A Game for Every Fan: Week 2

September 5, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Week 2 of the MHSAA football season generally means the start of league play for schools across Michigan.

Five leagues were formed and nine reshuffled significantly for 2014 – so we’ll do our best to guide you through some of the new names and title chases as they unfold over the next two months.

Also new for this week’s look at the best games from every corner of the state – by request from one of our readers – a look at top 8-player games to be played (previously those were included in regional outlooks with the 11-player matchups.)

See below for the places to be this Friday and Saturday. All games are Friday unless noted. 

West Michigan

Zeeland West (1-0) at Zeeland East (0-1)

These rivals – literally neighbors on the same piece of property – continued an intriguing trend in 2013 when for the second straight season Zeeland East won the regular-season matchup and West then eliminated the Chix in the playoffs with a victory of 30-plus points. West went on last season to win the MHSAA Division 3 championship.

Others that caught my eye: Caledonia (1-0) at Grand Rapids South Christian (0-1), Fruitport (0-1) at Muskegon Mona Shores (1-0), Montague (0-1) at Muskegon Oakridge (0-1), Grand Rapids Christian (1-0) at Muskegon (1-0).

Mid-Michigan

Eaton Rapids (1-0) at Mason (0-1)

Eaton Rapids burst onto the scene in 2013, ending a streak of 19 losing seasons by making the playoffs for the first time and then winning a District championship as well. The positive vibes continued with a 34-14 win over Jackson Northwest last week, while Mason – an annual Lansing-area power with five playoff appearances in the last six seasons – fell to rival Okemos by two scores. The Bulldogs have won 20 straight over the Greyhounds, but this should be the best tilt between the two in some time.

Others that caught my eye: Holland West Ottawa (0-1) at Grand Ledge (1-0), Clare (0-1) at Beal City (1-0), Rockford (1-0) at Holt (0-1), Grandville (1-0) at Okemos (1-0).

Southwest and Border

Schoolcraft (1-0) at Constantine (1-0)

This is another pair with a history of multiple meetings in the same season. They are clear favorites in the Kalamazoo Valley Association again this fall – and also have faced each other in the playoffs four of the last eight seasons. Schoolcraft has won the last two regular-season meetings, including 37-28 in 2013. But Constantine has won all five times they’ve met in the postseason.  

Others that caught my eye: Decatur (1-0) at Fennville (1-0), Gobles (1-0) at Hartford (1-0), Battle Creek Lakeview (0-1) at Portage Central (1-0), St. Joseph (1-0) at Richland Gull Lake (1-0).

Upper Peninsula

Traverse City Central (1-0) at Escanaba (1-0) 

These two faced off the last two seasons, and it wasn’t really close – Central won by 44 and 21 points, respectively. Another victory would put the Trojans in nice position heading into Big North Conference play after missing the playoffs a year ago. But Escanaba also won last week and would love to take another step toward a first winning season since 2011, especially with 2013 playoff teams Cheboygan, Detroit Country Day and Sault Ste. Marie still coming up on the nonleague schedule.

Others that caught my eye: Negaunee (1-0) at Calumet (1-0), DeWitt (1-0) at Kingsford (1-0), Munising (0-1) at Powers North Central (1-0), Alpena (0-1) at Sault Ste. Marie (0-1).

Greater Detroit

Macomb Dakota (0-1) at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (1-0)

These Macomb Area Conference Red rivals are front-loaded this fall with high-profile games – Dakota opened with a three-point loss to reigning MHSAA Division 1 champion Clarkston, while Chippewa Valley survived a three-point victory over perennial power Lake Orion. And the Big Reds definitely have been waiting for this one, having lost the league title by falling to Dakota 52-7 in Week 8 last season, and then seeing their season end against Dakota 34-14 in the District Final.

Others that caught my eye: Detroit U-D Jesuit (1-0) at Detroit Country Day (0-1), Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (1-0) at Oxford (1-0), Utica Eisenhower (0-1) at Sterling Heights Stevenson (1-0), Detroit Douglass (0-1) at Detroit Mumford (0-1).

Lower Up North

Grayling (1-0) at Gaylord (1-0)

These two, located a mere 27 miles apart on I-75, were regular opponents for decades – but this is their first matchup since 1996. Back then, Grayling was in the midst of a decade-long string of losing seasons; now they’ve had 11 straight above-.500 finishes. Gaylord had a nice run of success soon after these two suspended their series – but more recently won a combined four games over the last five seasons. The Blue Devils equaled last fall’s victory total last week by beating Cheboygan 40-0.

Others that caught my eye: Pickford (1-0) at Indian River Inland Lakes (1-0), Hudsonville (1-0) at Traverse City West (1-0), Oscoda (1-0) at Whittemore-Prescott (1-0), McBain (0-1) at Traverse City St. Francis (0-1) on Saturday.

Bay and Thumb

Marine City (1-0) at St. Clair (1-0)

These two decided the MAC Gold title in Week 8 last season – St. Clair winning 43-33 – but they face off in the league opener this time. St. Clair renewed a series with Croswell-Lexington last week for the first time since 1993 and won 26-21, while the reigning MHSAA Division 4 champ Mariners continued their high-scoring ways beating Algonac 49-28.

Others that caught my eye: Yale (1-0) at Richmond (1-0), Harbor Beach (1-0) at Vassar (1-0), Lansing Catholic (1-0) at Saginaw Nouvel (0-1), Ovid-Elsie (0-1) at Freeland (1-0).

8-Player

Carsonville-Port Sanilac (0-1) vs. Lawrence (1-0), Saturday at Webberville

The inaugural MHSAA champion in 2012, Carsonville-Port Sanilac was an early standard-setter for the 8-player game – and Lawrence, a semifinalist last season, has helped raise the level of play since joining the scene a year ago. CPS is coming off an opening loss to Morrice, a program new to 8-player this fall.  

Others that caught my eye: Dryden (1-0) at Caseville (1-0), Burr Oak (1-0) at Waldron (1-0).

PHOTO: Bessemer’s Gogebic Miners opened this season with a 36-14 win over Hancock. (Photo courtesy of Norman Tesch/Wakefield.)

Record-Setting Viney Gained Lifelong Confidence at Marine City

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

July 17, 2024

Olivia Viney didn’t have to look far for inspiration while taking on the challenge of applying to veterinary school.

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosThe 2015 Marine City graduate and record-setting placekicker simply drew from her own experience as a high school athlete.

“It just really taught me that I could do hard things,” Viney said. “I was very involved when I was in school. I did soccer, theater, travel soccer and then football. Especially with football, I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do it. That helped me to excel in undergrad. When it came time to get accepted to vet school, it was like, ‘This is what I have to do,’ and I did it. That was very confidence-building. It taught me that I really can do hard things.”

Viney, who graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2019 and Michigan State Veterinary School in 2023, is now working as an associate veterinarian at Deporre Veterinary Hospital in West Bloomfield. 

Accomplishing her goals is nothing new to Viney, and not at all a surprise to those who watched her come through the Mariners athletic program.

“She was very serious, she was focused and she was dialed in,” said Dave Frendt, who coached Viney in both football and soccer at Marine City. “She knew what she wanted to accomplish, and she set out to do that. She was a fierce competitor and very driven. She was a good leader in that way where she was kind of feisty, but the team would follow that.”

Viney was an all-state soccer player for the Mariners, leading them to a pair of District titles and a Macomb Area Conference Gold title during her four years as a varsity player. It’s the sport she grew up playing, but the one she was most known for after graduation was football. American football.

The 5-foot-1-ish center attacking midfielder found herself in the MHSAA football record book after hitting all seven of her extra point attempts in the Mariners’ 2013 Division 4 Final victory against Grand Rapids South Christian.

“I think it makes sense,” she said. “There were lots of great soccer players, even that I played with. Great players that had gone through school, so I don’t think it’s weird that people remember me for that. When I talk with people, they’ll connect the dots – ‘Oh, you played football.’

“I was more accomplished as a soccer player and had more accolades. But I’m prouder of my football accomplishments, because it was really setting a pathway for girls that wanted to get into that. It’s so much more common now, or accepted. Even though it’s been almost 11 years since we won at Ford Field, I’m so proud of high school Olivia and what she did, the courage she had. She wasn’t scared of anything.”

Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. Viney joined Marine City’s football program as a sophomore, playing on the junior varsity squad. While she was there only to kick, she was all in when it came to practicing.

“Coach (Joe) Fregetto made me do tackling drills and drills in the mud – I really did earn my spot on the team,” Viney said. “I think it was mostly because he didn’t know what to do with me, so I guess just do everything that the guys do.”

She handled varsity kicking duties the next two years, setting the school record in 2013 for most extra points made during a single season – a record that still stands. Former Mariners coach Ron Glodich said that Viney actually never missed an extra point that season, as the four failed attempts were never even kicked.

It was her performance in the Division 4 Final that gained her statewide acclaim, as she hit 7 of 7 attempts, tying a record for most extra points made in a Finals game. It stood until a pair of kickers hit eight in 2022.

One record that never will be broken, however, is Viney becoming the first female to score a point at the Finals.

“Everything was so surreal, I was so nervous,” Viney said. “One of my most vivid memories was that day, or maybe the day before, Coach Glodich said, ‘Just so you know, when you get to the field, the goal posts are two feet narrower on each side. But that doesn’t matter if you kick it in the middle.’

“We got there and watched the team before us so we could get used to it, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so narrow.’ … Seeing myself up on the big screen was kind of almost a little embarrassing, because I knew people were talking about me being the girl. But once we were in the game, it was a lot like any other game. I was just waiting for my turn to go on the field and do my job.”

Viney later was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” – ironically, right below current U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh – but she wasn’t looked at any differently by her teammates, and she wouldn’t have wanted to be.

“That team was all about sacrifice for the team,” Frendt said. “For them to realize, ‘None of us can do what she does, so we better embrace it, because no one else can do it.’ They really made her feel like part of the team. They wanted to protect her, too. But she was tough. She wasn’t going to take anything.”

Viney went to SVSU to study biology and played for its club soccer team. During her time there, she volunteered at an animal shelter and made the decision she wanted to help animals in her career. She works in general practice at Deporre, and would eventually like to work in shelter medicine.

She and her husband Matt, who were married in May, live with their three dogs. She’s not far from home, and in the spring of 2023 she visited Frendt’s college and career readiness class to speak with students at her alma mater. Her presentation and the attention to detail and hard work she put into it, Frendt said, blew his students away. Not that it surprised him.

“That’s poured into her life after sports,” he said of her work ethic. “She just kept plugging away. She’s awesome.”

July 11: High School 'Hoop Squad' Close to Heart as Hughes Continues Coaching Climb - Read
July 10: 
Nightingale Embarking on 1st Season as College Football Head Coach - Read
June 28:
 E-TC's Witt Bulldozing Path from Small Town to Football's Biggest Stage - Read

PHOTOS (Top) Marine City’s Olivia Viney kicks at the 2013 11-Player Football Finals, also during her spring soccer season, and cares for one of her patients as an associate veterinarian. (Middle) Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Olivia Viney.)