Coach D'Angelo's Blog

2017 Season: Week 11 - PLAYOFF GAME 2 VS MUMFORD HIGH

Under the portable lights and in the rain, we opened up the playoffs with a convincing 35-0 win over Madison Heights Lamphere. What was different about this victory was in the offensive emphasis. In the past 9 games, our offense has featured a strong passing game.  This week the weather conditions gave us the opportunity to use our running more.  Along with a dominating defense, the running game was a big factor in the win.  In 36 rushing attempts we gained a total of 289 yards and 5 touchdowns .  This was a big contrast from previous games when pass attempts outnumbered rushing attempts.  All in all it was the combination of a relentless defense, controlling offense and big plays from the special teams which produced 2 blocked punts that lead to 5 touchdowns and ultimately our 35-0 win. 

Now we move on to the second round of the playoffs vs Mumford High School, a team who plays in the Detroit Public School league.  Their win last week vs Chandler Park Academy demonstrated how talented a team they are.  They have size,. speed and athleticism. They play a style of football typical of teams out of city league which is aggressive and physical.  They rely on big plays from their talented skilled players.  Our goal this week will be to eliminate any big plays and force them into long offensive drives.  We need to again play  tough on defense and move the ball on offense both with the run and pass.  Special teams again will play an important role. 

We have had success in the 1st round of the playoffs in the past years only to come up short in the second round.  Winning that second round game will be a big step towards gaining the confidence and experience that contributes ultimately to a state championship.

The way we have been playing these past weeks, moving on in the playoffs is an obtainable goal.  Every team we face now had a winning season, moving on now comes down execution, and the elimination of mistakes.  There are certain factors we have no control of such as the weather.. What we have control of is our preparation, determination and the passion and toughness of our play. 


We will be ready to get playoff win #2 and to move on.  Our game is Saturday at in the Oval, hope to see you there.  AIM HIGH




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 10 - PLAYOFF GAME 1 VS LAMPHERE

What a fitting way to end the regular season with a 42-7 victory against Everest Collegiate for the Catholic League championship in the Prep Bowl at Ford Field.  The script for the game followed the pattern we did all year, a potent offense and a dominating defense.  Our year's total after 9 games tells the story.  Offensively we had 337 points scored, while holding our opponents to 76 points scored.  This is impressive and proves that defense wins championships. 

The goals for this year were to 1, win the league, 2, win the Catholic League championship in the Prep Bowl, and 3, qualify for the State Playoffs. Goals 1 and 2 were achieved now we work to achieve #3. 

Six wins qualify a team for the playoffs, this will be our fourth year in a row doing so, however we never got past the second round since one lost eliminates a team from moving on.  Our goal is to get beyond the second round and get to the state finals.  This team has the ability and confidence to make it happen. Since one loss ends the season, each game is critical. 

This week we will play Madison Heights Lamphere, a team with a strong running game and an aggressive defense. 

In the playoffs, the team with the highest playoff points is designated the home team and plays on their field.  In the past 3 playoff years we have played at our opponents field, not so this year. We had the highest point average and will be the host team. 

With the generosity of a Cranbrook supporter who is underwriting the rental of portable lights, we will be playing this week game on Friday under the lights. 

I can't say enough how this team has come together and played like champions.  Their success is deserving and the result of a lot of hard work and commitment. 

Cranbrook football has come a long way over these past years and we look forward to continue on what has been achieved and build a tradition of excellence to pass along to future teams. 

The second season begins this Friday

Let's get playoff win #1



Coach D


Our final regular season game of the 2017 season ended on a high note.  The game played under the lights was a fitting venue for homecoming along with honoring our senior players and their parents.  The game began with the National Anthem magnificently sung by the Cranbrook/ Kingswood choir. Our prep band provided the music that brought out a lot of energy and spirit for the night.  The weather, unlike last years rain, was perfect.  The stands were full and there were kids everywhere enjoying being part of the festive evening.  All in all, the game under the lights, provided the opportunity  to bring parents students and alumni together to share in school spirit and pride.


I received an email from a former CK football player who wrote "what a thrill to see a real football program at Cranbrook.  It was the first game I have seen since returning from LA.  It was majestic.  Our team looks great, plays great and is disciplined.  What a thrill."


The victory vs Liggett places us in the Prep Bowl for the Catholic League Championship played at Ford Field. We will be facing Everest Collegiate winner of the Intersectional 2 division in the league. 

This will be our second year in a row playing in the championship game. It is always a thrill playing at Ford Field and a fitting reward for all the hard work that began last winter. 

We have faced Everest Collegiate twice in the past years, our record is 1-1 in those games. They are a well coached team that plays with heart and intensity. Like us, they will bring a 7-1 record to the game.  They have been in the playoffs the past 3 years.  Their aggressive defense has been a big factor in their success.  It will be important for us to play fundamental sound football void of errors and mistakes.  We will strive for PERFECTION, which is our word for the week. 

The coaching staff is pleased with how much the team has improved over the year.  Their success is the result of their commitment, hard work and playing as a team. 

The Prep Bowl will not be our last game, our 7 victories qualify us for the stat playoffs which begins next week.  Our opponent will be known this Sunday when pairings are determined. 

But first things first, right now our focus is on this Saturday's Prep Bowl game. 

It has been a great season to date, we look forward to keeping it going and make a run for the state championship.

See you at Ford Field!




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 8 vs UNIVERSITY LIGGETT

Going into last week's game vs Lutheran North, the focus and objective was based on 3 words: 


  1. Prepare

  2. Execute

  3. Dominate 


As the score, 49-27, indicates our team performance demonstrated just how well we accomplished our objectives.  Not only did we dominate on defense, our offense moved the ball effectively both on the ground and in the air.  The 27 points scored against us came late in the game against our younger players.  The opportunity for these younger players to gain varsity game experience will pay dividends down the road and for years to come as well as a reward for their hard work at practice.


What we achieved with this win is a return to Ford Field to play in the Prep Bowl which is the Catholic League  Championship and also to qualify for the State Playoffs, our third return in a row. 

Our next opponent, University Liggett, has had a challenging year this being their first year as a member of the Catholic League.  They, however,  have the potential to beat any team in our division as evidenced by their victory over Lutheran North two weeks ago.  Liggett's strength is in their passing game.  With numerous formations they will rely on mismatches and confusion, much what Lutheran North tried to do.  It will be important as we prepare this week for the defense to recognize their formations and the pass patterns they run from them.  This is the part I mentioned earlier, preparation and execution. 

The game this week has been designated Homecoming, Senior Recognition Night and will be played under the lights.  Our Friday Night Lights theme the past two years has created a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm for Cranbrook football along with generating school spirit and school pride. This festive evening will draw out alumni and parents who normally miss our afternoon games. 

We look forward to closing out the regular season this week with win #7 and continue the momentum into the Prep Bowl and State Playoffs.


This team continues to AIM High




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 7 vs LUTHERAN NORTH

It's often said that offense wins games, but defense wins championships.  No truer statement is made and can be applied to our 21-0 win over Gabriel Richard last week.  Keeping a team that averages 51 points a game to 0 points is a remarkable accomplishment. No question that our defense was the difference in this game.  To date, we have given up a total of 42 points, that is a 7 point a game average. 


Why is defense so important? First of all, offense is momentum oriented, which makes it vulnerable to be inconsistent. Defense on the other hand tends to depend upon heart, focus, preparation and discipline.  Strong defensive teams don't tend to have inconsistency.    

Last week we faced a team that relied heavily on it's running game.  This week we face a team in Lutheran North that will rely more on it's pass offense.  We will see numerous offensive formations and pass patterns, all designed to create confusion and miss matches for the defense. 

Preparation this week will focus on formation recognition and North's pass patterns.  Putting pressure on their QB will be important in disrupting their timing and effectiveness. 

This game has important end of the year implications both in the league and for the state playoffs.  A win will put us back at Ford field to play in the Catholic league championship as well as qualifying us for the state playoffs, you need 6 wins to get in the playoffs. 

As coaches, I can't say enough about the commitment and effort by this year's team.  Our 5-1 record reflects their hard work and dedication. Knowing what is potentially ahead for them, I am confident their effort and preparation will carry them to the challenges ahead. 


Looking forward to win # 6




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 6 vs GABRIEL RICHARD

It was important to see how we would respond to a disappointing loss from  last week's game against Divine Child. The answer came quickly in our game vs Cabrini as we jumped to an early 21 point lead in the first quarter. By the end of the first half, the score was 49-0. 

Jumping to an early lead gave us the opportunity to play our younger players who played well. Tariq Muhamed scored two touchdowns and was the leading rusher. This was a nice reward for all those players who work so hard each day at practice. 

The game this week vs Riverview Gabriel Richard will be a different story.  Richard is presently 5-0 and have outscored their opponents 258-68. They average 51 points a game on offense.  Their running game is strong lead by one of the best backs in the league. Defensively, Richard will try to pressure us with different looks and schemes. They are well coached and have shown noticeable improvement this past year. This is a big game for both teams and will probably decide who qualifies to play in the Prep Bowl.

We continue to show progress each week and I expect our players to prepare and be determined to give their best this week. 

We look forward to this game and to get win #5.




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 5 vs CABRINI

There are games that define a team and a football grogram, last week's game vs Divine Child was such a game.  Facing a team that is ranked as one of the best in all classes, was a game that would measure  how far Cranbrook football has come. 


While we came out on the short end of a 28-14 score, the final number does not do justice to the play and effort given by the Cranbrook team.  We faced a team loaded with size, talent and experience. Included in their 23 returning seniors was a quarterback who has signed with Michigan State and a tight end/defensive end who has signed with U of M. Divine Child reached the state semi finals last year with this group.  They are pre season favorites to return to the state finals this year. 


After falling behind 14-0 early in the game, we fought back to bring us to a 21-14 score into the 4th quarter and had an excellent chance to tie the game with a long drive that fell short on Divine Child's 17 yard line.


In my 34 years of coaching football, I rank this as one of the finest efforts by a team that I have been involved with.  Every player sold out and gave their all.  At the end of the game they were physically exhausted and emotionally spent.  They walked off the field with their heads held high knowing they had come close to beating one of the top teams in the state.

As disappointing as this loss was, what we came away with will carry us a long way for the rest of the year and for years to come.  Confidence to play against top teams is built in incremental steps.  It comes with experience earned thru efforts like last Friday. 

Now we regroup and prepare for our next opponent, Cabrini, a team while not as talented as Divine Child, plays with the aggressive physical style typical of teams in the Catholic league. Our challenge is not to dwell on last week's game, but to work and prepare equally as hard as we have done in the past weeks. 

With the way the Catholic league is set up, to qualify to play in the Prep Bowl championship game, you must first win your division.  Cabrini is in our Division, Divine Child is not. The road to Ford Field now begins with Cabrini. 

Good teams come to play each week, that is what we expect and what we will do. 

Looking forward to getting win # 4




Coach D   .

2017 Season: Week 4 vs DIVINE CHILD

With a third of the season now completed, we find ourselves sitting on a 3-0 record, a great start to the 2017 season.  Our victory last week vs Shrine was a combination of a potent offense and a stingy defense. The 42-7 victory was another sign of the confidence and improvement this team is making. 


How  far we have come and how far we have improved will be tested this Friday when we face one of the top teams in the state in Divine Child. They also bring a 3-0 record to the game.  Divine Child has size and speed .  Their Quarterback, Theo Day is 6'5 and has recently signed to play at Michigan State.  His favorite receiver is 6'6 Aiden Hutchinson who signed at University of Michigan. These two division 1 players are the keys to their team. 

Adding to the excitement that happens when two undefeated teams meet, it will be Divine Child's homecoming.  They will have a large crowd in addition to a marching band that will assure a lot of home team support.  Love to see a our side have good representation of fans. 

It is important in our preparation this week that we find ways to neutralize their strong passing game.  Divine Child will have a size advantage which we must counter with quickness and speed. Offensively, we must control the ball and keep the DC offense off the field. One area we have a distinct advantage is in the kicking game. The outcome of many competitive games are decided here. 


We have been pleased with the effort and work ethic this team has demonstrated from week to week in getting ready for their opponent.  I expect with the importance this week's game brings, the effort and focus will be at a high level. 

Competitive athletes love to play in games that brings the best together.  I know our team welcomes the challenge and will be prepared and ready. 

Word of the Week



The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something, firm trust


Think of confidence this way,

The  Confidence and Trust  a skydiver has to have in his parachute.that it will bring him back to earth safely.


The confidence and trust players on a team have in each other to assure a successful play. 


Lets Get #4




Coach D   .

2017 Season: Week 3 vs SHRINE

Following up on our shutout win vs Redford Union, we came back with another shutout win 37-0 vs University Prep.  The Defense has been stellar in keeping our opponents scoreless with aggressive and hard hitting play.  This defensive play, coupled with two games that has offensively put 30 plus points on the board along with a strong kicking game it has been an encouraging start to the season. 

We now begin the competitive Catholic League schedule with this Saturday's game against Royal Oak Shrine.  We will face a team that had 9 wins last year which included two in the playoffs.  We can expect a Coach Goddard team that will be well prepared for us and who would likes to run the ball.  They like to come after you on with an aggressive blitzing defense.  Our blocking assignments will be tested. 

Shrine has been in the state playoffs 16 times in the past 18 years.  They have a winning tradition that goes far back to when the Hall of Fame coach, AL Fracassa was there. In fact, when I played for St Ambrose, we beat Shrine in the 1959 championship game, called then the Soup Bowl.  This is how far back their winning tradition goes. 


With the long Labor Day weekend without a practice for 3 days, in addition to the start of a new school year on Tuesday and a number of activities planned, our challenge will be to get the school year off on a high note academically, while keeping our focus on the preparation for Shrine.   

With bright, dedicated players it makes our job as coaches a lot easier. I will expect our players to handle this week with the same enthusiasm and commitment as they have demonstrated over the past weeks. 


Already we are into the 3rd game.  We are seeing our confidence and performance improving with each victory. As mentioned earlier, we begin our Catholic League play with an eye on our goal of getting back to the Prep Bowl again this year.  It begins this week with Shrine.

Looking forward to Win #3




Coach D   .

2017 Season: Week 2 vs UNIVERSITY PREP

It's great to begin the season with a victory for an opening game. Besides a win, what was noteworthy was the few penalties that we committed-- 3.  This is a sign of a poised and disciplined team.  This does not take away from the fact that we played with intensity, emotion and heart. 


Defensively we played well as the shutout would indicate.  We knew going into the game that Redford liked to control the ball with their strong running game. In 48 rushing attempts they gained only 159 yards for a 3.0 avg per carry.  We were successful in preventing any long drives or giving up a big play. 


Offensively, we had a balanced attack with 14 passes and 14 rushes and had 12 first downs to Redford's 9.  A big factor in the game was our strong kicking game which gave Redford poor field position for most of the game.  Conversely, Redford's poor kicking was a factor in a number of our scores.  This points out how important this phase of football is in effecting the outcome of a game. 


Overall it was encouraging to see the growth and improvement of our returning players. This coupled with how quickly players up from last year's J.V. team have developed and are contributing. These new members of varsity are filling the voids created by our graduated seniors.  I can only see us getting better as we gain experience and confidence with each game. 


This week's opponent, University Prep, is another talented team with good size and speed.  Their 49-6 win over Detroit Leadership Academy was impressive.  They also have a strong running attack led by David Ford and Kyle Henderson, each scoring 2 touchdowns. 

Defensively, Prep is aggressive and physical.  The only score they gave up last week was on a Kickoff return.  We will need to counter this with our own style of toughness and execution of play both on the offense and defense.  Again, preparation is the key. 

It has been said that teams make the most improvement between the 1st and 2nd games.  While we are pleased with a 35-0 opening victory, there are a number of areas that we need to improve on.  We will work hard and prepare to assure that improvement continues. 


We will be ready for win #2




Coach D

2017 Season: Week 1 vs REDFORD UNION

Cranbrook football has had nearly a year to enjoy the success of last year's season which included a Catholic league Prep Bowl Championship. Now we start over and prepare for our opening game of the 2017 season this Thursday vs Redford Union. It is important that we realize that this is a new year.  Last year's success helps to build the confidence and winning tradition that good teams possess.

This years team has worked hard in the off season in the weight room and at camps developing their strength and skills preparing for this years season.

"Success doesn't just come and find you

 You have to go out and get it" 


-Evan Carmichael

Our group this years is "going out and getting it  by their commitment to improve. We are coming off a productive mini and pre-season camp, along with an encouraging preseason scrimmage vs Centerline. A lot of positive energy an enthusiasm is being demonstrated. 


This year's Cranes look ready and prepared to make a run at another Catholic League championship  


This week's opponent, Redford Union, will present a challenging opener for us. Their record last year was 7-4 which included a playoff win. They are a seasoned, veteran team, with good size and speed, they fly to the ball on defense.They are a strong running team led by one of the top running backs in Class A, Issac Grant.


Offensively we will have a balanced attack between the passing and running game.  Key offensively will be to sustain our blocks to counteract Redford's speed on defense. Defensively, we will need to stop their running game with aggressive play and secure tackles . Don't let the QB get outside on the option. I believe one area that will play a major role is in the kicking game.  We are strong there which should give us good field advantage plus the ability to score points. 

Finally, something from Nebraska's former head coach , Tom Osborn, I feel is noteworthy. 

" Successful people, successful organizations, and successful football programs strive to reach their highest level of self-actualization in becoming all they are capable of being by embracing worthwhile challenges and pursuing their own excellence."


This to me is another way of stating our motto, Aim High. 


Looking forward to getting Win #1

"All In"

Coach D


Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Speaking on behalf of many, parents, coaches, students and faculty, we want to express how proud we are of this years football team. 


Winning the league, followed by the Catholic Championship was an accomplishment that many thought would never happen. What a great thrill and experience it was for this team to play at Ford Field. All this was achieved thru the hard work and efforts of players, coaches and parents, all focused on making football at Cranbrook successful and something that everyone could be proud of. 


For our seniors, this year will be memorable and with lasting memories. 


I mentioned at the start of the season, our goals were to first, win our league, second play at Ford field for the championship, and third improve on our state playoff record.  The first two we have achieved, now we look to ahead to the state playoffs. 


We have qualified to play in the state playoffs in the past two years.  After getting our first playoff win last year, we faced a strong experienced  Country Day team and were beaten 42-7.  As fate would have it, we will play County Day again in the opening round of the playoffs this Saturday. Country Day boasts a 9-0 record and has been in the playoffs the past 11 years, I know them well.


What is different this year as we prepare to meet them, is that  our competitive  schedule has prepared us to play strong talented teams. We will not be intimidated or feeling that we can't compete.


To win a state championship, you must beat teams like Country Day. This is what we preparing for all week. I know our team is looking towards this game with anticipation and confidence to make amends for last years loss. 


It has been a great season, we look forward to keep it going


Our week's motto

" What you believe, you can achieve"

Believe in yourself, Believe in your teammates,

Prepare, execute, play with heart and intensity


Week's practice schedule.

Monday- Friday  3.45-6pm

Saturday-  report time.  12.00

Kickoff 2.00pm

 Joe D'Angelo


Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Last Saturday, we were on the short end of a 30-3 loss to a big, talented and physical Loyola football team, who's only loss was to Orchard Lake St Mary, champions of the Central Catholic Division.  If there is any consolation in this disappointing loss it is that we demonstrated how far Cranbrook football has come to were we can be competitive with one of the better teams in the area and in the state. Our team played with heart and intensity to the very end. 


We are proud of their effort and performance.  We come away from this game with the knowledge and confidence that we can compete with the best. This prepares us for the upcoming Catholic League Championship and the following state playoffs. 

We are looking forward to playing at Ford Field this Saturday in the Catholic League Championship game vs Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.  Winning our division and earning the right to play in the championship game is the reward for the players commitment and hard work to improve. This began in the winter and carried thru the  spring and summer in the weight room and in the 7 on 7 games. 


I would like to share something that I  addressed with  the team before last week's game. It comes from the book "Legacy" the story of the "Black Shirts" a ruby team that is the most successful sports team in the world. Their goal is to "Leave the jersey in a better place" It means to work incrementally towards a better collective outcome.  It means to be custodians of the future, an architect of tomorrow.

Speaking especially to the seniors, since it was Senior Parents Night, I reminded them of their opportunity to lay the foundation for success to future teams.  "Leave the Jersey in a Better Place.  Help build the tradition , the Legacy, of Cranbrook football. Isn't this what we parents try to do for our children, giving them the opportunity and means to have a bettor life. " Leave the Jersey in a Better Place." .  


On behalf of the coaches and players, we are excited for what lies ahead for us.  This season has been a journey with many memorable moments.  Looking for more to come.


See you at Ford Field on Saturday . 

 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: LOYOLA

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Since the time Cranbrook first joined the Catholic league in 2010 it hadn't won a league game until 2014. In fact many of the games resulted in a running clock which happens when there is a 35 point differential.  From those early league losses, Cranbrook football has come a long way to now were we are today, playing for the Catholic league championship at Ford Field on October 22nd.

Last week's 42-7 win vs Cabrini produced two significant outcomes, 1st it put us into the Championship game at Ford Field and 2nd it qualified us for the state playoffs which require 6 victories, Presently we have a 6-1 record.  After a slow first half vs Cabrini leading 10-7, we came out strong in the second half scoring 32 points

for a 42-7 victory.  Again our defense stepped up and held Cabrini to minus 23 yards.  Our passing game got back on track with Tyler Santangelo completing 14 out of 24

passes for 216 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Now this week we face a strong Loyola team who has dominated their division and who's only loss came from perennial powerhouse Orchard Lake St Mary, 14-35.  Loyola has been in the state final's championship game 3 out of the past 4 years. 

There our games that can define a program and this game with Loyola is one of them.  A win over Loyola makes a strong statement in how far Cranbrook football has come in the past four years.  It also propels us to reach for higher goals such as winning a first state championship, 

We know the challenge that faces us in the game with Loyola and welcome it.  I know our team and coaches look forward this challenge and will work hard preparing all week .


This week's game is also designated Senior Day.  This is an opportunity to recognize our 11 seniors for their contribution and commitment to Cranbrook football.  What a great opportunity to close out their Cranbrook football experience than with a win over Loyola and setting a new standard for our program.  Much of this year's success can be attributed to their leadership and performance. 

We thank you Seniors, go out strong and with the knowledge that you helping to build a Legacy and Tradition for future players and teams. 

                                            Motto for the week


                                      Champions Do The Extra. 

 Joe D'Angelo


Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


The Friday Night's Light game vs Gabriel Richard was another high point for Cranbrook football. The rain couldn't dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the players, students and parents.  It was gratifying to see so many of our fans staying to the end of the game in spite of the weather. We knew Richard was going to be a determined opponent to avenge their 1 point loss to us last year.


The weather was going to be a factor and it was.  Our usually effective passing game was hampered by the rain.   Fortunately a strong running game led by some incredible runs by Aaron Wiggins and a defense that held tough, we were able to control the game.  End result was  a 28-3 victory and. a 5-1 season  record. .


Now  we face Allen Park Cabrini, a team with a 2-4 record.  This game is important for two reasons,, first to assure our first participation in the Catholic league championship at Ford Field.  Secondly, a win qualifies us for the State Playoffs.  Presently we have 5 victories, 6 are needed to  qualify.

I want to express my thanks and appreciation on behalf of the coaches and players to all those involved  for all their work into making  homecoming and the Friday Night's game a success.


Also a special thanks to the M/S football team and their coach Jon Claus for their attendance and support at the game.  It was an opportunity to have them join us in our pre game and half time talks.  They are the future of CK football and it is important they continue on in the tradition of Team. Thanks M/S football team. 

There is much to look forward too, Prep Bowl and  State Playoffs all which help to  bring school spirit and Cranbrook.   


Looking forward to win #6

 Joe D'Angelo


Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


After a day of rest and time to enjoy our big win over Lutheran North, it is time to prepare for Gabriel Richard, our next opponent . Richard enters the game with 3 wins and 2 losses and looking for a win that will qualify them for the Prep Bow Championship.  They will also be motivated to avenge a 14-13 loss to us last year when they failed in a 2 pointe conversion that would have won the game.

As with Richard, this is an important game for us as well.  A win puts us in good position in the playoffs which require 6 wins to qualify and also for Prep Bowl consideration.  As I remind the team ,however don't' look ahead, , the most important game is the game you are about to play. 


This week will be a busy and fun filled week  for Cranbrook. There is the girls Powder Puff game, Homecoming, Parent  Weekend and the Friday Night Lights Game vs Richard


The football team will do it's part in helping to make this a complete enjoyable weekend experience for parents, students and alumni.

To quote Richie McCaw, a star player for the "Black Shirts" the worlds top ruby team from New Zeeland, each game you need to  Prove Yourself Again.   

If we become complacent and think our past performance will carry us ach week without " proving our self again"  we could be setting our self up for failure. 

The word I like for this week is CONFIDECE , a feeling of self assurance arising from one's appreciation for one's abilities and qualities. 

This year's team is playing with CONFIDECE not bragging or in a cocky way, but in a way that reflects their trust and belief in themselves and their teammates. 

Each week this team thru their willingness to prepare and hard work grow in CONFIDENCE and belief that they can be as good as they want to be. 


We go into this week's contest with the belief and Confidence that will give us win # 5. 

 Joe D'Angelo


Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


After 5 unsuccessful years vs Waterford Our Lady, we were able to come away with a hard fought victory last Saturday, 36-21.  We started the game determined to make amends for the past five losses.  Quickly we jumped out to a 22-0 lead in the first 9 minutes of the game.  However when playing a quality team with a rich tradition no lead is safe as we found out.  Lakes was able to come back and make it a 29-21 game going into the 4th quarter.  They were one touchdown from tying the game. However our defense stiffened and the offense moved down the field to score a late 4th quarter TD to put the game away with a 36-21 score.  Once again we had to overcome some game adversity with the loss of some key players as well as with the loss of Garrett Chapel, our defensive coordinator who was at home recovering  from  back surgery.  Credit our coaching staff who put together the defensive  game plan with the input of coach Chapel from his bed at home.   


We now get ready to play our Intersectional opponent, Lutheran North, who comes into the game with a 2-2 record.  North features a talented QB who is a threat both as a runner and a passer.  North will show us many different looks both on offense and defense.  If our last years win, 18-17 is any indication for this year, I expect a close competitive game played by two teams looking to win the Catholic Intersectional Division and go on to play at Ford Field in the Prep Bowl. 


The key to victory this week and for that matter, every week, is PREPARATION, our word for the week.


"Intensity of PREPARATION--training to win-- conditions the brain and body to perform under pressure.  It lets peak performance become automatic.  It develops the mind set to win"

Being prepared, whether in the classroom or on the playing field, gives one the opportunity to perform at one's best. 


Each week requires us to PREPARE and adjust to a new opponent.  This is the challenge we face and welcome


                                                               Get ready for the Mustangs. 

 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Last week's game vs Chandler Park started off as a continuation of the previous weeks game vs University Prep were we scored early.  We jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to see Chandler Park score just before the half that made it a 14-8.  Park's size and speed  proved to be a major factor in their comeback in the second half. We knew going into the game that had talented players that had the potential to make big plays which they did.  While it was a disappointing loss,our team never quit and continued to play hard to the end. We lost to a talented and physical team that has made the playoffs in the past 7 years.  What we learned from this game is that we can play and compete with top teams.  How we respond this week will be important to our play for the rest of the year. 


"Don't waste time in doubts and fears: spend yourself in the work before you, well assured that that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it."



The Chandler Park game is history, we now prepare for WOLL, a team that since 1990 has qualified for the state playoff in all but 2 years. Even though they have graduated a number of key players from last year's 13-1 record, their winning tradition makes them a confident determined team. They presently have 2 wins and one loss. Lakes is a well coached team that makes few mistakes. They won't beat themselves, they make you beat them.


This will be our focus for this week


Assess----determine what we need to do this week to be successful

Adjust-----make corrections and change were needed

Act---------practice to win.  preparation and execution

                                   Champions Do The Extra


After 3 non league games, we now get into our Catholic League schedule.  It is these games that will determine who plays at Ford field in the Prep Bowl. 


We play this Friday at Wisner stadium under the lights, which is for us an exciting change and get's us ready for our Friday Night Light's  Game, which is also CK Homecoming   


We look forward to this game with the Lakers


Word of the week   COMPETE


Week's practice schedule

Sept 12-15   3.45 walk thru.  4-6 regular practice

Sept 16 game day  Pre game meal 3.30  Bus leaves CK 5.15

Sept 17-18th No practice.


Sept 19-23 3.45 walk thru.   4-6 regular practice.

Sept 24. game day Report 11.00am

Sept 25  no practice.

 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: Chandler Park

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Going into the University Prep game last Saturday, there was some  questions and uncertainty that surrounded our preparation during the week. How would we respond to a number of players either out or forced to have limited practice time.  Would we be ready to face another tough opponent. The questions and uncertainty was answered with a convincing 44-0 victory.  It was a great example of team effort. The offense, defense and kicking game performed with determination and intensity. We played a physical game that caused numerous Prep mistakes.  The score does not reflect us playing a weak opponent, Prep is a talented team.  Rather it reflects how well we played.


The improvement made between game 1 and game 2 needs to continue this week as we prepare for our next opponent, Chandler Park Academy and who like Prep is a physical and talented team. We remember them well from our playoff loss, 8-50 in 2014 on a cold windy rainy evening. 

We can not look at Park's 0-2 record this year and get a false sense that they are not a good team, they are.  Their 2 losses came against quality opponents. 


School begins this week and what better way to welcome back and  promote school spirit and pride than with a home game victory on Saturday. We look forward to this game with continued determination always focused on our season goals. 


Let's go out and get #3.    


" We are what we repeatedly do,

Excellence then ,is not an act but a habit"

                                                         -- Aristotle



No practice Monday,Labor Day

Tuesday practice

3.oo walk thru

3.30 -5  regular practice

5.30  school picnic


Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practice 

3.30 walk thru

4-6 regular practice. 


Saturday Game day.

Report time 1.00 pm

 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: University Prep Academy

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


A great deal of time and effort goes into preparing for a season  There is always some uncertainty and  anxiousness going  into the 1st game on just how a team will perform.  Based on this year's opening game, we are off to a good start. A key to victory is limiting mistakes, making game adjustments and reaction to adversity. 

In our victory last week, we had to react to the loss of key starters early in the game. A good part of our offense and to some extent our defense was effected with the loss of these players.  This lead to making game adjustments, not only with plays but also with players.  This loss of players tested our team's resilience, determination and belief in themselves and their teammates. Playing over adversity is a sign of a champion. It is thru these experiences that build confidence and self assurance to overcome  obstacles and challenges. This leads into a "Never Give Up Attitude" which was an important lesson learned in our Hamtramck game. Hopefully it is a lesson we will carry all thru the season and in life. 


Looking ahead to this week's opponent, University Prep, we face another talented and physical team. Our major emphasis this week is to eliminate mistakes of last week which kept the game close.  We do not want to give any extra opportunities to Prep this week.  While at times we played well last week, there is certainly much room for improvement. It is said that a team makes it most significant improvements  between the 1st and 2nd game.  Preparation and execution are keys to our success., this we will do. . 


Looking forward To Win #2

Coach D


"Don't waste time in doubts and fears: spend yourself in the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that follow it."


 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: HAMTRAMCK

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


Word of the week  ATTITUDE


The way you think and feel about someone or something. 

A feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior. 


" There is no such thing as luck. Winning is a result  of investment ,ATTITUDE and confidence."


The 2016 football team enters this coming season with the ATITITUDE that has driven them to invest the time and energy over the winter, spring and summer preparing for another successful season.  I see it in their confidence, work ethic and belief in themselves and their teammates.  We are not relying on "luck" but on hard work and preparation.


Our opening game with Hamtramck brings us back to the days when both schools were part of the Metro Conference.  The last time we played Hamtramck was in 2010.  Cranbrook won that game 35-0.  This year's Hamtramck has a talented team led by running back Jerrice Duhart, who has speed and power.  He is a threat to make big plays every time he touches the ball . Their QB has a strong throwing arm and he too is a strong runner.  Our defense will need to contain these two. 

It should be a good opening test for our team to continue on the improvement and success over the past 2 years.  We go into this contest with a positive, confident ATTITUDE .


Let's go out and get win #1  


Coach D  

 Joe D'Angelo

2016 Season: PreSeason

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo


As we approach the coming season, I want to express my appreciation for all the hard work and effort that has gone into building the Cranbrook Football Program.

We have built a solid foundation that has allowed us to grow and develop these last few years.  From earning a spot in the state playoffs in 2014, to winning our first playoff game in 2015, we have made yearly progress in the growth of Cranbrook football. 

I firmly believe that what drives all of us- parents, teacher, coaches, and players- is the belief that many life lessons are learned through the participation in organized football. Commitment, teamwork, discipline, and work ethic are just a few of the character building experiences that occur in developing a success football program. 

A measure of gratitude goes to our former players, who have graduated from Cranbrook and are now pursuing their dreams at universities and in the adult world.  We thank you for your willingness to blaze the trail for our current players to follow. We are encouraged by your visits, your messages via social media, and your donations to the school on behalf of the program.   Thank you for leaving a strong legacy for our boys to follow. 

Thanks to the current players, who are working very hard to improve themselves, and go beyond their accomplishments in recent years.  We are proud of your dedication to the offseason workouts, conditioning, and voluntary personal growth efforts like skill camps. We are proud of you in the classroom, on the field, and in the community service you perform.  We are proud of the young men you are becoming. 

I appreciate the parents and their volunteer efforts to make the football experience at Cranbrook a great thing.  From working the chains and providing food for the players, to donations for our events like Friday Night Lights and Senior Night, our parents have gone above and beyond in making Cranbrook Football great. 

I want to applaud the dedication of our fine coaching staff, trainers, and other support personnel who have labored many hours to develop the plans for growth. We have a fine staff at Cranbrook, with many years of dedicated coaching experience. We have really good trainers, who work with our kids through injuries and their physical development. This team does great work.

And lastly, I want to thank the Cranbrook Administration, both in the Athletic Department and within the various other divisions that have supported the growth of Cranbrook football.  The school as a whole has embraced the rise in Cranbrook Football and has played their part behind the scenes to make things happen in a positive way. It’s great to see the faculty, staff, and administrators attending the games and enjoying themselves. It’s even more encouraging to see them embrace the boys as they challenge them in the classrooms and around the campus. We are building student athletes, and they are indeed students first. 

As we have changed the culture of Cranbrook Football, we look ahead to the coming season with great hope and anticipation.

One of the most notable developments is the number of freshman out for football. This bodes well for the future of football here at CK.  Thanks to Andy Fairman, Pat Hultman and Coach Biggie, for promoting and encouraging our Middle Schools boys to come out and give high school football a try.  I promised with the increased numbers, we would have a JV program. This helped to bring out more boys who wanted to play but felt they were not ready for Varsity practice and games.  We will have 5 JV games with the possibility of adding 1 or 2 more. 


We are a more experienced varsity team, having learned to win hard fought victories.  We look forward to pushing deeper and reaching new heights.  Our goals for the season are the following: 

1.  Having players enjoy and experience memorable moments thru their participation in football.

2.  Win the league, which for the first time since joining the Catholic League allows us to compete for the Catholic league championship at Ford field. 

3.  Qualify for the state playoffs and improve on 1st playoff victory of last year. 


"There is no such thing as luck.  

Winning is a result of investment, attitude, and confidence" 


Even though we have had two seasons of steady improvement, we must not let up in our preparation.  “Chance favors the Prepared Mind” was stated by the French Chemist Louis Pasteur to explain how breakthroughs in science occur.  We seek new breakthroughs in our football activities. By being prepared, we give ourselves the best chance to succeed. 

I break down our football preparation into 5 phases:

Phase 1.  Winter and Spring workouts
Phase 2.  Mini Camp 
Phase 3.  Summer Strength & Conditioning + 7 on 7 passing scrimmages  
Phase 4.  Pre-Season overnight camp and 2 a day practices until school starts
Phase 5.  In season practices and games


As we pass through each phase, we will get stronger and more adept in the fundamentals of football.  Our chances to achieve our goals increase as we diligently work in each phase. 

Education is important at Cranbrook, and I encourage the team to prepare for the upcoming academic season.  It’s never too late to pick a book and study ahead.  At Cranbrook, we expect success on the field  and in the classroom. 

I look forward to a good season.

 Joe D'Angelo

2015 Season: Week 6

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo



It has been 11 years since Cranbrook has started the season 6-0.  


Last weeks hard fought victory against an undefeated Gabriel Richard team matches the 2004 season. We now look to surpass this when we meet Shrine this Saturday.  Our young CK team continues to amaze us with their confidence and determination to succeed. Beating an undefeated,5-0, team in Gabriel Richard is another indication how far this time has come.


Each week we see different players stepping up and make a difference in the game.  Even with the loss of some key players we remain competitive and successful. It's all about TEAM and this group of individuals are playing well as a team. 


With our six victories, we now qualify to participate in the state playoffs which is the goal of every team.


The coaches are proud of the way this team prepares and plays each week. They are RELENTLESS  in their play, which we will use as our word for the week.  With just three remaining games left in the season, we will continue working to improve in our pursuit of playoff success.  Last year we earned a spot in the playoffs only to lose in the first round.  If we are to move this program forward, the next step is winning playoff games.  


But first things first and that is this upcoming game with Shrine. 


Let's go get #7

2015 Season: Week 4

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo



Before returning to the field after halftime of Friday's Bishop Foley game, I asked the team to look down and see what was taking place on the football field.  Hundreds of kids were running around on the field having fun and enjoying the evening. The atmosphere create was due to the efforts of parents, students, faculty, administration and the success the team is experiencing. It was a football happening.  Something that brings spirit and pride to the school community.  I felt we were experiencing the ushering in of a new era of Cranbrook football.  


Yes, the victory was gratifying, however, what transpired over the course of the day is what will be remembered and hopefully be continued in years to come.  It all started with a spirited pep rally organized by Reilly Knoer and supported by faculty and administration, to allow all fall teams and coaches to be recognized.  The volunteer pep band was terrific and helped create the spirit and excitement needed for a pep rally.  All this was a warm up for what was to come, the Friday Night Lights Game. There was representation from Lower,Midddle and Upper School students and teams, all in support to make this a memorable event.  I speak for the team and coaches, all this effort was greatly appreciated.


We are off to a good start,4-0.  This week is homecoming and we face another good team in Everest Academy.  They, like the other Catholic teams we face, play with spirit and unity.  We learned two years ago in our loss to them, that they will play hard and with passion.  We must counter that with our intensity and execution.  Being homecoming, a lot of excitement will center around the girls powder puff game on Friday and our game on Saturday.  The football team will do it's part in helping to make this a successful week.


Finally, I am happy to report that there will be an opportunity for our younger, non starter players, to have an opportunity to gain more football experience in a scrimmage with Everest Academy's non starters on Monday September 28 at 5.30 at CK. These non starters, have worked hard in practice improving their skills while providing valuable support in getting the team ready each week for the next opponent. 


Hope to see you on Saturday


Let's go for #5


Coach D'Angelo 

2015 Season: Week 3

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo



Last Friday's game vs. a determined and talented Lutheran North team produced a hard fought victory. The game gave our young "Cranes" an opportunity to demonstrate their ability and "belief" that they could come back from being behind and win. Doing this is how teams learn how to win. It can't be taught. It needs to be experienced.  This team will grow and continue to improve as it builds on these experiences. 


It certainly feels good to be 3-0.  Now it is time to put this game behind us and prepare for our next opponent: Bishop Foley.  They are 1-2.  Their 2 losses have come against two very strong opponents.  Teams we play in the Catholic League are always well prepared and play aggressive hard hitting football.  I expect no less from Bishop Foley.  We need to continue to eliminate mistakes and play with the intensity and emotion demonstrated in our past 3 games.  


This week's contest will be a return to the "Friday Nights Light Game" format that was so successful last year.  A great deal of preparation has went into planning for this game to assure an exciting, fun filled atmosphere for the fans and school.  


Since this will be another short week of preparation, no practice on Monday in observance of the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, I am asking the team to report on Sunday at 5:00pm.  We will go thru a film review and a light post game workout. 


Finally, I am proud of this group of young men, not only how they conduct themselves on the football field but their willingness to participate in helping others thru community service.  After a late night game on Friday, the team reported at 8:00am on Saturday to pack food for Focus:HOPE.  They did this with the same enthusiasm as they did the night before in the game.  


Look forward to seeing you on Friday night.


Let's go for # 4.

2015 Season: Week 2

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo



Last week's game vs. Cabrini was not only rewarding for its victory, but more so the coming together as a team playing with passion, intensity and emotion.  We saw the growth and improvement from the first game in minimizing penalties and mistakes while executing more effectively both on offense and defense. The point differential totals over the past two games: CK 71 points vs Opponents 13 points reflects how well we moved the ball on offense and scored and how stubborn we were giving up points on defense. In addition, our kicking game, punts, extra points and field goals played an important role in our two victories.  



I hesitate signaling out individual players since it was the total TEAM (starters and backup players) that contributed to our win.  We seldom see or recognize those in the "trenches": the linemen, who do much of the grunt work that allow our receivers and running backs their scoring opportunities.



We went into this season with an emphasis on defense knowing that this important phase of the game would be critical in order for us to do well. Defensively, by continuing to shut down opponent's offenses, we will remain competitive in every game. Sometimes, defense doesn't seem to be as glamorous, however most games are won and lost with it. I have to say our defense is playing more aggressively than we have in the past.  This is another indication how far we have come.  



This week we travel again for an away game with a good Lutheran North team.  The "Mustang" are 1-1 and feature a good passing attack with a QB that can run and throw well. Like the past two teams we faced, North will be bigger and more experienced then we are.  We need to continue to play with the intensity and passion demonstrated the past two weeks. What we also have going for us is the belief we can play with anyone. Putting in the time and effort brings out the confidence and belief we will win.  



School begins this week on Thursday along with a school wide picnic on Tuesday.  With this comes the challenge of keeping the team's focus and concentration on the task at hand.  Opening of a new school year is always exciting and brings about the opportunity to get off to a fresh start.  We want the boys to participate in the enjoyment of coming back to school.  

Football can be demanding, however, I want to emphasize to the players the importance of getting the school year off on a positive note in the classroom.  Don't use football as an excuse not to keep up with your studies. SCHOOL COMES FIRST.  Don't let yourself get behind, and then try to catch up.



Finally, ask your son, "Are you having fun playing football?"  I hope the answer is yes. Football is difficult if there is no enjoyment or fun.  As coaches, our goal is to make this a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Hope to see you all Friday night as we go for win #3

2015 Season: Week 1

Coach's Corner

by Joe D'Angelo



It was certainly gratifying coming away with an opening season victory.  It was a testament to the hard work and preparation the team and coaches have put in over the spring, summer and pre-season. I have seen a significant change in our team's attitude over my past 3 years here at Cranbrook.  Players are now believing than can win and, as they do so and have success, they will go into each contest not only believing but expecting to win. This is how champions think and believe. Thursday'sgame demonstrated our courage and ability to stay competitive in spite of injuries and setbacks. The coaching staff as well as you parents, I know, are proud of the manner in which this team plays and prepares. Our word of the week was perseverance, this certainly applied to last week's effort. 


I am pleased with the role that our back-up players had when called upon to fill in during the game.  While not being starters, these individuals play a critical role not only at practice, but to be ready to assume game responsibilities.  Everyone, both starters and backups, played their hearts out against a bigger and more experienced opponent.


I can't tell you how satisfying and enjoyable it was to hear the joy and laughter coming from the team as they went thru their post game workout and film review last Friday.  I felt the makings of a team coming together and believing in one another as they as they proceed thru this season's journey. 


Each week brings new challenges and opportunities, and we learn and grow along the way.  One game does not make a season, however it is a positive start and will be the foundation for us to build on.  Finally, I thank you again parents for your support and understanding.  


One last note: I have 3 words sunmitted by parents for the Word of the Week:


Teamwork (Nicole Steimel)

Integrity (George Davis)

Leadership (Trevor Lauer)


We will use these thru-out the week. 


Thanks, Parents. 

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