Producing the Muskegon area’s annual high school football preview section is a ton of work, but a labor of love, for the staff at

We are happy to report that the 2019 edition is finally off to the printer! Hot-off-the-press copies of the 40-page, full-color football preview will be available at the LSJ Kickoff Party on Monday at Bella Maria’s Ristorante at Oakridge Golf Course, 513 W. Pontaluna Rd., from 5-8 p.m.

Everyone is invited to stop out for a copy of the LSJ football section, $1 hamburgers and hot dogs, and raffles with lots of prizes. We would love to see lots of local high school football players there, wearing their jerseys and showing off their colors!

It’s time to get in the football frame on mind, folks, because the first games are next Thursday and Friday!

Publishing the football section involves about six weeks of intense work by LSJ writers, editors and photographers, including some very long days of final adjustments and proofreading as deadline looms.

It also involves the full cooperation of 22 head varsity football coaches who are very busy this time of year, yet take the time to make sure we get the information we need. We very much appreciate their cooperation!

Why do we put so much work into the football preview section every year? Because those of us who grew up around here have always loved it, and we know thousands of other Muskegon-area sports fans share that feeling.

There’s just something about the magic of high school football and the start of a new season. The annual preview section seems to get everyone in the mood for Friday Night Lights!

The football section originated with the old Muskegon Chronicle, but some years back the newspaper discontinued it, so we at LSJ picked it up and kept the tradition going. Not a single year was skipped, a fact we are very proud of.

As a kid, I remember checking the newspaper in our box each day, starting around the middle of August, to see if the football section was inserted. I couldn’t wait to see which teams were supposed to be good, bad or somewhere in between – expecially how things were shaping up for my beloved Reeths-Puffer Rockets.

This year’s edition features two of the state’s top senior  quarterbacks – Muskegon’s Cameron Martinez and Mona Shores’ Caden Broersma – on the cover. We did a redesign on the 22 individual team preview pages, to give them a fresh look, and we tried to include more interesting feature stories about local players and coaches.

When you come to pick up your football section at the Kickoff Party on Monday, you can also sign up for our new Harbor Cinema/LSJ Gridiron Picks Contest. You simply pick one of the eight LSJ writers who predict the winners of games every week, and your fate will be in his hands all season.

If the writer you chose has the best record of picking winners in any given week, you will be in a drawing for a restaurant gift certificate. If the writer you chose has the best overall record at the end of the season, you will be in a drawing for four free movie passes every month for a full year at the Harbor Cinema on Henry Street in Muskegon!

There will be a table at the Kickoff Party for fans to register for the contest. You can also register by simply emailing your name, address, age, contact number, and the name of the writer you selected to

So please come join us at the 2019 Kickoff Party on Monday night, grab your football preview section and help us ring in the new season, which begins just three nights after that!