Eight-Man state title game moved to Greenville

RAPID RIVER – The Rapid River Rockets are one win away from the Division 9 (8-Man) State Championship game, a game that up until recently was scheduled to be held at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

That however, has changed.

In information recently sent out to the remaining teams in the tournament last week, the location for the title game has been fixed at Greenville, Mich. Previously, the game was to be held at the Superior Dome, provided an Upper Peninsula team was playing in it; otherwise the game would be held at Greenville.

The Daily Press sought clarification for the unexpected decision and contacted the MHSAA.

In an e-mail correspondence with MHSAA communications director John Johnson, he explained that “in the last two years, the landscape of eight-player football has changed, and that geography is what makes Greenville the better choice for the FInals site for this event. This approach will work better than preparing for two sites until the last moment, especially since both are excellent semifinal sites for the 11-player tournament.”

Additionally, Johnson wrote, “We try to look at the big picture in terms of mileage for the entire tournament, and in the case of Rapid River, being home for three weeks and only having to travel once if it qualifies for the Finals balances things out a bit compared to the travel of some other teams that may make it to the title game.”

Rapid River (11-0) is the No. 1 overall seed in the Division 9 tournament according to the MHSAA playoff ranking. The Rockets are set to host Kinde-North Huron, Saturday at 1 p.m. in a state semifinal game.