There is one thing that is certain about the football program at East St. Louis Senior High School.
Head coach Darren Sunkett and his staff will never shy away from playing the best competition in the country. And this season’s non-conference schedule is no different.
East Side will take its high-powered show on the road this weekend to play Michigan powerhouse Detroit King at the Zenith Classic in Detroit. The Flyers and King will square off in the eighth and final game of the two-day event on Saturday evening at Wayne State University. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Flyers will have plenty of talent on-hand as they embark on another season. At quarterback, Sunkett will count on 6’0,” 180-pound sophomore Tyler Macon to replace Perez Hall, the sensational performer who is now at Navy.
There is plenty of firepower at the receiver positions in LaWaun Powell, Jr. (6’1,” 175 pounds) and Antonio Johnson (6’3,” 190). Both are major college prospects with offers from Virginia Tech, among others. Running backs DeMonta Witherspoon and Jaylen Reed will carry the load for the rushing attack this season.
Up front, the Flyers are loaded with three starters who are Division I recruits in 6’2,” 260-pound Devon Hunt, 6’3,” 255-pound Demond Taylor and 6’4,” 290-pound Iowa State commit Darrell Simmons Jr.
Cameron Lovett (5’10,” 180), Cameron Clay (6’3,” 200) and Cahokia transfer Sydney Houston (6’2,” 230) will lead a linebacker corps that’s nothing short of “fast and furious.” All three players are being recruited by Division I colleges. The defensive secondary will be led by Antonio Johnson.
On Saturday, the Flyers will take on one of the top programs in Michigan in Detroit King. The Crusaders have an arsenal of talent that has everyone talking about this weekend’s featured game. King won Division 2 state championships in 2015, 2016 and advanced to the state semifinals a year ago. The Crusaders are led by dual-threat quarterback Dequan Finn (6’2,” 190) who has already committed to Central Michigan.
However, when fans of King talk about their 2018 team, they talk about the defense, which is poised to be one of the best in the state of Michigan. Leading the way is safety Marvin Grant, the 6’2,” 195-pound Purdue commit who really packs a wallop. He is joined in the secondary by cornerback Admad Gardner, who has committed to Cincinnati.
Also returning on defense for the Crusaders are Division I recruits Jalen McGaughey (Northern Illinois) and Rich Miller (Buffalo University).
*Tickets are still available at East St. Louis Senior High for the Gateway Scholars Football Classic, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium.
I will be previewing those match-ups next week. However, I hear all you Trinity fans talking all that talk. Let’s be clear, our schedule at East St. Louis actually gets easier next weekend when we host you guys in the ‘House of Pain.’ LOL