In Play with Tom Markowski

Top 10 Games: Lakeview seeks second playoff appearance on Friday

Football   | Tom Markowski

Top 10 Games: Lakeview seeks second playoff appearance on Friday

 

St. Clair Shores – There’s a saying that good guys finish last. If that’s true Pat Threet’s teams wouldn’t win a game.

Threet is the head coach at St. Clair Shores Lakeview and his Huskies are 5-3, a win away from clinching a playoff spot. If Lakeview does win at New Haven (4-4) on Friday it would be the second time Lakeview qualified for the playoffs. The first time was in 2010 and Threet was the coach then. This is his second stint as Lakeview’s coach.

In between Threet coached at Fraser. The Ramblers have made the playoffs once since 1998. That was in 2014, Threet’s fourth and final season at Fraser. Threet left Fraser after that season to take a teaching position at Lakeview and become its football coach.

Threet is old school. He runs an old school offense, the T-formation. His programs haven’t attracted many transfers. The players he gets, for the most part, are the ones that were there the year before and the year before that. Off-season acquisitions isn’t his forte.

Some would say Threet’s offense is boring, that there’s little imagination when all you do is hand the ball off, execute your blocking schemes and secure the football as a running back. He’s likely to agree.

“My buddies will be up in the crowd,” Threet said. “And they’ll hear people say things like, ‘that coach doesn’t change anything’. And we’ll be down 21-0. At halftime we’ll be leading 28-21 and my guys will say to the others, ‘good thing that coach didn’t change anything’.”

Lakeview is 2-3 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, which is not one of the strongest divisions in the MAC. But this season it’s not bad. It’s quite possible that four of the six teams will qualify for the playoffs.

And back to that boring offense. Last week Lakeview went toe-to-toe with the Silver’s top team, Warren Fitzgerald (7-1, 4-1), and lost 40-34. Lakeview has now scored a school record 273 points this season.

“We keep it simple,” Threet said. “We have three good backs. We have great kids and they come from hard-working families.”

Those three backs are all seniors. Chris Wise has rushed for 1,018 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jacen Norman has 685 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Kory Majewski has 552 yards and nine touchdowns. All are averaging over seven yards per carry.

You won’t find any players being recruited by Division I schools here. Few will even play at a small collegiate school. What Threet does have is players who listen to their coaches and go about their responsibilities with pride.

At center for Threet is Noah Godlewski. He weighs 170 pounds. At left guard is Andrew Sorgeloos. As a back-up quarterback last season he weighed 140 pounds. He’s all the way up to 160 now. Threet doesn’t ask them to be superstars. But he does ask them to block, for at least two or three seconds so the backs have time to get through the hole.

“I tell the kids that talent is like the elastic in your underwear,” Threet said. “If you want to get better you have to expand.”

Like I was saying. Pick: Lakeview by 8.

 

All games are Friday at 7 p.m. unless noted.

 

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (5-3) at New Baltimore Anchor Bay (5-3): Usually when you have a MAC Red Division team that has the same record as a team from the MAC White it’s an easy pick. Not sure here. Chippewa Valley is a young team and might be prone to making one too many mistakes. Pick: Chippewa Valley by 2.

Detroit King (7-1) vs. Detroit Cass Tech (8-0) at Ford Field: Cass Tech won the first game this season, 31-18. The Technicians led 17-0 at halftime before King made a game of it. King is just too inexperienced to handle the pressure of a game like this, in a venue like this. Pick: Cass Tech by 8. 

Grandville Calvin Christian (5-3) at Belding (5-3): Belding is 5-0 all-time against the Squires. Calvin Christian nosed closer to a playoff spot last week as quarterback Jake Bouma rushed for 159 yards and passed for 156 in a 30-29 victory over Leroy Pine River. Pick: Belding by 4.

Greenville (5-3) at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (4-4): Don’t like Northern’s chances of getting in as an additional qualifier but there is a chance. Greenville could have qualified last week but lost a tough one (20-13 to Wyoming). Greenville has made the playoffs just four times, the last coming in 2010, so a win here would do much for the program. Pick: Northern by 2.

Holly (5-3) at Ortonville Brandon (7-1): Adam Tooley and his friends in the backfield for Holly need to get their engines in high gear if they expect to take down the Blackhawks. Holly can clinch a spot in the playoffs for just the fifth time in school history, and fourth in the last seven seasons. Holly has lost the last three to Brandon. Make it four. Pick: Brandon by 3.

Livonia Franklin (6-2) at Novi (4-4): Novi made the playoffs as an additional qualifier last season and the Wildcats are entertaining that possibility again. Novi’s up-and-down season continues. Pick: Novi by 3.

Temperance Bedford (7-1) at Detroit Country Day (8-0): OK, so this game won’t determine a playoff team but it promises to be entertaining. Bedford might need to win this game to secure home field in the first round. Pick: Bedford by 3.

Waterford Mott (4-4) at Howell (5-3): The winner gets in the playoffs. If Howell loses it still might qualify. Howell has shown more consistency this season that has Mott. Pick: Howell by 6.

Detroit Catholic Central (8-0) vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (5-3) at Ford Field, Sat., 7: C.C. hasn’t won the Catholic League title since 2011. No one knows that better than the Shamrocks. For St. Mary’s to win the Eaglets got to keep the score down. Pick: C.C. by 7.

     

Last week’s record: 6-4.

Season record: 54-26.