Before the 2012 season was over, Wyandotte Roosevelt had claimed a share of its third consecutive Downriver League title, a district championship, a regional crown and the most wins in school history.
The Bears (11-2) had gained the support of the entire community as they were one only four teams left standing in MHSAA Division 2 last week before losing in the semifinal game 31-3 to defending state champion Birmingham Brother Rice.
Roosevelt head coach Ron Adams said that at every step of the way this season there were people who doubted the Bears, as the team had graduated several talented players the year before. Instead of believing any of the naysayers, Adams said his team remained focused on its goals and ultimately proved them wrong.
“I’m proud of our players, proud of the way they handled themselves all year,” Adams said. “A lot of people didn’t even expect us to be in contention for the Downriver League title.”
Senior lineman Vince Pizzo said the Bears received extra inspiration when they were seen as unlikely winners in a game.
“Being the underdog made us prepare that much harder and the victories that much sweeter,” Pizzo said.
The Road to a Downriver League Title
The journey began with a 28-14 win at Melvindale on a hot and humid August night.
Roosevelt improved to 4-0 with wins against Taylor Kennedy, Trenton and Lincoln Park. The Bears outscored the trio of teams by a combined 119-7.
A battle at Taylor Truman in Week 5 ended in a 24-20 Wyandotte win and with the Bears in sole possession of first place in the league.
At Woodhaven the next week, the Bears suffered a crushing 64-36 defeat and fell into a first-place tie with the Warriors and Cougars.
Rebounding on homecoming night, Wyandotte dominated Gibraltar Carlson 35-7.
In Week 8 Wyandotte traveled to Allen Park and beat the Jaguars 27-8.
To end the regular season, the Bears clinched a share of the league title with a 59-6 rout of Southgate Anderson.
Postseason action kicked off with revenge at Woodhaven, as the Bears returned and beat the Warriors 31-14 win.
The second round was another successful rematch on the road, as the Bears traveled to Truman again, but this time claimed their second consecutive district championship with a 9-0 win.
Back at home, Roosevelt hosted Oak Park and beat the Knights 10-6, earning the regional title, along with the 11th victory of the season, which gave the 2012 team the most wins in school history.
In the state semifinals, played at Gibraltar Carlson, Wyandotte’s run ended with a 31-3 loss to Brother Rice, which advanced to play at Ford Field Friday for the state title.
Senior Devan Stewart dominated as a receiver, defensive back, punter and kick return specialist. He gained more than 1100 all-purpose yards this season and scored 13 total touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Kevin Matejko threw for 1711 yards, 18 touchdowns, and was only intercepted three times.
Senior running back Aaron Robinson led the Bears in rushing with 554 yards and six touchdowns.
Junior linebacker Damon Singleton was the team’s sack leader, dropping opposing quarterbacks five times. Junior defensive back Brandon Sowards led the team in both interceptions with five and in solo tackles with 66.
Several impact players from this year’s squad are scheduled to return as seniors for the 2013 season.
The Bears should have a very strong backfield next year, as Kyle Matejko, D’Aries Davis and Singleton will all return. Jakob Zanski and Nate Eady could step in as well in 2013.
At the receiver position, Sowards will return after making 26 catches for 512 yards and six touchdowns this year.
Andrew Noles, Kyle Matejko, Singleton, Sowards, Zanski and Austin Petravicius each made important contributions on a defense that shut down several quality opponents this year.
Kicker Jacob Simpson will return for his third year as the Roosevelt kicker, coming off a 2012 season where he made 12 field goals and 45 extra point attempts.
Joining the Bears varsity squad next year, as well, will be members of a talented junior varsity team that crushed several opponents en route to an undefeated season.