There are many football teams in new divisions in the MAC this season, but it’s still the same for Madison Heights Madison (Silver) and Madison Heights Lamphere (Bronze). Pictured, Madison coach James Rodgers, left, and Lamphere coach Jeff Glynn talk July 24 at the MAC Media Day.

There are many football teams in new divisions in the MAC this season, but it’s still the same for Madison Heights Madison (Silver) and Madison Heights Lamphere (Bronze). Pictured, Madison coach James Rodgers, left, and Lamphere coach Jeff Glynn talk July 24 at the MAC Media Day.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Number of divisional changes to take place this fall

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Madison - Park News | Published July 30, 2018

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Hazel Park High is set to become the 36th football team in the Macomb Area Conference in 2019, which will give the league a new look.

This season, though, will see some inter-conference movement, as 15 teams will begin play in new divisions when the season kicks off Aug. 23. The changes will be in place for just one season, as moves will need to be made in 2019 to accommodate the addition of Hazel Park.

“You’ll see some teams facing off that haven’t played in a while, but we’re going to be doing the same thing next season,” said MAC Football Commissioner Russ McKenzie, who is also the athletic director at Madison Heights Lamphere.

Movement usually takes place depending on the success of a particular team. A stretch of strong play allows teams to move up, while a tough run leads to a move down. Enrollment also plays a role in what division a team plays in. The MAC Red features some of the largest schools in the state, while the Bronze includes some of the smallest in the area.

McKenzie said there were two key factors in the moves.

“About 72 percent of (divisional) changes happen because of enrollment,” McKenzie said. “The rest is based on the total playoff points a team accumulates (the previous season). 

“I’ve been involved in the MAC for 14 years, and this is the best way for us to determine these changes.”

Nearly half the teams in the MAC find themselves in a different division.

Seven teams (New Baltimore Anchor Bay, Grosse Pointe North, Port Huron Northern, Warren Fitzgerald, Eastpointe High, St. Clair Shores Lakeview and Clinton Township Clintondale) will see a bump up. Lakeview, because of what McKenzie called a huge jump in enrollment, will move up two divisions — from the MAC Silver to the MAC Blue.

Eight teams (Warren Mott, Fraser High, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse, Sterling Heights High, Marine City High, Marysville High, St. Clair High and Clawson High) will go down this season.

Several coaches discussed the realignments at the July 24 Macomb Area Conference Media Day. Each seemed to welcome their respective move.

The MAC Gold will see the most change, as four new teams will play in the division this season — Eastpointe, Fitzgerald, L’Anse Creuse and Sterling Heights.

“I think this will give us a chance to expand our schedule and obviously see some teams we haven’t seen in a while,” Fitzgerald coach Gary Skop said. “We’re familiar with some of the new teams we’ll see, sure, but we’ll be able to try and build some new rivalries.”

Grosse Pointe South football coach Tim Brandon is excited about a couple of new matchups his team will have in the MAC White. Rival Grosse Pointe North will be bumped up to the division from the Blue.

“The MAC White is as competitive as it’s ever been,” Brandon said. “We’re really excited about the additions of (Warren) Mott and that school on Vernier.”

Macomb Dakota isn’t one of the teams on the move, as the Cougars this season start their 18th year in the MAC Red. Dakota coach Greg Baur, though, made it clear where he stands on the strength of the conference as a whole.

“I’ve played and coached in the MAC for 31 years,” Baur said. “I’ve played against teams from all over the state, and I think the MAC is the best conference in the state. We’ve got the best coaches and the best players, and we show it year in and year out.”


Changes in the MAC

A large portion of the teams in the Macomb Area Conference will play in a new division this season. The moves are for one season, as the addition of Hazel Park High in 2019 will call for more realignment. Following is a breakdown of which teams will move and where.

 

Team                                                      New Division                        Old Division

New Baltimore Anchor Bay                  MAC Red                              MAC White

Grosse Pointe North                               MAC White                           MAC Blue

Port Huron Northern                              MAC Blue                             MAC Gold

St. Clair Shores Lakeview                     MAC Blue                            MAC Silver

Warren Fitzgerald                                  MAC Gold                            MAC Silver

Eastpointe High                                     MAC Gold                            MAC Silver

Clinton Township Clintondale               MAC Silver                          MAC Bronze

Warren Mott                                           MAC White                         MAC Red

Fraser High                                             MAC White                          MAC Blue

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse         MAC Gold                            MAC Blue

Sterling Heights High                             MAC Gold                           MAC Blue

Marine City High                                    MAC Silver                         MAC Gold

Marysville High                                      MAC Silver                         MAC Gold

St. Clair High                                          MAC Silver                         MAC Gold

Clawson High                                         MAC Bronze                      MAC Silver

 

 

 

 

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