TC Central Readies for North Farmington, Looking For First Regional Title Since 1988
TRAVERSE CITY – A rematch 43 years in the making awaits Traverse City Central this weekend as its welcomes in North Farmington in a Division 2 regional final.
Central, then known as Traverse City High School, last met North Farmington in the 1978 Class A state championship game that saw the Trojans come away with a 20-14 win and their first state title.
The Trojans (8-1) are eyeing their first regional championship since they upended Detroit Catholic Central to win the Class A state title in 1988.
“It’s definitely huge,” Central junior Joshua Burnham said. “I mean, like I said we’re going to put Traverse City back on the map. We just have something special and we’re going to everything we can to take care of it.”
Central has picked up postseason wins over Saginaw Heritage (60-6), Swartz Creek (70-14) and Midland (30-22).
“We’ve got to have laser-like focus this week with the eye on the prize of a regional championship, something we haven’t had in 32 years here at Traverse City Central so our guys are excited about it,” Central coach Eric Schugars said. “They’re motivated by that fact. Plus the fact that you get the opportunity to do something that’s never been done, playing a high school football game, a regional championship in mid-January with a chance to take the next step to the semifinals. You can’t ask for anything more.”
The Raiders (7-2) enter Saturday’s regional final with their first postseason title in hand since 1978 after wins over Waterford Kettering (44-7), Fenton (44-28) and South Lyon (2-0, forfeit).
The winner will face either East Lansing or Muskegon Mona Shores in the state semifinals next week.
Saturday’s game from Thirlby Field kicks off at 2 p.m.