Drive for Detroit: Week 6 Preview
September 27, 2018
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
In place of a catchy way to introduce what’s at stake, here’s what’s at stake during Week 6 of this high school football season:
Of 45 matchups mentioned in this “Drive for Detroit” preview, 15 pit teams tied for first place in their respective leagues. Another five games match up teams that are undefeated in their leagues, although not tied for first technically because one of the teams has played one more league game.
Another bunch of games below have first and second-place teams facing off. And we didn’t even have room with the format for a few more title-caliber tilts – like Detroit Western (4-1) at Detroit Osborn (4-1) and Gibraltar Carlson (4-1) at Allen Park (4-1) – or the 5-0 vs. 5-0 showcase between Farmington and Madison Heights Madison.
All games below are tonight; a handful of Michigan teams play Saturday this week. Check out the MHSAA Score Center for the full schedule and results as games are completed. MHSAA.tv will broadcast 11 games this weekend, including Edwardsburg/Plainwell mentioned below. Our “Drive for Detroit” previews are powered by MI Student Aid.
Bay & Thumb
Mount Pleasant (5-0) at Midland (3-2)
These two and Midland Dow have started Saginaw Valley League Red play 3-0, and the Oilers are enjoying their first 5-0 start since the Division 3 runner-up season of 2011. Only one of their opponents so far has a winning record, but giving up 4.4 points per game is impressive whatever the competition. Midland’s defense has been similarly confining, holding its opponents to 13.6 points on average, and the Chemics have beaten Mount Pleasant in three straight. The winner will earn an edge in the league, of course, but the rest will be decided when Dow faces Mount Pleasant in Week 8 and Midland in Week 9.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Goodrich (4-1) at Flint Hamady (5-0), Grand Blanc (4-1) at Lapeer (5-0), Bad Axe (3-2) at Cass City (4-1), Traverse City West (3-2) at Flint Carman-Ainsworth (3-2).
Dearborn Fordson (5-0) at Belleville (5-0)
The co-leaders in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East have played three like opponents and are nearly statistically even, Belleville outscoring its four league foes 179-65 and Fordson its four 178-67. But the Tractors must show they’re even in this matchup after falling 35-7 a year ago when both also entered that game undefeated. Both teams’ superiority stretches outside the league again this season; both rank among the top 10 in playoff point average statewide.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Harper Woods (4-1) at River Rouge (4-1), Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (4-1) at Grosse Ile (5-0), Detroit Loyola (3-2) at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (4-1), Detroit Cass Tech (5-0) at Detroit Cody (4-1).
Saginaw Swan Valley (5-0) at Alma (5-0)
Only one opponent has slowed down Swan Valley this fall – Cedar Springs in a 21-12 defeat in Week 1. Alma was one of the few that came close a year ago, falling by only 17 in the Tri-Valley Conference Central finale. Neither has been tested much in the league this time around, and the winner tonight will clinch a share of the title.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY St. Johns (3-2) at Haslett (4-1), Fowler (4-1) at Dansville (4-1), East Lansing (4-1) at Holt (2-3), Grand Rapids Christian (4-1) at Middleville Thornapple Kellogg (5-0).
Northern Lower Peninsula
Leroy Pine River (4-1) at Lake City (5-0)
The Bucks have bounced way back from last season’s 1-8 finish and control their Highland Conference title destiny despite last week’s five-point loss to McBain – which fell by two to reigning champion Lake City in Week 3. Before last season, Leroy Pine River had defeated Lake City in three straight meetings. But the Trojans are 17-1 over the last two seasons and have given up 25 points this fall, half the Bucks’ equally impressive 51 points against and while scoring 13 more per game.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Petoskey (3-2) at Traverse City Central (4-1), Maple City Glen Lake (2-3) at Elk Rapids (4-1), Benzie Central (3-2) at Kingsley (4-1), Tawas (3-1) at Oscoda (4-1).
Southeast & Border
Ypsilanti Lincoln (4-1) at Jackson (5-0)
Jackson has arrived as a contender in the Southeastern Conference White with a number of gritty wins – four of five have come by 10 points or fewer, including last week’s over reigning champion Chelsea. The Vikings are new to the league this fall and now get Lincoln, last season’s runner-up and already an avenger of both of its 2017 regular-season defeats. Lincoln last won the league in 2014, and claiming another title next month would of course be a big deal. But Jackson is facing a truly historic possibility – it hasn’t won a league title since 1942.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Grass Lake (5-0) at Michigan Center (5-0), Blissfield (4-1) at Hillsdale (5-0), Saline (4-1) at Ann Arbor Pioneer (3-2), Pittsford (5-0) at Athens (3-1).
Battle Creek Central (4-1) at Kalamazoo Central (3-2)
The 115th meeting between these rivals means more than it has in quite a while. They are tied atop the five-team Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East, both with more wins overall this season than in 2017 and both facing the possibility of making the playoffs for the first time in at least a decade. The Maroon Giants have won the last two of this series and own a 16-point win this season over SMAC West leader Portage Central – the only team to defeat the Bearcats this fall.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Constantine (5-0) at Schoolcraft (4-1), Edwardsburg (5-0) at Plainwell (4-1), Centreville (5-0) at Mendon (3-2), Portage Central (4-1) at St. Joseph (3-2).
Ishpeming (5-0) at Gwinn (4-1)
These two and Iron River West Iron County are all 3-0 in the eight-team Western Peninsula Athletic Conference small-school division. Ishpeming and Gwinn came to the league from the Mid-Peninsula Conference this fall, after the Hematites dominated that league for most of its final decade – but Gwinn won their last meeting on the field, by 32 points in 2016. The Modeltowners have surpassed their 2017 win total, but must bounce back after being stunned by Houghton last week. Ishpeming too has turned things around after two straight three-win seasons, passing a couple of close tests the last two weeks.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Calumet (5-0) at Iron Mountain (4-1), Marquette (2-3) at Kingsford (2-3), Hancock (2-3) at Ishpeming Westwood (3-2), Gladstone (3-2) at Sault Ste. Marie (3-2).
Zeeland West (4-1) at Hudsonville Unity Christian (5-0)
Unity Christian has spent its share of time chasing frequent champion Zeeland West in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Green race over the last decade or so, and the Crusaders have earned another chance to push ahead of the Dux and neighboring Chix – all three teams are 2-0 in league play with Unity the lone undefeated team overall. The last three meetings between West and Unity have been decided by seven points or fewer, and signs point to another tightly-contested matchup. West’s lone loss came to O-K Gold co-leader Grand Rapids Christian.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Jenison (4-1) at Muskegon (5-0), Grand Rapids South Christian (3-2) at East Grand Rapids (3-2), Spring Lake (5-0) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (2-3), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (4-1) at Allendale (3-2).
Colon (5-0) at Camden-Frontier (4-1)
First-year 8-player program Colon is one win from tying its best record since 2009 and after going 2-7 last season in 11-player. Camden-Frontier has established itself as an 8-player power the last two seasons and will provide a big test for the Magi – although the latter beat Bellevue in Week 2 and Bellevue handed the Redskins their lone loss, in Week 4. A Colon win would clinch a share of the Southern Central Athletic Association A title – while a Camden-Frontier win could create a three-way tie at the top with just one more league game to play.
Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Powers North Central (4-1) at Crystal Falls Forest Park (3-2), Posen (5-0) at Hillman (4-1), Mayville (4-1) at Peck (4-1), Stephenson (4-1) at Pickford (5-0).
Second Half’s weekly “Drive for Detroit” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Saginaw Swan Valley's De'Ondric Sanders runs for some of his 102 yards Week 1 against Cedar Springs. Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.