Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
With a bevy of gridiron talent that makes the Detroit Public School League the envy of every high school league in the state, the 2014 football season kicks off this weekend with the PSL appropriately in the spotlight.
The game is one of three marquee matchups involving PSL teams in this year’s Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University. Cody also takes part in the event with a 1 p.m. Friday game against Warren Mott, while East English Village faces Lansing Sexton at 11 a.m. Saturday. Advance tickets to the Prep Kickoff Classic can be purchased at participating schools for a discounted price of $9. A portion of the proceeds from advance ticket sales benefits the participating schools. Tickets at the gate are $10.
Thursday’s nonleague openers involving PSL teams include: Denby at league foe Renaissance, 7 p.m.; Douglass at Bishop Foley, 7 p.m.; Pershing at league foe Henry Ford, 7 p.m.; and Southeastern at Southfield Lathrup, 4 p.m.
Friday’s nonleague openers include: King, last year’s PSL runner-up, at Port Huron, 7 p.m.; Western vs. league rival Osborn (at Mumford), 5 p.m.; Mumford against visiting Grosse Pointe South, 7 p.m.; CMA, in its first season of varsity football, against Westside Christian Academy at River Rouge, 4 p.m.; and Central against Allen Park Academy at Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium, 5 p.m. DCP-Northwestern’s scheduled home opener against Highland Park (no program) has been cancelled.
2014 Detroit Public School League varsity football schedule
The drive toward the PSL championship begins in week 2 with a field of 16 teams competing in one alignment (no divisions). The top four finishers will play off for the championship, while the fifth through eighth-place teams will vie for the consolation title. The league semifinals are Friday, Oct. 17 at DCP-Northwestern High School, pitting the second-place and third-place teams at 5 p.m.; and the first-place vs. fourth-place team at 7 p.m.
The consolation semifinals are Saturday, Oct. 18 at DCP-Northwestern, featuring the sixth-place vs. seventh-place team at noon; and the fifth-place vs. eighth-place team at 2 p.m.
The PSL championship doubleheader is slated for Friday, Oct. 24 at Ford Field, beginning with consolation game at 4 p.m. and the title game at 7 p.m.
Cass Tech, the state Division 1 champion in 2011 and 2012, reached the state semifinals for the fourth season in a row last year. Coach Thomas Wilcher’s Technicians return several key players off last year’s team (12-1 overall, 6-0 PSL West), including senior running back Mike Weber, who is verbally committed to the University of Michigan. Other key returnees include senior defensive lineman Josh Alabi (Ohio State), junior defensive back Lavert Hill, sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and senior quarterback Jayru Campbell, who is expected to re-join the team about midseason.
King, which lost to Cass Tech 20-14 in last year’s title game and finished the season 10-2 overall, 5-0 PSL East, should be a prime contender again. Coach Dale Harvel’s Crusaders are led by senior linebacker Tyriq Thompson and lineman Kyonta Stallworth, a pair of two-way standouts who both are verbally committed to Michigan State.
The PSL’s array of Division 1 college-bound stars includes Western senior running back Romello Ross (Central Michigan) and East English Village senior quarterback Anton Curtis (Western Michigan).
All PSL teams will wear a special “GC” decal on their helmets this season, which has been dedicated to the memory of George Coker, the Osborn football coach who passed away suddenly in April.
Sidney Wright, Coker’s former assistant, is among four first-year PSL head coaches. The others are Douglass’ Duane Carter, Pershing’s Kareem Sadler and Southeastern’s Travis Martin.