Prep football preview: Downriver capsules

Prep football preview: Downriver capsules

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Prep football preview: Downriver capsules

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Allen Park's Reid Paffhausen runs by Taylor Kennedy defenders during first half action Aug. 28, 2015.

Allen Park’s Reid Paffhausen runs by Taylor Kennedy defenders during first half action Aug. 28, 2015.

Allen Park's Reid Paffhausen runs by Taylor Kennedy defenders during first half action on August 28, 2015 at Wayne State's Tom Adams Field in Detroit.

Allen Park’s Reid Paffhausen runs by Taylor Kennedy defenders during first half action on August 28, 2015 at Wayne State’s Tom Adams Field in Detroit.

DOWNRIVER

Coaches Poll: 1. Allen Park 97; 2. Wyandotte Roosevelt 89; 3. Trenton 74; 4. Brownstown Woodhaven 66; 5. Southgate Anderson 56; 6. Gibraltar Carlson 46; 7. Melvindale 43; 8. Lincoln Park 34; 9. Taylor Truman 20; 10. Taylor Kennedy 18.

Allen Park (8-2, 8-1)

Strength: Offensive/Defensive Line

Top players: OL/DL Saun Stephens, OL/DL Ryan Compean, junior OL/DL Owen Dalles-Teri, junior QB Antonio Mangiapane, RB/LB Nate Berrellez, TE/OLB J.R. Whiteford, junior RB/DB Ryan Fish, junior FB/LB Tyler Marsee

Outlook: Allen Park graduated 25 seniors from last year’s playoff qualifying roster, as there’ll be seven-eight underclassmen starting on both sides of the ball. Head coach Tom Hoover says that there won’t be a lot of time to mature, as the Jaguars square off with both Wyandotte Roosevelt and Woodhaven in weeks two and three respectively. “We lack depth but we have a lot of nice kids and good high school players.”

Brownstown Woodhaven (10-1, 9-0)

Strength: Young Talent

Top players: RB/DB Darius Nunley, junior RB/LB Jalen Wellons, junior OL/DL Jacob Downey, WR/DB Shawn Starks, junior QB Alex Theisen, FB/LB Anthony Doan, FB/LB Mateo Luna

Outlook: Woodhaven averaged more than 34 points per game on offense en route to the Downriver league title last season. After losing eight starters on both sides of the ball, head coach Keith Christnagel has multiple first time varsity participants who are hungry to play and want to build on the success the Warriors experienced in 2014. “Their goal is compete for another championship and qualify for the playoffs. They’re motivated to accomplish it.”

Gibraltar Carlson (4-5, 4-5)

Strength: Skill Positions

Top players: QB Nate Holmgren, WR/DB Thad Enwergobi, WR/DB Ryan Kroll, OL/DL Chad Smith, LB Max Underwood, OL/DL Riley Patzsch, OLB Aaron Thomas, junior FS Lance Nitzkorski

Outlook: Carlson should not have finished 4-5 last season, that’s the mindset of the players and coaches heading into the fall. A blocked field goal against Woodhaven (44-43) and a last minute hook-and-ladder by Trenton (27-26) were the reasons as to why the Marauders didn’t qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Greg Dolfon, the former offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Carlson, has taken over the program while Kent Sikora takes a medical leave of absence. Dolphin feels confident about his skill guys, with senior quarterback Nate Holmgren leading the pack.

Lincoln Park (3-6, 3-6)

Strength: Skill Positions

Top players: QB Steve Glenn, RB/Secondary Trevor Anderson, junior ATH/S Devon Carson, junior CB/WR DeAndre Holmes, OG/DE Kalani Kapiko, FB/LB Matt Boycik, junior S/WR Allen Ferrell

Outlook: Following six straight winless seasons from 2007-12, head coach Jamie Grignon led Lincoln Park to their highest win total of three wins since 2005. With a new offense that focuses on jet sweeps, read options and a short passing game, the Railsplitters will rely on quarterback Steve Glenn, who overcame an ankle injury from baseball back in 2013 to lead the unit. “For the first time in three years, it’s become a senior led team, not a coaches team. We’ll be a very competitive team and hopefully take a couple more strides forward.”

Melvindale (2-7, 2-7)

Strength: Team Speed

Top players: junior WR/LB Koby Boynton, junior QB Kolby McGill, junior DB/WR Tre’Shon Alexander, OL/DL Nick Thomas, DB/WR Terrance London, junior RB/LB Jerry Sanders, WR/LB Justin Cole, junior LB/TE Justin BanAllen

Outlook: When you have the smallest team in the league, concern about depth is a reasonable issue for head coach Jason Carriveau. Staying healthy for nine games is the goal, as a solid core of 15 players, along with first-year quarterback and baseball standout Kolby McGill, who made the switch from a hybrid linebacker and tight end last year, can help the Cardinals reach the playoffs for the seventh time in 11 years.

Southgate Anderson (5-4, 5-4)

Strength: Skill Players

Top players: QB Steve Georgieff, junior QB Ross Bogart, Junior RB/LB Michael Baker, sophomore DB/WR Kendrick Stanley, junior RB/DB Kavian Graham, OL/DL Robert Rail, OC/DL Hunter Angileri, WR/DB Joe Leening

Outlook: Three playoff teams in the first four weeks of the schedule for Southgate, a daunting task for the young but talented core of Frank Vilardi’s roster. A combined 16 sophomores and juniors are expected to start for the Titans this season, but transitioning into the varsity level will not be an easy task, as they’ll play Trenton in week one.

Taylor Kennedy (1-8, 1-8)

Strength: Defensive Line

Top players: WR Miland Amerson, WR Jacob Hamilton, OG James Sloane, LB Keshon Remmey, WR Mohammed Sanders, LB Kerry Moore, DT Daniel Williams, junior NT Lotaz Stephens

Outlook: The secretaries called him the savior of Taylor Kennedy football, as first-year head coach Jim Carlile leads an Eagles team that hasn’t posted a winning season since 2004 and has yet to reach the postseason since 2003. In Carlile’s 20 plus years of coaching, this has been the best offseason the former Center Line head coach has ever experienced. “We have some games on the schedule that are winnable. This program is not far behind, we’re not looking at the past, we’re looking ahead.”

Taylor Truman (0-9, 0-9)

Strength: Offensive Line/QB Play

Top players: QB/SLB Joe Herrera, TE/MLB Jon Curtis, junior OC Mike Turne, TE/DE Eli Barginere, sophomore OG/DT Colin Sarcor, RB Gobi DaSilva, RB/LB D.J. McGregor, RB/S Josh Peterson

Outlook: Two straight playoff seasons and a 17-3 combined record in 2012-13 was before Truman lost all nine games last year. With the hiring of long-time assistant and Taylor firefighter Jeff Morrow, there’s a positive feeling heading into week one. Morrow has also gone back to the program’s roots of running an aggressive pro style offense, different from the spread that was implemented last season. “The discipline wasn’t there last season, but the kids have bought into the program and they’re all very excited.”

Trenton (7-4, 6-3)

Strength: Offensive Experience

Top players: OT/DT Dylan Pasquali, OG/DT Mason Walz, ILB/FB Grant McClellan, junior RB/OLB Dontell Hampton, QB Patrick Czarnecki, RB/FS Jake Nabozny, ILB/OG Loren Sauve, WR/CB Mason Dore

Outlook: Starting off the season on the right foot is something thats unknown for Trenton, as head coach Bob Czarnecki knows that his teams get better in the latter half of the season. That includes last season, when the Trojans won their final six of seven games to advance to the playoffs. “One problem is our depth, as the number one priority is finding adequate backup at certain positions, especially along the offensive line and defense.”

Wyandotte Roosevelt (9-3, 7-2)

Strength: Offensive/Defensive Line

Top players: QB/FS Tyler Thorington, OL T.J. Thompspn, RB David Long, LB/OG Andrew Barrett, OL Nate Hastings

Outlook: Nine straight playoff appearances is impressive, especially when that includes four straight district final victories from 2011-14. At quarterback is 2016 Western Michigan baseball commit Tyler Thorington, who was the Bears’ leading wide receiver last season. Head coach Ron Adams also gave his respects to Tom Hoover of Allen Park, the Downriver league’s preseason favorite, Roosevelt’s week two opponent.

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Prep football preview: Downriver capsules

Taking a look at Downriver teams for the 2015 prep football season.

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