— Team capsules compiled by Daniel Stickradt. Email  Follow on Twitter @HSSportsScene and @LocalSportsFans


SCHOOL: Brighton Bulldogs

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Brian Lemons, third season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 7-3, 5-0 KLAA-West (first)

KEY RETURNEES: Andrew Meyer, sr. LB; Rudy Ramirez, sr. WR/K/P; Matt Buschman, sr. LB; Kyle Hook, sr. SS; Jack Johnson, sr. LB; Shane Miciek, sr. TE; Luke Helming, sr. LB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Jack Krause, jr. FS; Chris Seguin, jr. RB; Will Jontz, jr. QB

OUTLOOK: With nine returning starters on offense, Brighton will again be a high-powered offensive engine, Defensively, the Bulldogs must replace eight starters. This program has been to the postseason six of the past eight years and 22 times overall but has not advanced beyond the district finals since 2005, the year they reached the D-1 Final Four. Brighton should contend with Canton and Livonia Stevenson for top honors in the KLAA-Black.


SCHOOL: Grand Blanc Bobcats

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Clint Alexander, first season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-5, 1-4 KLAA-West (fifth)

KEY RETURNEES: Jayson Haralson, sr. RB/DB; Chase Depars, sr. DB; Timmy Hayden, sr. K: Joel Linden, sr. C; Aidan Martini, sr. OL/LB; Leonard Henry, jr. ILB;

KEY NEWCOMERS: Colton Alexander, jr. QB/P (transfer); Ryder Broteback, jr. LB/QB; Jace Parrish, sr. DB; Carter Merrill, sr. WR; Alex Zaliagiris, sr. WR; Nick Flores, sr. ILB

OUTLOOK: Clint Alexander comes from a prep school on the east coach and one of his first missions was to recreate the link from the football team to the basketball, wrestling, track, baseball and lacrosse teams to find more athletes. The preseason numbers on varsity were up to 88. As one of the state’s top 10 largest schools, Alexander believes in multiple-sport athletes and that helps create a winning atmosphere in football. Grand Blanc has qualified for the postseason seven times in the past nine seasons and nine of the previous 13 campaigns. If this unit adapts to Alexander’s coaching style, then this could be a dangerous team this fall.


SCHOOL: Hartland Eagles

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Brian Savage, third season

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 2-3 KLAA-West (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: Tommy Lappin, sr. DL/RB; Andrew Singer, sr. DL/RB; Ethan Martin, sr. DL; David Garascia, sr. OL; Reese Potter, jr. WR/P/K; Evan Metz, jr. WR

KEY NEWCOMERS: Collin Arnold, jr. QB; Zach Trainor, fr. QB/DB; Logan Tobel, soph. WR

OUTLOOK: The Eagles return seven starters on defense and will look to that side to carry the weight as eight new starters will be groomed over on offense. Hartland missed the postseason in 2016 after going 13-7 the previous two seasons. Could a swing back to the direction of the postseason be a possibility this season? If the offense develops, than the Eagles could soar.


SCHOOL: Howell Highlanders

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Aaron Metz (54-37)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-5, 3-2 KLAA-West (third)

KEY RETURNEES: Michael Pelic, sr. OG; Nick Tholen, sr. C; Hunter Klaassen, sr. LB; Logan Warn, sr. LB; Michael Brauer, jr. DB; Gage Chandler, sr. P; Aaron Stearn-Raskins, sr. K

KEY NEWCOMERS: Zac Perron, sr. WR; Josh Lynch, sr. LB; Gage Daugard, jr. DL; Matt Hornyak, jr. QB; Zac Perron, sr. RB/KR; Adam Palazzolo, jr. RB/KR

OUTLOOK: Only four returning starters on both sides of the ball leaves plenty of opportunity for players within Howell’s program. It also leaves uncertainty with that many starting positions to fill. Historically, the Highlanders have been to the postseason in nine of the past 13 seasons, including two straight. But Howell will have its work cut out for it playing in the KLAA-Black


SCHOOL: Livonia Churchill Chargers

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Bill DeFillipo

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-4, 3-2 KLAA-South (third)

OUTLOOK: The Chargers just missed the postseason last year but have made the cut four of the last six seasons.


SCHOOL: Livonia Franklin Patriots

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Bill DeFillippo

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 7-4, 4-1 KLAA-South (second)

KEY RETURNEES: Jacob Mass, sr. TE/LB; Issac Moore, sr. RB; Brad Gibson, sr. DB/SL/K/P; John Diponio, sr. DB; Marcus Martin, sr. LB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Matt Elnod, sr. TE; Keion Harris, sr. DB (seven offers); Manee Wille, sr. OL/DL; Cal Fournier, jr. DB; Julius Simmons, jr. RB; Ariel Weary, jr. DE

OUTLOOK: A total of 16 wins the past two seasons has the Patriots heading in the right direction. Franklin is 4-2 in the postseason the past two years and reached the D-2 state semifinals in 2015. This year’s team should be in the mix in the KLAA-Gold.


SCHOOL: Livonia Stevenson Spartans

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Randy Mcallef

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 5-5, 2-3 KLAA-Central (fourth)

OUTLOOK: In 11 of the previous 15 seasons, Stevenson reached the D-1 postseason, including the Final Four in 2008 and finishing as the state runner-up in 2007. This program is used to winning and has finished above five-hundred 17 times in 20 years. Expect that to continue this season, as the Spartans are expected to contend in the KLAA-Black.


SCHOOL: Northville Mustangs

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Matt Ladach

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 7-3, 5-0 KLAA-Central (first)

KEY RETURNEES: Ryan Doroudian, sr. DT; Chase Cosey, sr. OL; Jordan Grew, sr. OL; Abe Khoury, sr. RB/DB; Nick Prystash, jr. WR; Jackson Weaver, jr. OL; Jake Moody, sr. K/P

KEY NEWCOMERS: Jaquan Crawford, sr. DL; Patrick Long, sr. DL; Jonathan Michalak, sr. QB; Christian Williams, soph. DB/QB

OUTLOOK: Although there are 60 players on varsity, the Mustangs return only five starters on offense and just one on defense. But as most quality programs do, they reload. At least that’s the way Northville hopes to do with mostly new starters this season. In recent years, the Mustangs have reached the postseason in seven of the past eighth years, including four straight. That pathway seems somewhat cloudy unless a bevy of first-year starters can gel in a flash.


SCHOOL: Novi Wildcats

LEAGUE: KLAA-Black Division

HEAD COACH: Jeff Burnside, fifth season (20-20)

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 6-5, 3-2 KLAA-Central (third

KEY RETURNEES: Tray Maddox, sr. WR/DB; Nik Williams, sr. WR/TB; Kyle Kloosterman, sr. TB; Chad Howell, sr. OL/DL; DeShaun Clayton, sr. OL/DL; Jordan Castleberry, sr. LB; Drew O’Connor, jr. SE; Tyler VanKirk, sr. DB

KEY NEWCOMERS: Sean Gilliam, sr. QB (transfer)

OUTLOOK: After a rough six-year stretch, Novi turned the tables the past two years by winning a postseason game each year and reaching the D-1 district finals. With plenty of talented players, although several first-year starters, on both sides of the football, plus a quality transfer at QB, and the Wildcats will look to make some noise in the KLAA-Black.


SCHOOL: Plymouth Wildcats

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Mike Sawchuk

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 3-6, 2-3 KLAA-South (fourth)

KEY RETURNEES: A.J. Neal, sr. RB; Zack Beadle, sr. QB; Carson Miller, jr. RB; Jayden Dunham, sr. WR/RB; Chuckie Dulin, sr. OL; Craig Barker, sr. OL

OUTLOOK: Entering its 15th season as a program, the Wildcats have performed reasonably well, making the postseason nine times in 14 campaigns. Plymouth finished as the 2010 D-1 state runner-up and have played in the postseason eight of the past 10 years. Plymouth suffered through a rebuilding campaign in 2016 but will look to return to contention with a host of returnees this season.


postseason 2010 state runner-up  third loss


SCHOOL: Plymouth Canton Chiefs

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Tim Baechler

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 8-3, 5-0 KLAA-South (first)

KEY RETURNEES: Max Mulvaney, sr. OL; Lou Baechler, sr. OL/LB; Chase Meredith, sr. OL/LB; Noah Brown, sr. TE/LB; Colin Troup, sr. RB/DB; Steven Walker, jr. RB/DB; Gabe Teichman, sr. DL

OUTLOOK: Dating back to 2000, the Chiefs have proven to be a model of consistency, reaching the postseason in 16 of the past 17 years, including nine straight. Prior to that, Canton made the postseason cut only one time (1990) from 1973 to 1999. The Chiefs finished as the 2005 D-1 state runner-up and also reached the Final Four in 2006 and 2015. There’s no reason to believe the Chiefs won’t be one of the best teams in all of Wayne County once again and a squad capable of another deep run.



SCHOOL: Plymouth Salem Rocks

LEAGUE: KLAA Black Division

HEAD COACH: Kurt Britnell

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 4-5, 2-3 KLAA-Central (tied-fourth)

OUTLOOK: Salem is another program that has struggled in recent years, but improved to 4-5 last season with many returning players back in uniform this year. The Rocks have only qualified for the playoffs in 1977 and 1991 — a 26-year drought, longer in the KLAA. In fact, only twice in two decades has Salem finished above five-hundred. Could this be the year Salem defeat the curse and discover some new-found winning ways?


SCHOOL: Wayne Memorial Zebras

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Donald Anderson

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 1-8, 0-5 KLAA-South (sixth)

OUTLOOK: The Zebras last made the postseason in 2003 and just two times overall. The current coaching staff has its work cut out for them, as Wayne has only won four games over the past seven seasons and has suffered through 10 straight losing seasons overall with 12 wins within that span. The athletes are there, but the staff is trying to institute a culture change and make football a priority for the Zebras again.


SCHOOL: Westland John Glenn Rockets

LEAGUE: KLAA Gold Division

HEAD COACH: Steve Waller

LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 2-7, 1-4 KLAA-South (fifth)

OUTLOOK: The once-proud Rockets made the postseason 11 times from 1992 to 2004 but have only qualified three times in the past decade and finished 3-15 the past two years combined. The staff is hoping that a quality junior class and move to the KLAA-Gold will help kickstart a rejuvenation period at John Glenn, which has not won a postseason game since 2003. Remember, the Rockets had several quality teams in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s and finished as the 1993 Class AA state runner-up.


— Team capsules compiled by Daniel Stickradt. Email  Follow on Twitter @HSSportsScene and @LocalSportsFans