South Lake, Lake Shore football set to clash

By: Jon Malavolti | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 13, 2011

 St. Clair Shores Lake Shore junior quarterback Jimmy White will look to lead the Shorians to victory when they take on St. Clair Shores South Lake at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at South Lake.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore junior quarterback Jimmy White will look to lead the Shorians to victory when they take on St. Clair Shores South Lake at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at South Lake.

Photo by Deb Jacques

The jug.

For much of the last decade or so, it was St. Clair Shores Lake Shore that laid claim to the trophy shaped like a giant milk jug, adorned with all three Shores schools logos and colors. Since the mid 1990s, the overall winner of the annual football games among the trio of teams would add the year it won it to it’s designated section and hold on to it, along with bragging rights.

Currently, those bragging rights belong to the team that etched it’s name alongside “2010” — St. Clair Shores South Lake.

Both the Shorians (1-1 overall at press time, 1-0 Macomb Area Conference Gold Division) and Cavaliers (2-0 overall, 1-0 MAC Bronze) can take a big step at reclaiming or defending the jug, respectively, when they clash at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at South Lake.

“This game with South Lake is big,” Lake Shore coach Tom Iwanicki said. “Since they have possession of the jug we must beat them in order to have a chance at winning it back. They are a very good team with a lot of players back from a division championship and playoff team last year.

“We must play our best road game to beat them.”

With the jug in their hands, the Cavaliers know they have a target on their backs.

“We’ve just got to weather the storm,” South Lake coach Steve Senters said. “It’s at our place this year; we’ve got to get in and settle in. They’re well coached; they have lots of experience. We’re starting to match some of that.

“That gap has closed a whole bunch in the past couple years.”

Both coaches said they have to do little to stoke the fire when it comes to the burning passion their players have for these games.

“The intensity during the week and during the game goes up a couple of notches when we are playing within the Shores,” Iwanicki said. “We treat it like we are playing for a separate conference championship. They are games that are constantly previewed and reviewed by the students and faculty in the school, and the parents with the alumni are paying closer attention to the results.”

While there is plenty of buzz off the field surrounding the rivalry games, on the field, the level of awareness is equally great, if not greater.

“The kids all grow up together, so they know each other,” Senters said. “These games add a little bit of excitement. They know there’s the jug that’s involved … it’s an added little incentive for sure.”

As for some keys to the game, both coaching staffs will have their work cut out for them.
Iwanicki said Lake Shore has to limit South Lake’s “big plays,” establish its (high-paced) offensive tempo to make South Lake work hard on defense and “take care of the ball by eliminating turnovers and executing on special teams.”

The Shorians’ coach also added they want to “win the hidden yardage battle.”

That’s what Senters and South Lake will be watching out for, the trick plays and other wrinkles, such as fake punts, that the veteran Shorians staff has added to its playbook over time.

“They’ve played in that system longer. They’re still a couple years ahead of us,” Senters said. “We’re still doing fundamental stuff. They’ve been doing it for such a long time.
He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.”

Huskies will have their say
Lakeview surely won’t be left out of the mix when it comes to deciding the city champion. The Huskies will hit the road to take on their city rivals in back-to-back weeks for a shot at the jug, at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Lake Shore and then at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at South Lake.