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Clinton Township

September 20, 2012

Clintondale football team having another solid year

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Clintondale senior quarterback Jacob Smith and the Dragons were 4-0, 2-0 in the MAC Gold, at press time. Clintondale needs two wins in its last five contests to lock down a MHSAA state playoff berth.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — At 4-0, 2-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division at press time, the Clinton Township Clintondale football team is two wins away from its fourth Michigan High School Athletic Association state playoff berth in seven years.

Over that same span, the Dragons have won no less than five games per season, finishing better than .500 for six straight years.

“I think a lot of that consistency is because we haven’t had a lot of changes on the coaching staff,” said Clintondale coach Dave Schindler, in his eighth year with the program. “I think there’s been one or two coaching changes here in the last 17 years.”

Schindler said this year’s success is due to the Dragons’ 18 returning starters.

Not many teams have that level of experience back from last year, according to Schindler.

“Our guys came into camp knowing exactly what to do and what the coaches would be looking for,” Schindler said. “They’re doing an excellent job.”

This season’s success can be attributed to the play of both lines, according to Schindler.

Schindler said his offensive line has done an excellent job of blocking in every game to the tune of the Dragons averaging 42 points per contest through four games. The Clintondale coach said his defensive line has stepped up each week, and the entire defensive unit has played fast and kept up with assignments.

Senior defensive back/running back James Dhue said the team’s goals coming into the season started small, but they change with each solid performance.

“When we first started, our first goal was to win the first game,” Dhue said.

Senior defensive back Marquis Chavez agreed with Schindler that experience is a huge factor in Clintondale’s success. He said each player understands what it takes to win, and there’s no slacking off in practice or games.

“There’s 39 guys on this team, and we’re playing 31 by halftime every game,” Schindler said. “So we’re going all out each game, giving a total team effort each week.”

Along with Dhue and Chavez, Schindler said junior running back/linebacker Malik Hazzard, offensive tackle Donte Owens and offensive tackle Jacob Vandeusen are leading the charge.

“It’d mean a lot for us to get the team back into the playoffs because we want to continue what (Schindler) has started,” Chavez said. “And right now, we’re on track to go undefeated. That’d make it even more special.”

Clintondale’s Sept. 21 matchup with Clawson took place after press time.

The Dragons next hit the field for a matchup against East Detroit, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at Memorial Field in Eastpointe.
 

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.