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5 Things to Watch this Week

Josh VanDyke • May 16, 2017 at 5:00 AM

As the temperature rises around the West Michigan area, so do the stakes.

This week, girls tennis, boys lacrosse, and boys and girls track and field will enter the playoff schedule with seasons hanging in the balance. There will also be a battle for Buccaneer supremacy and a girls soccer edition of the Battle on the Bayou.

Here are five events worth the price of admission this week

Grand Haven Lacrosse hosts Bucs Pride Game

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

Teams: Grand Haven boys and girls lacrosse

The Grand Haven lacrosse programs are coming together for a special event tonight. The boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams will compete against each other at Grand Haven High School as part of Bucs Pride Night with the start time scheduled for 7 p.m.

The teams will play by the standard girls high school lacrosse rules and regulations, including equipment. While the game won’t count against their overall records, bragging rights in the hallways and around town are at stake in this battle of the sexes.

As part of any Bucs Pride Game, the teams will wear purple uniforms and each player will have an individual that they are playing for who has either battled cancer or is currently battling the disease.

Girls Tennis Regionals

When: Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Holland, Spring Lake, NorthPointe Christian High Schools

Teams: Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Fruitport and Western Michigan Christian

The girls tennis season reaches its judgement day as a multitude of teams will be battling for limited spots in the state finals on June 2-3.

Here’s a look at how the local groupings will shake out:

Division 1 regional at Holland

The Grand Haven girls tennis squad has been a contender in the O-K Red Conference all season, but they will need to upset perennial favorites Rockford and West Ottawa in order to advance to the state finals in Midland.

The Buccaneers recently finished fourth at the O-K Red Conference championship meet, finishing behind the Panthers, Rams and Hudsonville.

Division 3 regional at Spring Lake

Spring Lake will host their Division 3 regional on Thursday with crosstown rival Fruitport also joining a competitive field. The Trojans are coming off an O-K Black Conference championship on Saturday and look to be one of the favorites to advance.

The Lakers won’t be intimidated, however, as they tied the Trojans in head-to-head play last Thursday at Fruitport High School. Along with Spring Lake, Whitehall and Ludington will also be formidable opponents that will pose as roadblocks for Fruitport to work around.

Division 4 regional at NorthPointe

The Western Michigan Christian girls tennis team might have the steepest hill to climb Thursday. The Warriors are in a loaded field that features three state-ranked opponents and plenty of other quality challengers, as well.

NorthPointe Christian (No. 4), North Muskegon (No. 6) and Grand Rapids West Catholic (No. 9) will likely be the favorites to be in the running for a berth into the state finals.

Track Regionals

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Ludington, Holton High Schools

Teams: Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Fruitport, Western Michigan Christian

Division 1 at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix

The Grand Haven boys and girls track teams travel to Kalamazoo on Friday for their regional competition in what will be one of the more exciting regional fields across the state.

East Kentwood is the top-ranked team in the state in both the boys and girls Division 1 rankings, while Byron Center, Jenison, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix and Portage Central also boast ranked squads in both boys and girls action.

On the girls’ side, Grandville and Hudsonville are ranked in the top 25, while the West Ottawa boys’ squad is ranked in the latest Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association polls.

Division 3 regional at Ludington

The Spring Lake and Fruitport track teams will travel to a familiar location for their regional meet Saturday, as they compete at former Lakes Eight Conference rival Ludington’s home track.

The Spring Lake girls team and Fruitport boys squad are both coming off O-K Conference championships last week, and appear to be peaking at just the right time. Zeeland East and West will be the favorites on both sides of the competition, as the Chix and Dux are ranked in the top five in both the boys and girls Division 2 rankings.

Allendale (top 10 in boys), Hamilton (top 10 in both), Sparta (top 25 in boys) and Whitehall (top 12 in boys) will also be competitive with the Lakers and Trojans.

Division 4 regional at Holton

The Western Michigan Christian boys and girls track teams compete at Holton High School on Friday. The Warriors appear to be favorites in the event, with both squads ranked in the top 10 of the latest Division 4 rankings.

The only other team in the field that is ranked is Fruitport Calvary Christian. The Eagles are ranked 27th on the girls’ side and 34th on the boys’ side.

Spring Lake girls soccer at Fruitport

When: Saturday, 11:45 a.m.

Where: Fruitport High School

The Spring Lake and Fruitport girls soccer teams will finally meet on the pitch this Saturday. Both the Lakers and Trojans have had impressive seasons thus far, and this weekend’s non-conference matchup may prove to be a district finals preview.

The key matchup in this contest will be Fruitport’s overpowering attack against Spring Lake’s brick wall defensive unit.

Spring Lake boys lacrosse hosts playoff opener

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake High School

Opponent: Traverse City St. Francis

The Spring Lake boys lacrosse team has battled through a tough transitional year after losing the vast majority of its starting lineup from last year’s regional qualifying team.

Despite their youth movement, the team has battled against some of the top competition in the state and hopes their battle-tested roster can find its mojo in time for a playoff opening win on its home field Saturday.

The Lakers stand at 2-13 overall on the year, while their opponent, Traverse City St. Francis (5-9), has also had its fair share of struggles. If the Lakers can get hot early and play with a lead, they might find themselves with something to celebrate Saturday night.

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