By Ron Rop

MUSKEGON–As area high school football teams head into the fifth week of the regular season, thoughts of league races and playoffs will start to emerge.

This season is no different, especially in the realigned, and expanded West Michigan Conference that has been known for decades as one of the top small school conferences in the state. This season, the Whitehall Vikings appear poised to make a run. That became even more evident a week ago when the Vikings routed cross-river rival Montague before a capacity crowd at Whitehall.

“We were able to just settle in and play our game and not worry about anything else,” Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon said. “I think that will pay huge dividends for us in the upcoming weeks of the season.”

The undefeated Vikings host Manistee this week. Key games in the conference include Fremont at Oakridge, Hart at North Muskegon and Montague at Ludington.

Zeeland West visits Muskegon’s Hackey Stadium to take on the Big Reds in a marquee game in the OK-Green Conference. And, across town, Mona Shores will host GR Union, which pushed Reeths-Puffer into overtime a week ago.

Fruitport will unveil its new turf field on Friday night when they host the Broncos of Coopersville.

Friday’s games (All games begin at 7 p.m.)

Grant at Newaygo   

Fremont at Oakridge 

Coopersville at Fruitport

Grand Haven at Jenison

Hart at North Muskegon 

Shelby at Hesperia 

White Cloud at Holton 

Kent City at Lakeview 

Montague at Ludington 

Ravenna at Mason County Central 

Zeeland West at Muskegon 

Muskegon Catholic at Orchard View 

Grand Rapids Union at Mona Shores  

Reeths-Puffer at Wyoming

Spring Lake at Holland Christian 

Manistee at Whitehall