In Play with Tom Markowski

Walled Lake Western gets over the hump, reaches first state final in 17 years

Football   | Tom Markowski

Walled Lake Western gets over the hump, reaches first state final in 17 years

Walled Lake – When a program experiences success over a period of years it’s easy for those involved to take for winning for granted.

Walled Lake Western won state titles in 1996 and ’99, and reached a semifinal in ’01. Mike Zdebski was the head coach of that ’99 team and was an assistant in ’96. Despite having some fine teams recently, highly-rated teams, the Warriors were never able to get back to a final. Twice Lowell eliminated Western in the semifinals in the last five years and on Saturday the two schools played once again in a semifinal. This time Western prevailed, 37-34.

“It is gratifying,” Zdebski said. “Our (assistant coaches) have been working hard and (Sunday) morning they came in and said they were tired. I said, hey guys we haven’t been here in a long time. Let’s enjoy this.”

Western (12-1) will play defending champion Detroit King (11-2) for the title on Friday at Ford Field at 1 p.m. and because of the short week to prepare Zdebski had his staff get back to work quickly after defeating Lowell. There’s no time to celebrate a semifinal victory when there&