Royal Oak Tribune

Edwards, Hairston to suit up for Lakers in playoffs

- By Scott M. Burnstein

In what seemed liked a holiday miracle, on Friday afternoon the MHSAA said “let there be football again” in an announceme­nt made jointly by the state’s governing athletic body and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Pandemic be damned, the playoffs are a go once again. So is the area’s most electrifyi­ng player.

The “miracle” extended to Oakland County’s top team, the West Bloomfield Lakers, who against all odds seems to have re-secured the services of the state’s No. 1 offensive talent, already-graduated All-American senior running back Donovan Edwards.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s original epidemic order with the MDHHS was extended earlier in the month due to increasing COVID-19 infection numbers, Edwards, arguably the best tail

back prospect in America, announced he was graduating and enrolling in college early. He committed to Michigan back on Wednesday in a nationally-televised Signing Day ceremony where he chose the Wolverines over Georgia and Notre Dame.

After a six- week layoff, the state playoffs will start back up in the regional round of the bracket on Jan. 2. Practice resumes Monday with players taking part in a new pilot rapid testing program.

The report date for Michigan football is in late January, meaning Edwards should be able to suit up for the Lakers in the remainder of their playoff push before getting on campus in Ann Arbor.

West Bloomfield also won’t be losing cornerback-wide receiver Maxwell Hairston to his early enrollment at Kentucky because his report date isn’t until later in the month of January either.

“Wow, its been a day filled with emotions,” West Bloomfield head coach Ron Bellamy said. “There was some shock, excitement and a little confusion all rushing at you at once. But, we got a date now and we’re ready to go.”

West Bloomfield (8-1) will play Romeo (5- 4) in Division 1 regionals. Edwards put on a show in the district championsh­ip game with a 6-touchdown first half in the Lakers 63- 6 drubbing of Sterling Heights Stevenson.

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