Mount Clemens, Harrison Township, Clinton TownshipAugust 26, 2014
Return to the gridiron: Mount Clemens Journal
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
The prep football season kicks off Aug. 28 on fields across the state.
Here’s a look at your local squads, along with some thoughts from the coaches regarding what they hope will make this a season to remember.
The opening game for each squad is also listed. For a look at every local team and their complete schedule, visit www.candgnews.com and click on the Sports tab.
Mount Clemens Battling Bathers
Last season’s record: 4-5, 3-2
League: MAC Bronze
Returning starters: Four
First Game: vs. Detroit University Prep, 7 p.m. Aug. 29
Offensive keys: Fifth-year Bathers coach Harold Penn said execution will be key on offense. Mount Clemens will have a small roster this season, he said, so staying healthy and keeping an eye on conditioning will be vital. Penn said he’s looking for strong play from running back/defensive back Dominic Kirby.
Defensive keys: Penn reiterated that execution is important to his team’s prospects in 2014. He added that his team will be young, as Mount Clemens lost 13 players to graduation — all of whom played on both sides of the ball last season.
Coach’s outlook: “We want to be competitive, and play fast and physical on both sides of the ball. We want to be a cohesive unit.”
Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse Lancers
Last season’s record: 1-8, 1-4
League: MAC Blue
Returning starters: Eight
First Game: at Anchor Bay, 7 p.m. Aug. 28
Offensive keys: Lancers head coach Don Roda, in his 16th year at the helm, is looking to senior offensive guard Billy Stoll to lead the team and anchor its offensive line. Roda said he’s also expecting a solid year out of junior quarterback Tavin Allison, who is in his first year as a varsity player.
Defensive keys: Roda said the play of his returning defensive standouts — junior linebacker Logan Roda, senior defensive back Nick Brunt, junior Maurice Bellamy and junior defensive end Joe — is vital, as the team welcomes a number of inexperienced players. Don Roda also said technique is important because his team doesn’t have a lot of size.
Coach’s outlook: “You don’t know what’s going to happen. You have great aspirations for the season. We don’t have a lot of returning seniors, and that leadership is important. A lot of things depend on how our younger players step up and into their positions.”
Clinton Township Clintondale Dragons
Last season’s record: 9-1, 5-0 MAC Bronze
League: MAC Silver
Returning starters: Eight (four on offense, four on defense)
First Game: at Warren Lincoln, 7 p.m. Aug. 28
Offensive keys: Clintondale football coach Dave Schindler, in his ninth year as head coach, is looking for a big season out of senior running back Aurelio Fields, as the running game will be the focal point of the Dragons’ attack. Schindler said he’s also looking for contributions from first-year varsity players Tayvion Hicks (running back) and Tim Riley (offensive tackle).
Defensive keys: Schindler said the team’s defensive line will be a strength this season, as the entire four-man group returns. Returnees includes senior defensive tackle Jaz Clayton, junior defensive end Josh Eldridge, junior defensive end Kimon Patrick and junior defensive tackle Derrick Gibson. Schindler said he’s also looking for solid play from junior linebacker Andre Merriweather, in his first year with the varsity team.
Coach’s outlook: “The key to our success is how well we run the football and how well we stop the run,” Schindler said.