Six area football teams, including four from St. Joseph County, qualified for the 2013 state playoffs.
Pairings were announced Sunday and starting with Division 3, Sturgis managed to make the cut despite not reaching the six-win level. The 5-and-4 Trojans will play at 8-and-1 St. Joseph.
In Division 6, Constantine kept its playoff streak alive, as the 5-and-4 Falcons travel to Jackson County to face 8-and-1 Michigan Center. Also in Division 6, 8-and-1 Schoolcraft takes on 8-and-1 Niles Brandywine in Niles.
A Division 7 match-up will see St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic take its 6-and 2 record to Cassopolis to face the 6-and-3 Rangers.
In Division 8, 4-and-4 Eau Claire travels to Mendon to play the 9-and-0 and No. 2-ranked Hornets.
And in Division 9 eight-man football, Burr Oak is in the playoffs for the first time in nearly 50 years, as the 5-and-4 Bobcats will hit the road to play 8-and-2 Lawrence.
Games will be played Friday and Saturday; dates and start times will be announced today by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
The 2013 deer season is expected to be a successful one for many hunters in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says some areas in the state may see lower numbers of deer following severe winter weather, which included heavy snowfall and a late thaw. Those are mostly in the Upper Peninsula while the affects in the Northern Lower Peninsula appear to be minimal. In the Upper Peninsula, hunters should expect to see fewer deer, especially fawns and yearlings but still a decent number of 2 and 3 year old bucks this fall. The deer population for the Northern Lower Peninsula is expected to be higher than last year. Southern Lower Michigan has the overall highest deer densities in the state, although the number has been stable to decreasing over the last 5 to 10 years. The DNR says the deadly insect-spread Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease will continue to threaten deer in the Southern Lower Peninsula. However, very few EHD outbreaks were reported this summer with only Muskegon County having a confirmed outbreak. (MRN)
Mendon High School’s John Schwartz is one of eight football coaches representing Michigan in a nationwide contest by the publication USA Today.
The “Best Of” contest, which started Monday, is an online-voting event to select the best high school football coach in the country. Every state is represented by a pool of eight coaches, and the field will be narrowed to one coach from each state after voting in the initial round concludes Tuesday.
Schwartz, who has a record of 208 wins and 40 losses over his 24-year tenure in Mendon, is the only coach on the Michigan ballot not from a private school or suburban area.
Regional and national voting rounds take place later in the month. The athletic department of the school whose coach wins the contest will be awarded $2,000.
Voting can be done through a link on the “sports” and “high school” tabs at usatoday.com.
Tickets for the Oct. 5 Sturgis High School Athletic Hall of Fame banquet are now on sale at the school’s athletic office.
The program will honor inductees Chuck Darby, Patty Griffith Langanis, Erika Melchi Rozema, Marcia Dresser Inman and Teresa Wood Horn.
The event starts at 6 p.m. at Sturgis High School.
More details are available at 659-1536.
Four entrants into the White Pigeon High School Athletic Department 2013 Hall of Fame will be at the center of festivities next week.
The four incoming members will be recognized prior to the start of next week’s homecoming varsity football game against Centreville. The following day, the members will be honored during a formal induction ceremony at the Klinger Lake Country Club.
The 2013 White Pigeon Athletics Hall of Fame-induction recipients are Don Blanchard, class of 1960; Bev Benne, physical education teacher and pioneer of White Pigeon High School’s women’s athletics from 1968 to 1981; Pete Jarrad, varsity basketball coach from 1969 to 1981; and the 1980 varsity football team, Class C state runner up, and its coaches, Marv Schneider and Pat West.
School athletic programs and other youth athletics in Michigan are now under strict new rules regarding concussions. The new state law requires youth athletes to be removed from games if a concussion is even suspected, and they cannot return until there is clearance from a health professional. The new rules follow recent news about the increasing number of concussions in sports such as football and soccer. The rules, which formally took effect in June, cover all youth sports. Michigan is the 39th state to impose such requirements regarding concussions. The statute also requires that adults involved in a youth athletic activity receive training on sports concussions, and that youth athletes and their parents or guardians receive educational information on sports concussions, so that everyone involved in the sports knows what signs and symptoms to look for, according to Lauren Rowen of the Michigan Department of Community Health. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head. It can occur in any sport or recreational activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. emergency departments treat more than 173-thousand sports and recreation-related concussions among children and adolescents a year. The highest incidents reportedly occur in boys football and girls soccer. More information from the CDC can be found online at www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/facts.html.