Wolves finish fall season run in semifinal playoffs

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
DeWitt — Clarkston Varsity Football players and their coaches shared hugs and handshakes after their MHSAA Division 1 Semifinal loss against Caledonia on Saturday, 21-0.
“Credit to them, they did a nice job defensively, but I felt like every time we got in a position where we were close to scoring we didn’t,” said Clarkston Varsity Football Head Coach Justin Pintar. “Something happened. It was one of those day where we didn’t have things going. We had a couple of big plays. We had a couple of opportunities to score touchdowns where I thought we were in position then one thing or another ended the drives for us. It was one of those days where sometimes you don’t have it.”
Caledonia’s Brock Townsend scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 3:59 left in the first quarter.

The offensive line including Nick Waszczenko keep Caledonia back to give Ethan Clark running room. Photo: Larry Wright/WrightActionPix

They scored again with three minutes remaining in the second quarter with a 28-yard touchdown run from Blake Herron.
Pintar added Clarkston defense had a good day.
“I thought defensively we gave ourselves a chance,” he said. “Holding them to 21 points, that’s a very good offense on that side of the field. If you would have told me before today we were going to hold them to 21 points I would have felt pretty good about our chances. The second half they gave up the one touchdown which was on a short field. Defensively, they gave us the opportunity. Offensively, we just didn’t get done.”
Caledonia was also ready to keep leading rusher senior Ethan Clark from scoring any touchdowns for the day.
Clark, who will play college football for Princeton after graduation, left his legacy on the Wolves program.
“He is a phenomenal football player, great talent. He is an even better kid. That’s what you are going to miss with him,” Pintar said. “He is a great young man and he gives everything he has every day at practice. He never says boo, never complains, just goes about his business. You are going to miss any kid like that. Doesn’t matter how good they are. You just miss kids like that.
“We have guys on the team who don’t get on the field, but they have good attitudes,” Pintar added. “They bring energy every day in practice. I am going to miss those kids just as much because they do so much for this program having guys like that on your team.
“Ethan is one of a kind when it comes to the talent and the other stuff,” Pintar continued. “He is just a great young man, great football player. He is going to have a phenomenal college career.”
Clarkston finished the season with an overall 10-3 record and sharing the OAA Red league title with Rochester Adams and West Bloomfield, finishing 4-1 in the league.
Receiving All-OAA Red honors are Clark, running back; senior Cole Dellinger, offensive lineman; junior Desman Stephens, wide receiver/defensive back; senior Gauge Heikkinen, offensive lineman/defensive lineman; senior Cavanaugh Diton, linebacker; senior Kohl Jarvis, wide receiver/defensive back, senior Jamael McKinney, defensive lineman; senior Clay Smaka, linebacker; and senior Mike Hein, quarterback.
Pintar and Tony Patritto from Adams were 2022 Red Division Coach of the Year.
They defeated two teams twice on their way to the semifinals, Lapeer and Rochester Adams.
“When we started the year and lost right away to Davison, we knew right after that the schedule wasn’t getting any easier,” Pintar said about the beginning of his first year as head coach. “We had Southfield coming up, then Adams, then West Bloomfield. So you knew it was one of those kind of turning points. This could go a number of different ways. They bought in. Getting that win in week two against Southfield was really big.
“The credit goes to the seniors. We have a great group of seniors. Those guys are great leaders. There is a reason they had the great success they had this year. Credit to them and the entire staff. We have a great coaching staff, top to bottom. Honestly there is so little I do relative to the whole team aspect. If not for the coaches, if not for the players, this thing doesn’t work. It’s a credit to those guys – all the assistant coaches, to the parents, all the things they do. I want to thank those guys the seniors especially. If not for those guys buying in and the coaches buying in, just the whole package, it just doesn’t work the way it did this year.”
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Clarkston Everest Collegiate Football also finished their fall season in the MHSAA Division 8 Semifinal on Saturday, falling to Ottawa Lake Whiteford 44-6 in a game played at Woodhaven High School.

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