Berkley High quarterback Drake Monroe gets the snap at a recent practice. After being part of the Oakland Activities Association White Division last year, the Bears have returned to the OAA Blue.

Berkley High quarterback Drake Monroe gets the snap at a recent practice. After being part of the Oakland Activities Association White Division last year, the Bears have returned to the OAA Blue.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Football Preview: Berkley High

2017 Record: 1-8

By: C & G Sports Staff | Woodward Talk | Published July 25, 2018

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Team name: Berkley High Bears

Last season’s record: 1-8

League: Oakland Activities Association Blue Division

Returning starters: 7

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Farmington High

 

Offensive keys

After scoring 28 points in their first game of the season last year, the Bears didn’t score more than 12 the rest of the way and were shut out three times.

Some of the players who can help improve those statistics are quarterback Drake Monroe, running backs Jeremiah Watkins and Evan Payne, and offensive linemen Justin Anagonye and Zach Gebhardt.

Berkley coach Sean Shields said Watkins rushed for about 600 yards last year.

“We’ve got some pretty good pieces,” Shields said. “We don’t have much depth, so we’re looking to stay healthy this year.”

 

Defensive keys

Payne and Watkins, who are both inside linebackers, could also play a big role for the Bears on defense.

“Those two are (going to) be huge for us, both in the run and pass game,” Shields said.

Defensive back Kyle Domzalski can help get Berkley’s offense back on the field.

“He’ll be our returning guy for interceptions,” Shields said. “He had three or four last year.”

 

Coach’s outlook

After previously being Berkley’s JV head coach, Shields will enter his first season as the program’s varsity coach.

He and his players, along with other members of the coaching staff, can help re-establish a winning program.

Prior to last season, the Bears had qualified for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons and were 15-5 in the OAA Blue during those years.

Things didn’t go as well last year, with Berkley losing its last eight games of the season and going 0-7 in the OAA White.

A return to the OAA Blue could do the Bears some good.

“I’m glad that we’re back down in the Blue this year,” Shields said. “It’s a lot more competitive than it was a few years ago when I was at Berkley as JV head coach, with Royal Oak, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Avondale all making the playoffs last year. But I think the boys are ready for the challenge, especially after playing in the White against some pretty big powerhouses last year. If we can stay healthy, (I) think we got a good chance at possibly winning six games this year.”

— Mark Vest


2018 SCHEDULE

at Farmington High (3-6) — 7 p.m. Aug. 24

Farmington is 9-8-2 all-time against Berkley. Last year, the Bears’ lone victory came when they beat Farmington 28-23 in their opening game of the season.

vs. Pontiac High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30

The Bears have won the last three games played between the programs, outscoring Pontiac 129-9 in those contests. Berkley is 3-1 all-time against Pontiac. Last season, Pontiac scored fewer than 10 points in all but one game, while giving up more than 40 in seven of its games.

vs. Warren Lincoln (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7

A series reborn again, these programs last met in 1958. Berkley won that game 12-7. Overall, the squads are 4-4-1 against each other. 

at Royal Oak High (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14

When the programs last played in 2016, the Bears won 21-14. Berkley is 3-1 all-time against Royal Oak.

vs. North Farmington (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21

When the programs last played in 2013, North Farmington won 24-6 to improve to 4-3 all-time against Berkley. The Raiders have made the playoffs just two times since 2005.

at Auburn Hills Avondale (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28

Berkley improved to 6-6 all-time against Avondale with a 52-28 win in the last game played between the programs in 2015. Avondale scored more than 40 points in five games last season.

at Birmingham Seaholm (1-8) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5

Seaholm improved to 32-13-1 all-time against Berkley with a 49-6 win last year. Seaholm has won four consecutive games against the Bears.

vs. Ferndale High (8-2) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12

Although Ferndale has a 42-21-1 lead overall, the Bears have won the last eight games played between the programs. Berkley has played Ferndale more than any other opponent. 

vs. Troy High (6-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19

Troy improved to 19-12 all-time against Berkley with a 24-9 win last season. Troy has won nine of the last 10 games played between the programs.

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