Members of the Clawson High football team take  the field prior to the final game of the regular season  Oct. 25 against St Clair Shores South Lake at home.  The Trojans beat the Cavaliers 41-14 to reach six wins  on the season needed to make the playoffs.

Members of the Clawson High football team take the field prior to the final game of the regular season Oct. 25 against St Clair Shores South Lake at home. The Trojans beat the Cavaliers 41-14 to reach six wins on the season needed to make the playoffs.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Clawson High overcomes early struggles to clinch postseason

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published October 29, 2019

Advertisement

CLAWSON — When the Clawson High football team started the season 0-2, there was no panic. While there was little room for error the rest of the way, the Trojans still had all of their goals in front of them as the division and the playoffs were still within reach.

After the two opening losses, the Trojans came together as a team. Senior Nate Vesper said that meeting propelled the team down the stretch and got it to where it is now.

Over the next seven weeks, Clawson won six games and claimed the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division championship. The only loss came to MAC Silver Division champion Marine City High. During the seven-game stretch, the Trojans outscored their opponents 214-96.

With a 41-14 win over St Clair Shores South Lake Oct. 25 at home, Clawson clinched the playoffs for the second straight year with a 6-3 record.

“I couldn’t be happier for my guys,” coach Jim Sparks said. “Some games we dressed just 17 or 18 kids. We started off the year a little rough, but the most satisfying thing in the world is seeing a group of guys never quit. There’s not a lot of motivating I have to do other than reminding them what they want to accomplish. They’re a driven group, and it’s been a pleasure to coach them.”

The Clawson offense averaged 33.4 points in the league this season while the defense gave up just 7.6 points per contest.

After the South Lake win, Sparks noted how a team is only as good as its senior class. 

“It feels awesome to be able to win the league,” senior Tristen Perry said. “A bunch of us guys have been playing together since we were young, and to be able to walk back onto the field for another week after earning it is a pretty good feeling.”

Perry plays a prominent role in the Clawson offense. Against South Lake, the quarterback scored five total touchdowns — one through the air and four on the ground.

From the coaching side of things, Sparks said he hates losing more than anything. The winless start to the season was more than enough motivation to get things turned around. 

It started by stringing together a couple of successful practices. From there, the players started to believe in themselves and the confidence continued to rise. 

With the playoffs now just days away, the Trojans know what they need to do to make a run, and it’s the same thing they’ve been doing all season long. Clawson will be taking on Detroit Henry Ford at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 on the road in the opening round of the Division 5 playoffs. 

“Our goal going forward is we’ve got to come out here this next week and put the work in,” senior Trevor Przeadzki said.  “Just like getting here this week playing against South Lake, we’ve got to practice hard every week. That’s how we’re going to keep moving.”

Going into the playoffs off of a win gives the team a lot of momentum. That’s something that is very important to Sparks.

“There are some coaches that don’t believe in momentum, but that’s not me,” the coach said. “With young kids, momentum is just a feeling of self-confidence. When we win a game like this, and we win a game against Clintondale, to me, that is momentum. They’re going to be dialed in and focused on what we want to do.”

 

Advertisement