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High school sports quick hits from Kosmo the all-knowing Oakland Press seer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sad times in Royal Oak

Way back in the day, it was common for two of the county's best football teams annually to be Royal Oak Kimball and Royal Oak Dondero.
Both were deep, tough-minded, disciplined and talented teams that nobody wanted to play on a given Friday.
All of which makes it heartbreaking for Kosmo to see what's going on with the combined Royal Oak High School (Dondero and Kimball merged a few years ago). This is by no means a way of bashing the kids at Royal Oak, head coach Dave Potter or the coaching staff.
All are busting their tails, are fine individuals and should be commended for how they carry themselves.
It just seems right now, the premier talent, depth and mojo is gone from high school football in Royal Oak.
The Ravens have lost 23 consecutive games spanning the last couple of years, and there's a 99.9 percent chance it'll be 24 when powerful Lake Orion visits on Friday.
Kosmo can point to several possible reasons for the decline, most notably the changing dynamic of the Royal Oak community the last 20 years.
Many families who lived in the area migrated to north Oakland County, a big reason why there's now one combined school with over 1,600 kids as opposed to two high schools with over 3,000 kids like Kimball and Dondero were back in the 1980's.
Royal Oak in general is simply a popular place now for singles, young adults and older adults not interested in starting a family.
That's not to say there aren't big families in Royal Oak, but there are just a lot less than there used to be.
It's not the worst thing in the world, because Royal Oak is one of the state's most popular places to visit and to live for post-college graduates.
Sadly though, one thing that's suffered as a result is the quality of football at the high school, a disappointing sight Kosmo isn't sure will get better soon or not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right on the mark about Royal Oak. While teaching there for 32 years, I watched the talent pool dwindle gradually in all areas: sports, academics, the arts, etc.

Another factor may have been the administration's effort to wipe out any sign that Dondero or Kimball ever existed. In order to start with a "clean slate" they destroyed any sense of tradition at the new high school.

September 21, 2010 at 3:47 PM 

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