Madison Heights Bishop Foley football players are pictured earlier this year. Foley’s season has come to a close, but not before reaching the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley football players are pictured earlier this year. Foley’s season has come to a close, but not before reaching the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Photo by Mariusz Nowak


Bishop Foley football coach looks back on season

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published November 8, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — After winning more games and scoring more points than any team in program history last season, Madison Heights Bishop Foley football followed that up with more notable accomplishments this year.

The Ventures finished the season at 6-4 overall and made it to the playoffs for the second consecutive season, which is a first since the program qualified for postseason play each year from 2004 to 2006.

Over the past two seasons, Foley has won a total of 14 games, which equals the most victories the program has had over a two-year span.

Foley’s season ended with a loss against Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker 56-19 in a Division 7 predistrict playoff game Nov. 1.

“Obviously, we were disappointed in the moment, but I think if you look at the overall picture, it’s really positive,” said Foley coach Brian Barnes. “We learned something about ourselves. Last year, we had a record-breaking running back (Kendel Taylor); this year, we had a record-breaking quarterback (Braden Mussat) — threw close to 5,000 yards for his career, had 30 touchdowns this year. … We were 3-3 at one point and learned a lot about our young guys. We had a lot (of) young guys, like freshmen, step up on the varsity level.”

When discussing what he came away most pleased with from the season, Barnes’ mind was on the experience those “young guys” gained.

“We like that. We’re still building to be right there with (Clarkston) Everest, (Royal Oak) Shrine and (Waterford Our Lady of the) Lakes as a program that’s recognized as one of the better small-school programs in the county,” Barnes said. “It’s what we’re still striving to get to.”

Making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons has the potential to have an impact on the program beyond this year.

“Success begets success, right? Kids (want to) be around athletic teams that are successful,” Barnes said. “Now we (want to) take that next step. … Compete to win our league every year and then go deep in the playoffs.”

Barnes noted that getting stronger and keeping numbers up for the program are two of the biggest keys going forward. Foley finished with around 45 players in the program this season.

“We graduate 12 seniors, so we’re hoping we get a big freshman class,” Barnes said. “When that happens, when you get numbers, we were allowed to have a junior varsity schedule. So we had a lot (of) guys get meaningful game reps in a game situation on junior varsity, as opposed to sitting the bench in a varsity football game. … That’s huge for us, and if we keep it there, we’re (going to) break through sooner or later.”

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