Burney's Bytes with Scott Burnstein

Charging Towards Destiny

Football   | Scott Burnstein

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Southfield-Lathrup is ending its football program in style – qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade – and giving an inspired display on the gridiron in honor of its deceased former coach.

The 6-3 Chargers haven’t waded in postseason waters since 2007. They’ve dedicated the 2015 campaign to Keith Stephens, the longtime Metro Detroit area sideline general who died in the offseason of cancer, and will tussle with OAA Blue league-foe Berkley to open playoff action this weekend. Lathrup will merge with Southfield in the 2015-2016 school year.

Leading Lathrup for two seasons, Stephens was 61 and had previous coaching stints at Oak Park, Pontiac Northern and Dearborn Heights Robichaud.

“These guys want to finish the job, bring down the curtain on this program with a bang and make another loud statement for Coach Stephens,” current Chargers head coach Jason Solomon said. “The first step was getting into the playoffs, now we want to make some noise. A lot of the older players have been talking about this, doing something that would make Coach Stephens proud and put an exclamation point on what he started here when he took the job. So far, it’s been a magical year.”

Keith Poe, Montrez Beverly and Sterling Alexander are two-way studs for Lathrup. Sophomore signal-caller Bryce Veasley is an underclassman to watch at the quarterback position the next two seasons following the merger.