Return to the gridiron: Farmington Press

A look at the local squads as prep season kicks off

Farmington Press | Published August 27, 2014

 The North Farmington defense takes the field during a scrimmage Aug. 21 at home.

The North Farmington defense takes the field during a scrimmage Aug. 21 at home.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

By C & G Sports Staff

The prep football season kicks off Aug. 28 on fields across the state.

Here’s a look at your local squads, along with some thoughts from the coaches regarding what they hope will make this a season to remember.

The opening game for each squad is also listed.

Farmington High Falcons
Last season’s record: 2-7
League: Oakland Activities Association Blue Division
Returning Starters: 16
Opening game: vs. Farmington Hills Harrison, 7 p.m. Aug. 28

Offensive keys: The Falcons averaged 21 points a game last season, and with seven returning starters, coach John Bechtel expects his offense to be more potent this time around.

A key is quarterback Kyle Collins, who enters his third year as a starter. In the backfield, fullback Kyle Brunson is expected to carry a share of the load.

“Offensively, we should be pretty balanced,” Bechtel said.

Defensive keys: Farmington has even more talent back on the defensive side with nine starters returning, including linebacker David Reese, a three-year varsity member.

“Defensively, we’re going to be quick and strong,” Bechtel said.

Coach’s outlook: Last season snapped a five-season streak of making the playoffs.

“That didn’t sit very well with us,” Bechtel said. “Our coaching staff and players worked incredibly hard during the offseason to get back to where we want to be.

“We think our future is bright.”

North Farmington Raiders
Last season’s record: 5-4
League: Oakland Activities Association White Division
Returning Starters: 13
Opening game: at Pontiac High, 7 p.m. Aug. 28

Offensive keys: The Raiders return seven players to the offensive unit after averaging 27.4 points last season. Coach Todd Schultz said he expects his line to be the team’s strength, but the Raiders need to find a new starting running back due to graduation.

Defensive keys: There are six back on the defense after letting up 25.9 points per game last season, and much like the offense, Schultz anticipates the strength to come from up front.

Coach’s outlook: The Raiders made the postseason last year after going 5-3 in the regular season. North Farmington has qualified for the postseason two of the past three seasons. The only year it didn’t was the last time it played in the OAA White.

Schultz said he expects his team to be competitive in the White with the likes of Farmington Hills Harrison, Birmingham Seaholm and Southfield High, among others.

The Raiders went 1-6 in their last stint in the White (2012).

Farmington Hills Harrison Hawks
Last season’s record: 10-2
League: Oakland Activities Association White Division
Returning Starters: Eight
Opening game: at Farmington High, 7 p.m. Aug. 28

Offensive keys: The Hawks’ offense is predicated on how well senior quarterback Javon Shaw can find open space running and throwing.

Coach John Herrington said the three-year starter is also one of the top return specialist in the area.

“He’s going to be great,” Herrington said. “Javon will do a fair share of running and maybe we’ll run more of a spread offense, if we can.”

The coach added that the bigger question is who will line up behind Shaw at tailback.

“That’s up in the air,” he said.

Overall, Harrison has four starters back after averaging 36.5 points per game last season.

Defensive keys: The Hawks also return four on the defensive side after letting up an average of 17.8 points per game last year.

“We’re going to be very fast. The linebackers have all played a lot, and in the secondary, we have probably eight defensive backs that can play back there.”

Coach’s outlook:
Much like in past years, Herrington sees the division coming down to the usual suspects.

“Southfield and Oak Park can match us in talent and Rochester Adams has great coaching. They’ll all be right there,” he said.

Harrison has also been right there, winning double-digit games in three of the past four seasons.