| August 25, 2016 | Comments (0)


Below are the 2016 Prep Football Team Capsules, as compiled by staff. For updates, email senior editor Daniel Stickradt at, or . Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans or on multiple social media platforms.

SCHOOL: Auburn Hills Avondale

HEAD COACH: Ed Courtier, second season

ASSISTANT COACHES: Kenny Schmidt, Corey Gonzales, Kenny O’Shaughnessy, Wade Dobson, Richie Garrett.

2015 RECORD: 4-5, 4-3 OAA Blue


KEY RETURNEES: Chance Chatman, sr. QB/DB (5-10, 160); Andrew Gordon, sr. OT/DE (6-0, 215); Derek Hinton, soph. SB/DB (5-8, 150); Stephan Jackson, sr. OG/DT (5-11, 220); Anthony Moran, jr. FB/SS (5-6, 155); Mitch Riley, sr. SB/DB (5-9, 175); Vince Wright, sr. FB/LB (6-0, 190)

NOTABLES: Ed Courtier, a longtime journeyman assistant coach in both football and track, took over the reigns in July after the new coach hired back in February had to step down due to work constraints. Courtier is left with the disadvantage of not only trying  to learn his players and a new system, but working with a roster with many question marks.

SCHOOL: Berkley

HEAD COACH: Chris Sikora, fourth season (18-13)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Ray Ostrowski, Brady Blackwell, Todd Tyler, Daren Danaher, Harrison Plaskey, Will Puvalowski, Brennan Blackwell.

2015 RECORD: 9-3, 6-1 OAA-Blue (second)

POSTSEASON: Def. Southfield Lathrup (27-0); def. Southfield (28-20, district finals); lost in D-2 regional finals to Livonia Franklin (38-6)

KEY RETURNEES: Ross Herron, sr. QB (5-10, 175); Chauncey Bridgewater, sr. WR/DB (5-11, 160); David Gerth, sr. OL (6-0, 220); Zac Gregorich, sr. OL (6-0, 260); Cullen Sanner, sr. OL (5-10, 210); Simon McGaffery, sr. OL (5-11, 210); David Karwalski, jr. RB (6-2, 180); Kedar Browning, jr. RB (5-10, 175); Floyd Hudson, sr. DT (5-10, 300); Dante Little, sr. DT (6-1, 275); Mathen Kerr, sr. DB (6-2, 185); Jason Burnide, sr. DB (6-0, 175); Mason Sanom, sr. LB (5-10, 185); Simon McCaffrey, sr. DE (5-11, 210); Kedar Browning, jr. DB (5-10, 175).

KEY NEWCOMERS: Dominic Morelli, sr. RB (5-10, 175); Babacar Diop, jr. OL/DL (6-2, 225); Evan Payne, soph. TE/DE (6-1, 210); Blake  Ratliff, soph. TE/DE (6-0, 180)

NOTABLES: Berkley finished second to Birmingham Groves last season in the OAA-Blue, then made the deepest postseason run in school history by advancing all the way to the Division 2 regional finals. The good news is that Groves is up in the OAA-White and Berkley is now the heavy favorite to win the league with most of its starters back. There is great athleticism, experience and size for Berkley and this is a senior-laden team. If Berkley is ever going to reach the Final Four or better, this would be the year. The Bears should be one of the better programs in the entire OAA this season.

SCHOOL: Bloomfield Hills

HEAD COACH: Dan Loria, 15th season (11 at B.H. Lasher, fourth at Bloomfield Hills; 92-66)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Joe Alfano, Scott Sugg, Bobby Paterson, Lomas Brown, John Slazinski, John Tryon, John Duncan, Lorenzo Robertson, Matt MacLeod, Ali Haji‐Sheikh, Dan Whitmire, Dave Propst, Frank Laurnec, Tony Midea, Scott Lalane, Jerry Meter, Nick Riggs

2015 RECORD: 1-8, 1-7 OAA-Red (seventh)


KEY RETURNEES: Elijah Sherman, sr. RB (5-10, 190);

Derek Lynch, sr. RB/WR/DB (5-6, 150); Casey Witt, sr. OT (6-1, 225); Malcolm Clark, jr. OT (6-0, 260); Howard Shoda, sr. OG (5-10, 220); Kit Martin, sr. DB (5-10, 165); Eli McCourt, jr. LB (6-1, 190); Elijah Sherman, sr. DB (5-10, 190); Patrick Najor, sr. LB (5-9, 175); Spencer Hasias, sr. DL (6-0, 290)

KEY NEWCOMERS: John Paddock, jr. QB (5-11, 180); Devon Lynch, sr. WR (5-8, 165); Ty Slazinski, jr. WR (6-0, 170); Paul Mucci, jr. LB (5-10, 180); Trey Brown, sr. DL (5-11, 235); Cooper Lynch, jr. DB (5-9, 155).

NOTABLES: Since the merger of Lahser and Andover in 2013, the Blackhawks have only recorded a combined six wins. That has led to a drop down to the OAA Blue, where Bloomfield Hills will try to rebuild against smaller schools and be competitive once again. The team has good size and several playmakers that should help this program build back up.

SCHOOL: Ferndale

HEAD COACH: Eric Royal, third season (6-12)


2015 RECORD: 2-7, 2-5 OAA Blue (sixth)


KEY RETURNEES: Kobe Falls, sr. OL/DL; Joseph Welbeck-White, sr. OL/DL; Kobie Davis, sr. FB/MLB; Zoser Liitle, jr. RB/SS

KEY NEWCOMERS: Keshawn Smith, jr. QB (transfer)

NOTABLES: The Eagles are at a disadvantage with the lowest enrollment in the entire three-division OAA, with numbers around 700 high school students. The Eagles now have a co-op program with Ferndale University, a charter school that opened up a decade ago with similar enrollment figures as Ferndale High. Like last season, Ferndale has good speed and athleticism but lacks overall depth. There are four third-year starters on the lines which should help protect the QB and running games.

SCHOOL: Hazel Park

HEAD COACH: Kyle Rowley, third season

2015 RECORD: 1-8, 1-6 OAA-Blue (seventh)


KEY RETURNEES: Damien Ewald, jr. QB; Malik Harris, sr. WR/DB; Bruce Kish, sr. OL/DL; Cam Harris, jr. WR/DB; Dallas Cleary, sr. SB/DB; Logan Hamilton, jr. WR; T’Shawn Green, sr. RB.

NOTABLES: Five straight losing campaigns and just one win in the past three seasons has caused some struggles for the Vikings, who last made the postseason in 2009 and 2010 before falling on hard times. Hazel Park has built up its numbers the past couple of years and brought back the JV program last season. The school does have some quality athletes and team speed and Coach Rowley has his system firmly in place. Expectations are significantly higher than the previous two years and this team has sets goals of climbing back over the .500 mark and reaching the playoffs.

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SCHOOL: Pontiac

HEAD COACH: John Thompson, first season

2015 RECORD: 0-9, 0-7 OAA-Blue (eighth)


KEY RETURNEES: John Santana, sr. LB; Kelondre Hill, sr. RB/DB; Bryce O’Neil, sr. OL/DL 


NOTABLES: The fourth coaching staff in four years, John Thompson and Co. have built back the numbers to around 60 in the program, yet still have the daunting task of building the Phoenix back up to a level of respectability on the field. Pontiac was in the postseason five years ago. Thompson, who starred at Michigan, coach Detroit Central to a postseason berth last season. While the Phoenix won’t win a league title this year and likely won’t make the playoffs, gaining some wins and returning some pride back into the program would be a significant turnaround for Pontiac.

SCHOOL: Rochester

HEAD COACH: Erik Vernon, eighth season (22-42)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Dale Clark, Nick Merlo, Ed Hillary

2015 RECORD: 1-8, 0-7 OAA-White (eighth)


KEY RETURNEES: Thomas Loftus, sr. RB/WR/DB/QB (5-10, 165); David Nagrant, sr. DE/TE (6-3, 215); Jacob Jackson, sr. LB/DE/TE (5-9, 175); Brent Burtraw, jr. QB/DB (6-1, 165); Brandon Wright, sr. WR; Ethan Wahla, sr. FB/DB (5-8, 175); Logan Mueller, sr. DE (6-1, 230); Michael January, sr. DB/WR (5-7, 145); Roman Petrusha, sr. OG/DT (6-0, 250); Alex McCarthy, sr. OT/NG (6-4, 250).

KEY NEWCOMERS: Drake Reid, soph. WR/RB/DB (5-9, 150); Ryan Noble, soph. WR/RB/OLB/TE (6-3, 190); Gabe Szafran, soph. WR/RB/DB (5-7, 150); David Robinson, soph. OT (6-2, 265).

NOTABLES: Back-to-back 1-8 seasons and only two winning campaigns since 1999 has shed some negative light on this program, which fielded multiple winning seasons in the 1980s and 1990s. Around 90 percent of the roster from last year is back and Rochester is blessed with a very deep and talented sophomore class with four in the varsity ranks to start the season. The Falcons are expected to compete with Berkley in the OAA-Blue this fall. This is one of the school’s most talented teams in two decades and the Falcons should not have any more excuses with inter-district open enrollment now closed. 

SCHOOL: Royal Oak

HEAD COACH: Ray McMann, second season (4-5)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Jeff Ross, Michael Quinlan, Dan Mastrovito, Robert Gibson, Kevin Isaacson, Joe McDaniel, Dante Catanese, Jesse Vos

2015 RECORD: 4-5, 4-3 OAA-Blue (fourth)


KEY RETURNEES: Bobby Green, sr. QB; Darryl Davenport, sr. WR/DT; Brian Barge, sr. RB; Chandler Chaamberlain, sr. DL; Zarek Ray, sr. DL; Ethan Davis, sr. OL: Ben Hebron, sr. OL; Patrick Tesho, jr. SE; Alex Rubio, sr. LB.

NOTABLES: Since the merger of Royal Oak Dondero and Kimball in 2006, Royal Oak high has watched a coaching carousel fly by and the school has not enjoyed much success with eight straight sub-five-hundred seasons. In fact, last year’s 4-5 mark was the second highest win total since the merger. Coach McMann now has his system in place and there is plenty of optimism around the program with a multitude of players back this season. Can the Ravens continue to climb into the upper echelon of the OAA-Blue and reach the postseason for the first time in a decade?


HEAD COACH: Gary Griffith, 42nd season (140-105)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Chris Frasier, Mike Hosbach, Keith Thomas, John O’Brien, Tom Calnen, Justin Losey, Bill Barbato, Kevin Muma

2015 RECORD: 0-9, 0-7 OAA-Red (eighth)


KEY RETURNEES: Chris Mittlebrun, sr. QB (5-9, 180); Alex Samson, jr. OLM (6-4, 280); Kyle O’Brien, sr. C (6-1, 250); Connor Wilson, sr. WR/DB (5-9, 165); Chris Kroll, sr. LB (6-0, 195); Will Johansson, sr. DB (6-4, 190); Fred Reynolds, sr. DB (5-8, 150); Max Guitar, jr. DE (6-2, 230); Jonathon Douglas, jr. LB (6-0, 200).

KEY NEWCOMERS: Cole Hayden, soph. O/DE; Teron Kinnard, jr. RB/LB; Alex Vecchioni, jr. LB/DB; Givon Cinque, jr. WR/RB/DB; Danny Sully, jr. WR; Reggie Lemmons, soph. DE/RB; James Lundy, sr. WR/DB.

NOTABLES: Three straight losing seasons and a combined four wins the past three years has definitely left a sour taste in the mouths of those around Troy’s program. Going winless for the first time since 1954 and 1955 is not the norm for a team that won the Class AA state title in 1994, reached the D-1 Final Four in 2007 and has reached the postseason 13 times under Coach Griffith. The Colts do return a bulk of their defense, have very good size on the interior and improved team speed. Troy is also down in the OAA-Blue, where it will try to build back up from the ashes.

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Category: Auburn Hills Avondale, Featured Articles, Football, High School, High School (M-Z), Prep Wraps, Rochester, Sponsors, Sponsors Counterpoint, Sport, Troy

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