By Frank Vajcner and Gary Hauf
Before we release our picks for week 1, Gary and I will offer you another tasty appetizer in our guide to the best games of 2023 in the blog coverage area.
We broke games down into two categories:
- Must-See Game: This is the early favorite for our Game of the Week.
- Under the Radar: Not as much hype, but still has some interesting storylines.
Must-See Game: Airport @ Carlson. Two programs coming off of strong seasons with expectations to go even higher in 2023. And you can also call it a Huron League Reunion, as both teams were in the Huron League until Carlson left after the 1992 season.
Under the Radar: Erie Mason @ Jefferson. Hello from the other side. The first game of the Rob Beaudrie era will have him facing his old team. The seniors from Erie Mason were coached by Beaudrie as freshmen in 2020. The Bears will be looking to avenge a close loss to the Eagles last season. Throw in that Eagles’ head coach Steve Bowers will face his former boss, and this could be juicy.
Honorable Mention: Warren Collegiate @ SMCC. The Cougars may have taken the opener last season, but the last time they came to Navarre Field the result was the Falcons winning big in the 2019 postseason.
Honorable Mention: Flat Rock @ Dundee: This was another that I couldn’t leave off, as it is another playoff rematch. Dundee will be christening a new turf field, and fans will be treated to a battle between two junior QBs in the Vikings’ Ryan Zanger and the Rams’ Graham Junge.
Must see Game: Riverview @ Airport. This early season match-up will have major implications for the league Crown. The Jets have not beaten Riverview since 2012.
Under the Radar: Ida @ Whiteford. This could have been in the must see category. Both teams have their sights set high… league title, state tourney run. The Woods will be on fire in this one.
Must-See Game: Airport @ Flat Rock. The Jets kept “The Jug” in a thriller last season. The Rams will be looking for their first win in the series since 2017.
Under the Radar: Clinton @ Ida. These two teams have met four times in the last two seasons, but there won’t be a sixth, as they are in different divisions. Ida will look to end a three-game skid to the Red Wolves.
Must see Game: Saline @ Bedford. Bedford knocked off Saline in 2022, ending a very long streak of SEC wins for the Hornets. Can the Kicking Mules do it again?
Under the Radar: Airport @ SMCC. This game has upset alert written all over it. I do suspect Airport will be ready however.
Must-See Game: Flat Rock @ Riverview. Provided that both teams survive tests against Airport, this could be where the Huron League gets decided. The last win for the Rams at Don Lessner Field came in 2017.
Under the Radar: Southgate Anderson @ Gibraltar Carlson. The Marauders will be looking to avenge a loss to the Titans, who appear to be back on the map.
Must See Game: Dundee @ Clinton. This should be a great game. Clinton is a tough place to play, most teams come away with an “L”. I give the Vikings a real chance in this one.
Under the Radar: Carlson @ Trenton. Big time match-up in the Down River League. Trenton knocked Carlson out of the playoffs in 2022. Revenge is on the mind for the Marauders.
Must-See Game: Reading @ Whiteford. These two teams have met twice in the postseason, with the Rangers getting the win both times on their home field. This time, it’s the Bobcats who get home-field. The Woods will be raucous for this one.
Under the Radar: Blissfield @ Ida. The Royals stunned the Blue Streaks in the final seconds last season. Can Ida avenge one that got away?
Must See Game: Huron @ Flat Rock. This is always a fun game. A big time rivalry that has been rather even recently. Huron holds the edge 6-4 over the last ten years.
Under the radar: Bedford @ Monroe. This could have playoff implications for the Trojans. The Golden Cleat will be on the line.
Must-See Game: Ida @ Dundee. I know that I have been banging this drum for the last couple of years, but PLEASE, LCAA scheduling powers, I beseech thee. Keep the Backyard Brawl in Week 9!!!! The last three meetings have been decided by a combined seven points, and having been on both sides of this rivalry, it is always a must-see.
Under the Radar: Riverview @ Monroe: Besides the entertaining smack talk in the comments, both teams will be pounding each other with the football, and looking to lock up some playoff points in the last week of the season.
Find yourself coming back everyday? Support your local bloggers by scanning below and donating.