In Play with Tom Markowski

Top games: First weekend offers a number of interesting east-west, non-conference match-ups including Clarkston-Dakota

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Beverly Hills – Coaches Brendan Flaherty and Jim DeWald didn’t have to spend much time motivating their respective teams for Thursday’s season opener.

There are many interesting matchups this week (read below) and the Birmingham Groves-Birmingham Seaholm game, to be held at Seaholm at 7 p.m., promises to be one of the more hotly-contested.

“It’s a big one for us,” Flaherty, the coach at Groves, said. “I think (Seaholm) will be better than they were last season.”

The rival schools compete in the Oakland Activities Association but are in different divisions; Groves the Blue, Seaholm the White.

Seaholm holds a 40-15 advantage in the series that began in 1961. Seaholm won the first seven games in the series. Groves won last season, 42-19.

Seaholm won the Blue Division title in 2012 and ’13 before the Maples got bumped up to the White. They were 4-5 last season after three consecutive winning seasons.

Groves was 7-4 last season losing to Birmingham Brother Rice in a Division 2 district final. Flaherty has seven starters returning on defense an