Three area teams qualify for football playoffs


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 9:58 am on Monday, October 28, 2013

The Belding Redskins defense lines up against Comstock Park during the regular season. The Redskins travel to Spring Lake for the first round of the MHSAA playoffs and could face O-K Blue rival Comstock Park in the second round.

The 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) football playoffs begin on Friday night. On Sunday, the 256-team field was announced live on Fox Sports Detroit.

This year, three area teams qualified for the postseason and will continue their seasons.

The Carson City-Crystal Eagles (9-0) will make its second consecutive appearance in the MHSAA playoffs and third in school history. The Eagles are in Division 7.

The Belding Redskins (6-3) will be making its first appearance in the playoffs since 2007. The Redskins, playing in Division 4, have qualified for the playoffs 15 times now. They won the 1994 and 1997 Class B state championships.

The Lakeview Wildcats (7-2) will be making its first playoff appearance since 2006. Lakeview, playing in Division 6, has qualified for the playoffs seven times.

Carson City-Crystal will get a rematch with last year’s first round opponent in the Evart Wildcats. This year, the Eagles host, but because of two regular season forfeits, will only be playing their third home game of the season.

“We are excited for the kids and community. We only ended up playing two games at home this year,” Eagles coach Devin Pringle said. “We are just excited to be a part of it.”

Lakeview’s Dakota Beemer returns an interception during a game this season. Lakeview travels to Maple City Glen Lake for the first round of the football playoffs.

Evart — Highland Conference — went 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the league. The Wildcats defeated the Eagles 16-12 in last year’s playoffs.

“They are a good football team,” Pringle said. “We played them last year. They can line up in T (wing-T) and take it at you or they can spread it out and throw it around. We will have to be prepared  for a little bit of everything.”

Lakeview will have to make a long trip for its first round game as they travel to Maple City Glen Lake. Maple City is located Northwest of Traverse City.

“I thought there was a chance we could get a home game,” Lakeview coach Sean Rinehart said. “There are a lot of great teams in the state, especially in our division, as long as we are in we are excited either way.”

Maple City went 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Northwest Conference to win its league championship. Unlike Carson City, the Wildcats don’t have any familiarity with Glen Lake.

“I don’t know much about them, but they are an I-formation team,” Rinehart said. “From what I’ve been told, they play hard and are very physical. They beat a lot of pretty good teams. It’s going to be a challenge, but I think it’s going to be a great football game.”

Belding clinched its playoff berth on Friday night and will travel to the lakeshore to face the Spring Lake Lakers.

“I don’t know a whole lot about them. They did play Coopersville (like opponent) earlier in the year and we did see a little of them then,” Belding coach Joe Schwander said. “We are sitting down right now and starting to look through tape.”

Spring Lake went 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the Lakes Eight Conference to win its league championship.

Game dates and times will be announced today at www.mhsaa.com.

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