Drive for Detroit: Week 2 in Review

September 5, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor 

We're only two weeks into this football season, and of course there has been plenty to talk about. 

But our 8-player football divisions experienced a season's worth of highlights over this Labor Day weekend. 

See below for Week 2's most significant results from every region of the state in 11-player football, but also check out the 8-player highlights – which include the first win ever for one team and the first loss in forever for another. 

Bay & Thumb

Bay City Central 22, Midland Dow 21 (OT)

After falling a score short in its opener against Frankenmuth, Bay City Central (1-1) blocked an extra point and then got the game-winner from kicker Austin Welter to beat Dow (1-1) for the first time since 2011 – and after falling to the Chargers both during the regular season and playoffs in 2016. Those two losses last year were by 20 and then 31 points, respectively. Click for more from the Bay City Times.

Also noted:

Algonac 28, Almont 7 – After opening with a big loss to Marine City, the Muskrats (1-1) got a needed bounce-back against another of the Port Huron area’s elite in Almont (1-1).

Freeland 34, Chesaning 25 – The Falcons (2-0) kept their regular-season winning streak intact at 23 straight against an Indians that team opened with a shutout but fell to 1-1.

Flint Powers Catholic 37, Saginaw Heritage 34 (2 OT) – Andrew Simon was another kicking hero as Powers (2-0) won a second straight close game and sent the Hawks to 1-1.

Lake Fenton 21, Montrose 0 – This Genesee Area Conference Red opener was a big one to get out of the way for the reigning champ Blue Devils (1-1), with Montrose (1-1) always in the league title mix as well. 

Greater Detroit

Bloomfield Hills 28, West Bloomfield 24

The “new” Bloomfield Hills burst on the scene with its first winning campaign in 2016, starting 9-0 before falling to West Bloomfield 31-14 in a Division 1 playoff opener. To finish off this avenging, however, the Black Hawks needed to drive nearly the entire field over the final two minutes. Bloomfield Hills now sits 2-0 with both wins by four points or fewer, while West Bloomfield fell to 0-2 with two losses by five points or fewer. Click for more from the Oakland Press.

Also noted:

Warren DeLaSalle 31, Grandville 0 – The Pilots (1-1) traveled to face a second straight Ottawa-Kent Conference reigning champion, landing a stunning defeat on last season’s Red co-leading Bulldogs (1-1) after falling to Lowell in Week 1.

Clarkston 17, Southfield Arts & Technology 7 – The Wolves (2-0) have given up 14 points total in two impressive wins, while Southfield A&T might be the best 0-2 team in Michigan after another close loss to a power.

Utica Eisenhower 42, Macomb Dakota 16 – Eisenhower (2-0) ran its streak in this rivalry to three straight after also ending last season for Dakota (1-1) in a District Final.

Gibraltar Carlson 42, Trenton 14 – A week after taking a giant step forward in the Downriver League race with a win over Allen Park, Trenton (1-1) fell for the second straight season to Carlson (2-0), which is coming off a 4-5 finish but won three of its final four games last fall. 


DeWitt 14, Grand Ledge 7

The combination of Grand Ledge’s sizable Week 1 win over Hudsonville, DeWitt’s loss to Grand Rapids Christian and the Comets’ victory in the first game of this quickly-building rivalry last fall makes the Panthers victory all the more impressive. DeWitt held Grand Ledge scoreless until late in the fourth quarter – and to its fewest points in a regular-season game since 2013. Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Also noted:

St. Johns 56, Cadillac 43 – The Redwings (1-1) especially on offense bounced back after scoring 20 in a one-point loss Week 1 to East Lansing; Cadillac (1-1) also put up its highest tally since midway through 2015.

Ionia 35, Hillsdale 14 – This could eventually come into play as Hillsdale (1-1) tries to get back to the playoffs after seeing its 15-year streak end last fall and Ionia (1-1) tries to get in for the first time since 2013.

Lansing Sexton 20, Portland 14 – This provided an exciting preview of Capital Area Activities Conference White matchups to come, as the Big Reds (2-0) are set to join annual favorite Portland (1-1) in that division next year.

Saranac 27, Fowler 21 – The Redskins are 2-0 for the first time since 2011 with a win over Fowler (1-1) also for the first time since that fall. 

Northern Lower Peninsula

Traverse City St. Francis 35, Maple City Glen Lake 9

St. Francis enjoyed the debut of Glen Lake’s new artificial turf field by handing the Lakers their sixth straight loss in this rivalry. The Gladiators (2-0) ran their regular-season winning streak to 24 after also beating Glen Lake 35-9 last fall. But Glen Lake would love to repeat history – in 2016 it rebounded and won 10 of its next 11 to reach the Division 6 championship game. Click for more from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Also noted:

Rogers City 14, Indian River Inland Lakes 7 – Inland Lakes (1-1) got to celebrate last week its first win since 2015, but Rogers City (1-1) ended the fun with its first victory since Week 6 a year ago.

Alpena 27, Sault Ste. Marie 26 – The Wildcats (1-1) stopped a two-point conversion to get a win for the second straight season over the Blue Devils (1-1).

Gaylord St. Mary 28, Newberry 21 (OT) – The Snowbirds are off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season but this time with wins over two teams that made the playoffs the year before; Newberry is 1-1 coming off an 8-3 finish.

Petoskey 14, Escanaba 7 – The Northmen (1-1) got their first win, both equaling last year’s total and avenging last season’s 39-0 defeat to the Eskymos (1-1).

Southeast & Border

Milan 41, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 18

The Big Reds (1-1) didn’t enjoy a great start falling by 20 two weeks ago to Chelsea, but made up for it by avenging last season’s only regular-season loss. That 2016 10-point defeat to St. Mary cost Milan an outright Huron League championship, but this win broke a three-year losing streak against the Falcons (1-1). Click for more from the Monroe Evening News.

Also noted:

Parma Western 32, Battle Creek Pennfield 20 – The Panthers are enjoying their third 2-0 start in four seasons but also went 0-2 a year ago; the Panthers, a playoff team in 2016, now must battle back from a winless start.

Homer 52, Concord 12 – These two and Springport shared the Big 8 Conference title last season, but this big win by Homer (2-0) means Concord (0-2) will need to catch up quickly to stay in the mix.

Reading 34, Springport 7 – Staying in the Big 8, Reading made a statement to move to 1-1 after two straight 3-6 finishes, while Springport (1-1) also finds itself now a win back in its title defense.

Chelsea 10, Pinckney 7 – Chelsea (2-0) scored all of its points over the final few minutes to stun Pinckney (1-1) in the latter’s second game in the Southeastern Conference White. 

Southwest Corridor

Berrien Springs 27, Schoolcraft 14

Defense has been Berrien Springs’ strength in three straight playoff seasons, and the Shamrocks (2-0) earned one of their most impressive regular-season wins in some time by holding Schoolcraft (1-1) to its fewest points since Week 8 of 2014. The Eagles also hadn’t lost a regular-season game in more than two years. Click for more from the St. Joseph Herald-Palladium.

Also noted:

Climax-Scotts 52, Sand Creek 21 – A week after seeing their 19-game regular-season winning streak end, the Panthers (1-1) started anew by handing a first loss to a Sand Creek team that went 9-2 a year ago.

Delton Kellogg 34, Lawton 21 – Despite starting 1-1, Delton has put up 72 points over two games, with 34 the second-most Lawton (0-2) has given up during the regular season since 2014.

Coldwater 28, Marshall 7 – After losing to Marshall (1-1) by 10 last year and losing out on a share of the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference title because of that defeat, Coldwater (2-0) has jumped the first obstacle a tough league road.

Richland Gull Lake 10, Portage Northern 9 – The Blue Devils (1-1) have won two games in each of the last two seasons, but now own their first of this fall over a 2016 playoff team in the Huskies (0-2). 

Upper Peninsula

L'Anse 32, Lake Linden-Hubbell 12

Lake Linden-Hubbell (1-1) hadn’t fallen during the regular season since 2014 and hadn’t lost to L’Anse since a 2013 District opener. But the Purple Hornets – 2-0 coming of a 2-7 run last fall – appear to have turned things around as they look to break a three-season playoff drought. Click for more from the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette.

Also noted:

Gwinn 30, Iron Mountain 24 – The Modeltowners (1-1) bounced back from a rough Week 1 defeat to Gladstone to quickly put Iron Mountain down 0-2 after the latter finished 8-3 a year ago.

Calumet 28, Negaunee 21 – This was a nonleague game but a great confidence builder for Calumet (2-0), which went 10-2 last season despite splitting with the Miners (0-2).

Norway 35, Ishpeming 22 – The Hematites (1-1) came out on a roll with a big Week 1 victory, but Norway (2-0) took that momentum away with a second straight win in the series.

Munising 20, St. Ignace 8 – The Mustangs (1-1) struggled to only two wins last season, but handed 2016 Division 8 semifinalist St. Ignace a rare early second loss. 

West Michigan

Lowell 14, Rockford 0

Lowell handed the Rams (1-1) their first shutout since Week 5 of 2014 and scored all the points it needed during the first half to extend its regular-season winning streak to 19. The Red Arrows (2-0) didn’t have a penalty or a turnover in holding an opponent scoreless for the first time since Week 5 of 2015. Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:

Muskegon Catholic Central 31, Frankfort 6 – The Crusaders (1-0) won this rematch of last season’s Division 8 Regional Final by a nearly identical score and remains the only team to have beaten Frankfort (1-1) since 2015.

East Kentwood 21, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 0 – The Falcons (2-0) put themselves into the thick of O-K Red talk with a surprising shutout of the reigning Division 3 champion Eaglets (0-2).

Muskegon Mona Shores 42, Zeeland West 20 – The Sailors moved to 2-0 by avenging last season’s four-point loss to West (1-1), which hasn’t won its first two games for the first time since 2013.

Muskegon 28, Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) 7 – Muskegon traveled to Illinois to avenge its only regular-season loss of 2016, a three-pointer to Stevenson on the way to finishing Division 3 runner-up.


Crystal Falls Forest Park 66, Powers North Central 58 (OT)

The Trojans (1-1) can argue they were the second-best 8-player team in the state last year, losing twice to North Central while giving the Jets their toughest games. Forest Park now also can boast that it handed North Central (1-1) its first 8-player loss, ending the Jets’ winning streak at 27 since making the switch in 2015. Click for more from the Escanaba Daily Press.

Also noted:

Deckerville 52, Lawrence 0 – The Eagles (2-0) have outscored their first two opponents by a combined 94-6, with this especially impressive against a Lawrence program that is 37-8 since moving to 8-player in 2013.

Atlanta 28, Fife Lake Forest Area 18 – Two weeks ago, Atlanta won its first game since 2014; on Thursday it moved to 2-0 for the first time since 1992 against a Forest Area team that is 1-1 but was 7-3 in 2016.

Rapid River 50, Eben Junction Superior Central 42 (2OT) – Combined with Forest Park’s win over North Central, Rapid River (2-0) looks like the team to beat in the Western Eight Conference after surviving Superior Central (0-2) and beating the Trojans in Week 1.  

Bear Lake 44, Baldwin 28 – The Lakers (1-1) earned their first win ever in handing Baldwin (1-1) its first loss since moving from 11-player before this season. 

PHOTO: A Newberry ball carrier is chased by Gaylord St. Mary defenders during the Snowbirds' overtime win Friday. (Photo by Jeff Rochefort.)

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.)