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MHSAA reveals revised schedule for football playoffs, other fall sports championships

David Goricki
The Detroit News

The MHSAA announced a revised schedule on Wednesday for the completion of fall sports championships in Michigan, which were put on hold Sunday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Football has three weeks remaining in the state playoffs, while volleyball and girls swimming have one week.

Wide receiver David Martin runs with ball in the first quarter of River Rouge's district championship win over New Boston Huron.

Practices would resume Wednesday, Dec. 9 with championship events scheduled to take place according to this schedule:

FOOTBALL

Regionals: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 15-16

Semifinals: Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 21-22

Finals: Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 28-29 at Ford Field

VOLLEYBALL

Quarterfinals: Tuesday, Dec. 15

Semifinals: Thursday-Friday, Dec. 17-18 at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena

Finals: Saturday, Dec. 19 at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena

SWIMMING

Lower Peninsula Finals: Tuesday, Dec. 22 (diving) and Wednesday, Dec. 23 (swimming)

“We understand where COVID numbers were trending, and that’s why we have been supportive of the order to pause,” Uyl said in an MHSAA statement. “But these fall sports deserve closure, and this strategy provides the best opportunities without further interruptions to a normal course of training and competition.

“A very small percentage of our teams remain active in our fall tournaments, also limiting potential exposure to the virus across the state.”

Uyl said the MHSAA has no Plan B if the three-week shutdown is extended.

The MHSAA also announced that winter sports competitions would not begin until Jan. 4. Winter sports practices, however, can resume Dec. 9 along with the fall sports. Uyl said the boys and girls basketball state tournaments could be pushed back, possibly into April.

West Bloomfield head football coach Ron Bellamy hopes that championships will indeed be decided by the end of the year.

West Bloomfield's Donovan Edwards scores his fourth touchdown in the second quarter against Sterling Heights Stevenson.

West Bloomfield four-star running back Donovan Edwards will be headed to start his college career in January, as will Kentucky-bound receiver/cornerback Maxwell Hairston.

 “For us, we’re using this as a bye week,” Bellamy said. “I told the coaches to let the kids off this week, catch their breath. Then, next week we’re going to try to watch the Stevenson game (district final win over Sterling Heights Stevenson) with the kids, then have virtual workouts. We told the kids to not get in groups, just go run on your own.”

West Bloomfield – 8-1 and ranked No. 4 in The Detroit News Super 20 – has outscored its opponents by a 271-9 margin during the last six games, including 63-6 over Stevenson on Saturday in a Division 1 district final.

“We’re not playing football in the spring,” Bellamy said. “This will be a whole different team, the same with Cass Tech, Belleville. … End of December, yes, but once you get to basketball season, no. We’re going to prepare for three weeks from now, then try and see what happens. What sucks is I feel we’re playing better than anyone right now.”

Cass Tech also will lose multiple players at the end of the year, including Michigan-bound center Raheem Anderson and the King twins to Penn State, cornerback Kalen King and linebacker/running back Kobe King.

The same thing could be said for Belleville with Alabama-bound lineman Damon Payne, linebacker Jamari Buddin and receiver Deion Burks expected to leave early.