Each day, the Son of Swami receives a reminder of how old he has become.
Sometimes it’s an e-mail where the writer flat-out tells SOS that he is old and decrepit and should retire before entirely losing control of his faculties. Others are more subtle.
One of those came this week from Craig Petersmark, whose son, Ben, is a linebacker at Rochester Adams. Petersmark mentioned that this week, his son’s team will be playing Birmingham Groves, which features safety Ryan Flaherty and is coached by his father, Brendan Flaherty.
Petersmark pointed out that he and Flaherty were teammates at Eastern Michigan back in 1987. That is significant because that was the greatest season in EMU history, in which it won the Mid-American Conference and the California Bowl.
That did not come as a surprise to SOS because the All-Knowing One also covered the MAC back then and had EMU as his preseason favorite to win the conference and go to Fresno.
Better yet, SOS was in Fresno when Eastern, a 171/2-point underdog, knocked off San Jose State in the biggest upset of that year’s bowl season.
SOS certainly remembers Petersmark and Flaherty, but he was under the impression that defensive tackle Donshell English, now the Detroit Mumford coach, made every single tackle in that bowl game and quarterback Ron Adams, now the Wyandotte coach, threw for 550 yards.
OK, maybe SOS’s memory is off a bit, but that is what English and Adams tell SOS every time he covers one of their games.
The game was terrific, but it took a back seat to the media basketball event the day before the game when sports information director Jim Streeter, who never met a shot he didn’t take, and SOS led the visiting media to victory, thanks in no small part to the incredible post play by EMU athletic director Gene Smith, who is reportedly working at Ohio State these days.
As SOS attempts to return to this century, here are this week’s top games.
Ishpeming (3-2) at Negaunee (6-0), 7 Friday. This is not the same Ishpeming team that has won three of the last four Division 7 state championships. But this is still a big hurdle for Negaunee, which has lost 10 of the last 11 games to the Hematites. Ishpeming better be prepared for a Negaunee’s physical running attack featuring Neal Violetta and Shane Ring. If the Miners continue to convert on fourth down, like they did five times in seven attempts last week, this won’t be close. Nagging 27, Ishtar 19.
Davison (6-0) at Lapeer (5-1), 7 Friday. For the Lapeer defense, stopping running back Tariq Reid is Job One. Reid has been so good this season, over 1,000 yards already, stopping him is also Job Two and Job Three. If someone is going to beat Lapeer, it has to be someone other than Reid. The Davison defense has a more difficult job. Not only needs it to shut down the running of Jalen Kirkland, but it better be sure quarterback Drew Rubick doesn’t get time in the pocket or he will pick it apart. Perrier 31, Davison Freeway 25.
Rochester Adams (5-1) at Birmingham Groves (6-0), 7 Friday. Groves is adjusting to life in the tougher OAA White just fine and can put a virtual lock on the title if the Falcons manage to beat Adams. That won’t be easy. QB Kyle Wood is a four-year starter for Adams and Mark Patritto is an asset at receiver and safety. The Adams offense just might want to keep an eye on where Ryan Flaherty lines up in the Groves secondary and throw the ball to the opposite side of the field, because he can ruin a passing game. Addams Family 21, Orange Groves 17.
Novi Detroit Catholic Central (6-0) at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (4-2), 7 Friday. The CC offense is predicated on the statement: “The Wham Never Loses Yardage.” The Wham is a play where the ball is handed to the fullback who plows is way through the line of scrimmage. It is nothing fancy, but most of the time it works, which is one of the reasons why CC is so good year after year. St. Mary’s is good year after year, too, and it also likes to run the ball a lot. If St. Mary’s is going to beat CC, it better be able to stop the Wham. The Vatican 21, St. Mary’s by the Lake 20.
Detroit King (5-1) at Detroit East English Village (4-2), noon Saturday. East English Village is likely the only thing standing between King and a Week 9 Cass-King rematch in the PSL championship game. Cass demolished East English, 58-18, three weeks ago, but the Bulldogs have played King remarkably tough the last few years. East English must buy QB Delvin Washington time to find Sammy Womack. King’s Ambry Thomas needs to play his usual spectacular game in the secondary and at receiver. King of Wishful Thinking 32, It takes a Village 21.