This week Mumford fell under the 2010 magical spell of Cass Technical High’s absorbing football squad. Even more impressive was how Cass Tech knocked out defending Detroit Public School League (PSL) champion Martin Luther King High last week.
The Mumford and Southeastern wins were noteworthy indeed, but the win over King (5-1) is what the PSL football scene should be about. At King in a much needed night game it proved that city PSL watchers would come out in thousands to support PSL football.
In attendance at King were numerous college recruiters, Lions first round draft pick Ndamukong Suh, former Northwestern and Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion Ron Johnson and many more present and former PSL players along with family members far and wide helped elevate the nighttime crowd to over 5,000 people.
Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher, who played at Central and University of Michigan, has assembled a squad that is very defensive and PSL opponents are finding it almost impossible to score on them.
Led by seniors Kishon Wilcher, Delont’e Hollowell, Seko Shorter, Abioidun Sanusi, Blake Blackwell and juniors Royce Jenkins-Stone, Darryl Goldsmith, Laron Taylor and Terry Richardson, collectively they have shutout two of the best PSL teams from last season.
First, Southeastern lost to the Technicians 42-0 in week three and in week four, King got slammed 25-0.
“I’m very proud of how my defense has played,” Wilcher said. “I’m not surprised at what they have accomplished so far. This is a good team and they have a very good shot at doing great things as long as we keep our heads and stay focused. We have been working hard in practice and most of the things the coaches have been trying to teach them they have started to believe in and are executing on the field.”
Coach Wilcher over the years has not been able to get his teams over the hump and win city titles, but he has consistently sent his young men to college to further their careers. For example, he recently had four of his players earn scholarships to the University of Michigan – Boubacar Cisscok, Teric Jones, William Campbell and Thomas Gordon, as well as Joseph Barksdale at LSU, to name a few. Plus cornerback Hollowell has already committed to Michigan.
“We may not have won a ton of city titles,” Wilcher noted, “but our kids have been getting in great universities around the country and that is what makes the coaches’ efforts all worthwhile.”
Cass is now sitting at a lofty 5-0 after its win over Mumford and many alumni around the city are taking notice.
In particular King’s All-Michigan Chronicle running back Dennis Norfleet came into the Cass contest with close to 800 yards rushing but was held to 61 yards on 29 carries.
Challenging Norfleet for PSL running honors is Cass 5-foot-6, 180-pound senior running back Christian Burks. He has been fantastic thus far and has displayed speed that has allowed him to consistently break long touchdown runs.
“This team has the momentum and we are playing up to our potential,” Burks said. “My offensive line has been firing off the ball and I’m just squeezing behind them. I’m just running the plays called and things have been happening as we practice them.”
Also leading the Technicians’ offense is senior quarterback Keith Moore. He has guided the team efficiently and with purpose with both his feet and arm.
“Our game plan is simple, pound the ball,” Moore said, “but we are patient and we will wait till the defense opens up and then we can pass the ball, too. I have some great receivers and when I put it up in the air they can go get it.
“I really think we have a chance to be one of Cass Tech’s best football teams. That is why we try to get better every day in practice and throughout the season.”
Wilcher said he told Moore all he has to do is stay away from the mistakes and lead this team by his actions. “So far he has done all of that and more,” he said.
Cass has done all that and more as it has elevated thus far to the top of the PSL football class.
Leland Stein III can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.