Sterling Heights High senior quarterback Chris Edwards hands the ball off to freshman running back Niko Johnson Nov. 1 against Birmingham Seaholm in a Division 2 predistrict game. Before falling to the Maples, the Stallions won their first division title since 2015.

Sterling Heights High senior quarterback Chris Edwards hands the ball off to freshman running back Niko Johnson Nov. 1 against Birmingham Seaholm in a Division 2 predistrict game. Before falling to the Maples, the Stallions won their first division title since 2015.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Sterling Heights High football coach talks turnaround campaign

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 12, 2019

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BIRMINGHAM — It was a year of accomplishments for the Sterling Heights High football program. 

The season came to a close Nov. 1 with a 55-34 loss to Birmingham Seaholm in a Division 2 predistrict game. 

Along the way, the Stallions went 6-4 overall and won a share of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title, giving the program its first division championship since 2015.

The team also secured its first playoff trip since 2015. The season didn’t end the way he would have hoped, but Stallions coach Dave Cutlip — a Sterling Heights High alumnus back leading the program after a 10-year break — knows his team took a step in the right direction.

“I think it proves that a lot of things are possible,” said Cutlip, who has now guided the Stallions to four division titles and five playoff appearances. “I think it proves that when you really love something and dedicate yourself to something that good things can happen.”

The team improved in every aspect this season. Sterling Heights averaged 29.1 points per game in 2019 — up from 14 last season. The Stallions tightened up on defense too, allowing 24.9 points per game. That’s more than two touchdowns better than the 2018 total.

Sterling Heights is set to lose nine players to graduation, including quarterback Chris Edwards, running back/defensive back Adarian Gamage and tight end Kas Juncaj. The Stallions are a fairly young team and have 37 players eligible to return next season, including freshman running back Niko Johnson.

Cutlip is appreciative of his senior class and what they did for the program. The coach added that  this was a big season for the team’s success.

“Our seniors deserve a lot of credit because there’s not many of them, but they sure got this group of guys to play pretty well,” Cutlip said. “It’s good to see my high school that I went to and coached at for so many years at least get a chance to be back.”

Sports Writer Zachary Manning contributed to this report.

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