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Downriver League prep football preview

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2015 record in parentheses

1. Allen Park (10-2, 8-1), 2. Wyandotte (9-2, 8-1), 3. Gibraltar Carlson (5-4, 5-4), 4. Trenton (9-2, 8-1), 5. Woodhaven (3-6, 3-6), 6. Lincoln Park (6-4, 6-3), 7. Melvindale (4-5, 4-5), 8. Southgate (3-6, 3-6), 9. Taylor Truman (0-9, 0-9), 10. Taylor Kennedy (1-8, 1-8)

Top four players

1. Melvindale tight end/defensive end Koby Boynton (6-foot-2, 225) is a physical defender, getting in on 19 tackles for lost yardage from his defensive end spot while also being a playmaker on offense with 49 receptions for 617 yards and five TDs.

2. Lincoln Park receiver Devon Carson has been a star on the field and in the classroom (4.2 GPA). He used his 4.5 speed to get 700 receiving yards and 10 TDs last season to help Lincoln Park earn its first state playoff appearance since 2002.

3. Trenton running back Dontel Hampton (5-9, 190) has the ability to be productive in multiple ways, rushing for 600 yards and picking up 600 more in receiving yards. Hampton scored on a 45-yard run and a 6-yard TD reception in a 22-21 win over Wyandotte last year.

4. Allen Park senior quarterback Antonio Mangiapane, a three-year starter, is coming off a season in which he threw for 1,010 yards and 16 TDs to help the team earn a share of the league title and get a playoff spot.

Top four story lines

1. Tom Danosky helped Allen Park reach the state semifinals his senior year in 1996 as the starting quarterback. Now, he takes over as head coach, replacing the man he played for, Tom Hoover, who had a 178-49 record. Danosky, the former offensive coordinator, has the majority of the starters back from a team which finished 10-2 and earned a share of the league title.

2. Ron Adams returns for his 11th year as Wyandotte head coach, owning state playoff appearances in all of his 10 years. The team’s strength is the offensive line with Julian Ezell and Michael Turner leading the way. It plays Allen Park in Week 2.

3. Carlson is looking for a head coach after the resignation of Kent Sikora, who is experiencing health issues again. The team has a pair of Division 1 players to lead the way in 6-5, 200-pound junior quarterback/linebacker Jaylan Franklin and 6-6 junior tight end/linebacker Matt Harmon as it tries to earn its first playoff spot since 2009.

4. Longtime assistant coach Mitch Dobek takes over as head coach at Southgate and will be looking for big contributions from 6-0, 200-pound running back/safety Ross Bogart and 5-10, 220-pound fullback/linebacker Michael Baker to get the team back near the top of the standings for the first time in five years.