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Football Week in Michigan

One of the best and most influential friends of school sports I know from outside the field of school sports is Greg Hammaren, senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Detroit.

Greg has observed his children participate in school sports and has taken special interest in treating educational athletics with first class efforts when producing MHSAA Finals in football and basketball for many years. He has been respectful of what we value and how we do things in high school sports.

About one year ago, Greg observed that his network and most other well-known names in live cable or over-the-air video sports production were abandoning the high school level. He felt that FOX Sports Detroit should not join that trend. But he had to convince the parent company in southern California that we were valued by Michigan’s consumers and advertisers. He has done just that.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association Football Playoff Finals dominate the schedule for FOX Sports Detroit’s first annual Football Week in Michigan this November. Over eight days, the best high school, college and professional football involving Michigan teams is being featured on a variety of FOX video platforms – FOX Sports Detroit, FS1, FOX Sports GO!, Big Ten Network and FOX over-the-air television.

MHSAA championship football games provide ten of the 13 games during FWIM. The prep schedule began on Nov. 18 when the two divisions of the 8-Player Football Finals were shown live on the FOX Sports Detroit Facebook page from the Superior Dome in Marquette. Delayed telecasts of both games were aired on FOX Sports Detroit Nov. 21.

This weekend, seven of the eight 11-Player Football Finals on Nov. 24-25 are being shown live on FOX Sports Detroit-PLUS, the exception being the Division 4 game tonight which will be shown on a same-day delayed basis on FOX Sports Detroit this evening at 11:30 p.m. All of the 11-player Finals will be available live on FOX Sports GO!

Over-the-air FOX television affiliates in Michigan also have the option to carry 11-player Final games being shown live in their markets if they have a local team participating in a game. Participating affiliates are: Alpena – WBKB-DT2 (11.2); Cadillac – WFQX-TV (32); Detroit – WJBK-TV (2); Flint – WSMH-TV (66); Grand Rapids – WXMI-TV (17); Lansing – WSYM-TV (47); Marquette – WLUC-DT2 (6.2); Sault Ste. Marie – WWUP-DT2 (10.2); Vanderbilt – WFUP-TV (45). Check local listings for games to be shown locally.

Football Week in Michigan – Greg’s brainchild – was officially recognized in October in a Proclamation by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

FOX Sports Detroit’s MHSAA Football Playoff coverage began Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. with the announcement of the pairings for the 2017 playoffs on the Selection Sunday Show on FOX Sports Detroit-PLUS. Each week throughout the playoffs leading up to the 11-player Finals, the FOX Sports Detroit Prep Zone featured four games viewed live on FoxSportsDetroit.com and FOX Sports GO! – with one game also available live on the FOX Sports Detroit Facebook page.

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.