WARREN — Warren Mott football coach Tom Milanov will enter his 14th season with the Marauders in 2013.
Milanov’s 13th campaign ended with a 28-0 loss to Utica Eisenhower Oct. 26 in the opening round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state playoffs, but the Mott coach wasn’t down following the season-ending setback.
“I told the team I was proud of them and how hard they worked,” said Milanov, who guided the Marauders to an 8-2 record. “The majority of the teams in the state don’t make the playoffs, so it is an honor to play in the playoffs and a great accomplishment for (the players).
“They added to the Warren Mott football tradition of excellence.”
Milanov said mistakes early in the contest against Eisenhower cost Mott and hurt its momentum.
The Marauders’ offense made two early trips into Ike’s red zone — one all the way to the Eisenhower 1-yard line — and couldn’t reach the end zone.
Mott also forced Ike into a third-and-long early on but gave up a big pass play.
This was the sixth postseason appearance in seven years for Mott, which finished second in the Macomb Area Conference White Division with a 4-1 record.
“I think we had a great year,” Milanov said. “I was very happy with all phases of our game and think we established a great deal of (things) we can build on next year.”
The Marauders lose 11 seniors to graduation and could potentially have 22 seniors on the roster next year. Milanov said he expects them all to provide some level of leadership in 2013.
Milanov said those leaders will emerge in the offseason.
“Much of that (leadership) is determined based on how hard the guys work in the offseason, and whose voice emerges as the leader in the weight room and in conditioning drills,” he said.
“I think our prospects are bright. We need (both the offense and defense) to blend together and work hard in the weight room starting in January in order to achieve the success they expect.”