Sunday night, high school football teams throughout the state were hoping to get their ticket to the playoffs as the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the 272-team field during its selection show.
In the Battle Creek Enquirer readership area, nine prep football teams, including city teams Lakeview and St. Philip, found out who their date would be in the first round of the playoffs, which will be played Friday and Saturday this week.
In Division 2, Lakeview went 6-3 on the season and advances to the playoffs for the fourth time in a row. The Spartans will go on the road and face state-ranked Lowell (8-1) in the first round. The winner of that game will face the winner of Byron Center vs. Portage Central.
Lowell, which went to the state finals three straight seasons from 2009-2011, has been to the postseason every year since 1999.
“We don’t know much about them, having not seen them. Obviously they are a great football program with a lot of tradition,” Lakeview coach Matt Miller said. “Our kids are excited about the challenge. The kids wanted to play somebody new. I don’t think we’ve ever faced them, so this is somebody new and it will be a great challenge and a great game for us to play.”
Also in the city, St. Philip went undefeated and is ranked No. 3 in 8-man football. The Tigers will host a first-round playoff game against Portland St. Patrick. That game has already been scheduled for Friday at C.W. Post Field. The winner will face the winner of Lawrence vs. Waldron in the other side of the bracket.
St. Philip coach David Downey scouted Portland St. Patrick on Saturday in case the two teams were to meet in the playoffs. The Tigers beat Portland St. Patrick in Week 8, 45-20.
“We kind of knew we’d be matched up with them with the 8-man teams we have here down in our region. It wasn’t a big surprise for us,” Downey said. “Having played them two weeks ago we feel prepared to play them. We feel like we know exactly what they are going to do so we don’t think there will be any surprises.”
In Division 3, Coldwater was undefeated on the season, going 9-0 for the first time in school history, and will host a first-round playoff game. The Cardinals will face Parma Western (6-3) as they head to the postseason for the third straight year. Coldwater beat Parma Western in the regular season, 34-0.
Marshall went 7-2 on the season and goes back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Redhawks will play Vicksburg (7-2) in Division 3.
Coldwater and Marshall are in the same district and would face each other in the second round if they both win this week.
Olivet had to win in the final week of the regular season to get a playoff spot, going 6-3 and will play in Division 5. The Eagles will travel to face Berrien Springs (8-1) in the first round and the winner will see the winner between Hillsdale and Buchanan.
In Division 6, Delton Kellogg qualified for the playoffs based on computer points after going 5-4 on the season and will face 9-0 Montague in the first round. Morley Stanwood and Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian are in the other side of bracket.
Homer won the Big 8 Conference and went 7-2 on the season and returns to the playoffs for the third straight season. Homer will host Springport in a Division 7 first-round playoff contest. The Trojans defeated Springport (5-4), 46-0, in the regular season. Concord will face Dansville in the other side of the bracket in the district.
In Division 8, Climax-Scotts went undefeated and has been to the playoffs every season since 2003. The Pathers will host Mendon in the first round. Mendon has knocked Climax-Scotts out of the playoffs four straight seasons.
In the other side of the bracket in that Division 8 district, Colon (6-3) will travel to Pittsford (6-3) in the first round. Pittsford defeated Colon during the regular season, 27-8.