Blogs > Kosmo Seer Speculation

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No Dream Team for softball?

The all-state teams have come out for all the spring sports, and Kosmo wants to give a hearty congratulations to all those within Oakland County who made all-state. That includes the softball players in the area, all of which will be on the all-county team that'll come within the next couple of weeks. But there is one question Kosmo has regarding the all-state softball team. Why no Dream Team? Baseball, soccer and most other sports have a Dream Team, which takes the best players in the state regardless of Division, not just the best players within the four Divisions. The coaches association does a wonderful job picking the team, but since a Miss Softball is picked, a Dream Team might as well be picked as well. It's just a thought to add a touch to what is a star-studded team every year.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saluting Mike Avery

Kosmo was surprised to hear last week that Southfield-Lathrup boys basketball coach Mike Avery decided to step down from his post, and he'll be replaced by Desmond Denham who should do a fine job. But before Denham takes over, Kosmo wants to give props to one of the most underrated coaches in the county and also the state. Avery helped lead the Chargers to the state title game in 1995 before taking a brief hiatus from coaching. He returned in the early 2000's and Lathrup has always been of the more consistent programs in the area each year, churning out college players such as Roy Marble, Jr. and future Division I college player Jonathan Williams. Avery's teams played hard and he was good to the media, so Kosmo is thankful for what he did Lathrup and wishes him well in the future.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hail to the champions

Another championship weekend for high school sports and more hardware brought home by Oakland County teams and athletes. What else would you expect? First came boys golf, where two veteran teams that have been so close to winning state championships in the past finally broke through. Great job by Brother Rice seniors Sean Friel and Lucas Belanger for ending their fine careers on top when the Warriors rallied on Saturday's second day to win the Division 1 state tournament by one stroke. It's been a long time coming for those seniors and head coach Dan Bumpus, so it was a nice sight. Ditto for Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, which easily won the Division 2 state title after coming so close last season when it was runner-up. Just like Friel and Belanger for Brother Rice, Cranbrook's Griffin Smith and Michael Ray figured to win a state title by the time their careers were over, and they did just that. For what Kosmo thinks is the 23rd time in 24 years, there was at least one state champion from the area in girls soccer as Birmingham Marian once again won the Division 2 state championship. BTW, listen to Kosmo everyone. He said the Mustangs would win 3-1, and the final score was, drum roll please, 3-1. Koz would take a bow, but his paper bag would fall of his head. Finally, Madison Heights Bishop Foley surprised, oh, nobody, when it won the Division 3 state baseball title Saturday evening in Battle Creek. 41-3 after going 39-3 last year? That's unheard of in baseball and just a testament to how dominant the Ventures have been the last couple of years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Boys basketball coach jobs opening up

We might not be that far into summer yet, but already some boys basketball jobs are opening up. There is one at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, where head coach Brandon Jezdimir stepped down to spend more time with family, according to spy Scott B. This week, Kosmo has learned from his spies that Clawson head coach Billy Shellenbarger and Ferndale head coach Tom Staton have stepped down from their posts. Shellenbarger wants to focus more on getting an administration graduate degree, while Staton on Tuesday informed Ferndale Shaun Butler that he was stepping down so he can devote more time to his day job, which is the campus program manager for Crime Stoppers. This was according to spy Keith D., who asked Kosmo to put this on his blog. Staton did an incredible job at Ferndale, leading the Eagles to a league and district title last year. Good luck to all those coaches and Kosmo is sure there will be worthy replacements ready to go in. - It's too bad that Bishop Foley head coach Buster Sunde was ejected from Tuesday's quarterfinal game and will have to miss Friday's semifinal game against Saginaw Nouvel. Umpires really need to have thicker skin. Sunde doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would swear or curse at an umpire, and all it sounds like he was doing was motioning that a pitch was low. A really bad move by the umpire, in Kosmo's opinion.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sad Saturday

Usually regional Saturday is the best indicator of just how many baseball/softball teams from the area will be in Battle Creek for the state's final four. Odds are if we get lots of teams to the quarterfinals, there'll be at least half of those that win their quarterfinal games and move on to Cereal City. Unfortunately, it looks as if it will be a light Oakland County contingent given what happened this past Saturday. The only teams that advanced to Tuesday's quarterfinals were Lakeland softball and Madison Heights Bishop Foley baseball. It's too bad because Kosmo thought for sure there would be others in the quarterfinals. Lake Orion and Brother Rice baseball were among the best in the state, but fell short in their regionals, while somehow Farmington Hills Mercy softball couldn't score in losing to Northville in a regional final. Often times Division 2 and Division 4 teams from the area rise up, but that didn't turn out to be the case this year, leaving Lakeland and Bishop Foley to carry the county flag this week. - Kosmo needs to correct himself from a post last Thursday. He mentioned how Tony Annese was not playing baseball at Hartland after transferring back there from Rochester Adams. Kosmo was wrong. Annese has been and had a couple of RBI in Hartland's two regional wins. The MHSAA cleared Annese to play right away, so Kosmo is guessing the family moved back to Hartland from Rochester Hills, which would not technically be a transfer and thus allow Annese to play another sport right away.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fantastic softball regional at Hartland

The final four for softball may not be until next week in Battle Creek, but Kosmo thinks this year it might have come a week early and changed locations. There certainly can't be a better collection of four teams at a regional site than the group that'll be at Hartland on Saturday. Lakeland, Clarkston and Troy Athens have all won at least 32 games this year, while Romeo (26-8-1) is also a state title contender. That's incredible. The day will start off Lakeland taking on Athens, followed by a matchup between an Oakland County power and a Macomb County power when Clarkston meets up with Romeo. Whichever team gets out of this regional will have to feel like it won a state championship. Hopefully there'll be enough left in the tank in Tuesday's quarterfinals for the winner. - Kosmo wants to give a shout out to a remarkable career for a boys golfer in the area. Even though Max Kollin of North Farmington didn't qualify for the Division 1 state tournament, he had a terrific career in high school and was fun to read about. He won the state title at the Division 1 tournament last year and won the prestigious Azure Dynamics tournament this year. He'll have a great college career at Indiana for sure.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interesting angle for Adams-Hartland game

Rochester Adams and Hartland will meet in a regional baseball semifinal on Saturday at Hartland, and there's a unique side to this game people might not know about. It involves Tony Annese. As people might remember, Annese was the best football player for Adams last Fall, a terrific quarterback and safety who signed a scholarship with Central Michigan in February. Last spring, Annese also played baseball for Adams, stealing over 30 bases as the team's lead-off hitter. This came a year after he transferred from Hartland. Because of a technicality with his credits towards college and full admittance into Central, Annese had to transfer back to Hartland for the second semester this year and did so in January. Annese is not playing baseball for Hartland this spring. Before Kosmo moves on, he's not throwing mud at anybody or accusing anyone of foul play. Kosmo is not an admissions officer for a university and doesn't know what type of credits are needed at a particular school, especially when a full-ride scholarship is involved. There very well could've been some complications from the transfer to Adams and Annese needed to make sure his college future was in order from a credits standpoint. Some might disagree with Kosmo, but draw your own conclusions. It's already happened anyway and there seem to be too many competent administrators who dotted their I's and crossed their T's on this matter to ensure it wasn't anything shady. What Kosmo is eyeing is how all this affects the game on Saturday. Are Hartland players picking the brain of Annese to find out what the strengths of the Adams hitters are? Are Adams players trying to get back in touch with Annese to do the same about Hartland? Or is absolutely nothing like that going on from either side with Annese and Kosmo is making something out of nothing? Definitely and interesting side note indeed to Saturday's game.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trending turf

On Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony, Orchard Lake St. Mary's will make it official what's been a secret that's been pretty well known ever since last September: The school will install a red-colored turf at its football stadium, in the process becoming only the third college or high school in the country to have a red-colored surface. It took until last week for the school to get official approval, but the fundraising efforts and desire have been there for months now, so the county will be home to a navy blue turf at Oxford and a red turf at St. Mary's. All this begs the question. Will the trend of colored turfs continue? Or is it just a gimmick that certain schools don't want to be a part of. Kosmo hopes it doesn't become a trend. Yes, schools need turf surfaces to keep down maintenance costs and ensure multiple athletic teams can use the field. But there's a reason so many major league baseball stadiums went back to green seats when all the new stadiums were built in the past two decades. There's nothing like tradition, and green surfaces are what football is supposed to be played on. Can you imagine a yellow surface at Clarkston with blue yard markers? A brown surface with yellow yard markers at Rochester Adams? How about a black field turf with yellow yard markers at Bloomfield Hills Lahser. Or what about an orange surface with black yard markers at Brother Rice? Ugh. Kosmo cringes at that thought, but then again, he can't blame schools for wanting to market themselves. St. Mary's and Oxford should at least be credited for their thinking, because it's in part a brilliant marketing strategy. Look at the attention on those schools now. Also, can you imagine the youth teams in the community that'll want to play on those surfaces and the extra money that'll bring for the schools via rent? It's good thinking, but Kosmo just hopes it doesn't go too overboard and tradition for the most part is preserved.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Historic day for Oakland County track

It was another memorable Super Preps Saturday, with three state champions being crowned in girls tennis, which wasn't much of a surprise. There were also two team state champions from the area in boys track, which was a major surprise and track day within the county that might not be seen for quite a while. Put this in perspective. Since 1990, only two times has an area team won a state boys track title in Class A or Division 1, and that was Pontiac Northern in 1990 and 1997. No area team had won a state title in Class B or Division 2 since Farmington Hills Harrison won three straight from 2001-03. Well, on one day, both of those droughts ended by what were first-time and heartwarming state champions. Lake Orion captured the Division 1 state title in East Kentwood, continuing what's been a terrific five-year stretch for the athletic department. Since 2007, Lake Orion has won state titles in baseball, girls golf, football and now boys track, while making finals appearances in football and volleyball. Over in Grand Rapids, Avondale's boys track team won the Division 2 state title and capped off what might have been the greatest athletic season in school history. The Yellow Jackets only had won two state titles in school history in any sport (boys basketball and cross country), but doubled that this year. The boys soccer team won the Division 2 state title back in November before the boys track team, led by Kyle Redwine and Nathan Chapman, sprinted its way to the crown. It was quite a year for Chapman, who also was on the title-winning soccer team. That's quite a senior year, earning two state title rings in two different sports.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A day like no other

A lot attention for high school sports is rightfully placed on football and basketball season, which is obvious because those are the two big revenue sports and get the most acclaim. But while the fall and winter seasons have the two big sports, it can't offer the annual gem that the spring season will offer once again on Saturday. It's become what we at the Oakland Press call "Super Preps Saturday." There is simply no day on the calendar like it. On no other day are so many athletes competing in high pressure playoff events. You have state finals for track and tennis teams around the state, and each sport has four divisions. There is also district semifinals and finals for baseball and softball teams, as well as district final for girls soccer teams. Add lacrosse regional finals into the mix and you're looking what arguably is the most important day of the entire preps season, no matter what time of year it is and no matter if the big sports won't be a part of it. - Kosmo just read on Twitter that the baseball/softball district at Lake Orion has been postponed to Monday because of weather. That could serve to be a big break for the Lake Orion baseball team, which will now have ace pitchers Nick Deeg and Brad Schaenzer on full rest instead of just two days rest like they would've been had the district been held on Friday. We'll see how if that advantage plays out or not.