Eastpointe High’s Davion Watkins carries the ball during a game earlier this year. The Shamrocks finished the season with a 6-4 overall record.

Eastpointe High’s Davion Watkins carries the ball during a game earlier this year. The Shamrocks finished the season with a 6-4 overall record.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eastpointe High football coach reflects on historic season

By: Zachary Manning | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 12, 2019

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Though the Eastpointe High football season came to an end with a 35-8 loss to Redford Thurston Nov. 1, it will be a year the program won’t soon forget. 

In just his first year leading the program, Shamrocks coach Al Demps helped guide his squad to a 6-4 overall record and a 4-1 Macomb Area Conference Gold Division mark.

That was good enough to split the division title while also making the program’s second playoff appearance in history. It was also the most wins in a season for the Shamrocks since 1986. 

“I told the seniors they were the building block of this legacy here,” Demps said. “They played a huge part, because they were the first ones to start it off. Now, the next guys got some big shoes to fill, because they did all this in the first year of my tenure.”

With a historic season in the books, the Shamrocks aren’t satisfied with just one winning season. The goal is to now build the program into a consistent contender.

Demps will be trying to duplicate the success of the Shamrocks in the early to mid-1970s. From 1971 to 1976, Eastpointe had a winning record each year and combined for 36 wins.

It’s been a while since Eastpointe put together back-to-back winning seasons. The Shamrocks came close in 2009-10 with 5-4 and 5-5 marks respectively. However, the last back-to-back winning seasons for Eastpointe came in 1999-2000 with consecutive 5-4 seasons. 

“We view it as a historic season. We said, ‘Let’s make history,’ and that’s what we set out to do, and we did it,” Demps said. “But it’s definitely a start of where we want to be. We don’t want to be one good football team. We want to build a program that’s good season after season, and I think this is a good start.” 

Demps sees a bright future ahead. He took over the program in last April. This will be his first full offseason. 

“I think that if we develop a few linemen, because we lose mostly our whole line, I think we have a chance to be even better because of the foundation that we’ve built,” Demps said.

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