Football Preview: Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett

By: C & G Sports Staff | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 31, 2018

Team name: Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett Knights
Last season’s record: 1-8
League: Catholic High School League Intersectional No.1
Returning starters: 13
First game: 5 p.m. Aug. 24 vs. Detroit Communication Media Arts
 
Offensive keys:
After taking all the snaps as a sophomore last season, Ian Narva has reassumed his role as the Knights’ starting quarterback.

Liggett supporters can expect a couple of Narva’s prime throwing options to be receivers Daniel Bowen and Drew Zelenak.

Coach Dan Cimini said Bowen had 14 touchdowns last year.

Although it will be just his freshman year, running back Matthew Belcrest could also be a key player for the Knights.

Liggett’s offensive line can play a big role in how those players fare this year.

“Our offensive line, they’re all back,” Cimini said. “Big kids, but they’re all young. … I think we’re (going to) be pretty tough.”
 
Defensive keys:
Liggett’s defensive line can help the team utilize what Cimini considers to be the biggest strength of the defense.

“Defensively, we got (to) control the line of scrimmage, let our linebackers run free,” Cimini said. “Our linebackers are our strength. We got Dan Bowen, we got Drew Zelenak back.”

Mickey Walkowiak can help the team at both safety and linebacker.

“We got some good returning guys coming back,” Cimini said. “I’m excited about the building of the young group (from) last year, see what they can do this year.”
 
Coach’s outlook:
Last season, Liggett scored 16 points or less seven times and gave up 35 or more points in five different games.

The Knights’ inaugural season in the CHSL was a rough one, as the program didn’t make the playoffs after having done so each of the previous seven years.

Cimini would like to go back to being a program that extends its season.

“If we play well and stay healthy, we have a good chance of making the playoffs,” Cimini said. “There’s bigger schools in our league, but I think we can compete. Our league schedule’s (going to) help us in our nonleague schedule.”
— Mark Vest

 

2018 SCHEDULE

vs. Detroit Communication Media Arts (1-8) —5 p.m. Aug. 24
This will be the first matchup between the two programs. Communication Media Arts has gone 1-8 in each of its first four seasons as a program.

vs. Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy (0-8) — 5 p.m. Aug. 31
In the one game played between the two programs in 2016, Liggett came away with a 51-34 victory. Cesar Chavez Academy has made the playoffs one time since its first season of competition in 2010.

vs. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (6-3) — 2 p.m. Sept. 8
After the Lakers won 17-7 last year, the programs are 2-2 in games played against each other. Lakes has qualified for the playoffs more than 20 times since 1990.

at Riverview Gabriel Richard (9-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14
Gabriel Richard improved to 2-0 all-time against Liggett with a 56-16 win last season. The Pioneers scored more than 40 points six times last season.

at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
After a 35-14 victory last year, Everest Collegiate is 2-1 all-time against the Knights. Everest Collegiate has qualified for the playoffs in each of its first five seasons competing as a program.

at Macomb Lutheran North (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28
Liggett’s lone win last season came via a 27-23 victory against the Mustangs. Despite last year’s setback, Lutheran North is 13-5 all-time against Liggett.

vs. Allen Park Cabrini (5-4) — 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6
With a 42-30 win last season, Cabrini moved to 2-2 all-time against Liggett. Last year, the Monarchs scored over 40 points in four games.

vs. Detroit Leadership Academy (1-7) — 1:30 p.m. Oct. 13
Leadership Academy has competed for two seasons and is 4-13 overall. The two programs have not previously competed against each other.

at Memphis High (0-9) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19
In the only game played between the two programs, Liggett won 27-0 in 1990. Last season, the Yellowjackets gave up 49 or more points seven times.