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Lathrup Village, Southfield

August 27, 2013

Southfield Sun high school football preview

» click to enlarge «
The Southfield-Lathrup defense converges on a Roseville High running back in a scrimmage Aug. 22 at home. The Chargers are looking for improvement under new coach Keith Stephens.

Game on

Southfield High
8/30 vs. Detroit Cass Tech
9/6 @ Farmington High
9/12 vs. Bloomfield Hills High
9/20 @ Oak Park High
9/27 vs. Farmington Hills  Harrison
10/4 @ Oxford High
10/11 vs. Rochester Adams
10/18 vs. Southfield-Lathrup
20/25 vs. TBD

Southfield Christian
8/29 vs. Mayville High
9/6 @ Grand Rapids North Pointe Christian
9/13 @ Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest
9/21 vs. Sterling Heights Parkway Christian
9/27 @ Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett
10/4 @ Lutheran Westland
10/11 vs. Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
10/19 @ Sterling Heights Parkway Christian
10/26  @ Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood

Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup
8/29 vs. Pontiac High
9/6 vs. Oak Park High
9/12 @ Farmington High
9/20 vs. Rochester Adams
9/27  @ Bloomfield Hills High
10/4 vs. Farmington Hills  Harrison
10/11 vs. Oxford High
10/18 @ Southfield High
10/25 TBD

Prep football teams will be back on the gridiron beginning Aug. 29. Here’s a rundown of each local team, including returning starters, offensive and defensive keys, and what each coach is expecting from their squad.

For all the previews from our local teams, visit our website at www.candgnews.com and click on the Sports link.

Southfield High Bluejays
Last season’s record: 7-4
League: Oakland Activities Association White Division
Returning starters: 18

Offensive keys:

With a bevy of talent back on offense, the Bluejays look to put even more points on the board than last season, when they averaged 25 points per contest.

Senior Jalen Brady holds the quarterback spot and has already verbally committed to Bowling Green State University. His weapons include receivers Jordan Billingslea, Devonte Alfred, Jacob Studdard, Ray Buford and Raquan Carter.

Defensive keys:

Southfield, potentially, has the most dominant defensive line in the county with senior Lawerence Marshall and Malik McDowell.

Marshall is a University of Michigan commit who stands 6 feet 4 and weighs in at 245 pounds. Down the line is McDowell, who transferred in from Detroit Loyola and is fielding multiple college offers. McDowell is 6-7 and 290. Last season, he helped lead Loyola to the Division 7 state championship game.
Coach’s outlook:

Though coach Tim Conley admits the team is loaded with talent, he also knows the OAA White is anything but a given.

“(We have) lots of talent that will play at the next level, (but) consistency throughout the schedule will be a challenge,” he said.

Southfield Christian Eagles
Last season’s record: 3-6
League: Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Returning starters: 6

Offensive keys:

Now in his second season with the Eagles, Larry Weiss is ready to build on a 2012 season that began with so much promise, but was essentially dismantled due to injury after injury.

On the offensive side of the ball, the coach kept things pretty simple.

“If our offensive line protects, we’re going to have a real good season,” he said. “If they don’t, we won’t.”

Senior Jonathan Springer is back to start at quarterback, while junior running back Bobby Banks, and senior receivers Harding Fears and Jack Harrington, also return to the starting lineup.

“We’re going to be young up front, and that’s where we need some senior leadership,” Weiss said. “We have to gain experience on the fly and build from it.”

Defensive keys:

Defensively, some of the same names hold the key to success.

Springer and Fears will be at the outside linebacker spot, while Banks will be inside.

“Linebackers are where we run our defense through,” Weiss said. “It’s a position we set up to have the opportunity to make plays. Those guys certainly can, and the hope is that they do.”

Coach’s outlook

“I think if we play to our ability, this is a playoff team,” Weiss said. “Last year, we started so many young kids, and then we were inundated with injuries. We’re two-deep this year in most spots, and now we have almost everyone with a lot of experience to fall back on.”

Southfield-Lathrup Chargers
Last season’s record: 1-8
League: Oakland Activities Association White Division
Returning starters: Nine

Offensive keys:

“Where our offensive line takes us, that will determine how successful we’ll be,” coach Keith Stephens said, adding that three starting linemen return. “They are going to have to adjust to our system. They’re used to being in more of a power offense. Now, we’re asking them to be more agile on their feet.”

Defensive keys:

Stephens, in his first year with Lathrup, runs a 4-4 defense and likes what he has seen so far, commenting that all four defensive linemen are returning starters, which he believes will, in turn, help his linebackers make plays.

“If I had to grade the defense, I’d give them a C+ or B-. I’m Ok with where they are right now,” he said.

Coach’s outlook:

“The goal for us is to go out there and compete in every ball game, and for our seniors to play well and have a chance to play at the next level,” Stephens said.