Detroit Southeastern looking to rebound after a number of sub-.500 seasons
Detroit - Detroit Southeastern has gone through its share of struggles over the past few seasons.
Not long ago the football program was one of the best in the city.
The official name of the school is Detroit Southeastern High School of Technology and Law. It’s located on 3030 Fairview St. on the city’s eastside and has an enrollment of 353 students.
In 2008 the enrollment was 2,400. That season the Jungaleers won the PSL title.
Topping the list of fine players on that team was Michigan’s top football recruit Will Gholston. Gholston, who had the nickname “Too Tall”, led his team to a 10-2 record. He would go on to play for Michigan State and now is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Jungaleers also had success in the state playoffs reaching the regional finals in 2008 and ‘09.
Teams knew that when they played Southeastern that it will be a test, especially going up against the state’s top recruit.
Over the past three seasons the Jungaleers have won five games. They were 0-9 in 2014.
Second-year head coach Jason Smith refuses to allow the past affect him and his players.
“I understand that the school has had some struggling seasons in football, but I believe that we can be in the middle of the pact in the PSL,” said Smith.
Smith spent four years as defensive coordinator at Detroit University Prep before taking over at Southeastern. The Jungaleers were 1-8 in 2015.
“We loss five games last season on the last play,” said Smith. “One thing I’ve been preaching to my guys over the summer is finishing.”
Smith had a young team last year and he said those players are learning a lot this year.
“There were a majority of sophomores on the team last year, but these guys are showing growth and maturity,” he said.
Smith understands that the area in which Southeastern is in has a lot of good athletes.
“The neighborhood is filled with talent,” he said. “I mean you have guys going to (Detroit) King and (Detroit) East English (Village Prep), so what we try to do is get all the neighborhood kids and move forward.”
Smith has had some success in keeping those talented players at Southeastern.
One in particular that he spoke of is junior cornerback Creed Stevens-Monroe.
“Creed is a top notch player for us and I expect him to have a really good junior year,” said Smith. “He’s an animal in the weight room and has a 3.6 GPA. He’s focused on going to the next level.”
The Jungaleers open up the season against Ann Arbor Huron and Smith will be looking for a lot of improvement this year.
“I want our guys to go out there and have fun,” he said. “I know they have learned a lot from last season so I want them to take what they learned and show it on the field.”