football is on again.
After months of speculation and uncertainty due to low player interest and the departure of Head Coach Jim DeWald, school officials said they will field a team for 2012 that will be led with an impressive coaching staff.
Former Detroit Lion Lomas Brown and Nate Kulman, who played at San Diego State University, joined the staff of new Head Coach Mike Boyd, who will pilot the team through what will be the school's last season before merging with High School. will take the field in 2013.
The team's journey formally starts today as boosters host their first fundraiser at the Lodge Grill and Bar in Keego Harbor, 2812 Orchard Lake Rd. Twenty percent of all purchases that are accompanied with a special certificate will be donated to the varsity football team. The certificate is available at the Andover office and is valid throughout the day.
Even before finished winless, there was concern among school and district officials whether a 2012 team was viable. A team of administrators and coaches, led by Andover Principal Rob Durecka and DeWald called meetings among the male student body and eventually had a strong enough commitment to meet the MHSAA's December deadline for registering for the 2012 season.
But with school consolidation and an open hiring process looming, in February. The move put the season back in doubt and spurred the potential of transfers to Lahser, which is coming off an 6-4 season that included a playoff berth.
Durecka said school officials and the coaches met with prospective players in late February and got a firm commitment to ensure the Barons will take the field for one more season. Getting Brown involved is a tremendous benefit that will motivate the team, said Boyd, who also coaches varsity baseball.
The Florida native was a consensus All American lineman in 1984 and spent 18 seasons in the NFL, including 10 with the Lions. He was part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer team that won Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 and is a frequent analyst for ESPN and sports television and radio programs around Metro Detroit.
"We're ecstatic to have Lomas Brown on staff!" Boyd said by phone this week. Paired with Nate Kulman, who was a running back at San Diego State, they'll be a great duo of coaches."
"Having someone that played 18 seasons in the NFL is going to be extremely beneficial to our young men at Andover," he continued. "They're both hard-working guys, will make sure they get perfection out of the kids, and they're very fun to work with."