With health and rejuvenated roster, Southfield Christian finds success
SOUTHFIELD — These are the results he always envisioned — even if it is a year later than planned.
When Larry Weiss took over the Southfield Christian football program last fall, he stepped into a situation with a good number of veteran players, some talent on both sides of the ball, and a wrench in the equation he never saw coming.
“The second game of the season, we had 15 kids dressed,” Weiss said of 2012 and how injuries decimated his roster. “We expected a much better season than we ended up having.”
The Eagles limped through the first six weeks 1-5.
“The injuries took so much away from us,” said senior receiving Harding Fears. “They were such a huge part of last year.”
He refused to look back for too long, though — instead focusing on what’s been accomplished this season and how far many of the same guys have come in less than 12 months.
Following a 20-8 win against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett on Sept. 27, the Eagles were 4-1 on the season.
“We put so much work in over the summer,” Fears said. “We basically came together and wanted to make something out of this season. We felt we were such a better team than last year, and we have to prove it.”
Fears added that having much of the same roster back with the second year under the same coaching staff has also been a huge factor.
Though, none of the success has come as a surprise to Weiss.
In the final three weeks of 2012, he watched as his team slowly got healthy.
He then watched as his guys won two of their final three games.
“We got healthier and healthier, and the new kids played the type of football we knew they could all season,” Weiss said. “We all expected a better year last year, and we’re seeing it now.”
But with 24 guys on the roster and playing, health isn’t the only reason for success so far.
“One thing we’ve been able to do is throw the ball,” Weiss explained. “We couldn’t do that as well last year. I mean, all we did was run. Being able to do both keeps us so balanced and keeps the defense respecting both.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have allowed 30 total points in their four wins.
“We’ve got plenty of athletes, guys that will play at the next level,” Weiss said simply. “Our goal has always been the playoffs with this team. We have to stay healthy and we have to continue to improve the way we have. It’s a lot of the small things we have to maintain: the little things you may forget about when you’re having success.”
The Eagles now travel to take on Lutheran Westland at 7 p.m. Oct. 4.
“We’ve gotten this far, so now it’s about the focus we have to have,” Fears said. “Every game we play from here on out has to be the biggest game in school history.”