Midseaon update: A complete look at BWAC sports
As some sports are already preparing for playoffs – such as boys tennis and girls golf – and others – like football and volleyball – are just reaching the midpoint of their seasons, I thought this would be the perfect time to check in with the local BWAC teams.
For details on each sport, keep on reading. But if you’re in a hurry and just want to know the current standings, click here for the new Sports Report BWAC Standings page.
Football Volleyball Soccer XC Tennis Golf
Croswell-Lexington and North Branch continue to lead the conference, each boasting a clean 5-0 record. The two won’t play each other until Oct. 14, which happens to be the final league game of the season.
In this week’s AP High School Football Rankings, the Pioneers ranked fourth in Division 4 and the Broncos were 10th. Armada also received votes in the Division 5 rankings.
Heading into last week, Armada and Almont were tied at No. 3 in the league standings with 2-1 records. Armada fell to Cros-Lex 34-12 in week 3 and Almont fell to North Branch 34-14 in week 4.
They settled the dispute on Friday, however, when the Tigers overcame the Raiders in a narrow 14-10 victory. Almont scored a field goal in the first quarter and Armada answered with a touchdown to start the second. The Raiders rallied for another score, taking a 10-6 lead, but the Tigers returned to the end zone and completed the 2-point conversion. It was 14-10 by the half and would remain just so.
Almont will test itself against Cros-Lex this Friday while Armada will play Wyoming – an 0-5 Division 2 team in the OK-Green conference in place of Algonac.
Richmond started off its season with a 14-0 win over St. Clair, but has since suffered several injuries and losses since week 1. The Blue Devils stand 2-2 in league play, picking up a win over Imlay City and a forfeit victory from Algonac.
Yale continues to prove itself within the conference despite the Bulldogs’ 1-3 record. They’ve beaten Richmond and fallen to not only the three top teams in the area, but also the state: North Branch, Armada, and Cros-Lex. They gave the Pioneers a bit of a scare last Friday, coming up just short in overtime, 32-29. They’ll play Imlay City this Friday.
Similar to the conference’s football teams, the BWAC volleyball teams are making themselves known statewide. The most recent rankings from the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association have kept North Branch at No. 1 in Division 2 and in the last two weeks, named Imlay City and Cros-Lex as honorable mention contenders.
North Branch has dominated all season without dropping a single set. The Broncos will play Cros-Lex on the road on Oct. 11 and will see Imlay City at the league tournament on Oct. 22.
Cros-Lex upset Imlay City two weeks ago when the Pioneers won an exciting five-set match. Prior to that, the Spartans hadn’t lost a set in conference play, with the exception of North Branch. They’ll play again on Oct. 18 in Imlay City.
Richmond, which started off the season 0-3, has been adjusting and building chemistry on the court, improving to 3-4 and ranking fourth in the conference. Most recently, the Blue Devils took Imlay City to five sets, ultimately falling 2-3.
Algonac, Almont, and Armada are in a three-way tie for fifth, each with a 2-5 record, and Yale rounds out the group at 1-6. Each of these teams will be in action today as they begin their second round of league matches.
Imlay City continues to power through conference play at 9-0 and ranks No. 4 in this week’s Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings for Division 3. The Spartans have shut out every league opponent, ending seven of their nine games early. Only Richmond and Cros-Lex have played a full 80 minutes against Imlay City despite falling 7-0 and 4-0, respectively.
Richmond is second in league play at 7-1 and has averaged 6.4 goals per game so far this fall. North Branch stands at No. 3 at 5-2-1, falling once each to Imlay City and Richmond and tied with Armada, 1-1.
Cros-Lex falls in line at No. 4 with a 3-5 record and has continued to improve throughout the season. The Pioneers will play North Branch in the final match of the season on Oct. 10 which could potentially decide who finishes No. 3 overall on the year.
Armada has picked up wins over Cros-Lex and Yale this season and is No. 5 in the BWAC at 2-6-1, and Almont is right behind at 2-7. The Raiders have fallen in a few one-point matches this year, including once to North Branch (5-4) and once to Richmond (3-2). Their young team will certainly be a threat next year.
The Cros-Lex girls and Yale boys won the first BWAC jamboree of the season, and both the girls and boys teams for Armada and Richmond finished second and third, respectively. Teams will meet this afternoon in Croswell for the second conference race of the season.
Yale won the boys race in dominant fashion, securing a team-low 27 points as eight Bulldogs filled the top 15. Armada senior Camden Khon was the overall winner with a personal best of 16 minutes, 23.5 seconds.
Yale junior Blake Ferguson – who finished second to Khon in their first meeting – ran a personal best of 16:27.9 on Friday at the New Balance Midseason Spectacular, making today’s race an exciting matchup.
A pair of sophomores, Cros-Lex’s Eva Thompson and Armada’s Brooklyn Khon, battled for first place in the first BWAC jamboree as Thompson edged Khon by less than a second. They finished in 19:29.14 and 19:29.91.
Thompson ran an 18:53.6 on Friday, becoming the third-fastest girl in Cros-Lex history, but today could be a test of freshness as Khon hasn’t raced since Sept. 17.
Armada finished an impressive regular season last week with its fifth and final BWAC win over Richmond. The Tigers defeated each opponent 8-0, meaning no player lost a match in league play. They’ll now wait until Saturday, Oct. 1 to see each league team again in the BWAC tournament, which will be held on their home court.
Almont, which finished as runner-up to Armada last fall, finished tied for second with Yale this fall. The two teams only fell to Armada and split 4-4 in their match against each other. This will make Saturday’s BWAC tournament extra exciting to watch these two teams battle.
Cros-Lex currently stands fourth, however, Imlay City could tie the Pioneers at 1-3-1 if the Spartans win their suspended match against Richmond, who currently stands 0-4. They were supposed to play on Sept. 20 but it was suspended due to weather and is scheduled to finish on Sept. 29.
Almont has led the way all season, taking first place at each BWAC match. The Raiders have scored a season-low of 185 as a team, while no other opponent has yet to get below 200 strokes.
Armada currently has a narrow lead over Lutheran Northwest, which joins the BWAC in girls golf in the team standings. The Crusaders had secured second place at three of the matches, but after a fifth-place finish this week at Castle Creek, the Tigers jumped to second.
The Yale Bulldogs seem to be peaking at the right time, securing second place in yesterday’s rainy match, and have a combined team average of 231 on the year, just barely behind Armada’s 230. Richmond, despite a season-low of 224, has an average of 242 to rank the Blue Devils fifth.
Teams will meet one more time this afternoon at Heather Hills for the final 9-hole match before the 18-hole BWAC tournament at Holly Meadows on Thursday, Sept. 29.