Week 7 Football Playoff Listing

October 2, 2012

Here is a list of Michigan High School Athletic Association football playing schools, displaying their win-loss records and playoff averages through the sixth week of the season.

Schools on this list are in enrollment order. An asterisk (*) beside a record indicates that a team has eight or fewer games scheduled. A carrot (^) beside a school’s name indicates that a team is one win away from playoff qualification.

Those schools with 11-player teams with six or more wins playing nine-game schedules, or five or more wins playing eight games or fewer, will qualify for the MHSAA Football Playoffs beginning Oct. 26-27. Schools with 5-4, 4-3 or 4-4 records may qualify if the number of potential qualifiers by win total does not reach the 256 mark. Schools with six or more wins playing nine-game schedules or five or more wins playing eight games or fewer may be subtracted from the field based on playoff average if the number of potential qualifiers exceeds the 256 mark.

Once the 256 qualifying schools are determined, they will be divided by enrollment groups into eight equal divisions of 32 schools, and then drawn into regions of eight teams each and districts of four teams each.

Those schools with 8-player teams will be ranked by playoff average at season’s end, and the top 16 programs will be drawn into regions of eight teams each for the playoff in that division, which also begins Oct. 26-27. All 8-player teams, regardless of win total, are listed below.

To review a list of all football playoff schools, individual school playoff point details and to report errors, visit the Football page of the MHSAA Website.

The announcement of the qualifiers and first-round pairings for both the 11 and 8-player playoffs will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 on the Selection Sunday Show on FOX Sports Detroit. The playoff qualifiers and pairings will be posted to the MHSAA Website following the Selection Sunday Show.

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11-Player Playoff Listing

1. Utica Eisenhower, 2772, 4-2, 68.000
2. Sterling Heights Stevenson ^, 2766, 5-1, 79.333
3. Clarkston, 2721, 6-0, 94.667
4. Howell, 2692, 3-3, 50.000
5. Grand Blanc, 2644, 4-2, 65.667
6. Macomb Dakota ^, 2608, 5-1, 87.333
7. Lake Orion, 2565, 6-0, 101.333
8. Rockford, 2526, 4-2, 66.833
9. Troy, 2502, 4-2, 65.333
10. Clinton Township Chippewa Valley ^, 2462, 5-1, 83.000
11. Dearborn Fordson ^, 2442, 5-1, 91.000
12. Holland West Ottawa, 2262, 4-2, 61.167
13. Northville, 2220, 4-2, 66.667
14. Detroit Cass Tech ^, 2200, 5-1, 84.667
15. Canton, 2166, 4-2, 59.000
16. Monroe ^, 2154, 5-1, 72.667
17. Detroit Catholic Central, 2060, 4-2, 60.433
18. Plymouth ^, 2050, 5-1, 74.167
19. Salem ^, 2039, 5-1, 81.667
20. Livonia Stevenson ^, 2005, 5-1, 79.167
21. Holt, 1992, 3-3, 48.333
22. Hartland, 1932, 6-0, 93.333
23. Grand Haven, 1881, 3-3, 56.333
24. Warren Mott, 1879, 6-0, 85.333
25. Livonia Churchill, 1877, 6-0, 102.667
26. Walled Lake Central, 1857, 3-3, 45.833
27. Macomb L'Anse Creuse North, 1853, 4-2, 67.667
28. Saline ^, 1849, 5-1, 83.167
29. Grandville, 1846, 4-2, 59.667
30. Romeo, 1802, 3-3, 59.167
31. Dearborn, 1790, 3-3, 51.500
32. Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, 1777, 3-3, 46.167
33. Flint Carman-Ainsworth, 1772, 6-0, 89.333
34. Grand Ledge ^, 1743, 5-1, 74.833
35. Rochester, 1725, 4-2, 63.000
36. Traverse City West, 1720, 4-2, 62.333
37. White Lake Lakeland ^, 1700, 5-1, 79.167
38. Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse, 1680, 3-3, 44.333
39. Belleville, 1678, 3-3, 48.500
40. Ann Arbor Pioneer, 1670, 4-2, 67.500
41. Davison, 1664, 4-2, 59.000
42. Grosse Pointe South ^, 1648, 5-1, 79.167
43. Walled Lake Northern, 1599, 4-2, 65.500
44. Temperance Bedford, 1581, 3-3, 43.333
45. Walled Lake Western, 1553, 4-2, 63.833
46. Warren DeLaSalle, 1550, 3-3, 47.433
47. Ypsilanti Lincoln, 1520, 4-2, 61.167
48. Brownstown Woodhaven ^, 1520, 5-1, 82.000
49. Wyoming, 1515, 3-3, 40.067
50. Dearborn Edsel Ford, 1508, 3-3, 50.667
51. Midland, 1485, 6-0, 100.000
52. Oxford, 1481, 3-3, 51.333
53. Port Huron, 1473, 4-2, 59.500
54. Traverse City Central ^, 1429, 5-1, 80.333
55. Oak Park, 1391, 6-0, 104.000
56. Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 1364, 3-3, 42.833
57. Lansing Everett, 1359, 6-0, 102.667
58. Grosse Pointe North, 1353, 4-2, 62.500
59. Midland Dow, 1350, 3-3, 44.167
60. Birmingham Seaholm ^, 1349, 5-1, 78.000
61. Battle Creek Lakeview, 1347, 3-3, 45.667
62. Garden City, 1344, 4-2, 58.167
63. Portage Central ^, 1340, 5-1, 75.500
64. Muskegon Mona Shores, 1337, 4-2, 58.833
65. Birmingham Brother Rice, 1336, 4-2, 68.000
66. Portage Northern ^, 1328, 5-1, 76.833
67. Caledonia ^, 1308, 5-1, 76.667
68. Wyandotte Roosevelt ^, 1304, 5-1, 76.667
69. Farmington Hills Harrison, 1302, 4-2, 63.500
70. Detroit Martin Luther King, 1287, 3-3, 42.667
71. Detroit Cody, 1282, 4-2, 63.833
72. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 1278, 4-2, 62.833
73. Farmington ^, 1278, 5-1, 79.500
74. Taylor Truman ^, 1253, 5-1, 82.000
75. Flushing, 1225, 3-3, 42.833
76. Swartz Creek, 1223, 6-0, 90.667
77. Southfield, 1218, 4-2, 70.833
78. Fenton ^, 1202, 5-1, 74.000
79. Grand Rapids Northview ^, 1180, 5-1, 75.000
80. Lowell ^, 1177, 5-1, 82.167
81. Bay City Western, 1171, 6-0, 81.333
82. Gibraltar Carlson, 1160, 4-2, 56.833
83. Greenville, 1152, 3-3, 50.333
84. Muskegon, 1144, 6-0, 108.000
85. Lapeer East, 1144, 3-3, 41.500
86. East Lansing, 1142, 4-2, 57.167
87. Mattawan, 1124, 6-0, 88.000
88. Allen Park, 1120, 4-2, 61.333
89. Marquette ^*, 1112, 4-2, 66.167
90. Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills, 1109, 3-3, 52.667
91. Lapeer West, 1101, 4-2, 68.000
92. Detroit Renaissance, 1094, 3-3, 43.000
93. Redford Thurston, 1088, 4-2, 57.500
94. Auburn Hills Avondale ^, 1080, 5-1, 78.000
95. Flint Kearsley, 1077, 3-3, 45.667
96. St. Johns ^, 1068, 5-1, 75.333
97. Zeeland East, 1067, 6-0, 94.667
98. Byron Center, 1032, 3-3, 48.833
99. Detroit East English ^, 1030, 5-1, 76.833
100. Mt. Pleasant, 1014, 3-3, 49.000
101. Owosso, 1012, 3-3, 44.833
102. Lansing Waverly, 1011, 4-2, 50.667
103. St. Joseph, 974, 3-3, 46.167
104. Detroit Denby, 971, 3-3, 42.833
105. Mason, 969, 4-2, 54.667
106. Petoskey, 967, 4-2, 63.833
107. Milan, 959, 6-0, 82.667
108. Sault Ste. Marie, 959, 4-2, 54.333
109. Grand Rapids Christian ^, 954, 5-1, 84.667
110. Cedar Springs, 950, 4-2, 46.167
111. DeWitt ^, 931, 5-1, 83.500
112. Fruitport, 929, 6-0, 81.333
113. Orchard Lake St. Mary's ^, 926, 5-1, 87.500
114. Bloomfield Hills Lahser ^, 925, 5-1, 72.833
115. Linden ^, 923, 5-1, 80.500
116. Niles, 920, 3-3, 46.333
117. Hazel Park, 909, 4-2, 57.333
118. Stevensville Lakeshore, 906, 6-0, 105.333
119. St. Clair, 901, 6-0, 85.333
120. Haslett, 894, 3-3, 44.167
121. South Lyon East, 891, 3-3, 49.667
122. Tecumseh, 887, 6-0, 84.000
123. Sturgis, 882, 3-3, 43.000
124. Melvindale, 879, 3-3, 48.667
125. Detroit Central Collegiate, 868, 3-3, 45.333
126. Carleton Airport, 868, 4-2, 57.167
127. Chelsea, 851, 3-3, 47.000
128. Charlotte, 851, 4-2, 61.500
129. Hastings ^, 850, 5-1, 68.833
130. Plainwell ^, 832, 5-1, 71.500
131. Cadillac, 820, 4-2, 58.167
132. Madison Heights Lamphere, 814, 3-3, 44.500
133. Edwardsburg ^, 805, 5-1, 63.333
134. North Branch, 803, 4-2, 53.500
135. Hamilton, 801, 4-2, 56.467
136. Marysville ^, 794, 5-1, 74.167
137. Warren Lincoln, 791, 3-3, 41.667
138. Zeeland West, 791, 4-2, 61.333
139. Detroit Old Redford, 787, 3-3, 34.767
140. Coopersville *, 781, 3-2, 50.433
141. Battle Creek Harper Creek, 780, 4-2, 66.833
142. Spring Lake, 778, 3-3, 43.800
143. Three Rivers, 760, 4-2, 48.000
144. Ogemaw Heights, 759, 3-3, 45.667
145. Lansing Sexton, 750, 3-3, 47.333
146. Goodrich, 748, 4-2, 53.333
147. Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy ^*, 729, 4-1, 66.700
148. Hudsonville Unity Christian, 727, 4-2, 55.500
149. Marshall, 723, 4-2, 54.000
150. Dearborn Heights Robichaud, 720, 6-0, 93.333
151. Big Rapids ^, 706, 5-1, 59.500
152. Croswell-Lexington, 704, 6-0, 82.667
153. St. Clair Shores South Lake ^, 704, 5-1, 72.667
154. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 701, 6-0, 90.667
155. Otsego ^, 698, 5-1, 63.333
156. Detroit Country Day ^, 685, 5-1, 80.167
157. Comstock Park ^, 678, 5-1, 68.333
158. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 674, 6-0, 80.000
159. Armada, 667, 3-3, 39.167
160. Whitehall, 663, 3-3, 37.667
161. Grand Rapids South Christian, 660, 4-2, 51.833
162. Richmond, 656, 4-2, 60.000
163. Battle Creek Pennfield ^, 656, 5-1, 51.500
164. Grosse Ile ^, 649, 5-1, 66.167
165. Saginaw Swan Valley, 642, 4-2, 56.000
166. Paw Paw, 639, 6-0, 70.667
167. Williamston, 636, 3-3, 39.667
168. Allendale ^, 636, 5-1, 75.333
169. Cheboygan, 631, 4-2, 58.333
170. Marine City ^, 629, 5-1, 75.167
171. Alma, 614, 4-2, 57.167
172. Saginaw Valley Lutheran ^, 608, 5-1, 46.167
173. Dowagiac, 605, 6-0, 76.000
174. Mt. Morris EA Johnson, 604, 3-3, 39.333
175. Livonia Clarenceville, 597, 4-2, 53.333
176. Clawson, 582, 3-3, 35.500
177. Remus Chippewa Hills, 581, 3-3, 38.167
178. Essexville Garber, 572, 4-2, 49.167
179. Clinton Township Clintondale, 570, 6-0, 82.667
180. Lake Fenton ^, 564, 5-1, 67.333
181. Grant, 562, 3-3, 43.333
182. Freeland ^, 561, 5-1, 71.167
183. Kingsford ^, 559, 5-1, 74.167
184. Portland, 555, 6-0, 81.333
185. Gladwin, 547, 4-2, 55.667
186. Detroit Community, 543, 3-3, 28.667
187. Almont, 543, 4-2, 57.167
188. Flint Powers Catholic, 542, 6-0, 89.333
189. Menominee ^, 539, 5-1, 75.333
190. Macomb Lutheran North ^, 537, 5-1, 62.000
191. North Muskegon, 532, 3-3, 38.000
192. Standish-Sterling Central, 532, 4-2, 51.500
193. Hopkins, 531, 6-0, 74.667
194. Detroit University Prep ^, 528, 5-1, 65.933
195. Grayling, 516, 6-0, 69.333
196. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard ^, 515, 5-1, 68.833
197. Allen Park Cabrini ^, 512, 5-1, 59.500
198. Olivet ^, 509, 5-1, 55.500
199. Benzie Central, 508, 3-3, 26.167
200. Frankenmuth, 507, 6-0, 80.000
201. Newaygo ^, 507, 5-1, 64.833
202. Grand Rapids West Catholic, 503, 3-3, 45.571
203. Ida, 503, 4-2, 47.500
204. River Rouge, 495, 6-0, 75.200
205. Capac, 495, 3-3, 40.167
206. Manistee, 493, 4-2, 45.667
207. Carrollton ^, 492, 5-1, 51.500
208. Lansing Catholic ^, 487, 5-1, 66.000
209. Perry, 486, 3-3, 35.833
210. Reed City, 480, 6-0, 84.000
211. Dundee, 476, 4-2, 47.667
212. Muskegon Oakridge, 474, 6-0, 74.667
213. Kingsley, 473, 4-2, 38.500
214. Jackson Lumen Christi, 472, 6-0, 85.333
215. Leslie, 467, 6-0, 73.333
216. Buchanan ^, 467, 5-1, 59.333
217. Clare, 465, 4-2, 50.833
218. Roscommon, 461, 4-2, 45.333
219. Kalkaska ^, 459, 5-1, 44.833
220. Millington ^, 459, 5-1, 68.833
221. Lakeview, 457, 3-3, 33.833
222. Warren Michigan Collegiate ^, 446, 5-1, 62.000
223. Harper Woods, 440, 3-3, 34.333
224. Boyne City, 437, 6-0, 68.000
225. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 437, 4-2, 56.167
226. Negaunee, 433, 6-0, 72.000
227. Elk Rapids, 432, 3-3, 34.000
228. Manistique, 430, 3-3, 31.500
229. Beaverton, 422, 4-2, 40.500
230. Hemlock ^, 421, 5-1, 71.500
231. Shelby ^, 417, 5-1, 66.000
232. Detroit Consortium, 416, 4-2, 41.533
233. Vassar ^, 416, 5-1, 50.167
234. Clinton, 413, 6-0, 72.000
235. Maple City Glen Lake, 409, 6-0, 62.667
236. Michigan Center, 406, 6-0, 69.333
237. Manchester, 404, 4-2, 44.167
238. Ithaca, 402, 6-0, 81.333
239. Calumet, 402, 3-3, 35.833
240. Montrose Hill-McCloy ^, 400, 5-1, 67.500
241. Niles Brandywine, 396, 4-2, 37.167
242. Grass Lake ^, 395, 5-1, 60.833
243. Hillsdale, 391, 6-0, 74.667
244. Madison Heights Madison ^, 391, 5-1, 69.500
245. Ecorse, 390, 3-3, 33.833
246. Montague ^, 390, 5-1, 64.833
247. Laingsburg, 388, 3-3, 32.500
248. Sanford Meridian, 388, 4-2, 44.667
249. Saranac, 383, 3-3, 37.833
250. Jonesville, 383, 4-2, 46.333
251. Cass City, 379, 3-3, 36.000
252. St. Charles, 378, 3-3, 29.500
253. Vandercook Lake, 371, 3-3, 33.500
254. Grandville Calvin Christian, 371, 4-2, 45.667
255. Constantine ^, 371, 5-1, 54.167
256. Watervliet, 369, 6-0, 65.333
257. Schoolcraft, 366, 6-0, 81.333
258. Blissfield, 364, 3-3, 43.667
259. Byron Area ^, 364, 5-1, 46.167
260. Iron Mountain, 354, 4-2, 47.000
261. Reese, 350, 6-0, 68.000
262. Union City ^, 350, 5-1, 49.667
263. Burton Bendle ^, 348, 5-1, 44.833
264. Flint Beecher, 347, 3-3, 34.833
265. Pellston, 347, 4-2, 24.000
266. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, 346, 3-3, 31.000
267. Saginaw Nouvel ^, 344, 5-1, 82.833
268. Carson City-Crystal ^, 337, 5-1, 49.500
269. Hartford ^, 337, 5-1, 63.500
270. Marlette, 336, 4-2, 41.167
271. Flint Hamady, 334, 3-3, 34.167
272. Whittemore-Prescott ^, 328, 5-1, 52.833
273. Sandusky, 327, 3-3, 33.500
274. Ravenna, 325, 3-3, 32.500
275. Bath, 323, 3-3, 30.667
276. Dansville, 323, 4-2, 45.333
277. Springport, 319, 3-3, 32.167
278. Bridgman, 318, 4-2, 41.500
279. Lawton ^, 317, 5-1, 60.667
280. Lake City ^, 316, 5-1, 44.833
281. Pewamo-Westphalia ^, 316, 5-1, 55.333
282. Manton, 315, 4-2, 31.667
283. Hesperia, 309, 3-3, 29.667
284. Madison Heights Bishop Foley, 309, 3-3, 35.500
285. Ishpeming, 307, 6-0, 68.000
286. Detroit Douglass, 306, 3-3, 42.833
287. Unionville-Sebewaing, 303, 4-2, 39.667
288. Homer, 302, 3-3, 25.833
289. Evart ^, 302, 5-1, 44.833
290. Traverse City St. Francis, 299, 3-3, 35.500
291. Detroit Loyola, 298, 6-0, 80.000
292. Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest ^*, 298, 4-2, 38.500
293. Lincoln Alcona, 292, 4-2, 34.500
294. Mancelona, 288, 6-0, 62.667
295. Genesee ^, 288, 5-1, 43.000
296. Royal Oak Shrine Catholic, 284, 4-2, 53.333
297. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett ^, 283, 5-1, 50.000
298. Reading ^, 283, 5-1, 53.833
299. Decatur ^, 277, 5-1, 43.333
300. Britton Deerfield, 276, 3-3, 35.500
301. Ubly, 275, 4-2, 40.833
302. Brown City, 272, 3-3, 35.333
303. Gobles ^, 271, 5-1, 51.333
304. Iron River West Iron County, 270, 3-3, 31.000
305. Ottawa Lake Whiteford ^, 268, 5-1, 58.167
306. Hudson, 264, 3-3, 36.167
307. Waterford Our Lady ^, 263, 5-1, 58.000
308. Newberry, 260, 3-3, 20.500
309. Mayville ^, 258, 5-1, 51.433
310. Melvindale Academy for Business & Tech, 254, 4-2, 49.333
311. New Buffalo, 250, 3-3, 28.000
312. Kalamazoo Christian, 249, 3-3, 30.833
313. Marcellus ^, 249, 5-1, 38.167
314. Harbor Beach ^, 245, 5-1, 52.667
315. Johannesburg-Lewiston, 243, 4-2, 33.800
316. Vestaburg, 242, 4-2, 38.667
317. Coleman, 239, 4-2, 39.500
318. New Lothrop, 237, 6-0, 68.000
319. L'Anse, 233, 6-0, 54.667
320. Bessemer *, 233, 3-2, 33.600
321. Petersburg-Summerfield, 232, 4-2, 41.167
322. Stephenson, 229, 4-2, 38.333
323. Merrill, 228, 3-3, 32.333
324. Atlanta, 224, 3-2, 28.300
325. Manistee Catholic Central, 219, 3-3, 26.667
326. Mendon, 216, 6-0, 60.533
327. Beal City, 213, 6-0, 81.333
328. Pittsford, 213, 4-2, 35.833
329. St. Ignace La Salle, 207, 6-0, 44.000
330. Morenci, 207, 3-3, 31.333
331. Lutheran Westland, 204, 3-3, 35.833
332. Mio, 203, 3-3, 25.067
333. AuGres-Sims, 199, 3-3, 26.233
334. Pickford ^, 197, 5-1, 48.833
335. Powers North Central, 194, 4-2, 31.667
336. Onaway ^, 194, 5-1, 42.167
337. Bellevue, 193, 3-3, 23.167
338. Fowler ^, 186, 5-1, 58.167
339. Climax-Scotts, 183, 6-0, 48.000
340. Muskegon Catholic Central, 181, 4-2, 50.667
341. St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic, 171, 5-0, 52.267
342. Morrice, 171, 4-2, 33.333
343. Colon, 164, 3-3, 26.833
344. Crystal Falls Forest Park ^, 164, 5-1, 46.167
345. Baldwin ^*, 160, 4-2, 37.267
346. Lake Linden-Hubbell, 159, 3-3, 22.400
347. Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, 156, 3-3, 29.000
348. Frankfort, 148, 3-3, 27.667
349. Hillman, 145, 3-3, 21.500
350. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart ^, 121, 5-1, 55.500
351. Iron Mountain North Dickinson *, 112, 6-0, 58.667
352. Ashley, 99, 3-3, 21.667

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8-Player Playoff Listing

1. Deckerville, 194, 5-1, 46.167
2. Marine City Cardinal Mooney, 185, 3-3, 21.333
3. Battle Creek St. Philip, 182, 4-2, 33.667
4. Kinde-North Huron, 180, 3-3, 23.333
5. Kingston, 175, 3-3, 25.667
6. Cedarville, 169, 6-0, 59.200
7. Tekonsha, 163, 1-5, 10.000
8. Carsonville-Port Sanilac, 162, 3-3, 32.333
9. Bellaire, 161, 4-2, 31.433
10. Peck, 156, 5-1, 41.333
11. Ewen-Trout Creek *, 146, 1-5, 9.567
12. Brimley, 145, 1-5, 9.433
13. Eben Junction Superior Central *, 132, 4-1, 37.100
14. New Haven Merritt *, 130, 0-4, 2.000
15. St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran *, 118, 1-3, 9.833
16. Litchfield, 115, 1-5, 9.167
17. Rapid River, 115, 5-1, 39.500
18. Portland St. Patrick, 104, 6-0, 53.333
19. Akron-Fairgrove, 95, 4-2, 24.500
20. Caseville, 90, 0-6, 2.333
21. Engadine *, 89, 3-2, 26.033
22. Rock Mid Peninsula, 87, 2-4, 18.583
23. Waldron, 87, 4-2, 29.333
24. Posen, 84, 1-5, 9.667
25. Burr Oak, 79, 2-4, 15.167
26. Owendale-Gagetown, 60, 5-1, 36.333
27. Flint Michigan School For The Deaf *, 45, 3-1, 9.833

Nightingale Embarking on 1st Season as College Football Head Coach

By Scott Hassinger
Special for MHSAA.com

July 10, 2024

CJ Nightingale's family values, small-town upbringing and Christian faith steered the Mendon native into a career coaching college football.

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosNightingale, a 2010 Mendon High School graduate, is busily preparing for his first season as Belhaven University's eighth football coach. He was officially named the Blazers' head coach seven months ago, on Jan. 1.

Belhaven, a Division III school located in Jackson, Mississippi, competes in the USA South Athletic Conference.

Nightingale credits his love of coaching to his father Chris Nightingale and grandfather Charles Nightingale.

"It all started with my dad and grandfather. At one time they were both involved in coaching, and their general love for sports wore off on me," CJ Nightingale said.

Once CJ reached high school, his interest in athletics only intensified thanks to several people who made a big impact on him.

"I had the most wonderful experience attending school and participating in Mendon athletics,” Nightingale said. “We didn't always have the better athletes, but we were successful because of all the time and commitment put in by our coaches, teachers, administration along with parental and community support. Success is the result of many people who focus on the same cause."

Nightingale lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Mendon, earning four varsity letters in all three sports. He was named the St. Joseph Valley League's MVP in all three sports his senior year, and Mendon earned league titles in all three during Nightingale's senior year as well.

As a starting quarterback and defensive back his sophomore year, Nightingale led Mendon to the 2007 Division 7 football championship with the Hornets' 20-0 win over Traverse City St. Francis. Nightingale still holds the state record for career interceptions with 27.

Mendon had finished the 2006 season 3-6. A losing season remains rare in Mendon, and Nightingale stated it fueled the Hornets' title run the following season.

"I think losing is more difficult in football than in any other sport because of how much work goes into preparing for a season,” Nightingale recalled. “We were a very young team in 2006 and got punched in the mouth. It wasn't the best feeling, but it was a real learning experience and served as a big driving force that next season.

"All the hard times we endured the previous year served as a byproduct for our success in 2007. That team was unselfish, and not one player on the team cared who got the stats or accolades."

At Mendon, Nightingale played for legendary coach John Schwartz in football, David Swanwick in basketball and Glen Samson in baseball.

Lessons from Schwartz – a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association's Hall of Fame – and Samson have especially stuck with Nightingale into adult life and his own coaching career.

"Coach Schwartz had a way of getting everyone on the same page not just on the field, but he taught you how to be the best version of yourself off the field in every-day life. Coach Samson knew how to get his players in the right positions on the diamond to make us successful," Nightingale said.

"The environment at Mendon solidified my desire to become a coach and teacher. The best leaders are also the best teachers, and when you are surrounded by people like that it makes a big difference."

Nightingale attended Wheaton College in Illinois, where he lettered in football four years as a defensive back and return specialist. During Nightingale's career, the Thunder posted a combined record of 34-8 and qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs when he was a freshman.

After graduating college, Nightingale taught history and spent two years as the varsity football coach at Richmond High School in Indiana. In 2016 he secured his first collegiate coaching job at Greenville University (Ill.) as a defensive backs coach, where he spent one season. He then served as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Indiana Wesleyan University beginning in 2017 before returning to his alma mater Wheaton in 2019 as the Thunder's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

Nightingale makes an open-field tackle against the Gladiators in the 2007 Division 7 Final. Nightingale coached 24 all-conference players, 10 all-region performers and seven All-Americans over his four seasons at Wheaton, and the Thunder made the Division III playoffs all four years.

The head football coaching position at Belhaven became available in December 2023 when previous coach Blaine McCorkle moved on to Division 1 Northwestern State (La.). Nightingale applied and went through a three-week interview process before being selected as the program’s next head coach.

"I truly feel like God has called my wife Shanel and I and our family here for a reason. We are going to pour into Belhaven as deeply as we can and see what life brings us,” CJ Nightingale said. “As a college football coach, you have the unique chance to pour into your players spiritually, academically, athletically and socially. That's what is really special about this profession."

Belhaven's program has enjoyed a lot of success, especially the past three seasons with a combined 24-7 record, including a 9-2 finish last fall.

"I am very fortunate to be taking over a strong program here at Belhaven. You don't sustain success, but rather you must be able to build on it," Nightingale said. "We are excited about this season after a great spring. This group of coaches and players got a lot done these past six months. We have had a lot of guys here on campus all summer working to get better. There are lot of goals in front of us that haven't been achieved yet. Two of those goals are to go undefeated in conference play and host a playoff game.”

CJ and Shanel have three children, including 5-year old daughter Charlotte, 3-year old son Trey and 14-month old daughter Coco. They are expecting a fourth child in mid-September.

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PHOTOS (Top) At left, Mendon’s CJ Nightingale (2) celebrates during his team’s 2007 championship win over Traverse City St. Francis at Ford Field; at right Nightingale is pictured with his wife Shanel and children Charlotte, Trey and Coco. (Middle) Nightingale makes an open-field tackle against the Gladiators in the 2007 Division 7 Final. (Family photo courtesy of CJ Nightingale.)