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October 23, 2013

Without playing in final, Clawson High claims soccer district title

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Bailey Harris and the Royal Oak soccer team had an amazing turnaround in 2013. The season finally ended in a district final loss.

It had been a while.

Jared Kullman said Clawson High hadn’t won a district title since 1995.

So why wouldn’t the first one in 18 years come without a little drama?

Or none at all, that is.

“We wanted to play, I promise you that,” Kullman, the Trojans’ coach, said about a Division 3 district-final win, one that came without a single second being played after Hamtramck Frontier was found to have ineligible players and forced to forfeit the game. “We were looking forward to it and felt real confident about what we’d be able to do.”

The game never materialized, but the district title stands.

“We’ll take it,” Kullman added. “These guys have earned it. The way they’ve played all year. The way they won two games to get into the final, I feel like this team did everything it had to do.”

Clawson rolled to the final, beating Dearborn Henry Ford 8-0 in the semifinal after cruising past Pontiac Academy for Excellence 8-0.

“This wasn’t just about this year’s team,” Kullman said. “We’ve had guys come back, guys that lost in playoff overtimes, guys that have been so close. They feel like they were part of this, and this year’s team feels the same way.”

Now, Clawson (14-5-0) needs to take the next step.

The Trojans face Jackson Lumen Christi at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Farmington High in a regional semifinal.

“We know a little bit about them, just from watching them play in districts,” Kullman said of Lumen. “They are tough. We have to go out and do our job and hope some match ups work in our favor.”

Asked if he was worried about not playing a game in more than a week, Kullman said no.

“I think the emotional high from winning a district final can be dangerous,” he explained. “The guys won the semifinal game and got back to work. That’s what we’ve been doing and will continue to do. We feel good about what’s ahead of us.”

In other district action

Royal Oak High, a team that won three games all of last season, had 2013 come to an end in a 1-0 loss to Bloomfield Hills High in a D-1 district final at Berkley High.

The Ravens, who had struggled for so many seasons, won the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division title this season.

Royal Oak Shrine had its season come to a close in a 3-2 loss to Birmingham Roeper in a D-4 semifinal from Plymouth Christian.

The Knights beat Westland Lutheran 6-0 in the playoff opener.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.