Thursday, May 18, 2017

Non-League Schedules

Thought I would take a look at the non-league schedules of each team we cover and how it might effect each teams season.

Airport: the Jets open with Dundee (4-5) again and it was the only win on the schedule last season. Probably a pick'em game at this point. The closer is Tecumseh (4-5) again for the seventh consecutive season. The Jets and Indians have split this series at 3 a piece and this is most likely a pick'em game as well. At 1-8 last season, Airport can't afford to look past anyone this season, but the non-league portion of the schedule is manageable.

Bedford: the Kicking Mules have consecutive games to open the season against Toledo Catholic High Schools. The opener will be the first ever meeting against Toledo St. Johns (6-4) while week 2 will be a match up against Toledo St Francis de Sales (0-10). In week 8 Bedford will be playing an SEC cross over game against Ypsi Lincoln (4-5) and the closer will be against Belleville (7-3) of the Western Wayne Athletic Conference. This is a solid non-schedule and I would expect the Mules to go 2-2.

Carlson: None. This has hurt members of the Downriver League from time to time. With Taylor Kennedy scheduled to close soon, this will open up things for non-league games in the future.

Dundee: the Vikings will open up at Airport (1-8) again this season then play Whitmore Lake (2-7) again in week 2. Traveling to Carleton for the opener will be a 50/50 game. Week 2 against the Trojans should be a victory. If Dundee can open the 2017 season with consecutive wins, the Vikings should find themselves in the playoffs.

Erie Mason: this will be the sixth consecutive year that the Eagles have opened the season with Summerfield (5-5). Week 2 will feature a match up with Britton-Deerfield (0-9), which was Mason's only win of 2016. Even after losing the past 5 years to Summerfield in the opener, the Eagles have a chance to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2003 when they finished 12-1 and lost in the Division 5 semi-finals to Jackson Lumen Christi.

Flat Rock: the Rams have switched up the schedule this year. Gone are hapless Summit Academy and Hazel Park. FR will open the season at home against Garden City (2-7) and close against Ann Arbor Huron (0-9).  The Rams will hope to benefit from playing two class A schools in hopes of garnering valuable playoff points, should they finish the season at 5-4. This looks like two wins for the Huron League team, but Garden City will be no pushover.

Grosse Ile: the Red Devils will open the 2017 season at the Prep Football Classic at Wayne State in a game against the Raiders of Almont (7-4). A week 9 opponent has yet to be determined. GI may have their hands full with Almont which has qualified for the playoffs 10 of the last 11 seasons.

Huron: the Chiefs have dropped Avondale and Summit Academy in favor of a tougher non-league schedule this year. Plymouth Salem (4-5) isn't a football power, but with an enrollment of over 2,000 the Rocks will put some athletes on the field. Redford Thurston (4-5) was down a bit last year, but has been a playoff team much of the last decade. Look for the Chiefs to split the non-league portion of the schedule.

Ida: the Bluestreaks will play the same two opponents as the 2016 season. Week 1 will feature a match up against Monroe Jefferson (5-5) while Week 2 will be against the Rockets of New Haven (4-5). Ida beat these two opponents by a combined score of 116-40 last season, but after graduating the most successful senior class in school history, a repeat might not be in store.

Jefferson: the Bears open the season with Ida (10-2) again and will close with a new opponent, Royal Oak ( 2-7). Jefferson has lost three straight to open the season against the Bluestreaks. The Ravens of the OAA Blue Division will replace Owosso , whom the Bears handled the past two years. This is a palatable non-league schedule for the Bears and could lead to a solid season if they win both.

Milan: the Big Reds have switched up their non-league schedule and will be playing old SEC rivals Chelsea (11-1) and Ypsi Lincoln (4-5). This is a solid non-league slate, but it makes sense from a scheduling stand point. Look for Milan to split these games and have a possible playoff birth.

Monroe: the Trojans will open with Livonia Churchill (5-4) in week 1 and then play Elkhart (IN) Central (2-8) in week 2. Week 8 will feature a match up in an SEC crossover game against Dexter (0-9) which has lost 32 straight games. Week 9 will have Monroe playing arch-rival Fordson (8-2). This is a workable schedule for the Trojans and 3-1 in the non-league would go a long way to them making the playoffs.

Riverview: the Pirates will once again open with Romulus (9-2). The Eagles won that game 32-14. Week 9 will feature a game against Redford Union (7-4). Most schools don't schedule non-league games against opponents that made the playoffs the previous year,but this is a workable schedule against two teams from the WWAC Blue Division. Both these games would appear to be 50/50 games that could go either way.

SMCC: the Falcons will once again have two tough games in week 1 and week 9, but not nearly as tough as last season. SMCC will host the defending Division 7 State Champions Pewamo-Westphalia (14-0) Pirates in week 1 and will play Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (4-5) in week 9. These are two games the Falcons can win, but they are also games that they could lose. 


Gary Hauf said...

Can Monroe High start 5-0? Seems reasonable.

MrNoshies said...

Surely you jest lol.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Downriver League, the superintendents voted to send an invitation to Edsel Ford to join the league.

Anonymous said...

Where did you hear about Edsel Ford joining the DRL?

Anonymous said...

Monroe High doesn't go 5-0. I see them starting off 3-2 or 4-1 but they have a young team that will grow as the season goes on. If they lose weeks 1 and 2, it will be a long year. Do people even care about football anymore at Monroe High?

Week 1 is a big game for SMCC. If they win week 1, I see them winning the league and making a run. Make or break year for the program.

Airport could be really good or really bad. I keep hearing about their talent levels, maybe this is the year with a new coach that they put it all together.

Mason will win league games and finish better than anyone can imagine.

Dundee should be good. The defense is suspect but they have a very good running back in Miller who might lead the region in rushing yards. We will find out how good they are in week 1.

Ida returns to the playoffs at 7-2. They will be fun to watch once the kids get use to a new offense and defense.

Bedford start 2-0 with wins over what should be an improved St. John's team loaded with D1 offers and wins big over St. Francis week 2. If they stay healthy, they finish 7-2 or 8-1.

Jefferson I predict has a good year under their new coach. They will be a program on the rise as their district is growing on the lower levels.

Gary Hauf said...

Mason winning the LCAA and Ida at 7-2? Those are some bold predictions. Ida lost a ton and mason had a long way to go last year.

Anonymous said...

I said I see Mason winning league games, not a league championship. I could see Mason defeating Onsted, Blissfield, and maybe even Dundee if they stay healthy.

Ida at 7-2 with losses to Hudson and Brooklyn Columbia Central. Pretty sure Ida's JV only lost 1 game last year and they are bringing in a good coach.

Gary Hauf said...

Ok. Word is Onsted will be tough.

John Richcreek said...

I have a son who attends a Huron League school. Will someone please explain to me why SMCC is picked to win a league and state title? They have great tradition and will always be one of the better teams in the Huron League but I'm just curious how a 4-5 team is all of the sudden a state championship contender?

Gary Hauf said...

I would say those are obviously premature assumptions or predictions. However overzealous they may be, CC is said to have a couple good classes coming through the pipeline.

Anonymous said...

Smcc has a lot coming back.. they played 8 Sophmores last year.. they have the potential to be very good..

Anonymous said...

Smcc was 4-5 last year.. if things would of went there way they could have one 3 more games.. youth hurt them last year..special teams let them down last year..

Anonymous said...

They always have good talent and playing bigger schools and a difficult schedule prepares them for a big run every year they make the playoffs going into Division 6-7 depending on enrollment. Much like Lumon Christi, Traverse City St. Francis, GR West Catholic to name a few, the small private schools are just much better then the majority of the public schools in smaller divisions. Therefore, a run to the at least the semi-finals is pretty common for a team like SMCC. My guess is that if they got in last year at 5-4, which they most def would of, they could of made a very long run. If they win 5 games this season, look for them to make a run to at least the regional final if not the semi finals. They should have a nice team this season. I look for them to go pretty deep depending on how the enrollment breakdown goes and the draw they get.

Huron Leauge Fan

Anonymous said...

Based on enrollment numbers, one of their coaches said that he thinks they will drop to D7 this year. D7 could make things interesting for SMCC as they would end up playing Hudson, Mendon or even P-W again.

Gary Hauf said...

That is a possibility for sure. However enrollment numbers are dropping elsewhere as well.

Gary Hauf said...

The dividing line between divisions 6-7 gets lower every year.

Anonymous said...

It does appear the dividing line is trending lower and lower. I pulled all playoff teams and their enrollment, took the smallest in D6 & largest in D7, and averaged their enrollments to come up with this line.

2008: 365.5
2009: 344.5
2010: 371.5
2011: 355.5
2012: 341.5
2013: 328.5
2014: 328.5
2015: 317.5
2016: 344

Initially, I did this because I wanted to see how an 8-man postseason (introduced in '11) affected these cutoff lines.

- BlueWing

MrNoshies said...

Have SMCC ever had a better RB than Ron Labeau? Has Monroe HS ever had a RB better than Willie Jones? Can I hear ya now???