Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Big Reds haven’t played a boys varsity basketball game yet, but that hasn’t hurt them in the USA Today Super 25 national prep ratings.

In fact, the Big Reds moved up to No. 27 in the nation  as USA Today Super 25 poll announced Tuesday. Muskegon will play its first game of the season Friday when the defending Class A state champs play at Rockford in a non-conference matchup.

The change occurred because No. 19-ranked Archbishop Carrolll (Wayne, Pa.) fell out of the rankings after losing a game.

The top three teams in the poll remained the same and all three have begun their seasons.

Monteverde Academy, Fla., kept its top spot thanks to a 6-0 record. Wesleyan Christian, from High Point, N.C., is second with an 8-0 mark while the third spot goes to Oak Hill, of Mouth of Wilson, Va., with a 14-0 record.

A year ago, Muskegon did not break into the rankings until Week 3 when the Big Reds had a 4-0 record. Muskegon then spent three weeks ranked in the 40’s, five in the 30’s and the final five weeks in the 20’s before ending up in the 20th spot for its best showing of the season.

In the process, the Big Reds capped a 28-0 season record by winning the Class A state tournament title for the first time since 1937.

Muskegon’s first traditional home game against a West Michigan opponent will be on Jan. 6, 2015, when the Big Reds host the Grand Haven Buccaneers. The Muskegon Shootout is scheduled for Jan. 3 with the Big Reds facing Chicago Curie.

The USA Today Super 25 ratings are compiled by a member of the paper’s sports staff. The ratings take into account results, quality of players and strength of schedule.