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MHSAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Seaholm falls short in district title matchup

BIRMINGHAM – When the final scored flashed 26-12 on Friday night, Seaholm varsity football players and coaches had to except the harsh reality the 2022 campaign was officially done.

After the game, seniors spent time saying their farewells to each other, coaches offered encouraging words to returning players and parents waited calmly nearby to provide any emotional support to those who might have needed it.

“It’s tough,” Maples head coach Jim Dewald said of the season-ending loss. “I am very proud of our kids and how they fought all year.”

Seaholm (8-3) bounced back in an impressive way this season following a disappointing 1-8 showing on the field in 2021. The Maples registered wins through their first seven games and collected a 40-point victory over Ferndale in the first round of the MHSAA Division 2 playoffs.

“A lot of it is just the work in the offseason and coming together as a team - our kids did it,” Dewald said. “It all started last November, and we’ll start again in the couple weeks to get ready for next year.”

Seaholm’s weight room will be the central location of the building blocks for a successful 2023 football season.

“We’re going to keep on in the weight room, get tough in the weight room and love in the weight room,” Dewald noted. “You learn a lot in the weight room. Our kids will get at it in the weight room and come back at it next year.”

Seaholm had all the momentum early during the first half. Kyle Robbins pushed the Maples ahead 12-0 in the second quarter when he took the pitch from quarterback Colton Kinnie and raced 51 yards the right sideline for the touchdown at the 9:57 mark.

Kinnie opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a five-yard touchdown run with 8:11 remaining. The Maples turned a botched field-goal attempt into an 8-0 edge, but the two-point conversion was ultimately wiped away due to a costly penalty.

Seaholm had multiple opportunities to potentially create a different outcome, but the costly turnovers inside the red zone proved too much to overcome against its rival Groves (8-3), which scored 26 unanswered points to defeat the Maples for the second time in three weeks.

“(Groves) is a good team and very well coached,” Dewald said.