2019 Football Preview: Clawson High

2018 Record: 6-4

By: C & G Sports Staff | Royal Oak Review | Published July 29, 2019

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Last season’s record: 6-4

League: Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division

Returning starters: N/A

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 vs. Armada High 

Offensive keys:

Success for the offense starts up front. The Trojans have three key players returning in offensive linemen Luke Crocker, Nick Chance and Devin Sylvester.

“Those three guys, that’s where our offense is going to start because that’s where our most experience is,” Clawson coach Jim Sparks said. “It gets pretty exciting from there, because we’ve got a lot of good guys playing new positions.”

Tristen Perry, who was the team’s leading receiver last season, transitioned to quarterback this offseason and has seen his share of reps under center. Sparks said it would be important for him to develop week to week. 

Defensive keys: 

From the 2017 season to the 2018 season, the Trojans cut their points allowed total in half, allowing roughly 15 points per game last season compared to 31 points per game the season prior.

If Clawson is to see that strong play again this season, linebackers Sylvester and Nick Odeh will need to continue to play a leadership role.

“Linebackers are like the quarterbacks of the defense,” Sparks said. “We need them to recognize offensive formations, help the younger guys get into the proper spots and set examples through their play. As team leaders, we expect them to set the tone in effort and physicality on that side of the ball.”

Defensive lineman Nate Vesper returns and is one of the team’s top skill players according to the coach. Vesper doubles as a tight end on offense and will be heavily relied upon this season.

Coach’s outlook:

Sparks said the MAC Bronze is as close this season as it’s ever been. The coach, now in his 17th year at Clawson, said he would be shocked if the division champion made it through the division without any losses.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids in some key places so it’s important for us to just get better each day,” Sparks said. “Hopefully, if all goes well, we’ll be able to compete with the teams in the division.”


Schedule: 

vs. Armada High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
The Tigers and the Trojans have opened the season every year since 2014. Clawson is 3-2 in those matchups, including a 34-0 win last year.

at Eastpointe High (2-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
Despite beating Clawson the past two years, including a 38-28 win last season, the Shamrocks trail 4-3 in the all-time series.

vs. Center Line High (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
The Panthers were back in the playoffs last season after not being there since 2005. In a 37-19 win against the Trojans a year ago, Center Line tied its second-highest point total that season.

vs. New Haven High (0-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
The Rockets suffered through a winless season in 2018, only scoring 12 points in eight games. New Haven has only beaten the Trojans once in 11 tries.

at Madison Heights Lamphere (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
After a playoff-bound season in 2017, the Rams experienced a drop off in both wins and points scored last season. Other than Madison Heights Madison, the Rams have played no team more than Clawson. The Trojans lead the series 30-13-3.

vs. Marine City High (10-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
The Mariners and the Trojans met twice last season. The second meeting took place in a Division 5 playoff opener. Marine City prevailed 21-12. The Mariners won in the regular season 28-8.

at Warren Lincoln (3-6) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
The Trojans’ defense shut out four teams last season. The Abes were one of them in a 42-0 loss Oct. 5.

at Clinton Township Clintondale (3-6) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
After a year that saw them go winless in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, the Dragons have returned to the Bronze Division. When these teams last played in 2015, Clintondale blanked Clawson 30-0.

vs. St. Clair Shores South Lake (3-6) — 7 p.m. Oct. 24
Despite winning two of the last three matchups, the Cavaliers still trail 8-5 in the all-time series. After losing two straight to South Lake, the Trojans took last year’s matchup 26-20.

Schedule provided by mhsaa.com and historical data provided by michigan-football.com.

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