Buczek: Cedarville, Engadine to Settle Bridge Alliance Race

As predicted, the Bridge Alliance Football League championship will be settled Friday, when Engadine hosts No. 3 Cedarville.

These two have been on a collision course since Week 1, and with only one league game remaining following Friday’s meeting, the winner will secure at least a share of a conference championship.

Receiving honorable mention honors in the latest Associated Press polls, Engadine (6-0, 6-0) is off to its best start since 1998. The Eagles already picked up a win over Pickford earlier in the year for its first in the series since that 1998 season, and coincidentally, that season also marked the last time Engadine defeated Cedarville.

At 6-0, Cedarville is off to its best start since 2012 and has combined with Engadine to outscore opponents 598-110 and pitch five shutouts.

Buck season

The 2016 football season has been one for the Bucks.

With its win over Manton on homecoming, Pine River (5-1) clinched a share of its first Highland Conference championship since 1999. Ranked sixth in Division 6, these Bucks have won five in a row since a Week 1 loss to Kalkaska and can qualify for the playoffs for just the fifth time in school history with a win over Evart this week.

Roscommon is off to its best start (6-0) since 2006 and can also clinch a share of its first Jack Pine Conference title since that same season with a win over Clare on Friday. These Bucks, ranked fifth in Division 6, secured their first playoff bid since 2012 and third since 2006 with a victory over Gladwin last week.

Playoff tickets punched

Five area teams punched their MHSAA playoff tickets with wins last week. Traverse City Central, Reed City, Traverse City St. Francis and Frankfort are all returning to the postseason for at least the second straight season, while Roscommon is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Postseason outlook

Eleven area teams can secure playoff berths with wins this week (last appearance): Cadillac (2014), Chippewa Hills (2015), Charlevoix (2014), Grayling (2015), Onekama (2015), St. Ignace (2015), Gaylord St. Mary (2009), Newberry (2015), Ludington (2011), Clare (2014) and Pine River (2014).

What to watch in Week 7

Clare (5-1, 4-0) at D6 No. 6 Roscommon (6-0, 4-0) – With a postseason spot already secured, Roscommon can clinch a share of its first JPC title since 2006 with a win. Winners of five straight, Clare has not lost in this series since 2006.

Kent City (4-2, 3-1) at Hesperia (4-2, 3-1) – These teams find themselves in a three-way tie with Morley Stanwood for first place in the CSAA Silver division. Kent City is coming off a 22-17 win last week of Morley Stanwood, while Hesperia lost to the Mohawks, 19-6, in Week 3.

Charlevoix (5-1, 1-1) at Onekama (5-1, 1-1) – Tied for second in the NMFL Legends division, playoff bids are on the line as these teams meet for the first time on Friday.

Pitch rankings

Six area boys soccer teams are ranked in the latest Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association polls.

Division 3 is the most populated poll, with Gladwin (11th), Charlevoix (12th), Elk Rapids (19th) and Big Rapids (20th) all checking in.

Big North Conference leader Traverse City West finds itself ranked 17th in Division 1, and Leland (ninth) and Harbor Springs (16th) make the polls in Division 4.

MIVCA Week 6 rankings

The latest Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association polls were released Tuesday, with 10 area programs gracing the rankings.

Traverse City St. Francis remains the highest ranked team at fourth in Class C, joined by McBain in 10th, while Cadillac (fifth) and Grant (10th) round out Class B. Leland (third), Onaway (sixth), DeTour (eighth), Suttons Bay (10th), Engadine (honorable mention) and Forest Area (honorable mention) are all ranked in Class D.

Categories: Boys Soccer, Football, Volleyball