by Richard Lamb—Advance Editor
A great deal of cooperation took place to move the quarterfinal match to Gaylord Tuesday (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. Word came from Rogers City athletic director Samantha Amrhein Monday morning that the Class D volleyball quarterfinal match between the Hurons and Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy (SHA), scheduled to be played in Buckley, had been switched to a more favorable location for travel. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) gave its blessing on the move first thing Monday morning.
The quarterfinal region could have included a team from the far southwest portion of Michigan, as SHA defeated Muskegon Catholic Central in the regional finals. In that case, Buckley would have been a relatively central location for the match. But in this case, Rogers City players and fans would have faced a nearly three-hour drive, one way to get to Buckley Community Schools while Sacred Heart fans had approximately a 94 minute drive.
The move to Gaylord increased the SHA fans’ drive about a minute, according to Google Maps, while saving Huron fans and players about three hours on the road.
In prior seasons, the Hurons played in a region that included teams from the Upper Peninsula. Rogers City played Crystal Falls Forest Park in the Engadine quarterfinal last season and played in the Manistique quarterfinal in 2015 against another U.P. team.
Onaway, in its final four runs, also played in the Manistique quarterfinals in prior seasons.
Thanks to the persistence of Amrhein, RCHS principal Nick Hein, the wisdom of MHSAA coordinators, the cooperation of SHA administrators and the hospitality of the administrators at Gaylord High School, the move to Gaylord happened. It is a move that makes a lot of sense, they all agreed.
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The winner of the RCHS vs. Sacred Heart match will play in the state semifinals against the winner of the Kalamazoo Central quarterfinal featuring perennial power Battle Creek St. Philip and top-rated Plymouth Christian Academy. That state semifinal match will be played Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.
The top half of the bracket features a quarterfinal match up between No. 7 Rudyard and Munising with the winner to play the winner of the Southfield Christian vs. No. 6 Fowler match. Winners there will square off in the noon Class D state semifinal Nov. 16.
The Class D state championship match is set for Saturday Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. All final four matches will be played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
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