Birmingham Seaholm's Chaz Strecker carries the ball Nov. 15 in a Division 2 regional final against Port Huron. The Maples beat the Big Reds 44-28 and will face Detroit Martin Luther King in a state semifinal.

Birmingham Seaholm's Chaz Strecker carries the ball Nov. 15 in a Division 2 regional final against Port Huron. The Maples beat the Big Reds 44-28 and will face Detroit Martin Luther King in a state semifinal.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Seaholm downs Port Huron High in regional final behind Strecker’s three scores

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 15, 2019

 Seaholm's Jack Trinch runs with the ball in the regional final against Port Huron. Trinch scored a touchdown in the win.

Seaholm's Jack Trinch runs with the ball in the regional final against Port Huron. Trinch scored a touchdown in the win.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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BIRMINGHAM — Chaz Strecker is the straw that stirs the drink for Birmingham Seaholm. The senior scored three touchdowns Nov. 15 in a Division 2 regional final win at home as the Maples beat Port Huron High 44-28 to advance to its first state semifinal since 1997.

It’s the second week in a row Strecker has crossed the goal line three times. He now has eight total touchdowns in the playoffs.

“He’s goliath in a little man’s body,” Seaholm coach Jim DeWald said of Strecker. “He doesn’t know anything but full speed. His mentality is infectious, and he’s a fun kid to be around.”

Strecker’s first touchdown of the game came through the air on the Maples' first possession of the game as quarterback Caleb Knoer found the running back on a 39-yard connection.

His second came on the ground by way of a 37-yard run late in the third quarter. After Luke Van Der Feyst gave the Big Reds their second touchdown of the game to make the score 37-14 Seaholm, Strecker answered on the Maples’ next drive with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Strecker was making plays on defense as well, intercepting Port Huron quarterback Phil Mackay in the red zone.

“It’s not so much me, it’s the entire team. We work as a unit,” Strecker said. “We always have our run game and we have the pass to open it up. We just play some Maple nasty football and run it down their throats.”

Just like they did last week against Birmingham Groves, the Maples scored early and scored often. DeWald’s team led 31-0 before the Big Reds managed to score a touchdown. 

It’s been running back by committee for the Maples all season long and it was the same way in the regional final. Seven different players carried the ball with Strecker, William McBride, Jack Trinch and Jacob Vance all getting in on the scoring. Justin Klotz also knocked in a 29-yard field goal.

The Seaholm defense was once again equally as impressive as its offense. On top of forcing a turnover, the Maples did not allow Port Huron to score a point until Van Der Feyst scored on a 1-yard run with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. DeWald said his defensive backs did a good job limiting the Port Huron’s big-play ability with all the shots the Big Reds took downfield. 

The coach believes his team can be as dangerous as anyone if they’re able to play their brand of football and for the third week in a row, they’ve been able to do just that.

“What we do offensively is not sexy and it’s not for everyone,” DeWald said. “But it’s Maple football and our kids believe. It’s pretty cool.”

The Maples are set to take on Detroit Martin Luther King at 3 p.m. Nov. 23 at Novi High in the state semifinal. King beat Detroit U-D Jesuit 49-21 in a regional final and is currently riding a 10-game winning streak.

“I just remind them constantly about what we’ve done the past three weeks,” Knoer said about keeping the team focused. “I have to make sure they know we have the ability to win this game. They’re a good football team, but so are we.”

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