BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Clarkston’s gridiron heroes are ready for action as they open the season this Friday against Southfield Arts & Technology in the first annual “Showdown at the Swamp.”
It will be also the first time the Wolves play the Warriors, and they will play them again on October.
“Right off the get-go we are at it,” said Kurt Richardson, long-time head coach for Clarkston Varsity Football. “They have a bunch of transfers. They are going to be really good. They run the ball all over. Their quarterback runs.”
He noted on the offensive line, the Wolves have five starters back.
“That’s huge for us,” Richardson added. “We were in the championship game playing with three sophomores in the offensive line. We will build around those guys.”
Two include junior linebackers Rocco Spindler and Garrett Dellinger, who are back for their third year and lead the key returners.
“They are our core,” said Richardson. “They are being recruited by everybody.”
Other key returners include seniors Dylan Erksine, Austin Hurren, Jacob Jones, Matt Miller, Hayden Temple, Devin Parkison, and Connor Partee, and junior Ben Haas.
Players to watch include juniors Alec Boan, wide receiver, Blake Kosin, tight end; and sophomore Mike DePillo who steps into the role as quarterback replacing Jake Jensen, who graduated in June.
During the first week of practice, Richardson said positions on the defensive line are young.
“Defensively, our front guys we are going to be young at linebacker and young in the secondary,” he explained. “We have some work to do there but they are making some good strides.”
The season opener against Southfield will give the Wolves a good look at how they measure in the OAA Red league.
“The OAA is one of the best in the state,” Richardson said, adding the competition helps the players get ready for the post-season. “If you get through our schedule, you are playing some of the best so when you get to the playoffs you are seeing the same caliber type teams.”
West Bloomfield High School hosts Showdown at the Swamp this Friday. Kick off for the Wolves game against the Warriors is at 3 p.m.
Admission $8 per person. Tickets available at the gate and during school lunch hours at Clarkston High School. Admission will get you into the Clarkston game and the 7 p.m. game when West Bloomfield plays Oak Park.
West Bloomfield High School is located at 4925 Orchard Lake Rd in West Bloomfield Township, 48323.
Check out Gridiron Section in this week’s edition for more.