(Scott Yoshonis) Here are the pairings for the second round of the CAAC Volleyball Tournament:
(Scott Yoshonis) Here are the pairings for the second round of the CAAC Volleyball Tournament:
(Scott Yoshonis) The teams and locations for the finals in both of the top two CAAC Cup boys' soccer tournaments have been determined. Holt will play at DeWitt for the Gold title tomorrow while Eastern and Lansing Catholic will square off tonight in the Silver. Kickoff tonight is at 4 p.m., while tomorrow's game will start at 6:30 p.m.
Eastern was bracketed to host tonight's Silver final, but have chosen to play at Lansing Catholic instead as they had their home field severely damaged before the season started. In fact, they played most of their "home" games at Sexton this year. It will be the shortest trip imaginable, however, since the Quakers' field is just a few yards from Lansing Catholic's, separated only by a four-foot chain-link fence. Eastern also played their Cup semifinal at Lansing Catholic.
DeWitt will be hosting the Gold final for the second straight year, and look to defend their crown.
We'll have full game stories on both games.
(Scott Yoshonis) Lots of big upsets means some ugly scores for everyone. B-Rad took advantage and claimed the top spot both this week and overall.
For next week, I purposely excluded the Lansing Catholic game. Why should anyone have to pretend to know something about a Canadian team that plays by different rules most of the time?
Good luck, all.
WEEK 7 STANDINGS
1. B-Rad 23-5
T-2. Scott Yoshonis 22-6
T-2. Jeremy Sampson 22-6
T-2. JasonE 22-6
5. EMAN112 22-5 (Did not pick Leslie/Parma Western)
T-6. Empire Strikes Back 21-7
T-6. CoreyP 21-7
8. CMAC1 20-8
1. B-Rad 162-33
2. LSJ All-Stars 161-34
3. Jeremy Sampson 159-36
4. EMAN112 159-33
5. CoreyP 154-41
6. Empire Strikes Back 134-63
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
East Lansing at Grand Ledge
Holt at Jackson
Sexton at Everett
Okemos at Eastern
Carson City-Crystal at Fowler
Bath at Fulton
Portland St. Patrick at Pewamo-Westphalia
Dansville at Potterville
Laingsburg at Saranac
Schoolcraft at Olivet
Webberville at Dryden
Flint Hamady at Morrice
Saginaw Swan Valley at Ovid-Elsie
Freeland at Alma
Ithaca at Carrollton
Ashley at Coleman
Mason at St. Johns
Lakewood at Charlotte
Fowlerville at Corunna
Portland at DeWitt
Haslett at Williamston
Waverly at Holly
Ionia at Eaton Rapids
Owosso at Birmingham Groves
Perry at Benzie Central
Leslie at Jackson Northwest
Erie-Mason at Stockbridge
(Scott Yoshonis) The CAAC Cup is one of my favorite prep sporting events of the year, and not just because it's soccer (although that's a big part of it). I just love the idea of a tournament that brings all of the best teams in the area together and crowns an overall conference champion, and I've always thought that other sports should consider doing something similar. I also like the fact that the Cup includes those outside the top eight in the conference, to give everyone a taste of tournament soccer before districts begin.
I'll have an in-depth preview (and explanation of the formats of the four tournaments) in Wednesday's LSJ, but here are the known schedules for the four tournaments. All teams will play on all three game days, with games for third, fifth and seventh places.
Group 1, or Gold Cup
(First round on Oct. 6, semifinals on Oct. 11, Cup Final on Oct. 13):
Waverly at East Lansing
DeWitt at Mason
Okemos at St. Johns
Holt at Williamston
Group 2, or Silver Cup
(First round on Oct. 5, semis on Oct. 10, Final on Oct. 12):
Corunna at Eastern
Eaton Rapids at Owosso
Jackson Northwest at Grand Ledge
Lansing Catholic at Haslett
Oct. 6: Ionia at Everett, Lakewood at Charlotte
Oct. 8: Perry at Ionia, Jackson at Lakewood
Oct. 11: Everett at Perry, Charlotte at Jackson
Oct. 13: Final, third-place game, fifth-place game
Oct. 5: Fowlerville at Sexton, Portland at Jackson Lumen Christi
Oct. 10: Lumen Christi at Fowlerville, Sexton at Portland
Oct. 12: Portland at Fowlerville, Lumen Christi at Sexton
Scott Yoshonis here. Here are this week's results, with one small glitch. For the blog peeps, I mistakenly included a game, Birch Run at Durand, instead of New Lothrop at Webberville, which Jeremy and I picked. I counted it as a win for those who picked it, since A) everybody got it right, and B) NL/Webberville wasn't any harder to get right.
And now, on to this week. Good luck, all.
WEEK 6 STANDINGS
T-1. B-Rad 25-2
T-1. CoreyP 25-2
T-1. Garrett 25-2
T-1. RobW 25-2
T-4. Jeremy Sampson 24-3
T-4. EMAN112 24-3
T-4. Scott Yoshonis 24-3
8. CMAC1 23-4
T-9. JasonE 22-5
T-9. Empire Strikes Back 22-5
T-1. LSJ All-Stars 139-28
T-1. B-Rad 139-28
3. RobW 138-29
T-4. Jeremy Sampson 137-30
T-4. EMAN112 137-28
6. CoreyP 133-34
7. Garrett 130-38
8. Empire Strikes Back 113-54
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Everett at Grand Ledge
Eastern at Jackson
East Lansing at Sexton
Holt at Okemos
Waverly at Mason
Jackson Northwest at Charlotte
Fowlerville at DeWitt
Owosso at Ionia
Haslett at St. Johns
Portland at Lansing Catholic
Corunna at Williamston
Perry at Lakewood
Pewamo-Westphalia at Bath
Laingsburg at Carson City-Crystal
Fowler at Dansville
Potterville at Portland St. Patrick
Fulton at Saranac
Maple Valley at Kalamazoo Hackett
Olivet at Parchment
Parma Western at Leslie
Columbia Central at Stockbridge
Morrice at New Lothrop
Flint Hamady at Webberville
Chesaning at Alma
Ovid-Elsie at Hemlock
St. Louis at Ithaca
Brethren at Ashley
Eaton Rapids at Dearborn Edsel Ford
Be it in water polo state rankings, Softball Classic potential seedings, or track league standings, Wednesday gave mid-Michigan teams plenty of opportunities to gain early advantages. Check out our "Four Stars" below, along with all the results and this week's state rankings for baseball and softball.
4. Grand Ledge golf's Matt Benson -- The junior shot a 72 to take medalist at the Adrian Invitational as his team shot a 309, one stroke back of champion Tecumseh.
3. Okemos water polo's Katie Dudley -- The freshman younger sister of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 state MVP, Dudley had three goals as No. 1 Okemos defeated No. 3 Saline 6-3.
2. Mason track's Ben Hinamanu -- The Bulldogs' senior won both the long jump and 100 meters and was on the winning 400 relay as Mason downed both Waverly and Sexton, the usual contenders for the CAAC Red title, in a three-team meet.
1. Eaton Rapids softball's Erin Binkowski and Kate Laverty -- The Greyhounds' sophomore and junior pitchers, respectively, earned wins as Eaton Rapids beat CAAC Blue contender Holt 5-2 and 8-2. Binkowski also went a combined 4-7 with two doubles.
DIVISION 1-1. Portage Central, 2. Grand Ledge, 3. Temperance Bedford, 4. Ann Arbor Pioneer, 5. Sterling Heights Stevenson, 6. Grosse Point South, 7. Birmingham Brother Rice, 8. Lake Orion, 9. Clarkston, 10. Livonia Stevenson.
DIVISION 2-1. Riverview, 2. St. Clair, 3. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, 4. Hamilton, 5. Madison Heights Lamphere, 6. Trenton, 7. Mount Pleasant, 8. Escanaba, 9. Richland Gull Lake, 10. Ada Forest Hills Eastern.
DIVISION 3-1. Shepherd, 2. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, 3. Madison Heights Bishop Foley, 4. Parchment, 5. Frankenmuth, 6. Jackson Lumen Christi, 7. Gobles, 8. Hudson, 9. Constantine, 10.Sanford Meridian.
DIVISION 4-1. Grosse Pointe University Liggett, 2. Climax-Scotts, 3. Frankfort, 4. Beal City, 5. Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart, 6. Maple City Glen Lake, 7. Portland St. Patrick, 8. Homer, 9. Brown City, 10. Petersburg Summerfield.
With signs pointing to Perry's possible departure from the CAAC for the Genesee Area Conference, here are three schools I'd enjoy seeing join mid-Michigan's mega league.
Olivet: Currently in the Kalamazoo Valley Association and formerly of the Southern Michigan Activities Association, Olivet is on the southwest side of our area -- and quite a hike from Corunna, for one. But I've always gotten the sense that Olivet identifies with the Lansing area, and this could be a great fit in multiple ways. The Eagles are Class B this school year for the first time, and should be for a while, but still on the small side like the rest of the White. They bring great programs in just about every sport. And Olivet has played at least Williamston in football on and off. The town even has two exits off I-69, making most trips all highway!
Ovid-Elsie: This is another school with mid-Michigan ties but in a league mostly outside of the area -- in this case, the Saginaw-based Tri-Valley Conference Central. The Marauders already have some strong ties to Portland and I think also face Corunna in sports regularly, and again bring some great programs to the table. O-E also is relatively close to US-127, a bonus for travel.
Stockbridge: This is an Ingham County school playing in a mostly-Jackson area conference. Things have gone well in a number of sports since the Panthers left the old Ingham County League for the SMAA, which these days also includes some Class C and D schools. But I've always wondered how the Panthers would fare in the White. Could be a nice match.
Item 10 on tonight's Perry School Board meeting agenda is a discussion on giving administrators authority to explore leaving the CAAC for the Genesee Area Conference. If it goes through, it's bad news for the CAAC White -- but not necessarily better news for the Perry.
The Ramblers have struggled in many sports after coming into the CAAC from the Mid-Michigan B along with Portland and Corunna in fall 2007. Football and basketball struggles stick out especially since they are the most publicized sports. Road trips to Lakewood and Portland also are no doubt not the favorite parts of being in the CAAC White, and there have been plenty of grumblings about the suggested crossovers against bigger and often better schools from the CAAC Gold that White teams usually add to fill out their schedules.
But ... being part of a superior league can also come with benefits like playing better competition, which in turns readies teams more for the state tournament, and means it's an even more notable accomplishment when programs are able to compete for championships. And it's not like the GAC doesn't have tough teams too -- look at Flint Hamady in girls basketball, New Lothrop in most sports, along with Montrose, Goodrich, Flint Beecher and Lake Fenton. Those schools are a little smaller than those in the CAAC White -- but just as tough in many sports.
The CAAC White is a strong league as a whole -- look at the success on the state level in almost any sport. And Perry has helped that reputation with strong finishes in soccer, track and cross country and an unexpected baseball quarterfinal run a few seasons ago.
But if Perry does leave the CAAC, the league must scramble to find a sixth team to fill out the White -- a five-team football division is not a great situation, and the beauty of this division is these often-Division 4 and 5 teams for the playoffs no longer have to deal with D3s like DeWitt, Haslett and Fowlerville on a yearly basis. Going back to three football divisions would likely mean that again, so six teams in the White is a must. Yes, football is just one sport -- but drives these conversations.
Are you ready for the spring sports season to begin accelerating? From here on out, it's a rush to the finish with major events every week through the middle of June.
This week features just a few appetizers for what's to come. But here's a quick breakdown of the next six weeks:
Mid-Michigan will lose a tidal wave of athletic administrative knowledge when five of its most experienced athletic directors retire this spring. That's roughly 10 percent of the area's athletic directors -- or 20 percent in the CAAC alone -- and there's no calculating what must be done to replace them.
Grand Ledge's Gary Boyce, Okemos' Keith Froelich, Charlotte's Ron Beegle and Haslett's Jamie Gent were all in their current posts when I started here in 2000, and Keith Eldred was Williamston Middle School's athletic director at that point but also served on the MHSAA Representative Council for two decades. Gent was at Haslett before I was born, and the rest were involved in athletics nearly as long.
These kind of retirements happen in cycles and as schools tighten their budgetary belts we'll no doubt see a few more veterans step away. But there is a ton of wisdom leaving with those guys -- and they will be hard to replace, although I've heard great things about those who I've been told will take over at least a few of those spots.
The good news for mid-Michigan is the strength of athletic director leadership among those who are much farther away from retirement. They'll no doubt take a larger hold of the torch. But it's tough to replace this kind of institutional wisdom, and especially all at once, and the area should be thankful for their contributions.