By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Regional play in two MHSAA tournaments will be featured this week on MHSAA.tv and FoxSportsDetroit.com with 10 games in volleyball and football.
Regional Semifinal coverage takes place today at two locations (coverage available with subscription):
MHSAA.tv also will cover two football playoff games live Saturday in advance of covering 12 Semifinal games on Nov. 22.
Here’s this week’s Regional Final schedule (with subscription):
- Division 1 – Clinton Township Chippewa Valley at Detroit Cass Tech, 1 p.m.
- Division 6 – Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central v. Jackson Lumen Christi at Withington Stadium, 7 p.m.
A Day Pass subscription to MHSAA.tv is $9.95. A Month Pass subscription is $14.95, enabling purchasers to watch all of this week’s action plus two more weeks of coverage of the Girls Volleyball Tournament, weekly Football Playoff coverage, and the Preliminaries and Finals of the Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals.
All events become available for free on demand viewing three days after the date of the contest.
NEW: Subscribers can clip highlights from on-demand events and share them with friends and fans through Facebook, Twitter or via email.
Click the box at right to learn how to capture favorite moments and share the excitement.
- Division 1 – Canton at Saline
- Division 3 – Lowell at Zeeland West
- Division 4 – Whitehall v. Grand Rapids South Christian at Byron Center High School
- Division 8 – Baldwin at Beal City
All games kick off at 7 p.m., with short-term archives available on FoxSportsDetroit.com and long-term archives and DVDs available through MHSAA.tv.
Also, catch highlights of the following games on Football Friday Overtime at midnight Friday and again at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on Fox Sports Detroit:
- Flint Powers at Lansing Catholic
- Redford Thurston at New Boston Huron
- Detroit Country Day at Chelsea
- PLUS – Prep Zone Games
MHSAA Highlights: This week's package includes five highlights from MHSAA postseason events that took place from Nov. 1-8 including the Cross Country and Boys Soccer Finals and Volleyball and Football Districts.
PHOTO: St. Louis sets up at the net on the way to winning its Class C District last week. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)
Separated by 527 travel miles – whether over Mackinac Bridge or around Lake Michigan, the Novara family celebrated nearly parallel football successes this fall.
At Portland, John Novara completed his 25th season as head coach leading the Raiders to a 12-1 record – their best since finishing Division 5 runner-up in 2018, and a second-straight Capital Area Activities Conference White championship on the way to reaching the Division 4 Semifinals.
At Kingsford, fifth-year coach Mark Novara led the Flivvers to a 10-2 record – their best since posting the same in 2004. Kingsford shared the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Copper title and won a Division 5 District title, its first District championship since 2009.
John Novara graduated from Iron Mountain in 1989, and younger brother Mark graduated from Kingsford in 1993.
Similarly parallel, both teams were quarterbacked by Novaras. Dominic Novara directed the Raiders’ attack, and cousin Nic Novara led the Flivvers. Both are juniors. (Mark Novara was a Division III All-American at quarterback at Lakeland College in Wisconsin.)
One more connection: Portland athletic director Kevin Veale quarterbacked the Iron Mountain teams with John Novara as tight end long before they worked together downstate. Veale’s nephew Garrett Veale was a standout two-way lineman for Mark Novara and Kingsford this fall.
Small gesture, memorable connection
Dante DeGrazia’s senior season was sadly short-lived this fall, as he suffered a season-ending injury during the first half of South Lyon East’s opening game against White Lake Lakeland at Michigan Stadium.
But an official provided a memory the DeGrazias will not forget.
Chris Curtis had begun his 16th season as an official earlier that day at U-M, and stuck around to watch the Lakes Valley Conference matchup. A month later, he was officiating the East/Warren Mott game, and made sure to check in with DeGrazia – a small gesture, but a meaningful one as well and another reminder of the interconnectedness of communities within educational athletics.
“When he heard my son wasn't able to play anymore, needed surgery and that he was a senior, he offered him kindness and a hug on the field,” Dante’s mother Dana DeGrazia wrote to East athletic director Greg Michaels. “As a parent whose son is going through a rough time dealing with losing his senior season, hearing this story from Dante means a lot to me and the support that was given to him and I wanted to reach out and tell him thank you.”
PHOTOS (Top) Kingsford football coach Mark Novara, far left, quarterback Nic Novara and Portland coach (and uncle) John Novara celebrate the Flivvers' District title. (Middle) South Lyon East's Dante DeGrazia (33) and official Chris Curtis meet for a quick hug during East's Week 5 game. (Photos courtesy of the Portland football program and DeGrazia family, respectively.)