ALMONT — When the 2021 edition of the high school football playoffs begin in just a couple days from now there will be one Tri-City football team battling it out for a possible state title.
Almont, which tied Armada and North Branch for second place in the final Blue Water Area Conference standings, will begin their quest for a trip to Ford Field this Friday when it heads to Clawson for a Division 6 opening round playoff game. That matchup lists a 7 p.m. starting time.
It marks the -straight playoff appearance for Almont.
They head in to their upcoming clash coming off a 51-28 setback to visiting non-league counterpart Goodrich.
Prior to that, Almont won five of eight contests. That stretch included saw the Raiders drop a 25-0 road verdict to non-league foe Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central; notch a 43-7 road victory over league counterpart Yale; register a 39-0 triumph over conference rival Imlay City at home; obtain a 40-0 road win over league rival Algonac; fall 20-14 in overtime to conference foe North Branch on the road; drop a 41-7 outcome to league counterpart Cros-Lex at home; prevail 14-7 over visiting conference rival Armada; and secure a 39-29 road victory over league foe Richmond.
Clawson, which placed second in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division, enters the game fresh off a 38-6 road win versus non-league counterpart Garden City.
Before that, Clawson prevailed in six of eight matchups. It was there the team dropped a 48-0 non-league clash versus visiting Armada; picked up a 14-10 victory over visiting non-conference counterpart Clintondale; lost a 38-10 decision to league rival Madison Heights Lamphere; prevailed 24-22 at conference adversary St. Clair Shores South Lake; registered a 37-29 road triumph against Centerline; posted a 42-0 win over league foe Warren Lincoln at home; generated a 39-0 roadvictory over conference counterpart New Haven; and registered an 8-0 road triumph against non-league adversary Madison Heights Madison.
Almont Coach James Leusby knows his ballcllub had better come to play when Friday’s game rolls around or their postseason run could prove shortlived.
“We are hoping that our tough regular season schedule has prepared us to make a deep playoff run,” Leusby commented. “Last Friday we made a decision at the half to pull players out early so we could stay healthy going into our second season,” he noted.
“As a staff we are excited to have some of our JV younger players join us for the playoffs. Many of those players will see playing time.”
Leusby lists Brock Conger (quarterback), Mason Smith (runningback), Blake Bunch (runningback), Matthew Measel (runningback), Yousif Abu-Joudeh (center), Brandon Hunsaker (guard), Luke McIntosh (guard), Gavin Peak (tackle), Will Kalmar (tackle), Haden Lacavera (end) and Connor Nascivera (end) as his potential offensive starters.
Antonio Nedlkovski (line), Joe Abromovitch (line), Ayden Ferqueron (line), Isaiah Bankston (line), Tyler Filinger (linebacker), Bryce Ferman (linebacker), Bunch (linebacker), Hunsaker (linebacker) , Jacob Fuller (back), Smith (back) and Measel (back) are the likely defensive starters.
The winner of the Almont versus Clawson contest will meet the survivor of a clash between Warren Michigan Collegiate (7-2) and Clintondale (5-4) the following week.
Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.