By Mike Moore Photo by Ryan Kerwin, JTV Sports
When the football season begins, teams from across the state have hopes and dreams about a long run to Ford Field and a chance at a state title.
When the regular season ends, well, reality has a strong way of showing up.
But, for 256 teams, the hopes for one of those eight state titles, and 16 spots in Detroit, remains alive and well.
Here’s a quick look at the teams in JTV’s coverage area and their first-round playoff pairings.
Exact times and dates for games will be made available Monday or Tuesday, at the latest.
Let the fun begin
Lumen Christi rolled to another state title last year, and begins its title defense at home against Quincy this weekend in a Division 6 opener.
The Titans went 7-1 in their eight-game schedule, and will host a Quincy team that went 5-4 and is in the playoffs for just the second time (2014) since 2005.
Quincy’s last playoff appearance ended abruptly in a 53-16 loss to, well, Lumen.
The Lumen-Quincy winner will take on the winner of the Michigan Center and Hillsdale opener.
Center (8-1) will host Hillsdale (5-4) in an opener.
The teams have never played one another before.
In other D-6 action, Columbia Central (6-3) will host Ecorse (7-2) in an opener.
The Golden Eagles are in the postseason for a third year in a row, but have never faced Ecorse before.
The winner of that game will possibly face another local team.
Napoleon didn’t play a home game until the fourth week of the season and another until Oct. 6.
Now the Pirates (7-2) will start the playoffs at home, playing host to Blissfield (5-4).
In D-3 action, Western needed a win in the final week to get back into the playoffs, and got that over Dexter.
Now the Panthers (6-3) are headed to Haslett (7-2) for a playoff opener.
Western’s only other playoff appearance was a loss to Coldwater in 2015.
In D-7, Springport (6-3) is back in the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years and travels to play ay Saugatuck (6-3) for an opener.
“I don’t know anything about them, other than they play in a tough conference,” Springport coach Matt Schwartzkopf said. “It’s exciting. We’re looking forward to this.”
The Spartans have been in the postseason 10 times, but have never won a playoff game.
“I think this team has the mentality that we can go out and get one,” Schwartzkopf said. “We need to get that first one and make it a regular occurrence.”
Addison (7-2) will host Monroe St. Mary CC (5-4) and Clinton (6-3) travels to Hudson (8-1) game.
Also in D-7, Homer (6-3) will travel to Cassopolis (8-1).
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.
He’s also a Realtor with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at email@example.com or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.