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August 24, 2017
By: Dan Stickradt

FOOTBALL: OAA White Division Team Capsules

FOOTBALL: OAA White Division Team Capsules





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


SCHOOL: Berkley Bears

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Billy Keenist, first season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 6-4, 4-2 OAA-Blue (tie-second)

KEY RETURNEES: Kedder Browning, sr. LB/RB/WR; Riko Cunningham, r. DB/WR; David Long, r. DB/QB; Marquel Dalton, sr. DB/WR

OUTLOOK: Berkley reached the postseason three straight times, including the D-2 regional finals in 2015. As a senior-heavy team last season, the Bears dropped into a second-place tie in the OAA-Blue and lost in the pre-district to Birmingham Groves (56-15). A new coach in former Oxford standout Billy Keenist takes the reigns, as the Bears will compete in a loaded OAA-White this year. This team could be a year away in terms of competing for a league title, as most of the starters departed via graduation.


SCHOOL: Birmingham Groves Falcons

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Brendan Flaherty

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 11-2, 6-0 OAA White (first)

KEY RETURNEES: Dan Llopre, sr. OT/DE; Griffen Best, sr. OL/DL; Christian Zeltvogel, sr. C; Ryan Salter, sr. FB; James Henry, sr. G; DaMonte McCurdy, jr. DB; Chaise Ford, sr. SS/RB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Khalil Dawsey, jr. WR; Colton Tinley, sr. QB; Josh Slter, jr. RB; Zak Abdulwasi, sr. WR

OUTLOOK: The Falcons are coming off their most successful season in school history, spending the season ranked in the D-2 Top 10 and making a trip to the Final Four before falling to eventual state champion Detroit King (14-7). Groves lost some key components from that squad, but should have enough to be one of the top teams in the OAA-White this season and return to the postseason. The Falcons have reached the playoffs four straight times and 5-of-6.


SCHOOL: Birmingham Seaholm Maples

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Jim DeWald, sixth season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 2-4 OAA-White (fifth)

KEY RETURNEES: Max Schumaker, jr. WR/DB; Ben Rinkbeiner, sr. OG; Chase Mantag, jr. FB; Ben Barton, sr. TE/OLB; James Allen, sr. NT; Scott Simon, sr. OLB; Joel Mitchell, jr. MLB; Charlie Nummer, sr. FS; Paul Jokisch, jr. DE; Vaishnav Siddapureddy, sr. WR; Nick Lang, sr. SL/.DB; Carter Stagner, sr. OT/DE

KEY NEWCOMERS: Joel Mitchell, jr. QB; Nick Winkler, jr. OG; Will McBridge, jr. FB/LB; Alex Camncea, jr. OT/DT; Shane Guenther, jr. QB/DB; Matt O’Connor, jr. FB/LB; Max Loyd, jr. C

OUTLOOK: Coming off back-to-back 3-6 campaigns, the Maples are looking to a balanced offense and a beefy line play in the trenches to carry Seaholm back above the five-hundred mark and into postseason contention. The Maples should be one of the more improved teams in the entire OAA.


SCHOOL: Farmington Harrison Hawks

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: John Herrington

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-4, 3-3 OAA White Division (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: Divine Filemu, sr. LB/FB; John O’Connor, sr. LB/C; Noah Hendricks, sr. QB/SE; Roo Hearo, sr. QB/TB; Caleb Sparks, sr. OG; Chris Rexroth, sr. OT/DT; Jerrin Harvey, sr. TE/OLB; Maverick Hanson, sr. DB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Joe Stevens, jr. CB; Nick Cotton, jr. WR; Moet Andrews, jr. DB; Ben Williams, jr. QB/CB

OUTLOOK: Only four times over the past 31 years have the Hawks missed the postseason, including last year’s 5-4 mark. Harrison and legendary coach John Herrington are approaching the end, as the Hawks will compete for only two more seasons before shuttering their doors in the summer of 2019. Herrington is second in all-time wins.


SCHOOL: Oak Park Knights

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Greg Carter, seventh season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 7-4, 5-1 OAA-White (second)

KEY RETURNEES: Dwan Mathis, jr. QB; Kevin Bradley, sr. RB/WR; Malik Carr, soph. WR/TE/DE; Casual Goldsmith, sr. RB; Toriano Richardson, jr. RB; Marquan McCall, sr. OG (Kentucky commit); Robert Daniel, sr. DB; Enzo Jennings, jr. DB; Jalen Robinson, jr. DB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Justin Rogers, soph. OG;

OUTLOOK: Since Coach Carter came over form Inkster seven years ago, he has established the Knights as one of the better teams in the OAA with five straight postseason berths and a 35-20 record over that span. Expect Oak Park to again contend in the OAA-White this season and for a postseason berth.  A bulk of the Knights’ roster returns.


SCHOOL: Rochester Falcons

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Erik Vernon, ninth season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-4, 4-2 OAA-Blue (tied-second)

KEY RETURNEES: Brent Burtraw, sr. QB;Lucas VanderMeulen, sr. OL/DL; Drake Reid, jr. WR/DB; Gabe Safran, jr. WR/DB; Ryan Noble, jr. TE/LB; David Robinson, jr. OL; Anthony Smiles, sr. RB

KEY NEWCOMERS: David Karwaski, sr. WR/DB (transfer from Berkley; fourth-year varsity veteran); Noah Stout, soph. RB/DB

OUTLOOK: The Falcons dropped their final game of the regular season last year which dashed their playoffs hopes. But with a new stadium, an all-league QB and a very deep junior class, Rochester could be one of the surprise teams in the entire OAA. The Falcons, who have only claimed four winning seasons in 20 years, could reach the postseason for the first time since 2010.


SCHOOL: Rochester Stoney Creek Cougars

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Robert Lantzy, second season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 2-7, 1-5 OAA-Red (sixth)

KEY RETURNEES: Adam Hilton, sr. RB/WR; Athletic Jones, sr. DE (D-I recruit); Frank Potenza III, jr. QB (third-year starter); Griffin Green, sr. LB; Jericho Barr-Redmond, sr. CB; Cole LaFave, sr. C; Nate Davis, sr. WR

OUTLOOK: Legendary Utica Eisenhower coach Bob Lantzy took over Stoney Creek, which suffered through a 2-7 rebuilding year. The Cougars started the gel at season’s end, stealing Rochester’s postseason bid in Week 9 with a 40-14 win. Can Stoney Creek build on that win with a better understanding of Lantzy’s system? A solid core returns and the squad drops down to the OAA-White.


SCHOOL: Troy Colts

LEAGUE: OAA White Division

HEAD COACH: Chris Frasier, first season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 3-3 OAA-Blue (fifth)

KEY RETURNEES: Max Guitar, sr. DE/TE/OLB; Alex Samson, sr. OT/DT; Alex Vecchioni, sr. OLB/FB/SS; Givon Cinque, sr. SS/WR; Teron Kinnard, sr. RB; Mike Abitheira, sr. FB; Mattias Johansson, sr. C; Cole Hayden, jr. OG; Andrew Habib, jr. OG; Will Flynn, jr. OLB; Reggie Lemmons, jr. OLB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Noah Wagberg, sr. QB; Matt Johansson, jr. WR; Jon LaFave, soph. OT; EJ Douglas, jr. FB; Ben Alexander, sr. DE; Tre Harewood, sr. ILB; Jake Volek, jr. ILB; Quest Bigelow, jr. CB

OUTLOOK: After a Final Four appearance back in 2007, Troy has ventured through some lean years, including five losing seasons in the past nine years and only seven wins the past four years combined. Coach Frasier takes over the reigns and will try to rejuvenate this once-program and return it to a postseason-caliber squad.