Rivals Become Unified Teammates
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
The Hatfields and McCoys are now one family.
That’s because the former Blue Jays of Southfield High School and the former Chargers of Southfield-Lathrup are now merged into one school, with one varsity football team, one golf team, one volleyball, team and on down the line of sports teams.
“We are building chemistry by working hard together in practice,” said Varsity Football defenseman Cardell Harris, who played for the former Southfield High Blue Jays. Among his teammates is former Southfield-Lathrup linebacker Jeremy Pippen.
Conley said he increased the number of players on his team roster this year following the merge, but kids still had to compete harder for their spots on the varsity, junior varsity and freshman football teams. He had 62 on varsity last year and has 77 this year.
The merge has bumped the new Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology (a.k.a. Southfield A & T) into Division 1 due to its larger enrollment of 1,666, which is up approximately 600 students from last year.
Last year both Southfield High and Southfield-Lathrup competed in Division 2, Conley said.
As a result of the division change, Southfield A & T will face some different football opponents than in past years, particularly Lake Orion, Troy Athens, Oxford, and Clarkston – schools the teams only faced in crossover games under their former divisions.
Winter and spring sports teams have yet to face the merge the way the fall sports teams have already done.
For Boys Varsity Basketball, “It’s about getting along and building chemistry so we can go out and compete at a high level,” said Varsity Basketball guard Gerald Hall, who last year played on behalf of Southfield High.
That is not such a bad thing, Hall says. “We have more depth now and are more covered in certain areas that last year we weren’t strong in. “The drawback? “We are just not gelling as quickly as we would want and putting egos aside, and it’s just more talent, so playing time will come harder.”
Head Football Coach Tim Conley cited the same advantage to the merge: “We have more depth, so if a player gets injured, then we have more players to fill in his shoes.”
Varsity Baseball player Jaycen Lipsey, who was the “big bat” for Southfield High last year, said he looks forward to the combined baseball team this year. “I’m just looking to see how we mesh together and see all the good talent we bring in from both schools.”