The Road to Ford Field: Lake City Relishing Every Moment

This is the third in a four-part series profiling the remaining four area high school football programs and their journey towards a state championship.

LAKE CITY – With its first regional championship in tow, Lake City isn’t ready to see its dream season come to an end.

With a berth to their first state finals up for grabs, the Trojans (12-0) will clash with defending state champion Pewamo-Westphalia (11-1) in a Division 7 state semifinal at Clare High School on Saturday. The meeting marks the first between the two schools.

Lake City’s historic season has seen the team capture its first Highland Conference championship since 1989, go 12-0 for the first time and win its third district title in program history.

“You want to win a state championship every year, but it’s a long journey to do it,” Lake City coach Kyle Smith said. “It’s a lot of hard work and dedication into it, and you have to have the right kids to do it.”

The Trojans have found a way to win the close ones this season. Lake City has five wins by 11 or fewer points, with three of those coming in the postseason, against McBain (13-2), Ishpeming Westwood (25-16) and Breckenridge (20-18). Lake City’s last two wins also were against teams having record seasons of their own.

With one state title and two runner-up finishes since 2011 to its credit, Pewamo-Westphalia has reached the semifinal round each of the last four years. Champions of the Central Michigan Athletic Conference, the Pirates have won 11 straight since dropping a 28-21 Week 1 contest to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.

Pewamo-Westphalia picked up wins over Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (38-7), New Lothrop (35-14) and Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker (34-0) this postseason and has pitched five shutouts this fall, as opponents have managed to tag the Pirates for only 79 points through 12 games.

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, the Trojans have delivered a special season for the school and the town.

“You drive through town and you see all the restaurants and everything with “Go Trojans” on it, and it just kind of really gets you going,” Lake City senior Jacob Ball said. “We’ve gone through this whole year knowing that we have something special, and it’s been nice to actually accomplish everything that we wanted to.”

The winner of Saturday’s game will face either Saugatuck (9-3) or Madison Heights Madison (12-0) at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Saturday’s kickoff in Clare is slated for 1 p.m.

Categories: Football