SAULT SAINTE MARIE - For the first time since the settlement of the sports seasons lawsuit in the early 2000s, soccer teams in the Upper Peninsula will be able to compete in the state tournaments this school year.
The U.S. Federal Court in the Western District of Michigan ruled back in mid-August in favor of a joint petition to adjust the boys and girls soccer seasons in the Upper Peninsula to align the sports with the Lower Peninsula seasons.
That means that teams like the Sault Ste. Marie boys soccer team will be able to play for state championship this fall, something that has created some excitement for the players and coaches.
“We’ve wanted to be in that tournament for a long time,” said Blue Devils’ head coach Alan MacArthur. “There’s been several good teams up in the U.P. area, especially Marquette, Houghton, and we’re not too bad either. But, it’s just nice to be able to play those other teams. And it’s not just for us. It’s for the whole U.P. So, there’s something at the end. We have something to play for now.”
Sault Ste. Marie is assigned to play in a Division Two District next month against schools like Alpena, Cadillac, Gaylord, Marquette and Petoskey. District play begins on October 11th, with the State Finals taking place on November 4th.