Football

Published July 15, 2016

Warren Michigan Collegiate Cougars
Last season’s record:
5-5
League: Charter School Conference
Returning starters: 17
First game: vs. Detroit Loyola, 7 p.m. Aug. 26

Offensive keys:
Coach John Guth said his team must take care of the football and limit turnovers if it is to make an eighth straight playoff appearance.

Collegiate averaged 23.1 points per game in 2015.

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Published July 15, 2016

Warren De La Salle Pilots
Last season’s record:
6-4
League: Catholic High School League Central Division
Returning starters: Eight
First game: at Lowell High, 7 p.m. Aug. 26

Offensive keys:
New De La Salle coach Mike Giannone, who comes to the school after 18 years at Macomb Dakota, said the offensive line play is vital for his team this season.

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Published July 15, 2016

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse Lancers
Last season’s record:
1-8
League: Macomb Area Conference Blue Division
Returning starters: 11
First game: at Anchor Bay High, 7 p.m. Aug. 25

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Published August 18, 2016

West Bloomfield High Lakers
Last season’s record: 9-1
League: Oakland Activities Association Red Division
Returning starters: Eight
First game: vs. Birmingham Groves, 7 p.m. Aug. 25

Offensive keys:
After losing eight starters from a prolific offense that averaged 36.8 points per game last season, West Bloomfield looks to running back Davion Johnson as its leader early on this fall.

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Published March 1, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Dakota Athletic Director Mike Fusco called all the candidates who advanced to the interview stage for the school football team’s vacant head coaching job “outstanding.”

What set Greg Baur apart from the other candidates, Fusco said, was his connection with kids and his knowledge of football.

“It was easy to select him,” Fusco said. “It was like splitting hairs with the other candidates. All of them were very good and very capable. In our final analysis, (Baur) is the best candidate.”

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Published February 26, 2016

After being a part of what is arguably one of the most prestigious high school football programs in the state of Michigan, Warren De La Salle graduate Andrew DiFranco earned the opportunity to extend his career even further, as he was offered the chance to play for Albion College, which competes at the NCAA Division III level.

DiFranco, an offensive lineman from Warren, completed his junior season at Albion this past fall, where his accomplishments include being selected All-MIAA first and second team in the last two seasons, respectively.

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Published February 17, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The 12th annual Prep Kickoff Classic is set to take place Aug. 25-27 at Wayne State University, and one of the local football teams scheduled to participate is Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

Chippewa is part of a seven-game schedule, with the Big Reds slated to play Lake Orion High at 7 p.m. Aug. 25.

The game will mark the third consecutive season Chippewa has opened against Lake Orion, with the program coming away with victories in each of the last two meetings, including a 35-28 win last year.

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Published February 4, 2016

C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Clintondale senior defensive lineman Josh Eldridge garnered interest from several Big Ten schools — Michigan State University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa.

He ultimately decided to sign with Central Michigan University because of the loyalty they showed him.

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Published February 2, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — They ended last season as champions of the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League in the Division 2 tournament.

A year later, not too much has changed, aside from one small detail.

The Farmington Hills Mercy hockey team has aspirations of winning it all again — only this time in D-1.

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Published January 29, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB TOWNSHIP/WARREN — Longtime Macomb Dakota football coach Mike Giannone is leaving the Macomb Area Conference power to take the head coaching job at Warren De La Salle.

Giannone comes to De La Salle after 18 years at Dakota. He led the Cougars to back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007. Giannone got Dakota into the state playoffs 16 times in his tenure and compiled a 151-58 record.

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Published January 20, 2016

C&G Newspapers

WARREN/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Scott Merchant, who Jan. 15 accepted an offer to succeed Paul Verska as Warren De La Salle football coach, has decided not to take the job and remain at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

De La Salle officials late Jan. 19 released a statement saying that Merchant contacted school administrators to make them aware of his decision. In the statement, De La Salle officials say Merchant, after much thought and discussions with his wife, decided not to accept the offer.

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Published January 15, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — It’s the second year in a row that West Bloomfield High football coach Ron Bellamy has received the award, and it’s one that he happily shares with the entire program.

Bellamy was named the Region 16 Coach of the Year.

“The coaches on the staff, the players, those guys put in the time,” Bellamy said. “My name is on it, but it represents our entire football program.”

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Published January 15, 2016

WARREN — Scott Merchant has been chosen to succeed Paul Verska as Warren De La Salle football coach.

UPDATE: Merchant Jan. 19 declined the offer

De La Salle officials released a statement on the hire the afternoon of Jan. 15.

“We are thrilled to have a coach of (Merchant’s) caliber coming to De La Salle,” Pilots Athletic Director Brian Kelly said.

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Published January 13, 2016

In her professional career, Betty Wroubel said she never experienced a worse day than Jan. 12.

Wroubel, the longtime athletic director at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, confirmed that the school “opted not to renew our membership” in the Catholic League next year after a resolution could not be reached in terms of the football team, which plays in the AA Division, playing a crossover game with a Central Division team in 2016.

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Published January 7, 2016

WALLED LAKE — Another great season, and for the third time in his career, Mike Zdebski had some personal hardware to prove it.

After guiding the Walled Lake Western football team to a 12-1 record and a spot in the Division 2 state semifinals, Zdebski was one of 52 coaches throughout the state named Regional Coach of the Year.

Zdebski took home the award, which is voted on by fellow coaches in the region, for his season in Region 12.

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Published January 5, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Brian and Sam Blanzy have been playing football together since they were children.

The twin brothers played youth football for the Grosse Pointe Red Barons before eventually moving on to play together at Grosse Pointe South.

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Published December 16, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — When the job first became available, there wasn’t much interest on his part.

But the longer he considered it, the more James Rogers contemplated the opportunity to lead a program and the ability to guide young men, it was something he had to jump at.

And on Dec. 14, Rogers was officially introduced as the new head coach with the Madison Heights Madison High football program.

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Published December 11, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — He was the driving force behind a consistent winner on the gridiron.

And then, just days before the second round of the 2015 postseason, his time was over.

For the first time since his tenure with the Madison Heights Madison High football program came to an end, coach Drake Wilkins spoke about his career with the team and the district, saying, among other things, “It was a great experience.”

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Published December 8, 2015

After not receiving a scholarship to play college football at one of the “big schools,” Southfield-Lathrup graduate Colin Parks said he was discouraged and questioned whether or not he would play at the next level.

But when a college he said he had never heard of came calling, Parks said he felt “wanted.”

That school was Albion College, and having recently completed his senior season as a running back for the Britons, Parks reflected on his collegiate experience.

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Published December 4, 2015

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — It was two relative newcomers and an old faithful at the top of the Oakland Activities Association football standings. 

With the season over and state champions crowned, here’s a look at how the OAA played out and the players who earned All-Association honors. 

Red Division
West Bloomfield High football reigned supreme in the division.

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