Michigan high school football: Southeastern Conference team capsules 2013

Michigan high school football: Southeastern Conference team capsules 2013


Michigan high school football: Southeastern Conference team capsules 2013



RED Division

Coaches poll: Temperance Bedford, 55; Saline, 54; Monroe, 51; Ann Arbor Pioneer, 45; Ann Arbor Skyline, 35; Ann Arbor Huron, 31.

Bedford (6-4, 3-2)

Strengths: Leadership, experience, 38 returning seniors

Top players: QB Brad Boss (980 yds rushing), FB Alec Hullibarger, C Alex Johnson, WR Collin Carter, DE Austin Riedmaier (6-3, 215), DE Jeremiah Harris (6-5, 235, led with 96 tackles), S Lucas Mayo and LB Tyler Roytek.

Outlook: 38 seniors return, led by Boss, Hullibarger and Harris from all-league first team. “We’ll be pretty physical, we’ve even had to tone it down in practice,” said coach Jeff Wood. “We’ve fallen into the trap of success the past few years so we can’t take any days off. We haven’t won the league in the last two years, and that’s our top goal for sure, to win the Red.” But first Bedford takes on non-league powers Utica Ford and Toledo St. Francis.

Saline (10-2, 5-1)

Strengths: both lines, and running backs

Top players: TE Jimmie Craig (6-4, 200), OL/DG Nick Sawyer (6-4, 300), junior RB Kevin Gross, DE John Smutny (6-3, 250), DL Ben Elliott (5-11, 250), OL Travis Alexis (6-3, 230), OL Max Recknagel (6-6, 230), WR Nader El-Awar and S Tyrone Miller.

Outlook: The 2012 team earned the most wins in school history, but could struggle with only three starters returning on each side of the ball. Second-year coach Joe Palka said, “We lost an amazing group of seniors that left a pretty good legacy, but we have great depth and have a lot of players that got some experience in big games, so I hope we can pick up where we left off last year. We’re setting the bar high and we hope to show over the next few years we can stay at the level.”

Monroe (7-3, 4-2)

Strengths: Depth, quickness.

Top players: LB Colt McLaughlin (three-year starter), LB/OG Andy Notario, DB/QB Tyler Kellems, and juniors LB Beau Massingill and OL/DE Mitchell Martin.

Outlook: Monroe coaches re-evaluated last year’s first round playoff loss and decided to switch to a platoon system this year to avoid season-ending fatigue. A JV team that went 9-0 caused coach Eric Redmond to comment: “We are young but have good lower levels feeding in. The guys will need varsity experience quick and early. Many of them will make up the offense. We just need to stay healthy.”

Ann Arbor Pioneer (8-3, 5-1)

Strengths: Speed and athleticism, skill positions

Top players: LB Brad Koenig, TE Jake Kroeker, WR/S Darius Sanderford, QB Brandon Bertoia, DL/OL Darius Scott, junior RB/CB Malik Fuller, DL Thad Stalmack (led team in sacks) and LB/FB Larry Vitale.

Outlook: Good senior leadership (all-league returnees Koenig, Kroeker, Stalmack) will guide this tough, physical group that plays with athleticism and speed. “The big thing for us is to build off the success the program has had, and beat who we should and maybe some of the toughest teams,” new coach Jari Brown said. “We want to take care of our business in the conference and see what develops in the playoffs.”

Ann Arbor Skyline (2-7, 2-3)

Strengths: Unity and chemistry.

Top players: junior QB Askaree Crawford (1,500-plus yards passing), RB Nate Spencer, junior TE/LB Willie Clark, OT/DT Cody Zeisler (6-3, 240), C Tony Biggs, OT Austin Traster, OT/DT Kenyon Thompson, WR Triston Wilson (6-7, 195) and WR/RB Kornelius Saxton.

Outlook: This is the school’s sixth year of football so some growing pains could still be at issue. But QB slinger Askaree Crawford returns after a full season of starts to his credit. “We have strength in numbers, being together and adding depth,” coach Lee Arthur said. “Not a lot of size but we do have speed. We’ll have to be able execute and line it up and get out of a rut being a young program in a really tough conference.”

Ann Arbor Huron (0-9, 0-6)

Strengths: skill positions

Top players: sophomore QB Josh Jackson, RB Jaavid Love, RB Quavon Smith, WR Duane Boyd, TE Emre Babbitt, OL Schuler Barker, OL Kevin Yang, CB Jason Strange and LB Trey Allen.

Outlook: A smaller team with only 36 players, Huron will still run a spread offense but try running downhill more. “We have lots of athletes, really deep at wide receiver, and we’re very excited about our QB; we think he’s going to be really special before leaving Huron,” said new coach Craig Jobe.

WHITE Division

Ypsilanti Lincoln, 47; Tecumseh, 44; Chelsea, 42; Adrian, 37; Ypsilanti, 28; Dexter, 27.

Ypsilanti Lincoln (5-4, 3-3)

Strengths: Experience and speed on defense.

Top players: OLB EJ Shaah, ILB Olatunji Bolden, CB Cedric Addie (6-3, 175), junior TE Tyler Mabry (6-4, 220), RB Troy Brumfield, junior WR KJ Osborn and OT Devin McCallister.

Outlook: Six starters return on offense and seven starters return on defensive side of ball, including all-league first teamers Shaah, Bolden and McCallister. “We have high expectations for that group,” coach Chris Westfall said. “Lincoln hasn’t won a title since 1987 and that’s a big goal to us, then to be a playoff qualifier, which happened for the first time in school history two years ago.”

Tecumseh (9-3, 5-1)

Strength: front 7 on defense.

Top players: LB Devin Moore, LB Stephan Bloxam, LB Preston Pelham (6-3, 230), DL Chris Dorobantu (6-5, 265, 3-year starter), S Ben Vannater, OL RJ Walch, OL Kolin Connors.

Outlook: Need to move the football after losing almost the entire offense from last year. “Defense will be good but the longer they are on the field the harder it becomes,” said coach Al Romano. Last year Tecumseh won its first White championship and first district title; hosted first playoff game at home. “With a lot of firsts came a lot of enthusiasm from the community, and we went from learning we hope to win to expecting to win, and getting to that point is a good thing.”

Chelsea (7-3, 5-0)

Team strength: Offensive line

Top players: OT Tyler Eckler, TE Shon Kuhn, WR Tim Mantel, QB Scott Crews, DE Quenton Hess, LB Taylor Waggoner, S Eric Stero and LB Ethan Whitaker.

Outlook: Chelsea has made playoffs 14 years in a row, “A great run, it’s a great tradition for us,” said coach Brad Bush. “But we graduated a ton of guys so we’re a little inexperienced and we’ll have to earn everything we get.” He added the earliest part of schedule could be difficult, starting with Lansing Sexton then Red power Saline in week 3, “so a good test getting things going.”

Adrian (3-6, 2-2)

Strengths: Both lines and Linebacker core

Top players: Junior QB/LB Jeff Marvin (6-1, 205), LB C.J. Wall, OL/DL Tino Mendez (6-3, 250), OL/DL Michael Loveland (5-10, 270) and DE/TE Nick Campbell.

Outlook: Adrian’s winning tradition took it on the chin last year with first losing season in 15 years, and this season starts out tough with four of the first five games on the road. “What we lack in experience (all skill positions graduated) we have gained this year in work ethic,” said coach Phil Jacobs. “We have 45 players who want to put last year behind us and win the SEC.”


Note: Combined team after Ypsilanti Willow Run was merged into Ypsilanti.

Strengths: Athleticism and speed

Top players: RB/LB Daouda Sylla, sophomore QB/CB Marquis Smith (passed for over 2,000 yds.), QB/DB Mike Caldwell, LB/OG Patrick Ullrich, OT/DE Greg Ward, OT/DE Roy Smith (6-5, 270), junior WR Jeremiah Allen (6-4, 180), sophomore WR Jalen Maxwell and junior LB Morris Darby-Boyd.

Outlook: Willow Run was merged into Ypsilanti High, with new mascot name of Grizzlies (black and gold). “The blending of the team may be surprising everybody,” head coach Rufus Pipkins said. “It’s been a great situation so far.” Pipkins added that the Willow Run players’ biggest adjustments will be facing bigger opponents. “They’ve seen good teams but really haven’t seen the bigger programs compared to what the Ypsilanti kids have.”


Top players: QB Matt Mitchell, CB Kyle Koenig, K Evan Burke


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