel’s squad will kick off the season less than three weeks from now, at home on August 24th against Westland John Glenn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oakland County Training Camp Tour - Unfinished Business (WL Western)

The Walled Lake Western football team has some unfinished business to take care of this year.

After losing in heartbreaking fashion to Lowell in overtime in the Division 2 state semifinals, the Warriors head into the 2012 season with the hopes of returning to the state semifinals this year and advancing to the state finals at Ford Field.

Coming back this season to lead the offense for the Warriors this year will be junior signal caller Kyle Bambard who split time with senior quarterback C.J. McGorsk last year. During his sophomore campaign, Bambard proved to be one of the area’s best dual threat quarterbacks as he showed his ability to both beat teams with his arm, as well as his legs.

Looking over to the defensive side of the ball for Western, the Warriors have just one returning starter as defensive back Josh Jones will be the backbone of the defense from his safety position as he will look to continue to make life hard for opposing quarterbacks looking to throw.

Bambard will have some company on the offensive side of the ball as Jones will see some play time in a number of different ways in 2012. Along with Jones, the Warriors will have plenty of speed and athleticism on offense as Bambard will have weapons like Matt Carroll, Nik Heglin and speedy sophomore James LaLonde. That quartet of Warriors at the offensive skill positions will could become a nightmare for opposing defenses all year long.

Defensively, Western will have a very deep front seven that will continuously rotate players in and out with a linebacking group that will be led by Zach Prokes and a defensive line squad that will have Nelis Johnson leading the way.

Bambard will also hold down the Western kicking duties as he’s quickly become one of the most coveted kickers in the country at the college level. Offensive linemen Alex Joss and Noah Bednarek could be two key players for Western as the Warriors look to replace their entire offensive line from last season.

The Warriors will have a tune up game for the season against defending state champion Birmingham Brother Rice in a couple of weeks and will kick off the regular season on August 24th against Saline.

Western will look to defend its KLAA North Division title this year after finishing last season with an unblemished division record and a 12-2 mark overall.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 OC Football Watch List - Defensive Backs

Josh Jones – Walled Lake Western
A flat out ball hawk, Jones is the definition of a true playmaker in the secondary as well as the return game and look for him to get some touches on offense as well this year. Good luck to teams planning on throwing the ball Jones’ way this season.

Isaiah Gourdine – Farmington
Speaking of playmakers, Gourdine can track down the ball with the best of them. One of the fastest risers on the recruiting scene late in the offseason and is about to show everyone why this fall.

Tim Cason - Clarkston
Cason was one of the fast risers on the recruiting scene last year, and he should be a fast riser on the football field this fall as well. One of the best as shutting down receivers at any time and anywhere on the field.

Chris Carter - Birmingham Brother Rice
Carter has quietly begun to rise to the top of the field from the defensive backfield, and his ability to track down balls in mid air is what separates him from the rest of the defensive backs in Oakland County.

Michael Cleveland – Oak Park
One of a handful of transfers into Oak Park this year, but Cleveland will give the Knights a lockdown presence in the defensive backfield all season long.

Reid McManus – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
McManus is one of the area’s best at reading a quarterback and being able to make quick adjustments and that’s why he’s as good as it gets at taking away the top target from just about any team.

Nick Booker – Lake Orion
Booker is another player that has shown the ability to play some lockdown some of the county’s best receivers last year and should do much of the same once again in 2012 for the Dragons.

Chauncey Bridges – North Farmington
Another member of what could be a very stout Raider defense, Bridges should offer a very consistent and experienced presence to the North Farmington back seven.

Gabe O’Neil – Madison Heights Bishop Foley
The Ventures lost quite a bit from last year’s squad, but O’Neil will definitely be a player to watch out of the Bishop Foley secondary as he should be one of the area’s breakout stars in 2012.

Desmond Paige – Ferndale
Paige will be one of the best in the secondary when it comes to defending the pass, as well as being able to help out the front seven and slow down opposing running attacks this fall.

Ben Hart – Rochester Adams
With Hart in the secondary and Niswonger in the mix at linebacker, Adams could have one of the best defenses in Oakland County this year. Hart continued to improve game by game last season and that should carry over to this year.

Darius Danzy – Southfield
Danzy is another outstanding athlete that the Blue Jays will have on board this year and look for him to be one of the best at taking away the deep passing game from opponents and should make plays left and right all season long.

Joe Shields – Troy Athens
Shields will help lead the Red Hawks defensive backfield this year as they will be one of the toughest to pass against. Shields is one of the top all-around defensive backs around and should be a true difference maker for Athens.

2012 OC Football Watch List - Linebackers

Jon Reschke – Birmingham Brother Rice
Over the years, Brother Rice has become a linebacker factory as they continue to produce D-1 players from the position and Reschke is continuing that trend. The Michigan State bound senior might be the best player in the county in 2012 and is a flat out tackling machine in every way for the Warriors.

David Houle/Brandon Malinowsk/J.T. Ayotte – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
This might be the best group of linebackers in the state this fall, as all three are some of the best at stopping the run and are just as good in coverage. When teams look to avoid Houle and Malinowski, Ayotte could make those teams pay in the end.

Willie Duncan/Jeff Madison – Southfield
Look for the Southfield defense to be one of the stingiest in Oakland County in 2012 and with Duncan and Madison holding down the middle of the defense. Teams are going to need some luck if they plan on picking up big plays against the Blue Jay defense.

Chris Calvano – Clarkston
Even with Zach Collins and Matt Dellinger moving on, Clarkston won’t have much to worry about in its linebackers group with Calvano stepping in. Look for him to be one of the area’s best all-around linebackers in 2012.

Reilly Manz – Bloomfield Hills Lahser
A big run stuffing linebacker for Lahser and should once again be one of the best a stopping the opposing run games this year. Look for Manz to also be effective against the pass as well.

Keith Bucholtz – Hazel Park
For the past few years, Hazel Park has gotten a lot of attention because of its high powered offense, but look for Bucholtz and the defense to sneak up on teams this year. Bucholtz can do a little bit of everything from his linebacker spot.

Evin Papuga – Holly
Papuga has shown in the past that he can be one of the hardest hitters around, but that’s not all he brings to the Holly defense. Papuga has proven to be one of the most reliable tacklers in the Flint Metro League.

Derric Williams – Lake Orion
Williams is one of the names to watch for the Dragons in 2012. He flew under the radar last fall, but look for Williams to have a breakout season this year in the OAA.

Anthony Waite – Lakeland
Look for Waite to contribute in a number of ways for the Eagles in 2012, but he will likely make his biggest impact on defense where he has proven to be one of the best tacklers.

Kyle Niswonger – Rochester Adams
You might not know his name right now, but you might want to know it very soon. Niswonger is a bit of a sleeper this year, but he should be one of the best at his position this fall.

Lonnie Jaynes – Troy Athens
Athens is a team to keep an eye on this year and Jaynes is one of the players that could lead the Athens defense to another strong year against the run.

Harold Gibbs – Clawson
Another sleeper to keep an eye on for 2012, Gibbs has been one of the better linebackers when it comes to slowing down the run as well as the pass.

Chris Hall – Pontiac
Hall is big-time hitter in the middle of the Pontiac defense, but is also one of the most improved linebackers against the pass, while continuing to dominate against the run.

Joe Nagle – Royal Oak Shrine
Nagle was one of the most consistent linebackers in 2011 and we should see much of the same from him in 2012 as he holds down the Shrine defense.

Jason Fusco – Southfield Christian
Fusco is a player who flew under the radar last year, but continued to improve all year long and showed his ability to be one of the area’s best at stopping opposing running attacks.

Matt Boulis - Walled Lake Central
Boulis will be one of just a handful of returning starters for the Vikings, but should be a difference maker in the middle of the Central defense against the run and passing attacks.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 OC Football Watch List - Defensive Lineman

Dylan Roney – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
Roney is one of the best unknown players in the state, but by the end of the year, people will know exactly who this guy is. One of the best at getting after the quarterback and just as good at stopping the run. Look for him to contribute a bit in the Shamrock backfield as well.

Poet Thomas – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
An offseason high riser on the recruiting scene, Thomas is one of the most coveted defensive line prospects we’ve had in the OC in recent memory, and for good reason. Thomas has and will torture opposing offensive lines and backfields.

Ed Huckleby – Farmington Hills Harrison
Huckleby will be a two way contributor for the Hawks this year, but will do some serious damage at defensive end for the Hawks as he’s as good as it gets when it comes to pass rushing. He could be the next big time lineman from Harrison to land at a BCS conference school.

Michael Purry – Farmington
Farmington is filled with sleepers for 2012 and Purry is one of them. Look for him to have a breakout year this year in the OAA and be a huge contributor for what could be a dangerous Farmington defense.

Andrew Gikas – Bloomfield Hills Lahser
Gikas might be a contributor for the Knights on either side of the ball, but should a true force in 2012 on the defensive line as he capable of disrupting both the passing game as well as the run game.

Kody Harthun/Brett Cordes/Ben Forhan – Walled Lake Northern
Much like the offensive line, the defensive line could be one of Northern’s strengths in 2012 and these three are a big reason as to why. Look for the Northern D-Line to be one of the quickest in the county with Harthun, Cordes and Forhan getting after the quarterback.

Anwar Alquemeh/Itoh Buley – North Farmington
North Farmington could be one of the sleeper teams to look for out of the OAA this season and this defensive line duo could be a big reason to the Raiders’ success as teams will have plenty of trouble trying to run against them.

Zach Hadron/Piper Thaler – Oxford
Oxford lost a lot from last year’s squad, but Hadron and Thaler should lead what will be a very strong Wildcat defense as teams will once again struggle to run the ball against the Oxford front four.

Matt Okaiye – Waterford Kettering
Okaiye was one of the players you should get to know in Oakland County, will only be a junior this year, but will show off his ability to get after the quarterback at just about any time.

Devyn Bogert – Walled Lake Central
Bogert will also be a junior in 2012 and he could be a player who gives offensive lines all types of fits with his combination of size, speed and athleticism.

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 OC Football Watch List - Offensive Lineman

Clark Clancy – Auburn Hills Avondale
Was one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail in the offseason and should be one of the biggest names to look out for this fall after proving to be one of the most complete linemen last year.

Austin Johnson – Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
Johnson will be one of the anchors for an Eaglet offensive line that returns four of five starters and Johnson should be a fast riser on the recruiting scene over the course of the next few months.

Jake Slobin – Farmington Hills Harrison
Harrison often gets plenty of recognition for its skill position players, but Slobin is as good as it gets on the line and is one of the best at clearing the way for those skill players.

Derek Edwards – Novi Detroit Catholic Central
Edwards quietly had a strong season for the Shamrocks in the trenches as he helped pave the way for a very strong running attack for Catholic Central and we should see much of the same in 2012.

Collin Buchannon – Southfield
With some of the big name players that the Blue Jays have had, Buchannon’s name has been one that has flown under the radar, but should once again be a dominant force up front.

Jesse Chadwell/Craig Columbo/Nick Matich/Adam Matich – Clarkston
Clarkston lost several players on offense from last season, but what could be the biggest strength for the Wolves next season is the offensive line, thanks to this quartet.
*(Thanks to a reader for the tip)

Kevin Kwapis – Lakeland
In what was a bit of a down year for Lakeland last year, the Eagles did show that 2012 could be a big year for them with the emergence of a solid offensive line led by Kwapis as he’ll clear the way for running back Chuck Sanders.

Greg Webber – Troy
Webber was another name that not many know, but you might want to get to know the name soon. Showed last year that he can both pass block and run block which is a valuable thing in a balanced offense like Troy’s.

Justice Bolling/Ross Miller – Waterford Mott
Bolling and Miller could help pave the way for Mott in a season where the Corsairs are looking to find an identity and these two could help them do just that.

Mitch Curl/Anthony Camarda – Walled Lake Northern
Two of just a small handful of returners for Knights from last season and both should help clear the way for backfield playmakers like Jake Ginster and Matt Kosmalski. Look for the line to be a strength for the Northern offense.

Andrew O’Bryan – Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
With tons of weapons on offense from running back, to wide receiver, to quarterback, O’Bryan and the rest of the WOLL offensive line might have been the most valuable last year as they continued to slow down opposing defensive lines all season long.

Kyle March – Birmingham Brother Rice
As always, the offensive line is a key for Brother Rice and this year won’t be any different as March will help anchor the line and open holes for the Warrior backfield.

Kyle Vandell – Holly
For a very strong running Holly team last year, Vandell played a big role in helping the Holly offense pick up big gain after big gain in 2011.

Mike Dobrowski – Walled Lake Central
The Vikings will have a relatively young offense this fall, but Dobrowski and a few others will add some veteran leadership and add plenty of stability to the Central O-Line.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 OC Football Watch List - Receivers

Brandon Bean – Southfield
Might have the best hands in the county as drops are very rare to see from Bean, paired with his lightning quick speed, and outstanding route-running ability, look for him to torture opposing secondary’s.

Jalen Watts-Jackson – Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
The connection of Linehan to Watts-Jackson could be the best in the county this year. Be prepared to hear that quite a bit if you’re in attendance at an OLSM game.

Chazz Miller – Lake Orion
Another returning starter at a skill position for the Dragons, Miller should open things up for the Lake Orion offense with his ability to stretch the field in the passing game.

Brandon Harding – Oak Park
Harding, along with Williams (See Below) will give Oak Park a bit of Thunder and Lighting in the passing game this year, as both have the ability to make the big play, while still doing the little things right.

Brian Williams – Oak Park
Williams has begun to emerge as a top target and paired with Harding, will give defenses all kinds of trouble in the secondary as both are nightmarish match-ups.

Erik Stubbs – Auburn Hills Avondale
With quarterback Mitch Robinson moving on to the next level, Avondale’s next signal caller will have one of the top pass catchers around as his top target this season as Stubbs will make the QB’s job much easier.

Garius Coleman – Farmington Hills Harrison
Coleman will be Mr. Everything this season for Harrison, as he could play just about everywhere on offense outside of QB, but will likely see the most playing time at wide receiver. A true playmaker whenever the ball is in his hands, much like a the No. 1 receiver last year, Aaron Burbridge.

Matt Rosteck/Tim Ford/Tyler Mack - Walled Lake Central
If Central decides to pass more often this season than they have in the past, this trio could give secondaries some fits this season.

Garrett Ross – Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
Might play at a smaller school, but has big play talent and adds another dimension to the WOLL offense going forward this season.

Andrew McBride – Rochester Adams
McBride was quietly one of the area’s best receivers last year and should build off of an impressive junior year last year and could be a breakout star this year.

Zack Tornow – Bloomfield Hills Lahser
Tornow, with quarterback Spencer McCourt should make up one of the most underrated QB/WR tandems in Oakland County as Tornow can do just about everything at receiver as he’s shown that he can catch anything thrown his way.

Matt Kosmalski - Walled Lake Northern
Should see time at both running back and wide receiver, but proved last year that he is a capable big time play maker for the Knights at either position. Look for Kosmalski to be a difference maker on both sides of the ball as he will make a big time impact on the Northern secondary

Joe Morrison – Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest
Speaking of underrated duo’s Morrison and quarterback Nathan Drews are as lethal of a combo as there is at any level in the area and expect plenty of big plays to be made between those two in the fall.

Jake Neracher - Walled Lake Western
Speed kills in football, and Neracher has plenty of it, look for Neracher to specialize in the "Big Play Department" for the Warriors this season.

Josh Macks – Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest
Can do a little bit of everything from the tight end position, and now that he's transferred to Lutheran Northwest, that offense just became much more dangerous with Macks and Morrison.
*(Thanks to Jennifer Hart for the correction)

Alan Davis – South Lyon East
Davis will be one off quarterback Cam Thomas’ top targets this year and is one of the best pure pass catching tight ends that you will find, keep an eye on him to make a big impact this year.