Listen live online Thursday via JoeInsider.com as Kalamazoo Central hosts Loy Norrix in a District 4 first round soccer match. Their regular season match last month was inconclusive with a 2-2 draw.
District 4 is one of the most intriguing in the area as six of the seven teams appear to have a legitimate shot at taking it. Only five points separated K-Central, Loy Norrix, Lakeview, Portage Northern and Portage Central in the final SMAC standings. Plus, Jackson serves as an unknown wild card, whereas the SMAC teams have beaten each other up over the fall.
The winner between the Maroon Giants and Knights would very likely travel to Lakeview in next Wednesday’s semifinal, as the Spartans are a heavy favorite against Battle Creek Central. The other side of the bracket has Portage Central holding a bye, awaiting the winner of the Portage Northern/Jackson first round match. PC hosts that semifinal, as well as the championship.
The Knights and Maroon Giants have gone back-and-forth in their soccer rivalry recently, including the 2-2 draw on September 17. Last season, K-Central won their first meeting 5-0, but LN won 1-0 in the league tournament rematch. Their last playoff duel came in the 2017 districts, won 3-0 by KC.
K-Central finished six in the league standings at 5-4-1 with Loy Norrix ninth at 3-4-3. Overall, the Maroon Giants are 12-7-2, fresh off a 3-1 win in the silver bracket tournament over Portage Central. The Knights hold a 7-5-4 overall record, currently 4-0-2 in their last six matches.
You can listen to Thursday’s first round match via the embedded player below with kickoff slated for 5 p.m. from Kalamazoo Central.