Three Rivers to face Hudsonville Unity Christian in playoff opener
ZEELAND — Three Rivers football players, coaching staff and parents gathered at Sauganash Country Club Sunday night to watch the 2016 Selection Sunday Show on the Fox Sports Detroit television network.
The 256 qualifying teams for the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs were revealed during the show for all eight divisions in 11-man football, along with the 16-team field in 8-man football.
Amidst bites of Appoloni’s pizza, other food and refreshments, the Wildcats waited to hear the Division 4 playoff field.
Players let out shouts of joy when it was announced Three Rivers (7-2) would face Hudsonville Unity Christian (7-2) in a first-round Division 4, Region 2, District 1 matchup at Zeeland Stadium in Zeeland on Friday at 7 p.m.
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs,” said Three Rivers coach J.J. Wagner. “It’s just like we told our kids last week, about 75 percent of the seniors in Michigan are done right now and we get to play at least one more week.
“We don’t know much about them (Unity Christian). Unless I’m mistaken, I think they are a T-team like Edwardsburg. Looking at their scores they appear to be able to score tons of points.”
It will be the first time the two schools have ever met in football.
Grand Rapids South Christian (5-4) visits Benton Harbor (9-0) in the other District 1 contest.
Also qualifying for the postseason were Constantine, Schoolcraft, Mendon and Colon.
No. 1-ranked Schoolcraft (9-0) faces Constantine (6-3) in a Division 6, Region 4, District 1 pre-district game Friday at 7 p.m. at Roy Davis Field in Schoolcraft.
These two teams met in Week No. 8 in Schoolcraft with Terry Haas’ Eagles winning 20-10.
The other game in that district pits Watervliet (7-2) at Jackson Lumen Christi (7-2).
“We are excited to have a chance to play the No. 1 team right off the bat. Schoolcraft vs. Constantine is playoff football,” said Constantine coach Shawn Griffith.
In Division 8, Mendon (7-2) goes on the road to face St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (8-1) in a Region 4, District 1 game being played at Bridgman High School Friday at 7 p.m.
Colon (5-4) battles host Climax-Scotts (9-0) in the other game Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’re excited to start the next part of our season,” said Mendon’s first-year head coach Bobby Kretschman. “One of our goals was to win enough games to make the postseason. Now we will keep working hard to reach other goals we have set.”
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or email@example.com.