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November 7, 2012

L’Anse Creuse North football finishes historic year of success

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

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L’Anse Creuse North football finishes historic year of success
L’Anse Creuse North and quarterback Sean Koski (9), pictured during the playoff opener, had plenty to celebrate this year. The Crusaders’ season came to an end following their first ever postseason win, as they fell to Dakota Nov. 2 in a district final.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Talk about a season for the ages.

Coming off back-to-back 0-9 seasons, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s football team put together arguably the finest season in program history.

The Crusaders finished the year 8-3 after falling 42-17 Nov. 2 at Dakota in a Division 1 district final. Before this season, North had never won more than seven games and had never won a playoff game.

“It was a great season,” North coach Anthony Kiner said after the loss. “It’s something we’re happy with.”

The Crusaders, who defeated Romeo High last week for their first-ever playoff win in the program’s second-ever postseason trip, actually led Dakota 10-7 at halftime and trailed 21-17 late in the third quarter. But the Cougars, playing in their ninth district final game since 2002, pulled away late.

“We haven’t been here before, and that showed tonight,” Kiner said. “Too many mistakes. We’re learning. We’re growing up.

“They’ve been here a long time,” the coach continued, speaking about Dakota. “They understand what they do. They go to districts and they win. That’s what they do. We haven’t learned that yet. We’re learning how to win in the playoffs for the first time. It’s tough.”

North, which finished 4-1 and in second place of the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, will graduate several strong seniors but return many solid contributors, led by junior quarterback Sean Koski. Kiner, who just completed his first season coaching the Crusaders, said the experience gained this season and postseason by the returning underclassmen was “ginormous.”

“Now they’re excited about football at L’Anse Creuse North, and that’s what we needed to do this first year, and that’s what we did,” the coach said.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.