In Play with Tom Markowski

PSL among the elite football leagues thanks to Cass Tech and King

Football   | Tom Markowski

PSL among the elite football leagues thanks to Cass Tech and King

Detroit – Fifteen years ago people laughed at Detroit Public School League football. It was considered a league with great players and undisciplined teams.

The players are still great but now they are concentrated, playing on five or six teams instead of being spread around all over the city.

Look at Detroit King and Detroit Cass Tech. Since 2007 when King won its first title opinions began to change. Actually it happened in the second half of King’s 47-21 victory over Midland in the Division 2 final. King came into that game ranked No. 1 but trailed 21-7 early in the third quarter. King scored the final 40 points to bury Midland and any thoughts that a PSL couldn’t win a state title.

Cass Tech has reached the state semifinals in each of the past seven seasons. The Technicians have won three titles during this period, King has won two.

This season marked the first time two PSL teams won titles in the same season.

Granted, no PSL team, other than these two, has reached a state final but the league no longer is the butt of playoff jokes. The PSL is now at the top of the heap.

Next season you can expect both to be there or at least near the top.

Expectations have changed and Thomas Wilcher, Cass Tech’s coach, said, at least for his team and at King, coaching is better.

"It's very special to have both teams win because you showed an impact that we can play in football," Wilcher said. "You just can't write us off, you just can't say we can't do this. When you have two schools at the top of their game, last year King was ranked No. 1, went 14-0. This year we were ranked No. 1 and we went 14-0.

"It shows that we can coach, you can't say we don't have good coaches. We have good coaches, we have good players, we have disciplined kids, so all we want to do is keep our kids all working together. We want to keep our kids in the city of Detroit, we want to keep our kids home, we want parents to come watch our kids play, we want our parents to understand that Detroit Public Schools is positive. There's something for each and every young man to experience and you don't have to travel 20 miles to get experience. Come in 20 miles and get a great experience, here in Detroit Public Schools."

Let’s look back. When King reache