Spotlight: Harrison Hawks
Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Group: MI Class A Oakland-White League
By Omar Muhammad
The Harrison Hawks have been one of the top high school football programs in the state of Michigan since 1970, and it’s easy to see why.
The squad has been led by excellent coaching and leadership ever since the early 70s and continues to receive a steady influx of talent due to its suburban Detroit location. And that same leadership that helped the program along decades ago is still part of the team today.
Since ’70, the Hawks have been led by legendary head coach John Herrington. In his 38 years at the helm, Herrington has composed a brilliant record of 354-82-1, which includes a dozen Michigan High School Football State Championships.
Due largely to his success with Harrison, Herrington was inducted into the Michigan Coaching Hall of Fame in ‘86 for both football and baseball. Herrington not only coached at Harrison, but at North Farmington High as well.
Meawhile, the elite coaching ability and leadership skills exemplified by Herrington is a big reason why the team has had such great success. Herrington coaches to the strengths of his players and has found a unique way to reach his athletes.
Those attributes are clear, as evidenced by the team’s 12 state titles in ‘81, ‘82, ’88-‘89, ‘91, ’93-’94 and ’97-‘01. Harrison’s last championship witnessed one of the greatest offensive displays in team history, as the Hawks put up a team record of 438 points and 3,952 yards of total offense.
In addition to a top-notch coaching staff, Farmington’s location as an upscale suburb just outside of Detroit could also play a factor towards the success of the football team. With a city population of 82,111, and a school enrollment of more than 1,200 students, Harrison has had the ability to develop stellar student-athletes in football and all other sports.
This season, the Hawks have struggled, however, posting a record of 4-5. Three out of the team’s four loses have come against key conference opponents, including Southfield, Rochester Adams and a 20-19 defeat to rival Farmington. The Hawks haven’t had a down season like this since ’04, when they went 4-5 and missed the playoffs.
And while the team hasn’t been back to the pinnacle contest in some time, with Herrington at the helm and a wealth of talent streaming in, the Hawks will likely be competing for another title in the years to come.
Got any teams you want to be spotlighted? E-mail editor Adam C. Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.