Western Wayne preview: Robichaud's Clayton a two-way star

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Dearborn Fordson's Hassan Hachem


Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 records in parentheses

1. Dearborn Fordson (10-1, 5-0), 2. Belleville (3-6, 1-4), 3. Redford Thuston (8-4, 3-2), 4. Dearborn Heights Robichaud (8-2, 5-0), 5. Garden City (3-6, 3-2), 6. Redford Union (1-8, 0-5).

Top four players

1. Robichaud receiver/defensive back Traivon Clayton (5-foot-10, 165) used his 4.5 speed to grab 52 passes for 1,034 yards and 16 TDs last year, showing his big-play ability by averaging 20 yards a reception. A strong two-way player, he had seven interceptions, returning two for TDs.

2. Robichaud junior quarterback Jairus Grissom (6-2, 200) is an outstanding dual-threat quarterback, throwing for 1,800 yards and 20 TDs and running for 500 and 10 scores. Expect him to continue his strong play with Clayton as his primary weapon.

3. Fordson defensive back Hassan Hachem (5-10, 180), who has 4.55 speed and is being recruited by several MAC schools, will be a three-year starter. He came up with 34 first-hits and intercepted six passes last season.

"Hassan guards the opponent's best receiver and is always around the ball," Fordson coach Walker Zaban said.

4. Thurston cornerback Alonzo McCoy (5-10, 180) played well as a two-way player, using his 4.5 speed to get six interceptions, including three during the state playoffs.

"He's a great athlete who hits like a linebacker," said Thurston coach Bob Snell of McCoy, who is being recruited by Toledo, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Temple, Army and Navy.

Top four story lines

1. Western Wayne Red division champion Robichaud moves over to the Blue and has some tremendous talent, led by junior quarterback Jairus Grissom (6-2, 200) and receiver/defensive back Traivon Clayton (5-10, 165).

2. Former Detroit Cass Tech defensive coordinator Jermain Crowell takes over as head coach at Belleville and inherits some talented players, including quarterback Connor Sampson and linebacker George Douglas, a freshman quarterback in Dwan Mathis and several transfers.

3. Fordson lost a lot of talent from its Blue Division championship team, which lost to Detroit Cass Tech in the district final, including lineman Hussein Kdouh, running back Jamil Sabbagh and quarterback Muhammed Zahr. A strong defense should keep Fordson competitive, led by defensive back Hassam Hachem, nose guard Marouf Hamade (6-3, 260) and end Abman Silmi (eight sacks).

4. Thurston coach Bob Snell knows for his team to earn another state playoff appearance cornerback Alonzo McCoy (six interceptions, three in two playoff games) and tackle Jakob Jenkins (6-4, 295) will have to come through with outstanding seasons. Jenkins is a four-year starter.

Dearborn Fordson's Marouf Hamade, right


Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2014 records in parentheses

1. Dearborn (6-4, 4-1), 2. Romulus (6-4, 4-1), 3. Dearborn Edsel Ford (4-5, 2-3), 4. Dearborn Heights Crestwood (3-6, 0-5), 5. Dearborn Heights Annapolis (3-6, 1-4), 6. Livonia Clarenceville (2-7, 2-3).

Top four players

1. Romulus junior running back Treylarenz Anderson-Armstrong will be the featured back following the graduation loss of standout back Oscar Brown. He is strong and fast (4.5 40 yards) and should be able to break some long runs this season.

2. Romulus linebacker Kingsley Enechukwu (6-1, 210) – a Nigerian who has a 3.91 grade-point-average - had an outstanding junior year, coming up with 98 tackles, including 62 solos to lead his team to a state playoff appearance for the first time since 2000.

3. Edsel Ford receiver/defensive back Chad Gailliard (6-4, 190) – also a basketball standout – will be a two-way threat, using his speed, size and great hands to try and help his team battle for a winning record and state playoff appearance.

4. Dearborn junior quarterback Mike Phillips (6-0, 175) led the team to six wins in seven games to earn a state playoff appearance after being called up from JV.

Top four story lines

1. Red Division champion Robichaud – which was 5-0 in division play last year – moved over to the Blue Division along with former Red rivals Garden City and Redford Union, with Dearborn moving from the Blue to the Red, along with Edsel Ford and Crestwood, to make both divisions more competitive.

2. Dearborn should have a strong offensive line in front of Mike Phillips with 6-6, 275-pound junior tackle Mustafa Khaleefah joining three-year starting tackle Corey Reed (6-0, 280) and junior left tackle Jawad Ayoub (5-11, 240).

3. Mike Berry takes over as head coach at Crestwood. Berry was an assistant at Dearborn Fordson in past years, but has a tremendous amount of experience as a head coach, leading Lake Orion's varsity program from 1988-92 and Waterford Kettering's program from 1992-2000. Crestwood finished 3-6 last season, including a 15-12 upset win over Romulus in Week No. 9.

4. Romulus coach Thomas Patterson feels his team will top the 3,300 rushing yards from a year ago with an experienced offensive line, anchored by three-year left tackle Steve Dalumo (6-3, 290) and two-year starting center Bruce Raczynski (6-2, 275).