Dullack's Docket

Elite Eight - MHSAA Football State Championship predictions for Divisions 1-8

Football   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network

Division 1: Saline

I don’t think enough people have been talking about the Hornets this year. Saline is playing very well as of late, finishing the season with a 9-0 mark, including an impressive win over previously unbeaten Birmingham Groves in Week 9. Quarterback Zach Schwartzenberger has been great this season, replacing Josh Jackson, who is now with Virginia Tech and Connor Hubbard has been one of the more productive players out of the backfield.

Division 2: Walled Lake Western

As I explained in a previous post, the Warriors have one of the most explosive offenses that the state of Michigan has to offer, led by Mr. Football candidate Cody White, a fully healthy John Tracy at quarterback and an extremely underrated playmaker in Kam Ford as well. And the Western defense has proven to be formidable all season long, playing in a KLAA North Division, which has several teams capable of putting up big point totals all season long.

Division 3: Muskegon

Muskegon is a team that has the most versatile player in the state in Kalil Pimpleton (a Mr. Football Candidate), a rising star at quarterback in Ladarius Jefferson and two of the best two-way threats in the state in JaCorey Sullivan and Andrew Ward. With those weapons, Muskegon has simply been too impressive from start to finish in 2016 to pick against.

Division 4: River Rouge

Rouge is one of the state’s most talented teams regardless of Division and has proven that all season long. Just one season ago, the Panthers were playing for the Division 5 state championship and I believe they will be back at Ford Field in November once again looking to claim the D-4 title this time around. Led by Jarius Grissom and Reggie Pearson, Rouge has the firepower to not only get to the state championship game, but to win it all.

Division 5: Grand Rapids West Catholic

West Catholic may have a new coach this season, but the Falcons have several key returners from last year’s state championship team and have more than enough playmakers and experience to make it back to Ford Field and win a fourth straight state championship. With David Fox, Gaetano Vallone and Sam Neville leading the way, if West Catholic can get past Lansing Catholic in round one, it should be another deep playoff run for the Falcons.

Division 6: Jackson Lumen Christi

It’s been seven years since Lumen Christi last appeared in the state finals, where the Titans won five out of 10 Division 5 state championships, but this season could be the year that they make their return to Ford Field. Led by quarterback Troy Kutcha and a balanced rushing attack with running back Bo Bell, Lumen Christi does have what it takes to win the Division 6 state title with Ithaca now out of the picture and moving up to Division 5 this year.

Division 7: Pewamo-Westphalia

The Pirates came incredibly close to their first state championship a season ago, and with star running back Jared Smith leading the way once again, this very well could be the year Pewamo-Westphalia wins its first state title. Paired with quarterback Jimmy Lehman, who started as a sophomore a season ago, Smith and Lehman are part of one of, if not the best backfield that Division 7 has to offer and they should lead the way back to Ford Field for the Pirates.

Division 8: Muskegon Catholic Central

This is the easiest pick there was to make out of the eight divisions, Muskegon CC has been the definition of a powerhouse over the past four years and should cruise to the Division 8 title this season. Led by running backs LaTommy Scott and Walker Christofferson, not only are the Crusaders the favorites in Division 8, but they could also be the favorites in Divisions 6 and 7 and could compete in Division 5.