After a long-anticipated wait, the time has finally come. High school football will kick off this week in sprint to the postseason. A six-game regular season awaits teams across the state, before the all-in playoffs. We kick things off this week with thirteen games broadcast LIVE across Michigan Sports Radio’s coverage zone. A quick preview of those games can be found below. Our live preview show will air from 6:00-6:45 on The Ticket 106.1 FM and 1350 AM on Friday night as well.
Caledonia vs West Ottawa: The Fighting Scots and Panthers kick off their season at historic Ralph E Meyers Memorial Stadium on Friday. Caledonia returns All-State running back Carson Vanderhoff, who is looking to build off his 1700-yard rushing campaign. West Ottawa is looking to turn things around after a winless 2019 season that has resulted in an eleven-game losing streak entering this contest. Last year, Caledonia defeated West Ottawa 49-14.
Rockford vs Jenison: A new era of Rockford football is set to kickoff on Friday as the Rams will play their first game under the direction of Brent Cummings. This will be the first season in which Ralph Munger has not coached the Rams since 1992. He will look for his first victory against a Jenison team that is also making a transition in 2020. The Wildcats return to the OK Red after a nine-year hiatus in the conference. Last year, they went 4-5 while playing in the OK Black. These two schools have not met since Jenison left the league at the end of 2011, and in the Wildcats’ most recent OK Red game, Rockford shut them out 35-0.
Hudsonville vs East Kentwood: The Eagles and the Falcons begin their campaign with a fierce OK Red battle. These two teams both made the playoffs a year ago, and their seasons were both ended by Brighton. In their Week 8 meeting, Kentwood got a 31-20 victory that helped secure their spot in the playoffs. The Falcons have now won three straight in this series.
South Christian vs Kenowa Hills: The South Christian Sailors begin their 2020 campaign against Kenowa Hills on Friday night, a long-time rival that they have not met since 2002. Winners of the final nine games of the series that was played annually from 1967-1981 and 1988-2002 as members of the same conference, South Christian hopes that this game can be a springboard to the top of a new OK Gold.
Northview vs Greenville: The Wildcats come into 2020 with back-to-back winning seasons, and they are looking to make it three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1985. They will start this journey against Greenville, a team that struggled a year ago. In Week 7 of last year, Northview dominated Greenville 45-14.
East Grand Rapids vs Lowell: One of high school football’s biggest rivalries is back, as the Pioneers face off against the Red Arrows. A staple on the calendar for many years, they are finally back in the same conference for the first time since 2015. Both of these teams are coming off trips to the playoffs, and in fact they met in the first round. In that game, East Grand Rapids dominated Lowell in a 42-14 victory.
West Catholic vs Coopersville: After a frustrating 2019 campaign that saw their sixteen-year playoff streak come to an end, West Catholic will look to bounce back against Coopersville. The Broncos are also coming off a 1-8 campaign, so one team will match their win total after this first game. Coopersville has twelve seniors back this season, and they can provide some experience for sophomore Quarterback Colton Bosch to develop around. Key returning plays for the Broncos include Ben McDonald, Jacob Wiersma and Caleb Hondorp. This was the last game of the season for both teams, meaning that they will have played consecutive games against each other. In that season finale, Coopersville got their first win of the year 37-27.
Zeeland East vs Grand Rapids Union: Zeeland East begins their 2020 campaign with a game against Grand Rapids Union. Union enters this game on a forty-three-game winning streak, but they have optimism for a bright future. This will be the first game that Union plays under the direction of Don Fellows, the coach who won a State Championship at Grand Rapids Christian in 2012. Zeeland East struggled down the stretch last year, as the Chix lost their last four contests. These two teams last met in 2015, and in that game, Zeeland East won 63-14.
Tri-County vs Grant: The Vikings will begin their 2020 season against Grant. The Tigers were 7-3 a year ago, and they should pose a challenge for Tri-County on Friday night. They have played in each of the past fourteen years, with Grant winners of the last six, including 33-6 a year ago.
Newaygo vs Fremont: The Lions kick off 2020 with a matchup against the Packers of Fremont. Coming off their third playoff campaign, Newaygo is poised for another great season on the gridiron. Fremont has struggled as of late, as they posted their fourth winless season over the past five years, accumulating a 1-44 record during that span. In the 2019 meeting, Newaygo controlled the game from the start in a 46-14 victory.
Central Montcalm vs Big Rapids: The Central Montcalm Hornets start their 2020 campaign building off a playoff run from a year ago. They start with a game against Big Rapids, a team that won just a single game last year. Central Montcalm’s 34-6 victory a year ago against the Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak in the series.
Freeland vs Frankenmuth: Coach Kevin Townsend’s Falcons start off 2020 with one of the biggest games in their season. Their first opponent is the Frankenmuth Eagles, a team that has become a rival after some highly competitive contests the past few seasons. Last year, Freeland was defeated in this series 21-7, and this will be the eighth meeting in the past six seasons with Freeland currently holding a 4-3 series advantage.
Swan Valley vs Alma: The Vikings will start 2020 on the road as they take on the Alma Panthers. Swan Valley looks to build off a 2019 campaign that saw them reach the regional finals. In that eight-win season, they took down Alma 34-13, as the Panthers posted a 4-5 record a year ago. This was the third straight win for Swan Valley over Alma.