A few things I'm looking forward to this fall's football season:
1. Senior QB studs, Frankie Popp (Brother Rice), Robert Bolden (OLSM), Sam Welch (Walled Lk. Western), and Rob Feeman (Clawson)
2. Oakland County thoroughbreds, Lake Orion and Birmingham Brother Rice, the two area teams most likely to be sure bets competing for a DI state title in November - Sophomore signal caller Sean Charette, the only freshman to ever start a state championship game in state history last season (an unfortunate Dragons' "L") returns with a loaded offensive arsenal (bruising tailback Kym Bruce and sly split ends, Mike Nelson and Mike Lott), as does Frankie Popp, who along with senior wide out Kevonte Martin-Manley possibly make up the most dangerous passing combination in the state.
3. Catholic Central senior fullback/bulldozer, Niko Palazetti. This kid is a physical specimen with few equals on the high school level. With a name that sounds like something that would be straight out of an old NFL Films reel, Palazetti is one of the best powerbacks to come out of the area in a long time and the top rated full back prospect in Metro Detroit . One of the best within five yards of the goal line as any back in the state.
4. How will D8 Southfield Christian respond from the success of its first playoff campaign in the program's three year history last season? The return of all-state running back Devon Bailey - with an average of over 150 yds per game in 2008 - gives me confidence that a return trip to the post-season could be in head coach Tim Fracassi's near future.
5. Finding out how the new Pontiac High School is going to look on the gridiron - better, worse, or the same?
6. Seeing if Chris Fahr can bounce traditional county-contender Birmingham Seaholm back from a disastrous '08 season - Knowing Fahr as one of the best young football coaching minds in the area and the talent of returning senior QB Jack Quigley, I would say its close to a sure thing.