Drive for Detroit: Week 2 in Review

September 11, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The definition for "rivalry game" has grown pretty broad over the history of high school athletics. 

Some are considered rivalry games based purely on the fact they've been played for years. Others have been around for only a few, but the competition has become so fierce that it's the first date circled when schedules are printed each fall. Both include the intensity, anticipation and excitement that generally bring a few more casual fans to the bleachers on Friday night. 

Some of Michigan's best rivalry games are among the most notable results from Week 2.

West Michigan

Zeeland East 50, Zeeland West 44 (OT)

This is shaping up as one of the best football rivalries in the state, with three of the last four games decided by eight points or fewer and East — last season’s regular-season winner — then losing to West 46-0 in their playoff opener. East has the upper hand again between schools separated by mere yards. Click to read more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted: 

Muskegon 35, Grand Rapids Christian 13: This would’ve been the best game on the west side any other week with the reigning MHSAA Division 2 runner-up Big Reds (2-0) continuing to look impressive in knocking off the reigning Division 3 champ Christian (1-1) in their first matchup since 1994. 

Comstock Park 39, Grand Rapids West Catholic 20: West Catholic (0-2) won the first five games of these teams’ recent series before Comstock Park (2-0) got on the board last week. 

Hamilton 21, Coopersville 20: A blocked extra point saved this win for the Hawkeyes (1-1) while dropping the Broncos to 0-2. 

Grand Rapids Catholic Central 16, Muskegon Catholic Central 13: These teams brought this series back last season after a seven-year break, and the Cougars (1-1) have won both while this time dropping the Crusaders to 0-2. 

Greater Detroit

Detroit U-D Jesuit 28, Detroit Country Day 27 (OT)

In part because it plays in a Detroit Catholic League Central with Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Detroit Catholic Central, Birmingham Brother Rice and Warren DeLaSalle, U-D Jesuit has had some tough seasons over the last decade; its last playoff appearance was in 2000. But this win over the reigning Division 4 runner-up Yellowjackets (0-2) made the Cubs 2-0 — equaling last season’s win total — and could be an indication of more to come. Click to read more from MLive Detroit

Also noted: 

Belleville 17, Chelsea 14: The Tigers (1-1) are seeking their first playoff berth since 2004, and beating annual qualifier Chelsea (0-2) is a great start. 

Detroit Martin Luther King 6, Detroit East English 0 (2 OT): King (2-0) and East English (0-2) — formerly Crockett — are always two of the best teams in the city, and this might go down as the best regular-season game before the Public School League playoffs.

Farmington Hills Harrison 20, Rochester Adams 7: Harrison (2-0) made it four straight over Oakland Activities Association White rival Adams (1-1).

Plymouth 28, Milford 27: The Wildcats (2-0) came back from a two-touchdown deficit early in the third quarter to edge Milford (1-1).

Southwest and Border

Schoolcraft 37, Constantine 28

This was only the second week of nine on the Kalamazoo Valley Association schedule, but the league title could again be Schoolcraft’s to lose after this win over reigning Division 6 runner-up Constantine (1-1). A 47-yard touchdown pass after a Constantine turnover sealed the victory for the Eagles (2-0). Click to read more from the Kalamazoo Gazette

Also noted: 

Kalamazoo Central 23, Battle Creek Central 7: The 110th meeting in one of the nation’s longest football rivalries saw Kalamazoo Central (2-0) climb within 12 (47 wins to 59) of catching up to the Bearcats (1-1 this season) for the series lead. This game played for the Totem Pole traveling trophy dates to 1893.

St. Joseph 14, Battle Creek Harper Creek 9: After missing the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons in 2012, St. Joseph is 2-0 after handing a first loss to back-to-back MHSAA Semifinalist Harper Creek. 

Mattawan 64, Marshall 34: The Wildcats (1-1) awakened on offense after scoring only once on opening night; Marshall also upped its offensive output by 20 despite falling to 0-2. 

Plainwell 14, Three Rivers 7: They’re not in the same division of the Wolverine Conference anymore, but Plainwell (2-0) made it three straight over the Wildcats (1-1). 

Lower Up North

Maple City Glen Lake 28, Charlevoix 0

A big win by Charlevoix (1-1) over St. Ignace on opening night made this one look like a potential nail-biter. But Glen Lake (2-0) made it three in a row and two straight shutouts over the Rayders, and this week starts its pursuit of a second straight Northwest Conference championship. Click to read more from the Petoskey News.

Also noted:

Boyne City 35, Kent City 14: After a tough opening-night loss to Glen Lake, Boyne City (1-1) bounced back against the Eagles (1-1). 

Standish-Sterling 47, Gladwin 7: The Panthers (2-0) made it 10 straight over Gladwin after also beating the Flying G’s (1-1) in last season’s playoff opener. 

Harbor Springs 40, Frankfort 12: The Rams (2-0) pulled within a win of last season’s total while dropping the Panthers to 1-1 as they try to make up for last year’s first playoff miss since 1994. 

Traverse City West 21, West Branch Ogemaw Heights 8: The Titans (1-1) got a leg up by winning their Big North Conference opener while also avenging last season’s 56-39 loss to Ogemaw Heights (1-1).

Upper Peninsula

Houghton 26, Ishpeming Westwood 20 (2 OT)

Not only did Westwood (0-2) own two straight wins over Houghton before last weekend, but the Patriots won those games by a combined score of 70-0. They led again this time by two touchdowns early before the Gremlins (1-1) came back to claim their first victory this fall and pull within one more of equaling their victory total of all 2012. Click to read more from the Marquette Mining Journal

Also noted: 

Iron Mountain 27, Gwinn 8: Iron Mountain (1-1) bounced back from an opening-night loss; Gwinn (1-1), despite this loss, played the Mountaineers much closer than the last two seasons. 

St. Ignace 26, Mancelona 20 (OT): After their first opening-night loss in four seasons, the Saints (1-1) bounced back while dropping Mancelona to 0-2 after the Ironmen lost just once in 2012. 

Ishpeming 38, Manistique 0: The Hematites (2-0) have outscored their first two opponents, both 2012 playoff teams, by a combined 74-0. Have no fear Emeralds: You also started last fall 0-2 but made the postseason. 

Powers North Central 14, Munising 12: Munising (0-2) no doubt is smarting after losing its first two games by a combined nine points, but the Jets surely are celebrating their second straight 2-0 start. 


Lansing Everett 48, Saginaw 14

Five Capital Area Activities Conference Blue teams left Greater Lansing for Week 2 games, but only the Vikings (2-0) returned with a victory. Everett’s offense has scored 83 points so far and looks even better than last season’s best effort in four seasons. Saginaw did struggle to keep up this time, but is 1-1 entering Saginaw Valley Association North play this week. 

Bath 40, Fulton 22: For a Bees (1-1) team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2000, a second straight win over traditionally powerful Fulton has to be encouraging. The Pirates (1-1) also are looking to climb back into the playoffs after missing in 2012. 

Fowler 26, Laingsburg 12: This has been one the best Central Michigan Athletic Conference games for a decade; Fowler (1-1) enjoyed a nice bounce-back after a loss to Mendon on opening night, but the Wolfpack finds itself in a recently-rare 0-2 spot.

Beal City 48, Clare 0: This was expected to be much closer, but Beal City (2-0) might just be this strong. The Aggies have now outscored their first two opponents by a combined 109-0 while Clare is 0-2 again although it ended up 9-3 with the same start in 2012. 

St. Johns 28, Dearborn 13: The Redwings (1-1) followed up a lackluster opening-night loss to Charlotte with an impressive win over a playoff regular in Dearborn (0-2). 

Bay and Thumb

Essexville-Garber 25, Millington 6

The Saginaw News called this a “program-defining” win for Garber, and it might’ve been the team’s biggest in the Tri-Valley Conference East since also beating the Cardinals in 2009. The Dukes (2-0) broke a two-season playoff hiatus last fall, and this season could be league title contenders as well — although the Cardinals (1-1) certainly shouldn’t be expected to fall out of the mix. Click to read more from the Saginaw News

Mount Pleasant 21, Flint Powers Catholic 14: The Oilers (1-1) had a rare struggle in 2012 and opened this fall with a loss to DeWitt, but got back on the right foot by beating recently powerful Powers (1-1).

Fenton 43, Adrian 7: The Tigers (2-0) continued to roll after a rivalry win over Linden in Week 1; Adrian fell to 1-1 but 0-2 versus Fenton over the last two seasons.

Flint Carman-Ainsworth 49, Saginaw Heritage 20: Carman-Ainsworth (2-0) enhanced its status as a Saginaw Valley South favorite by knocking off a solid Hawks team (1-1). 

Richmond 28, Croswell-Lexington 21: The Pioneers (1-1) had beaten Richmond (1-1) in six straight including a second time last season during the playoffs. 

Trophy Games

Each week the MHSAA highlights trophy games played across the state. One was mentioned above, and we also knew about this one heading into the weekend. 

Promise Bowl Trophy: Jackson High and Lumen Christi began playing for this prize a year ago, and the Titans own both matchups so far. Final: Lumen Christi 43, Jackson 14.

PHOTO: Lansing Everett (white jerseys) improved to 2-0 with last week's win on the road against Saginaw High. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.) 

Lawrence's Schuman Sets Example for Well-Rounded Success

By Pam Shebest
Special for

December 14, 2022

LAWRENCE — If redshirting was a thing in high school, at least two coaches at Lawrence would stick that label on senior John Schuman.

Southwest Corridor“We don’t want to lose this kid ever,” said Derek Gribler, the Tigers’ first-year varsity football and baseball coach.

“If we could put a red shirt on this kid every year, we would.”

Athletic director John Guillean, who also coaches varsity basketball, agreed.

“He is what we strive to have all our student-athletes achieve: high GPAs, multi-sport athletes, good, overall well-rounded human beings,” Guillean said.

Schuman has participated in five of the seven boys sports Lawrence sponsors.

As a freshman and sophomore, Schuman played football, wrestled, ran track and played baseball.

He had wrestled since he was 4, and went from the 119-pound weight class as a freshman to 145 the following year. That sophomore season he qualified for his Individual Regional. But as a junior, he traded wrestling for basketball.

“My older brother wrestled at Lawrence, so I would come to practices,” he said. “I quit for a couple years (in middle school) because I liked basketball, too. It was hard to do both. Obviously, in high school, I still struggled with choosing,” he added, laughing.

John GuilleanGuillean is thrilled Schuman made the switch.

“He’s 6-(foot-)4, he’s super athletic, defensively he’s a hawk, offensively he can put the ball in the bucket. But really, aside from his skills, just that positive attitude and that positive outlook, not just in a game, but in life in general, is invaluable,” the coach said.

Last season, Schuman earned honorable mention all-league honors in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference, averaging 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Lawrence left the BCS for the Southwest 10 Conference this year, joining Bangor, Bloomingdale, Hartford, Decatur, Comstock, Marcellus, Mendon, Centreville, White Pigeon and Cassopolis. Schuman and senior Tim Coombs will co-captain the Tigers, with Guillean rotating in a third captain.

At a school of fewer than 200 students, Schuman will help lead a varsity team with just nine – joined by seniors Andy Bowen and Gabe Gonzalez, juniors Christian Smith, Noel Saldana, Ben McCaw and Zander Payment, and sophomore Jose Hernandez, who will see time with the junior varsity as well using the fifth-quarter rule.

“I attribute a lot of (last year’s successful transition) to my coach, helping me get ready because it wasn’t so pretty,” the senior said. “But we got into it, got going, and my teammates helped me out a lot.”

Great anticipation

Gribler is one coach already looking ahead to spring sports after seeing what Schuman did during football season.

In spite of missing 2½ games with an injury, the wide receiver caught 50 receptions for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“I just like the ability to run free, get to hit people, let out some anger,” Schuman laughed.

Derek GriblerGribler said the senior is “an insane athlete.

“On top of his athletic ability, how smart he is in the classroom (3.88 GPA), he helped mold the culture we wanted this year for football. He got our underclassmen the way we wanted them. He was a big asset in many ways.”

Schuman earned all-conference honors for his on-field performance in football as well.

“I would say that my main sport is football,” the senior said. “That’s the one I like the most, spend the most time on.”

In the spring, Schuman competed in both track and baseball, earning all-conference honors in both.

“Doing both is tough,” he said. “I have to say my coaches make it a lot easier for me. They help me a lot and give me the ability to do both, so I really appreciate that.

“Throughout the week you’re traveling every day, it seems like. Baseball twice a week and track, but it’s worth it.”

Schuman’s commitment is so strong that he made a special effort not to let his teammates down last spring.

“He qualified for state in the long jump and did his jumps up in Grand Rapids, then he drove all the way to Kalamazoo to play in the District baseball game,” Guillean said. “That speaks volumes about who this kid is. He did his jumps at 9 a.m. (but did not advance) and made it back to Kalamazoo for a 12:15 game.”

Big shoes to fill

As the youngest of four children of Mark and Gretchen Schuman, the senior was following a family tradition in sports.

Oldest brother Matthew played football, basketball and baseball as well as competed in pole vault and wrestling.

Middle bother Christopher competed in football, wrestling and baseball.

Sister Stephanie played basketball, volleyball and softball.

“I like to say they blazed a pretty good trail for me at this high school,” Schuman said.

As for feeling pressure to live up to his siblings, “I used to when I was younger, but now I feel like I’ve made my own way and done enough things to be proud of that I’m happy with it.”

His own way led him to achieve something none of the others did.

He was named the Tigers’ Male Athlete of the Year, just the third junior to earn the boys honor over the last 25 years.

“I was very honored to win that as a junior,” Schuman said. “There were good athletes in the grade above me. I guess hard work pays off.”

Guillean said while Schuman is “darn good at every sport here,” an athlete does not have to be a “top dog” in every sport.

“Learn how to take a back seat,” he said. “Learn how to be a role player. That will make you a better teammate and a well-rounded human being.

“Johnny has that work ethic, in the classroom, on the field, on the court, on the track. It doesn’t go unnoticed and, obviously, he’s reaping the benefits now.”

Pam ShebestPam Shebest served as a sportswriter at the Kalamazoo Gazette from 1985-2009 after 11 years part-time with the Gazette while teaching French and English at White Pigeon High School. She can be reached at with story ideas for Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Lawrence’s John Schuman has participated in five varsity sports during his first 3½ years of high school. (Middle) Lawrence athletic director John Guillean. (Below) Lawrence football and baseball coach Derek Gribler. (Action photos courtesy of John Schuman; head shots by Pam Shebest.)