Kensington Lakes Activities Association Central and South Division preview: Canton, Plymouth and Stevenson are top teams
Kensington Lakes Activities Association
Central Division preview (in order of 2014 finish)
Coach: Randy Micallef
2014: 6-4, 4-1
Key players: Austin Petrie RB/DB, Tyler Denski OL/DL, Kyle Foster OL/DL, Chris Tanderys, Ian Henzi K, Matt Brown DL, Frank Carlin Slot WR/DB, Gino D’Agostino – WR, Chris Tanderys QB, Austin Petrie RB, Tyler Denski OL, Kyle Foster OL, Matt Brown DL, Tyler Hudson OLB/DE, Sam Davidek DB, Nate Bunton DB
Expectations: They have high expectations for the 2015 season, coming off a share of the KLAA Central title, and a playoff game, they look to build upon that this season. Their goals are to win the City Championship, the KLAA Central Division and Conference and to make a deep run in the MHSAA playoffs.
Offseason improvements: They have gotten much stronger this offseason, the kids dedicated themselves to working hard in the weight room since last season ended and it shows. They are bigger on both sides of the line and much more physical than they have been in the past two years.
What to look for: A tough, hard hitting and disciplined team that will get better each week
Coach: Mark Thomas
2014: 8-2, 4-1
Key players: Trevor Tank LB/ RB SR, Braxton Blackwell DB/WR JR, Jeff Gill DL/OL SR, Nick Pagano DB/WR SR, Chris Morgan DB/WR SR, Brennen McMann DL/OL SR
Expectations: South Lyon has always had high expectations for its football team. The Lions are looking to run the table from conference champs to state champs.
What to look for: Overall the Lions are looking to have exciting touchdowns on offense and big hits on defense. Head coach Mark Thomas wants to keep playing “rock ‘em, sock ‘em football… the South Lyon way.” He went on to say as well that his team does not rebuild, they reload. Over the offseason his main focus has been on improving team chemistry and strength.
Coach: Matt Ladach
2014: 6-4, 3-2
Key players: Justin Zimbo QB, Jack Burke QB/DB/ATH, Adam Ghabra RB, Zach Prystash RB, Alec Coppock FB, Mike Minich FB, Terrell Cunningham WR, Alex Angelas OL, Max Steilen OL, Matt Komorous DL, George Metrusias DL, Trenton Guthrie LB, Mike Minick LB, Zach Prystash DB
Expectations: Their expectations are that their entire program will demonstrate selfless behaviors on and off the field, and doing so will enable them to have a really special season.
What to look for: The ability to stress the defense in multiple ways on offense and their defense’s ability to play as a cohesive unit that swarms to the football.
Offseason improvements: The players’ effort in the weight room throughout the offseason has been tremendous. They have had multiple players break previous school records in each of their primary lifts (Bench Press, Power Clean, and Squat). From top to bottom, their entire team has gotten much stronger, and they should come into camp in tremendous shape.
Coach: Jeff Burnside
2014: 4-5, 3-2
Key players: Emmanuel Jackson WR, Alec Bageris QB, Dylan Haggerd DL, Nick Sable CB
Expectations: They look to improve both points for and points against, which both were an average of 32 per game, in order to get over the hump from last season when they finished one game out of the playoffs.
What to look for: A more explosive offense with more speed and a better and quicker defense.
Offseason improvements: They have been stressing fundamentals on defense as well as improving on tackling.
Coach: Kurt Britnell
2014: 2-7, 1-4
Key players: Freddie McGee ATH, Shaw Lyall WR/DB, Calin Crawford WR/DB, Deston Langford RB, Trevor Nowaske LB, Jacob miller ATH Christian Pearson TE/DE, Jason Arnold DB, Alex Nicholson QB
Expectations: They look to be explosive on offense, physical and tenacious on defense, and exciting on special teams.
What to look for: Explosive capabilities in all three areas of the game.
Offseason improvements: They have worked on the togetherness of the players and coaches along with their trust and belief in each other.
South Lyon East
Coach: Joe Pesci
2014: 0-9, 0-5
Key players: Josh Smith QB/FS, JD Simon RB/DB, Garrett Read WR/DB, Shane Patterson RB/LB, Joel Trent OT/DT, Jordan Thibideau OT/DT, Mike Mojica OL/DE
Expectations: Simply put, win football games.
What to look for: A different type of football from East. They have worked hard on what it takes to be a great player and a great team. Their philosophy is to play aggressive and to be as physical as they can on both sides of the ball.
Offseason improvements: They have improved just in their overall understanding of what it takes to play the game of football at a high level.
South Division preview (in order of 2014 finish)
Coach: Tim Baechler
2014: 8-2, 5-0
Key players: Jalen Cochran LB, Jake Stephan LB, Jared Stephens S
Expectations: Despite a tough non-conference schedule they feel their chance to be very good is still high. Their most important key is to stay healthy and only make little tweaks from last year.
What to look for: A more physical defense against the run. They will have two returning running backs as well as three offensive linemen along with players from last year’s undefeated junior varsity team being moved up.
Offseason improvements: Improved pass defense on third downs.
Coach: Bill DeFillipo
2014: 8-2, 4-1
Key players: Austin Simpson DT, Antonio Alexander WR, Dylan Clark LT/DE, Zack Reschke OL, Roger Moore OL, DeMarco McKinney LB, Jamal Allen DB, Jake Mushinski ATH
Expectations: They look to get better every day and work the process. Their expectations are always to be successful and they always face a very challenging schedule.
What to look for: Many exciting games. They love to play fast, aggressive and attacking in all three phases.
Offseason improvements: “The one thing we improved on in the offseason is the culture of our program. This is the third year and our kids understand hard work and rarely miss in regards to attendance. They have really bought in and that prevents a lot of headaches as a coaching staff,” DeFillipo said.
Coach: Mike Sawchuck
2014: 7-3, 3-2
Key players: Chris Walls WR/QB, Michael Jordan OL, Elie Atallah OL, Cam Stella RB, Victor Abraham FS, Austin Scheffer DL, Darrius Timmons LB.
Expectations: “We have the potential to be the strongest and fastest we have ever had at Plymouth,” Sawchuck said. “If they buy in and love each other we should have fun.”
What to look for: The Cats will run the ball and try to control the clock.
Westland John Glenn
Coach: Steve Waller
2014: 6-4, 2-3
Key players: Will Owens C, Jaylen Smith RB, Andrew Wicker LB.
Expectations: With just three starts back and a first-year coach, the Rockets are likely to have difficulty getting out of the gate.
What to look for: Waller said, if nothing else, this Rocket team will display more discipline than they have in the past.
Coach: Chris Kelbert
2014: 2-7, 1-4
Key players: Denzel Adams QB, Ryan Tracy DT, along with four returning players on the offensive line and five other returning players on defense.
Expectations: They are a young team working on strength overall and scheme knowledge.
What to look for: Them to play mistake free football in order to try to be the spoiler for Canton.
Offseason improvements: The team has really improved on their strength and have more veteran experience after only losing three seniors last year.
2014: 2-7, 0-5
Coach: Donald “D-Why” Anderson
Key players: Kyle Brooks LB/TE, Jarvis Martin RB, Malik Bryant WR/CB/RB, Austin Cross K/WR, Eric Massey C/ OL, Danny Diller WR/ DB, Marcus Wilhide OL/DL, Bruce Lewis WR/DB, Louis Powell OT
Expectations: They look to just be better on and off the field and have a better work ethic.
What to look for: A more disciplined, faster and stronger team.
Offseason improvements: Anderson has been working on giving his team the mindset of winning and having the kids have fun working out.