7 Rivalries We Can Look Forward to Seeing More After CAAC Realignment
After the news broke of the CAAC's realignment plan by enrollment in its conferences we realized there were a few rivalries we had to say goodbye to. However where some rivalries will leave, there is space for other rivalries to be gained, or in some cases revitalized.
Here are seven rivalries we look forward to seeing on a more consistent basis or that could be brand new when the CAAC realignment plan takes effect in 2018-19.
Chalk this one up to one of the newer rivalries that will likely be born out of realignment. Grand Ledge and DeWitt played each other for the first time in football since at least 1950 (according to michigan-football.com) and it was everything we expected to be. A hard hitting game, close all the way through and even a bit of controversy at the end. DeWitt suffered their only regular season defeat last season in this game. GL went on to finish 7-2
The two schools are set to play each other again in 2017, which is the last year before the realignment goes into effect and they become conference rivals.
With the high prestige of both of these school's athletic programs, not necessarily just football, seeing Grand Ledge vs DeWitt will be an exciting encounter across the board for the CAAC-Blue
Another case of two prestigious athletic programs who will be playing each other a whole lot more thanks to realignment.
We'll be seeing high-octane matchups with these two schools pretty consistently now considering DeWitt's football dominance across the area. That is pretty strong until you realize East Lansing is one of the few area teams that leads their all-time series over the Panthers (three wins to two).
On the hardwood, the roles are reversed in terms of powerhouse with East Lansing every year in recent memory threatening or achieving a perfect 20-0 regular season. While DeWitt hasn't won a playoff game in boy's basketball since 2012-13 the program could grow having to play home and away with the CAAC-Blue's best every year. It certainly would give them experience playing those teams that knock them out like Everett and the aforementioned Grand Ledge and East Lansing.
With the inner city Lansing schools getting sent down (Eastern to Red and Sexton to White), Everett should be happy to see another Lansing inner city school coming in in Waverly.
The two schools have struggled in recent years on the football field (outside of Everett's 9-0 regular season in 2012) and the Warriors and Vikings have played each other since 2013, however it's the basketball matchups we are most looking forward to.
In basketball these two have played early season non-conference against one another every year since 2012-13 and the series has been a good one. A 2-2 series split in that time frame. Additionally with Waverly being a longstanding basketball powerhouse (winning season every year since the turn of the decade) and Everett a more recent powerhouse (a 24 win season in 2014-15 from just one win in 2009-10) there's a good distinction in tradition, so seeing them play two times a year versus just one is fine by us.
Haslett and Williamston need no introduction to each other. For one they're only about 10 miles apart and they have a long history of playing each other that runs right up into present day.
In football specifically, Haslett and Williamston have met 50 times on the gridiron and the Vikings have come away with 33 of those meetings. Additionally they have played each other every year in out-of-conference play since 2009, so there's no need to renew acquaintances, these schools and their fan bases are already familiar with one another.
On basketball terms Williamston swept the most recent set of meetings (2016-17) against the Vikings, first in the regular season 88-62 and in the playoffs 76-54. Those wins are part of a current three game winning streak in this series for Williamston. Prior to run, Haslett had rattled off three straight of their own. The rivalry tends to go back and forth like that a lot.
Given both program's basketball prestige and relative proximity it's going to be fun to see two games a year between the Hornets and the Vikings.
Another rivalry renewed in the CAAC-Red for 2018-19, nobody has played Haslett in football more times than Fowlerville (64). On the flip side of the coin Haslett's 64 meetings with the Gladiators is tied only with Williamston in their football history.
Fowlerville will play Haslett in football for the first time since 2013 (back when Fowlerville was in the CAAC-Red last time) when they open their 2017 campaign against one another.
These two schools have been apart for a while for a couple of years but it's a drop in the bucket compared to their histories against one another. Going back to 1980 when Haslett jumped from the Capital Circuit to the Ingham County Conference the two have been conference rivals through the ICC from 1980-2003, the CAAC-III from 2003-2007, the CAAC-Gold from 2007-2011, and the CAAC-Red from 2011-2013.
33 straight years worth of conference rivalry will come back in 2018-19 thanks to realignment.
Charlotte's been jumping conferences so fast it'll make your head spin.
After leaving the CAAC-Gold in 2013, then spending two years in the Interstate-8 Conference, taking a year as an independent, and spending 2017-18 as a member of the CAAC-Red before finally settling in to the new CAAC-White once the new realignment hits, it's been a bit of a whirlwind.
That will be five different conference affiliations (or lack thereof) when the realignment sets in.
Happily enough for Orioles fans they'll be in a conference with one of their longest standing rivals, the Eaton Rapids Greyhounds. The two schools have such a dedicated rivalry that they even play for their own version of the Little Brown Jug in football. A rivalry so dedicated that despite Charlotte's conference bouncing the two have been playing each other every year since 1950.
It's a series that Charlotte currently leads 43-23-2, though Eaton Rapids has won the last five games, including a 2013 pre-district playoff game.
For two schools only about three miles apart you would think there would be a long standing rivalry here, but there isn't, at least not in recent years.
In fact, in the long history of Lansing high school sports, we couldn't find an instance where Sexton and Lansing Catholic faced off in football. In basketball, the two haven't played each other since 2013, and that was a part of a long streak of postseason appearances against one another. The two never played regular season games against each other in that time.
So these two will have to get introduced to one another in 2018-19 when Sexton goes from Blue to White and will surely challenge Catholic's dominance in this conference.
This is one of the most intriguing rivalries that could be born out of realignment, because it is quite possibly as blank as the slate can get for two schools as strong in athletics as they are.