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Chucky’s Regular Season Finale

It’s been a tough week for Chucky. Apparently he got into some nip last week and his picks were pretty far out. He also spent three hours in the yard on Sunday chasing chipmunks that turned out to be dead leaves. Strange…

Concord @ Bellevue: A rough year for the Jackets gets even rougher when Bellevue’s Week 9 Fan Appreciation Night goes awry. Bellevue staff vows to revisit the ‘Free Tarantula Night’ concept during the offseason. PICK: Bellevue

Michigan Center @ Springport: A tractor pulling a wagon of Spartan fans veers off-course and disappears in a neighboring field. Drug cartels are suspected. PICK: Springport

Addison @ Reading: The Rangers need a win to secure their 17th straight winning season and that’s impressive. Why they’re known as the Rangers, and not the Railroads, still raises questions, however. PICK: Reading

Hanover-Horton @ Quincy: Comet boosters hold a bake sale before the game to raise funds to replace the two saxophones destroyed during the homecoming monsoon against Vandercook Lake. Not a single Quincy fan buys anything. PICK: H-H

Grass Lake @ Jonesville: Legendary Jonesville track star Pam Vincent makes an appearance before the game but no one’s impressed. She switches to singing campfire songs at midfield, but is carried off by angry boosters. PICK: Grass Lake

Vandercook Lake @ Homer: The ‘Hawks need a win to reach the playoffs. That desperation doesn’t help, however, when their bus breaks down on the way to the game and a mysterious winged creature swoops in and steals their helmets. PICK: Homer

Northwest @ Dexter: The Mounties have one last chance to get a win this season but they’re up against the Dreadnaughts. Trouble erupts when it turns out no one on the Dexter team actually knows what a Dreadnaught is. PICK: Dexter

Western @ Owosso: Good news, Owosso! The Trojans win their season opener! Bad news Owosso, they go on to lose eight in a row. PICK: Western

Onsted @ Columbia Central: The Columbia community is unnerved when a mysterious ship rises from the depths of Lake Columbia and sails again. Although this doesn’t make sense, it’s pretty creepy. PICK: Onsted

Manchester @ Union City: Union City and Cement City should get together and play a game between two cities that aren’t really cities. That’s a topic for another day. PICK: Manchester

Lumen Christi @ Jackson: Titans coach Herb Brogan rejects a proposed JTV’s Larry Jacobson Night, on the grounds that it would be ridiculous. PICK: LC

Hudson @ Hillsdale: 1,000 flesh eating piranhas are turned loose before the game, causing mass panic. The panic ebbs, however, when the fish just flop around on the field and eventually die without causing any real damage. PICK: Hudson

Early goals push Lumen Christi past Country Day and onto regional final

By Mike Moore

JTV Sports Writer

BEVERLY HILLS — These are supposed to be close games, battles back and forth that come down to the final moments, overtime, or ever later than that.

A battle it certainly was, but close, well, not Tuesday night.

Not with the kind of soccer the Lumen Christi boys are playing right now.

The Titans kept their magical season rolling right along, making the lengthy trip to Beverly Hills for a Division 3 regional semifinal, and then exiting with a 4-0 shocker over Detroit Country Day.

“Shocked to win like this,” Lumen coach Damon Havlicek said simply, afterwards. “At this point in the season you expect it to be 1-0. Nobody expects to win 4-0.”

Bryce Hoornstra scored all three goals in the first half for the Titans.

Lucas Foust added the only goal in the second frame.

“That set the tone for the rest of the night,” Hoornstra said of the early goals. “It’s huge.”

His tallies stunned the crowd at Country Day, most of whom had succumb to blankets, winter coats and hats.

Those in Lumen gear had a slightly easier time staying warm.

“This is what happens in sports sometimes,” Country Day coach Bob Bukari said. “It just wasn’t a good performance by us tonight.”

Bukari said the three early goals took the wind of his teams sails.

“It’s just huge,” he added. “I mean, you give up one, and as a team you can bounce back. But when they get three like that, it just kills you.”

On Monday, Havlicek downplayed his team’s district title from the weekend, instead shifting all focus to the semifinal and a chance to move to the regional title, something this group of players had never done.

On Tuesday, he downplayed the semifinal victory, instead shifting all focus to the final.

“The next step is what we’re worried about now,” he said. “Our goal has always been November. Now the challenge is on us to keep this going.”

Lumen, 17-3-1, faces Grosse Ile in a 6 p.m. final Friday back at Country Day.

Grosse Ile (13-4-4) beat Allen Park Cabrini 2-1 Tuesday night.

The Way We Were

Ten College Football Programs That Used to Matter

 

By Larry Jacobson, JTV Sports

 -1.    Tennessee                      73-14 from 1995-2001                      24-32 last 4 years.

*        The Vols won the first BCS Championship in 1998 but have been lost in space since Phil Fulmer left.

- 2.   Colorado                        78-15 from 1989-1996                      23-55 last 6 years.

*        Under former Michigan Man Bill McCartney, this team produced bowl wins and NFL draft picks with abandon for almost a decade. Now, they’re bottom feeders in the Pac-12.

-3.     SMU                              41-5  from 1981-1985                      37-58 last 7 years.

*        The Pony Express suffered the NCAA’s Death Penalty after their great run, which kids today know nothing about unless they watch ESPN’s ’30 for 30.’ The talk now is that they may soon disband the program again – this time for being so bad.

-4.     Michigan                        41-8 from 1997-2001                        18-15 last 3 years.

*        Lloyd Carr’s run, which included a national title in 1997, ended with a bowl win over Florida a few years ago. From Rich Rod to Brady Hoke, mediocrity has reigned to the point where they are no longer even in contention for league titles. Another regime change is coming.

-5.     Florida                           57-10 from 2005-2009                      35-29 last 4 years.

*        The Gators lost footing in the tough SEC so quickly no one’s even sure what happened. Will Muschamp is out at season’s end, right? Remember when NO ONE went into The Swamp and won? Gators lost 42-13 at home to Missouri last weekend. Where have you gone, Tim Tebow?

-6.     Washington                             58-14 from 1979-1984                      44-52 last 7 years.

*        The Huskies won a share of the national title in 1991 and made annual Rose Bowl trips. It’s been tough going for a long time now.

-7.     Texas                                       101-16 from 2001-2009                    33-25 last 4 years.

*        Mack Brown’s decline and a coaching change have left the Longhorns treading water the last few years.

-8.     Iowa                               31-7 from 2001-2004                        24-21 last 3 years.

*        Hawkeye fans couldn’t get enough of Kirk Ferentz during their big run, but they’ve settled into mediocrity recently, focusing more on how an easy schedule might give them a chance at a big year. Ouch.

-9.     West Virginia                 70-20 from 2005-2011                      11-14 last 2 years.

*        Rich Rodriguez had this team on the cusp of national glory before leaving for Michigan and crashing. RR is recovering in the Arizona desert – the Mountaineers are still waiting.

-10.   Penn State                      61-11 from 1977- 1982                     35-21 last 5 years.

*        We all know the story here. The Lions have done pretty well keeping their heads above water, but on a national stage they’re no longer a player.

Lumen soccer team takes aim at Country Day, spot in the regional final

 

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By Mike Moore

JTV Sports

 Jackson – There’s no complacency here, no taking what’s been established for granted.

District success has become a staple of the Lumen Chisti boys soccer program, a tradition seemingly carried from one fall to the next.

When the Titans defeated Quincy High 5-0 on Saturday at Onsted, it marked the fourth consecutive district crown, and 12th in the past 14 years, to be exact.

But there wasn’t a huge celebration, no parade plans being constructed.

“Truthfully, I think the bigger goals are still out there,” coach Damon Havlicek said Monday morning. “When the district game ended, the guys were already talking about what was next. That’s what they are focused on.”

Lumen rolled through the Onsted bracket, opening the postseason with an 8-0 victory against Columbia Central followed by a 2-0 shutout of Hillsdale in the semifinal.

In the district title, five different players — Gabriel Tavera, Ethan Frew, Abraham Johnson, Patrick Nicol and Caleb Chesney— scored while goalie Max Snyder picked up his 12th shutout of the season.

Dominant, but still driven.

“This senior class has won four districts, but they’ve never taken that next step,” Havlicek said of the regional round. “This is their chance to do that.”

Lumen, now 16-3-1, will have its hands full Tuesday evening when it travels to Beverly Hills to take on a Country Day (13-6-3) team known for postseason success.

The Yellowjackets picked up their district trophy after disposing of Madison 8-0 on Friday. They beat Clawson High 4-2 in the semifinal after cruising past Detroit University Prep 9-0 in an opener.

Country Day’s playoff accomplishments are hard to ignore, with five Division 3 state title since 2004, the most recent in 2011.

None of that will intimidate a Titans team that may be as strong as it has been in years.

“We can’t wait for the challenge,” Havlicek said. “We’re going to go there, play free, play loose, and we’re not going to hold back.”

The teams met once this year, a 2-1 Lumen victory back in August.

“So much is different now, though,” Havlicek quickly cautioned. “That game was on grass, very early in the season when they were without one of their best players. They are a much different team now.”

If there’s one easy to spot advantage, it’s home field.

Country Day is hosting the regional round and won’t have to adjust its schedule at all before the 5 p.m. start.

Lumen, on the other hand, will have the hour-or-so drive east on I-94, and will also be playing on a turf field for the first time this fall.

“Our defense is going to have to respond to any challenges they throw at us,” Havlicek said. “We have to be very disciplined. We can’t let them just go up and down the field and control the ball. … I really think this one will be decided in the midfield.”

“At the same time, when you have chances against a team like Country Day, you have to take them,” Havlicek added. “If you don’t, that can wear on you. That doubt can creep into your head. If we have chances, we’re going to take them.”

Havlicek said he’ll be brining a very confident and motivated group of guys to Country Day Tuesday. This is a senior class with so much regular season and district success, but one still searching for a win in the regional round for the first time.

“And if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Havlicek said. “Our whole side of the draw is strong, ranked teams. Nothing is going to be easy. But we like that challenge. We’re ready for it.”

The regional final is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 24, and the other half of the bracket includes Grosse Ile High and Allen Park Cabrini.

Balance Key To Unbeaten Titans’ Success

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Larry Jacobson, JTV Sports

Heading into the 2014 high school football season, everyone knew the Lumen Christi Titans would rely heavily on senior running back Khari Willis.

And for good reason…

One of the most accomplished players ever to wear the green and gold, Willis – who’ll suit up for Mark Dantonio’s Michigan State Spartans next year – is indeed a main offensive cog for this year’s Titans. But it’s what has happened around him that has pleased Lumen Christi Coach Herb Brogan the most.

“Coming into this season we knew defenses would be geared up to stop Willis,” Brogan said. “What I like about our offense is we’ve been able to achieve a level of balance that’s allowed us to keep moving the ball. We’ve had good line play and other weapons that have stepped up for us.”

The threat of Willis running the ball has allowed the Titans’ speedy receivers, Devin Edwards and Wyatt Plate, to draw single coverage and burn defenses this year for big plays.

“Both Plate and Edwards are so explosive,” Brogan said. “And they’ve helped us achieve that balance that’s so important if you’re going to be a good football team. And don’t underestimate what Josh Iocca has done for us in the backfield, either and what he means to us. Khari Willis can attest to how valuable Josh is.”

With the playoffs approaching, however, the veteran coach knows what’s needed for the Titans to keep rolling.

“We need to be more physical on defense,” Brogan said. “That’s what we’ve been working on in practice. We have to keep hitting people and keep after it. The game has changed so much over the years and we, as coaches, have had to adjust to it. Not so long ago a good defense gave up six to eight points a game, but things are different now with the way offenses have evolved. You can give up more points than that now and still have a pretty good defense.”

Lumen Christi has already secured a spot in the state playoffs – their 17th straight postseason berth – although their landing spot remains up in the air.

“We’ve scouted both Division 5 and Division 6,” Coach Brogan said. “Both divisions offer tremendous challenges and they’re similar in many ways. No matter where we end up, we’ll be going up against some very, very good football teams.”

Balance on offense, speed and a hard-hitting defense are all parts of the on-going process that is the 2014 Titans, the last of the area’s unbeaten teams.

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