LCAA/Huron League Challenge

By Frank Vajcner

Lenawee County Athletics Association or Huron League?

It has been a somewhat popular debate amongst blog readers, as well as blog contributors, as to which conference is better in football.

As the lone LCAA school grad amongst four other Huron League school grads, I decided that the best way to determine this (hypothetically) would be a conference crossover challenge, much like the B1G and ACC do in college basketball.

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Now before we get into the proposed matches, allow me to explain my methods of madness.

To decide the match-ups, I grouped the top four and bottom four from each conference based on standings, and then did a blind draw. The easy way to do this would have been put first place against first place, second against second, and so on. But with Clinton being a newcomer, I had to place them at second based on their record. After determining match-ups, I then used the website to project the outcome on a neutral field.

As for when this happens, the only time to do so is in Week 1, as the Huron League opens conference play in Week 2, while the LCAA does so in Week 3. A season-opening conference crossover challenge seems to have more appeal than later on, as teams could potentially meet again in the postseason. The winning conference gets a trophy to be displayed at a respective school’s home game throughout the season.

I’ll also include the following disclaimer: This is NOT what I think would happen if we had such a challenge, as I have no to very little info on all of the teams as they head into the coming season. This is rather a “just for fun” scenario, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Clinton vs. Riverview

Storyline: A first-time meeting of two teams who run the Full House T. Both the Pirates and Redskins have had postseason success in the last decade, with Riverview making a run to the State Semifinals in 2017, and Clinton making trips to the State Finals in 2013 and 2015.

Who wins: Clinton prevails 28-22 in a game I believe would be a knock-down, drag out affair.

Milan vs. Onsted

Storyline: Two teams coming off of some of their best seasons in school history. Milan won a school-record 11 games, while Onsted made a surprise run to the State Semifinals where they gave eventual State Champion SMCC all they could handle. This would be the third meeting all-time between the Big Reds and Wildcats, with the Big Reds having won both prior meetings. Interestingly enough, both were in the playoffs (1996 and 1999).

Who wins: The third time isn’t the charm for Onsted, as Milan prevails 31-19.

Jefferson vs. Hudson

Storyline: Another first-time matchup of Full House T teams. While neither team is what they used to be, both have won state championships in their time, with the Bears bringing home the hardware in 1994, and the Tigers doing so in 2010. 

Who wins: Hudson squeaks out a close one 24-21.

Blissfield vs SMCC

Storyline: This is the juiciest matchup of the challenge, given a fairly recent matchup between both programs back in the 2007 playoffs. For those who need a refresher, it was the Royals who shocked the Falcons in the final seconds 20-19 in the District Championship game. That Royals’ team advanced to the State Championship game. Since then, the Falcons have gone on to win two state championships (2014 and 2019). This would be the 13th meeting between the programs.

Who wins: No need to sweat this one, Falcon faithful, as SMCC prevails 35-19.

Hillsdale vs Airport

Storyline: This would be the sixth meeting between the programs, but first since 1957. Hornets’ head coach Marc Lemerand is familiar with the Jets, as he played against them while at SMCC.

Who wins: In another tight game, the Hornets prevail over the Jets 22-17 to go 6-0 against Airport.

Dundee vs Grosse Ile

Storyline: On the surface, this one doesn’t have a lot of sizzle. But both programs have some familiarity, as they were members of the Huron League until the Vikings left in 1964. They would meet again in 2005, 2006, and 2011, with the Red Devils taking all three meetings.

Who wins: The last time Dundee prevailed over Grosse Ile was 1963. The Vikings end a 57-year drought with a 28-22 win.

Flat Rock vs Ida

Storyline: Another matchup between teams with prior history, as both the Rams and Blue Streaks opened the season with each other from 1990-2004, and again from 2009-2012.

Who wins: Ida gets a fight from Flat Rock, but hangs on to win 34-28.

Huron vs Columbia Central

Storyline: Another first time meeting between programs, but in this one, the Golden Eagles and Chiefs run spread offenses.

Who wins: This is the closest game of the challenge, and it’s the Golden Eagles who prevail 24-22.

Final Verdict: Upon proposing this challenge to the rest of the blog contingent, I was told that the Huron League would win, which I happened to agree with. 

Well, as Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend!”

The LCAA wins the challenge 6-2 in my scenario. The biggest surprise for me was Clinton beating Riverview, Clinton is nearly three times smaller in terms of size of student body, and is in Division 6, compared to View being in Division 3. We had another Division 6 prevailing over a Division 3 with Columbia Central’s win over Huron, who doubles Columbia in size. The largest gap in divisions is Jefferson (Division 4) and Hudson (Division 8).

Will we see something similar in the future? We can only hope at this point. But if it does happen, all fans should hope for great games.

16 thoughts on “LCAA/Huron League Challenge”

  1. Just based on 2019. Onsted finished 3rd in the LCAA. Monroe St. Mary’s rolled the Huron league except for Milan. Onsted and St Mary’s were as even as you could get. I think Clinton will be best in LCAA. I see the Huron getting 2 wins at most with Milan and MSMCC. Could be 0 if all the breaks went the way of the LCAA.

    1. Onsted was the best team in the LCAA by the end of the season. They had lost in week 3 and 4 to Blissfield and Hillsdale, then ran off 8 straight wins before running into SMCC. Those 8 wins included wins over Blissfield (28-21) and Hillsdale (12-0).

    1. Onsted vs Riverview would have been a great game. A Couple others would have competed vs Riverview as well.

  2. More proof that Frank stacked the deck.
    CalPreps results:
    Airport 5-3 vs LCAA with Clinton, 6-2 with Erie Mason
    Flat Rock 1-7 vs LCAA with Clinton, 2-6 with Erie Mason
    Grosse Ile 1-7 vs LCAA with Clinton, 2-6 with Erie Mason
    Huron 3-5 vs LCAA with Clinton, 4-4 with Erie Mason
    Jefferson 0-8 vs LCAA with Clinton, 0-8 with Erie Mason
    Milan 8-0 vs LCAA with Clinton, 8-0 with Erie Mason
    Riverview 6-2 vs LCAA with Clinton, 7-1 with Erie Mason
    SMCC 8-0 vs Lcaa with Clinton, 8-0 with Erie Mason
    Overall Huron League 32-32 vs LCAA with Clinton, 37-25 with Erie Mason

  3. People, these are NOT my predictions. Calpreps decided the outcome, so don’t be mad at me. I didn’t agree with the outcome for Clinton and Riverview, nor with the outcome for Huron and Columbia Central. The only games the LCAA won in this scenario that I’ll stick by are Hudson, Hillsdale, and Ida. And there was no stacking of the deck. Matchups were randomly decided after grouping teams. Had I done a completely random draw, we could’ve had a Milan vs Hudson or Onsted vs Flat Rock, which more than likely, would’ve been bloodbaths.

  4. Obviously Frank stacked the deck on this one. This is probably the only scenario where the LCAA would have an edge. I find it pretty convenient that Frank used Clinton instead of Erie Mason for the matchup, which makes sense for 2020, but still uses 2019 data. Clinton finished undefeated in the TCC while Erie Mason finished winless in the LCAA last season. From my own data, the LCAA trails the Huron League head to head since 1950 and would need to win 24 straight games just to get to .500. Here is an interesting stat that I found while checking out data: SMCC and Dundee have only played once in football. That makes no sense. These schools are only 14 miles a part.

    1. dundee does not play cc because cc has been good for the past decade and dundee has been ehh more towards the bottom of the LCAA. they are div 5 and cc is 7. does not look good when a smaller schooler beats you. i wish cc would play ida, great game.

    1. How many times did you beat Bedford in football or boys’ hoops last year? I’ll hang up and listen.

  5. Frank
    You are a tad biased my friend. Too many seasons of covering the Vikings has the woll pulled over your eyes!

    My predictions in this scenario:
    Riverview over Clinton- Riverview has more depth on most years but it would be closer than people think

    Milan defeats Onsted- There is not a team in the LCAA that has the kind of athletes that Milan does on a yearly basis. Onsted may be a physically big team but this is not a good match-up for them. Milan by 24+.

    Hudson over Jefferson- This would be a physical football game that would be fun to watch in the 90s or early 2000’s. As of late, it is hard to pick the Bears so I have to go with the tradition of the Hudson Tigers but this could easily be a home-team-wins game.

    SMCC over Blissfield- After this senior class graduates at Blissfield, I predict the Royals to fall to the bottom of the league and a new coach to take the reigns. On most years SMCC is more talented and disciplined. With the exception of the 2007 game, Blissfield has not fared well with the Falcons.

    Hillsdale vs. Airport- This is a toss up game every year. If i was going off the 2019 season, I would go with Airport by a FG.

    Grosse Ile over Dundee- Dundee looked to be a program on the rise these past 4 or 5 years but with another new coach, new system, I would expect them to be out-athlete’d by the Red Devils 9 times out of 10. Dundee can’t get out of their own way to be successful and Coach Bodner’s system is tough to stop when they aren’t injury plagued.

    Ida over Flat Rock- This used to be a great non-conference game for both teams at one point. As of late however, I do not think this would be even close. Ida by 24 while the Rams give up 350 rushing yards (sorry Chris!)

    Huron v. BCC- This would be a great match up if you like spread offense football. There is always athletes on both teams and not so much defense! If I was going off 2019 talent, I would have to pick Huron in a close one, 24-21.

    Overall, I think the Huron League is stronger than the LCAA on a yearly basis. There is some great programs in the LCAA that could compete in the Huron League when talent is good. I think the coaching in both leagues is very similar, at least when you review the last 5 years of data. Both leagues seem to put on average of 3-5 teams in the playoffs on a yearly basis with success by those squads. A week 9 LCAA-Huron League Crossover would be an exciting showdown but with the new playoff system it will never happen.

    1. i would say clinton beats the view more than view beating clinton. i would also go onsted 50 50 with milan. milan has just had athletes the past 5ish years. onsted is pretty underrated year in year out tbh

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