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Monday, September 29, 2014

Brandi Chastain, "It's Not About the Bra"

This is an older book but a good one and well worth reading. Chastain puts her focus on making the game fun and how to instill good habits and good sportsmanship in players while making sure that they get the most of their abilities (or at least all that they want to get out of their abilities). It's insightful on a number of levels and she isn't afraid to use her own mistakes as examples and learning tools. You can probably get this book dirt cheap on the internet right now. (I got mine on Amazon and paid more for shipping than for the book). It's absolutely worth tracking down.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Standings Update

Standings have been updated to include games played last week.

Weekly Preview 9/29

Well, we're heading down the stretch. A number of teams have a chance to clinch division/league titles this week, so let's get to it:

OAA

Red
Stoney Creek has a tough road game at Clarkston on Tuesday, but a win guarantees them at least a share of the OAA Red title. The Cougars could clinch outright if Adams can't get a road win against Troy Athens to set up a showdown next week.

White
White is a three team race between Seaholm, Lake Orion, and Bloomfield Hills. The Black Hawks really want the division title after not getting it last year. They seemed on course for it, but then Seaholm whacked them Saturday to tighten things up a lot. The big match is obviously Bloomfield Hills heading to Lake Orion on Thursday. But both Seaholm (Wed) and Bloomfield Hills (Tue) have to host a decent West Bloomfield squad first.

Blue
Oxford lead the pack but has to keep winning. A road game at Hazel Park should not be a problem. Harrison who leads the chase pack has a tricky home game against rival Farmington. North Farmington could still be in the mix and travels to Pontiac.

KLAA

North
Walled Lake Northern is 8-0 and has all but sewn up the division. They get two chances - at WL Western on Tuesday and home to Lakeland on Thursday to get one point to claim the outright title.

West
Brighton and Grand Blanc are both 6-1-1 heading into the final week. Brighton has the tougher week hosting Pinckney then traveling to Howell.

Central
Livonia Stevenson leads the division and has a chance to break the Novi/Northville stranglehold on the division. Stevenson travels to Salem on Tuesday before hosting South Lyon East on Thursday. They better win both though.

South
Plymouth is 7-1 and Canton 8-0. The teams meet on Thursday at Plymouth for a chance to settle the division.

MAC

Red
First place Fraser puts their unbeaten record on the line this week, including a tough home game against Eisenhower on Wednesday. Second place Ford will play rival Utica on the same night.

White
Lakeview actually has the best winning percentage right now but sits second due to fewer games played. They've got a chance to make up some ground this week hosting Anchor Bay on Monday then traveling to Grosse Pointe South on Wednesday. First place Dakota has a tough road trip to Romeo on Wednesday.

Blue
Warren Mott(2nd) and L'Anse Creuse(1st) sit atop the division and meet at L'Anse Creuse on Wednesday.

Gold
First place Lamphere (8-0-1) has a chance to put the division title to bed this week when they travel to Roseville on Monday and then host St. Clair on Wednesday.

Silver
Warren Fitzgerald is 5-2 and has an incredibly difficult week. But it's a week that could propel them to the top of the division. They play home and home with New Haven (5-0) on Monday and Thursday. In between they take on Marine City (4-1-1) on Wednesday.

Flint Metro

The Flint Metro is using shootouts in league games this year - a rare thing. It's already starting to make a bit of a mess of the standings. Linden leads with 13 points as they should, but there is a huge chase pack for second place, which Brandon currently leads with 9. Big games this week include the Holly-Fenton rivalry game on Monday, Brandon taking road trips to league newcomer Flushing (Monday) and Kearsley (Wednesday) as they try to reel in Linden. The Eagles travel to Clio on Wednesday.

CHSL

Central
Second place Catholic Central travels to first place De La Salle on Tuesday for a game that could well decide the division winner and seeding for the CHSL playoffs next week.

AA Division
St. Mary's looks to wrap up the division with a win over Father Gabriel Richard on Tuesday.

Tri Sectional
Ditto Cabrini as they take on an improved Frankel Jewish Academy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Preview 9/22-9/28

The season is in full swing and there are key games in almost every division, so let's get right to it this week.

OAA

Red division has a pair of key games on Tuesday. Adams travels to Clarkston to take on the Wolves as both teams try to stay within touch of 4-0 Stoney Creek. Meanwhile, the Battle of Troy also takes place at Athens on Tuesday with the Red Hawks needing a win to maintain their slim hopes of getting a piece of the crown. Stoney has the bye this week.

The game of the week in White Division is definitely Bloomfield Hills vs Seaholm on Thursday when the Black Hawks put their unbeaten division record on the line against the second place Maples as Bloomfield tries to get one of the few titles that eluded them last year.

In Blue Division, leaders Oxford host North Farmington in what should be a good match up on Tuesday. The Raiders are tied for second with Harrison, just a game behind the Wildcats so a North Farmington win throws the whole division wide open, while an Oxford win would go a long way toward clinching a share of the title.

KLAA

KLAA is looking at a relatively quiet week after a slew of big match ups last week. Still there are a couple big ones on the schedule highlighted by the Grand Blanc vs. Brighton rematch on Tuesday as the two West Division rivals sit tied for first with only four games left in the divisional season.

Over in the Central, first place Northville hosts second place Livonia Stevenson on Tuesday.

The North Division has Walled Lake Northern and Walled Lake Central have separated themselves. The Knights look to win their 7th straight division crown while Central is trying to become the first team to dethrone Northern since the division was formed. But the Vikings host their rivals from Western on Tuesday an can expect a tough game, while Northern has potentially tricky road game against third place Lakeland, also on Tuesday.

Flint Metro League

Linden and Fenton seem to be on their usual collision course right now. But both have road tests this Wednesday with Linden traveling to Brandon and Fenton heading up to Clio.

MAC

Red Division looks a little different than normal this year with Eisenhower now playing catch up a bit. Meanwhile, first place Utica Ford travels to second place Fraser on Monday for a showdown.

White Division has a similar match up on Wednesday when Dakota and Grosse Pointe North hook up. But Lakeview and Romeo are right behind (in fact, Lakeview has dropped the fewest points of anyone in the division) and those two teams meet up on Friday at Romeo.

Blue Division game of the week is clearly Warren Mott (5-1, tied for 1st) facing tough road match against Sterling Heights (4-1-1, 3rd place).

In Gold, Lamphere is 5-0-1 and look to build on their lead this week when they travel to third place Centerline on Monday then host second place Port Huron on Wednesday. A sweep would leave the Rams in a commanding position with only four games to play.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Preview

Sorry there was no preview last week everyone, but my charity obligations have kept me a bit busy.
But I'm back this week with lots to talk about as the season rolls along, so let's get started.

OAA

Red - As usual, this is anyone's division still. But the Clarkston vs. Troy Athens match on Tuesday is a huge one. Athens needs a win after losing to Stoney Creek last week. Meanwhile, the Cougars have to deal with their rivals, the Rochester Falcons and Adams hosts Berkely. Then Saturday, Stoney has to host Troy in another division game. This week could provide a clear favorite in the division race - or just muddy it up even more. It'll be fun to find out.

White - Lake Orion, Bloomfield Hills, and Seaholm are fighting for first with Bloomfield Hills unbeaten and the Dragons and Maples trying to keep pace. That makes Tuesday's game a big one when Lake Orion visits the Maples. Meanwhile, Bloomfield stays home to host Royal Oak then travels to Avondale on Thursday.

Blue - The top game in Blue Division this week is Tuesday when Lathrup travels to North Farmington as the chase pack tries to stay up with unbeaten Oxford who face a road test against Pontiac.

KLAA

North - It's a 3 team race right now with Walled Lake Northern (4-0) holding a one game lead over both Walled Lake Central (3-1) and Lakeland (3-1). Action centers on the Eagles this week who host Northern on Tuesday then travel to Central on Thursday.

South - Plymouth and Canton are both 4-0 and meet up on Tuesday to battle for first place.

Central - This one is a bit of a mess with Novi, Northville, and Livonia Stevenson all 3-1 after splitting with each other. Novi has the toughest road of the three this week traveling to Salem on Tuesday and then Stevenson on Thursday.

West - Grand Blanc and Brighton are both 3-0-1 to lead and each hosts 3rd place Howell this week with Brighton entertaining the Highlanders on Tuesday and Grand Blanc hosting them Thursday.

MAC

Red - Red Division is still in its early stages with teams having only played 1-2 games, but Monday's match up between Fraser and Eisenhower should be a classic and important to the final standings.

White - Game of the week for this division is probably Romeo vs. first place Grosse Pointe Northon Monday.

Blue -A lot of key games  to watch this week: Port Huron Northern and L'Anse Creuse hook up on Wendesday as L'Anse Creuse tries to remain the last unbeaten team in the division, ahead of three one loss teams, including Northern. On Monday, another of those one loss teams, Warren Mott, hosts rival Cousino. Then later in the week, Mott and Northern play on Thursday while Sterling Heights (the other one loss team) travels to L'Anse Creuse on Friday.

Gold - Top teams Lamphere and Marysville duke it out on Monday with first place on the line.

Silver - Another battle for first as 2-0 New Haven travels to 2-0 Marine City on Monday.

Flint Metro League

The league season finally kicks off with a great rivalry game on Monday when defending champ Linden travels to Holly. Also Monday, perennial favorite Fenton has a road trip to tricky Swartz Creek and their bizarre field.

Then Wednesday, Linden hosts Creek and Fenton returns home to face an always defensively solid Brandon squad that finished 3rd last year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Standings Update

Standings have been updated to include all games this week, except for Pontiac vs. Hazel Park. If anyone knows the result of that game, can you please pass it along.