By Frank Vajcner
It’s now time to head to the alma mater of Gary Hauf, and a school that has recently hired a new athletic director and friend of the blog Jared Janssen. SMCC has continued with consistently winning and qualifying for the postseason. Does the schedule allow for the Falcons to have another strong season?
Aug 26 @ Warren Collegiate
Sept 1 @ Grosse Ile
Sept 9 @ Airport
Sept 16 Milan
Sept 23 @ Riverview
Sept 30 Flat Rock
Oct 7 New Boston Huron
Oct 14 Jefferson
Oct 21 Ecorse
Gut-Check Game: How many times have we seen this before? The Falcons schedule a season opener against a perennial blue blood. This year puts Warren Collegiate on the docket to kick off the season. The Cougars went 11-3 last season while reaching the State Finals where they lost to Lansing Catholic. In addition, the Cougars have qualified for the playoffs every season since 2009, with three trips to the State Semifinals. There will be more on this one later. The Falcons also venture to Riverview in Week 5, which has become their kryptonite in recent years.
Trap Game: Right after the season opener, the Falcons take a trip to “The Island” for a date with Grosse Ile. The Island has been a tricky visit for the Falcons, despite stealing a win there in their most recent visit. You can also look to a visit to Airport in Week 3, as the Jets gave the Falcons fits in last year’s meeting. Even the first two games in October don’t appear to be pushovers, as the Falcons escaped with single-possession wins over Huron and Jefferson last season.
Snoozer: Make it a clean sweep for all Huron League teams, who have not scheduled a single cupcake game!
Non-Conference Challenge: In addition to Warren Collegiate, the Falcons will also welcome Ecorse in Week 9. The Red Raiders went 8-4 last season, and qualified for the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
Notable: Continuing on with Warren Collegiate, the Falcons and Cougars have some history, with two meetings in the postseason. The Falcons have won both, with the most recent being a 44-14 beatdown in the 2019 playoffs (which was mostly due to the Cougars providing bulletin board material)…This will be the second meeting all-time with the Red Raiders. The Falcons defeated them 41-12 in the 2010 playoffs…Oddly enough, Warren Collegiate and Ecorse faced each other during the playoffs last year…The Falcons will open with three straight, and four of the first five on the road, while ending with four straight at the friendly confines of Navarre Field.
Thoughts from Frank: You have to commend Adam Kipf and company for not shying away from tough competition, especially with the Huron League always being a meat grinder. There is no question about being able to obtain enough playoff points, and there will be no better place to be than Navarre Field come October.
Thoughts from Chris: This is a typical SMCC schedule. The Huron league will be its usual self and the non-league features some solid teams. The three weeks of Airport, Milan and Riverview seems pretty daunting with two of those games on the road.
Thoughts from Gary: One of the best openers in the state vs State Runner-Up Michigan Collegiate. First 4 of 5 on the road is never an easy thing. Falcons find a week 9 in Ecorse…. before the season started. Something that had not happened the previous 3 seasons. Something yours truly appreciates.