Monday was the first day of high school football practice in Michigan and The Detroit News visited a few area teams. Here is the report from North Farmington.
Farmington Hills — Jon Herstein was living his dream Monday while directing his first practice as a head coach.
Herstein, 36, was a longtime assistant coach at Farmington Hills Harrison under legendary coach John Herrington, who holds the state record for all-time wins by a coach (443) and state championships (13), guiding Harrison’s program from when it opened its doors in 1970 until it closed its doors for good this past spring.
“The whole gang is here,” Herrington said. “It’s great. There’s nothing better than coaching. The culture has to change a bit, but it will.
“Jon’s been ready to be a head coach for a couple of years. Luckily, he stayed with me until we finished up, and I appreciate it. I’ll try to help him out a little bit. I’m the offensive backs coach, then I’ll go to the press box, and try to find some holes in the defense to give him some ideas. I’ve never done that, so I’m looking forward to it.”
North Farmington won just five games the last three years, going 5-22. Herstein is happy to have an experienced coaching staff with him.
“We kept the band together,” said Herstein, talking of Herrington, Mill Coleman, defensive coordinator Dave Thorne and other coaches who have worked for years at Harrison. “I thought we started off pretty good for the first day of camp. The kids were enthusiastic. They’re learning a whole new system. They were attentive, so that’s all really positive.”
Herstein likes what he’s seen in junior quarterback Jacob Bousamra, a transfer from Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook. Bousamra is competing for the starting job with sophomore Aaron Rice, a transfer from Walled Lake Western.
“I’d say Jacob probably has a little bit of an edge on him because of the experience he has and understanding the offense, but Aaron has a big, strong arm, and even if he’s not at quarterback, he’ll play,” Herstein said. “It’s a new team, a new school, new kids, and it’s fun to build it, but we’re not just looking to build. We want to do well right now. We believe we can, and we’re confident in what we’re doing.”
Bousamra has enjoyed his time so far with North Farmington.
“We’re starting to learn the plays, so we have a whole new system for everybody,” Bousamra said. “We have a lot of new faces coming here from Harrison, new coaches with big expectations, so it should be a big year. I love Coach Herstein, love Coach Coleman. It should be a fun year.”
Herstein has multiple playmakers, including running back Myles Greshem, 6-4, 200-pound receiver Eddie Lenton and 6-4, 190-pound tight end Clark Crockett, along with linebackers Andrew Dooley and Sylvon Brown.
Herstein is also glad to have Herrington on board.
“It’s the best,” Herstein said. “It’s good to have a mentor like that, someone to keep you focused. When he talks the kids listen.”
Herstein will be head coach and offensive coordinator, the same roles Herrington held at Harrison.