Time to cheer for your favorite local sports teams

Despite the endless snow and the bitter cold of recent days, this, for many, is a most wonderful time of the year as many sports seasons have their exciting finales.

Tonight, for instance, will find champions crowned in boys basketball districts. Local teams in the hunt are Marquette, who hosts Gaylord at 6 p.m.; Gwinn and Negaunee, who face off at 7 p.m. in Irontown; and Munising, who will tip off at 7 p.m. vs. Rapid River at Big Bay de Noc.

Other local athletes are vying for titles in their sports, like the bowlers from Marquette, Ishpeming-Negaunee and Westwood, who are all downstate at MHSAA Division tournaments, which take place today and Saturday.

Today is also the start of the MHSAA individual state finals in wrestling at Ford Field in Detroit, with local competitors coming from Ishpeming, Westwood, Munising and Newberry.

This weekend also sees a long awaited home-and-home series in college hockey pitting archrivals Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan against one another. Tech hosts tonight, while NMU will be the site of Saturday night’s WHCA action.

Whew.

But wait. Don’t forget about high school gymnastics, which will have a regional tourney in Grand Rapids that include athletes from Marquette and Negaunee.

Monday will be the start of girls basketball districts, while the boys teams who took district hardware will continue their tournament trails Tuesday. That’s also the day high school hockey quarterfinals take place.

Like we said, for many, this time of year is most wonderful. We hope the venues are packed with cheering fans for these young athletes entering the season of playoff mania.

We wish all our local teams the best of luck. You’re making memories for your communities, games that will be a source of excitement in the midst of a long, cold winter.