Michigan high school football: MIAC team capsules 2013

Michigan high school football: MIAC team capsules 2013


Michigan high school football: MIAC team capsules 2013


Coaches poll: 1. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 53; 2. Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 52; 3. Southfield Christian 51; 4. Sterling Heights Parkway 41; 5. Lutheran Westland 40; 6. AH Oakland Christian 33.

Univ. Liggett (8-3, 5-0)

Strength: Senior leadership

Top players: OT/DL Antonio Malkoun, C/DL Josh Dickens, TB/LB Daryll Lewis, Soph. QB Tommy Jackson, WR/LB Lordanthony Grisson, Fr. Slot/CB Connor McCarren.

Outlook: Liggett was an undefeated MIAC champion for the past two years but graduated 11 seniors, including a four-year quarterback. The Knights, who still do have an experienced offensive line, will run a Pistol offense to best utilize their backfield speed. “We’re very young, but with good athletes,” said Head Coach Dan Cimini. “The rebuilding process is going well.” Cimini, previously the head coach before the school dropped football from 2006-08, returns to the top spot.

Luth. Northwest (5-4, 4-1)

Strength: Offensive/defensive lines

Top players: OT/DT Nick Raby, OG/LB-DE Jake Klausmeyer, OT/LB-DT Trevor Schultz, RB/LB Nick Gapski, junior QB Bryan Miscovich, junior WR/S-LB Jacob Griem, junior OT/DT Brandon Schrupp.

Outlook: After graduating 13 seniors from 2012, the Crusaders return four starters on both sides of the ball, primarily linemen. “Our skill players have all come up from JV last year and we’re on a learning curve. Our offensive line will keep us in games while we adjust at the skill positions.” Head Coach Don Justice said. Even so, Justice believes the team “has a legitimate shot” at making the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.

Southfield Chr. (3-6, 2-3)

Strength: Receivers

Top players: QB/LB Jonathan Springer, WR/LB Harding Fears, junior RB/CB Bobby Banks, WR Jack Harrington, OT/NT Steven Helms.

Outlook: The Eagles go against the grain of the MIAC teams in that they will have experienced skill players while rebuilding in the trenches. They stand out in their offensive playbook as well. “We’re mostly pass-oriented,” Head Coach Larry Weiss said. “When you have that many seniors responsible for handling the ball, you’ve got to play that up. We’re going to have to spread teams out if we want to have some degree of success.”

Parkway Chr. (4-5, 1-4)

Strength: Seniors

Top players: TE/LB Phil Lipinski, OL/LB Nick Halaas, QB Noah Allen, RB/DB Nathan Schick, OL/DL Roger Narlock, WR/DB Dylan Thompson, WR/LB Cole Kasperowicz.

Outlook: The Eagles’ seven returning starters – which aren’t concentrated in any single area of the lineup – are led by Lipinski, a four-year starter getting looks from Division 1 and 2 programs. “We have most of our skill players coming back and we’re excited about those guys,” Head Coach Todd Francis said. “We have a small junior class, so the sophomores and freshmen are going to have to step up and help the seniors.”

Luth. Westland (6-4, 3-2)

Strength: Battle-tested

Top players: C Kole Niemi, OT Brad Hura, junior OG Thomas Kruger, QB P.J. Guse, junior RB Austin Olson, junior RB Jacob Davenport.

Outlook: The core group that led the Warriors to their first two playoff berths in team history has graduated, yet Head Coach Paul Guse is hopeful that those players left enough of an impression to influence this season’s squad. “Our hopes are high,” he said. “We’re young again, but we do have that playoff experience. Now that you’ve been to the playoffs, you don’t want to be the group that drops the ball and ends that streak.”

AH Oakland Chr. (2-7, 0-5)

Strength: Skill positions

Top players: SE/DE Stephen Nichols, OT/DT Bobby Roose, Fr. OT/DT Josh Morgan, junior QB/S Javarian Smith, Slot/S Aaron Kostich, sophomore Slot/DE Ryan Kostich, C/DT Preston LaSala.

Outlook: The Lancers should be the MIAC’s most improved team, but will that enable them to move up in the standings? Head Coach Bill Schaffer said, “I have most of my junior and senior skill players back. Our goal is to make the playoffs, and if so, it will be the first time in team history (five seasons) that we will have had a winning program. That’s a legitimate goal we can reach with the talent we have.”


More USA TODAY High School Sports