Football Preview: Royal Oak Shrine

By: C & G Sports Staff | Royal Oak Review | Published July 30, 2018


Team name: Royal Oak Shrine Catholic Knights
Last season’s record: 3-6
League: Catholic High School League Intersectional No. 2
Returning starters: N/A
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Whitmore Lake High

Offensive keys:
The most essential aspects for offensive prosperity, according to first-year coach Oscar Olejniczak, will be up front.

“How the offensive line meshes is one of the keys to our season,” said Olejniczak.

To give the offense some pop, Anthony Massucci returns as the signal caller and Dan Romano is expected to get the lion’s share of carries at running back.

“Controlling the offense, both in the passing game and in the running game, while being able to do a ton of different things on offense, will be paramount to how good we are this year,” said Olejniczak.

Defensive keys:
Olejniczak said the unit is going to be highly aggressive.

“I’m really excited about what we have on defense,” he said. “The athleticism, the aggressiveness of it; the key is just simply going to be getting to the ball and tackling.”

Olejniczak added that his defense needs to stay away from giving up the big plays.

“If we follow that model, our team will be fun to watch on defense this season,” he said.    

Coach’s outlook:
Previously, Olejniczak was the coach at University of Detroit Jesuit, where he led the program to three state playoff appearances during his tenure.

The coach hopes to be back in the postseason, this time with the Knights.  

“Our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs this year, but additionally play as hard as we possibly can,” he said.

— Edward Zilincik



at Whitmore Lake High (3-6) — 7 p.m. Aug. 24
Last season, Shrine failed to make the postseason for only the third time in the last 19 years. The Knights have won six of their last seven season openers. 

at Coleman High (3-6) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30
This will be the first game in school history between the schools. 

vs. Detroit Edison (2-7) — 2 p.m. Sept. 8
In 2015, the Knights defeated the Pioneers 10-8 in the only meeting between the programs. 

vs. Marine City Cardinal Mooney (1-8) — 2 p.m. Sept. 15
Shrine is 12-1 in its history against the Cardinals. Last season, the Knights won 50-13.

at Madison Heights Bishop Foley (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
Last season in Week 5, the two schools met for a high-scoring affair, won by the Ventures 41-38.  The Knights have never played any opponent more than the Ventures, leading the series 16-12.

at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (6-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28
Since the start of the 2012 season, Shrine has beaten Lakes once in six meetings and trails the Lakers 20-6 in the all-time series.

vs. Macomb Lutheran North (3-6) — 2 p.m. Oct. 6
This is the first matchup between the schools since the 2015 season — a contest Shrine was able to win 28-7. The teams have matched up just three times in their history, with Shrine holding the advantage with two wins. 

vs. Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12
Everest has made the postseason in five consecutive seasons. Last season, the team made the regional round before losing to Ottawa Lake Whiteford. The Mountaineers are 2-2 against the Shrine in their history, but did win last year’s matchup 21-19. 

at TBA Prep Bowl or Crossover — TBA Oct. 20