Hazel Park High football players line up at a recent practice. Last year, Hazel Park won more games than the program had in the previous four seasons combined.

Hazel Park High football players line up at a recent practice. Last year, Hazel Park won more games than the program had in the previous four seasons combined.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Football Preview: Hazel Park High

2017 Record: 6-4

By: C & G Sports Staff | Madison - Park News | Published July 25, 2018

Advertisement

Team name: Hazel Park High Vikings

Last season’s record: 6-4

League: Oakland Activities 

Association Blue Division

Returning starters: 3

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 23 vs. Detroit University Prep

 

Offensive keys

Aside from having a couple of “great” receivers in Cameron Wyatt and Sean Williams, coach Kyle Rowley said Hazel Park has an offensive line that is “really, really tough up front.” 

Ralph Woods anchors the line from his tackle spot. 

 

Defensive keys

Although Rowley anticipates having a lot of speed and skill on defense, he said, “Our question mark right now is what kind of front do we (want to) run?”

That question could be answered more definitively as the season progresses. Rowley said the defensive look may change from week to week depending on that week’s opponent. 

“That way, we can make a decision on really where we (want to) go with that,” he said.

 

Coach’s outlook

According to Rowley, the Vikings lost 27 of 31 players from a team that qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2010 last season. Hazel Park also shared an OAA Blue championship with Ferndale High and Auburn Hills Avondale, giving the program its first title since 2010.

Rowley believes players from his JV squad last year will step up and contribute at the varsity level.         

“The thing is we had a great JV squad last year, and they’re tough,” Rowley said. “I got a couple young guys that I’m really, really looking forward to see on the field on Friday nights.”

— Mark Vest


2018 SCHEDULE

vs. Detroit University Prep (5-4) — 7 p.m. Aug. 23

This will be the first meeting between the two programs. Since University Prep’s inaugural season in 2006, the program has qualified for the playoffs four times.

at North Farmington (2-7) — 7 p.m. Aug. 31

Hazel Park improved to 4-2 all-time against North Farmington with a 48-7 victory last year. Last season, the Raiders gave up more than 40 points in five separate games.

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

With a 13-7 win last season, Hazel Park is 3-2 all-time against Royal Oak. Last season, Royal Oak qualified for the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.

at Farmington High (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14

After an 18-6 win last year, the Vikings are 1-1 all-time against Farmington. The Falcons won their last two games last season, outscoring their opponents 94-3.

at Pontiac High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21

Hazel Park has won the last three games played between the two programs, outscoring Pontiac 124-25 in those contests. With a 48-0 win last season, Hazel Park is 3-2 all-time against Pontiac. Last season, Pontiac gave up more than 40 points in seven games.

vs. Ferndale High (8-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28

Ferndale won last season’s game 20-17 and is 35-32-1 all-time against Hazel Park. The Eagles have qualified for the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. Hazel Park has played Ferndale more than any other opponent.

at Madison Heights Lamphere (5-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5

The two programs last played against each other in 2003, with Hazel Park coming away with a 34-0 victory. Last season, Lamphere qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

vs. Auburn Hills Avondale (6-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12

After six consecutive losses to Avondale, Hazel Park won last season’s game 24-21. Avondale is 10-9 all-time against Hazel Park.

vs. Detroit University Prep Science & Math (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19

This will be the first game played between the programs. Prep Science & Math’s inaugural season was in 2012.

Advertisement