2021 MHSAA Football Playoff Pairings Announced

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

October 24, 2021

Here are the pairings for the 2021 MHSAA Football Playoffs, which begin Oct. 29-30 with District Semifinals in the 11-Player Playoffs and Regional Semifinals in the 8-Player Playoffs. 

For 11- and 8-player, teams were divided into divisions before the start of play this fall. The top 32 teams in each division in 11-player and top 16 per division in 8-player, based on playoff-point average, were selected to the field. For 11-player, qualifiers were then divided into four regions with eight teams apiece, and for 8-player qualifiers were divided into four regions with four teams in each. 

Pairings for the first three weeks of the tournament are based on regular-season playoff point averages, with the highest-ranked team hosting, regardless of the distance between the two schools. For 11-Player District Semifinal and 8-Player Regional Semifinal play, the top-seeded team in each bracket will host the fourth-seeded team, and the second-seeded team will host the third-seeded team. 

District Finals for 11-player and Regional Finals for 8-player will follow during the weekend of Nov. 5-6, and the weekend of Nov. 12-13 will have Regional Finals in the 11-Player Playoffs and Semifinals in the 8-Player Playoffs. The 8-Player Semifinals will pair the winners of Region 1 vs. Region 2 and the winners of Region 3 vs. Region 4, at the sites of the highest-ranked team.

Semifinal games in the 11-Player Playoffs will take place Nov. 19-20, pairing the winners of Region 1 vs. Region 2 and the winners of Region 3 vs. Region 4. The MHSAA will assign 11-Player Semifinals at neutral sites.

All playoff tickets except for Finals will be sold online only via GoFan at https://gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process.

For 11-Player, tickets to District Semifinals and District Finals cost $7.30, tickets to Regional Finals are $9.40, and tickets to Semifinals cost $10.45. For 8-player, tickets for Regional Semifinals are $7.30, tickets for Regional Finals are $9.40, and tickets for Semifinals cost $10.45. Prices for all of those rounds include a convenience fee.

The 8-Player Finals will take place Nov. 20 at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome in Marquette, and the 11-Player Finals will be played Nov. 26-27 at Ford Field in Detroit. An all-day ticket for 8-Player Finals costs $10 and includes admission to both games, and an all-day ticket for the 11-Player Finals costs $20 and includes admission to that day’s four games.

Pairings for both the 11 and 8-Player brackets are as follows: 

11-Player Pairings

DIVISION 1

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Grand Ledge (6-3) 57.222 at Rockford (9-0) 84.222
Traverse City West (6-3) 58.333 at Grandville (6-3) 64.111
DISTRICT 2
Holt (7-2) 68.444 at Grand Blanc (9-0) 81.111
Howell (7-2) 69.333 at Hartland (7-2) 70.778

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Lapeer (7-2) 64.556 at Rochester Adams (9-0) 79.389
Oxford (5-4) 66.000 at Clarkston (8-1) 73.000
DISTRICT 2
Novi (5-4) 54.667 at West Bloomfield (8-1) 76.889
Detroit Catholic Central (7-2) 75.333 at Bloomfield Hills (9-0) 76.444

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Utica (5-4) 55.000 at Romeo (8-1) 82.333
New Baltimore Anchor Bay (7-2) 65.556 at Macomb Dakota (6-3) 66.333
DISTRICT 2
Fraser (6-3) 53.667 at Sterling Heights Stevenson (7-2) 74.222
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (6-3) 68.778 at Troy (8-1) 71.667

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Canton (6-3) 65.333 at Saline (9-0) 82.333
Ann Arbor Huron (8-1) 74.222 at Belleville (8-1) 77.444
DISTRICT 2
Detroit Cass Tech (6-3) 54.931 at Dearborn Fordson (7-2) 73.556
Dearborn (6-3) 65.444 at Brownstown Woodhaven (8-1) 70.417

DIVISION 2

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Saginaw Heritage (4-5) 50.222 at Traverse City Central (8-1) 71.222
Bay City Western (7-2) 56.556 at Midland Dow (6-3) 63.778
DISTRICT 2
Byron Center (7-2) 62.333 at Caledonia (8-1) 76.444
Muskegon Mona Shores (7-2) 62.639 at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (8-1) 69.556

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Jackson (5-4) 48.889 at Portage Central (7-2) 64.556
Dexter (5-4) 58.000 at Battle Creek Lakeview (6-3) 58.236
DISTRICT 2
Swartz Creek (5-4) 47.556 at South Lyon (9-0) 78.014
East Lansing (6-3) 65.000 at Milford (7-2) 65.444

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Waterford Mott (5-4) 54.222 at Berkley (7-2) 66.333
Walled Lake Western (6-3) 58.333 at White Lake Lakeland (6-3) 62.889
DISTRICT 2
Dearborn Heights Crestwood (6-3) 48.778 at Livonia Churchill (7-2) 69.444
Livonia Franklin (4-5) 53.333 at Temperance Bedford (7-2) 67.444

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Roseville (5-4) 50.583 at Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse (7-2) 64.333
Port Huron (6-3) 59.778 at Port Huron Northern (7-2) 63.028
DISTRICT 2
Detroit U-D Jesuit (4-5) 49.667 at Warren De La Salle Collegiate (8-0) 80.833
St. Clair Shores Lakeview (5-4) 51.667 at Grosse Pointe South (5-4) 55.944

DIVISION 3

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Ionia (5-4) 41.556 at DeWitt (8-1) 76.667
Marquette (7-2) 57.222 at Mount Pleasant (9-0) 70.444
DISTRICT 2
Lowell (4-5) 48.778 at Muskegon (8-1) 69.194
Coopersville (6-3) 49.222 at Cedar Springs (7-2) 58.556

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Zeeland East (5-4) 50.014 at Stevensville Lakeshore (6-3) 57.778
St. Joseph (5-4) 51.778 at Zeeland West (6-2) 57.264
DISTRICT 2
Richland Gull Lake (5-4) 42.222 at Battle Creek Harper Creek (6-3) 52.222
Mattawan (4-5) 45.270 at Parma Western (6-3) 48.000

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
South Lyon East (3-6) 42.556 at Mason (7-2) 56.111
Pinckney (6-3) 52.556 at Haslett (7-2) 54.333
DISTRICT 2
Auburn Hills Avondale (4-5) 46.889 at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (6-3) 62.208
Orchard Lake St. Mary's (5-4) 51.417 at Flint Kearsley (6-3) 52.556

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Warren Fitzgerald (8-1) 53.222 at Detroit Martin Luther King (8-1) 76.722
River Rouge (6-2) 56.319 at Harper Woods (7-2) 61.597
DISTRICT 2
Trenton (5-4) 54.667 at Gibraltar Carlson (8-1) 72.111
Riverview (9-0) 62.889 at Allen Park (7-2) 64.667

DIVISION 4

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Fruitport (4-5) 43.667 at Cadillac (7-2) 57.111
Whitehall (7-2) 46.222 at Sparta (7-2) 49.792
DISTRICT 2
Ada Forest Hills Eastern (5-4) 45.778 at Hudsonville Unity Christian (9-0) 67.444
Spring Lake (6-3) 50.889 at Grand Rapids Christian (6-3) 59.111

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Charlotte (6-3) 47.333 at Hastings (8-1) 59.000
Grand Rapids South Christian (6-3) 51.000 at Plainwell (6-3) 51.667
DISTRICT 2
Paw Paw (5-4) 45.556 at Edwardsburg (9-0) 64.889
Three Rivers (5-4) 46.111 at Vicksburg (8-1) 61.667

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Ortonville Brandon (6-3) 48.472 at Lake Fenton (8-1) 61.556
Goodrich (7-2) 56.889 at Freeland (8-1) 57.889
DISTRICT 2
North Branch (7-2) 48.000 at St. Clair (7-2) 57.361
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (7-2) 50.347 at Croswell-Lexington (8-1) 53.444

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Detroit Country Day (5-3) 46.889 at Redford Union (8-1) 59.444
Madison Heights Lamphere (7-2) 50.778 at Livonia Clarenceville (8-1) 55.556
DISTRICT 2
Romulus Summit Academy North (7-2) 45.222 at Chelsea (9-0) 70.556
New Boston Huron (5-4) 47.889 at Milan (7-2) 50.889

DIVISION 5

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Clare (6-3) 42.444 at Gladwin (9-0) 50.222
Kingsford (6-3) 46.778 at Kingsley (8-1) 48.667
DISTRICT 2
Carrollton (5-4) 35.889 at Frankenmuth (9-0) 62.111
Saginaw Swan Valley (5-4) 42.667 at Essexville Garber (5-4) 44.222

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Grant (4-5) 35.944 at Howard City Tri County (8-1) 48.111
Big Rapids (5-4) 39.778 at Muskegon Oakridge (7-2) 47.476
DISTRICT 2
Belding (5-4) 43.389 at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-0) 70.333
Comstock Park (9-0) 58.903 at Grand Rapids West Catholic (8-1) 62.667

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Parchment (6-3) 35.875 at Berrien Springs (9-0) 51.667
South Haven (6-3) 40.111 at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep (6-3) 43.458
DISTRICT 2
Hopkins (5-4) 43.569 at Portland (7-2) 58.444
Olivet (7-2) 45.667 at Williamston (6-3) 55.222

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Richmond (4-5) 36.333 at Armada (6-3) 46.778
Corunna (5-4) 42.111 at Flint Powers Catholic (3-6) 43.111
DISTRICT 2
St. Clair Shores South Lake (5-4) 37.778 at Marine City (9-0) 62.889
Dundee (5-4) 39.889 at Macomb Lutheran North (6-3) 40.903

DIVISION 6

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Gladstone (4-5) 36.778 at Negaunee (7-2) 41.014
Calumet (7-2) 37.667 at Menominee (5-4) 39.583
DISTRICT 2
Maple City Glen Lake (4-5) 31.681 at Standish-Sterling (7-2) 44.111
Boyne City (8-1) 42.097 at Grayling (7-2) 42.375

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Manistee (5-4) 36.907 at Reed City (8-1) 55.444
Central Montcalm (5-4) 38.222 at Montague (6-3) 43.143
DISTRICT 2
Durand (6-3) 36.333 at Lansing Catholic (8-1) 59.556
Ovid-Elsie (6-3) 37.333 at Millington (9-0) 46.333

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Watervliet (5-4) 34.778 at Constantine (9-0) 51.653
Michigan Center (8-1) 38.444 at Jonesville (9-0) 42.778
DISTRICT 2
Erie Mason (5-4) 31.302 at Ida (7-2) 45.000
Clinton (7-2) 39.347 at Dearborn Heights Robichaud (5-4) 39.444

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Clinton Township Clintondale (5-4) 40.403 at Warren Michigan Collegiate (7-2) 49.944
Almont (5-4) 42.444 at Clawson (7-2) 44.000
DISTRICT 2
Detroit Pershing (5-4) 34.778 at Detroit Southeastern (6-3) 44.736
Detroit Edison (6-3) 36.125 at Ecorse (6-3) 39.736

DIVISION 7

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
East Jordan (7-2) 29.940 at Ishpeming Westwood (8-1) 43.569
Mancelona (5-3) 30.694 at Charlevoix (7-1) 39.264
DISTRICT 2
Harrison (6-3) 32.667 at Traverse City St. Francis (9-0) 56.111
McBain (6-3) 34.042 at Evart (7-2) 36.264

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Ithaca (6-3) 38.333 at Pewamo-Westphalia (9-0) 49.444
New Lothrop (6-3) 40.000 at Montrose (7-2) 40.000
DISTRICT 2
Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker (7-2) 34.889 at Reese (8-1) 38.333
Bad Axe (7-2) 36.556 at Hemlock (5-4) 36.556

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Delton Kellogg (5-3) 34.014 at Muskegon Catholic Central (8-1) 48.222
North Muskegon (4-5) 34.032 at Ravenna (6-3) 39.587
DISTRICT 2
Homer (5-4) 31.000 at Lawton (9-0) 44.125
Niles Brandywine (4-5) 32.333 at Union City (5-4) 32.556

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Detroit Leadership Academy (5-4) 32.000 at Jackson Lumen Christi (8-1) 59.778
Lutheran Westland (8-1) 37.222 at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (8-1) 59.000
DISTRICT 2
Detroit Community (6-3) 35.958 at Detroit Central (9-0) 50.722
Detroit Loyola (4-4) 39.847 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley (8-1) 44.792

DIVISION 8

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Bark River-Harris (6-3) 27.014 at Beal City (8-1) 42.000
Frankfort (6-3) 31.778 at Iron Mountain (6-3) 36.792
DISTRICT 2
White Cloud (4-5) 24.486 at Carson City-Crystal (8-1) 39.222
Holton (5-4) 25.931 at Muskegon Heights Academy (5-4) 30.778

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Vassar (4-5) 24.778 at Breckenridge (7-2) 34.111
Fowler (6-3) 31.500 at Flint Beecher (4-5) 32.917
DISTRICT 2
Harbor Beach (6-3) 30.597 at Ubly (9-0) 40.708
Cass City (5-4) 31.333 at Marlette (6-3) 32.597

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Decatur (4-5) 26.444 at White Pigeon (8-1) 35.667
Saugatuck (5-4) 29.625 at Cassopolis (5-4) 29.681
DISTRICT 2
Reading (6-3) 32.778 at Hudson (9-0) 51.222
Centreville (7-2) 35.569 at Addison (8-1) 42.667

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Petersburg Summerfield (6-3) 29.190 at Ottawa Lake Whiteford (8-1) 46.111
Whitmore Lake (6-3) 30.444 at Sand Creek (6-3) 34.667
DISTRICT 2
Mount Clemens (5-4) 26.778 at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (7-2) 36.333
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest (5-4) 27.556 at Marine City Cardinal Mooney (7-2) 31.486

8-Player Pairings

DIVISION 1

REGION 1
Rudyard (7-2) 30.861 at Munising (7-2) 33.194
Newberry (7-2) 31.528 at Pickford (7-2) 31.861

REGION 2
Mesick (5-4) 29.079 at Suttons Bay (9-0) 39.250
Rogers City (8-1) 32.722 at Indian River Inland Lakes (9-0) 34.333

REGION 3
Tekonsha (7-2) 29.778 at Martin (9-0) 36.125
Lawrence (7-2) 30.569 at Mendon (7-2) 32.569

REGION 4
Vestaburg (6-3) 29.286 at Adrian Lenawee Christian (9-0) 41.375
Britton Deerfield (8-1) 33.431 at Deckerville (7-1) 33.458

DIVISION 2

REGION 1
Pellston (7-2) 30.444 at Powers North Central (9-0) 36.667
Crystal Falls Forest Park (7-2) 31.111 at Lake Linden-Hubbell (7-2) 31.111

REGION 2
Gaylord St. Mary (5-4) 25.972 at Marion (8-1) 36.079
Mio (6-3) 28.333 at Hillman (6-3) 29.000

REGION 3
Peck (6-3) 28.000 at Au Gres-Sims (9-0) 35.667
Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (7-2) 32.028 at Kinde North Huron (9-0) 35.333

REGION 4
Climax-Scotts (6-3) 29.833 at Morrice (9-0) 36.875
Colon (8-1) 33.306 at Portland St. Patrick (9-0) 35.029

PHOTO Week 9 opponents Livonia Churchill and Novi both were selected to this season's playoff field. (Photo by Douglas Bargerstock.)

Lawrence's Schuman Sets Example for Well-Rounded Success

By Pam Shebest
Special for MHSAA.com

December 14, 2022

LAWRENCE — If redshirting was a thing in high school, at least two coaches at Lawrence would stick that label on senior John Schuman.

Southwest Corridor“We don’t want to lose this kid ever,” said Derek Gribler, the Tigers’ first-year varsity football and baseball coach.

“If we could put a red shirt on this kid every year, we would.”

Athletic director John Guillean, who also coaches varsity basketball, agreed.

“He is what we strive to have all our student-athletes achieve: high GPAs, multi-sport athletes, good, overall well-rounded human beings,” Guillean said.

Schuman has participated in five of the seven boys sports Lawrence sponsors.

As a freshman and sophomore, Schuman played football, wrestled, ran track and played baseball.

He had wrestled since he was 4, and went from the 119-pound weight class as a freshman to 145 the following year. That sophomore season he qualified for his Individual Regional. But as a junior, he traded wrestling for basketball.

“My older brother wrestled at Lawrence, so I would come to practices,” he said. “I quit for a couple years (in middle school) because I liked basketball, too. It was hard to do both. Obviously, in high school, I still struggled with choosing,” he added, laughing.

John GuilleanGuillean is thrilled Schuman made the switch.

“He’s 6-(foot-)4, he’s super athletic, defensively he’s a hawk, offensively he can put the ball in the bucket. But really, aside from his skills, just that positive attitude and that positive outlook, not just in a game, but in life in general, is invaluable,” the coach said.

Last season, Schuman earned honorable mention all-league honors in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference, averaging 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Lawrence left the BCS for the Southwest 10 Conference this year, joining Bangor, Bloomingdale, Hartford, Decatur, Comstock, Marcellus, Mendon, Centreville, White Pigeon and Cassopolis. Schuman and senior Tim Coombs will co-captain the Tigers, with Guillean rotating in a third captain.

At a school of fewer than 200 students, Schuman will help lead a varsity team with just nine – joined by seniors Andy Bowen and Gabe Gonzalez, juniors Christian Smith, Noel Saldana, Ben McCaw and Zander Payment, and sophomore Jose Hernandez, who will see time with the junior varsity as well using the fifth-quarter rule.

“I attribute a lot of (last year’s successful transition) to my coach, helping me get ready because it wasn’t so pretty,” the senior said. “But we got into it, got going, and my teammates helped me out a lot.”

Great anticipation

Gribler is one coach already looking ahead to spring sports after seeing what Schuman did during football season.

In spite of missing 2½ games with an injury, the wide receiver caught 50 receptions for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“I just like the ability to run free, get to hit people, let out some anger,” Schuman laughed.

Derek GriblerGribler said the senior is “an insane athlete.

“On top of his athletic ability, how smart he is in the classroom (3.88 GPA), he helped mold the culture we wanted this year for football. He got our underclassmen the way we wanted them. He was a big asset in many ways.”

Schuman earned all-conference honors for his on-field performance in football as well.

“I would say that my main sport is football,” the senior said. “That’s the one I like the most, spend the most time on.”

In the spring, Schuman competed in both track and baseball, earning all-conference honors in both.

“Doing both is tough,” he said. “I have to say my coaches make it a lot easier for me. They help me a lot and give me the ability to do both, so I really appreciate that.

“Throughout the week you’re traveling every day, it seems like. Baseball twice a week and track, but it’s worth it.”

Schuman’s commitment is so strong that he made a special effort not to let his teammates down last spring.

“He qualified for state in the long jump and did his jumps up in Grand Rapids, then he drove all the way to Kalamazoo to play in the District baseball game,” Guillean said. “That speaks volumes about who this kid is. He did his jumps at 9 a.m. (but did not advance) and made it back to Kalamazoo for a 12:15 game.”

Big shoes to fill

As the youngest of four children of Mark and Gretchen Schuman, the senior was following a family tradition in sports.

Oldest brother Matthew played football, basketball and baseball as well as competed in pole vault and wrestling.

Middle bother Christopher competed in football, wrestling and baseball.

Sister Stephanie played basketball, volleyball and softball.

“I like to say they blazed a pretty good trail for me at this high school,” Schuman said.

As for feeling pressure to live up to his siblings, “I used to when I was younger, but now I feel like I’ve made my own way and done enough things to be proud of that I’m happy with it.”

His own way led him to achieve something none of the others did.

He was named the Tigers’ Male Athlete of the Year, just the third junior to earn the boys honor over the last 25 years.

“I was very honored to win that as a junior,” Schuman said. “There were good athletes in the grade above me. I guess hard work pays off.”

Guillean said while Schuman is “darn good at every sport here,” an athlete does not have to be a “top dog” in every sport.

“Learn how to take a back seat,” he said. “Learn how to be a role player. That will make you a better teammate and a well-rounded human being.

“Johnny has that work ethic, in the classroom, on the field, on the court, on the track. It doesn’t go unnoticed and, obviously, he’s reaping the benefits now.”

Pam ShebestPam Shebest served as a sportswriter at the Kalamazoo Gazette from 1985-2009 after 11 years part-time with the Gazette while teaching French and English at White Pigeon High School. She can be reached at pamkzoo@aol.com with story ideas for Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Lawrence’s John Schuman has participated in five varsity sports during his first 3½ years of high school. (Middle) Lawrence athletic director John Guillean. (Below) Lawrence football and baseball coach Derek Gribler. (Action photos courtesy of John Schuman; head shots by Pam Shebest.)