Prep football preview: Independents / others
Teams listed in alphabetical order; 2018 records in parentheses.
ALGONAC (4-5, 3-4 BLUE WATER AREA)
Seven starters return on an offense that will feature senior slot receiver Andrew Catenacci, who scored nine touchdowns last season. Senior WR E.J. Peterson, plus senior RBs Evan Randall and Zach Doll, round out a strong group of skill position players for new coach John Loper. Senior DL Matt Marcath and junior DB Nathan Stringer will lead an experienced defense that returns eight starters.
ALMONT (10-1, 7-0 BLUE WATER AREA)
Coach James Leusby will see nine returning starters, including senior split end Colby Schapman, junior FB Michael Lulgjuraj and senior RB Jack Paupert. Senior QB Josh Hellebuyck is back after 23 touchdowns and 1,285 yards last season. Eight starters return on defense, highlighted by senior ILB Jacob Hausman and senior DE Merick Okoniewski. With 17 total returning starters, expect Almont to stay on top in the Blue Water Area.
ANN ARBOR HURON (0-9, 0-5 SEC RED)
Offense will be a strength for Huron as it returns six starters on that side of the ball, including senior RB Aaron Winston, who was injured early last season, senior WR Michael Davis, and junior slot Jaylin Matthews. Senior LB Tyree Hill, senior DT Marcel Cooper, junior LB Brandon Rawls and freshman CB Torrence Greene are four of five returning starters on defense for new coach Antaiwn Mack.
ANN ARBOR PIONEER (4-5, 1-4 SEC RED)
Six starters return on the offense, which will be led by senior OL Simon Hoffman, junior QB Conor Easthope and junior OL Hunter Daugherty. Senior DL Chris Holmes, senior DL Jordan Garrett, senior LB Owen Aldrige and junior safety Ali Fisher spearhead a defense that returns only four starters for Coach Bill Bellers.
ANN ARBOR SKYLINE (4-5, 2-3 SEC RED)
Senior WR Anthony Henry returns along with senior OL Michael Bear, junior WR Jordan Wilson and three other returning starters on offense. Six starters return on defense for Coach Andrew Sorgatz, including senior S Anthony Henry, senior CB Jonas Morton and junior S Jordan Wilson. A Sept. 27 showdown at Pioneer likely will determine bragging rights in the city; Skyline won last year’s matchup, 37-27.
CHELSEA (10-4, 4-2 SEC WHITE)
Five starters return on offense, a unit highlighted by senior RB Brennan Van Riper, senior WR Mitch Reynolds, senior OL Josiah Fitch and senior QB Kyle Knight. Only four starters return on defense, which will be led Chelsea’s 2018 leading tackler, senior DL Daniel Golding, and its interceptions leader, junior FS Joe Taylor, who picked off eight passes for coach Josh Lucas.
DETROIT VOYAGEUR (1-7)
Coach Leonard Morawa has his hands full after Voyageur only won one game, an unimpressive 12-0 victory over Detroit University Prep. Voyageur was shut out four times in 2018, and its best chance for a win in 2019 might be on Sept. 20 at Lincoln Park, which was winless last season.
DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (7-3)
Country Day has six returning starters on offense -- junior OL Caleb Tiernan, junior OL/DL Will Leggon, junior OL Nick Wachol, senior QB Ahlon Mitchell, senior FB Owen Bergin and senior RB Anthony Ammori. Eight starters return on defense for Coach Dan MacLean, spearheaded by LB Chris Rea, senior DB Marcus Sheppard and Jacob Yarberry. With such an experienced defense, expect Country Day to win more than one playoff game.
DETROIT EDISON ACADEMY (4-5)
Senior WR/CB Vincent Cooley, senior LG Thomas Paris and junior WR/DB Alton King will lead the offense for new coach Chanterius Brock, who moves over from Ecorse. Edison will be balanced, with seven starters returning on each side of the ball. On defense, watch for senior LB Cedric Dortch Jr., son of former coach Cedric Dortch Sr. Junior LB Aaron Paulding and junior DL Carlos Inman also return.
MONROE (7-4, 4-1 SEC RED)
Senior QB Wyatt Head plus senior OLs Lucas Ellis and Armando Flores join two other returning starters on offense for coach Nick Notario. Four starters return on defense, including senior LB Anthony Harris, junior DT Cross Jacobs and senior DB/K Carson Goodnough. Monroe finished second to Saline in the SEC Red last season and returns one more starter than the reigning champion.
ORTONVILLE BRANDON (8-2, 7-1 FLINT METRO)
Nine starters return for coach Brad Zube, including senior RB Adrien Williams, who had more than 500 yards rushing in 2018. Senior slot back Brandon Gunn is back and QB duties will be handled by sophomore Micah Miller. On defense, Zube returns five starters, including senior DL Josh Dubiel along with a pair of junior LBs, Peyton Gulledge and Alex Griffiths.
PONTIAC NOTRE DAME PREP (4-5)
Coach Pat Fox will rely heavily on senior RB Connor Gaeschke in 2019. Six other starters return on offense, including senior LT Nalin Fox and junior QB Jacob Bendtsen. Junior CB Clayton Bone leads six other returning starters on the defensive side of the ball, highlighted by junior CB Kaleb Webb, senior DT Antonio Popp, senior DE Andrew Vela, senior DE Blake Bur and junior ILB Alex Whallen.
RICHMOND (6-4, 5-2 BLUE WATER AREA)
Senior QB Brandon Schorman, senior split end Zack Schorman, senior LT/DE Connor Cracchiolo, senior RT Justin Schweiger and junior RB Mitchell Dobbelaer lead an offense that has seven returning starters. On defense, senior FS Matt Bartolomucci will spearhead a group that has five returning starters but only underclassmen at LB for coach John Kocher. Richmond looks like it will be stronger than its one-playoff-game-and-out performance last season.
SALINE (11-2, 5-0 SEC RED)
Kolton Malinczak returns at WR but joins only three other returning starters on offense for coach Joe Palka. Junior Anthony Ferrari and sophomore Larry Robinson are battling for the starting job at QB. The defense returns four starters, and they are senior DT Zach Sabin, senior DB Kyle Greenwood, senior DB Noah Nelson and senior LB Alex Morrison. With so few returning starters, Saline will be challenged in the SEC.
YPSILANTI (4-5, 3-3 SEC WHITE)
Nine total starters return, including senior WR Treyveon McGee, who had five touchdowns in 2018. Several RBs will see touches, but junior RB/MLB Jaden Bevier and junior QB Chris Taylor will see lots of action for coach Andre Parker. Senior DT Justin Hinton, junior DT Donald Bishop and junior SS/OLB Fred Willis lead five returning starters on defense as Ypsilanti tries to break out of the SEC White’s middle class.
YPSILANTI LINCOLN (4-5, 4-3 SEC WHITE)
Coach Chris Westfall has six returning starters on offense and will be led by senior QB Ethan Rose, senior slot/RB/QB Kyjuan Rice, senior WR Nygel Hargrave, senior RB Ricardo Donald, senior LT Tate Mackenzie and sophomore TE Decorion Temple. The defense only has two returning starters but will be highlighted by junior DEs Trevor Jones and Will Crites, plus senior S Tyler Donovan and senior LB David Banks.