No city football team has reached the state finals since 1991.
Add that to an undefeated season, a league title and a No. 2 state ranking, and you have all the reasons you need for St. Philip’s David Downey to be named the 2015 Enquirer All-City Football Team Coach of the Year.
The Enquirer All-City Football Team is made up of members of the five city football teams and voted on by the city coaches and the Enquirer sports staff.
Downey led St. Philip to a 9-0 regular season, ending the year at No. 2 in the final Associated Press rankings of the season in 8-player football. Along the way, the Tigers also won the Southern Michigan 8-Man Football League title.
But once the playoffs started, that’s where St. Philip really impressed. Three straight games with 50-plus points, including wins over defending state champ Lawrence in the second round and Deckerville in the state semifinals.
Downey and St. Philip advanced all the way to the state championship game at Greenville’s Legacy Field before it lost in the final to No. 1-ranked Powers North Central, 58-33 to end the season at 12-1.
Downey is joined on the All-City team by seven St. Philip players, including Noah Ellinger, Drew Lantinga, Omar Gaona, Trevor Searls, David Downey, Brendan Gausselin and Brayden Darr.
Lakeview went 6-4 on the season, winning a Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division title for the third straight season and making the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The Spartans include eight players on the All-City team, with Justin Wright, Roger Williams, CJ Foster, Kameron Carlson, Michael Miller, Travis Snyder, Dre’On Kemp and Skyler Nichols.
Battle Creek Central went 4-5 on the season and adds Dyzmen Robinson, Dallas Gillum, Malik Bozell, Cyntell Williams and Brandon Randle to the squad.
After going 3-6, Harper Creek puts Zach Smith, Bryce Martineau, Caleb Hayes and Dawson Bartlett on the team.
Pennfield also went 3-6, as Carter Needham, Taylor Dean, Grant Petersen and Justin Lamb make the team.