Matchup with Muskegon is out, but Crusaders will have their hands full with Bishop Hartley

By Mark Lewis
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – Earlier in the year, the talk around the community was the potential season-opening football game between former Lake Michigan Conference rivals Muskegon and Muskegon Catholic Central.

At the time, both teams we’re having trouble filling that slot on the schedule and were considering, despite the disparate sizes of the two schools, renewing their rivalry.

But that prospect now seems firmly reserved to the stuff of daydreams, as the Crusaders announced today they have filled the hole in their schedule with Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, OH. The Big Reds still seek a season-opening game.

MCC will travel south to Columbus take on the Hawks Aug. 30 for a 4 p.m. game.

The Hawks, a Div. 5 squad in Ohio’s six-division format, finished as state runners up in 2013. Both schools share an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church.

The Crusaders took the Div. 8 title this past fall, the school’s ninth state football title in the MHSAA playoff format and 10th football state title overall.

MCC head coach Steve Czerwon, who led his team to a title in his first season as head of the program, is already game planning.

“I’ve (watched) a ton of film (on Bishop Hartley) this past week,” said Czerwon. “It’s going to be a great match up.”
Things are about to get much easier for the Crusader schedule makers.

MCC, which has struggled to fill its football schedule as an independent, joins the Lakes 8 Conference this coming fall, and has already inked a deal with Oakridge High School to open the season against the Eagles in 2015 and 2016.