Grosse Pointe South football continuing decade-long success

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 24, 2019

 Grosse Pointe South’s Alex Shaheen drops back to pass against Birmingham Groves Aug. 30. At press time, the Blue Devils were 3-1 overall.

Grosse Pointe South’s Alex Shaheen drops back to pass against Birmingham Groves Aug. 30. At press time, the Blue Devils were 3-1 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS –– There are few programs that can match the success that the Grosse Pointe South football program has had over the years.

The Blue Devils have won three consecutive Macomb Area Conference White Division titles, haven’t lost a division game since September 2015 and have reached the playoffs nine of the last 10 years. At press time, South was 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the division.

So what is it that makes the Blue Devils so consistent? According to coach Tim Brandon, it’s a mix of solid players and a consistent coaching staff.

“We get great kids. They’re coachable, they do what we ask them to do, they come every day,” Brandon said. “The core of the staff has all been together 10 years. You get that consistency in a program, that’s tremendous as well.”

While players come and go, the one constant for South over the years has been defense, and the 2019 Blue Devils are no exception.

Through four games this season, South has allowed opponents to score just 34 points. All of those points came in a Week 1 loss to Birmingham Groves, and technically, the defense only allowed two touchdowns that game. Since then, not one single point has been scored by opponents.  

This should come as no surprise, considering South’s track record of strong defense. Last year’s group was one of the most dominant in school history, holding opponents to just 108 total points in 10 games.

With multiple players returning from last year’s stingy defense and a strong start to the season, the Blue Devils are well on their way to following in the footsteps of past South teams.

Since the beginning of the 2000 season, the Blue Devils have surrendered more than 200 points in a season eight times and more than 300 just twice.

“We’re just hungry on defense,” senior defensive lineman Nick Fannon said. “We started off at a young age getting coached up, learning that defense is going to win games and championships. Offense can win a couple here and there, but defense, we always got to be hungry, ready to go.”

With a three-year streak of winning the division, this year’s Blue Devils aren’t trying to be the team to break it. The seniors are also hoping to continue the undefeated streak in the division.

An undefeated run in the league would also push them closer to another trip to the playoffs — a place the program has been quite regularly over the last decade and expects to be each year.

“The sky’s the limit,” Brandon said. “What did we learn from the Groves game? We learned that we can play with the best teams in the state. If we clean things up and we keep getting better, who knows what we can do.”

South will look to continue its winning ways at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at home against Port Huron High.

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