The West Bloomfield High football team gathers together during a recent practice. The Lakers went 9-3 last season and have state championship aspirations.

The West Bloomfield High football team gathers together during a recent practice. The Lakers went 9-3 last season and have state championship aspirations.

Photo by Deb Jacques


2019 Football Preview: West Bloomfield High

2018 Record: 9-3

By: C & G Sports Staff | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 11, 2019

Helmet provided by michiganhelmetproject.org

 West Bloomfield High’s Donovan Edwards runs through a drill during a recent practice. Edwards is expected to play a big role for the Lakers offense.

West Bloomfield High’s Donovan Edwards runs through a drill during a recent practice. Edwards is expected to play a big role for the Lakers offense.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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Last season’s record: 9-3

League: Oakland Activities Association Red Division

Returning starters: 14

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 30 vs. Oak Park High

Offensive keys:
The Lakers had no trouble putting points on the board last season, averaging just over 30 points per game.

This season, West Bloomfield coach Ron Bellamy believes the key to duplicating that success starts up front with the offensive line.

“It’s a fairly younger group,” Bellamy said. “They’re talented, but they have to go out there and execute and open those holes up for Donovan Edwards (running back) and Anthony May (running back) and C.J. Harris (quarterback). A great deal of our success is going to be predicated on how well those guys play up front.”

Defensive keys:
Like the offense, the Lakers defense returns a solid chunk of experience, which has Bellamy expecting big things.

In 2018, West Bloomfield allowed its opponents to score just 240 total points.

“We’re definitely going to rely on our defense,” Bellamy said. “We feel like we have one of the stronger units in the state, and we have some firepower. We return six out of our front seven from last year, and we’re going to rely on those guys to compete on a high level every week.”

Key players to watch on defense include Michigan commits Makari Paige (defensive back) and Cornell Wheeler (linebacker), along with senior defensive linemen Sterling Miles and Beau Davis.

Coach’s outlook:
The Lakers have made the state playoffs in five straight seasons, including a Division 1 state championship game appearance in 2017.

And with so much returning experience, expectations are again high for West Bloomfield.

“State championship — I’d be lying to say it’s something that we don’t talk about,” Bellamy said. “We just want to focus on one game at a time. This week in camp, we’re just worried about getting better and working on our Week 1 opponent, Oak Park.”


vs. Oak Park High (9-2) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30
West Bloomfield knocked off Oak Park 27-21 last season and is 5-1 all-time against the Knights. Oak Park’s lone win came back in 2011.

vs. Birmingham Groves (10-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
The Lakers defeated Groves in last year’s regular-season opener 39-28. Groves and West Bloomfield each have 14 wins in the series.

at Southfield A&T (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
A&T bested West Bloomfield last year 37-35. Since A&T opened in 2016, the Warriors have won three of the first four meetings.

vs. Clarkston High (11-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
After claiming a Division 1 state title win 3-2 over the Lakers in 2017, the Wolves again defeated the Lakers in 2018. West Bloomfield hasn’t beaten Clarkston since September of 2017.

at Lake Orion High (5-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
The Lakers had no problem with Lake Orion last year, cruising to a 42-21 victory. The Dragons’ last win over West Bloomfield was in 2013.

vs. Rochester Adams (6-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
Adams and West Bloomfield have played some tight games over the last two seasons, with the Lakers claiming victory in both contests, each by less than 5 points.

vs. Bloomfield Hills High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
West Bloomfield has had its way with Bloomfield Hills over the years, holding a 5-1 edge in the all-time series, including a 50-7 win last year.

at Oxford High (8-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
After falling to the Wildcats in their first meeting back in 2013, the Lakers have gone on to win five straight in the series.

vs. Catholic High School League crossover — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
Last season, West Bloomfield defeated Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 13-10 in its Catholic League crossover game. It was the first meeting between the two schools.

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

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