Sunday, December 1, 2013
Stars of state finals weekend
Kosmo is sorry for his tardiness on this, but a combination of holiday travel plans and needing time to calm down from such an exhilarating weekend from the state football finals kept your seer from highlighting his stars from this weekend's state football finals. Instead of 3, Kosmo has 5.
The Catholic Central student section. Was that neat or what to see the students creatively and classily form a 33 with a combination of white shirts within blue shirts of the CC student section on Saturday. It was in honor of David Widzinski, a player from last year who died tragically shortly after last year's game. As good of a tribute as you'll see.
Alex Malzone, Birmingham Brother Rice. Forget a future star. Malzone already is one, going 20 of 24 passing and thoroughly dissecting Muskegon in a 38-21 Rice win. Kosmo can't wait to see what he is like as a senior next year.
Ian Eriksen, Clarkston. It was awesome to see Catholic Central coach Tom Mach pay tribute to Eriksen after the game by saying he would fit right in if he were at CC, because Eriksen and the Clarkston offensive line did something nobody usually does, which is dominate CC. Eriksen finished with 237 yards and 3 TD's and will forever be a legend around Clarkston.
Kurt Richardson, Clarkston. Speaking of legends, Kosmo has always thought Richardson has been one with how great Clarkston is year after year and the fact he is a Hall of Fame coach. Hopefully others in Clarkston realize how much this native son has done for the community after helping deliver the Wolves their first state championship. He had given back far more than this state title, but maybe winning the title will make some realize just how much.
Al Fracassa, Brother Rice. What more can Kosmo say about the state's all-time winningest coach? There will never be another one like you, Al. Enjoy your retirement and all the best to you forever.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Reasons why Brother Rice will win
Yesterday, Kosmo chimed in with three reasons why both Clarkston and Catholic Central will win Saturday's Division 1 state football final. Now, it is time to give 3 reasons why Brother Rice will win its third straight state championship against Muskegon on Friday in what will be head coach Al Fracassa's last game.
1) The Brother Rice offense will score. With the way Alex Malzone has developed this year, the Brother Rice offense is as balanced as its ever been and definitely better than during last year's title game with Muskegon. Shon Powell and Brian Walker spearhead the running game for an offense that won't be stopped.
2) Jason Alessi. Simply put, Brother Rice has him and Muskegon doesn't. Whether it is providing sensational defense in the secondary, field position with great returns on punts and kickoffs and with big kicks, Alessi is the best player on the field.
3) The fitting end has to happen, right? By a show of hands, how many think the Warriors will send Al Fracassa into retirement with a loss? Kosmo doesn't see many hands. His certainly isn't going up either.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Reasons why Clarkston/Catholic Central will win
There are 3 teams left from Oakland County for this week's state football finals, and before Kosmo worries about whether he wants to eat light or dark turkey for Thanksgiving, he will break down the chances of each team. Since two are playing each other in the Division 1 final, Kosmo will start there. He will get to Brother Rice in a day or two, but for now he will get to 3 reasons why Clarkston will win and 3 reasons why CC will win.
3 reasons Clarkston will win
1) More college bound talent. Typically, talent wins out and Clarkston has more future Division I college players than CC. 2) Line play. As solid as CC is up front, Clarkston in the trenches, particularly on offense, is plowing over people right now. 3) Balance on offense. Pick your poison if you are CC. If you stack the box to stop Ian Eriksen, quarterback D.J. Zezula will torch you. Play the pass and here comes Eriksen. It's a good thing CC is a devout Catholic School because praying for Clarkston turnovers might be the only way to stop the Wolves.
3 reasons Catholic Central will win
1) They have been here before. While Clarkston will be new to Ford Field and the state finals, CC has been there the last two years. That could be a big problem for Clarkston, especially early. 2) The CC staple. CC usually wins with a power running game that grinds down opponents, and that will be a problem for a Clarkston defense that is vulnerable. More possession time for CC means less time for Clarkston's explosive offense. 3) Motivation. CC has felt the sting of losing in the finals the last two years and is determined to not let it happen again.
As for Kosmo's prediction, well you will have to wait a couple days for that. Happy Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Kosmo's stars for a big preps Saturday
My, what a Saturday of preps that turned out to be, wasn't it? If the state swim finals and having three volleyball teams from the county at the state finals in Battle Creek wasn't enough, all three of our remaining football teams all won and advanced to Ford Field. So many individual performances occurred to the point where Kosmo HAD to change his 3 stars to 5 stars. Without further ado here they are.
Brian Walker, Brother Rice football - The senior bulldozer was at it again, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries in a lopsided win over Detroit Martin Luther King to lead Brother Rice to its third straight appearance in the state finals.
Zach Bock, Catholic Central - Bock and the Shamrocks sure played like they were upset about what happened to them the last two years against Cass Tech, didn't they? Kosmo wrote the other day that he felt CC had a chance, but he certainly didn't expect 28-0. Bock was a big reason why, rushing for 110 yards and playing lockdown pass defense at cornerback.
Katherine Carlson, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Kosmo had a good feeling all year Notre Dame Prep would win it all in Class B for the first time since 2007, and that is exactly what happened. The Fighting Irish capped off a dominant year and Carlson was at it again in a four-game win over Grand Rapids South Christian, collecting 25 kills.
Mollie Pulte, Birmingham Marian swimming - Kosmo can't even swim 10 feet without getting tired, so the K-Man has a lot of respect for elite swimmers. Pulte sure showed why she is one of them on Saturday, setting state records in the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. She also was a part of Marian's 200 free relay team that set a state record.
Clarkston football's offensive line - Ian Eriksen got a lot of the headlines by rushing for an incredible 355 yards, 6 TD's and 5 two-point conversions, but you don't do all that, score 61 points while passing just once and never punt without total annihilation up front by the offensive line. The whole state will get to see just how good this unit is next week at Ford Field.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Reasons CC has a shot against Cass Tech
The rematch of the last two Division 1 state football finals is upon us with Catholic Central once again facing off against Cass Tech, this time in a semifinal game on Saturday at Troy Athens.
Cass Tech easily beat the Shamrocks the last two years and is favored to win again, but Kosmo feels CC has a shot for the following reasons. You might think Kosmo has sniffed something funny in his cave or paper bag, here your seer out.
There are few programs more proud than Catholic Central, and being embarrassed two straight years is something that doesn't happen often or sit well with the Shamrocks. Meanwhile Kosmo isn't sure the hunger level of Cass Tech having own two titles.
The game is not in Detroit
As spies Keith Dunlap and Scott Burnstein pointed out in their picks show online, this game is not in Cass Tech's backyard like it was at Ford Field the last two years. Cass will have to make a bus ride just like CC and won't draw from the emotion of walking its home streets to the game.
Cass Tech hasn't exactly gotten off to good starts in the past two games, as it trailed Macomb Dakota by 10 points at halftime last week and struggled early against Warren Mott the week before, although QB Jayru Campbell didn't start that game. Still, getting behind CC is a dangerous proposition.
Emergence of CC's passing game
The last 2 weeks, QB Sean Birney has thrown long TD passes to the Bock brothers, Alex and Zach, so out of nowhere Catholic Central is showing it can score points through the air as well as with its usual punishing ground game. That balance will be needed against a big, mobile Cass Tech defense that has dominated Catholic Central the past two years.
Kosmo isn't sure if all this will be enough for CC to beat Cass Tech, but one thing is for sure, Catholic Central has a better chance to win than people think.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Not an easy semifinal for Clarkston
Kosmo can sense all the anticipation from the fine folks in Clarkston, and for good reason. The Wolves are one win away from making the state championship game for the first time in school history, and many are probably already making their plans for Ford Field just because Rockford, Catholic Central, Cass Tech or some power from Macomb County isn't there.
Who on Earth is Flint Carman-Ainsworth? That is probably a sarcastic question going around in some parts of town, although definitely not with the football team.
Well, Kosmo is here to put the brakes on all of Clarkston's enthusiasm, because to answer that question, Carman-Ainsworth is very good and can easily beat Clarkston.
The Cavaliers are lightning fast all across the field and have a terrific playmaker in quarterback/defensive back Jevonte Alexander.
He could be a nightmare for the Wolves to handle.
Now Kosmo isn't saying that Clarkston shouldn't be confident, especially with how well it has played. All the K-Man is saying is don't start making plans for Ford Field until after a victory on Saturday afternoon
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Kosmo's 3 stars for regional finals
And then there were 3.
Kosmo is a little surprised that there are only 3 teams from Oakland County left in the football playoffs, but he certainly isn't surprised with those that are in the semifinals.
Clarkston, Brother Rice and Catholic Central have been the three best teams in the county all year and all three will be great representatives in the state semifinals this week. But before looking ahead, Kosmo is ready to look back at this past week's regional finals and hand out his 3 stars. Without further ado here they are.
Alex Malzone, Brother Rice
It was a workmanlike effort for Malzone on Saturday in a lopsided win over U-D Jesuit. Before being pulled early in the third quarter after the game got out of hand, Malzone threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns. He has been marvelous all year.
Sean Birney, Catholic Central
Lo and behold, Catholic Central looks like it is becoming a passing team to Kosmo the last couple of weeks. After beating Walled Lake Western through the air in a district final, Birney did it again against Temperance Bedford, throwing for 178 yards, including a 4-yarder in the final minute to give the Shamrocks the win.
D.J. Zezula, Clarkston
Has there been a more improved player in the county this year than Zezula? Kosmo doesn't think so. He was on target again just about every time against Adams, going 10 of 11 passing for 237 yards and two touchdowns in a 56-28 Clarkston destruction of Adams.