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OK Conference Power Rankings: Preseason
The 2021 Michigan High School Football season is finally here as week one is officially on the clock. The Ottawa Kent Conference is as loaded as ever with teams from all sixth divisions having legitimate state championship aspirations. Every week I'll post my updated OK Conference Power Rankings following Friday's slate of games. Be sure to check back in for my preview for this week's Game of The Week.
1. Muskegon Mona Shores
Mona Shores enters the 2021 season riding an 18-game winning streak and back-to-back Division 2 State Championships. However, the Sailors will have to replace Player of The Year, Brady Rose and a number of other contributors. Next man up to replace Rose is 6’5 senior Mark Konecny. Konecny won’t be without talent as senior running back Elijah Johnson and wideouts Demetri Roberson and Ryan McNiff return as key players.
WEEK 1: @ Lowell, Friday 7 p.m.
Rockford rolled through it’s schedule in 2020 before losing to Davison in a Division 1 State Semifinal. The Rams will look to carry that momentum into 2021 led by arguably the best playmaker on the west side in quarterback Zak Ahern. A late addition in wideout Tyler Vroman (Army commit and Lowell transfer) should add another dimension to Rockford’s attack. Defensively, the Rams will be anchored by Central Michigan commit Kade Kostus at defensive end.
WEEK 1: VS Sterling Heights Stevenson, Thursday 7 p.m.
Muskegon once again has one of the more loaded rosters in the state this season led by quarterback/defensive back Myles Walton, who currently holds three Division 1 offers and a handful of D2 offers. The Big Reds, who are no stranger to playing loaded schedules, have a huge test with Detroit Cass Tech in Week 2. Be sure to keep an eye out for wideout/defensive backs Earnest Young and Demetri Chapman, running back/linebacker Meshaune Crowley, and lineman Duane Anderson.
WEEK 1: @ East Kentwood, Friday 7 p.m.
4. Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Grand Rapids Catholic Central comes into the 2021 season as the heavy favorites to repeat as State Champions in Division 5. The Cougars feature one of the best signal callers in the area in senior Joey Silveri. As a junior, Silveri completed 98-of-164 passes for 1,839 yards and 29 touchdowns and four interceptions. Defensively, the Cougars are led by Notre Dame-bound safety Nolan Zeigler. Other players to keep an eye out for are defensive back/wideout John Passinault, linebacker Jack Klafeta, and running back Jack Rellinger.
WEEK 1: Lapeer @ Michigan Stadium, Thursday, 12 p.m.
Hudsonville will look to carry the momentum from its 5-3 season in 2020 with a talented and veteran core returning in 2021. Senior wideout Dylan Ham was one of the most talented players at the position last season, hauling in four touchdowns and recording over 500 receiving yards. All-conference linebacker Matt Hoekstra will lead the Eagles on defense,
WEEK 1: Saline @ Michigan Stadium, Friday @ 3:30 p.m.
6. Forest Hills Central
After losing to eventual Division 2 State Champion Muskegon Mona Shores 28-25 in a district final a season ago, the Rangers appear ready to take the next step as they bring back the majority of talent that led them to a 6-2 record in 2020. All-Conference returnees quarterback Hunter Robinson and wideout Jacob Bonnett will lead the charge offensively. Defensively, the Rangers return all-state linebacker Tyler Weaver.
WEEK 1: @ Jenison, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Grandville graduated two huge pieces from a season ago in running backs Cam Terry and Marcel Love, and will look to fill their roles and production with new faces. The Bulldogs do return two quarterbacks with experience in Ian Sanders and Carson Smith. Another player to watch is tight end Braydon Gayble.
WEEK 1: @ Glen Ellyn Glenbard West (IL), Saturday
8. Zeeland West
The Dux are coming off a 5-1 season that included a 15-14 loss to Muskegon and ended with a forfeit in the district playoffs due to COVID. Although they lost standout quarterback Carson Gulker to graduation, the Dux do have a number of talented pieces returning on both sides of the ball. Some of the Dux key pieces include lineman Bobby Clenedon, linebacker and defensive back Skyler Geurink, and linebacker and fullback Parker Lovell.
WEEK 1: @ East Grand Rapids, Thursday, 7 p.m.
9. Unity Christian
Unity Christian enters the 2021 season following an undefeated 2020 campaign that was cut short in the second-round of the playoffs due to COVID. With that in mind, the Crusaders will look to build off the success it’s had in recent years, led by three all-conference players in quarterback Cameron Chandler and running backs Drew Chandler and Kolby Headley. On defense, keep an eye out for linebackers Micah Bush and Ryan Shinaberry, and defensive ends Jonny Bosma and Gabe Nehoff.
WEEK 1: @ Hopkins, Friday, 7 p.m.
10. South Christian
Jake DeHaan stepped in for injured senior quarterback Ty Rynbrandt in the middle of the 2020 season and helped the Sailor offense stay on course en route to an 8-2 season. Now DeHaan will have the reigns from the start of the season and will look to lead the Sailors to another run in the playoffs and a shot at the OK Gold title.
WEEK 1: @ Grand Rapids Christian, Friday, 7 p.m.