A Game for Every Fan: Week 8
October 18, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Week 8 of the high school football season can mean a lot of things to teams and communities, depending on one’s circumstances.
On one side of the scale, those that have been eliminated from playoff contention are hoping to finish on a positive note and send out their seniors with one last memory. On the other, there are 61 undefeated teams left in Michigan – and 12 face off in six of our best games this week.
There’s definitely a challenge in forecasting which from this week’s slate might end up the most significant when all is said and done. In fact, a number of Detroit-area games not mentioned below are worth mentioning now: Detroit Martin Luther King (6-0) faces Detroit Mumford (6-1) and Detroit Cass Tech (7-0) faces Detroit East English (5-2) in Detroit Public School League semifinals, and Northville (6-1) faces Canton (7-0) with Grand Blanc (6-1) at Walled Lake Western (7-0) in Kensington Lakes Activities Association semis. In the Detroit Catholic League, second-placers Detroit Catholic Central (6-1) and Warren DeLaSalle (5-2) face off Saturday with a Prep Bowl berth on the line.
See below for more from an incredible statewide slate of games this weekend, and remember to check the MHSAA Score Center all weekend for updated scores and standings.
Southwest and Border
Portage Central (7-0) at St. Joseph (7-0)
Although St. Joseph still must face a competitive Mattawan squad in Week 9, the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West probably comes down to this matchup. Portage Central’s totals this fall certainly are more impressive – 326 points for and 83 against, while St. Joseph has outscored opponents only 201-103 – but because of its strong nonleague slate, St. Joseph projects to have the second-highest playoff point average in Division 3 (Portage Central currently falls sixth among teams expected to be in Division 2).
Others that caught my eye: Battle Creek Harper Creek (6-1) at Battle Creek Lakeview (7-0), Decatur (5-2) at Watervliet (7-0), Dowagiac (6-1) at Edwardsburg (7-0), Otsego (5-2) at Paw Paw (7-0).
Greater Detroit and Southeast
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (7-0) at Macomb Dakota (7-0)
Twitter followers of @DakotaFootball got a feel for this game Thursday from a few selected re-tweets from players, including one that read: “Tomorrow is the biggest game of our lives.” Dakota, during its nearly two-decade history, has lots of experience in these types of games – the winner tonight will claim the Macomb Area Conference Red title outright – and Chippewa Valley and Dakota have the second and third-highest playoff point averages, respectively, among teams expected to be in Division 1. This is the first time in a decade the Big Reds have been in this spot, and if they can crack Dakota’s defense (35 points allowed this fall), it could be another classic.
Others that caught my eye: St. Clair (7-0) at Marine City (7-0), Birmingham Groves (7-0) at Birmingham Seaholm (7-0), Lake Orion (6-1) at Clarkston (6-1), Warren Michigan Collegiate (5-2) at Harper Woods Chandler Park (6-1).
Lower Up North
Elk Rapids (5-2) at Boyne City (6-1)
Both co-leaders of the Lake Michigan Conference have tough matchups this week, but Elk Rapids being third in the league gives this game a potentially heavier impact. Boyne City faces Grayling in Week 9 in a game that should decide the league title – both are 4-0 in LMC play heading into this weekend – but Elk Rapids definitely could throw a wrench and did beat the Ramblers in two straight before falling last fall.
Others that caught my eye: Lake City (6-1) at Evart (6-1), West Branch Ogemaw Heights (5-2) at Traverse City Central (4-3), Sault Ste. Marie (4-3) at Kingsley (5-2), Grayling (6-1) at East Jordan (4-3).
Lansing Sexton (7-0) at Lansing Everett (5-2)
Those who don’t follow Lansing-area football closely probably don’t realize that Sexton, with roughly 680 students, is slightly more than one-third the size of the biggest schools in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue – and pushed to rejoin the league with its traditional rivals after a few years playing in other divisions. That makes this Big Reds run even more impressive – although Everett would love to keep their rivals from celebrating a league title this week. The Vikings looked like favorites coming into the fall, and this one could be closer than some might expect.
Others that caught my eye: Portland (7-0) at DeWitt (7-0), Battle Creek St. Philip (7-0) at Portland St. Patrick (7-0), Constantine (5-2) at Olivet (6-1), Haslett (5-2) at Williamston (4-3).
Grand Rapids Christian (6-1) at Lowell (7-0)
Lowell’s wild October run through the rest of the O-K White contenders ends tonight in the likely league-deciding matchup against Grand Rapids Christian, which like the Red Arrows is 3-0 in the division. Lowell’s strong competition has paid off not just in preparation for games like this, but in helping the Red Arrows build the highest playoff point average in the MHSAA. Only Muskegon during Week 2 has tripped up the Eagles (Lowell beat Muskegon two weeks later), who continue to await the season debut of injured star receiver Drake Harris.
Others that caught my eye: Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (6-1) at Muskegon Mona Shores (6-1), East Grand Rapids (4-3) at Caledonia (5-2), Muskegon Catholic Central (5-2) at Fruitport (5-2), Holland Christian (4-3) at Byron Center (5-2).
Bay and Thumb
Marlette (7-0) at Harbor Beach (6-1)
It’s fair to say this is turning into Marlette’s best season ever – or at least since the Red Raiders went 8-1 in 1975. And it would become infinitely sweeter if they are able to beat defending MHSAA Division 8 champion Harbor Beach to win the Greater Thumb Conference East title. Harbor Beach is riding a 15-game league winning streak and owns two straight wins over Marlette, including by a score of 66-10 a year ago. The Pirates’ only loss this season was in Week 3 to much larger Menominee.
Others that caught my eye: Fenton (7-0) at Swartz Creek (4-3), Richmond (6-1) at Yale (5-2), Deckerville (4-3) at Peck (7-0), Vassar (4-3) at Cass City (4-3).
Bessemer (5-2) at Crystal Falls Forest Park (7-0)
This scenario bears similarity to 2012; Forest Park was cruising through the Great Western Conference before getting run over by Bessemer 46-15 in Week 8, a result that created an eventual three-team sharing of the league title. Forest Park is 3-0 in the league again. And while Bessemer at 2-2 in the conference has only an outside shot at sharing the title this time, the Miners have come back from a midseason two-game losing streak to get within a win of qualifying for the playoffs for the second season in a row.
Others that caught my eye: Lake Linden-Hubbell (4-3) at Felch North Dickinson (6-1), Marquette (5-1) at Negaunee (6-1), Bellaire (5-2) at Cedarville (6-1), Hancock (3-4) at Iron River West County (7-0).
PHOTO: Detroit Catholic Central (in blue), here during a Sept. 27 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice, faces Warren DeLaSalle this week for the opportunity to face Brother Rice again in next weekend’s Detroit Catholic League Prep Bowl. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.)
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.