Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Great start for Lake Orion senior
There's lots of routines Kosmo has in the morning, like reading the Oakland Press in the morning at his cave over a breakfast of juice, bagel and cereal. Of late though, there's been something added to the routine. Glancing at the OP over breakfast and reading about another great game from Lake Orion senior soccer player Reed Losee.
Stellar games from Losee are becoming as routine as the sun rising and setting and leaves falling this time of year.
Each game, it seems as if he's scoring three goals and adding two or three assists for the Dragons, who are among the best teams in the state and have a key matchup with OAA Red rival Troy on Saturday.
It's no wonder Losee might break Billy Weaver's career goals record and is a lock to make the all-state Dream Team this year.
Seeing the stats Losee puts up will likely be another part of Kosmo's morning routine for the next month or so.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Just like Kosmo thought at the beginning of the season, the Oakland Activities Association Blue division is coming down to a race between Bloomfield Hills Lahser and Ferndale.
Oh wait a minute. No it isn't. Far from it, as a matter of fact.
So much for supposed sure things.
Lahser and Ferndale have been the two best teams in the OAA Blue last year, but each are struggling this year, which has given an opportunity for other teams to compete for a league title.
As it stands right now, Hazel Park and Auburn Hills Avondale are tied for the league lead with identical 3-0 records, but Pontiac is right behind at 3-1 and is in an enviable position.
The Phoenix have already beaten Lahser and Ferndale and will get Hazel Park and Avondale at home. Pontiac will host Hazel Park this Friday and then Avondale in Week 8.
Hazel Park without question has the hardest remaining schedule in the league. The Vikings have to play at Pontiac and Avondale in the next two weeks, will host Lahser in Week 8 before playing at Ferndale in Week 9.
Of course, don't completely count out Lahser, which is still 2-1 in the league even though the Knights are 2-3 overall.
Should be an exciting finish in the blue
Friday, September 25, 2009
Rochester High queens of girls sports
Reading up on Wednesday's Oakland County girls golf tournament in the OP, Kosmo had a couple of thoughts as he read about Rochester's fourth straight title and seventh in the last nine years.
One, the defending state champion Falcons are a machine. A rocket science analysis, Kosmo knows.
Two, the K-Man can't imagine there's been a school with better girls sports in recent years than Rochester.
While boys sports at the school have been poor for the most part, the Falcons have been the county's best school in terms of girls sports.
Since 2005, the girls golf team has won a state title and finished as the state runner-up twice.
The girls soccer team was state runner-up in 2007 and is annually one of the county's best teams.
The girls cross country team won a state title in 2007 and now has one of the nation's top runners in senior Megan Goethals, who also won two individual state titles in track last spring.
The girls tennis team has the defending No. 1 singles state champion in Kelsey Dieters.
The girls basketball team made the state quarterfinals in 2006 and 2008.
Of course, Kosmo won't forget about the dynasty that is the competitive cheer squad at the school, which has one about a million state titles over the years.
Add a solid volleyball team to the mix, and there isn't a school in the area that comes close to matching the good girls sports teams at Rochester.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A good start to soccer season
Believe it or not, there's less than a month left until the start of the state boys soccer playoffs. No, Kosmo can't believe it either. But since its true, the K-Man decided to take a look at the state rankings the other day and was very impressed. It looks as if it'll be an exciting playoffs, given five Division 1 teams from the county are ranked. Unbeaten Troy is No. 2, Lake Orion is No. 4, Clarkston is No. 5, Royal Oak is No. 9 and Novi Detroit Catholic Central is No. 10. In addition, Stoney Creek hasn't lost this year and should be ranked. Add Birmingham Detroit Country Day (ranked No. 1 in Division 3) and defending Division 4 state champ Auburn Hills Oakland Christian (ranked No. 4) to the mix, and there are a horde of state title contenders in the area with the playoffs nearing.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Look out for St. Mary's
Just like everyone, Kosmo was rather startled to see Orchard Lake St. Mary's get off to an 0-2 start, the first time that had happened in 18 years. Granted, the Eaglets lost to East Grand Rapids and Highland Park, two great teams, but it still was un-St. Mary's-like.
Well, after the Eaglets came back with a hugh 25-16 win over Warren De La Salle on Saturday, Kosmo senses the Eaglets will be a dangerous team.
St. Mary's still has to be play Novi Detroit Catholic Central and Birmingham Brother Rice, but if the Eaglets win one of those two games, odds are they'll make the playoffs.
If they make the state playoffs in Division 3, odds are tremendous the Eaglets will be at Ford Field, given the teams they'd meet in the postseason will be nowhere near as good as those they've faced in the regular season.
- In other Catholic League news, it's good to see two traditional powers are back to being, well traditional powers. Catholic Central and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes are both 4-0 on the year and looking good. All seems right with the world again.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Next star at Harrison
As happy as Kosmo is to see that traditional power Farmington Hills Harrison appears to be back on track (3-0 record) following a rare losing year last year, it's also good to hear the Hawks are back to having top college prospects.
It may be a bit premature to say Aaron Burbridge is one of the state's top sophomores, but the Harrison wideout could very well be fighting off major college programs by the time he's a senior.
He's already tall, fast and armed with good hands. Add a few more pounds to that frame, and college scouts will no doubt be drooling over him soon enough, if they aren't already.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Don't abandon Ford
A couple of weeks ago, a report surfaced that the Michigan High School Athletic Association is thinking about moving the state football finals from Ford Field to multiple sights around the state.
While Ford Field by no means treats the media the best (charging $30 a day for wireless internet use is utterly shameful), moving the finals out of there would be a mistake in the eyes of this media member.
Even though Ford Field isn't centrally located, it's still the best facility in the state.
Fans don't have to stand outside in the cold after Thanksgiving and players get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at an NFL stadium.
Also, it's nice for general fans who have no affliation with competing schools, but just want to see the finals, to know there's one location for all the games.
Why make them, as well as media, drive to Ann Arbor one day and then East Lansing the next?
Kosmo understands the need for the MHSAA to be fiscally responsible in these tough economic times.
However, moving the finals out of Ford Field would be a bad thing for players, fans and media around the state.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
After Week 1, Kosmo has to admit he was laughing a bit at the Pontiac Phoenix. Pontiac lost its season opener to an improved, but still not formidable North Farmington team, 9-7, so Koz thought it was going to be a long year for Pontiac.
Kosmo still thought that after the Phoenix barely beat Bay Cit John Glenn last week.
Well, the only ones laughing now are the Phoenix after what took place on Friday.
Improbably, Pontiac went into Bloomfield Hills Lahser, state semifinalists in Division 3 and OAA Blue champions last year, and won.
The Phoenix recorded a 13-7 win over the Knights behind a sterling defensive effort that forced four Lahser turnovers.
Who knows what this means the rest of the year for Pontiac, which likely cost Lahser a chance to host three playoff games like it did last year.
Regardless, the Phoenix served notice that they're a team not to laugh at anymore
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
R.I.P Leola Greer
Yesterday, the K-Man was incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of yet another important athletic figure in the city of Pontiac.
There simply weren't many more class acts in the entire city and county than Leola Greer, who died suddenly of cancer on Tuesday afternoon.
Greer coached basketball at Pontiac Northern for 24 years and volleyball at the school for nearly that long as well.
She was well-liked by the kids, and rightfully so. She brought discipline, fairness and a compassion for her players that many coaches should try to emulate.
Didn't matter if her team won by 20 or lost by 20, she always has been there after the game to talk to Kosmo's spies with a smile on her face and an appreciation for people in general.
There aren't many like her around anymore. She will be sorely missed. Here's hoping Pontiac is able to find a replacement that can have half the impact Greer did.
Kosmo's sympathies and prayers go out to Greer's family, Pontiac High School and the people of Pontiac who knew her so well.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Not quite yet for "pretenders"
This past week proved just how hard it can sometimes be to build a high school football program.
There were a few programs that thought they might have been on the verge of taking "the next step," only to be brought back to reality a little bit.
Kosmo thought for sure West Bloomfield was poised for an upset of Lake Orion on Thursday, but the state runner-up Dragons showed that West Bloomfield still isn't up to their level yet, pummelling the Lakers, 49-23.
West Bloomfield can still make the playoffs, but it still has a ways to go to compete with the likes of Lake Orion and Clarkston.
Another program with a little ways to go is Stoney Creek, which is now 0-2 after the Cougars got crushed at home by Rochester Adams, 49-8.
Stoney Creek unexpectedly went 5-4 last year and returned a good amount of kids from that team, but hasn't quite gotten it going yet.
Another program that has been rising in recent years, Lakeland, is off to a rough start.
The Eagles have made the state playoffs three years in a row, but are now 0-2 following a blowout home loss to Canton on Thursday.
Just goes to show it's not only hard to build a successful program, but also to maintain that success.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We're talking practice
The last few days with all the news regarding the University of Michigan football program and allegations from players that coaches have exceeded NCAA practice limits, Kosmo has wondered if there are any high school programs that might be affected by the negative attention paid on Michigan.
To that, Kosmo has one word in response: Nah.
Maybe what's going on with Michigan has made some coaches take some notice of their practice schedules, but overall, high school programs do a pretty good job of avoiding any severe practice habits with kids.
Coaches do make kids do plenty of offseason workouts and camps, but none of that is out of bounds and actually is a good thing.
It keeps the kids out of trouble and working towards a goal.
Driving by plenty of high schools in the Kozmobile during the summer, the K-Man frequently sees players running the track or steps to get ready for the season. There aren't any coaches present, so it does lead Kosmo to believe it's more of a voluntary thing than maybe what goes on in college.
Plus, unlike in a major college program where winning is the ultimate thing, high school coaches more frequently tend to worry about teaching life lessons than pushing to the limit for a few more "W's."
Given that, high school workouts tend to be more within rules and within bounds than maybe what's going on in college.