Heritage's Starting Five

Tune in as local Heritage West sports writers put their two cents in on area teams and the world of sports. Writers from the Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Ypsilanti, Manchester, Saline, Milan and Belleville papers will talk to you about what they do best, and what the best sports teams are doing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Manchester loves football

I have always been a fan of high school football and I really like it when communities come out and support their team. On Friday I was able to experience what football in the Village of Manchester was like.

Granted I have seen some pretty big crowds at some of the games I have covered in the past. I remember watching some playoff games Downriver where it looked like everyone in the entire area came out.

Last season I went to the Roosevelt Bears hosting the Bedford Kicking Mules. The game was in Wyandotte and it was packed. The game wasn’t as exciting as what I thought but it was the playoffs.

I can tell this if you have never been to a Manchester football game you may want to come out and find out what it is all about. There is plenty of excitement and the people of all ages where at the game.

It was interesting to walk the sidelines and talk to all the different people. I really got a different feel for the game. I like going to different types of games.

Whether it is Ypsilanti against Lincoln or Willow Run against Ypsilanti there is a certain atmosphere and feel for the area at the football games. I am not saying one is better than the other but I am saying that for some cities football is a much bigger deal than other sports.

Manchester is one of those communities and from the band and the pregame ceremonies to the half-time and the dedication to the Wall of Fame it was top notch.

Despite the rain and not having the best time driving home the experience was fun and I feel like Manchester is one of those places that could have movie or at least a television show staring Wes Gall.

After the game I spoke with two of the heroes of the game. Senior receiver Devon Jose had a heck of a game and scored two touchdowns. He said the win was good but they needed to get even more if they wanted to get into the playoffs, which is of course the goal of the team.

The Flying Dutchmen are currently 3-0 and on target for the playoffs. They are perfect on the regular season and would like to add one more win with victory at home against Addison on Friday night.

Junior linebacker Nick Cozart is looking at it in a simple way.

“Every game is a step,” Cozart said. “My goal is to win nine and make it to Ford Field.”

Not an unrealistic goal considering a team from Manchester made it to the state finals a few years back maybe this one will get to the finals and bring home a trophy for a very deserving community.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Manchester Wall of Fame

One of the most exciting aspects of high school football for me has always been when they honor athletes, coaches and even volunteers with special honors during half-time celebrations.
Well get ready Manchester because that is just what is going to happen on Friday during the Vandercook Lake game. There will be several athletes from the past who will be honored along with everyone from the 1993 football team. You may remember that team made it to the state finals with a 12-1 record losing to Iron Mountain. Those former athletes are being asked to come join the celebration and several of those will be there for the recognition.
The players being recognized are Richard Kniewski from 1966, Zach Maghes from 1996 and Katelyn Gall from 2006. It will be interesting to see these former athletes back on the field of play to be recognized.
This is a big night not only for the past Manchester athletes put also for the present and future that can look and see what they can become if they work hard, practice and be the best they can possibly be.
At Manchester volunteers are very important to the success of the programs and to the success of the athletes. Several of those will be honored at home on Friday night.
The following people will be honored for their service: John Hardenbergh, Bill Kemner, Joe Alexander, Jay Davis, John Hinkley, Gus Krough and Chet Meyer.
This will be a fun evening and you couldn’t ask for much better than a 2-0 start for the Flying Dutch. Manchester coach Wes Gall has expressed some concern for his team. They won fairly easy in the first game at Eastern Michigan University against their rivals from Clinton.
The game against Napoleon was a tough one but the team pulled it off and came away with a win. I like what I have seen with this team.
One of the players I would love to have on a team if I could pick an all-area squad is quarterback Nate Bossory. This kid is good. With his ability size and another year look for him at a Division 1 school.
Who knows maybe Eastern Michigan University and Ron English will come calling or if he gets to be good enough maybe he can go just 20 miles down the road to the Big House in Ann Arbor.
It is all exciting and it will start on Friday against Vandercook Lake. I wouldn’t want to be a safety or a cornerback on their team.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fights are not for football

I like to watch sports and I like high school sports but I saw something on Friday night I don't like to see anywhere but in a boxing match. I saw the Lincoln Splitters (who actually won the game) get into a fight on the field with the Belleville Tigers.
Both teams had players take their helmets off and swing at each other. Four players were ejected from each team and they are not allowed to play this week as well. I was up in the press box when it happened so I was not in direct contact with it (as I have been before). This was the first time in all my years I saw Belleville do this but not the first time it has happen with Lincoln.
From where I was sitting it got out of hand quickly but the officials and and coaches got it under control rather quickly. I give them credit for that. More players in my opinion should have been thrown out.
I pretty much have a zero tolerance for this. Just like a fight at school. This is a school function and you are representing the school on the field.
Hopefully I don't see too many more of these this year. The last one was a few years ago when Ypsilanti lost control at Milan. It ruined the rest of the Ypsi season. Let's up this doesn't ruin either Belleville or Lincoln's season.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tigers look strong

I like watching professional sports and we are not always able to write about it. Since the Detroit Tigers are doing so well I want to take this opportunity to say I think they can win their division this year.
Watching Justin Verlander pitch has been exciting all year. It is nice to have a potential Cy Young Award winner in your rotation. He is one of the most exciting pitchers I have watched in a long time. The Tigers are interesting this season. Last year some things happened and they didn't quite make it to their potential. I guess you could say they fell apart.
This being said it hasn't happened this year and will more than likely not happen now.
The 2-1 win last night over the Rays was exciting and all the games lately have been very interesting and coming down to the final inning.
I like Detroit and I like the Tigers. I can't wait to see how far they get.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Manchester vs Clinton

Anyone interested in one of the biggest football rivalries in the state should go to Eastern Michigan University on Thursday at 5 p.m. and watch Manchester battle Clinton. These teams have played each other over 100 times in the past. Clinton holds the series advantage by a slight amount and there are four ties involved as well.
Manchester coach Wes Gall said his team loves to play Clinton and they have won the last two meetings. I am excited to see my first game between the two on such a huge stage.
Stop in and get your tickets at Manchester HS ($8 adults and $6 for students). You can get them by noon on Thursday.
Look for me on the sidelines or in the booth. Give me a shout and a wave.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Football camps

I will say this is the first time in a few years that I have gone to several football camps for high school. I will also add it has been an interesting experience to see the different coaches and the ways of holding camp. From a young coach at Ypsilanti High (Jason Malloy) to an older more experienced coach at Manchester (Wes Gall). It has been a treat.
I look forward to watching some good games this season. It will start for me at the Kickoff Classic at Eastern Michigan University next Thursday when I watch the opener when Manchester battles Clinton which has been a win for the Flying Dutchmen for the past two years.
The next day Belleville will battle Lincoln in a battle with two teams who as far as I can tell have never played each other and they are literally right down the street.
Ypsilanti will battle Milan is what has become a bit of a rivalry game between the two. Milan has come away with the wins as of late but I have a feeling this could be the year of the Phoenix or at least that way for the first game of the season. Look for Austin Sanders to play a big role in this one.
I can't wait look for some exciting high school football.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lincoln coach will be missed

Late on Friday I learned that one of my favorite coaches in baseball would be retiring. Lincoln's Marty Lozano was calling it quits after 20 years of coaching baseball and football.
He was always one of those coaches that was interesting to talk to and he played in a very competitive league (Southeast Conference). Lozano would state year after year how tough his conference was and it was always backed up by the fact that a team or two would make it to the state finals from the SEC. A few years ago Saline battled Pioneer in the finals.
He was a fair coach with and excellent staff including his son Carlos who was also a big part of his coaching.
Marty is one of those coaches who did a job and did it well. He was not in it for himself but rather to make the kids better so they could understand the game more and this may sound cliche but understand life lessons as well.
I have covered many coaches over the years but he was a special one. Lozano was one of those guys who loved what he did and preached it on and off the field. Good luck to you in whatever you will be doing. Come spring time it will be hard not having you to cover.
Look for a story very soon in print to follow this blog.

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