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August 24, 2017
By: Dan Stickradt

FOOTBALL: Lakes Valley Association Team Capsules

FOOTBALL: Lakes Valley Association Team Capsules





-- Team capsules compiled by Daniel Stickradt. Email  Follow on Twitter @HSSportsScene and @LocalSportsFans


SCHOOL: Milford Mavericks

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Dan Novak, first season at Milford (95-63)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 1-8, 0-5 KLAA-West (sixth)

KEY RETURNEES: Aiden Warzecha, sr. QB; Carson Jensen, jr. TE/LB; Ryan Kolb, sr. OL/DL; Brian Gorny, sr. DB/WR; Christian Koschke, sr. RB/LB; Harley Williams, jr. OL/DL

OUTLOOK: The Mavericks are coming off four straight losing seasons where they accumulated just five wins in that stretch. Milford will be under new coach Dan Novak  and staff, who have been welcomed with open arms. This program has only reached the postseason five times, the last time coming in 2011. A new league, a new coach and a new attitude could be what the doctor ordered.


SCHOOL: South Lyon Lions

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Jeff Henson, third season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-5, 3-2 KLAA-Central (third)

OUTLOOK: Although the Lions only finished 5-5 last season, they have reached the postseason 18 in 30 years. Last season South Lyon gave eventual state finalist Walled Lake Western quite a score in the pre-district clash (31-30) and hopes for better fortunes this season


SCHOOL: South Lyon East Cougars

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Joe Pesci, third season (2-16)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 1-8, 0-5 KLAA-Central (sixth)

KEY RETURNEES: Chris Kaminski, jr. Qb; Jon Carter, jr. WR/DB.KR; Jake Waranauckas, sr. OLB/RB; Hunter Williams, jr. P/K

KEY NEWCOMERS: Donovan Wright, soph. FB/LB/KR; Alex Donaldson, sr. WR; Mike McCarthy, jr. OL/DL; Erick Ortiz, jr. OL/DL; Terry Day, jr. FB/LB

OUTLOOK: As by far the smallest school in the old KLAA, South Lyon East simply struggled during its first decade. The Cougars’ best record was 5-5 in 2012 and they have captured just three wins the past four seasons combined. The program is still seeking a breakout campaign and will look to a roster of experience and quality newcomers to turn the train around.


SCHOOL: Walled Lake Central Vikings

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Bob Meyer, 12th season (64-59)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 2-3 KLAA-North (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: Michael Woolridge, sr. QB/DB; Connor Merchant, sr. DE/OL; Mason Clark, sr. OL; Dalen Franklin, sr. RB; Joe Bonnen, sr. OL/DL

KEY NEWCOMERS: Tyler Markray, jr. RB/LB; Cameron Humphrey, jr. RB/DB

OUTLOOK: After reaching the D-1 regional finals in 2014, the Vikings took a step backwards the past two years with a 4-14 record. Does Walled Lake Central have the talent to turn the corner and contend in the LVA?


SCHOOL: Walled Lake Northern Knights

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Joe Boulus

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 6-4, 3-2 KLAA-North (third)

KEY RETURNEES: Tommy Larson, sr. OL/DL;Peter Jezdimir, sr. DB; Carson Haslinger, sr. DB; Chandler Holloway, sr. RB; Shane Landino, sr. DL; Reece Moran, sr. RB; Marco Savone, sr. OL; Dominic Yamarino, sr. LB; Ryan Grundy, sr. LB; Phil Grundy, sr. LB; Chad Burton, jr. DB; Tyler Devon, jr. OL/DL; Brenden Shelby, jr. QB; Cam Liebzeit, jr. RB; Kyle Arnold, soph. OL/DL

KEY NEWCOMERS: Andrew Moran, jr. P/K; Jake Haver, sr. WR; Justin Sweinhart, sr. WR; Anthony Gender, sr. OL/LB; Kyle Elbert, sop. LB; Alex Hunt, sop. LB; Grant Smith, soph. OL

OUTLOOK: No longer a new school, the Knights are entering their 15th season of football. Walled Lake Northern has reached the playoffs four of the last five years with 32 wins in that five-year stretch. With one of the more experienced teams in the KLA, could this be a breakout campaign for the Knights with league and district titles a possibility?


SCHOOL: Walled Lake Western Warriors

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Mike Zdebski (157-52)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 12-2, 5-0 KLAA-North (first)

KEY RETURNEES: Ben Reilly, sr. DB; Jon Moffett, sr. LB (Indiana State); Zak Kempster, sr. LB; Justin Thomas, sr. SE; Kevin Jackson, jr. SL; Joey George, sr. OL; Ryan Dickinson, sr. OL

OUTLOOK: Only a combined seven returning starters are back for Walled Lake Western, which was stymied by Detroit King (18-0) in last year’s D-2 state finals. But like most powerhouse programs, the Warriors will likely reload. Walled Lake Western has reached the playoffs 13 times in the last 15 years, including seven straight times and three Final Four appearances in the past six seasons. There is no indications that the Warriors will fall too far from their perch.


SCHOOL: Waterford Kettering Captains

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Kenny Schmidt, first season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 2-3 KLAA-North (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: Ryan Nolan, jr. QB; Tanner Steward, sr. RB/LB; Anthony Fox, sr. WR/DB; Ayden Holley, sr. OL; Casmer Johnson, jr. ATH/OLB; Kyle Sobiecki, jr. OL; Bryce Mojica, sr. WR/DB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Jack Schram, soph. K/P

OUTLOOK: Only in 1994 and 2013 have the Captains sailed into the postseason. With a new league and a new coaching staff, plus six returning starters back on both sides of the ball, there is some real optimism brewing at Kettering. Only four times in 20 seasons have the Captains finished above five-hundred.


SCHOOL: Waterford Mott Corsairs

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Chris Fahr, sixth season (53-53)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 6-5, 2-3 KLAA-North (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: David McCullum, sr. QB; Marcus Guerrero, jr. RB/KR; Bryce Locke, sr. OL; Matt Bradley, jr. WR/DB/KR; Patrick Bicknell, sr. WR/DB; Keimonnee Fields, jr. WR/DB; Jared Wheeler, sr. LB/RB; Colton Baranowski, sr. LB/RB; Luciano Pedini, jr. LB/RB; Wayne Barnes, sr. OL/DL; James Vaughn, sr. OL/DL

KEY NEWCOMERS: Matt Castillo, jr. P/WR/DB; Ryan Christian, jr. K; Ashton Franklin, sr. WR; Tariq Hardy, sr. WR/DB/KR; Kamariell Manley, jr. WR/RB; Cooper Martin, jr. WR/DB; Nick Harden, jr. OL

OUTLOOK: With the infractions of the coaching staff looming overhead during the 2016 campaign, the Corsairs still thrived. Mott reached the postseason a third straight time and advanced to the D-1 district finals before falling to 2015 state champion Romeo. there are six states back on both offense and defense, good size and plenty of speed. The Corsairs could be one of the top teams in the LVA.


SCHOOL: White Lake Lakeland Eagles

LEAGUE: Lakes Valley Association

HEAD COACH: Joe Woodruff

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-4, 1-4 KLAA-North (fifth)

KEY RETURNEES: Joe Rzeppa, sr. RB/DB; Sean Cullen, sr. RB/DB; Dylan Kutzleh, sr. RB/DB; CJ Davis, sr. RB/LB; Luke Perry, sr. RB/LB; Alex Laverne, sr. OL/DL; Nick Dell, sr. OL/DL; Ryan Allen, sr. OL/DL; Dylan Kubik, sr. OL/DL

KEY NEWCOMERS: Carter Raab, jr. OL/LB; Tracy Robbie, jr. RB/DB

OUTLOOK: For a program that has hovered around the five-hundred mark the past eight years and has not reached the postseason since 2008, there are high expectations for the Eagles, picked to finish as high as second in the new LVA. There is male returning players and a team eager to turn the corner.


-- Team capsules compiled by Daniel Stickradt. Email  Follow on Twitter @HSSportsScene and @LocalSportsFans