Football Preview: Warren Fitzgerald

By: C & G Sports Staff | Warren Weekly | Published July 27, 2018


Team name: Warren Fitzgerald Spartans
Last season’s record: 7-3
League: Macomb Area Conference Gold Division
Returning starters: 12
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Warren Lincoln

Offensive keys:
Fitzgerald coach Gary Skop, who is in his fifth year leading the program, said he sees the team’s skill positions as its strength. Specifically, he noted the play of senior wide receivers Quanelle Pritchett and Phillip Brown.

Senior quarterback Colton Haberek guides the unit, while the Spartans will be looking to continue their strong running game after graduating a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last two seasons — Najon Moore and Martez Nelson.

This season, senior Calvin Wade and junior Jalen Crawford will vie for carries.

Last year, Fitzgerald put up 33.1 points per game.

Defensive keys:
Skop, who has led the Spartans to four straight playoff appearances, has a strong group of defensive backs, led by Pritchett, Haberek and Brown.

Fitzgerald, which will play in a new division for the first time in 11 years, allowed 20.9 points per game last year.

Coach’s outlook:
“We’re looking forward to playing in the MAC Gold,” Skop said. “We’ll get to see some new teams and expand our schedule, and see some teams we haven’t played in a long time. We’ve got a good core of guys coming back on both sides of the ball.”
— Jason Carmel Davis



at Warren Lincoln (1-8) — 7 p.m. Aug. 23
This is the 49th meeting between Fitzgerald and Lincoln. The Spartans lead the series 29-18-1. Fitzgerald has taken four straight in the series, including a 27-0 win in 2017.

at Auburn Hills Avondale (6-4) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30
Based on proximity, Fitzgerald and Avondale have met more than you’d think. The Spartans and Yellow Jackets have squared off 23 times, with Fitzgerald leading the series 11-10-2. The Yellow Jackets averaged 33.4 points per game in 2017 on their way to the state playoffs.

vs. St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (4-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7
Fitzgerald and Lake Shore will meet for the 20th time in what’s been a tight series. The Shorians hold a 10-8-1 edge. The Spartans won the last matchup, in 2015, 39-7. Fitzgerald has made the playoffs a school-record four straight years.

at Sterling Heights High (4-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14
Fitzgerald is 3-5 all-time against Sterling Heights, but this will be their first meeting since 1979. The Spartans put up 33.1 points per game last season, while the Stallions allowed 47.7 points per contest.

vs. Madison Heights Madison (12-1) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
Fitzgerald leads the series 26-23-3, but Madison has won each of the last five meetings, including 23-12 last year. The Eagles advanced all the way to the Division 7 semifinals in 2017.

at Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28
Fitzgerald has never faced L’Anse Creuse on the gridiron. The Lancers allowed 39.3 points per game in 2017.

vs. Warren Woods Tower (8-3) — 1 p.m. Oct. 6
Tower has taken four out of five from Fitzgerald since the start of the 2012 season. That includes a 21-14 Week 5 win in 2017.

at Eastpointe High (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12
The series between Fitzgerald and Eastpointe began in 2008, and the teams have met every year since. The Spartans hold a 7-3 edge and have won the last three matchups by an average of 40 points per game.

vs. Port Huron Northern (9-2) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19
It’s been a long time since these programs have met. The teams have split two meetings — in 1968 and 1969. Northern at one point last season won eight straight games.