Blogs > Kosmo Seer Speculation

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More turnover in baseball coaches

A month or so ago, Kosmo wrote on this blog about all the turnover with baseball coaches in the area.
Well, since then, the seer has come to find out that there's more.
Recently, Orchard Lake St. Mary's coach Nick DiPonio stepped down after leading the Eaglets to state runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2009. Former Brother Rice player Matt Petry is the new coach there.
Novi Detroit Catholic Central coach Kevin Walters is no longer the coach there, while longtime Warren De La Salle head coach Brian Kelly retired.
That means every school in the Catholic League Central with the exception of Brother Rice and Divine Child will have new coaches.
As Kosmo mentioned last month, Troy, West Bloomfield, Rochester Adams, Birmingham Seaholm and Royal Oak will have new coaches in the spring as well.
— Girls basketball season is underway, and there are a couple of things that Kosmo already can tell. One, the OAA is down as a whole. The OAA has had some of the state's best teams the past 6 to 7 years, but that's not the case this year. Two, barring injury, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes will repeat as Class D state champions.
Mark it down.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Talent and coaching weren't only reasons for Lake Orion's state title

One of the best prep days Kosmo can ever recall occurred on Saturday when Lake Orion won the Division 1 state football championship with a 21-13 win over Plymouth.
It has been a long time coming for the town, the coaching staff and a program that has come so close in recent years but has fallen short.
Talent, especially in the form of senior running back Marques Stevenson, and coaching definitely won the Dragons this title, but there was another factor as well.
Simply put, the Dragons finally got some breaks, which is always necessary for a championship.
Lake Orion probably has had even more talented teams in years past that haven't gotten far in the playoffs.
But the first break for Lake Orion was that there was no superpower in Macomb County this year.
Usually, Lake Orion has to run into dominant teams from Macomb Dakota, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Utica Eisenhower, etc.
That wasn't the case this year. As a result, the Dragons got to play at home the first three weeks of the playoffs and took advantage.
Eisenhower was solid, but not as powerful as its been. The Dragons beat them in a regional final, 17-10.
Davison in the first round and Grand Blanc in the second round offered little resistance.
The semifinal round brought a matchup against a speedy Detroit Cass Tech team. The Technicians may have been unbeaten and very good, but they weren't unbeatable. The PSL isn't a traditionally strong football conference. It wasn't like Lake Orion had to beat a traditional powerhouse team from Detroit Catholic Central or something like that.
Still, it took a forced fumble in the final seconds as Cass Tech was going in for the winning score to preserve the win. A great play by defensive lineman Andrew Shafkalis and a little bit of luck that the fumble occurred, no doubt.
Finally, Lake Orion ran into Plymouth in the state final. Plymouth had an incredible run by beating Canton, Catholic Central and Rockford three weeks in a row, but the Wildcats seemed awestruck in the first half against the Dragons, falling behind 21-3 at halftime.
It's debatable whether the awe factor would've plagued Rockford, Canton or another team that's been there before.
None of this takes away from Lake Orion's title, because they earned it by beating some very good teams and are clearly the best in the state.
Lake Orion also overcame the adversity of losing starting quarterback Sean Charette to a broken ankle against Eisenhower.
The Dragons were also WAY overdue for some breaks in the state playoffs. To their credit, they capitalized, just like every true champion does.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Always nice to boast when right

As hard as it might be to believe, there are plenty of times when Kosmo is wrong. Yes, sometimes even the all-knowing one can make mistakes, so all you seer haters out there can rejoice in that statement.
But more often than not, the K-Man is right, and the Krystal ball certainly proved to be right on last week.
Before last Tuesday, Kosmo predicted that it would be an all-county matchup in the Class A state volleyball final in Battle Creek.
That's exactly what ended up happening when Birmingham Marian and Farmington Hills Mercy met on Saturday afternoon.
Marian ended up repeating as state champions with a three-game win over Mercy on what was a banner day for Oakland County volleyball.
It used to be that no school from the area could win a state volleyball title. Now, three have done so in the last four years (Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in 2007 was the first), and there was an all-area matchup in the state final.
Indeed, Oakland County is the center of high school volleyball now.
- Congrats also should go out to the Farmington Hills Mercy swim team, which won its fourth consecutive state title on Saturday at Eastern Michigan. The Marlins are a true dynasty and don't show any signs of slowing down.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Early line on state finals = 3 state championships

In the NFL immediately after the conference championship games are played, the folks in Vegas like to give early betting lines on the Super Bowl.
With the state semifinals completed on Saturday for high school football in the state of Michigan, Kosmo will give his own betting line, without the betting/gambling part of it of course.
In his Krystal ball, Kosmo sees three teams that will win state championships next Saturday at Ford Field.
The first game involving an Oakland County team is at 1 p.m. on Friday when Farmington Hills Harrison takes on Lowell. In Kosmo's eyes, this is a 10-point win for Harrison.
Yes, Lowell is the defending state champion and has gone 121-16 in its last 135 games, but Harrison will be the best team the Red Arrows have faced in their decade-long run of excellence. Harrison has both brawn up front and more speed than Lowell, so the Hawks are the choice.
The next day, Lake Orion will face Plymouth in the Division 1 state final at 1 p.m. Not many people predicted this would be the final that would take place, but it's reality.
While Plymouth has beaten three incredible teams in Canton, Catholic Central and Rockford, Lake Orion will be plenty determined to avenge a loss in the 2008 final.
Add running back Marques Stevenson and a speedy defense to the mix, and the Dragons are a touchdown better in Kosmo's eyes.
Finally, Orchard Lake St. Mary's for the third time in four years will meet East Grand Rapids in the Division 3 final on Saturday night.
The Eaglets lost two heartbreakers to the Pioneers in the 2007 and 2009 finals, and quite simply East Grand Rapids is vulnerable and due to lose one of these games.
St. Mary's has just as much talent and this time will get things to go their way by four points.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No reason to panic at Lake Orion

There are probably many fans of the Lake Orion football team who are in a state of worry right now over the fact that starting quarterback Sean Charette is likely out for the rest of the playoffs because of an ankle injury he obtained in last week's win over Utica Eisenhower.
Kosmo has one word for those who are fretting in Lake Orion: Relax.
If Lake Orion doesn't beat Detroit Cass Tech in a Division 1 state semifinal on Saturday, it's because Cass Tech beat Lake Orion, not because the Dragons didn't have their starting quarterback.
Lake Orion has a good backup in senior Cole Schaenzer, who is fully capable of moving the team.
Oh, and the Dragons still have one of the state's best backs in speed-demon Marques Stevenson, who runs behind a pile-moving offensive line.
The defense has played solid also, and if the Dragons can slow down Cass Tech's skill on offense, then there's a great chance Lake Orion will win.
Hopefully, all this reassures the faithful in Lake Orion who are a little worried about the fact Charette won't be playing on Saturday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

All-county final in Battle Creek?

It's down to the final week of the high school volleyball season, and as has been the case the last three seasons, there will be some Oakland County representation in Battle Creek this weekend for the state's final four.
There's guaranteed to be at least one team in Cereal City since Clarkston and Farmington Hills Mercy will play each other in a Class A state quarterfinal on Tuesday at Owosso.
But Kosmo is looking ahead a bit farther than that.
The K-Man believes there's a possibility it will be an all-area state final on Saturday in Class A.
The winner between Mercy and Clarkston can certainly get to the final, as could Birmingham Marian, which will host Fraser in a quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Clarkston or Mercy and Marian would be in opposite semifinal matchups, which means it could be a treasured day for Oakland County volleyball on Saturday should things go well.
- Believe it or not, Monday is the start of practice for boys basketball teams around the state. Hockey teams will also start playing games this week. Like it or not, winter is starting to rear its head.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scare at Country Day

There was a major scare at Birmingham Detroit Country Day involving one of the most accomplished coaches in state history, soccer coach Paul Bartoshuk.
While jogging outside the school on Tuesday, Bartoshuk suffered a major heart attack and was fighting for his life in the ensuing hours afterwards. Fortunately, everything is fine now.
Bartoshuk has made a nice recovery and is communicating verbally to people. It's unsure when he'll be released from the hospital, but it looks as though he'll recover and hopefully be on the field again in the spring as an assistant to the girls team.
The head coach of the boys team, Bartoshuk has led Country Day to a record 13 state championships.
- Speaking of soccer, the all-state team was released on Wednesday, with three players from Oakland County being named to the Dream Team. Those players are Auburn Hills Oakland Christian senior Caleb Stanko, Troy senior Sean Cunningham and North Farmington senior Eric Webberman. Congratulations to all three of those fine players.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something not right at Oakland Christian

First of all, Kosmo wants to give well-deserved praise to longtime Auburn Hills Oakland Christian girls basketball coach Ed Mehlberg, who resigned last month after 23 successful years. He not only led the Lancers to a Class D state title in 1992, but molded countless kids into productive members of society.
Mehlberg was truly a legend in Kosmo's eyes, which is why the K-Man is kind of disgusted about what's taken place with the Oakland Christian girls basketball program.
The Lancers, always one of the state's best small-school programs, won't have a varsity team this year due to a lack of participation. There will be a JV team of freshman and sophomores.
Make no mistake about it, something here stinks. Of course, nobody at the school is in position to say so, which is understandable.
But none of this makes sense. Apparently, two of the team's best players decided to transfer during the summer thinking there were greener pastures elsewhere. Boy, what a great life lesson that is for kids.
When something isn't totally catered to you, then whine and quit and run away. I'm sure that philosophy will work in the real world for those individuals some day.
Yeah, forget just being humble and working harder without complaint. Supposedly that NEVER works (note sarcasm).
I guess those kids or their parents didn't notice the 20-plus years of Mehlberg impacting the lives of kids. Just ask all the countless alumns and former players who keep in touch with him.
Worse, it sounds like the administration sided with the whiny parents and players, not the coach who has been a fixture in the school and community for so long.
How can you not have a varsity team? What's Amber Alexander, a top senior player on the team, going to do now?
She's being punished for other kids and their parents deciding to essentially quit.
Alexander and other underclassmen can at least form a team and compete, but won't get the chance because of a few bad apples.
Yes, it would be difficult for freshman and sophomores to compete against juniors and seniors on other varsity teams, but think how much better those youngsters will be in a year or two competing against more mature players?
Instead, the administration is worried about fragile confidence for the underclassmen.
Forget the fact that a prominent senior has nowhere to play, a longtime coach has resigned and quitters have been rewarded knowing they're bigger than the program, because them leaving ended the program.
Kosmo guesses the school doesn't mind promoting these "life lessons." As long as confidence isn't shattered and a possible power struggle is won, it's OK.
The fact that these administrators call themselves educators for promoting this environment is unfathomable.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tipping the cap to Coach MacDougall

This weekend likely brought an end to the career of one of the state and county's most underrated football coaches in Jim MacDougall.
Following Berkley's 28-13 loss to Farmington Hills Harrison in a Division 2 district final, MacDougall announced it would be his last game following 47 years of coaching.
He will be sorely missed in many ways.
MacDougall established a reputation for building programs that were essentially in the gutter to good, solid squads.
Berkley was terrible when MacDougall took over five years ago, but here they were on Saturday an extra point away from tying mighty Harrison in the fourth quarter in a playoff game.
The Bears lost only twice this season and won their first playoff game in 15 years in the first round over Farmington.
MacDougall did a similar turnaround at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep for two years before he went to Berkley.
Not only that, but MacDougall got the most out of his kids off of the field as well. Wherever he went, the performance of his players in the classroom and their offseason commitment improved by leaps and bounds.
Hopefully more coaches come around in the future like Jim MacDougall.
- The regional round of the state volleyball tournament begins on Tuesday, and it appears as if Oakland County could be well represented in Battle Creek, sight of the state's final four, with the number of teams still remaining. The best matchup will be the first match of the Hartland regional on Tuesday, where county powers Lakeland and Farmington Hills Mercy will square off in a rematch of last year's regional final, won by Mercy in four games. The winner will play either Novi or Brighton in Thursday's regional final.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Catholic Central adds yet another trophy

At this rate, Novi Detroit Catholic Central might have to construct a whole new building just to house its trophy case.
A year after winning six state championships in the 2009-10 school year, the Catholic Central athletic program is well on its way to matching or surpassing that total this year.
Three weeks after the tennis team won the Division 1 state title, the cross country squad defended its state championship on Saturday at MIS in Brooklyn.
The football team also won a district title, and with No. 1 Canton suffering a shocking upset loss to Plymouth, the door is even more open for the Shamrocks to repeat their state championship in football.
That would mean three state titles heading into a winter where the hockey and wrestling teams are good bets to win state championships.
Right now, it's good to be a Shamrock.
- Even though it fell just short of winning a Division 2 state championship, Kosmo wants to congratulate the Bloomfield Hills Lahser soccer team for carrying the banner for Oakland County this year.
Rather surprisingly, the Knights were the only team from the area to not only advance to a state soccer final, but they were the only ones that got as far as the semifinals. It was a rather unusual development, but at least the Knights were there to represent Oakland County.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

County should be well represented at Ford Field

It might be hard for people to fathom that Kosmo can boast about this since the second round of the state football playoffs have yet to be played, but the K-Man feels there will be plenty of Oakland County teams playing in the state finals at Ford Field.
True, anything can happen in the next three rounds before the finals, but Kosmo just has a good feeling.
Already, you can all but pencil in Orchard Lake St. Mary's to be in the Division 3 state final against East Grand Rapids, barring a colossal upset. These teams are clearly the best in the state in Division 3 and something stunning would have to happen to prevent the matchup.
After beating Birmingham Brother Rice in last week's first round in a de facto state title game, odds are great Farmington Hills Harrison will make the finals in Division 2.
The Hawks will be solid favorites in their next three games and could be headed for a state finals game against Lowell.
In Division 1, Novi Detroit Catholic Central and Lake Orion have opportunities to be at Ford Field. As long as it keeps winning, Lake Orion will be at home up until the neutral-site semifinals, where either Macomb Dakota or Detroit Cass Tech will likely await. Catholic Central should beat Northville on Saturday, which should set up a fantastic regional final showdown with Canton, which has been the best team in the state in Division 1 thus far. However, the Shamrocks have the talent to beat Canton and get back to Ford Field.
Finally in Division 4, Birmingham Detroit Country Day has been ranked No. 1 in the state all season. The Yellowjackets face a stiff test vs. Detroit Crockett on Friday and then possible Marine City in a regional final. But Country Day has found ways to win all season and is well-equipped to get by these challenges and return to Ford Field.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lahser carrying Oakland County flag

Each year around this time, Kosmo gazes at the boys soccer state semifinal pairings and is amazed at how many Oakland County teams are still playing for the right to go to the state semifinals.
It doesn't what division it is either. The area is always well-represented.
Unfortunately, things are a little different this year.
In an unusual development, only one county team is still alive for Wednesday's semifinals, and that is Bloomfield Hills Lahser.
Two teams Kosmo thought would be there, Troy in Division 1 and Auburn Hills Oakland Christian in Division 4, were beat last week in regionals (Oakland Christian's loss to Southfield Christian was particularly stunning).
So that leaves Lahser, which has a great chance to move on to Saturday's finals. Not only are the Knights playing a virtual home game since the semifinal site is Bloomfield Hills Andover, but Lapeer East is a beatable opponent.
East has had a wonderful year, but playing in the Flint Metro is a little different animal than in the OAA Red.
Congrats to the Knights on what they've done so far and Kosmo knows they'll represent the county well on Wednesday and in Saturday's final.
- Volleyball districts opened up on Monday night, and already there's a nice playoff showdown on the horizon. Bogie Lake Road rivals Lakeland and Walled Lake Northern, annually two of the area's best teams, will meet in a district semifinal at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Milford. Lakeland won both regular season meetings, but that obviously means nothing now.