FOOTBALL: 2013 Detroit PSL West Preview: Cass Tech Eyes Three-Peat
2013 Detroit PSL West Division Preview
Since the Detroit PSL went to an East and West Division format last season, the lack of parity in the league has become evident. Detroit Cass Tech shutout all of their divisional opponents last season except for Detroit Cody, whom they beat 36-20. The Technicians are coming off another successful season, winning their second straight Michigan Division 1 state title, and should be in contention for a third in 2013. Cass Tech is just simply able to overpower teams with their talent and depth, and shouldn’t be erioulsy tested until they reach the city playoffs.
Projected order of finish: 1.Cass Tech, 2. Renaissance, 3. Cody, 4. Mumford, 5. Western International, 6. Central, 7. Henry Ford, 8. Northwestern
Teams to watch:
Cass Tech Technicians
Head Coach: Thomas Wilcher
2012 record: 12-2
Key players: Jr. QB Jayru Campbell, Sr. CB-WR Damon Webb, Jr. RB Mike Weber, Sr. LB Will White, Jr. DL-OL Josh Alabi, Sr. RB-LB Gary Hosey, Sr. LB Deon Drake
Team outlook: Looking to three-peat as Division 1 state champs in 2013, Cass Tech has a lot of talented players returning on both sides of the ball. Ohio State commit Damon Webb will anchor the defense from his cornerback position, along with linebackers Will White and Deon Drake (Michigan State). Offensively, three year starting quarterback Jayru Campbell (Michigan State), and running backs Mike Weber and Gary Hosey (Eastern Michigan) will shoulder most of the load.
Head Coach: Tony Elliott
2012 record: 4-5
Key players: Sr. QB Maliek Phillips, Sr. OL-DL Tre Jordan, Sr. OL-DL D’Angelo Vernon, Sr. WR-SS Jonathan Clark
Team outlook: The Renaissance football program has been down as of late, having been a producer of multiple Division 1 recruits just a few years ago. PSL head coaching veteran Tony Elliott takes over the program in 2013, and has had success before at Detroit Finney. Senior quarterback Maliek Phillips will be a huge part of the Phoenix’s success in 2013 with his dual-threat abilities. Quarterbacks coach Vincent Phillips says Phillips can really spin the ball, and should do well this season. Two-way players Tre Jordan and Jonathan Clark should also be valuable assets on both sides of the ball.
Head Coach: Calvin Norman
2012 record: 6-4
Key players: Sr. LB-DE Dajohn Strange, Sr. WR-FS Kajuan Ocasio, Sr. RB Kenneth Lawson, Jr. LT Brian Taylor, Sr. RT Zaiern Carter, Sr. LB Mark Pearson, SR. SS Avon Gilmore
Team outlook: Coach Calvin Norman is entering his sixth season with the program and says he feels good about this year’s team and prospects. Replacing a senior playmaker at quarterback won’t be easy, and sophomore Cornelius Kellogg will have to grow up quickly. Cody’s strength is their offensive line, with left tackle Brian Taylor coming in at a whopping 6-5, 350, and Zaiern Carter at 6-4, 310. Senior Dajohn Strange is switching from defensive end to linebacker, but he is one of the city’s best at bringing the heat and should cause some havoc with opposing quarterbacks.