MHSAA Announces 2023 Football Playoff Brackets, 11-Player Finals Schedule

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

October 22, 2023

Here are the pairings for the 2023 MHSAA Football Playoffs, which begin Oct. 27-28 with District Semifinals in the 11-Player Playoffs and Regional Semifinals in the 8-Player Playoffs, and also an announcement of the schedule for the 11-Player Finals on Nov. 25-26 at Ford Field.

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. 3-4, and the weekend of Nov. 10-11 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. 17-18, 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 (both 11 and 8-player) will be sold online only via GoFan at gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process.

For 11-Player, tickets to District Semifinals and District Finals cost $7, tickets to Regional Finals are $9, and tickets to Semifinals cost $10. For 8-player, tickets for Regional Semifinals are $7, tickets for Regional Finals are $9, and tickets for Semifinals cost $10.

The 8-Player Finals will take place Nov. 18 at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome in Marquette, and the 11-Player Finals will be played Nov. 25-26 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.

The MHSAA also has announced its schedule for the 11-Player Finals weekend, which will be played on Saturday and Sunday this season to accommodate the Michigan State/Penn State football game on Friday, Nov. 24, at Ford Field. The Finals schedule will be as follows:

Saturday, Nov. 25
10 a.m. - Division 8
1 p.m. - Division 4
4:30 p.m. - Division 6
7:30 p.m. - Division 2

Sunday, Nov. 26
9:30 a.m. - Division 7
12:30 p.m. - Division 3
4 p.m. - Division 5
7 p.m. - Division 1

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

11-Player Pairings

DIVISION 1

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Holland West Ottawa (4-5) 54.667 at Rockford (9-0) 85.667
Hudsonville (5-4) 58.111 at Grandville (7-2) 74.111
DISTRICT 2
Lapeer (5-4) 57.444 at Davison (9-0) 82.444
Grand Ledge (6-3) 57.458 at Grand Blanc (5-4) 58.222

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Brighton (5-4) 58.667 at Northville (8-1) 78.667
Detroit Catholic Central (7-2) 60.444 at Novi (7-2) 70.667
DISTRICT 2
Ann Arbor Huron (5-4) 54.222 at Belleville (9-0) 84.000
Ann Arbor Pioneer (6-3) 58.000 at Saline (8-1) 78.333

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Oxford (4-5) 55.500 at Lake Orion (9-0) 85.778
Romeo (4-5) 59.333 at Clarkston (4-5) 62.111
DISTRICT 2
Utica (4-5) 53.556 at Utica Eisenhower (8-1) 78.000
Rochester Adams (6-3) 62.778 at West Bloomfield (7-2) 77.556

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Sterling Heights Stevenson (4-5) 58.000 at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (7-2) 77.022
St. Clair Shores Lakeview (7-2) 62.889 at Macomb Dakota (7-2) 70.778
DISTRICT 2
Dearborn Fordson (5-4) 58.333 at Southfield Arts & Technology (8-1) 74.667
Detroit Cass Tech (6-3) 58.681 at Westland John Glenn (7-2) 70.556

DIVISION 2

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Traverse City Central (4-5) 49.778 at Saginaw Heritage (7-2) 66.667
Midland (5-4) 50.667 at Midland Dow (5-4) 51.444
DISTRICT 2
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (6-3) 54.889 at Muskegon (7-2) 69.000
Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (7-2) 60.889 at Muskegon Mona Shores (6-3) 61.444

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Byron Center (8-1) 67.111 at Portage Central (8-1) 73.833
Portage Northern (8-1) 68.944 at Caledonia (7-2) 70.111
DISTRICT 2
Lansing Everett (5-4) 48.097 at East Lansing (7-2) 67.528
Milford (6-3) 59.111 at White Lake Lakeland (6-3) 60.889

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Birmingham Groves (6-3) 62.667 at Birmingham Seaholm (8-1) 72.861
Livonia Franklin (6-3) 63.000 at Waterford Mott (7-2) 65.556
DISTRICT 2
Livonia Churchill (4-5) 48.556 at Gibraltar Carlson (8-1) 73.333
Dexter (6-3) 64.778 at Allen Park (8-1) 71.556

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Warren Cousino (6-3) 50.000 at Warren De La Salle Collegiate (7-2) 69.333
Detroit U-D Jesuit (6-2) 58.078 at Warren Mott (6-3) 58.111
DISTRICT 2
Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse (4-5) 52.889 at Grosse Pointe South (8-1) 77.222
Roseville (6-3) 60.444 at Port Huron Northern (7-2) 61.000

DIVISION 3

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Bay City Western (5-4) 47.222 at Gaylord (9-0) 66.569
Petoskey (5-4) 47.389 at Marquette (5-3) 49.667
DISTRICT 2
Grand Rapids Northview (4-5) 46.444 at Mount Pleasant (8-1) 73.333
Lowell (6-3) 56.222 at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (8-1) 71.889

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Coopersville (7-2) 55.778 at East Grand Rapids (7-2) 63.667
Zeeland East (6-3) 57.111 at Zeeland West (6-3) 57.333
DISTRICT 2
Battle Creek Harper Creek (6-3) 51.000 at Parma Western (8-1) 62.986
Stevensville Lakeshore (5-4) 54.833 at St. Joseph (6-3) 58.722

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Linden (4-5) 49.000 at Mason (9-0) 72.750
Fenton (6-3) 60.889 at DeWitt (6-2) 62.181
DISTRICT 2
Redford Thurston (6-3) 46.556 at Walled Lake Western (8-1) 74.333
Holly (6-3) 52.444 at Auburn Hills Avondale (8-1) 68.667

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Detroit Martin Luther King (4-5) 45.667 at Port Huron (7-2) 61.667
Warren Fitzgerald (4-5) 46.222 at Grosse Pointe North (6-3) 51.000
DISTRICT 2
River Rouge (5-4) 50.333 at Southgate Anderson (7-2) 65.389
Trenton (5-4) 56.778 at Riverview (8-1) 57.667

DIVISION 4

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Allendale (6-3) 48.333 at Whitehall (9-0) 62.778
Big Rapids (8-1) 49.444 at Spring Lake (7-2) 55.556
DISTRICT 2
Ionia (5-4) 42.889 at Ada Forest Hills Eastern (7-2) 55.778
Wayland (6-3) 48.444 at Grand Rapids South Christian (6-3) 50.889

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Vicksburg (4-5) 42.444 at Niles (8-1) 60.556
Edwardsburg (5-4) 47.444 at Paw Paw (8-1) 60.278
DISTRICT 2
Charlotte (6-3) 44.222 at Hastings (7-2) 60.167
Lansing Sexton (8-1) 56.444 at Portland (9-0) 59.500

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Tecumseh (5-4) 46.639 at Chelsea (8-1) 64.444
Adrian (6-3) 51.667 at Haslett (6-3) 55.236
DISTRICT 2
Ortonville Brandon (5-4) 47.444 at Goodrich (8-1) 64.222
Lake Fenton (6-3) 49.778 at Freeland (8-1) 55.333

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Croswell-Lexington (7-2) 51.000 at Harper Woods (6-3) 64.889
Madison Heights Lamphere (7-2) 51.889 at Marysville (7-2) 55.000
DISTRICT 2
Detroit East English (5-4) 43.667 at Carleton Airport (8-1) 62.333
Dearborn Divine Child (5-4) 48.250 at Redford Union (7-2) 59.667

DIVISION 5

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Gladwin (7-2) 45.833 at Ogemaw Heights (8-1) 51.500
Howard City Tri County (7-2) 46.333 at Kingsford (8-1) 49.792
DISTRICT 2
Essexville Garber (5-4) 35.889 at Frankenmuth (8-1) 57.222
Birch Run (5-4) 38.889 at Saginaw Swan Valley (5-4) 42.222

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Comstock Park (5-4) 37.889 at Grand Rapids West Catholic (9-0) 69.222
Muskegon Oakridge (6-3) 45.667 at Belding (8-1) 58.333
DISTRICT 2
Benton Harbor (4-5) 33.889 at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (8-1) 66.444
Berrien Springs (5-3) 41.611 at South Haven (6-3) 43.444

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Flint Hamady (8-0) 47.528 at Corunna (9-0) 67.778
Williamston (6-3) 55.556 at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (8-0) 61.431
DISTRICT 2
Richmond (5-4) 38.444 at Marine City (8-1) 56.000
Armada (5-4) 43.778 at Macomb Lutheran North (7-2) 45.667

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard (7-2) 38.333 at Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-3) 49.778
Detroit Denby (8-1) 41.984 at Detroit Southeastern (6-3) 48.500
DISTRICT 2
Milan (4-5) 38.556 at Flat Rock (6-3) 47.500
Romulus (5-4) 40.667 at Romulus Summit Academy North (7-2) 46.194

DIVISION 6

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Boyne City (5-4) 34.222 at Gladstone (7-2) 46.569
Grayling (6-3) 38.903 at Negaunee (7-2) 43.444
DISTRICT 2
Mason County Central (5-4) 32.111 at Kingsley (7-2) 50.944
Lake City (6-3) 32.222 at Manistee (7-2) 49.111

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Montague (4-5) 38.111 at Reed City (6-3) 46.444
Kent City (7-2) 39.000 at Hart (8-1) 40.000
DISTRICT 2
Midland Bullock Creek (6-3) 34.222 at Clare (7-2) 45.222
Central Montcalm (5-4) 35.778 at Chesaning (8-1) 42.000

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Olivet (3-6) 33.111 at Constantine (8-1) 50.889
Buchanan (6-3) 37.333 at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep (5-4) 39.833
DISTRICT 2
Lansing Catholic (3-6) 33.667 at Michigan Center (7-2) 38.111
Ida (5-4) 34.222 at Ovid-Elsie (5-4) 37.889

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Clinton Township Clintondale (4-5) 32.667 at Almont (8-1) 58.222
Clawson (7-2) 43.556 at Warren Michigan Collegiate (9-0) 54.181
DISTRICT 2
Detroit Pershing (5-4) 35.000 at Ecorse (7-1) 44.264
Detroit Old Redford (8-1) 38.333 at Detroit Edison (6-3) 44.250

DIVISION 7

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Benzie Central (5-4) 30.556 at Menominee (7-2) 43.556
Traverse City St. Francis (4-4) 34.139 at Charlevoix (8-1) 40.347
DISTRICT 2
Hemlock (3-6) 26.111 at Beaverton (6-3) 33.556
Houghton Lake (5-4) 26.667 at McBain (5-4) 29.000

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Union City (6-3) 32.667 at North Muskegon (9-0) 45.000
Schoolcraft (7-2) 37.222 at Lawton (8-1) 43.722
DISTRICT 2
Perry (5-4) 28.778 at Pewamo-Westphalia (8-1) 39.778
Laingsburg (4-5) 29.222 at Bath (6-3) 34.889

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Burton Bendle (4-5) 26.250 at Montrose (6-3) 37.111
Detroit Central (4-5) 31.667 at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (7-2) 36.778
DISTRICT 2
Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker (5-4) 30.222 at Millington (9-0) 46.347
Sandusky (6-3) 30.667 at Cass City (7-2) 35.333

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Grass Lake (6-3) 31.778 at Jackson Lumen Christi (8-1) 61.222
Manchester (7-2) 37.889 at Napoleon (8-1) 43.222
DISTRICT 2
Blissfield (5-4) 34.222 at Clinton (8-1) 45.389
Detroit Loyola (4-5) 34.986 at Monroe St Mary Catholic Central (5-4) 44.653

DIVISION 8

REGION 1
DISTRICT 1
Maple City Glen Lake (5-4) 27.861 at Iron Mountain (9-0) 38.931
Ishpeming (6-3) 30.819 at East Jordan (8-1) 38.528
DISTRICT 2
Frankfort (7-2) 32.750 at Beal City (8-1) 39.111
Muskegon Catholic Central (5-4) 33.458 at Evart (7-2) 35.333

REGION 2
DISTRICT 1
Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (6-3) 33.556 at New Lothrop (8-1) 46.778
Fowler (8-1) 40.333 at Ithaca (9-0) 42.778
DISTRICT 2
Burton Bentley (7-2) 29.292 at Ubly (9-0) 44.444
Marlette (7-2) 34.000 at Harbor Beach (8-1) 41.111

REGION 3
DISTRICT 1
Saranac (5-4) 27.556 at Saugatuck (7-2) 37.556
Centreville (5-4) 27.556 at White Pigeon (9-0) 35.556
DISTRICT 2
Sand Creek (5-4) 30.444 at Ottawa Lake Whiteford (9-0) 44.778
Hudson (7-2) 38.556 at Addison (9-0) 41.333

REGION 4
DISTRICT 1
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest (5-4) 27.333 at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (7-2) 38.667
Arts & Technology Academy of Pontiac (6-3) 27.667 at Marine City Cardinal Mooney (5-4) 31.444
DISTRICT 2
Allen Park Cabrini (4-5) 28.778 at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian (7-2) 34.778
Mount Clemens (5-4) 29.222 at Riverview Gabriel Richard (5-4) 34.444

8-Player Pairings

DIVISION 1

REGION 1
Rudyard (6-3) 31.292 at Pickford (8-1) 36.222
Newberry (7-2) 31.444 at Norway (7-2) 33.778

REGION 2
Central Lake (7-2) 31.903 at St. Ignace (8-1) 38.347
Alcona (8-1) 34.222 at Indian River Inland Lakes (8-1) 34.972

REGION 3
Carson City-Crystal (8-1) 31.556 at Brown City (9-0) 39.167
Merrill (8-1) 32.556 at Kingston (7-2) 35.611

REGION 4
Marcellus (7-2) 31.111 at Martin (7-2) 33.111
Mendon (7-2) 31.111 at Gobles (7-2) 32.111

DIVISION 2

REGION 1
Powers North Central (7-2) 29.540 at Posen (8-0) 32.333
Crystal Falls Forest Park (7-2) 30.444 at Lake Linden-Hubbell (6-3) 31.333

REGION 2
Bay City All Saints (7-2) 30.319 at Marion (8-0) 34.458
Au Gres-Sims (7-2) 31.069 at Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (8-1) 33.556

REGION 3
Fulton (6-3) 28.667 at Portland St. Patrick (8-1) 32.889
Morrice (7-2) 32.111 at Deckerville (7-2) 32.611

REGION 4
Camden-Frontier (6-3) 28.750 at Adrian Lenawee Christian (9-0) 38.333
Pittsford (7-2) 32.444 at Climax-Scotts (9-0) 37.000

(Photo by Douglas Bargerstock.)

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.”

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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.)