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 Players from Berkley High’s football team are pictured earlier this year. Berkley has one game left in the season.

Players from Berkley High’s football team are pictured earlier this year. Berkley has one game left in the season.

Photo by Marusz Nowak

Berkley High football coach shares thoughts on a challenging season

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published October 22, 2019

BERKLEY — After making the playoffs three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, the last few seasons, including this one, have been tough for Berkley High football.

During that stretch, the Bears are 4-22 overall.

This season, Berkley is 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Sean Shields is in his second season leading the program.

“It’s been rough,” Shields said after a 42-7 loss against Farmington High Oct. 11. “It’s been a real tough go of it with having injuries and our numbers not being the greatest.”

Shields said the Bears are “sitting at about 28” players this season.

He would like to see an increase in Berkley’s roster size next year.

“This is the first year in over eight years we’ve had a freshman, JV and a varsity,” Shields said. “So, we’re hoping to have that for a second year in a row for next year. … We’re looking like we’ll hopefully have like a 40-(player) roster next year up on varsity. It’s (getting) freshmen out to play again like we did this year to keep the three-levels thing going.”

Shields noted that he has three total seniors who have played all four years in the program.

“You need to have that experience and leadership for your senior class if you (want to) have a successful program,” he said.

Shields added that it’s important to get participation started at the youth and middle school levels.

“Getting those numbers up, keeping (them) high, and keeping kids involved in the program. I realize we’re not the only ones struggling with numbers. Football’s taken a little bit of a ding nationwide,” he said.

When asked if he had a message he would like to relay to supporters of Berkley football, Shields said, “Keep with us. We’re (going to) get this set right.”

Berkley’s last game of the season is at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Troy High.