By Dan Hardenbrook
After an incredible regular season that saw them go 8-1 overall, the Newberry Indians head to Rogers City for the opening round of the playoffs this Friday.
Newberry qualified for the playoffs by earning the seventh most total points in the MHSAA’s playoff rankings and will be a part of the 16 teams competing for a State Championship in 8 Man Division 1. The Indians are the #3 seed in Region 1, while the undefeated Hurons are #2.
Top-seeded Munising (9-0) will host #4 Norway (6-3) in the other regional semifinal. The winners of those two games will go face off in the regional championship for a spot in the state semifinals next week.
After Inland Lakes won their season finale on Saturday, Pickford and Rudyard were both surpassed in playoff standings and did not qualify for the postseason. Rogers City was the next furthest team north and got paired up with the Upper Peninsula teams.
The MHSAA playoff committee elected to send Inland Lakes south instead of the Hurons due to geographic reasons and ease of travel along I-75 to play teams further south. That decision means that three of the top seven teams in the state playoff point ranking are in the same four-team regional group. Only one of those teams will advance past the second round.
The Indians and Hurons will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Gilpin Field in Rogers City. Digital tickets must be purchased in advance through the MHSAA ticketing partner GoFan. Tickets can be purchased online or through the GoFan app. Cost is $7 per person plus processing fees. No cash will be accepted at the gate.
The Indians were the last team to defeat Rogers City, knocking off another undefeated Hurons team that was 7-0 heading into the two team’s week 8 game last season.