Football

Published September 10, 2015

C&G Newspapers

BIRMINGHAM/WARREN — It’s one of those games where, for whatever reason, the hype and the build up intensifies from one year to the next.


League rivals kicking off Central Division play for the sixth straight fall.


Two powerhouse programs known for postseason success.

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Published September 9, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Fraser vs. Grosse Pointe North: Scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Fraser

While conference games often carry a lot of significance, this Week 3 matchup may be particularly important for Fraser. A loss to Grosse Pointe North would bring the Ramblers' record to 0-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division and 0-3 overall.

A win, on the other hand, could change the dynamics of Fraser's season, as it would give the team a 1-1 record in the MAC Blue, with a chance to improve its overall record to .500 next week against Sterling Heights Stevenson.

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Published September 9, 2015

ROYAL OAK — The difficult part is accepting how close his team was to a 2-0 start.

The challenge now is finding a way to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss and not let it have any further effect on the rest of the season.

And that is why Royal Oak Shrine football coach John Goddard referred to this weekend’s tilt at Allen Park Cabrini as “almost a must win.”

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Published September 9, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Southfield High (1-1) at Farmington High (2-0), 7 p.m. Sept. 11 —

Already a pivotal game in the Oakland Activities Association White Division in just Week 3, both squads enter 1-0 in the division.

Last week, both teams earned victories against division contenders, with Farmington beating Oak Park High 20-19 and Southfield prevailing 30-17 against Rochester Adams.

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Published September 9, 2015

C&G Newspapers

We’ll be one-third of the way through the 2015 regular season after this weekend. Can you believe it?

There have already been some surprises around Macomb County.

Clinton Township Clintondale and Romeo High, both 2-0, have yet to allow a single point. Warren Lincoln beat Center Line 13-7 Sept. 4 for its first September win since 2013.

We start this week’s Five for Friday with another of those surprises.

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Published September 9, 2015

One of Macomb County’s top defenses will try to stop one of the county’s best running backs in a MAC White clash between Romeo and Utica at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Swinehart Field.

Romeo (2-0, 1-0 White) comes into the Week 3 game having not given up a point through two games. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 47-0 win against Oxford, and then beat Grosse Pointe South 28-0 last week.

Utica running back Kumehnnu Gwilly opened the year with a 392-yard rushing day against Fraser, and then rushed for 227 yards against Utica Ford in Week 2.

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Published September 8, 2015

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Keith Stephens would have liked this.


That was the feeling among his family members as they walked off the Southfield-Lathrup football field Sept. 3.


The Chargers held a halftime ceremony during their game with Royal Oak High to honor the late coach, who passed away from pancreatic cancer last February.


“It’s nice to know that people are willing to continue his legacy and remember him,” said his daughter Eiyesha Stephens. “I know he would have liked this a lot.”

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Published September 4, 2015

CLAWSON — He’s stepping aside, but hardly stepping away.

He’s officially retired from the gridiron, though it’s a departure with an asterisk.

Since 1971, Ralph Haney had dedicated his life to coaching the game of football.

Whether it was with youth teams or at Clawson High, Haney spent 44 years on the sidelines coaching offenses, defenses, special teams and everything in between.

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Published September 3, 2015

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Royal Oak High earned its first win of the season, beating Southfield-Lathrup 21-7 Sept. 3 on the road.

It was the first game for both teams in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

“I’m real proud of our guys. They’ve been working hard,” first-year Royal Oak coach Ray McMann said, who also notched his first victory as a head coach. “It feels pretty good, I’ll be honest.”

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Published September 3, 2015

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB — Mother Nature apparently did not want high school football played on a second Thursday night in a lot of areas.

One of those areas was Macomb County. One of the many games that were postponed pitted rivals Macomb Dakota and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley against each other.

The game has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 4 at Dakota. It was called with 3:27 left in the first quarter.

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Published September 3, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — In his first year as head coach of the St. Clair Shores South Lake football team, Vernard Snowden has set a simple goal for his team to first reach and then maintain.

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Published September 2, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — The summer heat had certainly returned to the practice field in late August.

“It comes right up off the turf,” Madison Heights Bishop Foley coach Sean Cobb said with a laugh Aug. 30.

The temperatures may cool as fall settles in, but the sustained heat for Foley is currently in the form of a three-game stretch that could shape the rest of the 2015 season.

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Published September 2, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Former Clinton Township Clintondale football coach Bill Apisa, who piloted the program for 32 years, remains somewhat of a fixture in the program.

Apisa, who won 99 games games as the Dragons’ varsity coach, lives in Texas, but he returns to Michigan for a golf outing named in his honor. That outing has taken place for each of the last 32 years.

Apisa, who was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996, sticks around each fall to take in a couple of Clintondale football games.

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Published September 2, 2015

Online Only

BIRMINGHAM — The state football playoffs officially begin Oct. 30 with pre-district action.

According to Dave Sofran, the unofficial launch of the postseason is Friday night for his Birmingham Bother Rice squad.

“Looking at the schedule we have coming up. To start the year 0-2 would be a huge mountain to climb,” Sofran said. “In my mind, this is a playoff game.”

Rice is set to take on Penn High from Mishawaka, Indiana, Friday night at 7 p.m. at Hurley Field in Berkley.

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Published September 2, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — NASCAR season at Michigan International Speedway is over for the year, but a NASCAR-style offense at Utica Eisenhower is just getting started.

The Eagles unveiled their “NASCAR” offense in a 38-24 season-opening win against Plymouth on Aug. 27.

“It just feels good to come out here and the things we have practiced, our speed offense, the no-huddle and the Nascar stuff that we got,” Eisenhower coach Chris Smith said. “We really came out and wore these guys down, and that was the difference in the game.”

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Published September 1, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Royal Oak High at Southfield-Lathrup, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 3:

Royal Oak High and Southfield-Lathrup met the very first time in 2006, when the Ravens came away with the 36-0.

Since then, Lathrup has won three straight by a combined score of 149-36.

The Chargers enter fresh off a 21-6 victory against Detroit University Prep. It marked the fourth straight season opener win for Lathrup, but it’s been since 2009 since it started 2-0.

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Published September 1, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Warren Cousino

Both teams will attempt to get off to a winning start in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division in this Week 2 matchup.

Cousino defeated Warren Woods Tower 43-6 in its season opener last week, whileFraser lostto Utica 41-31.

In last season's matchup, it was Cousino coming away with a 38-28 victory. The Patriots went on to win the MAC Blue title last year, finishing with a 5-0 record in conference play.

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Published September 1, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Following a 392-yard rushing performance against Fraser, Utica senior running back Kumehnnu Gwilly will look to continue to run wild against Utica Ford in Week 2.

The UCS rivals will meet at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3 at Runkel Field on the Sterling Heights Stevenson campus.

Gwilly, a Central Michigan University commit, led Utica to a 41-31 season-opening win against Fraser. It was Utica’s first season-opening win since the 2011 season. The Chieftains will be looking for its first 2-0 start since 2010, which was Utica’s last postseason appearance.

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Published September 1, 2015

C&G Newspapers

The 2015 prep football season kicked off last week, but now things get really interesting, as teams from all over Macomb County will engage in divisional battles this weekend.

Every Macomb Area Conference game pits divisional foes against each other. Michigan Collegiate (Charter School League) and Macomb Lutheran North (Catholic High School League Intersectional) also play divisional games.

In our Thursday edition of Five for Friday for Week 2, we start with a clash of MAC Red Division titans.

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Published August 31, 2015

C&G Newspapers

DETROIT — Seven games, more than 10,000 fans and one grand way to officially launch the 2015 high school football season.


For three days and nights, Adams Field at Wayne State University was buzzing with excitement as the Detroit Sports Commission put together the Tim Hortons Prep Kickoff Classic.


Teams from across southeast Michigan converged on the stadium to begin the year and their march toward the postseason.


In the end, it was three days of hard hits and great games.

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