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FOOTBALL: DCD soaring high again

By: Scott Burnstein, October 3, 2012, 5:00 am

BEVERLY HILLS – After slipping slightly last year, the Birmingham Detroit Country Day football team is back up to par in 2012 as a state power.

The Yellowjackets finished 7-3 last season, the first time the program hadn’t reached the eight-win mark in six years.

This fall, Country Day is once again one of the best and brightest in Division 4, sitting with a 5-1 record and currently checking in at No. 5 in the state rankings.

“I like this team a lot,” said Yellowjackets head coach Dan MacLean. “We’ve got a nice mix of talent, a good senior class and a lot of playmaking underclassmen. They put in the work and they’ve gotten results lately.”

MacLean’s squad has won four straight going into its Week 7 matchup with Flushing.

Continuing to make a name for themselves as a fertile breeding ground for Division I college talent, the Yellowjackets are stacked with highly-coveted next-level prospects, like senior lineman Poet Thomas, junior running back Richie Wilson and junior quarterback Tyler Wiegers.

Thomas, an agile and athletic 6-foot-7, 300-pound behemoth, anchors Country Day in the trenches on both sides of the line. He has numerous scholarship offers from major college programs such as Florida, Colorado and Kansas, among others.

Wilson is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the top tailbacks in Metro Detroit with a superior nose for the goal-line. In only half a season last year as a sophomore, he scored 11 touchdowns. So far this season, the 6-1, 185 pound burner has racked up 950 yards and 18 touchdowns.

“Richie is a dynamite back and a great kid,” MacLean said of his star running back. “He’s got power and speed and an excellent attitude.”

At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Wiegers is a classic drop-back passer, possessing a big arm and outstanding accuracy.

His debut under center this year was much anticipated. He received Division I scholarship offers from Toledo and Western Michigan this summer, prior to even starting his first game on varsity.

Speaking of his first varsity start calling signals, Wiegers didn’t disappoint, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in leading Country Day to a season-opening win over Detroit Renaissance back in August and setting a tone for the rest of the campaign.

Tristan Wiegers, Tyler’s younger brother, and senior Maurice Ways are the Yellowjackets’ top receiving threats and have consistently stretched the field on opposing secondaries.

Country Day’s defense is piloted by senior middle linebacker Gianmarco Rea and senior defensive lineman Nick Boswell.

Between 2007 and 2009, MacLean and the Yellowjackets claimed three consecutive district championships and played in back-to-back Division 4 state finals in 2007 and 2008. MacLean-led ball clubs have qualified for the postseason in 10 of the past 13 seasons and the last six in a row.