The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes (7-2) will battle the Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets (9-0) in the opening round of MSHAA tournament this weekend. The winner of this game will move on to the Region 3, District 2 finals.
Country Day enters the game perfect on the season, establishing a 9-0 record. A perennial football power house in Division 4, the Yellowjackets have only missed the state playoffs 7 times over the last 31 years. The 3-time state champions are led by Head Coach Dan MacLean, in his 19th year as head of the program.
Country Day is the top ranked program in Division 4 by the Associated Press.
“We have a good senior-led team and, to be honest, our schedule hasn’t been terrifically challenging, but the kids have done a good job, “Coach Dan Maclean told the Detroit News earlier this year. “It’s a good experienced group and you can see some things happening. They are starting to play more together.”
Cranbrook finds itself 7-2 on the season, having swept the CHSL Intersectional division, and winning its first ever Catholic League Championship.
The Cranes have made the playoffs the last three years under Coach Joe D’Angelo. Posting a 9-2 record last year, Cranbrook matched the 2003 Cranes for the deepest playoff run in the school’s history- an appearance in the district finals.
This year Cranbrook would like to go farther.
“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,” said Cranes Head Coach Joe D’Angelo. “The first two we have achieved, now we look to ahead to the state playoffs. “
Country Day ended Cranbrook’s run last year in a 42-7 defeat in the district finals.
“Our competitive schedule has prepared us to play strong talented teams. We will not be intimidated or feel that we can't compete”, said D’Angelo. “To win a state championship, you must beat teams like Country Day. This is what we have been preparing for all week. “
Separated by about 4 miles along Lahser road, Cranbrook and Country Day have been longtime competitors in almost every sport. Last year’s contest was the renewal of the rivalry on the gridiron.
“I know our team is looking towards this game with anticipation and confidence to make amends for last year’s loss. It has been a great season; we look forward to keep it going,” said D’Angelo.
This game will occur Saturday, October 29, 2015, at 2 p.m. It will be played at Country Day’s home field located at 22305 W. 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.
The winner advances to the Regional 3 final against the winner of Marysville (9-0) and St. Clair Shores South Lake (7-2) next week.