| September 18, 2020 | Comments (0)

Below are the area’s prep football conferences and area teams within these leagues. Capsules compiled by veteran sports writer Dan Stickradt based on research and information gathered from coaches’ preseason surveys. Corrections and changes can be made by emailing to Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans and on several social media platforms.



SCHOOL: Clarkston

HEAD COACH: Kurt Richardson, 34th season (259-95, 23rd all-time in Michigan history)

2019 RECORD: 3-6, 3-3 OAA Red Division (fourth)


POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1997

RETURNING STARTERS: Rocco Spindler, sr. OL/DL (6-4, 305); Garrett Delinger, sr. OL/DL (6-6, 280) (Louisiana State); Blake Kosin, sr. DE/TE (6-6, 225) (Northern Illinois); Mike DePillo, jr. QB (6-5, 200); Ben Haas, sr. OL/DL (6-4, 250) (Division II recruit); Cole Dellinger, soph. DL/OL (6-4, 270) (Division I offers); Kidus Johnson, sr. WR (6-0, 175); Caleb Stalworth, jr. LB (5-1, 230); Alec Boan, sr. SE (5-10, 160); Josh Adams, sr. CB (5-10, 160); Kyle Juzysta, sr. OLB (5-10, 200); Adeyn Brooks, sr. LB (5-10, 180); Nathan Clark, soph. RB/DB (6-0, 185); Owen Foster, sr. C/DT (5-11, 235); Justin Buchmann, sr. WR/DB (5-10, 175) (offers from Mt. Union, Ohio Northern, Carthage, Lawrence Tech, Alma, Trine)

TOP PROSPECTS: Virtually the whole starting lineup started games last season, so any new prospects will likely be second-string players unless injuries.

NOTABLES: A member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, Coach Richardson never endured a season with so many injuries as in 2019. That could be attributed to the Wolves missing both the five-hundred mark and the postseason for the first time since 2002. Clarkston’s postseason streak was snapped at 16 in the process. Now with multiple returning starters and players who were down on the depth chart gaining valuable minutes last season due to injuries, the Wolves should be able to bounce back. Bolstered by offensive and defensive lines loaded with future college players, Clarkston should thrive on both sides of the football. If the players at the skilled positions and secondary continue to develop, this could be a very good year for Clarkston and a season fans have grown accustomed to in recent years.

SCHOOL: Lake Orion

HEAD COACH: John Blackstock, third season (17-13)

2019 RECORD: 9-2, 5-1 OAA Red Division (second)

2019 POSTSEASON: Def. Rochester Stoney Creek (21-14); lost to Utica Eisenhower in D-1 district finals (27-20)

POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: 2019, 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1994, 1989, 1988

RETURNING STARTERS: Kade Manzo, sr. FS/RB/WR (5-11, 175); Joey Thede, jr. DE (6-3, 220) (Division I recruit); Henry Bielecki, sr. OL/C (6-3, 235); Sergio Figueroa, sr. OL (6-0, 255); Daniel Babcock, jr. OL (6-4, 280); Mitchell DeBrincat, sr. WR/TE (6-4, 210); Illario Marku, sr. LB (5-10, 175); Brock Iwanski, sr. LB (5-10, 200)

TOP PROSPECTS: Jake McCaffrey, sr. WR/SS (5-7, 160); Daki Bell, sr. WR (5-9, 165); Dom Bruno, sr. QB/DB (6-2, 160); Andrew Knieper, jr. QB (6-1, 175) (transfer from Noblesville, Ind.); Kyler Carson, jr. QB/K (6-2, 190); Kayne Raye, sr. RB (5-10, 165); Brennan Hasting, sr. RB/SS (5-10, 165); Nas Lardell, jr. RB/MLB (5-10, 195); Patrick Rowland, jr. RB (5-11, 180); CJ Witt, jr. WR/K/P (6-1, 165); Dorian Hill, soph. WR/FS (5-7, 135); Jack Wellmen, jr. WR (5-10, 150); Griffin Firestine, sr. WR (5-10, 150); T.K. Fikes, jr. CB (6-1, 170); Lucas Tapley, sr. DL (6-0, 215); Dylan Kowal, jr. DL (6-0, 220); Ethan Strand, jr. LB (6-0, 190); Andrew Bryant, sr. K/CB (6-1, 180); Ben Tarkanyi, sr. DL/LS (5-9, 175); Judah Kinnie, soph. DL/LS (5-10, 215)

NOTABLES: After Lake Orion finished below five-hundred in 2014, 2015 and 2017 — the Dragons had not finished below that mark since 1996 before the recent lean years — the program finally returned to its elite status it had competed at over most of the past three decades. The Dragons finished second in the OAA-Red, were ranked in the top 10 at times last season, and reached the D-1 district finals before falling to fellow state powerhouse Utica Eisenhower in a close affair. There is some holdover starters but there will be several players who saw action that will slide into starting roles, plus a bevy of players up from the junior varsity. The Dragons return several quality linemen which should help three quarterbacks competing  for the starting role and several new running backs.

SCHOOL: Oxford

HEAD COACH: Zach Line, first season

2019 RECORD: 1-8, 1-5 OAA Red Division (sixth)


POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: 2018, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989

RETURNING STARTERS: Ty Myre, sr. FB/OLB (5-9, 190); Brennan Mielnicki, sr. FB/LB/DT (6-0, 200); Trenton Brown, sr. TE/OLB/DL (6-1, 185); Carter Gilbert, sr. OL/LB (6-5, 230); Brady Carpenter, jr. QB (5-11, 170); John Valvo, sr. CB/RB/WR/SE/KR (5-9, 170); Mitchell Viviano, jr. OLB/TE/DL (6-5, 225); Kewone Burton, jr. DT/OT (6-0, 270); Aidan Regan, sr. WR (6-2, 175); Tate Myre, soph. MLB (5-9, 165); Drake Biggie, sr. C/OL/DL (5-11, 220); Zachary Townsend, sr. K/P (6-2, 160) (committed to Oakland for soccer)

TOP PROSPECTS: Marco Vackaro, soph. RB/DB (5-9, 175); Salino Vackaro, jr. WR/RB/SE (5-9, 150)

NOTABLES: This is the first time in nearly four decades that Bud Rowley isn’t roaming the sidelines at Oxford, as the veteran coached the Wildcats 1976-1979 and again 1982-2019 before stepping down. Recently retired NFL veteran and 2008 Oxford grad Zach Line takes over a team that ventured through a major rebuilding season a year ago. Oxford’s 1-8 record in 2019 was the lowest win total the Wildcats amassed in 1976, Rowley’s first season.  Oxford only had nine seasons under five-hundred under Rowley and four of those were in the lean 1970s. Line, an All-State First Team linebacker in 2007 and state champion wrestler in 2008, has a hungry team which features experience all over the field.

SCHOOL: Oak Park

HEAD COACH: Greg Carter, 10th season

2019 RECORD: 8-2, 6-0 OAA White Division (first)

2019 POSTSEASON: Lost in D-2 pre-district to Farmington (12-6)

POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1998

RETURNING STARTERS: Rayshaun Benny, sr. DT/OT (6-4, 270); Jaylin Mines, sr. WR/DB (6-1, 190) (Toledo); Daviom Primm, sr. RB (6-0, 205) (Michigan State); Marlon Dawson, sr. LB (6-3, 210) (Miami, Ohio)

TOP PROSPECTS: Glennie Cross, jr. SE/CB/WR (5-11, 170)

NOTABLES: The defending OAA White Division champions are part of the OAA’s multi-school shuffle and have been promoted to the OAA-Red, where the Knights must run the gauntlet against other state powerhouse programs. Last year’s first-round postseason exit left a bitter taste in the mouths around the program, and Carter hopes the next wave of standout athletes can amend those painful wounds. Oak Park has qualified for the postseason eight straight times and previously the school had never qualified in consecutive seasons before the current run.

SCHOOL: Southfield A&T

HEAD COACH: Timothy Conley, fifth season (since merger)

2019 RECORD: 4-5, 2-4 OAA Red Division (fifth)



RETURNING STARTERS: Robert Army, sr. WR (6-1, 180) (Iowa State); Jeff Bowens, sr. WR/KR/CB (5-11, 155) (Illinois State); Caleb Banks, sr. DE (6-6, 265) (Arizona State); Ra’quin Lee, sr. RB (5-10, 190) (Ball State); Dayvon Young, jr. WR (6-1, 190); Abdul Jabbar, sr. DL (6-3, 240) (Akron); Jordan Hoskins, sr. LB (6-0, 205); Caidon Haliburton, sr. OL (6-2, 220)

TOP PROSPECTS: Isaiah Marshall, fr. QB (5-11, 170) (D-I prospect)

NOTABLES: Since Southfield and Southfield-Lathrup merged in the summer of 2015, the Warriors have only boasted a 19-20 overall ledger despite rosters packed with college prospects. Where there be an improvement in 2020, again with several talented athletes?

SCHOOL: West Bloomfield

HEAD COACH: Ron Bellamy, 11th season

2019 RECORD: 10-2, 6-0 OAA Red Division (first)

2019 POSTSEASON: Def. Plymouth Canton (49-14); def. Plymouth (35-0); lost to Belleville in D-1 regional finals (27-22)

POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2008, 2000

RETURNING STARTERS: Donovan Edwards, sr. RB (6-1, 185) (recruited by Michigan, Georgia, Michigan State, Oklahoma); Michael Williams, jr. DE (6-4, 230); Dillon Tatum, jr. CB (6-1, 185); (multiple D-I offers); Maxwell Hairston, sr. DB (5-11, 190) (Kentucky); Gavin Hardiman, sr. SE (Air Force); Jake Ward, sr. K (college prospect); Sammy Lafata, sr. P; Jaden Green, sr. DL (6-0, 275)

TOP PROSPECTS: Amir Herring, soph. OL/DL (6-5, 280) (Division I prospect); Michael Williams, jr. LB (6-3, 220) (Division I offers); Alex Short, sr. QB (6-4, 215); Chris Johnson, sr. DE (6-2, 215)

NOTABLES: Ranked as the top overall team in the state during the 2019 preseason, the Lakers went on to capture their first outright OAA-Red title. West Bloomfield eventually reached the D-1 regional finals before falling in a barnburner to Belleville. Coming off six straight postseason appearances (the school has only qualified eight times since 1975), there are high expectations surrounding the program that has developed into a powerhouse since Bellamy took over a decade ago.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Clarkston, Featured Articles, Football, High School, High School (M-Z), Lake Orion, Most Recently Updated Stories, NOS reference, Oxford, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR View author profile.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.