PSL Kickoff Showcase features Central vs. Southwestern, Pershing vs. Renaissance to open season Thursday

The Detroit Public School League will open the 2011 prep football season Thursday at Renaissance High School with the inaugural PSL Kickoff Showcase — a doubleheader featuring the Central Trailblazers against the Southwestern Prospectors at 5 p.m. followed by the Pershing Doughboys against the host Renaissance Phoenix at 7:30 p.m..  Admission is $5.

In two nonleague openers Thursday (PSL teams in bold), Northwestern Colts visit Southfield at 4 p.m. and Finney Highlanders visit University Prep at 5 p.m.  Most other PSL teams will start the season with nonleague games Friday or Saturday.

Friday games: Douglass  Hurricanes at Old Redford Academy, 2 p.m.; Crockett Rockets at Toledo (Ohio) Catholic Central, 7 p.m.; Southeastern Jungaleers at Monroe, 7 p.m.; Denby Tars at Hamtramck, 7 p.m.; Osborn Knights at River Rouge, 7 p.m.; Detroit Consortium at Kettering Pioneers 7 p.m.; Western Cowboys at Garden City, 7 p.m.; and Henry Ford Trojans at Elida (Ohio), 7:30 p.m.

Opening weekend is highlighted by two nonleague showdowns featuring the Cass Tech Technicians and the King Crusaders, respectively, in the Big Day Prep Showdown Saturday at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium. King will play Birmingham Brother Rice at 6 p.m. and Cass Tech, coming off a 9-0 regular-season and a berth in the Division 1 state semifinals, collides against Farmington Hills Harrison at 8 p.m.

Other nonleague openers Saturday: Mumford Mustangs at Marquette, 1 p.m.; and Cody Comets at (Cleveland, Ohio) St. Ignacius, 7 p.m.

Six of the PSL’s 18 football teams have new head coaches. They are Central’s Richard Kiel, Denby’s Amaicure Harris, Douglass’ Al Demps, Finney’s Jimmy Hill, Mumford’s Eric Smith (who moved from  Central), and Renaissance’s Tyrice Grice.

Returning head coaches include Cass Tech’s Thomas Wilcher, Cody’s Calvin Norman, Crockett’s Rod Oden, Henry Ford’s Jackie Muhammad, Kettering’s Duane Travis, King’s Dale Harvel, Northwestern’s Aaron Marshall, Osborn’s George Coker, Pershing’s Charles Spann, Southeastern’s Anthony Elliott, Southwestern’s Andre Harlan and Western’s Joseph Schwartz.

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