After two seasons of near-misses, Steve Mann finally gets his chance to play at Ford Field.
“It’s going to be fun,” the Detroit Country Day star said. “We’ve worked hard and I think this year we’re very deserving to be playing for the title.
Country Day, 13-0 and ranked No. 18 in The News Super 20 poll, faces Grand Rapids Catholic Central (12-1) at 7:30 tonight for the Division 4 title.
This comes after Country Day fell short of reaching Ford Field in 2014 and 2015, losing in the semifinals, before toppling No. 7 River Rouge last week.
“We’re just going to play our game,” said Mann, who started the season at quarterback, got banged up late, and moved to receiver. “We’re not going to worry as much about them. Sure, we’re watching film on them and know they’re a great team, but we’re going to focus on us, play our game, play like we have the last 13 weeks and hopefully come out undefeated.”
Mann doesn’t care where he plays in today’s game, he just wants to be on the field.
Whether it’s Mann or Jalen Graham running the offense, they definitely will be challenged by a Catholic Central defense that has allowed 10 points during the postseason.
If Mann, however, moves back to quarterback, he’ll be fine. After all, he’s played the position since his sophomore year.
“I’m very comfortable playing quarterback with all the experience from the last few years,” he said. “I have played behind a good group of linemen who are now veterans at their positions this year and I think that’s also one thing that has helped us, how they have matured and developed and becoming what they are now and we’re very confident in their ability and that’s given me confidence too.”
It also helps Country Day has a lot of offensive options, including receivers Roy McCree and Eric Jackson.
And that, Mann hopes, will he deliver a title to Country Day for the first time since 1999.
All games at Ford Field
Detroit Cass Tech (13-0) vs. Detroit Catholic Central (13-0), 1 p.m. Saturday
Walled Lake Western (12-1) vs. Detroit King (11-2), 1 p.m. Friday
Muskegon (12-1) vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (9-4), 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Detroit Country Day (13-0) vs. Grand Rapids C.C. (12-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Menominee (12-1) vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic (11-2), 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Maple City Glen Lake (11-2) vs.Jackson Lumen Christi (11-2), 4:30 Friday
Detroit Loyola (11-2) vs. Pewamo-Westphalia (13-0), 10 a.m. Saturday
Muskegon C.C. (13-0) vs. Ottawa Lake Whiteford (13-0), 10 a.m. Friday