Friday, September 28, 2012
Kosmo's 3 stars for Sept. 28
The NHL may have canceled preseason games, but have no fear, Kosmo will carry on the tradition of acknowledging the best players from a night of games. Mind you, this is for the entire county and not per game, but Kosmo is back to offer his 3 stars of the night for Friday's games.
Connor Mohr, Farmington — Mohr just seems to step up his game more every week in the wake of injuries to Jordan Degreffenreed and others. He ran for 247 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 41-29 win over Rochester Adams. Talk about nails, that's what Mohr is as tough as.
Sean Scullen, Stoney Creek — The Cougars are a much improved team this year and showcased that in a 35-31 win at Troy Athens. Scullen was a big reason why, collecting 227 yards of offense and three touchdowns.
Marcio Foster, Royal Oak — Was there a better feel-good story on Friday than the Ravens winning their first game of the year and second since 2007? Kosmo doesn't think so. Royal Oak has Foster to thank after he scampered down the sideline for an 81-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for what turned out to be the game winning score in an 18-13 upset at Ferndale. Great job, Ravens. You should be celebrating for all you've been through.
Things to watch out for in Week 6
After this weekend, 2/3 of the regular season will be over for high school football, so Kosmo hopes people are enjoying it because it will go by fast.
Before Week 6 kicks off tonight, Kosmo offers his key things to look out for.
Who will win the battle between the Avondale offense and the Seaholm defense? - If Kosmo knew the answer to that he'd be on a plane to a tropical island. Avondale has an outstanding running game led by Josh Holloman and Michael Johnson but Seaholm has as fast and tough of a defense as there is. Kosmo can't wait to watch MIPrepZone.com/Oakland to see what happens.
Will Southfield ride it's momentum against Oxford? The Bluejays rallied from a 17-0 deficit to beat Harrison last week and avoid a 2-3 start and avoid being on the brink of playoff elimination. Now another critical game looms against 3-2 Oxford, which also doesn't want to have three losses with three games left to play. Usually big comeback wins lead to lots of momentum the next game. We'll see if that's the case.
Which team will win the up front battle in the Lakeland-Walled Lake Central? - Both teams have good offensive lines and solid running games, so this will be a game of strength vs. strength. Kosmo is looking forward to seeing which team prevails in an important KLAA North game.
Will Brother Rice and St.Mary's combine to score 20 points? The two didn't last year in an overtime game and with how tremendous each defense is, Kosmo would be surprised if lots of points were scored in this one.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
No. 1 and No. 2 in ranking only
Get ready Clarkston and Lake Orion fans, because what Kosmo is about to say is likely to rile you all up pretty good.
The recent state rankings came out, and with Detroit Cass Tech's loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary's last week, that means Clarkston is ranked No. 1 in the state and Lake Orion No. 2 in Division 1.
Both teams are unbeaten and VERY good.
But Kosmo just doesn't think either is GREAT and are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state, although that won't lessen the hype when the two likely meet with those rankings in place in Week 8 of the season at Lake Orion, barring a major upset in between.
Here are the three reasons why both shouldn't be ranked that high, even if they both again are VERY good teams.
Schedule - Let's face it, the Wolves and Dragons play in a weak league. The OAA Red is nowhere near as strong as the OAA White from top to bottom. Clarkston's five opponents this year are a combined 9-16, while Lake Orion's are 10-16. Lake Orion's best wins are against 3-2 Oxford and 3-2 Troy, while Clarkston's best is a win over a 4-1 Rochester team that hasn't played a tough schedule either. The Wolves struggled to beat 2-3 Stoney Creek last week.
Balance on offense - Both the Wolves and Dragons have great running games, but neither has proven they can consistently make plays in the passing game. Let's see what happens later in the season and in the playoffs when better teams gear up for the running game and dare the opposing quarterbacks/receivers to beat them.
Division I college players - Besides Clarkston senior offensive lineman Jesse Chadwell (committed to Illinois), there aren't any players on either team that have committed to play big-time college football. Meanwhile, seemingly half of Cass Tech's roster has been offered college scholarships and Catholic Central has a few players who have also, just to name two teams. Those things start to matter in the playoffs. There are some other prospects on each team, but it's not like either is brimming with Division I talent.
Sorry to burst the bubble of the Clarkston and Lake Orion fans, which are among the best in the state. The Wolves and Dragons have VERY good teams as always and it should be a lot of fun when No. 1 and No. 2 meet in a couple of weeks at Lake Orion.
But are they really the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state?
In Kosmo's estimation, no.
Monday, September 24, 2012
5-0 expected an unexpected
We're already over halfway through the prep football season, and there currently are five Oakland County teams that are still unbeaten on the season.
Of course, two of those aren't a surprise, as Clarkston and Lake Orion are setting the pace in the OAA Red (what else is new?) and will likely decide the league title in Week 8.
But the other three are a bit of a surprise to Kosmo.
Kosmo thought Oak Park, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and Auburn Hills Avondale could be be playoff teams at the beginning of the season.
But he didn't think all would have a chance to officially clinch a playoff berth going into Week 6, but that's what each can do this week.
Oak Park knocked off Farmington last week, following up an overtime win over Southfield the week before. The Knights are no doubt the frontrunner in the OAA White now even though it still has to play Harrison and Oxford.
Notre Dame Prep continues to amaze, as not even an unbeaten Lahser squad could shut them down in a 35-14 Notre Dame Prep rout last week. The Fighting Irish have now won 18 straight regular season games.
Meanwhile, Avondale was finally tested a bit last week, but managed to hold on for a close win over Berkley.
Of all the unbeaten teams this week, Avondale will have the toughest test since it will have to travel to Birmingham Seaholm in a battle between two of the three unbeaten teams within OAA Blue play (Seaholm has one loss to Country Day, Lahser to Notre Dame Prep).
We'll see which teams remain unbeaten after this week, but for right now, they definitely are the Fantastic Five.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Kosmo's 3 stars for Sept. 21
The NHL may have oficially announced its labor strife this week, but Kosmo is here to offer some relief. In honor of the NHL, here are your seer's 3 stars for Friday night.
We're already past the halfway point of the season, so buckle up for a fantastic four weeks.
Dalton Christie, Lakeland - It's pretty good when you get into the end zone once every five touches, and that's what Christie did by rushing for 159 yards and 4 touchdowns in a win over Waterford Mott.
The Orchard Lake St. Mary's defense - Kosmo never thought Cass Tech could be held to a single-digit point total, but somehow the Eaglets held Jayru Campbell & Co. to 6 points in 13-6 win in a game between the state's best teams in Division 1 and Division 3
Collin O'Donnell, Walled Lake Northern - This could be given to the whole Northern team for its groundbreaking and message-sending 49-7 trouncing of Walled Lake Central, which made the Knights city champs after beating Walled Lake Western. Leading the way was O'Donnell though, who accounted for 312 yards offense (272 passing) and 5, count them, 5 touchdowns. An incredible performance on an incredible night for Northern.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Things to watch for Friday night
As Kosmo writes this from his cave on Friday morning, there are only hours left until Week 5 of the prep football season begins.
Your seer will be back later tonight/early Saturday morning to give his 3 stars of the night, but for now these are the questions he can't wait to see answered tonight.
Can Orchard Lake St. Mary's stay with Detroit Cass Tech? - Of course the Eaglets can because they are at home, so this game should be close. But whether or not St. Mary's wins depends on how they handle Cass Tech's race track speed.
How healthy will Farmington be for its first place showdown at Oak Park? - Good question. Running back Jordan Degreffenreed exited last week's win over Oxford in the third quarter and is one of a few Farmington regulars that are banged up. If the Falcons aren't healthy, that's a major advantage to Oak Park.
Will Walled Lake Northern finally beat Walled Lake Central? - It's possible. The Knights came close two of the last three years in games at Central but were blown out at home two years ago. If Northern can come up with the same defensive effort it did last week against Walled Lake Western, then it has a chance.
How desperate with Southfield play at FH Harrison? - For the sake of the Bluejays, Kosmo hopes they do because if they don't and lose, they'll have to win their final four games in order to qualify for the state playoffs.
Will tonight be the end of a historic run for Rochester Adams? - It's possible, if not likely. Barring what would be a mild upset of Oxford at Oxford, Adams will likely see the end of a 15-year streak of making the playoffs.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Pleasant surprises of boys soccer
Believe it or not, the regular season for boys soccer is over halfway through, so Kosmo felt this was a good time to take a brief break from football and post something about soccer.
The whole Academy issue has made this one wide open season where anybody can beat anybody on a given night more than the K-Man can remember.
So far though, here are the teams that have stood out to Kosmo.
Troy Athens - Is there any doubt that Todd Heugh is one of the state's top coaches and the perfect successor to the legendary Tim Storch? Athens had a lot of graduation losses from last year's regional final team yet sits atop the standings in the brutal OAA Red. Max Klitzke has been as good of a player as anyone so far.
Stoney Creek - Throwing so man young players onto the field the last two years seems to be paying dividends for the Cougars, who are right behind Athens in the Red Division following a win over Clarkston on Tuesday. There aren't many better leaders in the area than senior Scott Alampi.
Auburn Hills Avondale - The defending Division 2 state champions have proven to be worthy defenders so far with the way they have controlled the OAA White. Despite key graduation losses, Dave Muczynski's boys look ready for a run at a repeat.
Birmingham Brother Rice - The Warriors would've been maybe the state's No. 1 ranked team at the start of the season, but that changed when their best players decided to play Academy ball. Still Brother Rice has plugged along, as evidenced by the fact its first loss came on Tuesday to Catholic Central.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Rising/falling stocks after Week 4
The bell has rung on the New York Stock Exchange again here on Monday, morning, but Kosmo doesn't care about that. He's ringing the bell on his own stock exchange as it relates to Oakland County football teams.
There is already four weeks of the season in the books, so here are Kosmo's rising and falling stocks, er teams, after Week 4.
Oak Park - Well, your seer guesses he can officially say the Knights are for real. Following a 24-18 overtime win at Southfield, Oak Park is 4-0 and has a first-place battle with 4-0 Farmington at home on Friday in the game of the year so far in the OAA White.
Walled Lake Northern - Another team named the Knights, Northern played its guts out and was rewarded for it with a 17-10 home win over Walled Lake Western last week to improve to 2-2. Now the other city foe, Walled Lake Central, comes to Northern's field this Friday. The Knights have never beaten the Vikings.
Birmingham Detroit Country Day - If not for a bad fourth quarter in Week 2 against Detroit U-D Jesuit, Country Day would be 4-0. But still, the Yellowjackets are 3-1 and looking good. Hopefully they get some love in the Divison 4 state rankings.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep - The Fighting Irish just continue to amaze, winning a first-place game against Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard last week to improve to 4-0. Notre Dame Prep has won 17 straight regular season games.
Southfield - All of a sudden, the Bluejays might be in some playoff trouble. They are 2-2 following the loss to Oak Park and have to play at Farmington Hills Harrison this week. With a home game against Oxford and a road game at Rochester Adams remaining, not to mention a crossover game against an OAA Red opponent in Week 9, and Southfield has work to do.
Ortonville Brandon - Kosmo thought the Blackhawks could contend for a playoff spot again after making the postseason last year, but they are off to a tough 0-4 start in the Flint Metro.
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest - The Crusaders fell at Livonia Clarenceville and are 2-2, so they'll have to fight the rest of the season to return to the postseason. Northwest has a game against Sterling Heights Parkway Christian this week.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Kosmo's 3 stars for Sept. 14
Wow, what a Friday night that was. Multiple overtime games, a couple of upsets (way to go Southfield Christian), and of course, the usual excellent collection of individual performances.
Here are the players that most stood out to Kosmo in his 3 stars for Friday night of Week 4.
Third star — Ross Williams, Birmingham Groves. Yes, the Falcons fell to 0-4 with a 38-33 loss to Hazel Park, but it wasn't because of a lack of productivity from this outstanding junior. Williams ran for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Are you paying attention, college coaches?
Second star - Justin Pritchett, Southfield Christian. In fact, the whole Eagles team could be stars after quite a win that Kosmo and probably few others expected. Southfield Christian downed Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, 27-16, thanks in large part to Pritchett, who ran for 160 yards and three scores. It was the first win of the season for the Eagles.
First start - Connor Mohr, Farmington. There haven't been many players more valuable to his team than the tough-as-scrap-metal Mohr, and he was the difference in a 19-13 overtime win over Oxford. In addition to playing another brilliant game at linebacker, Mohr stepped up and carried the load at running back since Farmington had two other backs that got hurt, including Jordan Degreffenreed. But "SuperMohr" came to the rescue, scoring all three of his team's touchdowns, including what turned out to be the game-winner in overtime. Hopefully Mohr enjoys a nice, relaxing weekend because he earned it.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Say it isn't so Andover defectors
Kosmo thought he was done blogging about the situation at Bloomfield Hills Andover, but he has one more thing to say and he has to do something he usually hates doing, which is call out kids.
Reading the comments from Andover AD R.J. Guizzetti, it sounds like he and administrators in the school district did everything in their power to keep alive the program.
Heck, they even were trying to recruit kids to come for the team in the halls last Friday.
They deserve to be commended for their efforts, but sometimes it's not to be when there are quitters at work.
That's right, Kosmo feels players might have been cowards and quit. There were many injuries that caused just 11 players to suit up for practice on Tuesday, but it also sounds like some certain players just simply gave up.
Yes, the team was getting blown out each game and that's not fun, but this isn't about football or wins and losses.
It's about the life lessons of commitment and seeing things through to the end, and if these players did quit and if there parents actually let them, that was a despicable act.
Such selfish decisions negatively impacted so many others.
These players cost the seniors on the team a chance to play high school football one last time and with the forfeiture of six games, ensured players on other teams will play one less game under the Friday night lights despite their hard work.
It also was a slap in the face to a coaching staff that volunteered to be with Andover one more year despite the obstacles it faced.
Maybe worst of all, all the past players who ever suited up for Andover and built the program for these kids were disgraced by actions that led to it being disbanded.
Hopefully Kosmo is wrong and many of these players didn't simply quit.
But if they did and cost Andover a program and so many others a chance to play football, then shame on them and the parents who let them go through with it. If there is one thing future college administrators and employers hate more, it's quitters and people who break promises.
Unfortunately, Koz fears there are a few residing at Andover now.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Paying last respects to a proud program
Just like everyone else who follows high school football around the county, Kosmo was sad to learn that Bloomfield Hills Andover disbanded its program on Tuesday.
As upset as many people are though, this is actually the right decision.
Quitting is something that's never desirable, but that wasn't what this was.
There were only 11 kids at practice the other day, meaning Andover couldn't even run normal practices and had to go six weeks without getting a single injury.
Those kids also would've had to have played every snap literally with no rest.
You can't put kids in that situation at all, unless a school district doesn't mind getting sued.
It was an unfortunate decision, but the right one.
However, it still is sad to see because of what Andover traditionally has been.
Before football became an MHSAA sanctioned sport in 1975, Andover was a top-notch program already, recording unbeaten seasons in 1966, 1969 and 1970.
The Barons were also 8-1 in 1974.
There were down times in the 1980's and most of the 90's, but Andover returned to prominence in the late 90's and early 2000's.
From 1999 to 2004, Andover made the state playoffs each year and won a total of 42 games, highlighted by a 10-2 season in 2004 that ended with a 35-19 loss to St. Johns in a Division 3 regional final.
Rapidly declining enrollment in the past eight years that forced Bloomfield Hills to make the decision to combine into one high school ultimately killed the Andover program that has been a county staple for decades.
The program may have died on Tuesday, but in Kosmo's mind, the memories will live on.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Teams on the rise
Kosmo has never been an expert on the stock market but is happy that it's doing well for those financial bigwigs out there. But in honor of fast rising stocks, Kosmo is ready to give his teams that have their respective stocks very high and rising after Week 3 even though they started off the season with relatively low stocks.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep - Is there any doubt that Kyle Zimmerman is one of the top young coaches in the state? Despite all the graduation losses from last year, Notre Dame Prep is 3-0 on the season and hasn't lost a regular season game since 2010.
Oak Park - As if the OAA White wasn't balanced enough, look who has announced itself as a title contender as well. That would be the Knights, who improved to 3-0 after a home win over Rochester Adams on Friday. Head coach Greg Carter is a legend for a reason.
Oxford - After a tough season opening loss at Lake Orion, the Wildcats have won their first two games in their tour of Farmington schools on the schedule, winning at North Farmington in Week 2 before recording a thrilling overtime home win over Farmington Hills Harrison last week. Oxford can really shake up the OAA White race with a win at Farmington on Friday.
Clawson - Granted, the schedule has been pretty easy to start the season, but Jim Sparks and his team have been scoring points at will and are off to a 3-0 start. Great job so far by the Trojans.
Royal Oak Shrine/Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes - The two small school powerhouses each had some question marks going into the season, but each are 3-0 going into their annual showdown on Saturday at WOLL at 1 pm.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Kosmo's 3 stars for Friday night
Whew. Looks like most of Friday night's games got in despite storms that came through the area. Good to know none were shortened or there won't have to be makeup games on Saturday.
On that note, here are Kosmo's 3 stars from Friday night's football action.
Connor Mohr, Farmington - The Falcons figured to take care of business at Southfield-Lathrup and it did thanks in large part to Mohr, who had three touchdowns and 204 yards of total offense. A hard-nosed player who doesn't often get enough credit, Kosmo is happy to give him some tonight.
Kyle Bambard, Walled Lake Western - Might have to start nicknaming him "Bam-Bam" because of not only his booming kicking leg, but the fact he's quite a two-way quarterback who "bams" the opposition. He threw for 132 yards and a touchdown and ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a big 35-21 road win at Lakeland.
Malik Washington, Oak Park - Greg Carter sure seems to be having an impact on the Oak Park program, isn't he? Of course, helping the cause for the legendary coach is a player like Washington, who ran for 173 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Rochester Adams at home that moved Oak Park to 3-0. Look out for the Knights in the OAA White.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
5 things to look for on Friday night
Already it's Week 3 of the football season, which by Kosmo's ingenious math, that'll mean 1/3 of the season will already be over for many teams after this week.
There's a lot to keep an eye out on, but here are five things in particular Kosmo is going to watch on Friday night.
Can Rochester be that team in the OAA Red that finally breaks through against Clarkston or Lake Orion? — Many teams have tried to contend in the OAA Red over the years, but hardly any have been able to prove they're a championship team by winning at Clarkston or Lake Orion. Rochester, which is 2-0, is the latest to have that chance when it visits Clarkston on Friday.
Is Stoney Creek for real? — The Cougars are 2-0 after impressive wins over Royal Oak and Pontiac, but again, it was Royal Oak and Pontiac. The competition will stiffen when Troy visits Cougarville. But if Stoney Creek rises up, it'll really get the attention of Kosmo.
Will this be a nail in the coffin for Rochester Adams? - The Highlanders have made the state playoffs 15 years in a row, but are off to an 0-2 start and have to visit a surging Oak Park team. If the Knights win, Adams will have to win out just to see its streak continue, which would be unlikely.
Who will win the battle of Birmingham? — Kosmo is really looking forward to a competitive game at Birmingham Seaholm when the 2-0 Maples, fresh off two shutouts, host neighbor Country Day. This has been a rivalry dominated by Country Day over the years, but this years game should be quite a battle.
Will South Lyon continue its solid start and move to 3-0? - It could happen. The Lions have a tough game looming at Northville, but they are playing with a lot of confidence and a big road win could be a springboard to a KLAA Central title.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Two cents on James Young
Kosmo knows its been roughly a week since senior basketball star James Young announced on Twitter he was transferring from Troy to Rochester, but he still wants to share his thoughts about it.
First of all, Young is a terrific player and by all accounts a nice kid. Kosmo wishes him well with the Falcons and glad a quality coach and individual like John Pleasant has someone like Young in the fold for his team because he may not ever get another talent like it.
But Kosmo just isn't convinced the grass is greener on the other side for Young.
At Troy, Young had an equally great coach/individual in one of Kosmo's all-time favorites, Gary Fralick.
He also had a school that supported him and put him in the proper places to develop academically and a student body that adored him.
Kosmo isn't sure if there were behind-the-scenes factors involved (there usually are, but Koz isn't going to speculate), but from a pure basketball standpoint, this is a lateral move.
Young goes from one suburban school with a quality coach, but hasn't come close to winning a state championship, to another.
Rochester and Troy are about equal in the supporting group of players as well.
No matter what other motives there were, from strictly a basketball perspective, this move doesn't seem to be an upgrade or a downgrade, so why transfer at all?
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Playoff teams already in trouble
There may only be two games played this high school football season, but already there are signs of trouble for a few teams out there that Kosmo thought would be in the playoffs.
Granted, there's still time to turn things around but no question, the teams below are in some peril and need to figure things out quick if they are going to return to the state playoffs.
Holly - Well, at least we can say the Bronchos have been here before. Holly started off the last two seasons 0-2 before rallying to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Bronchos, they dug themselves that hole again following losses to Swartz Creek and Linden. It's hard to go to the well of slow starts too often and still emerge at the end, but will see if Holly can do so.
Rochester Adams - So how many times has Adams been 0-2 to start a season in recent memory? Kosmo isn't sure either. It has to be a long time, but unfortunately for the Highlanders they have some serious playing to do in order to keep what's a 15-year playoff streak alive. Of course, the schedule to start the season was brutal with games at Clarkston and at home against Harrison. But this hasn't looked like a vintage Adams teams both in quantity with the fewer players than usually on the roster and the quality of play. But Kosmo never will doubt the quality of the coaching staff there, so things could turn around.
Ortonville Brandon - Kosmo was so hoping the Blackhawks could follow up that playoff appearance last season with back-to-back trips this year, but losses to Flint Kearsley and Lapeer West have put the Blackhawks in a bind. The schedule won't get any easier with a game against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep on Friday.
Troy Athens - The Red Hawks were a feel-good story last season with a 7-2 record and the fact they got to host a playoff game, but this start has not been what anybody expected. Somehow, Athens will have to shore up a defense that has given up 127 points already this season. Don't count Athens out, but something will have to turnaround quickly.