There is plenty at stake as area teams head into Week 8 of the high school football season. There are conference championships to be won, there are bragging rights on the line and there is positioning for the playoffs, which being in two weeks.
No area game carries more weight than the West Michigan Conference showdown that features Montague (6-1, 5-0) travel over White River and into Whitehall to take on the Vikings (6-1, 4-1). It’s the annual Battle for the Bell.
A Montague victory gives the Wildcats the outright title, but a Whitehall victory could produce a logjam atop the final league standings. Friday’s winner will take with them neighborhood bragging rights.
Whitehall is ranked No. 4 in Division 4 and Montague is ranked No. 5 in Division 6.
Both teams’ lone setback came early in the season, which means both are on a roll heading into the final two regular-season games and the quickly approaching playoffs.
Other games of area interest include another WMC matchup with Ravenna at Oakridge and Muskegon traveling cross town to take on the Reeths-Puffer Rockets. The once-defeated Big Reds will be looking to avoid a letdown after last week’s rout of their cross town rivals to the south, the Mona Shores Sailors.
At Hesperia, where the Panthers host Manistee, late coach Dan Homan, a member of the coaches’ Hall of Fame will be honored in a short ceremony at halftime.
All games begin at 7 p.m. Friday, unless otherwise noted.
Coming Thursday: Local Sports Journal writer Greg Gielczyk takes a closer look at the Montague-Whitehall showdown, complete with comments from Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon and Montague coach Justin Dennert.
Fremont at Reed City
Fruitport at Allendale
Grant at Central Montcalm
Grand Haven at East Kentwood
Shelby at Hart
Manistee at Hesperia
Holton at Wyoming Lee
Hartford at Kent City, 1 p.m. Saturday
Morley Stanwood at Ludington
North Muskegon at Mason County Central
Mona Shores at Holland
Montague at Whitehall
Muskegon at Reeths Puffer
Centreville at Muskegon Catholic Central
Muskegon Heights at Carson City Crystal
Ravenna at Oakridge
Newaygo at Chippewa Hills
Spring Lake at Grand Rapids Catholic