2021 Football Summer Rankings

2021 Football Summer Rankings

Inside the OAA

Covering all 23 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each school from Northern Oakland County, Southern Oakland County, and one from Wayne County.

Monday, May 24, 2021

2021 Football Summer Rankings.

Written Monday May 24th at 11:30 PM

These are the early summer football rankings heading into the fall. This is NOT the official top 21 for football, that comes later. Anyway here are my thoughts heading into the summer for all 21 football teams.

  1. West Bloomfield: Defending Division One State Champs are loaded and looking for more.
  2. Adams: Highlanders are loaded at the skill positions but line play despite having Hassan Murray is a question mark.
  3. Clarkston: Wolves have the skill positions covered but line play despite having Cole Dellinger is a question mark.
  4. Oxford: Wildcats have a ton of experience coming back, can they put it together is the question???
  5. Lake Orion: Dragons have a ton of questions heading into this season.
  6. North Farmington: Ryan Shelby takes over at quarterback but depth is a huge concern.
  7. Southfield Arts and Tech: Hopefully the new coaching staff will rejuvenate the Warriors.
  8. Stoney Creek: Cougars likely starting over in a very tough division this season.
  9. Rochester: Falcons have experience but how will that do against tougher competition???
  10. Berkley: Something tells me that the Bears are in for a special season.
  11. Groves: Falcons have a ton of questions despite having Jaden Mangham back.
  12. Oak Park: Knights lost a ton of talent last season which could be trouble.
  13. Ferndale: Eagles bounced back last season but can they sustain it???
  14. Farmington: New coach, new division, same issues for the Falcons.
  15. Seaholm: When you have to play Lake Orion and Clarkston for the crossovers oh boy.
  16. Avondale: Yellow Jackets haven’t been able to put things together lately.
  17. Troy Athens: Red Hawks had a bounce back season last year. Can they sustain it???
  18. Troy: Colts look to be turning things around a little bit.
  19. Bloomfield Hills: Blackhawks are in a very tough place right now.
  20. Royal Oak: Ravens have only one playoff appearance not counting 2020 since 2007.
  21. Pontiac: Phoenix have a long road ahead of them, 5-73 since 2012.
Softball District Preview

Softball District Preview

Inside the OAA

Covering all 23 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each school from Northern Oakland County, Southern Oakland County, and one from Wayne County.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Softball District Preview.

Written Thursday May 20th at 11:15 AM

Here is my preview and projections for the upcoming softball districts that will happen in a few weeks.

District 4 @ Grand Blanc

Grand Blanc vs. Davison

Grand Blanc/Davison vs. Lapeer

OXFORD vs. Holly

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is shaping up to be an interesting district in Grand Blanc. Grand Blanc, Davison, Lapeer, and Oxford are very good teams. The Bobcats have a very talented pitcher in Kendall Klochack whom is having a stellar season. The Cardinals and Lightning have been honorable mentions in the state during the season. The Wildcats are always a stout team and they have a ton of offense to boot as well. Oxford got a great draw. They could possibly get to the district final if they get by Holly in the district semifinals. Grand Blanc, Davison, and Lapeer know each other really well being in the Saginaw Valley League. The Bobcats who is state ranked have had a very strong season with their only loss was to the Lightning and they have had some tight games with the Cardinals. I think Grand Blanc behind Klochack will get to the district finals and eventually getting them to the regionals over the Wildcats. PICK: GRAND BLANC.

District 21 @ Berkley

BERKLEY vs. SOUTHFIELD ARTS AND TECH

FERNDALE vs. Detroit Renaissance

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is not a strong district when looking at the teams in Berkley. The favorite in this district is Detroit Renaissance with their talent and experience. Ferndale moves up to Division One after being in Division Two which resulted in two district titles but moving up in this district could pose a ton of challenges and to make things worse they play the Phoenix first in the district semifinals. Berkley is a very interesting team to keep an eye on. They have home field and a favorable district semifinal matchup with Southfield Arts and Tech. The Bears should get to the district finals. I really don’t see anyone challenging Detroit Renaissance in this district. PICK: DETROIT RENAISSANCE.

District 22 @ Sterling Heights

Warren Mott vs. ROYAL OAK

Warren Mott/ROYAL OAK vs. Warren Cousino

Sterling Heights vs. Warren Regina

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is not a strong district in Sterling Heights but there is a powerhouse program in Warren Regina. Warren Cousino could pose some trouble. I really don’t see anyone challenging the Satellites in this district. PICK: WARREN REGINA.

District 26 @ Livonia Stevenson

Novi vs. Livonia Stevenson

Novi/Livonia Stevenson vs. Farmington Hills Mercy

NORTH FARMINGTON vs. FARMINGTON

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is going to be a very interesting district in Livonia. Farmington Hills Mercy, Novi, and Farmington have great chances to win this district. The Wildcats have a really good and talented pitcher in Reganne Bennett. Pending if they get by the Spartans then they would play the Marlins in the district semifinals. The Falcons have had a really good and surprising season. They are on the verge of winning the Red. Farmington takes on North Farmington in the district semifinals which is very interesting. The Marlins have had a very good season under a first year coach. I think Farmington Hills Mercy will get past Novi and Farmington to get to the regionals PICK: FARMINGTON HILLS MERCY.

District 27 @ Waterford Mott

Waterford Kettering vs. CLARKSTON

Waterford Mott vs. AVONDALE

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is not a very strong district when looking at the teams at Waterford Mott. Clarkston is a slight favorite despite having a very rough season. The Wolves are very young but they are still Clarkston which is a proven powerhouse program. Avondale and Waterford Kettering could give fits especially the Captains. Until anyone gives the Wolves fits, this is Clarkston’s district to lose. PICK: CLARKSTON.

District 28 @ Groves

SEAHOLM vs. WEST BLOOMFIELD

GROVES vs. BLOOMFIELD HILLS

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is shaping up to be a very interesting district in Beverly Hills. Bloomfield Hills and Groves are favored in this district however they will see each other in the district semifinals which will be very interesting. Seaholm has been picking things up lately and is a possible spoiler and darkhorse. West Bloomfield is also improved and is ready to make some noise. They will play each other in the district semifinals. The Maples should get past the Lakers and meet Bloomfield Hills in the district finals. I think the Blackhawks to move onto the regionals because of experience. PICK: BLOOMFIELD HILLS.

District 29 @ Stoney Creek

LAKE ORION vs. STONEY CREEK

ROCHESTER vs. ADAMS

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is a very interesting district at Stoney Creek. Lake Orion is a mystery team to figure out but so has been Adams and Rochester. The Dragons and Highlanders are starting to peak at the right time. The Falcons have also been having a really good season. The Cougars have been very good throughout the season and features a standout in Emily Flynn. This one is a tough district to choose as all four teams have great shots to win this district. With what happened recently, Lake Orion is starting to get it’s act together which is not a good thing for the field.  PICK: LAKE ORION.

District 30 @ Troy

TROY vs. Utica

Utica Eisenhower vs. TROY ATHENS

INSIGHT/PREDICTION: This is shaping up to be a very interesting district at Troy. I see three teams having great chances to win this district in Troy, Troy Athens, and Utica Eisenhower. The Colts have been very inconsistent. The Red Hawks have been playing much better Utica Eisenhower has had a good season. The Eagles are peaking at the right time heading into this district. I think Troy should get past Utica in the district semifinals but the other game should be very interesting and tight. I’m looking at a Utica Eisenhower/Colts district finals with the Eagles moving onto the regionals. PICK: UTICA EISENHOWER.

2021 Football Summer Rankings

Basketball Districts Released and Thoughts

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Basketball Districts Released and Thoughts.

Written Sunday March 14th at 11:30 AM

Here are my thoughts on the brackets released earlier this morning.

Boys 

Boys Basketball Districts article from September.

https://sammy-taormina.blogspot.com/2020/09/boys-basketball-districts-are-out-2020.html

District 26 @ Detroit Renaissance

 

ROYAL OAK vs BERKLEY

ROYAL OAK/BERKLEY vs Detroit Renaissance

 

Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit vs Detroit Mumford

Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit/Detroit Mumford vs OAK PARK

 

THOUGHTS: I didn’t understand how Oak Park earned the bye while Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit has to play Detroit Mumford on that Tuesday but thanks to the Clarkston Basketball Twitter page for helping me understand this issue it was that they did not play eight games before the bracket came out which was why the Knights got the bye and not the Cubs. Royal Oak and Berkley is going to be very interesting with the winner playing the hosts from Detroit Renaissance which neither team matches up with. Until proven otherwise Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit should win this district over Detroit Renaissance.

 

District 25 @ Birmingham Brother Rice

 

SOUTHFIELD ARTS AND TECH vs GROVES

SOUTHFIELD ARTS AND TECH/GROVES vs Birmingham Brother Rice

 

SEAHOLM vs FARMINGTON

SEAHOLM/FARMINGTON vs NORTH FARMINGTON

 

THOUGHTS: This should be a competitive district at Birmingham Brother Rice. The Warriors are young, talented, well coached, and have home court. Birmingham Brother Rice better be careful of Groves whom is gaining a ton of confidence should they get by Southfield Arts and Tech. On the other side of the bracket North Farmington is overwhelming favored to get to the district finals. I don’t see either Seaholm or Farmington touching the Raiders. It’s going to come down to North Farmington vs either Birmingham Brother Rice or otherwise.

 

District 30 @ Troy Athens

 

Sterling Heights vs Chippewa Valley

Sterling Heights/Chippewa Valley vs TROY ATHENS

 

Utica Ford vs Sterling Heights Stevenson

 

THOUGHTS: Troy Athens is in a very difficult spot despite being the host in the district. If they can get by either Chippewa Valley or Sterling Heights in the district semifinals which looks very doable despite the Red Hawks falling to Chippewa Valley last season then they could be on a collision course with Sterling Heights Stevenson whom should be the favorite in this district. The Titans have a ton of options to go too and have had impressive wins over Macomb Dakota and other Macomb Area Conference Red division foes. Troy Athens and Margaret have a very dangerous path in this district.

 

District 29 @ Stoney Creek

 

Utica vs ROCHESTER

Utica/ROCHESTER vs STONEY CREEK

 

Utica Eisenhower vs TROY

 

THOUGHTS: Stoney Creek has went from almost favorites to pretty much the favorite in the district. Troy has really struggled lately however to their defense they have not had a lot of practice time due to being in COVID protocol but it’s not an excuse for their recent struggles, now could they find that magic in the postseason???, it’s very possible. Rochester and Utica is very interesting along with Utica Eisenhower and the Colts. I see this being a Stoney Creek/Troy district final because I don’t see anyone touching the two seeded teams.

 

District 6 @ Bloomfield Hills

 

WEST BLOOMFIELD vs AVONDALE

WEST BLOOMFIELD/AVONDALE vs Orchard Lake St Marys

 

PONTIAC vs Waterford Mott

PONTIAC/Waterford Mott vs BLOOMFIELD HILLS

 

THOUGHTS: I think could be more competitive than people think. Orchard Lake St. Marys is talented and loaded but West Bloomfield can match them athletically despite the rough season the Lakers are having. On the other side of the bracket Bloomfield Hills has home court and should get to the district final but Pontiac could be a challenge but not sold on their league only schedule. I think this is shaping up to be a Blackhawks/Eaglets district finals. Could an upset be in the making??? We’ll see.

 

District 5 @ Oxford

 

Waterford Kettering vs LAKE ORION

Waterford Kettering/LAKE ORION vs CLARKSTON

 

OXFORD vs Romeo

OXFORD/Romeo vs ADAMS

 

THOUGHTS: This should be a very competitive district. Clarkston is favored on paper but Adams and Lake Orion could very well give the Wolves problems in this district. Lake Orion if they can get by a very good Waterford Kettering team that features a very good and talented player in Bennie Krenshaw could be in line to face the Wolves in the district semifinal. The Dragons are a darkhorse although they are lettered A, they would had been the third seed if the MHSAA seeded everyone. On the other side of the bracket there is Adams. The Highlanders should be well motivated and hungry despite getting the bye.  They will get either Romeo or Oxford. Neither team hasn’t had the brightest of seasons but they could make up for it come in the postseason. This should be a fun district at Oxford

 

District 58 @ Ferndale

 

Detroit Henry Ford vs FERNDALE UNIVERSITY

 

Hazel Park vs FERNDALE

 

THOUGHTS: This district should be no problems for Ferndale. The Eagles should pass this district with flying colors. They have home court, best team, and the best matchup. I don’t see anyone touching Ferndale in this district.

 

Girls

Girls Basketball District article from September.

https://sammy-taormina.blogspot.com/2020/09/girls-basketball-districts-are-out-2020.html

District 27 @ Detroit Renaissance

 

Warren Fitzgerald vs Detroit Renaissance

 

OAK PARK vs Detroit Mumford

OAK PARK/Detroit Mumford vs Warren Mott

 

THOUGHTS: Could Oak Park get to the district finals??? It certainly looks possible with how the draw looks. I haven’t been really impressed with either Detroit Mumford or Warren Mott this season. The Marauders have the bye with the two seed which means Coach Peggy Evans-Carr’s team will have to play the Mustangs on Monday. I think the Knights have played very well throughout the season. Do I think they will win this district??? likely not especially when the host school is loaded, experienced, talented, well coached, and have home court to boot as well. If Oak Park can get to the district final then that would be a success.

 

District 26 @ Royal Oak

 

SOUTHFIELD ARTS AND TECH vs GROVES

 

ROYAL OAK vs SEAHOLM

ROYAL OAK/SEAHOLM vs BERKLEY

 

THOUGHTS: This district could be very interesting when looking at the teams that are in this district. The good news for this district was that Birmingham Marian whom was supposed to be in this district went north and is with West Bloomfield in another district. The early favorite has to be Groves with what they have done this season along with playing a very tough non league schedule but Berkley and Royal Oak could have strong says. The Ravens lost twice to Southfield Arts and Tech last season but beat the Warriors in the district semifinals. Royal Oak has home court will have to go through Berkley pending should they get by Seaholm. The Bears should be motivated despite not being very deep and getting a bye to the district semifinals. On the other side of the bracket the Falcons are no strangers with Southfield Arts and Tech. Also assistant coach Jereica Hughes knows the Warriors players since she was an assistant last season and played for Coach Michelle Marshall at Southfield-Lathrup. Groves beat Southfield Arts and Tech twice in the regular season but the last game went double overtime. It is never easy beating a team three times in a season. I think this is likely going to be a Falcons/Ravens district final with the slightest of edges favoring Groves but just barely.

 

District 25 @ Novi

 

Novi vs Farmington Hills Mercy

 

NORTH FARMINGTON vs Livonia Stevenson

NORTH FARMINGTON/Livonia Stevenson vs FARMINGTON

 

THOUGHTS: This district looks to be Farmington Hills Mercy’s to lose but I think they could run into some problems. I don’t see Novi challenging the Marlins despite having home court for their first round matchup. North Farmington if they can find some scoring could give opponents fits with their pressure trap defense but Livonia Stevenson is a very tough program and could give the Raiders some fits in the opening round game. Whomever wins that game will play Farmington in the district semifinals. The Falcons have played a difficult non league schedule to get them ready for the postseason. I see this district being a Farmington Hills Mercy/Farmington district final but end of the day I see Farmington Hills Mercy winning this district.

 

District 29 @ Rochester

 

Utica Eisenhower vs STONEY CREEK

 

TROY ATHENS vs ROCHESTER

TROY ATHENS/ROCHESTER vs TROY

 

THOUGHTS: Stoney Creek has been rolling on all cylinders as of late which is a good sign going forward. The Cougars should be motivated after losing to Utica Eisenhower in the district semifinals at home last season. Rochester and Troy Athens should be a very interesting game. The winner will play Troy in the district semifinals. The Colts have been struggling as of late which is not a good sign. The postseason failures in the last two years have to be in the mind of the Troy ladies. Stoney Creek is the early favorites but don’t give up on Troy especially if the Colts can find their first half of the season magic.

 

District 4 @ Grand Blanc

 

OXFORD vs Grand Blanc

 

Lapeer vs Flint Kearsley

Lapeer/Flint Kearsley vs Davison

 

THOUGHTS: Wow, Oxford has a very tough matchup on the horizon going north into Genesee County. The Wildcats get to play Grand Blanc at their home court in the district semifinals. The Bobcats are loaded with talented players and Oxford doesn’t matchup with them at all. On the other side of the bracket Davison has a great chance to get to the district finals. It’s going to be a challenge to say the least for the Wildcats.

 

District 6 @Waterford Mott

 

Waterford Mott vs WEST BLOOMFIELD

 

BLOOMFIELD HILLS vs AVONDALE

BLOOMFIELD HILLS/AVONDALE vs Birmingham Marian

 

THOUGHTS: This has the makings of a great district final between West Bloomfield and Birmingham Marian whom are two of the top teams in the State. This district in general is not very strong when looking at these teams. I don’t see Bloomfield Hills, Avondale, or Waterford Mott making any serious case to the top two seeds in this district. The Lakers and Mustangs is set to be a classic in the making.

 

District 5 @ Romeo

 

Waterford Kettering vs CLARKSTON

 

ADAMS vs Romeo

ADAMS/Romeo vs LAKE ORION

 

THOUGHTS: If I’m Adams BEWARE. Romeo has played well at home this year and they are coming off COVID quarantine. Lake Orion has had injuries to their top two players but their young core has stepped up which is a good sign. The Dragons will certainly be a team to watch as they earned the two seed and the bye. Clarkston is the heavy favorite in this district because of their experience. I don’t know if I see anyone touching the Wolves right now.

District 58 @ Host Sites

 

Warren Lincoln at Hazel Park

 

Warren Regina at FERNDALE UNIVERSITY

THOUGHTS: Warren Lincoln has to be the favorite in this district of host sites. Ferndale University if they can get by Warren Regina whom is very experienced might add could get a district finals matchup with Warren Lincoln. Although the Abes are favored in this district watch for the Eagles. They are gaining confidence with their time in the OAA.

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https://soundcloud.com/user-539915961/oaa-now-03-15-21

2021 Football Summer Rankings

Top 22 and Top 20

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Inside the OAA. Top 22 and Top 20.

Written Saturday March 13th at 10:00 AM

Records will be updated throughout Saturday.

Boys Top 22.

  1. Clarkston (12-3) – Wolves have been red hot since Keegan Waslik returned from injury.
  2. North Farmington (7-2) – Raiders back in the hunt in the Red.
  3. Ferndale (8-3) – It hasn’t been a great week for the Eagles.
  4. Adams (10-4) – Highlanders are in COVID protocol but they have been playing well since then.
  5. Lake Orion (10-3) – Dragons are in COVID protocol right now.
  6. Stoney Creek (9-4) – Trevor Smith earned his 2,000 point as a Cougar last week.
  7. Bloomfield Hills (7-4) – Blackhawks are in COVID protocol right now.
  8. Troy Athens (8-4) – Red Hawks need more from Jacob Thornton but Jonah Botardo has stepped his game up.
  9. Pontiac (6-0) – Phoenix have clinched the Gold outright with Rochester going on COVID protocol.
  10. Groves (6-6) – Falcons have been around 500 but they are very dangerous come postseason time.
  11. Troy (5-5) – Something is still not right with the Colts.
  12. Berkley (5-7) – Bears are 1-2 in March, that’s not good.
  13. West Bloomfield (4-9) – Lakers have been scoring a ton of points but they have been giving up more as well. That’s not a good combination heading into the postseason.
  14. Farmington (4-8) – Robert Davis and Prince Jackson are carrying the Falcons right now.
  15. Oak Park (3-7) – Knights remind me of the “Twilight Zone” series.
  16. Rochester (6-5) – Falcons are in COVID protocol after a heartbreaking loss.
  17. Oxford (4-8) – Wildcats scored 21 points against Stoney Creek, yikes.
  18. Seaholm (3-7) – Maples are as good as Johnny Cross takes them.
  19. Southfield Arts and Tech (2-8) – Warriors are still very suspect right now.
  20. Avondale (5-7) – Jeremy Neal has been M.I.A for the Yellow Jackets.
  21. Royal Oak (1-10) – Ravens are really struggling right now.
  22. Ferndale University (0-10) – Martin Taylor has really stepped up his game for the Eagles.

 

Girls Top 20.

  1. West Bloomfield (9-3) – Lakers starting to worry me a little bit especially with Birmingham Marian looming.
  2. Clarkston (11-3) – Wolves playing as a collective unit as we speak.
  3. Stoney Creek (11-1) – Cougars remind me of the video game “Sonic Three and Knuckles” don’t know why.
  4. Groves (8-5) – Falcons remind me of Spiderman when he wore the black symbiotic suit from the movie “Spiderman Three” don’t know why.
  5. Royal Oak (7-5) – Have the Ravens found their Robin or maybe two Robins in Kira Vance and Sarah Ammon???
  6. Troy (7-6) – Colts remind me of the Queen of Spades when it comes to Hearts.
  7. Oxford (8-3) – Wildcats have a tough week ahead before going north for districts.
  8. Lake Orion (9-6) – Dragons have had a ton of bad luck with ankle injuries but young talent has stepped up big time.
  9. Berkley (9-4) – Bears have quietly been moving up the standings in the Blue.
  10. Farmington (8-3) – Falcons have been in COVID protocol but Autumn Bartlett has been the glue for Farmington.
  11. Adams (5-3) – Highlanders have been in COVID protocol. They will need to rely on their experience in the postseason.
  12. Rochester (3-7) – Falcons have really been struggling since exiting COVID protocol.
  13. Troy Athens (4-8) – Red Hawks struggling heading into the final week.
  14. Oak Park (5-2) – Knights have improved and getting better. Major part has been the play of Tamara Todd.
  15. North Farmington (2-9) – Raiders have been struggling to score.
  16. Southfield Arts and Tech (1-10) – Warriors still have defensive issues. They have allowed over 68 points eight times this season.
  17. Seaholm (2-8) – I got to give props to Maggie Leibler 14 points and 15 rebounds last week for the Maples.
  18. Ferndale University (4-4) – Eagles got a huge confidence booster at Avondale last week.
  19. Bloomfield Hills (1-8) – Blackhawks remind me of the video game “Nights into Dreams” don’t know why, maybe it’s PK Sports.
  20. Avondale (0-9) – Delilah Clark has really been playing well for the Yellow Jackets in a very challenging season for them.
2021 Football Summer Rankings

Basketball Thoughts After Five Weeks

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Basketball Thoughts After Five Weeks.

Written Saturday March 13th at 9:25 AM

Boys

Red

North Farmington might have earned themselves a reprieve a bit after beating Ferndale on Thursday night which they still need to win out and have the Eagles lose again. The pressure defense was at it again. The district was found to be at Birmingham Brother Rice which is a small gym and very helpful to the Raiders pressure defense. Basheer Jihad and Deon Hayes have played well. It looks like North Farmington has a lot to play for which a good sign for Coach Todd Negoshian and not forget the sub varsities have done very well as well. The future looks bright for the Raiders.

Ferndale has really struggled to score in the last two games (both losses) which is concerning heading into the postseason. They control their own destiny in the Red despite the loss to North Farmington at home on Thursday night. Travyon Lewis has played well but Jason Drake has really struggled down the stretch. Coach Juan Rickman needs to figure out how to get Drake more involved even though Jack Kennedy has played great basketball in the post but Drake is the key if the Eagles want to make a deep postseason run.

Clarkston is back to being Clarkston since Keegan Waslik returned to the lineup. Even though the Red is out of the picture, this is still Clarkston. Matt DePillo, Luke Scherler, and Nathan Steinman have stepped up their games in the final weeks of the season. Waslik has been the key though. The Wolves need to keep the train going especially with the postseason looming

West Bloomfield has really struggled with close games that’s a big concern heading into the postseason. The Lakers are 1-5 in games which are six points or less which has to make Coach Jeremy Dehna go nuts. West Bloomfield has gotten production from Mitchell Seay, Rishard Weaver, Ryan Hurst and company but they need to figure out and they are more than capable of winning the close games when it gets tough.

Oak Park reminds me of the “Twilight Zone.” There are games where they look good and then there are games where they look bad which the win-loss record looks like. The Knights have gotten contributions from Ashton Henderson but they need to find that consistent second and third scorers. Deon Henderson and Bwanda Miller have filled those roles but they haven’t been consistent. They have a tough district looming and they need to be on the same page.

Farmington has been playing better. They are relying on Prince Jackson and Robert Davis to carry them in the final weeks of the season. The Falcons have been scoring a ton of points but they are giving up a ton as well. If I’m Coach Terrance Porter defense has to be my top priority before the postseason starts.

 

White

Troy has been very inconsistent despite being tied for the White. What’s very concerning surrounding Coach Gary Fralick’s team has been that they have lost several close games but they were blown out by Linden on Thursday night at home. Brody Parker and Ethan Emerzian have been playing well but where is D’Anthony Hamilton, Jake Emerzian, and Image Hage??? I know that they have been playing a ton of basketball since being out of COVID protocol but the Colts need to be very collective if they want to get out of this funk before the postseason starts.

Trevor Smith scored his 2,000 point as a Cougar in a win over Groves on Thursday night. Stoney Creek has relied on Smith all season long on the scoring department. Jacob Felton has really stepped up for Coach Steve Norgrove. If the Cougars can take the load off Smith and get different guys involved night in and night out then this is a very dangerous team heading into the postseason.

Groves has been hovering around 500. The Falcons can play spoiler in the postseason as well with how Coach Benny White’s team play. Groves needs to find that consistency and they are more than capable of finding it. If they do then they will be in good shape heading into the postseason.

Bloomfield Hills is in COVID protocol. Coach Phil Kurajian will need his team to stay ready for the final stretch until the postseason starts but they are in the thick of the White race with Troy, Stoney Creek, and Adams. The Blackhawks will be back in action next week which should help things getting ready for a very tough district despite being at home.

Adams is in COVID protocol despite beating Rochester on a buzzer beater by Justice Mims which was his second on the year. The Highlanders have had a great season thus far and they will look to make an impact in the postseason. Coach Jaret Thomas should be coach of the year in the White. Adams will be fine but they will need to get some conditioning in before the postseason starts.

Southfield Arts and Tech has been a really hard team to figure out. The Warriors have a really tough stretch to close out the season and they are also a tough district as well. Southfield Arts and Tech is in a ton of trouble right now especially with how everything is shaping up it’s not a good sign for Coach Darreyle Buchanan.

 

Blue

Troy Athens has been hot and cold lately but questions still remain with them. The Red Hawks have gotten contributions from Michael Justice, Jordan Sebaugh, and Jonah Botardo but where is Jacob Thornton??? Thornton has not been consistent and that has to make Coach Dave Scott nuts. Troy Athens is in an interesting district and the main concern is Sterling Heights Stevenson despite having home court. The Red Hawks are in a dangerous spot heading into the final week of the season but Thornton needs to step up and quick.

Berkley has had a very rough March which they are 1-2 right now. The Bears are going to need players like Joey McNamara, Logan Thomas, and Jon Sherif to step up and help Arshad Walker. If Coach Joe Sermo can find this identity then they could be a very dangerous team come postseason time in a very difficult district that looms.

Oxford is in an very difficult spot right now. Mason Mulholland has led the Wildcats night in and night out but Coach Steve Laidlaw needs someone else to step up, could it be Trent Brown, Palmer Speck, Bryce Essman. Oxford has really struggled to find that second scorer even though there are numerous others that can do that as well. It hasn’t been easy for the Wildcats, they only scored 21 points against Stoney Creek. They have to find other scorers besides Mulholland and if they do they will be fine.

Lake Orion has played very good basketball despite losing a heartbreaker to a very good Detroit Cass Tech team on Thursday night but that loss might have been the best thing to happen to them because it prepares them for the postseason. The Dragons have a star in the making in Alden Ritt and a very good senior class in Will McClear, Nick Fisher, Andrew Bryant, Mark Smith, Brennan Jones, and Xander Blackney also that’s not counting Malachi Grandberry and the emergence of Jeff Perkowski and Blake Leidell. Coach Joel Schroeder is going to be fine even though they are in COVID protocol right now.

Seaholm picked up a huge confidence boosting win on Thursday night against Berkley. The Maples have gotten contributions from Johnny Cross, Tyler Eick, and Charlie Bokos but they need more if they want to make some noise in a very tough district. It’s been a challenging year for Coach Mike DeGetter but they are getting healthier The Maples could play spoiler in the Blue. They are a team that no one wants to see.

 

Gold

Pontiac will likely win the Gold this season but their lack on non-league very much concerns me when it comes to the postseason. Dioante Harris has played well for the Phoenix but they are going to need players like Tarah Hazard to step up especially against the likes of Orchard Lake St. Marys, Bloomfield Hills, and West Bloomfield. They have the league title but they are in serious trouble in a week.

Rochester suffered a heatbreaking loss to Adams at the buzzer on Tuesday night and is now in COVID protocol. The chances of winning the Gold are gone for Coach Vance Kirkwood’s team. Matt Stone and Mark Williams have been playing very well for them. The Falcons need to focus on getting ready for a very tough district looming at Stoney Creek.

Avondale has not been the same team since losing to Seaholm a few weeks ago. I am wondering is where is Jeremy Neal??? Neal has been Coach Pat Clancy’s best player but he has struggled in recent weeks. The Yellow Jackets need more production if they want to make any noise in the postseason.

Royal Oak has really fallen on hard times and that’s a concern going into the postseason. The Ravens have been competitive and have gotten contributions from Colton Champion and Charlie Grobowski but where is Jessie Hoisington??? Hoisington has really struggled but foul trouble has been the other reason as well. Coach Aaron Smith needs to keep Hoisington on the floor if they want to have the chance to win.

Ferndale University has been very competitive as shown in their last few games. They have struggled in their first year in the OAA. Martin Taylor has been very good for the Eagles despite being winless this season. They had a very tough loss to Avondale on Thursday night but questions remain for Ferndale University. The Eagles will be fine going forward but they have a ton of work to do.

 

Girls

Red

West Bloomfield has the Red all locked up with their two wins over Clarkston but they have not been looking good lately which is raising red flags. Even though they beat Groves on Friday night the loss to Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy and shocking blowout loss to Detroit Edison has me concerned for Coach Bert Mosley’s team. If the Lakers play like they did against Detroit Edison against let’s say Birmingham Marian in the district finals then this team could be going home early. There is a lot to be concerned about with West Bloomfield right now.

Clarkston has played fundamentally sound basketball lately. Maddy Skorupski has had monster games lately but the play of Olivia Toderan has me very impressed. She has been in double figures in the last two games. The Wolves have multiple players that can make an impact including Izzy Hadley, Kierra Tomlie, and Kaitlyn Kaul, among others. Clarkston doesn’t have really any concerns heading into the postseason unlike West Bloomfield but the district is very challenging in Romeo to say the least.

Royal Oak has seemed to turn the corner a bit. They have seemed to found a Robin in Kira Vance which has been a good sign for Coach Brian Sopota. Vance has been filling the score sheet and has played very well in the Robin role. The Ravens have been very inconsistent lately. Sarah Ammon has also had some turns being the Robin to Sarah Soroghan. If Soroghan doesn’t have to carry the load even though she is more than capable of putting a team on her shoulders than that would make the team that more dangerous heading into the postseason.

Groves reminds me of Spiderman when he wore the black suit and gained advanced powers from the suit. I wonder at times with the Falcons if that is the case surrounding this team. Nevedah Otis has really played well along with Jordan Sanders, Kaitlyn Quinn, and Rachel Sample among others but when they play good teams they seem to have trouble. They tend to lose the power of the black suit. Groves is going to see some very good teams which is why Coach AntJuan Simpkins set up a very difficult non league schedule but Groves tends to struggle in big time games. Now they are young but that’s not an excuse especially this late in the season.

Southfield Arts and Tech went back to bad habits again allowing 68 or more points in eight games this season. Kayonia Wills and Jaylen Austin have carried the Warriors but if they want to make any noise in the postseason they need to shore up the defensive side of the basketball because if they don’t then this team and program won’t go anywhere anytime soon.

 

White

Troy has me seriously concerned especially late in games. The Colts are what you describe is the classic “Scooby Doo Where Are You” type team. The Colts have gotten contributions from Lauren Gumma and Kendall Zeiter but they more players like Alyssa Matuza, Charlotte Sobotka, and Kalen Knight to step up. Troy has been around 500 and is now tied with Stoney Creek for the White. They need to find that next gear and quick especially with the postseason looming.

Stoney Creek is basically the classic “Sonic Three and Knuckles” team. The Cougars have basically used every zone to their advantage and has overcame every obstacle given to earn themselves a chance at the White crown. Sydney and Sarah LaPrarie’s have played great basketball along with Milana Skoric and Mia Carson has basically taken where Lili DiPanni has left off. Coach Kellen James has this team believing and they are clicking at the right time.

Adams has been in COVID protocol most of the week since the Farmington game. The Highlanders have a tough week ahead before the postseason starts in two weeks. Coach Shay Lewis will need to ride the experience of Maddie Dolegina, Elizabeth Blaine, Abbey Drahnak, and Lauren Petersmark. Adams is going to need to get back into form and quick. It’s going to be a challenge going forward.

North Farmington is very young and inexperienced which has shown in the results but the play of Sela Lefler and Heaven Rogers has to please Coach Jeff Simpson. The Raiders are having issues scoring as of late which is not a good sign heading into the postseason. North Farmington if they want to make some noise in the postseason is going to need to find some scoring and the defense has to come through if not then it could be a quick exit from the tournament.

Bloomfield Hills earned their first win for first year coach Kristen Massey by beating Dearborn Heights Robichaud on Friday afternoon in Dearborn. The Blackhawks had several players break out in that game but Emilia Johnson has played really well in the final weeks despite not getting the results they wanted. Bloomfield Hills has had games where they looked good and games they looked bad. This is a classic “Nights into Dreams” team. The future is a deep mystery with this program right now.

 

Blue

Avondale has really struggled this season despite having Ragein Lawrence, Savannah Schmidt, and Delilah Clark. The play of Lilly Titus has been interesting. She is a good point guard for Coach Roy Christmon. The Yellow Jackets according to sources say they have players coming in next season however questions surround this program.

Troy Athens put up 50 points in a loss to Troy a few weeks ago but they have only scored 34 and 29 this week. That is a serious concern going forward for the Red Hawks. Where is the scoring going to come from??? Coach Stacie Klumpp has Gillian Ciak, Clara Shoales, and Nitya Baltsu but they need someone to step up and score. If they can find offense then they will be fine going forward.

Rochester has really struggled since getting off COVID protocol losing three straight games. I’m wondering where is Jackie Hurst??? Hurst has not been an offensive factor since they came off COVID protocol. Megan Lorenzo has carried the Falcons but they need more than Lorenzo. Hurst is more than capable of having a big game as has Anaya Ranjarian. Coach Bill Thurston has to find a way to get Hurst going because if they can’t get Hurst going then they could be in big trouble this postseason.

Berkley has started to become very dangerous and they are gaining confidence in each game. The Bears have gotten contributions from Ashley Loon, Sammi Winthrow, Ry Sanom, and Ava Beard. That is a good sign for Coach Kurt Carolian and his team. Berkley is peaking at the right time and they will need to be especially with a tough district looming in the postseason.

Oxford has been red hot lately and controls their own destiny in the Blue. They have gotten confidence from Mackenzie Methner and Miranda Wymeniko. They did get some bad news with the season ending shoulder injury to Emma Morris. Wymeniko has really stepped up her game for Coach Rachel Bryer. The Wildcats are gaining a ton of confidence as a group especially with that district looming in Grand Blanc where they have to see Davison, Flint Kearsley, Grand Blanc, and Lapeer.

Lake Orion has gotten hit with the injury bug with ankle injuries to Meghan Marshall and Kylie Heck. The Dragons have gotten contributions from their sophomore class and Katie Van Heck. Coach Bob Brydges has Lake Orion in a good spot. They need to stay healthy and with a young and upcoming team they will be dangerous for years to come.

 

Gold

Farmington has been in COVID protocol but they have the Gold wrapped up. Autumn Bartlett, Kennedi Jones, Val Pallett, among others are going to need to step up if they want to make some noise in the postseason. The Falcons are more than capable of having a postseason run especially with the schedule they have played. The key will be how they get back into routine and if they do then look out. It will be interesting to see what happens for Coach Laura Guzman and her team going forward.

Seaholm has really fallen on hard times lately. Maggie Leibler had a nice game a few nights ago getting 14 points and 15 rebounds. The Maples need more from Shay Manchester and company. They could be in for a long postseason. Coach Chris Manchester needs to figure things out and quickly.

Ferndale University picked up a monster win over Avondale on the road last Wednesday night. The Eagles are slowly getting adjusted to life in the OAA. Ferndale University needs to keep building especially with a winnable district looming in a few weeks

Oak Park has really played better and a lot of that is Tamara Todd but there are others that are playing well for Coach Peggy Evans Carr. The Knights were very impressive in their stunning 16 point win over Seaholm last Tuesday night. Oak Park will have it tough in their district but if Todd plays well they have a chance but they need to stay away from Detroit Renaissance.

2021 Football Summer Rankings

Inside the OAA Top 22 and Top 20

Inside the OAA

Covering all 22 OAA teams with insight and thoughts on each team from Northern Oakland County to Southern Oakland County.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Inside the OAA Top 22 and Top 20.

Written Sunday March 7th at 6:00 PM

Here are the top 22 and top 20 for basketball throughout the OAA. I look at how teams are playing right now as we speak and the rankings tell themselves from my point of view. Here they are.

Boys Top 22.

  1. Ferndale (8-1) – Jack Kennedy has really surprised some folks.
  2. Adams (9-3) – Jaret Thomas has done a heck of a coaching job with the Highlanders.
  3. Clarkston (9-3) – Keegan Waslik is back with a vengeance.
  4. North Farmington (6-2) – Raiders no longer control their own destiny in the Red.
  5. Lake Orion (9-2) – Dragons are clicking on all cylinders.
  6. Bloomfield Hills (7-4) – Blackhawks control their own destiny in the White.
  7. Troy (4-2) – Something doesn’t seem right with the Colts.
  8. Stoney Creek (7-3) – Trevor Smith is really carrying the Cougars on his back.
  9. Troy Athens (7-3) – Jordan Sebaugh is the key for the Red Hawks.
  10. Groves (4-5) – Falcons are more than capable of pulling off an upset.
  11. Pontiac (6-0) – Phoenix are rising but would like to see them play some non league teams.
  12. Berkley (4-6) – It wasn’t a great week for the Bears.
  13. West Bloomfield (3-7) – Lakers have been very streaky lately.
  14. Farmington (3-8) – Falcons have been very inconsistent.
  15. Oak Park (3-6) – Knights have been a mystery team right now.
  16. Rochester (6-5) – Falcons no longer control their own destiny in the Gold right now.
  17. Oxford (4-7) – Wildcats are as good as Mason Mulholland takes them.
  18. Seaholm (3-7) – Maples are as good as Johnny Cross takes them.
  19. Southfield Arts and Tech (2-7) – Warriors are very suspect right now.
  20. Avondale (4-6) – Yellow Jackets haven’t been the same since the loss to Seaholm.
  21. Royal Oak (1-8) – Ravens picked up a monster win over Ferndale University this past week.
  22. Ferndale University (0-8) – Rising Eagles are still getting used to life in the OAA.

 

 

Girls Top 20.

  1. West Bloomfield (8-1) – Lakers looking strong on all cylinders
  2. Clarkston (9-2) – Wolves have been scoring in bunches lately.
  3. Stoney Creek (9-1) – Cougars rolling right now.
  4. Troy (7-4) – Colts holding strong in the White.
  5. Groves (7-5) – Falcons are going to be a dangerous team come postseason time.
  6. Royal Oak (6-4) – Ravens are starting to put things together.
  7. Oxford (7-3) – Myranda Wynnabego has been a difference maker for the Wildcats.
  8. Farmington (8-3) – Autumn Bartlett has been the glue for the Falcons.
  9. Adams (6-3) – Highlanders are still a really odd team to figure out.
  10. Lake Orion (6-6) – Dragons haven’t been the same team since losing to Oxford.
  11. Rochester (3-4) – Falcons are back on the court which is a good sign.
  12. Berkley (6-4) – Ashley Loon has been the key to the Bears success.
  13. Troy Athens (4-6) – Gillian Ciak has been playing well for the Red Hawks lately.
  14. North Farmington (2-7) – Heaven Rogers has played well for the Raiders in this stretch.
  15. Southfield Arts and Tech (1-8) – Warriors got their first win for new coach Shaquila Coltrane.
  16. Seaholm (2-8) – Maples struggling a little bit.
  17. Oak Park (2-2) – Knights have done well against Ferndale University but others not so much.
  18. Ferndale University (2-4) – It’s still going to take some time for the Rising Eagles to get used to the OAA.
  19. Bloomfield Hills (0-8) – Blackhawks really struggling right now.
  20. Avondale (0-7) – Yellow Jackets really struggling right now.