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.
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.
The Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education voted this week to endorse the district’s move to the Wolverine Conference.
The decision means Sturgis High School will join Three Rivers and 10 other schools in the 12-member league starting in the 2014-15 academic year.
With about 3,300 students, Sturgis Public Schools will be the largest in the all-Class-B conference.
Three Rivers High School will have a neighboring rival in its league in the 2014-15 school year, as Sturgis Public Schools is expected to join the Wolverine Conference.
An invitation requesting St. Joseph County’s largest school district to join the league was extended by conference officials late last week. Sturgis school officials have indicated they intend to accept the offer, and approval by their board of education is the final formality needed.
The addition of the Trojans would make the league an all-Class-B conference and even it out with 12 members.
Sturgis will replace Comstock, which is departing the league after the 2013-14 academic year.