New Year, Same Football?

After another 0-9 season did Coach Jacobs really make any changes to the football program?

By Kellen Porter

Last year, Coach Koenig was let go after going 1-35 in four years giving Dexter football the worst losing streak of all of the high school football programs in Michigan.

Coach Phil Jacobs was hired to be a motivator and rebuild Dexter to its former glory, he was working the kids extra hard in the weight room and on the field, making sure that the team would be ready for those close games in the fourth quarter and have the energy to pull out the win. Unfortunately, there were no close fourth quarters as the team went 0-9 for the fourth season in a row.

Continue reading “New Year, Same Football?”

Fall Sports Recap

The first wave of Dexter athletics are coming to a close, and every team sure made the most of it

By Mitchell Sterlitz and kellen porter

Volleyball

There were high hopes for the volleyball team coming into this season with the talented junior and senior class. The team was led by junior Taylor Venuto and senior Alexa Bell, two strong role models for the volleyball program. Throughout the season, the team was dominant in tournaments and regular season games, finishing with an overall record of 33-12.

“We played hard until the very last point. I am so proud of my girls,” said sophomore Quinn LaFontaine.

The team expected to be district champs but things did not go as planned. They were unfortunately eliminated on the first day of districts by Skyline, getting reverse swept after being up two sets to none.

Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team this year was able to accomplish more than expected with such a young team, led by sophomore captains Jared Enciso and Nate Kniesteadt.

“The season went pretty well overall, but there is still definitely room for improvement,” said sophomore Dane Wiegers.

During the season the team had a record of 5-6, which is very impressive given that this year was considered a learning experience for the young team. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up with some of the more established high school tennis programs and ended up being eliminated on the first day of districts.

Equestrian

The Dexter Equestrian team made it to states for the first time in thirteen years. The team was led by seniors Jim Rodgers and Deirdre McCarter that pushed the team to this appearance at states. Overall the team placed tenth in the state, surpassing any goal they set for themselves this season.

“I think [the season] was pretty successful overall considering we made it to states which hasn’t been done in a while,” said sophomore Savannah Parpan.

Men’s Cross Country

The men’s cross country team finished their season on a high note placing 4th at regionals as a team, just one place short of taking the whole team to the state meet. Nathan Larson, placing 15th at regionals, was the only runner from Dexter to make it to states which is exceptionally impressive, even more so because he’s only a sophomore.

“It was a lot of fun to run with a great group of guys this season,” sophomore Austin Zeglis said.  “We had one guy make it through to states this year and we’re definitely aiming to have more in the race next year.”

Football

A new coach brought new ideals and real hope to the Dexter football program. People started to talk and many believed the football team would have been able to win a game this season. Unfortunately they were unable to complete this goal for many reasons.

“The season didn’t go as planned but to rebuild you have to tear it down first,” said junior Andy Durand.

The team was ailed by issues that included a struggling offense which was not able to carry Dexter to a victory, and a small pool of athletes to play for the team. On a high note, there was some progress as the team doubled their total points from last season. This was definitely a major progression for the team and the team is starting to show real promise.

Women’s Cross Country

The women’s cross country gave it their all this season and wrapped up their last race at regionals. The team came close to having runners make it to states, with senior Dani Waidley taking 20th in the regional meet. To qualify for states she would’ve had to place 15th or higher, leaving her just five places off the mark.

“Heat was a problem for us because most of the races were insanely hot. Because of that, we weren’t able to run our best times at the meets. Overall it was fun to run as a team,” said sophomore Kara O’Day.

Men’s Water Polo

After the loss of ten seniors going into this season, the men’s water polo team was left with a very young squad, consisting of only two seniors on the roster. Unfortunately, halfway through the season, senior Stephen Sterlitz’ water polo career was abruptly ended due to a severe injury.

After this deep loss of talent it was up to solo senior Drew Golin to lead the team. The water polo team ended up with a record of 18-20 and finished second in districts. They defeated Huron in the semi-finals only to be dominated in the finals by Skyline, the powerhouse of the district. The team’s season ended sooner than expected when Seaholm knocked them out in regionals.

Women’s Swimming

The women’s swim team was an absolute powerhouse this year, blowing by all competition and blazing a path directly to states.

The swim team cruised through most regular season meets, blowing all opponents out of the water. They also reached a goal of theirs two decades in the making.

“We achieved a lot in our season including winning SEC’s for the 20th year in a row,” said sophomore Alyssa Frost. This just proves how utterly dominant the program is. Now they are setting their sights on winning a state title, and nothing will stand in their way.

Field Hockey

Dexter Field Hockey has had the most successful season in the history of their program this past year. With the addition of two freshman, Kylee Niswonger and Abby Tamer, the team showed that they hardly felt the loss of eight seniors in last year’s class.

The team paved an easy road to the playoffs because of their high ranking they earned from their regular season record– they were ranked as the third best team in Division 1. After beating Chelsea, Skyline, and Pioneer in playoffs, Dexter Field Hockey was able to earn a spot in the state championship game. Beating Pioneer was a huge success for Dexter, considering Pioneer had won the Division 1 state title for four consecutive years.

In the state championship game, Dexter lost against Huron with a final score of 2-1. Many players were heartbroken after the loss, but the team plans to come back stronger next year with the goal of winning states taking top priority.

The New Dexter Football

Coach Phil Jacobs adds a new found life to the Dexter football program

By Jacoby Haley

Same old Dexter Football strikes again? So, you may think.

Even though the Dreads suffered another loss – the program’s 33rd straight defeat – there were a few major bright spots featured in the opening game, a 41-14 loss to Adrian, of a revamped program.

There were highlights on both sides of the ball for Dexter, a vast improvement from years past.

Continue reading “The New Dexter Football”

Dexter vs. Fowlerville

The Dreads can’t stop Fowlerville’s offense, falling 49-13 in the season opener on August 26

By Nick LeBlanc

During the Dreads’ opening drive, a holding call and an illegal man downfield call spoiled a seemingly promising drive.  More mental mistakes came at other inconvenient times during the game, too.

The costly mistakes proved too much to overcome as Fowlerville defeated Dexter 49-13.

“I think we could’ve done a better job of playing smarter and playing our own game of football,” senior Travon Reid said.

The Dreads first scored in the second quarter when senior Joey Hiser found junior Nick Fileccia wide open in the end zone.  However, Dexter failed to convert on the extra point as it was blocked.

During the game, senior Joey Hiser and junior George Deljevic shared time at quarterback for the Dreads.

Once the the first half ended, with Dexter trailing 28-6, the Dreads became visibly tired.  At the defensive end, they began to give up big run after big run.

A big part of that is the lack of depth the Dreads have on both offense and defense.

“It’s tough because the linemen are playing both ways the whole game,” senior Chris Kaufman said. “That starts to take a toll on our running game.”

Despite the loss, the Dreads still have some positive things to reflect on.

“Even though we lost, we all kept our heads up and played as hard as we could,” Kaufman said. “We could expand on our confidence and putting all of our hard work during practice into our games.” The loss against Fowlerville marks the 24th consecutive defeat for the Dreads, but that won’t deter the Dreads. With eight regular season games remaining, the boys are looking to retain a positive outlook.

“This team has more heart and character than any other team I have coached in the last 25 years,” Head Coach Ken Koenig said. “We made some mental mistakes last night at crucial times that set us back. They are all correctable things that we will get right to work on.”

An open gate with an open heart

In his typical purple and yellow Lions Club polo and hat, Louie Ceriani pumps up players, parents and fans of Dexter sports on a regular basis. In his 85th year of living in Dexter, Ceriani has continually supported Dexter in everything he does.

About 30 years ago the Dexter Lions Club started to raise money to offer scholarships to students and volunteer in the Dexter community, especially in athletics. The Lion’s Club was asked by the late Al Ritt to help volunteer at football games. Ceriani, a member from the start of it,  just wanted to have one, important job at the games.

“Al Ritt asked the Lions Club to help with the football and of course we agreed,” Ceriani said. “I said I wanted the gate for when the players come out and onto the field and give them a little ra ra and a smack on the butt as they roll through to wish them luck. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want anything else but to just do that for the players.”

Years later, former football coach Tom Barbieri recognized Ceriani’s passion and honored him by officially naming the entrance gate for the players, “Louie’s Gate.”

“Louie is all about community,” Barbieri said. “Louie was a person you could go to if players needed money for football camps. He’s always made the players proud to play for Dexter.”

Ceriani said his passion for Dexter stems especially from the fact that he’s lived here almost his entire life. He moved to Dexter in 1928. Eighty-five years ago. He’s currently 86. Between being 18 months old and 13 years old Ceriani had 12 operations due do birth defects. While he doesn’t still have symptoms of these problems, he still has visible scars from them.

“I came to Dexter when I was 15 months old,” he said.  “I was placed in a foster home just outside of Dexter. I was separated from my family because I had health conditions where I had to go to the hospital for a series of operations. At point before the operations the doctor said I would never be able to walk. But here I am.”

When Ceriani was in high school at Dexter, he was the manager of the football, basketball and baseball teams. In 1946, Ceriani’s senior year, Dexter football went unbeaten and un-scored-upon while tying one game with Brighton 0-0. And it’s Ceriani’s passion for Dexter football that’s even more enhanced by his own experiences at DHS.

“This job means everything to me,” he said. “If I couldn’t be here, I’d be lost. Even if I don’t know the players, it just seems to be a part of me with football and basketball. The camaraderie with the players and also the people as they walk by. Maybe the biggest thrill I get is when a former player comes back and comes up and shakes my hand. They could be out of school 10 or 12 years, and they still know who I am.”

But Ceriani says the best part is just being a part of it all.

“Just being here,” he said. “Being part of the crowd and the game. Hear all that hollering and screaming and hoping we make a touchdown. That’s the best part.”

Ceriani doesn’t just support football with loads of passion. He’s shown full support to other sports including basketball. Current Athletic Director and long-time women’s basketball coach, Mike Bavineau said Ceriani is vital to his women’s basketball team and Dexter Athletics as a whole.

“He’s our super fan,” Bavineau said. “He came to every women’s game this year and before every game he came up to each girl and give them a little pep talk and to beat the opponent that they were facing. He’s really done a lot for athletics in Dexter, and that’s why he’s so looked up to and admired by our student athletes.”

And Ceriani said he loves everything about the town.

“Like football, it means everything to me,” he said. “I’ve never wanted to leave. Maybe one day my health will get bad, and I’ll have to go into a home or something. But I don’t want to think about that. I want to live today. Tomorrow will come.”

Dexter Lion’s Club, in its 34th year of operation as a volunteer and community service organization in Dexter, has also been a big part of Ceriani’s life. In fact, he’s never missed a meeting.

“One of the biggest things we’re proud of is our $1,000 scholarship that we offer to future college students at Dexter,” Ceriani said. (High school students can fill out applications for the $1,000 scholarship on dexterlions.org.)

Dexter Lion Michael Scott said that Ceriani is very dedicated to his community and it shows through his constant volunteering and selflessness.

“Louie Ceriani is known in the village of Dexter as a friend many can turn to,” Scott said.  “As part of the Dexter Lions, Lion Lou embodies all that our club and community aspires to be. His generosity, kindness and selflessness touch many yet he expects nothing in return. Whenever there needs to be a volunteer, extra set of hands, you name it, Louie’s there always with a smile on his face. He has the biggest heart than anyone I’ve known. Not many people stretch themselves as far for the health, happiness and welfare of this community.”