On September 7, the Maples lost their first game to private school powerhouse Detroit Country Day 35-21, after new head coach Jim DeWald had led the team to a 2-0 start.
Seaholm was down 21-7 to the Yellow Jackets at the end of the first half with their only touchdown scored by senior wide receiver Jake Martin. Senior quarterback and captain Stephen Guenther threw to senior running back Matt Brown for a 46-yard touchdown play at the end of the third quarter, and a touchdown catch by senior Austen Park with 2:58 left in the game mounted a comeback that put the Maples down 28-21.
DCD scored their final touchdown with 1:38 to go to seal their lead of 35-21. Big defensive plays were made by senior linebacker Zach Granett who forced a turnover-on-downs with a sack in the first quarter. The defense gave another fourth down stop on their own 5-yard line to prevent a DCD touchdown.
“Our offense did well, our defense should have played better I think they’ve had a lot better games,” senior captain Sam Wilson said. “But you can’t expect a perfect game out of offense and defense.”
On August 30, the Maples handily defeated the Royal Oak Ravens 35-0. Guenther threw to senior wide receiver Tyler Scott with 5:41 in the second quarter to score the first touchdown of the game. Scott made his second touchdown catch in the last minute of the half after a 45 yard run from Matt Brown to the one-yard line.
Brown would score in the second half to put Seaholm up by 21. Other touchdowns were scored by junior running back Nick Vestevich and junior quarterback Brandon Altman. On defense, key plays were made by senior corner Austen Park, who put the offense in scoring position with a second quarter interception, and junior free safety Andrew Barton.
“This year’s team is a really nice mix of seniors and incoming talent,” Park said after the game. “The defense is definitely the strength of our team right now. If our offense isn’t getting the job done, the defense makes sure we are never out of the game.”
The first win came on Thursday, August 23 with a 9-0 win over Ferndale. Seaholm’s offense started off going three-and-out and gave Ferndale the ball on their own30. A big stop by the Maple defense kept the opposition scoreless. On top of that, the Maple defense has shutout both of their opponents that they beat.
“I think it’s been huge,” DeWald said about the defense’s effect after the first two weeks. “I think our defense right now is saving us. I think our offense, two weeks in a row has started off very slow and our defense has been able to give us great field position.”
The only touchdown of the game was scored by senior captain and quarterback Stephen Guenther with seventeen second left in the third quarter on a QB option play. Junior kicker Ryan Nolan also contributed a 32yard field goal. Senior fullback Tim List ran for 140 yards on 20 carries and senior captain Dan Simon who led the defense to their first shut-out.
This is DeWald’s first year at Seaholm. The former Andover varsity football coach accepted the new job in February. After two years on the Western Michigan University football coaching staff and ten years of high school coaching, DeWald landed at Seaholm.
“Coach Dewald has brought a new energy to the team,” Wilson said.
This year’s team has the same goal as goal as last year’s. The coaches and players want to continue their success and bring it into the playoffs.
“Our expectations are to always get into the playoffs,” DeWald said. “We want to win this league and we want to take it day by day, game by game. We always believe that.”