Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grant Perry is straw that stirs Brother Rice's drink

Perry motivated for senior season success



                                                                                                                                                                            Ken Detloff/The D Zone
Brother Rice senior wide receiver Grant Perry caught two touchdowns and had 213 receiving yards in the Warriors’ victory over Chicago Brother Rice on Saturday.
By Evan Paputa

Recruiting Editor
Brother Rice started last year’s championship season at the Prep Kickoff Classic against a highly rated team from Ohio and came out with a victory. This year, the Warriors experienced deja vu at the same Adams Field at Wayne State, but with a few different variables.

For the first time in 45 years, Brother Rice was led to victory by a different head coach than Al Fracassa. Longtime assistant and former player, Dave Sofran, took the reins and led Brother Rice to a 40-34 victory over Chicago (IL.) Brother Rice.

Senior wide receiver, Grant Perry, is confident that Sofran is ready to lead the Warriors to yet another successful season in 2014.

“He’s learned a lot from Fracassa, coached under him for 14 years and played under him. So he definitely has the right past teaching and guidance to have a great future,” Perry said.

Perry will be one of Sofran’s immediate go-to leaders and receivers. And, it doesn’t hurt that Perry has played for Sofran since eighth grade.

“Very good, known him since eighth grade and he’s coached me all four years of high school,” Perry, 6-foot-0, 188-pounds, said. “I started my relationship with him then when I was figuring out I wanted to attend Rice.”

Although Perry is a model student- maintains a 3.3 grade point average- Sofran keeps on him to make him the best person he can be.

“He stays on me, expects my best effort all the time and that’s what really helped me with everything I do,” Perry said.

Last year, Brother Rice beat Cleveland St. Ignatius in their opener. This year, Perry led the Warriors with 213 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win over Chicago Brother Rice.

Perry played a major role in last year’s victory over St. Ignatius and knows that experience on the big stage paid dividends for this year’s Prep Kickoff Classic win.

“Helps a lot, we know what it’s going to be like going up against a Goliath so we are mentally and physically ready for their best effort,” Perry said.

As for recruiting, Perry holds offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Kent State. But look for him to get multiple offers from Big Ten schools with another successful season.

Bryce Witherspoon - Clarkston - DT/OT - Class of 2015 Player Profile

  • High School:
    •  Clarkston
  • Graduation Year:
    •  2015
  • Primary Position:
    •  DT
  • Secondary Position (s):
    • OT and OG
  • Height:
    • 6'2"
  • Weight:
    • 255 lbs
  • #1 Most Memorable Game:
    • The Division 1 state championship at Ford Field because it was our first state championship 
  • Pre-game Traditions:
    • Listen to music
  • Anticipated Major:
    • Secondary Education 
  • Experience:
    • 3 years of Varsity, 1 year of JV
  • Greatest High School Achievement:
    • Keeping my grade point average up and improve on my ACT score
  • Offseason Goal (s):
    • Lose 10 pounds 
    • Get faster 
    • Go to 13 camps
  • College Offers:
    • Ferris State University 
    • Northwood University
  • Colleges that you are interested in:
    • Central Michigan 
    • Bowling Green 
    • Saginaw Valley 
    • Wayne State University 
    • Grand Valley State University
  • Colleges that have shown you interest:
    • Central Michigan 
    • Saginaw Valley 
    • Grand Valley State University
  • Intangibles:
    • My size and height
  • How I play the game:
    • Smart 
    • Coachable 
    • Relentless

Week 2 Prepper: In depth look at the 6 biggest Football games in week 2

Week 1 brought in the season with many exciting games that lived up to their billing. Week 2 is a more welcoming week for teams but still has several huge games, especially where division games begin around the state.

Chippewa Valley and Dakota go head-to-head, it's the must attend game for people in Macomb County | Source: Jeff Corrion /  The D Zone

Dakota (0-1) at Chippewa Valley (1-0) (Friday, September 5th - 7pm)
Nothing quite a rivalry, you thought!  How about a rivalry with direct division implications, where the winner of this game takes a huge load of momentum through the rest of the year.  That's exactly what will happen when 2 of the MAC Red's top teams meet this week.  Last year Dakota hosted Chippewa Valley in both week 8 and 11, winning both games pretty comfortably.  Dakota has won the last 11 meetings between the two teams.  Chippewa Valley's last win vs. Dakota came in Week 6 of 2004 but Dakota would get revenge, knocking CV out of the playoffs 6 weeks later.

Both teams were balanced offensively last week, Dakota was down early but has a potent receiving core / TE.  Chippewa Valley showed that their passing game could be lethal even though they replaced a 3 year starter and you know both teams are top notch of defense.

Interesting fact:  Dakota opened in 1996 and has played Chippewa Valley the most among all their opponents, this will be the 23rd meeting and Dakota leads the series, 16-6.
Key Dakota player:  Antonio Balabani - DE/LB
Key Chippewa Valley player:  Sean Bunting - WR/DB

Grand Rapids Christian (1-0) at Muskegon (1-0) (Friday, September 5th - 7pm)
Muskegon was no stranger to big games in week 1 and that continued this year with a tough week 1 game vs. Catholic Central, in which Muskegon came away with a 21-14 win and enough momentum to carry them the rest of the year. Grand Rapids Christian defeated Grand Rapids South Christian who are the Division 4 runner-ups, for the 4th straight season.  It will be interesting to see how Muskegon and GRC transition from their week 1 opponents.  Muskegon faced a run first and physical team team while GRC faced a spread offense in GRSC.  So watch to see how they adapt to different style teams.

Look to see what team implements their tempo first on offense and how the defenses switch to play a different offensive scheme than last week.

Interesting fact: Muskegon has never lost to Grand Rapids Christian.  The Big Reds are 3-0 vs. the Eagles.  Their wins were; 35-13 in 2013, 22-21 in 1994, and 35-13 in 1993).
Key player for Muskegon:  Shawn Pfenning - QB
Key player for Grand Rapids Christian:  Malik McLaughlin - RB/DB/OLB

Hudsonville (1-0) at Traverse City West (1-0) (Friday, September 5th - 7pm)
Two teams right off of Lake Michigan but are distanced from each other by 150 miles.  Hudsonville will take the trip north up 127 to play at Traverse City's Thirbly Field.  Neither team had to worry much about their wins late in the game, Hudsonville defeated Holt 27-8 while Traverse City West beat Midland 31-14.  Both teams are expected to be favorites to win their respected divisions in this crossover between two Division 1 sized schools who could face one another in the playoffs.

Hudsonville QB Mason Opple will be one of the key players on the west side of Michigan this year.  He can hurt you with his arm and is a bruising hitter when he runs.  Opple threw and ran each for around 130 yards in his week 1 game vs. Holt.  Traverse City West has 3 Junior Division 1 recruits on their offensive line, Thiyo Lukusa, Tommy Roush, and Jake Cerny.  TC West certainly will be able to pound the rock or spread out and pass with a line like they have.

Interesting fact: In 2009 and 2008 these two opened the games and both times Hudsonville came out with wins.
Key player for Traverse City West: Zach McGuire - WR/CB
Key player for Hudsonville:  Mason Opple - QB

Woodhaven (1-0) at Southgate Anderson (1-0) (Friday, September 5th - 7pm)
The Downriver Deathmatch is a term we have awarded to the games in the Downriver League that have major impact for postseason and League implications for both teams.  In week 2 SGA and Woodhaven meet already and this promises to be a huge game.  Both teams improved during the course of last year but didn't have what it took to make the post season.  This year, different story!  Southgate Anderson closed last year with 2 wins and a 7 point loss to playoff bound Allen Park while Woodhaven won 4 of their final 6 games.  This year both are expected to fight with Wyandotte Roosevelt and others for the top spot.

Woodhaven runs the Triple Option and after a year of major experience gained this team should be more focused and dangerous.  Southgate returned a lot of talent and depth from last year and quickly took out LP last week while Woodhaven did the same to Taylor Truman.

Interesting fact:  Neither team wasn't much of a factor last year but both have the talent to this year. SGA holds a 6-2 advantage over Woodhaven since they joined the Downriver League.
Key Southgate Anderson player:  Danny McCoy - QB/FS/P
Key Woodhaven player:  Niko France - QB/RB

Flint Carman-Ainsworth (1-0) at Mount Pleasant (1-0) (September 5th - 7pm)
The Saginaw Valley League division games begin this week.  The fishy format was designed to separate rivals and put them in opposite divisions but there will be no shortage of interesting SVL games in week 2.  The biggest will be Flint Carman-Ainsworth traveling north to Mount Pleasant.  Mount Pleasant was crushed by what is lethal offense of Midland Dow and will look to put the crossover game behind them and move to what seems to be a brutal division that includes:  Carman-Ainsworth, Lapeer, and Midland.  Bay City Central and Saginaw Arthur Hill have talent too and can potentially cause problems.  Carman-Ainsworth lost a lot of talent last year but they regularly do and continue to have good teams, that is no different this year following CA's 3rd straight win over Grand Blanc to start the season.

Look for 2 teams with good offenses to be aggressive, looking to get the ball to their biggest playmakers which could favor a defense that can cause turnovers out of an overly aggressive team.

Interesting fact: Mt. Pleasant 2016 LB Hunter Buczkowski led the state with 17 tackles last week.  It's the first meeting between the 2 teams as well.
Key player for Mount Pleasant:  Kalebb Perry - WR
Key player for Flint Carman-Ainsworth:  Josh Ellison - WR/DB

Zeeland East (0-1) vs. Zeeland West (1-0) (Friday, September 5th - 7pm)
The past 2 seasons Zeeland East defeated Zeeland West in week 2 but when they met in the playoffs it was Zeeland West who came out on top both games.  Last year, Zeeland East scored an overtime touchdown in the regular season to escape with a 50-44 win but West won comfortably in the first week of the playoffs by the score of 44-13.  The win would fuel Zeeland West to the Division 3 State Championship where they knocked off DeWitt 34-27.  Both teams have some new faces coming but still will be strong teams as usual.  Zeeland West ran rampant on Country Day again while Zeeland East fell to Division 7 runner-ups, Loyola at home.

This game tends to be a shootout so look for the playmakers to do what they do best and that is, make plays!

Interesting fact:  Zeeland West holds a 7-4 advantage over Zeeland East.  Zeeland East beat West 2 times in the past 2 years during the regular season but both years West won in the playoffs.
Key player for Zeeland West: Caleb Brinks - QB
Key player for Zeeland East: Devin Butler - WR/CB

Stay tuned this weekend as our staff releases our "Pick - Six" weekly pick'em on the states biggest six games each week.