By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
District and Regional Volleyball action will be featured over the next two weeks on MHSAA.tv, while Football Playoff coverage moves into its second round and will be available live via multiple online channels this weekend.
Coverage of Girls Volleyball includes District Quarterfinal/Semifinal Matches each evening for four straight. Football this weekend can be viewed Friday from Fox Sports Detroit and Saturday from MHSAA.tv.
Here’s the complete District schedule, with links to each game's page on the MHSAA.tv site (all coverage available with subscription):
Monday – Class C Quarterfinals at Hanover-Horton
East Jackson vs. Michigan Center, 5:30 p.m.
Napoleon vs. Vandercook Lake, 7 p.m.
Thursday – Class A Semifinals at Hudsonville
Jenison vs. Grandville/Holland West Ottawa winner, 5 p.m.
Hudsonville/Holland winner vs. Wyoming/Zeeland East winner, 7 p.m.
Regional Semifinal coverage takes place next Tuesday (Nov. 11) at two locations:
Class A at Mason
Okemos District winner vs. Dexter District winner, 5 p.m.
Holt District winner vs. Portage Central District winner, 7 p.m.
Class C at Morley-Stanwood
Shelby District winner vs. White Cloud District winner, 6 p.m.
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian District winner vs. Pewamo-Westphalia District winner, 8 p.m.
It’s the fourth season for the popular PrepZone on FoxSportsDetroit.com, which will provide free live coverage of four Football Playoff games each week for the first four weekends of the tournament. Games to be covered this week are:
Division 1 – Lapeer at Clarkston
Division 4 – Saginaw Swan Valley at Lansing Sexton
Division 5 – Clare at Freeland
Division 5 – Almont at Marine City
Football Friday Overtime is in its fourth season on FOX Sports Detroit, airing at Midnight each Friday and running for 13 weeks. Mickey York and Rob Rubick host this 30-minute highlights show. The show re-airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sunday mornings – check your local listings (this week at 7 a.m.).
The following games are scheduled to be highlighted this week:
- Wyandotte Roosevelt at Brownstown Woodhaven
- Trenton at New Boston Huron
- Southfield at Oak Park
- Walled Lake Central at West Bloomfield
- Detroit East English at Warren DeLaSalle
- Detroit Cass Tech at Dearborn Fordson
- Plus coverage from the Prep Zone games
MHSAA.tv also will cover two Football Playoff games live each Saturday the first three weeks of the tournament, and 12 Semifinal games on Nov. 22. Here’s this week’s District Final schedule (all coverage with subscription):
Division 1 – Grand Ledge at East Kentwood, 1 p.m.
Division 7 – Pewamo-Westphalia at Hudson, 1 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.
MHSAA Highlights: This week's package includes clips from the Okemos/East Lansing volleyball match and the Plainwell/Battle Creek Harper Creek and Watervliet/Niles Brandywine football games.
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.)