Madison Heights Bishop Foley quarterback Braden Mussat is pictured at a team practice. Foley has returned multiple starters from last season’s team on both offense and defense.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley quarterback Braden Mussat is pictured at a team practice. Foley has returned multiple starters from last season’s team on both offense and defense.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Football Preview: Madison Heights Bishop Foley

2017 record: 3-6

By: C & G Sports Staff | Madison - Park News | Published August 7, 2018

Team name: Madison Heights Bishop Foley Ventures

Last season’s record: 3-6

League: Catholic High School League Intersectional No. 2

Returning starters: 19

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 23 vs. Detroit Public Safety Academy

 

Offensive keys

The Ventures return four of five starting offensive linemen from last season, which could bode well for running back Kendel Taylor, who has verbally committed to the U.S. Naval Academy.

It will be coach Brian Barnes’ second season leading the program, and he has noticed a difference between this year and last.

“Guys seem to be more fluid with what we’ve done this summer,” Barnes said. “So, we think that we have a pretty bright future offensively.”

 

Defensive keys

Sometimes simple is better, and that approach could benefit Foley’s defense.

“We’re trying to simplify our scheme a little bit,” Barnes said. “And (with) it being another year older, another year mature, another year getting stronger in the weight room, stuff like that — we think that’s (going to) help out a lot and go a long way.”

Some of Foley’s key defensive players are Taylor at weak defensive end, inside linebacker John Stickney, free safety Klayton Cornell, outside linebacker Benjamin Alderson, and defensive linemen Zach Proctor and Jerry Thayer.

 

Coach’s outlook

The Ventures haven’t had a winning record and qualified for the playoffs since 2013. As much as Barnes would like to help lead the program back to the postseason, there is a process that may be required before that can happen.

“We focus on not trying to worry about championships per se,” Barnes said. “We’re trying to worry about being a champion today, carry ourselves the right way and get as many good habits as we can every day; practice hard every day, get better every day (and) let the results take care of themselves.”

— Mark Vest


2018 SCHEDULE

vs. Detroit Public Safety Academy (3-6) — 7 p.m. Aug. 23

There haven’t been any previous meetings between the programs. Last year was Public Safety Academy’s second season of competition. The Ventures have won five of their last six season openers.

vs. Detroit University Prep Science & Math (2-7) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30

The Ventures haven’t previously competed against Prep Science & Math. Last season, the Cobras gave up more than 40 points five times. Foley scored at least 20 points in five games last season. 

at Burton Bendle (5-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7

It’s another first-time opponent for Foley. Burton Bendle last made the playoffs in 2015. Foley’s last appearance came in 2013.

at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-3)
— 7 p.m. Sept. 14

After a 49-25 win last season, Everest Collegiate is 4-0 all-time against the Ventures. Everest Collegiate has qualified for the playoffs in each of its first five seasons competing as a program.

vs. Royal Oak Shrine (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21

After a 41-38 win last season, Foley is now 12-16 all-time against Shrine. Including last season, Shrine has only missed the playoffs three times since 1999.

at Detroit Old Redford (5-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28

The Ventures have won both of the previous games played between the programs, outscoring Old Redford 49-0 in those contests. Old Redford has made the playoffs three times since its inaugural season in 2004. The game is set to take place at Southfield-Lathrup.

vs. Marine City Cardinal Mooney (1-8) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5

Foley improved to 8-1 all-time against Cardinal Mooney with a 58-34 win last season. Last year, the Cardinals gave up 40 or more points in seven games.

at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (6-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12

The Lakers won last year’s game 41-20, improving to 8-3 all-time against Foley. Lakes has qualified for the playoffs more than 20 times since 1990. The game is set to take place at Wisner Stadium in Pontiac.

at Livonia Clarenceville (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19

When the programs last played in 2013, Clarenceville beat the Ventures 62-3. The Trojans are 2-0 all-time against Foley.