Finney QB Kendrick Mingo named PSL boys’ Proud Strong Learner of the Week

Kendrick Mingo was looking for a fresh start as Finney High’s new quarterback.
In the nonleague season opener last Friday, Mingo’s fresh legs accounted for 188 yards and two touchdowns and the transfer from East Detroit added a pair of TD passes to lead the Highlanders’ 35-31 overtime victory against University Prep and earn him recognition as the Detroit Public School League’s first boys’ Proud Strong Learner of the Week for 2011-12.

“Our offensive line played well and our coach called good plays,’’ said Mingo, sidestepping the individual credit for helping first-year coach Jimmy Hill win his PSL coaching debut. “It was a hard-fought game and I’m glad we won.”

Mingo, 18, sees Finney making vast improvement and predicts the Highlanders will be a bigger factor in the league race than many people think.

“I think we can win the state championship,’’ he said. “We’ve got a good coach, big offensive linemen and a lot of good athletes who are disciplined. If we focus and play ball like we can, and don’t hurt ourselves with mental mistakes, we can have a big season.”

Mingo, who also intercepted a pair of passes on defense last week, was being looked at by several schools last year and said he’s striving to improve his 2.6 grade point average to fortify his hopes of playing college football. “If I don’t make it to the NFL, I want to be a mortician or a gynecologist,’’ he said.

For now, Mingo is eager to jump into the PSL fire after gaining the respect of his teammates with his season-opening dominance.

“It was kind of hard when I first got here because they wouldn’t listen to me,’’ he said. “Now that my teammates have seen what I can do, it seems like I’ve been here all along. I’m looking forward to playing the PSL schools and see how it goes.”

Last week’s games yielded several other candidates for the Proud Strong Learner of the Week Award, which is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletic performers and is sponsored by McDonald’s owner-operators of Detroit.

Douglass High junior running back Demetrius Stinson had over 200 all-purpose yards, a touchdown and intercepted two passes in the Hurricanes’ 22-14 overtime victory against Old Redford.

Crockett High junior wide receiver James White came up big with five catches for 139 yards, including three touchdowns, in the Rockets’ 25-20 victory on the road against Toledo Central Catholic. White also had four tackles on defense.

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