St. Joseph looks to take advantage of seed

St. Joseph’s Seth Walters passes while under pressure from Lakeshore’s Landon Koppenhoefer during the first half of a game at St. Joseph on Sept. 14.

Local boys soccer teams are ready to play in seeded districts for the first time.

Under a plan approved by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the top two teams in each district are seeded using a computer formula known as the Michigan Power Rating (MPR), then placed on opposite sides of the bracket. Other teams are drawn randomly.

“It’s about time,” St. Joseph coach John Brown said. “Sometimes, previously, you could have the finals in the very first game, depending on the draws. I think it makes sense. What tournament doesn’t really do seeding? I know they were talking about it for a while and they got it rolled out, so it makes a whole lot of sense.”

St. Joseph is seeded second in the Division 2 district hosted by Paw Paw, with Mattawan the top seed. The Bears won their most recent meeting with Mattawan 2-0 after losing 3-1 early in the season.

Brown isn’t looking ahead to that matchup, however. St. Joseph opens by hosting Sturgis on Wednesday. The winner will advance to play either Niles or Edwardsburg.

“Records don’t mean anything, it’s win one and advance,” Brown said. “(The district) is going to be wide open. Obviously, Mattawan is very good. Lakeshore is good, (coach Brian) Samuel is going to have them ready to fight. We’re going to worry about us. We’ll try to be better tomorrow than we are today.”

Lakeshore has won two straight district titles, and had the third-highest MPR in the district. The Lancers open at Paw Paw, with the winner facing either Mattawan or Three Rivers.

Division 3

Hosted by Coloma

Wolverine Conference rivals South Haven and Dowagiac could meet in the finals after earning the top two seeds.

Top-seeded South Haven opens against Watervliet, which has fared well in its first season. The winner will face either district host Coloma or Constantine.

Dowagiac opens against Brandywine, and Berrien Springs faces Buchanan, with the winners to meet in the semifinals.

Division 4

Hosted by Hartford

District host Hartford will be vying for its third consecutive title. The Indians earned the second seed, with New Buffalo seeded first.

Hartford opens by hosting Lake Michigan Catholic. The victor will face either Bangor or Bridgman in the semifinals.

On the other side of the bracket, New Buffalo hosts Michigan Lutheran and Cassopolis takes on Covert.

Hosted by Western Michigan Christian

Eau Claire is the only local school in the district and opens at Western Michigan Christian, the top seed. Holland Black River earned the second seed.

Division 4

Hosted by Muskegon Western Michigan Christian

Thursday, Oct. 10

Eau Claire at Western Michigan Christian, 6

Muskegon Catholic at Hudsonville Libertas Christian, 6

Fruitport Calvary Christian at Saugatuck, 5

Tuesday, Oct. 15

WMC-Eau Claire vs. Libertas Christian-MCC winner, 5

Saugatuck-Calvary Christian vs. Holland Black River, 7

Thursday, Oct. 17

Championship, 7


Hosted by Hartford

Thursday, Oct. 10

Covert at Cassopolis, 5

Mich. Lutheran at New Buffalo, 5

Lake Mich, Catholic at Hartford, 5

Bridgman at Bangor, 5

Tuesday, Oct. 15

Covert-Cassopolis winner vs. New Buffalo-Michigan Lutheran winner, 5

Hartford-LM Catholic winner vs. Bangor-Bridgman winner, 5

Thursday, Oct. 17

Championship, 5

Division 2

Hosted by Paw Paw

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Lakeshore at Paw Paw, 5

Three Rivers at Mattawan, 5

Sturgis at St. Joseph, 5

Niles at Edwardsburg, 5

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Lakeshore-Paw Paw winner v. Mattawan-Three Rivers winner, 5

St. Joseph-Sturgis winner v. Edwardsburg-Niles winner, 5

Saturday, Oct. 19

Championship, 12


Division 3

Hosted by Coloma

Thursday, Oct. 10

Constantine at Coloma, 5

Watervliet at South Haven, 5

Brandywine at Dowagiac, 4:30

Buchanan at Berrien Springs, 5

Monday, Oct. 14

Constantine-Coloma winner vs. South Haven-Watervliet winner, 5

Dowagiac-Brandywine winner vs. Berrien Springs-Buchanan winner, 5

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Championship, 5