GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- West Catholic begins its quest for a 6th straight state championship Friday night against Unity Christian at Jenison High School in the game of the Week on the Blitz
The Falcons (5-4) are a young team, but have several players with extensive playoff experience in recent years.
"It helps a lot having that familiarity of being a playoff team" senior slot receiver Jack Schichtel said. "Not getting too excited and being able to stay calm and perform when we need to is really a blessing."
Unity Christian is making its 10th playoff appearance, but the previous nine came in division 4.
The Crusaders fielded a roster of just 23 players during the regular season but that number has grown significantly for the postseason.
"It is nice we have some of the young guys join us for the playoffs" 16th year head coach Craig Tibbe said. "It gives you some new fresh bodies to practice against and those guys don't have to always go both ways in practice like they do in the game. Some days it was hard for us to practice 11 on 11 so we would go half line stuff and now hopefully we can go full teams here and get some stuff done."
East Grand Rapids (6-3) will face Muskegon (9-0) in the Blitz Battle. The Big Reds knocked off the Pioneers 49-21 in week 3, but EGR had leads of 14-0 and 21-7 in that game.
Other games we are planning to send cameras to on Friday night include:
- West Ottawa (6-3) at Hudsonville (6-3)
- Forest Hills Central (5-4) at Mona Shores (8-1)
- Portage Northern (7-2) vs. Portage Central (7-2) at Portage Northern
- Northview (7-2) at Grand Rapids Christian (7-2)
- Gaylord (6-3) at Cedar Springs (8-1)
- Battle Creek Central (6-3) at Thornapple Kellogg (7-2)
- Lakeshore (5-4) at Zeeland East (8-1)
- Spring Lake (5-4) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (8-1)
- Allendale (5-4) at Whitehall (7-2)
- Otsego (5-4) at Holland Christian (6-3)
- Godwin Heights (6-3) vs. South Christian (5-4) at East Kentwood
- Paw Paw (7-2) at Three Rivers (8-1)
- Belding (7-2) at Oakridge (8-1)
- Berrien Springs (7-2) at Hopkins (8-1)
- Coloma (5-4) at Kalamazoo United (9-0)
- Ovid-Elsie (6-3) at Portland (9-0)
- Fennville (7-2) at Montague (7-2)
- Constantine (6-3) at Schoolcraft (7-2)
- Saugatuck (8-1) at Kent City (8-1)
- Saranac (7-2) at Pewamo-Westphalia (9-0)
- Holton (5-4) at Martin (6-3)
- Webberville (4-5) vs. Tri-Unity Christian (9-0) at Grandville Middle School (8-Player)
The Blitz will air after game 3 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers.