Blissfield, Whiteford in state playoffs

Of the teams in The Advance coverage area, both Blissfield and Whiteford earned spots in the postseason playoffs which begin Friday. Whiteford will be defending its 2018 state Division 8 championship.

A full preview is included in the Oct. 24 edition of The Advance’s “Destination Detroit” special section. Here is a brief intro to stories included in that section:

BLISSFIELD

For the second straight year the Blissfield Royals have earned a berth in the Michigan High school Athletic Association football tournament. While not an automatic contender, the Royals had enough play-off points to get one of the coveted spots in the district tournament in Division 6.
Teams with six wins on the regular season were received automatic berths in the playoffs across eight divisions. Once those were determined teams with 5-4 records were selected based on playoff points and
strength of schedule.
While many predictions suggested Blissfield may find themselves in a Detroit area district, once the brackets were released the Royals found out they would be heading into some familiar territory with the co-champions of the league HIllsdale (8-1) and Columbia Central (8-1) both in the same district along with Quincy (6-3)of the Big 8 Conference.

WHITEFORD

The road to a possible repeat Division-8 football state championship for the Whiteford Bobcats begins this Friday night, as the Bobcats play host to the Lenawee Christian Cougars in Ottawa Lake, 7 p.m. It is a rematch for both squads from one year ago, when the teams met for the first time ever on the football field. Whiteford won that initial battle, 61-6, as they made their way through the D8 bracket and eventually up to Ford Field for a repeat trip, winning the title over Saginaw Nouvel. It was Whiteford’s first ever football state championship in program history.

Madison, Whiteford winners in opening night of football

The defending state champion Whiteford Bobcats varsity football team hosted and roasted the Blissfield Royals 48-6 in the opening night of Friday night lights football.

Meanwhile, the Madison Trojans started off on a positive note with a 35-14 victory over visiting East Jackson Friday night.

Britton Deerfield had some moments where they looked good on offense and made some quality stops, but fell to Lenawee Christian School 26-12 in their away opener.

For the complete stories and photos from the games, please see The Advance’s Aug. 29 edition.

Blissfield Royals win district baseball title

Blissfield Royals head Coach Larry Tuttle has led his teams over the years to many titles, but it was 2010 when his Royals last won a district crown; that is, until Saturday.

Blissfield High School brought home the baseball district title after the Royals downed Dundee in the championship game played at home.

The Royals took down the Madison Trojans earlier in the day 4-0, while Dundee beat Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic Central 4-1 to set up the title bout which saw Blissfield emerge victorious in a 4-0 win.

Next up: The Royals will play in regionals at Clinton Saturday.

For the complete story, please see the June 6, 2018, edition of The Advance.

Blissfield softball opens with pair of wins

Despite cloudy, overcast conditions and temperatures hovering just above 40 degrees (which were predicted to be near the mid-50s for game time Wednesday), the Blissfield Lady Royals shook off the chilly spring temperatures and they greeted the first contest of the softball season with two well played victories over the non-conference Summerfield Bulldogs.
In game one the Royals topped the Bulldogs by a score of 4-1, and in game two, Blissfield was again victorious, holding Summerfield scoreless for the entire seven innings of play, in a 7-0 win. The Royals have now taken their undefeated 2-0 record into this week’s spring break recess.

For Brad Heineman’s full story on opening softball games from the previous week, please check the April 4, 2018, edition of The Advance. And if you missed the Spring Sports Previews featuring varsity previews of all spring sports for Blissfield, Britton Deerfield, Whiteford and Madison, stop at The Advance and purchase a March 28 edition.

Thompson inducted into Football Coaches Hall of Fame

EAST LANSING — Blissfield’s own Dennis “Denny” Thompson now has his name forever enrished in high school football coaching fame and honor.
The longtime Blissfield Community Schools coach and teacher was honored along with 13 other Michigan High School football coaches, March 10 up in East Lansing, for being inducted into the state’s Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
A dinner reception and celebratory induction event took place the evening of March 10 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West in Lansing.
Fellow Lenawee County football Coach Chris Luma of Hudson High School, was also part of this year’s hall of fame class.
Thompson, a 40-year teacher and athletic coach at Blissfield Community Schools, graduated from Blissfield High School in 1969. He began his long coaching tenure as a Royal in 1973. He officially retired from coaching at Blissfield in 2013 and since then has been coaching alongside his son Jeff, at Onsted High School.
In total, Thompson has been coaching high school athletes for 45 years. On March 10, he was being honored for his accomplishments and service in coaching high school football.
“It was a really neat evening. I was pleasantly surprised, honored and humbled by everything,” Thompson said.

For the complete story, please see the March 28, 2018, edition of The Advance.

Blissfield, BD advance in women’s basketball district openers

In the opening rounds of women’s basketball district action Monday night, Feb. 26, the Blissfield Lady Royals took down Summerfield on the Lady Bulldogs’ home court by a score of 57-30, and the Britton Deerfield Lady Patriots defeated the Whiteford Bobcats 48-45 in overtime taking advantage of home court.

For the full story on women’s basketball districts, please see the March 7, 2018, edition of The Advance.

REGIONAL CHAMPS: Madison cheers way to regional title; Royals season ends

By Brad Heineman
MASON — The Madison Trojans are on a mission. It’s such an important mission that even perennial state competitive cheerleading power Hudson could not get in the way of the Lady Trojans during Saturday’s regional championship event at Mason High School.
In record-breaking fashion, Madison took home its first-ever regional competitive cheerleading championship in program history by earning the top overall score in Division-4 cheering, a 749.64, which outpaced the Hudson Tigers’ second-place score of 746.26.
The Trojans’ score was a season-high for the blue-and-gold. Last season, Madison advanced from the regionals and went on to the state meet, finishing in third place. In 2018, they made it a return trip to the state finals, but this year they move on as the regional tournament champs.
Madison got out to a first-round lead of 229.30 to Hudson’s 226.80, and the Trojans never looked back from then on. They led by more than four points after rounds one and two, but Hudson was able to slice into the edge a smidgen in the third round. Still, it was Madison that did not falter after grabbing the early lead and they walked away from the Mason gymnasium with a closely contested regional title.
Just like the district competition, the top four scoring teams from the regional bracket advance on to the state finals at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Delta Plex Arena, Grand Rapids.

The Blissfield Royals, who were back-to-back Class C runners up in 1996 and 1997, will not get an opportunity to cheer for their first state championship in over 20 years, after finishing with the 11th best score of the Mason Regionals.
The Royals, who advanced to the regionals for the first time in close to eight years, ended Saturday’s tournament with a score of 647.10.

For all the details on local regional cheer action for Madison and Blissfield, please pick up a copy of the Feb. 28, 2018, edition of The ADVANCE. To subscribe, please call 517-486-2400. The ADVANCE could be in your mailbox weekly with just a quick phone call!

Five area bowlers bound for state lanes

By Brad Heineman
For five high school varsity bowlers representing Blissfield and Madison, their team portion of the season may have reached its end, but their individual success on the season and in the postseason regional tournament continues on into this Saturday’s state finals tournament.
Representing the Blissfield Royals in the individual state finals tournament at Battle Creek’s M-66 Bowl Alley will be first-ever state finalists, Amanda Fisher, Breann Knierim and Zack Taylor.
Representing the Madison Trojans individually at the state finals, will be senior Isaac Solis, a three-year state bowling finalist, and first-time finalist Donnie Farrar. Madison, bowling in the Division-3 tournament this postseason, will compete in the state finals at Muskegon’s Northway Lanes.
Britton Deerfield was not eligible to participate in Friday’s team tournament due to not having enough players to form a team. They opted to draw a forfeit on the day and instead bowled in Saturday’s individual tournament hosted by Blissfield at Ten Pin Lanes in Tecumseh.

For more details on this week’s bowling results, please see Brad’s story in the Feb. 28, 2018, edition of The ADVANCE.

Bobcats win state football title

 

DETROIT - The Whiteford Bobcats returned to Ford Fieldin Detroit after achieving runner-up status in 2016
and claimed the Division-8 MHSAA state championship
Friday morning, defeating Saginaw Nouvel Catholic
Central 42-21.

The Bobcats got out to a quick first-half lead, going into the locker room at half time with a 34-7
advantaqe.

The undefeated 'Cats extended the lead in the third quarter and played for a time with a running clock until Saginaw Nouvel scored twice.

This is Whiteford's first state title and was its
first meeting with Saginaw Nouvel. However, when the Blissfield Royals played for the state
title 10 years ago, it was Saginaw Nouvel - then 
in D-6 - that took home the state crown over the
Royals.

Bobcats headed back to Ford Field

The Whiteford Bobcats didn’t let a little rain and cold – or a lot of rain and cold – stop them from their goal of returning to Ford Field for a second crack at the MHSAA Division Eight state football title.

To get there, the Bobcats continued their perfect season by handling Mendon Saturday afternoon 50-21.  The ‘Cats got off to a 22-0 first quarter to set the pace. By halftime, the score was 36-7 Bobcats.

They will face Saginaw Nouvel the day after Thanksgiving at Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Interestingly, Saginaw Nouvel, who played in Division Six 10 years ago, was the team the Blissfield Royals faced and fell to in 2007 at the state finals.

This is the second consecutive year Whiteford’s football team has made it to the state finals. Last year, they lost in that last game and claimed state runner-up status.

For Brad Heineman’s complete story and photos, please see the Nov. 22 edition of The Advance.