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Jason Schmitt is the editor of MIPrepZone.com, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Get out (and online) and VOTE for this week's best

Beginning this week, we will be letting our readers decide the best of the best ... what they think is the MIPrepZone Game of the Week. Each Sunday, we will be posting a new poll on MIPrepZone.com (right side of the home page). We will be asking you, the readers, to vote for which game you'd like to see us provide extended coverage on. More stories, more photos, more videos. You want it, you've got to vote for it.
The poll will close at noon on Wednesday each week. There is still time to vote in this week's poll (pictured on the right and located on our home page). People are encouraged to vote as many times as possible.
This week's options include the Balawajder Classic (track and field); Detroit Country Day at Troy Athens girls lacrosse; Rochester at Rochester Adams girls soccer; and Stoney Creek at Lake Orion Baseball. Click HERE to vote.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

State releases first tennis rankings

Meryl Reams, Bloomfield Hills junior.
(Photo by Jason Schmitt)
The state tennis rankings were released earlier this week, and I think the coaches got it right. I think the four teams ranked No. 1 will be the teams on top come season's end.
Grosse Pointe South was set to return most - if not all of its starting lineup - from last year's team, which finished tied for third at the Division 1 finals. It was an extremely tight tournament. Four teams finished within four points of each other (Mercy was second; Clarkston tied GPS for third).
South added sophomore Raven Neely, who transferred from West Bloomfield. It bumped the singles lineup down a spot, making that group a lot better. And the Blue Devils' doubles lineup is as deep as they come.
Before I forget, Clarkston tied Grosse Pointe South a week ago (4-4), without Lexi Baylis. Does that mean the Wolves - who I believe are the second-best team in Division 1 - can beat them in a tournament setting? That's to be seen. The Wolves have a different look to their lineup, which I will discuss in my tennis preview - coming in a few days.
Bloomfield Hills is an intriguing team. Saw them earlier this week. Very good at the top. But it'll be interesting to see how well the doubles lineup jells this season. If that mix of (former) Lahser and Andover talent can put it all together, watch out.
Seaholm is ranked No. 1 in Division 2. Deservedly so. Top-to-bottom, the Maples have talent. I always trust that Scott Ransome and Paul Young will have their doubles lineup ready to go come May. After last year, I think the same of Lincoln Wirgau over at Marian. Oh, and after the last decade, I trust that coach Dave Sukup will have his Forest Hills Northern team ready to go, too. Should be fun in Holland (states). Still, I like Seaholm at this point.
Cranbrook has Alexandria Najarian, Anna Short and Allison Motea back at 1-2-3 singles (though Motea is hurt for now). That's enough for me. The Cranes are ranked No. 1 this week. Country Day is No. 2. I like Cranbrook to win title No. 4 in a row. Chalk it up now.
And over in Division 4, Sacred Heart has been the team to beat the last couple years. And the Gazelles obliged. But graduation hit the team hard last year. Grosse Ile, a team that dropped down a division last year and gave Sacred Heart a battle at states, is ranked No. 1 this season and has some key parts back. Expect them to run the table this season.

OK, that's enough for now. Keep an eye out for my preview on MIPrepZone. I'll rank the top-10 singles players and top-five doubles teams in Oakland County. I'll also rank the top-10 teams and have capsules on all teams (that get back to me). So coaches, please respond to my email about your team. And make sure to call or email your match/tournament results into us. Our email is prepsports@oakpress.com and our phone line is (248) 745-4775.

OK, that's not everything. We're shooting more photo galleries this season. Take a look (below) at some of the early things I/we've shot this season.

Marian Quad
Opening day (for some teams) outside
Holly vs. Brandon
Bloomfield Hills vs. Marian

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