Monday, January 30, 2012
Great rebound week for Bishop Foley
It's always a given that there will be bumps in the road for a sports team, and Jan. 20 was one for the Madison Heights Bishop Foley boys basketball team when it didn't play its best game and lost at home to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 67-60.
But the sign of a good team is how it responds to such adversity, and last week proved that Bishop Foley is very resilient with the way it rebounded.
First, the Ventures went on the road to beat Detroit Loyola, which has handed Rochester its only loss of the season and won at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep earlier in the year.
Then, the Ventures won at Dearborn Divine Child last Saturday in another quality win.
Looks like Bishop Foley is very much back on track.
- There were a couple of nice individual accomplishments last week by area girls hoopsters that Kosmo wants to acknowledge.
First, North Farmington senior Jasmine Harris scored her 1,000th career point, further proving while she'll go down as one of the best girls players ever to play for the Raiders.
Then on Friday, Gabby Yurik became the all-time scoring leader at Stoney Creek in a 50-38 upset over Auburn Hills Avondale.
Kudos to both outstanding seniors.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Big hockey game on Saturday night
Believe it or not, there's less than a month to go until the high school hockey playoffs start, so it's getting into crunch time for area teams and players.
This is about the point when league titles are going to be decided, and one will all but be decided on Saturday night when Clarkston plays Lake Orion in a battle for supremacy in the OAA Red.
This should only add even more flavor to this rivalry game, although it won't be as important should the teams meet in the pre-regional or regional round of the state tournament.
College and pro teams often talk about how there are no nights quite like Saturday night to play hockey, and Kosmo is sure Detroit Skate Club in Bloomfield Hills will be packed with fans from both schools when they meet on Saturday at 8 p.m.
What a great way to spend a Saturday night.
- Unless Southfield-Lathrup beats Clarkston at home on Feb. 28, Kosmo doesn't see the Wolves losing a game the rest of the way in the OAA Red. When Clarkston is clicking, it's just too hard of a team to defend.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Mega Thursday showdown
Looking at the latest Oakland County boys hoops rankings on Sunday, Kosmo noticed that Clarkston and Southfield-Lathrup are the two best teams in the area. Looking at the schedule fora Thursday, Kosmo also noticed that Lathrup will go on the road to face....Clarkston.
Can you say anticipated showdown?
It will without question have a Friday night and state tournament feel on a January Thursday, because this might be the best game of the season so far.
It's so big that the game will be broadcasted live on WDFN-AM 1130 and a video broadcast will be shown after the game on MIPrepzone.com.
Lathrup junior point guard Jonathan Williams has been tearing up opponents all year and doubt wants to show he can produce against one of the elite defensive teams around, while Clarkston knows it needs to defend its home court if it wants to win another league title.
Get ready, everyone. This will be a special Thursday.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Honors keep piling up for Line
Kosmo didn't think that Oxford senior Prescott Line could have many more honors bestowed upon him after being named Mr. Football and once again proving to be among the best wrestlers in the state, he has received yet another honor many don't. In this week's issue of "Sports Illustrated," Line will be featured in the "Faces in the Crowd" section, which honors prominent achievements from high school and college athletes from around the country.
It's another feather in the cap for what right now is the best high school male athlete in the county.
Please go to new stands to buy an issue to see for yourself, if you don't have a subscription already
Monday, January 23, 2012
Great reward for Church
Even though football season has been over for a couple of months, Kosmo is still buzzing from the sight of Brother Rice running back Devin Church running roughshod over opponents in the playoffs.
Church had nearly 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in five playoff games ALONE, which helped him set the single-season record for most rushing yards at Brother Rice.
On Sunday came evidence as to just how big time of a player Church is.
Originally committed to Northern Illinois, Church accepted a scholarship offer to Illinois, so he'll be playing in the Big 10.
Kosmo is surprised other in-state schools didn't pursue Church more heavily. He's fast and has more power than his 5-foot-9 frame would suggest.
Church definitely will go down as one of the all-time greats at Brother Rice and glad he'll now be a Big 10 players.
It's definitely well-deserved for the type of running back and person he is.
- Once again, Monday was a setback for area skiers. Just as the weather finally got cold and snowy, a rainy, 45-degree day essentially wiped all of that away and further delayed what has been a season mired in delays. Time is running out to salvage some sort of season since the state meet is a month away.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Bowling to take center stage
January is usually one of the slowest months of the year in the preps season schedule since every sport is in the heart of the regular season and the playoffs are still a month away.
It's the definition of the dog days.
But there are two exceptions and they take place this weekend. Bowling will have moments in the sun this weekend with the annual county tournaments being held this weekend. The girls event will be held on Saturday at Fairlanes Bowl in Madison Heights, while the boys tournament will be at Thunderbird Lanes in Troy on Sunday.
Waterford Kettering won team titles in both genders last season and will be the defending champion. Given the snow and cold outside, there'll be no better time to head inside and watch some bowling.
- Now that there is snow on the ground and cold in the air, that's good news for area ski teams, which can finally get their season going. We'll now seen how many meets they can cram into a one month period. It should be interesting.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
All-Star game rosters announced
In the heart of basketball season, Kosmo has some football news to report. The rosters have been announced for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star game at Central Michigan in June, and as usual, several Oakland County players will play for the East squad.
Those players are Aaron Burbridge of Farmington Hills Harrison, Danny Larkins of Madison Heights Madison, Devin Church of Birmingham Brother Rice, Matt Godin of Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Brent Zdebski of Walled Lake Western, Nate Cole of Bloomfield Hills Lahser, Tony Annese of Rochester Adams and Mr. Football winner Prescott Line of Oxford.
Congrats to all those individuals. Being in the all-star game adds to what have been great high school careers for each.
- In other football news, the games have been announced for the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University in August, an event that was formally the Big Prep Day Showdown at Eastern Michigan University.
There will be three Oakland County teams competing. Oak Park will play Detroit Crockett, Southfield will battle Detroit Martin Luther King while the main event will be a Saturday night game between Birmingham Brother Rice and Detroit Cass Tech in a game between the defending state champions in Division 2 and Division 1.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Clarkston center of preps hoops world
Kosmo knows that it's usually a great time to be a member or fan of the Clarkston Wolves athletic program, but now may be a better time than it has ever been.
Right now, the center of the high school basketball world is Clarkston.
The girls team is unbeaten with an 11-0 record, looks to be the team to beat in the OAA Red and is one of the better teams in the state.
The boys team is unbeaten (8-0 going into Tuesday's game against Detroit Community), looks to be the team to beat in the OAA Red and is also one of the better teams in the whole state.
Those who love great high school basketball should be flocking to Clarkston right now, because it's on display multiple times during the week with the way the boys and girls teams are playing.
Now, Kosmo honestly hopes both lose at some point before the regular season ends. It wouldn't be a good thing to enter the playoffs unbeaten, but then again, it's hard to tell kids not to go out and try and win.
Whether each is unbeaten or not going into the playoffs, it should be a more fun March than usual around Clarkston.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Great win for Troy
Last week, Kosmo was saying what an unfortunate start to the boys basketball season it was for Troy, which had been underperforming despite having some talent on the roster.
The Colts also seemed to have some other issues plaguing them, but maybe all that is in the rearview mirror after what Troy did on Saturday.
Going up against one of the state's top teams in Class B, Detroit Community, Troy came away with a six-point win over Community.
Junior James Young led the way with 32 points and showed why he is one of the top juniors in the country.
Each one of Troy's players should be lauded for this win and the character they displayed in the face of some criticism.
That's how good teams respond, and hopefully for Troy this will be a springboard to the rest of the season.
- Congrats indeed need to go out to Milford boys basketball Chip Lutz and his Mavericks squad, who are off to an 8-0 start this season after a win at Hartland on Friday. Hopefully those in the school are appreciating this start and the team effort Milford has displayed in each and every one of its games.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Different type of bonding needed
Another day, another hazing scandal that rocks the high school sporting world. This time it's in Howell, where hockey coach Randy Montrose and his staff were fired for what Howell's school district called a hazing incident on a trip to Marquette last week.
The team supposedly had a runway show where players wore women's undergarments.
From what Kosmo has heard, this runway show actually occurs every year when Howell goes up to Marquette. Parents might very well be in attendance and know about this each year as a way to have fun and bond with the team.
For some reason, this year's incident was reported has hazing (did a player not get enough playing time and he and their parents thought this was the way to exact revenge on the coach by reporting to the school board?).
Regardless of what happened, Kosmo doesn't get how this is team bonding. Ditto for the whole brouhaha at Walled Lake Western a few months ago.
Whatever happened to movies, dinners, or card games (those that don't involve gambling money)as a means to have players get to know one another better?
Heck, have zip line sessions when the weather is nice out or weekend trips to an indoor or outdoor water park, depending on the time of year.
How about backyard cookouts with games and food?
It just seems curious to Kosmo why things such as runway shows or tying a kid to a pole or the things teams use to create team chemistry and bonding.
As evidence by what's taken place, those things tend to get everyone involved in big trouble.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
County's best rivalry ready to be renewed
Winter might not bring about a lot of warmth (although Kosmo is loving these 45 degree and sunny days), but there is one thing that comes around in winter that no other time of year has.
If there is a better sports rivalry in the county than Clarkston vs. Pontiac in basketball, Kosmo would like to know what it is.
These teams usually provide marvelous, entertaining basketball, which is why the famed Sy Green gymnasium will be the place to be on Thursday when the Wolves and Phoenix meet for the first time this season.
Clarkston enters with an unbeaten record and has been blowing out teams with regularity, while Pontiac is coming off a lopsided loss at Southfield-Lathrup and should be an angry bunch.
Sometimes winter produces some great joys, and Thursday night will be another example.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Rising Phoenix girls
Coming into the season, Pontiac thought there was some potential with the Pontiac boys basketball team, since the Phoenix usually are one of the county's best each year. However, Kosmo didn't expect a whole lot out of the girls team at Pontiac even though Kosmo is a fan of Lance Davis, who took over the reigns of the program and has had success at other schools.
Well, Davis and the rest of the Pontiac team he's guiding has made Kosmo eat his words.
Pontiac is proving that it will be a contender in the OAA Red with a 6-2 record overall and really made a statement with a 14-point road win at Troy on Tuesday.
Pontiac only lost by one point at Southfield-Lathrup last week, so despite thoughts that this would be a rebuilding year at Pontiac, the Phoenix are a legitimate threat to win an OAA Red title.
- Another team that is having a season Kosmo didn't expect is Novi Detroit Catholic Central, although that's been a negative so far. The Shamrocks entered the season with nine seniors and maybe the best team they've had in a long time, but so far have struggled to score. Catholic Central only scored 37 points in a loss to De La Salle on Tuesday and just haven't gotten into an offensive rhythm. With a senior-laden team, there's a good chance Catholic Central will figure it out, but hopefully it's sooner rather than later.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Fighting a losing battle with parents
There's a longstanding joke among members of the media regarding what it's like to deal with parents who are out of control.
It goes something like this: "The best school to cover athletics at would be at an orphanage. Why? Because there are no parents."
Unfortunately, that seems to be the case more and more each year. All Kosmo has to do and see what's going on at Troy right now.
The Colts aren't playing to their talent level and there's signs of pouting and moping all over with players.
As spy Keith D. said in Sunday's Oakland Press, the problem is not head coach Gary Fralick. He's as good as it gets as a human being, an educator and a coach. If players can't play for him, then there isn't anybody they can play for, college coaches included.
Kosmo isn't around Troy, but he has a feeling kids and parents are at the center of the conflict.
Then the K-Man read a report about how the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett girls basketball coach quit because of parental issues. Oh, and by the way, Liggett made the state title game in Class C this year and has a definite shot to win it all this year.
Kosmo sure feels sorry for the assistant who has to take the reigns now. He or she will probably agree soon that it'd be better to coach at an orphanage also.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Underrated part of Clarkston's success
Apparently, Clarkston couldn't miss if it was shooting from Lake Orion in its 66-32 win over North Farmington on Friday, as the Wolves buried 13 shots from 3-point range in the rout.
But things Kosmo noticed once again with the Wolves wasn't the shooting barrage that resulted in lots of points, but how Clarkston prevented points.
The defense at Clarkston is where productive players seem to go and die since the Wolves seem to shut down the opposition's best players better than anyone.
Caleb McIntosh and Marcarius Coakley have been on fire this year (Coakley scored 39 on Friday against Flint Carman-Ainsworth), but were non-existent against Clarkston.
Dorrell Foster of North Farmington had two games where he scored over 30 points this season, but Clarkston limited him to 16 points.
Yes, the Wolves can shoot the ball and do what they usually do on offense in terms of moving the ball so well and getting good shots.
However, it's defense that's the glue of Clarkston's success. Just ask any star player.
- On second thought, maybe Clarkston's defense won't be able to stop Southfield-Lathrup's Jonathan Williams when the teams play twice this season. Williams was at it again on Friday against Pontiac, pouring in 32 points for Chargers. Williams is averaging over 26 points a game this year and has maybe been the county's top player thus far.
- It looks like this could be another special year for Holly. The Bronchos are off to a 5-1 start and look to be one of the favorites to win an improved Flint Metro conference.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
When will ski season start?
Usually when January arrives, it also means that the high school ski season is about to start.
Kosmo has serious doubts that's going to happen soon though.
Usually by this time, temperatures are way below freezing and there's already been plenty of snow that's fallen.
Looking out from his cave in northern Oakland County, Kosmo sees nothing but grass and no snow.
He also sees a weather forecast that calls for 45 degrees and sunny on Friday and temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees for the initial days of next week with little snow.
Yes, ski lodges can and have made snow, but that still won't do much good if temperatures hover around 40 and the sun is out for the near future.
One of the shortest high school sports seasons looks like it will get even shorter with teams having to wait until colder weather arrives.
Even at that point, they'll have to cram lots of meets and invites into a shorter amount of time.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Oxford-CC ready to tussle again
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone out there. Kosmo enjoyed a cold, but relaxing holiday break in his cave with all the hibernating bears and is fully recharged as the high school sports season gets back into full swing this week.
The K-Man is looking forward to a terrific 2012.
Anyway, Kosmo is also looking forward to the renewal of what lately has been one of the county's best sports rivalries when Oxford meets Novi Detroit Catholic Central in a wrestling match on Wednesday.
This no doubt was a terrific rivalry in 2011 with Catholic Central winning the county meet, but Oxford edging out the Shamrocks in the Division 1 state finals. The only question is whether this will be a rivalry in 2012.
While Oxford lost a good portion of its wrestlers from last year, Catholic Central returned a lot and has been dominant this year. What takes place on Wednesday will determine if this will be a great rivalry again as 2012 progresses, or if CC will simply take control of it and dominate.