Eastpointe High’s Kenneth Williams carries the ball against Roseville High Oct. 9. The Shamrocks were 4-0 at press time.

Eastpointe High’s Kenneth Williams carries the ball against Roseville High Oct. 9. The Shamrocks were 4-0 at press time.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eastpointe High wins MAC Gold, prepares for playoffs

By: Zachary Manning | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 16, 2020

 Eastpointe High’s Maurice Davis tries to break tackles against Roseville High Oct. 9. The Shamrocks won 28-12.

Eastpointe High’s Maurice Davis tries to break tackles against Roseville High Oct. 9. The Shamrocks won 28-12.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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EASTPOINTE — It’s been a while since the Eastpointe High football program has fielded a consistent winner, but the Shamrocks have started to turn the corner.

After making the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and claiming a share of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division last season, Eastpointe has followed that up with a strong showing in 2020.

Despite COVID-19 stalling workouts and practices early in the season, the Shamrocks were 4-0 overall at press time and had earned at least a share of the MAC Gold title for the second consecutive year.

They played Warren Cousino after press time for a chance at the outright title.

“It was huge,” Shamrocks coach Al Demps said of beating Roseville High to clinch at least a share of the title. “It meant a lot for a program like this that’s been having a culture of losing for so many years.”

Defense has spearheaded the Shamrocks throughout the shortened season. They have allowed opponents to score just 12 total points.

It’s a vast improvement from the 407 they allowed in 2018 and the 228 they allowed last season.

“We have some guys on that side of the ball that will break their neck to make a tackle,” junior wide receiver Tay’Shawn Trent said, who has been offered by the likes of Michigan State and Michigan.

While the defense continues to put up zeros, the offense has been lighting up the scoreboard. Eastpointe has hit the 40-point mark in all but one game.

Demps is excited about the playmakers he has on that side of the ball and sees the offensive line improving game in and game out.

“We have a number of guys that can put the ball in the end zone,” Demps said. “I think that mix and that balance of our offense: We can throw it, we can run it. We have two outstanding young quarterbacks that have two different skills sets, so I think that helps us as well.”

With a league title now in hand, the focus is on finishing the season on a strong note and carrying that momentum into the playoffs, which begin Oct. 30.

The Shamrocks bowed out in the first round last season, but in Demps’ second year, the hope is to make a run and prove the program is legit.

Demps is determined to make the program a consistent winner that competes for league, district and state titles on a yearly basis.

“I think the mindset of these guys is they got something to prove,” Demps said. “A lot of these guys put their trust in this coaching staff. People say, ‘You don’t want to go to Eastpointe. They aren’t a football school.’ We’ve changed that in just a short time.”

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