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Detroit Catholic Central ready to move on from last season, looking to bounce back in ’15

By: Jeff Dullack, August 9, 2015, 6:39 pm

Orchard Lake – A season ago, Detroit Catholic Central found itself in an unfamiliar place when the football playoffs came around.

The Shamrocks finished the 2014 season with a 3-5 record, snapping a streak of eight straight playoff appearances as they would watch the postseason unfold from home after making it to the Division 1 state championship game in each of the previous three seasons.

But entering the 2015 season, the goals and expectations for Catholic Central remain the same as they always do.

“Every year is the same for us,” longtime Catholic Central coach Tom Mach said. “We never look ahead and say we’re going to be this or that. Every year we plan on winning our league and if we do that, we’ll be in the playoffs and we want to make a run in the playoffs. Our league is tough and there’s not a lot of room for error, last year we had a few too many injuries and guys out of the lineup and that’s what happens in our league.”

Returning this fall for the Shamrocks will be Alex Bock, who will see time at both running back and wide receiver, offensive lineman Tom Kowalkoski and Tyler Laurenitus, who will play defensive back and running back this fall.

Kowalkoski, a Boston College commit, will be a big key to Catholic Central’s success in 2015 as he will anchor an offensive line that lost four starters from a year ago.

Mach noted that Kowalkoski’s presence will be important not only through his play, but in helping the new players on the line along throughout the season.

“That’s going to help a lot,” he said. “Just having someone who was there last year that knows the experience of it, knows the tempo. It’s hard to explain sometimes when they go from JV to varsity, the difference in the hitting and what’s coming at you.”

Despite the struggles of last season, Catholic Central enters the 2015 season focused on the upcoming season, rather than dwelling on the previous season.

Mach said that his coaches and players are more than ready to move on from 2014 saw proof of that on Thursday afternoon during a coach’s meeting.

“We were talking after a meeting today, and one of the coaches brought up what happened last year and everyone just said ‘Shut up, we don’t want to talk about last year, it’s over and we’re moving on’,” he said. “I think that’s a good statement, what’s done is done and we’ve had enough of it. We’re tired of it and we want to get things rolling and I think the kids feel the same way.”

Something that bodes well for the Shamrocks is that all but two games this season will be played at home, however, they will be facing the always difficult CHSL schedule as well as a pair of non-league games against Toledo Whitmer and Muskegon.

Catholic Central opens the season against Muskegon, the Division 3 runner-up last season, at home on Friday, August 28th at 7:00 pm.