Johannesburg-Lewiston Preps for First Semifinal Appearance Since 1998
JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg-Lewiston is back in the state semifinals for the first time since 1998.
The Cardinals (10-0) will host Ubly (8-2) in a Division 8 semifinal on the turf at Thirlby Field in Traverse City Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s semifinal is very much uncharted territory for Johannesburg-Lewiston. The Cardinals have made just that one prior semifinal appearance and won their first postseason title of any kind since 2012 last week with a hard-fought 7-6 victory over Iron Mountain at the Superior Dome.
“Just to make our legacy huge and for this year with such a tough year and making our team known for years to come, we just can’t wait,” Johannesburg-Lewiston senior Tommy Runyan said.
Ubly is in the semifinals for a second straight season after falling to eventual state runner-up Beal City in the 2019. The Bearcats picked up playoff wins over Brown City (42-8), Unionville-Sebewaing (20-14), Flint Beecher (42-0) and Carson City-Crystal (36-6), and while these two teams have never met before, there is some familiarity.
“A little bit of familiarity, so we don’t have reinvent the wheel kind of thing,” Johannesburg-Lewiston coach Joe Smokevitch. “I expect a tough physical game though that’s just how they are they’re well coached. You don’t get to a state semifinal and not be any good.”
The winner of Saturday’s semifinal will take on Centreville in the state title game next week. Centreville (10-0) received a forfeit win over Clarkston Everest Collegiate because of coronavirus concerns with the Mountaineers.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. from Thirlby Field.