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2019 Football Preview: Birmingham Brother Rice

2018 Record: 7-4

By: C & G Sports Staff | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 6, 2019

Last season’s record: 7-4
League: Catholic High School League Central Division
Returning starters: Nine
First game: 4 p.m. Aug. 29 vs. Utica Eisenhower at Wayne State University

Offensive keys:
Warriors coach Adam Korzeniewski wants his team to be more efficient on first down this season. If the team can accomplish that, it will lead to retaining the ball.

Two other important factors the coach is looking at as paramount to the Warriors’ season are the running game and keeping the defense out of bad situations.

“I think if we can do those three things, we’ll be good,” Korzeniewski said.

One offensive leader who the Warriors will lean on this season is third-year quarterback Greg Piscopink. The Warriors have high expectations when it comes to their quarterback.

Piscopink’s decision making and ability to make plays with his legs are expected to take a step forward this season.

“We’re going to expect a lot of him,” Korzeniewski said. “He knows the offense inside and out. We have a lot on his shoulders.”

Defensive keys:
While the Warriors had to replace three of four on the defensive line, they bring back three out of four in the secondary. Korzeniewski noted how the replacements in those positions are good players and multisport athletes.

Notable newcomers are Mason Everly, who has been “really good” on the D-line according to his coach, and Ryan Browne, who’s shown some ability in the secondary.

Linebackers Jimmy Phillips and Ohannes Sarkisian, and safety Rocco Milia are being looked at as key players on that side of the ball.

Despite three new players on the defensive line, Korzeniewski expects that unit to have a strong season.

“I think anytime you can control the line of scrimmage with the interior, it’s going to put you in a good spot,” the coach said.

Coach’s outlook:
When being introduced at Catholic High School League media day, it was announced that Brother Rice is expected to finish fourth in the Central Division. Korzeniewski recorded that introduction and plans to play it to his players.

“I expect to win it,” he said. “That’s just how I am, and I believe we have the people who can do it because of the way they’ve been buying in. Pressure is the expectation at

Brother Rice, and I’ve accepted that in this role here.”

vs. Utica Eisenhower (6-4) — 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Wayne State University
The Eagles have either made the playoffs or had a winning season every year since 1985. Last year, Ike made a playoff run but fell to the eventual Division 1 state champion, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, in a predistrict game.

vs. Windsor Holy Names (Ontario) — 7 p.m. Sept. 5
Last year’s matchup was the first time these two teams faced off. Brother Rice won the game 41-21.

vs. Detroit U-D Jesuit (4-5) — 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13
In 49 games against the Cubs, the Warriors have won 42 times. Rice blanked Jesuit 28-0 in last year’s matchup.

vs. Warren De La Salle (12-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
Despite a 13-0 loss to the Pilots last season, the Warriors lead the all-time series between the two schools, holding a 43-15 advantage.

at Detroit Catholic Central (7-4) — 1 p.m. Sept. 29
The Warriors have not played another opponent more than they have played the Shamrocks. In 63 total matchups, Rice is 30-32-1 against its rival.

at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (3-6) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5
In the past two seasons, the Eaglets have combined for a 5-12 record. The last time St. Mary’s beat Rice was a 21-0 victory in 2016.

vs. Guerin Caholic (Indiana) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
When the Golden Eagles travel up north this season, it will be for their first matchup all-time with the Warriors.

at Lapeer High (11-1) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
Since the program’s formation in 2014, the Lightning have lost just 10 games. Lapeer had an 11-game win streak last year before a 13-0 loss to Clarkston High in a Division 1 regional final ended its season.

at TBA Prep Bowl or Crossover — 7 p.m. Oct. 25