By Sue Moore
“Everyone [in football around the state] is trying to go 6-3 to get into the playoffs,” according to Mike Roy, Vicksburg High School’s athletic director (AD). “This is causing some strange realignments in conferences, even in our area,” he told the Vicksburg Rotary Club.
The Wolverine Conference that Vicksburg has played in since 1953, is shifting back to ten teams from 12 next year, with South Haven now the smallest school in the conference. “Travel and enrollment size are the biggest issues to competing successfully,” Roy indicates. “It’s even possible that the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) could take over scheduling. They have also lagged behind in other states with requirements for coaches to be certified but will be giving online tests for all head coaches on CPR and AED knowledge.”
“Our students do better in school when involved in extra-curricular activities like band, music, art, robotics, and athletics,” Roy claims. Vicksburg’s participation numbers have gone up while enrollment is heading down by 24 kids this year. The cheerleading squad takes great pride with over 40 girls this year decorating hallways, conducting pep rallies, as well as cheering at games.
Roy finds his tenure of 13 years as AD in Vicksburg, makes him the Dean of athletic directors in the conference. To his delight, Vicksburg athletes have been on a tear in fall sports this year. The cross country team is on top of their division with Gabby Perrin, the girls’ top runner, being courted by two Ivy League schools. The girls’ golf team ended the season in fifth place in the conference and a third place finish in the championship meet, with Hanley Truhn finishing second overall in the conference. Boys’ tennis has been about 50/50 on their matches and soccer has been suffering through some tough losses, he said. The girls’ volleyball team was 5-0 at the conference tournament, beating Dowagiac, Berrien Springs, Paw Paw, South Haven, and Sturgis, putting them first place in the conference with a final record of 31-14-3. Football has been stellar, with the varsity finishing the season at 7-2, the JVs at 8-1, the freshmen at 8-1. With a victory over Otsego, the football team has qualified for the playoffs and home field advantage for its first round of competition.