2020 Schedule Analysis: Jefferson Bears
By Frank Vajcner
It’s now time to head to the alma mater of our own Jeff Grodi. Jefferson took big steps toward not being the doormat in the Huron League, as they ended a 19-game losing skid, and finished 3-6. Will the schedule allow for the Bears to take the next step?
Aug 28: Onsted
Sept 3: Flat Rock
Sept 11: @ New Boston Huron
Sept 18: Grosse Ile
Sept 25: @ Airport
Oct 2: Milan
Oct 9: @ Riverview
Oct 16: @ SMCC
Oct 23: Detroit Pershing
Gut-Check Game: Onsted. If Gene Gennoe’s bunch wants to take another huge step forward, they have the perfect opportunity when Onsted pays a visit to Marc Cisco Field in Week 1. The Wildcats are coming off of a 10-3 season, and also gave eventual Division 6 State Champion SMCC all they could handle in the semifinals before falling 17-14. Should the Bears pull off a win, expectations will jump sky-high.
Trap Game: Grosse Ile. The Red Devils pay a visit in Week 4, which comes between road trips to Huron and Airport. The Bears went to The Island and squeaked out a 28-24 win last season. Will revenge be on the mind of the Devils?
Snoozer: Detroit Pershing might just fit the bill for biggest snoozer game in Monroe County. The Doughboys had their worst season in school history last year, as they went 0-9, and got outscored 342-20.
Non-Conference Challenge: Onsted. See above.
Notable: Onsted returns to the schedule for the first time since a homa-and-home series in 2000-2001. The Bears won both meetings 30-6 and 42-13. The Wildcats are also the first team from Lenawee County to face the Bears since Tecumseh in 2013…This will be the first meeting on the gridiron between Pershing and Jefferson…The last time Jefferson opened the season with a team that went to the State Semifinals was 2016 when they opened with Ida. Oddly enough, that was also the last year the Bears made the playoffs
Thoughts from Frank: Is this the year where “Da Bears” return to respectability? After what appears to be a tough opener, the September slate doesn’t appear too daunting, outside of a trip to Airport. The October slate in the Huron League is pretty unforgiving, with back-to-back road trips to Riverview and SMCC. The Bears will have plenty of opportunities to show that this is where they take a step forward.
Thoughts from Chris: The Bears went with an ambitious opener as Onsted returns quite a few players from last year’s team. The Huron League won’t be as tough overall compared to last year and Pershing is basically an easy “W”.
Thoughts from Gary: very tough opener with Onsted and brutal road games in league will mean the Bears will have to perform at home. Pershing offers some relief in week 9.