Are you ready for some football? Today's the day for you, then, as Northern Michigan University's Superior Dome will be the site of a triple dose of Michigan High School Athletic Association football semifinal action featuring Upper Peninsula teams Ishpeming, Menominee and Forest Park.
For just $7 admission, fans can catch these three games today:
In Division 8, Forest Park will play Beal City at 10 a.m. in a clash of two powerhouses who are 12-0. Despite the morning start time - remember that's 9 a.m. for the people making the journey from the Central Time Zone - we expect most of Crystal Falls will be there to cheer on their Trojans as will many fans from the downstate Mount Pleasant area, the home of the Beal City Aggies.
Next, in Division 7, the undefeated Ishpeming Hematites (12-0) play Harbor Beach (11-1) at 1 p.m. The Hematites, who beat Lake City 28-13 at home in the regional championship, are the defending Division 7 champions while Harbor Beach claimed the Division 8 state championship last year. Fans from downstate Harbor Beach, who will travel more than 300 miles from the tip of the Thumb area to watch their Pirates hit the field.
Then rounding out the day of gridiron competition, in Division 5, Menominee (12-0) plays Muskegon Oakridge (11-1) at 4 p.m. The Eagles' only loss came to Shelby, a team that's in the state semifinals in Division 6 today, while the Menominee Maroons again sport an unblemished record.
The winners of today's games advance to the state championship weekend at Ford Field in Detroit with Division 8 playing Friday, Nov. 29 and Divisions 5 and 7 playing Saturday, Nov. 30.
To all participants, congratulations for making it this far and best wishes to those who make it to the finals. We'll be cheering you on.