Football: Maples fall short in district championship
Seaholm falls short to Waterford Mott in MHSAA district championship, 34-21.
BIRMINGHAM – Seaholm varsity football coach Jim DeWald simply needed a few minutes to process his thoughts and emotions after speaking with his senior-laden team following Friday’s season-ending loss in the MHSAA district finals.
It is completely understandable for DeWald to be overrun with emotion as he was tasked with saying farewell to more than 20 seniors while Waterford Mott celebrated on the other end of the field.
"It hurts a lot,” DeWald said following Seaholm’s 34-21 loss. “It hurts a lot because every class is special. This one is extremely special, these guys have a lot of experience together. These guys have bonded together over the last four years and we’re going to miss them. I hate to see them go because you just love them."
The out-going senior class were largely responsible for the recent success of the Maples (9-2), who reached postseason play for the second consecutive year after compiling just one win during the 2021-2022 campaign.
“It’s a privilege being a coach,” DeWald said. “I don’t care what level you are, anyone that coaches football loves to watch players grow from freshmen to seniors. They mature physically and mentally. It may sound crazy, but it’s like watching your own kids.”
Seaholm did not waste time getting on the board against Mott as Brock Hartwig’s two-yard touchdown run capped off an impressive 85-yard drive to open the game. The opening drive chewed up nearly seven minutes of the clock.
Unfortunately, Seaholm was never able to keep that momentum as it would be the team’s first and only lead they would experience the rest of the night.
“Hats off to Waterford Mott,’ DeWald said. “They did a good job of stopping us. We had a really poor second quarter, to be honest.”
Seaholm was able to make it a one-possession game twice during the second half. Granden Kinnie’s 15-yard TD run sliced the deficit to 28-21 with 5:58 remaining in the fourth quarter and the defense held strong to force the Corsairs (9-2) into a punting situation on fourth down.
However, Waterford Mott successfully converted on the game-defying down with a fake punt that ultimately secured the district championship. After timeouts by both teams before the critical down, DeWald and his staff believed the Corsairs would in fact punt due to the personnel on the field.
“They outfoxed the fox,” DeWald joked. “When they called a timeout, I didn’t think they were going to do it. We had our punt-block team on the field and (Mott) caught us in a bad situation. Kudos to them”
Sean Emerson scored on an eight-yard run at the end of the third for Seaholm.
- Seaholm High School