Drive for Detroit: Week 6 Preview

September 28, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Starting tonight, the playoff field begins to take shape.

Last week, AuGres-Sims – 5-0 but playing only eight games this regular season – clinched the first playoff berth of the 2017 MHSAA Playoffs. This weekend, 63 more teams can qualify for the 11-player tournament.

Below are the games of most intrigue in every region of the state, not counting 21 games played Thursday night. Go to the MHSAA Score Center to find those and for scores as they come in tonight and Saturday (and for links to each team’s schedule, league standings and playoff points average). Check out for six live broadcasts – click here for the schedule.

Bay & Thumb

Almont (4-1) at Richmond (5-0), Friday

The Blue Water Area Conference appears to be a two-team race with Richmond and Algonac tied at 4-0 in league play. But Almont can make it a three-team race again by avenging last season’s 34-21 loss to the Blue Devils. Almont already fell to Algonac in Week 2 28-7; Richmond gets its turn against the Muskrats in Week 8.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Corunna (3-2) at Goodrich (4-1), St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (3-2) at Port Huron Northern (4-1), Unionville-Sebewaing (3-2) at Reese (3-2), SATURDAY Bay City Central (3-2) at Flint Carman-Ainsworth (3-2).

Greater Detroit

Belleville (5-0) at Dearborn Fordson (5-0), Friday

Not only are these teams tied for first in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Red, but Belleville has the second-highest playoff points average among teams projected to be in Division 1, and Fordson’s average is tied for fourth-highest. Fordson won the WWAC Blue last season and has given up no more than 14 points in a game this fall. The Tigers came into the Red from the Blue with Fordson after finishing second to the Tractors in that league last season – the result of a 34-25 loss in their meeting. The Tigers are riding a streak of three straight shutouts and after giving up only six points in Week 2.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Detroit Martin Luther King (4-1) at Detroit Denby (4-0), Canton (4-1) at Livonia Stevenson (4-1), Southfield Arts & Technology (3-2) at Rochester Adams (4-1), Dearborn Divine Child (5-0) at Warren DeLaSalle (4-1)


Freeland (4-1) at Alma (5-0), Friday

The Falcons’ 24-game regular-season win streak came to an end in Week 4, and Alma will now try to end Freeland’s Tri-Valley Conference Central title streak at two in a row after finishing second in the league last year because of a 12-6 loss when these teams last met. The Panthers have the highest playoff point average among teams projected to play in Division 4 and sit tied for first in the Central with Saginaw Swan Valley, which downed Freeland two weeks ago.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (5-0) at Belding (4-1), Laingsburg (4-1) at Pewamo-Westphalia (4-1), Lansing Sexton (3-2) at Okemos (4-1), Olivet (5-0) at Lake Odessa Lakewood (5-0).

Northern Lower Peninsula

Frankfort (4-1) at Maple City Glen Lake (2-2), Friday

After finishing Division 6 runner-up last season, Glen Lake loaded up the schedule for this fall – and its losses are to undefeated Traverse City St. Francis and Watervliet. The Lakers came back from an open Week 4 to shut out Charlevoix last week, and they remain the biggest obstacle to Frankfort winning a third straight Northern Michigan Football Conference Leaders division title. The Panthers claimed last year’s championship thanks to a 26-21 win over Glen Lake. They also have only eight regular-season games, with an open date in Week 9, and this looks like the toughest test left before a potentially promising playoff run. 

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Lincoln Alcona (4-1) at Oscoda (4-1), Benton Harbor (2-3) at Traverse City West (5-0), AuGres-Sims (5-0) at Whittemore-Prescott (2-3), SATURDAY Grayling (4-1) at Traverse City St. Francis (5-0).

Southeast & Border

Ottawa Lake Whiteford (5-0) at Morenci (3-2), Friday

Whiteford hasn’t lost a regular-season game since 2015 and has yet to be challenged since finishing runner-up in Division 8 last season. The Bobcats have outscored their opponents 281-52 and handed Petersburg-Summerfield its only loss in their Tri-County Conference opener. Morenci joins Whiteford as undefeated in the league and with a deceptive overall record – those losses came the first two weeks by a combined three points against Pittsford and Hudson teams that together are 9-1. The Bulldogs have lost twice to Whiteford the last two seasons and beat Whiteford twice in 2014, meaning this could be only chapter one of two again for these rivals. 

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Climax-Scotts (4-1) at Adrian Lenawee Christian (4-1), Tecumseh (3-2) at Pinckney (4-1), Clinton (3-2) at Petersburg-Summerfield (4-1), Adrian (3-2) at Ypsilanti Lincoln (3-2).

Southwest Corridor

Plainwell (4-1) at Edwardsburg (5-0), Friday

As noted earlier this season, Edwardsburg hasn’t lost a Wolverine B Conference game since 2012 (and now has 29 straight regular-season wins overall). But three teams have only one loss in the league this fall and are ready to pounce – and the Eddies face those three teams over the next three weeks. First up is Plainwell, followed by Three Rivers and then Vicksburg in Week 8. The Trojans have beaten Vicksburg and lost to Three Rivers so far, but given up only 33 points since falling to the Wildcats on opening night. Edwardsburg has given up only 34 points this season – and scored 290.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Parchment (4-1) at Berrien Springs (4-1), Jackson Lumen Christi (4-1) at Coldwater (4-1), Schoolcraft (4-1) at Constantine (3-2), Paw Paw (3-2) at Vicksburg (4-1).

Upper Peninsula

Escanaba (4-1) at Menominee (4-1), Friday

This will be the 121st meeting between the Great Northern Conference rivals, and Menominee holds a 66-51-3 edge in the longtime rivalry. The Maroons swung the advantage their way with 18 straight wins over the Eskymos, including by 28-14 last year in the game that ended up deciding the league title. This will be Menominee’s first game against an in-state opponent after five versus Wisconsin teams to start the fall. It may be the Maroons’ toughest remaining before the playoffs; Escanaba’s lone loss was to much-improved Petoskey in Week 2.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Hurley, Wis. (4-2) at Hancock (4-1), Calumet (3-2) at Iron River West Iron County (4-1), Negaunee (2-3) at Ishpeming (2-3), Norway (5-0) at Munising (3-2).

West Michigan

East Grand Rapids (5-0) at Grand Rapids Christian (5-0), Friday

The west side of the Lower Peninsula is loaded with outstanding matchups this weekend. But this one rises to the top as a rematch of last season’s decider in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold in addition to featuring one of the best rivalries in the Grand Rapids area. Christian and EGR rank third and fourth, respectively, in playoff point average among teams projected to play in Division 3. Christian also started 5-0 last year before falling to the Pioneers 28-7 in Week 6, and this time East Grand Rapids has been more dominating with two straight shutouts while giving up only 42 points total so far.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Wyoming Kelloggsville (5-0) at Wyoming Godwin Heights (5-0), Remus Chippewa Hills (4-1) at Reed City (4-1), Rockford (3-2) at Grandville (4-1), Morley Stanwood (5-0) at Kent City (5-0).


Deckerville (5-0) at Morrice (5-0), Friday

From a numbers standpoint, these North Central Thumb League Stars contenders are nearly even; both are 4-0 in league play, Deckerville outscoring its opponents 214-40 this season and Morrice by a 223-46 margin. But the Eagles are the team to beat in at least the Lower Peninsula until proven otherwise, with 16 straight regular-season wins and after finishing 8-player runner-up a year ago – when they also beat Morrice 46-6. That said, the Orioles handed Flint International Academy its first loss last week and should make this game much more even as well.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Camden-Frontier (5-0) at Bellevue (5-0), Flint International Academy (4-1) at Lawrence (3-2), Ontonagon (3-1) at Stephenson (5-0), SATURDAY Suttons Bay (3-2) at Central Lake (5-0).

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PHOTO: Alma defenders wrap up a Birch Run ball carrier during a 21-10 win on opening night. (Click for more from

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.