BERKLEY — Heading into week three of the season Berkley High football coach Chris Sikora had seen bright spots from his offense and defense, but never together.
The Bears’ offense was clicking in week one in a 32-14 loss against Redford Thurston. The defense improved in week two in a 24-6 defeat against North Farmington.
In week three, Berkley fired on all cylinders, beating Hazel Park High 47-0 Sept. 12 at home. The Bears are 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.
“We had a great week of practice. The defense believed in the scheme and the offense is getting the timing down,” Sikora said.
Berkley scored on every possession except the final drive of the game, when the clock ran out. The Bears led 40-0 at halftime after running only 13 plays.
Running back Alec Sanom led the way with three touchdown runs, totaling 185 yards on those three rushes.
“I couldn’t have done it without the offensive line,” he said. “I had to make one cut, and they did everything else.”
The Bears also received rushing scores from Carlton Williams and two from Josh Coleman. Coleman also caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Silverstein.
“We have a lot of team speed, so we’re trying to take advantage of that — putting the ball all over the field, just trying to spread it around as much as possible,” the coach said.
This is Sikora’s first season as the head coach. The previous two years, he was the headman for the JV, and two years prior to that, he was an assistant with the freshmen.
Sikora said he’s looking to build consistency in the program on and off the field. Sikora is Berkley’s third head coach in four years. He’s also a teacher in the building, which he believes gives him an advantage of seeing the kids all day long as opposed to just at practice.
“They have to have discipline in the classroom, that’s going to the big thing, because if they’re not there, they’re not going to be on the football field. So it’s really about discipline in every aspect,” Sikora said.
He’s also coached all the players before when they were going through the JV ranks, giving the group a different bond than a typical first-year head coach coming to a new program.
“It’s great for me to see the growth that these guys have made in every level,” Sikora said. “Seeing them grow in playing ability, maturity, attitude, and all those things — it’s really rewarding.”
Silverstein said there’s a re-assuring feeling with the staff.
“He’s coached every player that’s on the team. It’s just a comfortable feeling knowing that the coaches care about us a lot,” Silverstein said.
“I love him as a coach,” Sanom added. “How we bond with him, it’s cool that we can have that relationship.”
Catch the Bears against OAA Blue leader Birmingham Seaholm at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at home.