East English Village, Loyola: A ‘tail’ of two Bulldogs
By Harry M, Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — There are two Detroit high school teams competing in this weekend’s state football playoffs that share the same mascot, the Bulldog. One school is a newly built Detroit Public School on Detroit’s east side with a co-ed enrollment of 1,200 students. The other school, on Detroit’s northwest side, is a small all-boys Catholic High School opened in 1995 and has a current enrollment of 145.
The Detroit Public School is the newly built East English Village Academy, comprised of two former DPS high schools, Crockett Tech and Finney. The Catholic high school, part of the Archdiocese of Detroit, is Loyola High School. Both schools have outstanding football programs.
East English Village, which won the 2011 PSL Championship as Crockett Tech, were runners-up to King at this year’s PSL Championships. The Bulldogs, under the direction of head coach Rod Oden, are currently 9-2 and will be playing in this weekend MHSAA Division 3 Regional Title at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
East English recently defeated St. Clair 63-7 last Saturday to win the Division 3 District Crown. East English running back Desmond King ran for four touchdowns and had 155 yards on 10 carries in the game. Oden gives credit to the days of preparation before the contest.
“We believe the game is won in practice during the week,” Oden said. “The boys’ play was sound and they executed real well.”
St. Mary’s — who defeated Novi-based Detroit Catholic Central in the CHSL Prep Bowl’s A-B Championship, and Brother Rice and Cass Tech during the regular season — is favored to beat the Bulldogs, but Coach Oden is well aware of the critics who heavily favor St. Mary’s.
“They’re a very good team, but people see them as world beaters,” Oden said. “I think we match with them very well on both sides of the ball because the game is won up front on the offensive and defensive lines.
“This should be a very good game because it would be a measuring stick to see how far we have come with our program.”
Kickoff time for the Bulldogs match against St. Mary’s will be Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. at Orchard Lake St. Mary.
The Loyola Bulldogs, on the other hand, won their third consecutive CHSL C-D Title defeating Allen Park Cabrini at the CHSL Prep Bowl at Ford Field in October.
“The biggest point this year is the maturity of our players,” said Loyola head coach John Callahan. “A lot of factors are now at hand during this part of the season the weather, and the length of the season.”
But it hasn’t hampered them so far. The Bulldogs pounded Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett 50-7 on Nov. 3 to win their Division 7 District Crown. Keymone Gabriel had four touchdowns runs of 65, 49, 35 and 21 yards for Loyola.
They will face Britton Deerfield in a Division 7 Regional Championship, also Nov. 10 at 1 p.m., at Madison Heights Bishop Foley, a home game for the Bulldogs. Loyola usually play their home games at U of D Jesuit, but because of a prior commitment, the game was moved to Bishop Foley.
Loyola head coach John Callahan said his team isn’t looking forward to the state finals at Ford Field as of yet.
“We don’t want to overlook Britton Deerfield,” he said. “We learned from last year when we lost to Hudson in the semi-finals, one week away from Ford Field. We committed six turnovers because we weren’t mentally prepared.
“We’re taking this season one week and one game at a time, focusing on what’s on hand.”