Home > 5 surprises this high school football season | USA Today High School Sports

5 surprises this high school football season | USA Today High School Sports

This Friday something that seemed unthinkable is going to happen – Algonac and Richmond will battle for the BWAC title.

The crazier part is that Algonac has already won at least a share. If Richmond wins, it means they split the title.

I honestly thought Algonac was going to be good this year. To be even more honest, I didn’t think they would be undefeated, BWAC champs and be ranked top ten in the state by week eight. Heck, I didn’t think any team in the area would be playing as good as the Muskrats have.

So that got me thinking, what other surprises have there been on the football field this fall?


This was pointed out on Twitter by a few BWAC players before they even lined up for handshakes in week one. And I don’t blame them – we were proven wrong after their 3-0 sweep over MAC Gold opponents in that first week.

It’s a small sample size, but even since that week I’ve seen a few BWAC games and even more MAC Gold games. The BWAC is a car crash of a league. It’s physical. That’s not to say the MAC Gold is Cottonelle-soft, because that’s not true either. I just see a little more speed, hitting and size in the BWAC, and I didn’t think I would.

Alright MAC Gold fans, I’m ready for your angry emails and tweets.

Yale and St. Clair below .500

I definitely had both of these teams destined for the playoffs, but I missed the mark on that guess.

For Yale, it was their brutal early-season schedule that didn’t do them any favors. In the first six weeks, the Bulldogs faced Saginaw Swan Valley, Richmond, Croswell-Lexington, Algonac and Almont. Those five teams are a combined 28-7. Talk about running through a gauntlet.

St. Clair has had a tough season with two losses by three points against Sterling Heights and Port Huron Northern. That’s just a handful of points away from being 5-2, but that’s the nature of the game.

Northern’s quick revival 

Port Huron Northern is a young team, and with a new head coach coming in I didn’t think Northern would be fighting for a playoff spot in week eight. I’ll admit it, and I apologize to head coach Larry Roelens and the Huskies for doubting them.

In his first year, Roelens has been flat-out impressive. The play calling has been spot-on in all three games of theirs I’ve covered with a nice mix of running and passing. And no, Roelens isn’t bribing me to say any of this.

The Player of the Year is…

Uh, I’m not sure, and it’s keeping me up at night.

By week eight, there’s usually two or three kids in the running for Player of the Year. This year, there’s roughly 100. Maybe even 101, I don’t know.

We’ve got reigning all-state member Dennis Fitzsimmons in Marine City. We’ve got a dynamic running duo in Marysville with Dante Chrcek and Ryan Ellul. There’s a pair of running back animals in Sandusky named Casey Hyatt and Chase Tucker. Richmond has, oh goodness, their whole roster. Oh yeah, there’s also Algonac’s roster of kids that have yet to lose a game.

Oh man, I’m just going to end this column before I get another headache. Thanks for reading, gang, and enjoy this week’s games.

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