By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
In their first game of league play on Sept. 10, the Oxford High School Wildcats played a spirited four quarters against the West Bloomfield Lakers. Trading blows with the Bloomfield team all evening, the visitors tipped the balance to their favor with a touchdown in the closing minutes to set the score, 41-31.
“(It’s) a week that I was very proud of our effort,” Oxford Head Coach Zach Line said. “That’s something we’ve been working towards. I think we now have a great base to build off.”
While arguably the team’s best performance of the season, there is still much work to be done. Line targeted communication issues as the number one problem to hammer out.
“I think the effort was there and that’s the biggest thing we’ve been preaching the last couple weeks,” Line said. “Alignment assignment will come with communication. Just getting everybody on the same page, that’s where you have the breakdowns right now. Just not strong lines of communication so that’s something we’ll work on this week.”
At the individual level, there were a number of players Line recognized for their on-field achievements.
“Tate Myre had a great game both at tight end and at running back and linebacker, just all over the field,” Line said. “Jay Cady with his kicking was phenomenal; [Salvino] Vackaro running the ball did a great job for us.”
Line praised the offensive line, saying “They were moving some bodies and opening up some holes for our running backs.”
This week Coach Line will face a new challenge. In a career that has taken him from the caverns of Wildcat Stadium to the big show in Minneapolis and New Orleans, one team has always eluded his grasp — the Lake Orion Dragons.
“Both teams are going to be up to the test and very excited to play each other,” Line said. “This will be my first time playing Lake Orion … We never played Lake Orion when I was in high school, so it’s exciting for me and we’re gonna’ get back in the win column.”
Speaking on Monday, Line and company were only so far into the Dragons’ film, but even this early in the week he was able to gather some points to focus on.
“It looks like they do a lot on offense, so we’re going over that right now,” Line said. “Defensively they’re sound in what they do, so that’s where I’m at with that.”
The Dragons are 1-2 this season by way of a Week One 33-7 blowout over Utica Eisenhower, a 22-44 loss in North Farmington and a 21-40 defeat at the hands of Southfield Arts & Tech.
The Wildcats travel south to Dragon Stadium this Friday, Sept. 17. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
By Dean Vaglia