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Free Press top 25 Michigan high school football teams: Nos. 16-20


1:00 AM, Aug. 20, 2012 EDT


Mick McCabe picks the state's top-25 teams. Here are Nos. 16-20 (come back Tuesday for Nos. 11-15); all players are seniors unless noted:

16) Grand Haven

Top players: Junior RB/LB Aaron Gordon, 5-11, 195; junior S/WR Isaak Newhouse, 6-0, 185; C/LB Matt Mulcahy, 6-0, 210; DE Anthony Perrier, 6-4, 210; sophomore OT Chase VanHoef, 6-4, 265.

All-time state playoff record: 2-4.

Coach: Mike Farley 72-42; 59-30, seventh season at Grand Haven.

Biggest game: Oct, 19 vs. Rockford, 7 p.m.

Overview: With three straight playoff appearances -- the school has only one other in its history -- Farley has changed the culture. Winning is now expected at a school that rarely won. The Bucs should be able to control the ball with a consistent running attack and there is good team speed on defense.

17) Canton

Top players: OT/DT Cameron Dillard, 6-3 1/2, 290; RB/CB Kenny Scott, 5-8, 160; DT Danny DeRoso; OG Mike Ditzler, 6-1, 240; LB/TE Matt McKoy, 6-1, 190.

All-time state playoff record: 21-12.

Coach: Tim Baechler 165-57; 120-37, 15th season at Canton.

Biggest game: Oct. 5 vs. Plymouth, 7 p.m.

Overview: There are three returning starters defensively, but the team speed will be much improved and so will the defense. Dillard (Florida) will anchor an excellent offensive line. Scott was pressed into service defensively last season and played well and has big-play capabilities.

18) Muskegon

Top players: C Quincy Crosby, 6-2 1/2, 285; OT Chandar Ricks, 6-4, 275; OG-T Antwan Billings, 6-4, 260; OG Noah Tozer, 5-11, 255; WR Sherman Hodges; RB/LB Demetrius Brown, 5-9, 185; junior LB William Hunt, 5-11, 206; DE Ronald Jenkins, 6-2, 255.

All-time state playoff record: 32-15.

Coach: Shane Fairfield 42-30; 16-7, third year at Muskegon.

Biggest game: Sept. 7 at Rockford, 7 p.m.

Overview: With five returning starters on the offensive line, the Big Reds will have a formidable running attack and will be able to pound the ball down the field. Muskegon will also use its immense speed to play good defense.

19) Farmington

Top players: DB/WR Isaiah Gourdine, 6-3, 197; OT Ryan Caprathe, 6-5, 305; LB/RB Connor Mohr, 6-0, 205; DB/TB Jordan Degreffenreed, 5-9, 184; OT/DT Michael Purry, 6-2, 275; OG/DT Keenan White, 6-3, 270; junior WR/DB Curtis Brunson, 5-10, 170; TE/LB John Perry, 6-0, 187.

Coach: John Bechtel 76-72; 72-67, 14th season at Farmington.

All-time state playoff record: 5-8.

Biggest game: Aug. 31 at Southfield, 4 p.m.

Overview: The Falcons are experienced and explosive and have made the playoffs the last four seasons, a school record. With the good size in the offensive line, they should be able to move the ball on the ground.

20) Midland

Top players: OT/DT Steve Elmer, 6-6, 315; QB/DB Alec Johnson, 6-0, 170; RB Travis Patten, 5-7, 10; DL Terrence Thomas, 6-3, 205; S Alex Goodwin, 5-9, 175; LB Michael Wright, 6-2, 200; LB/RB Scott Naples, 5-10, 195.

All-time state playoff record: 26-22.

Coach: Eric Methner 70-41; 36-9, fifth season at Midland.

Biggest game: Sept. 21 vs. Mt. Pleasant, 7 p.m.

Overview: Job 1 is rebuilding the offensive line where Elmer is the lone returner and an excellent building block. Johnson is a playmaker on both sides of the ball and Patten will shine in his first year as a starter. The Chemics should be good defensively.

* Teams Nos. 21-25

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.

 

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