CMA showing growth but no wins in first varsity football season

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Two games into its first varsity football season, Communication and Media Arts High is making positive strides but is still searching for a victory.

“A lot of it has to do with players getting over the jitters of actually playing varsity,’’ Pharaohs head coach Jackie Muhammad said.


CMA football head coach Jackie Muhammad

“Once they understand the concept that the guys they’re playing against are the same ages, 14 through 18-year-olds, and are some of the same players they played against on junior varsity, I think we can turn that corner real quickly.”

CMA fashioned a remarkable 6-3 JV record last year in its first season with a football program, but enters this week with a 0-1 league and 0-2 overall record after a season-opening 40-12 nonleague loss against Westside Christian Academy and a 44-0 shutout by Cody last Friday to open the Detroit Public School League season.

In other PSL openers last week; King walloped Central 56-0; Western beat Southeastern 36-12; Cass Tech beat Pershing 31-2; Denby got past DCP-Northwestern 38-30; Mumford whipped Douglass 42-6; Renaissance blanked Osborn 47-0; and East English Village shut out Ford 53-0.

Ford, also 0-1 in the league and 0-2 overall, will host CMA this Friday at 4 p.m., with both teams needing to seize on the opportunity for their first victory of the season.

“Even in the losses, I keep pointing out the positives,’’ Muhammad said. “In watching film, I see that our offense is doing a lot better job of getting the ball to the playmakers, and our offensive line is doing a better job of knowing and following their keys. Even though we’ve given up some big plays, the defense so far has done well and is showing a lot of growth. Our guys just have to keep playing hard. They just need to get a good win.”

Of the 32 players on varsity, the Pharaohs have 18 juniors and eight sophomores, so the bulk of the team is set to return next year. “With the experience they’re getting now, we should be loaded,” Muhammad said.

The opportunity to build a program from scratch was one reason Muhammad chose to leave Ford after four years as its head football coach. He’s also a math teacher at CMA, and the chance to coach where he teaches also had appeal.

Muhammad views the matchup against his former team as just another opponent he’ll try to defeat.

“It’s a regular game,’’ he said. “I don’t have any vendettas against them and most of the players that played there for me are gone. I have the utmost respect for their coaching staff and we respect them as a program.

“We feel we have a good chance to win this week and an even better chance to grow. Growth, that’s what we’re looking for.”

In other games Friday, all 4 p.m. starts, Cody (1-0, 1-1) visits Central (0-1, 1-1), Douglass (0-1, 0-2) plays unbeaten Western (1-0, 2-0) at Renaissance High; unbeaten King (1-0, 2-0) visits DCP-Northwestern (0-1, 0-1); Pershing (0-1, 1-1) is at Osborn (0-1, 0-2); Renaissance (1-0, 1-1) visits East English Village (1-0, 1-1); and Southeastern (0-1, 0-2) is at unbeaten defending PSL champion Cass Tech (1-0, 2-0). The PSL Game of the Week is Saturday at 12 noon, featuring Mumford (1-0, 1-1) at unbeaten Denby (1-0, 2-0).

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