Prep football preview: Huron League
Projected order of finish by consensus of coaches; 2018 records in parentheses.
1. MONROE ST. MARY CATHOLIC CENTRAL (9-3, 5-2)
After finishing second last season, Coach Adam Kipf will try to land on top of the Huron with six returning starters on offense. Senior FB Alex Morgan and senior RB/LB Sam Cousino each had 11 touchdowns in 2018. On defense, senior DE Gus Flint and senior LB Nieko Castiglione lead seven returning starters. Senior Wyatt Bergmoser will see time at QB, RB and K.
2. GROSSE ILE (9-1, 7-0)
Coach John Bodner has three starters returning on offense, a unit highlighted by senior OL Josh Zemmin, senior OL/LB Johnny Blanzy, junior RB Joey Pizzo and junior QB Nate Brown. Four starters return on defense led by senior FS Justin Riggs and senior DB/WR Max Athens. After a surprising run in 2018, Grosse Ile likely will fall some after losing a lot of talent to graduation.
3. MILAN (8-3, 5-2)
Jesse Hoskins enters his ninth season as Milan head coach and returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense. Players to watch will be QB/DB Tristen Hines (Eastern Michigan), RB/LB Michael Morris, OL Sam Lewallen, OL/DL Cray Pennington, OL/DL Caleb Monahan, OL/DL Joey Ritchie, LB Justin Wojtysiak, WR/ DB Evan Furtney and WR/DB Dillan Lerette. RB/DB Jett Issacs will take on an expanded role this season.
4. RIVERVIEW (7-3, 5-2)
Coach Derek McLaughlin will be relying on five returning starters on offense, including four seniors on the line -- C Garrett Vineski, LT Brandon Igna, RT Edward Bryant and RG Joseph Martindale. Six starters return on defense, led by junior CB/S Jimari Moultrie and senior CB Austin Poe. Senior OLB Tommy Gardner had nine sacks in 2017 and is back after missing last season with an injury.
5. CARLETON AIRPORT (4-5, 3-4)
After finishing middle-of-the-pack last season, coach Jim Duffy returns seven starters on offense. QB Noah Blankenship takes over at QB and senior RB Avery Adkins is back after six touchdowns in 2018. Junior RB Jacob Peck and senior OTs Austin Lakatos and Massimo Memma will help move the ball on the ground. The defense returns eight starters, including senior MLB Justin Chambless and senior RB/S Cole VanWasshenova.
6. FLAT ROCK (4-5, 2-5)
Flat Rock coach Brandon Reaume returns only 10 starters combined on offense and defense. Senior QB Ravion Davis had almost 2,000 total yards last season and will be supported by senior G/LB Tyler Hunt, sophomore OL Joey Sinairski, senior LB/RB Wyatt Clark, senior RB/DB Brock Moore and OL/DL Derek Hawkins. Mike Zwolinski will see snaps at WR, DB, K and P.
7. NEW BOSTON HURON (2-7, 1-6)
With only 10 combined returning starters on offense and defense, Huron won’t be able to improve upon last season’s seventh-place finish. Senior WR Connor McCraight, junior RB/WR Tycen Stevens and junior RT Tyler Short are back on an offense that returns five starters. Senior CB Jack Nickell, junior LB Kameron Buettar and junior DL Zack Taylor comprise three of the five returning starters on coach Chad Smith’s defense.
8. MONROE JEFFERSON (0-9, 0-7)
Winless for two seasons straight, Coach Gene Gennoe returns four players on offense, including senior RB/DB A.J. Gennoe, junior RB/WR Nolan Vanover and QB Noah Minney, who started five games in 2018. Senior MLB Griffin Renn led the team in tackles last season and joins senior DE Drake Vanderpool as two of five returning starters on defense. With only nine returning starters, it’s unlikely Jefferson climbs out of the basement.