It's time for kickoff!
The 2011 Oakland Activities Association high school football schedule opens tonight with 11 games, and Patch is there.
Patch websites in Oakland County are ready to be high school football fans destinations for extensive coverage of all the teams in the region.
That coverage started this past week with previews of 17 different teams in the OAA Red, White and Blue. Miss anything? We have put together a special publication that compiles all those stories along with schedules for each of the teams.
And don't forget to check back to your local Patch site this weekend for live updates and recaps for over a half-dozen games including:
- Thursday: Birmingham Seaholm at North Farmington 7 p.m.
- Thursday: Rochester vs. L'Anse Cruise 7 p.m.
- Thursday: Royal Oak vs. St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 7 p.m.
- Friday: Ferndale at Berkley 7 p.m.
- Friday: Rochester Adams vs. Clarkston 7 p.m.
- Saturday: Cass Tech vs. Farmington Harrison 7 p.m. (at Eastern Michigan University)
The Yellow Jackets was one of the most high powered offenses in the OAA last season. That won't change. Their focus will be moving the ball with the passing game and doing it quickly with a no-huddle offense.
Coaches believe the team's chemistry could make the offense even better this year. Full preview
It won't be easy for the Barons this season; they have the smallest team in the entire OAA and almost all of their starters will play both offense and defense.
An amped-up conditioning program has them ready to face the challenge and their experience has them feeling like they could win a few more games than they did last year.
For more about the state of Andover football, read .
The Bears might have had the most turnover in the offseason out of any team in the OAA. They have a new coach, graduated a ton of solid seniors (including running back Terrell Porter) and are working on installing a new defense.
It's almost a completely different team except they still have the same kind of expectations as they had last year: Playoffs or bust.
Find out who is going to replace Porter and .
With numbers down at the varsity level, the Eagles will look to some young players to help them fly this season.
Ferndale has to replace most of their offensive starters from last season, including all-world running back Anthony Garland. Two sophomore running backs are going to be part of the platoon that tries to replace him.
Find out how they are coming along in
The Falcons aren't the biggest or fastest team in the OAA Blue, but they have a lot to prove. Starting running back and linebacker Keon Collier knows a lot of people are writing of his team this season, but he's out to prove all the doubters wrong.
He broke down his team's chances for Patch before the season. For his thoughts on Birmingham Groves football
When it comes to football, the Raiders have been the third wheel in the Farmington school district and they are looking to change that.
North Farmington has the biggest team it has had in a while, in size and depth. An injury plagued season last year frustrated coaches and players alike. This season they feel like they have enough players to really challenge for a division title.
It hasn't been an easy start for Josh Heppner at Athens. His first two years in charge have been largely forgettable. The Red Hawks have combined for only five wins in two seasons.
But this isn't a squad that opposing teams in the OAA Red should overlook this season. They have a beast in offensive tackle Andrew Aurand and a pretty good stable of running backs.
Here's what Heppner and Aurand
No one at Lake Orion is talking about the school's first state title in football. Players are focused on winning a second.
The Dragons were great last year and four of their MVP's are back for their senior seasons, including Sean Charette – one of the top quarterbacks in the state. Charette was injured in the semifinals last season and is itching to get back on the field.
Aggressiveness and toughness. That's what head coach Erik Vernon wants to see from his Falcons this year. The coaching staff made the team work hard in the offseason, especially the lineman, to get them ready for the fall. Will it pay off?
The Ravens are just a win away from improving their record from last year, but the program wants more than wins. Royal Oak football hasn't won a game in three years and new head coach Jeff Hill wants to right the ship.
to talk about the changes he is making on-and-off the field in his first season.
The school and wider community are also counting on Hill and the team to help .
The Colts finished one win away from a playoff spot last season at 5-4. They bring most of their offensive line back from 2010 and their starting quarterback Justin Losey.
An inexperienced defense, with nine new starters, and lack of depth at running back are question marks going into their season opener at Romeo.
Upset alert! The Lakers think they have a chance to win the OAA Red this year. After seeing the kind of talent they have, it's easy to see why. They have a gigantic offensive line and a great group of athletes at their skill positions.
And while head coach Ron Bellamy is excited about his team's chances to make the playoffs this season, he has longer term goals at the school. He talked about the state of the Lakers football program with Patch and how he plans to compete in the OAA for years to come.
The Highlanders reached the second round of the playoffs, but they will have to quickly rebuild if they want to get back there.
Quarterback Andrew Hammet, running back Tony Annese and wide receiver Edward Williams graduated. Adams' roster only has four returning starters. More about the roster's turnover
The Falcons graduated seven three-year starters last year. Luckily head coach John Bechtel has enough young athletes to step in and fill the void. Farmington won't have nearly the kind of senior leadership it had last season, but it could be a more dangerous team in 2011.
for a fourth consecutive season.
It won't be possible for the Hawks to have a better record than they had last year (14-0), but the team might actually be better this season.
The defending state champions bring back all-state players like Aaron Burbridge and senior lineman Mario Ojemudia. Burbridge is a tremendous wide receiver and is part a talented group of receivers that should make Jake Vento's transition to quarterback easier. Ojemudia anchors Harrison's veteran-laden defensive and offensive line.
The Cougars were at the bottom of the White division last season with a 2-7 record. They don't have any returning starters on defense from last year, but coaches are optimistic the group will be much improved. They are strong at linebacker and defensive line.
More on the players that might out of the OAA White's cellar.