November 12, 2008 ALMONT — Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman will be the first to admit that this year's ballclub entered the season with more question marks than a final exam.
After all, Almont had lost all but a couple starters off of the 2007 squad which posted a pacesetting 7-0 Blue Water Area Conference mark and bowed out of the Division 5 state playoffs with a 10-1 mark after dropping a 54-28 district championship verdict to nemesis Madison Heights Madison.
Still, Ferman knew that the cupboard wasn't entirely bare of talent as the 2008 campaign approached.
Almont drove that point across, going 5-2 versus BWAC rivals this fall en route to a share of the title along with Yale, Cros-Lex and Richmond. The Raiders wrapped up the regular season portion of their schedule as owners of a 7-2 mark.
And the success didn't stop there either. Almont started their playoff run with a 31-18 win against Madison Heights Madison, a team which had ousted them from postseason action the previous two falls, and followed it up with a 28-21 district championship victory over Livonia Clarenceville.
Their latest triumph gave Almont their first-ever district title and landed them a regional championship berth where Jackson Lumen Christi (9-2), a perennial state powerhouse, provides their opposition. That confrontation, slated for Jackson's Withington Stadium, lists a 7:30 p.m. starting time.
Almont will be looking to acquire their third straight playoff win, while Jackson Lumen Christi enters the battle coming off an impressive 42-7 victory over Onsted.
Ferman knows that his ballclub faces a tough upcoming assignment for Almont to continue their postseason path.
"Jackson Lumen Christi has a well coached program," Ferman said. "They have won four state titles and were runnerup twice over the past nine seasons," he noted.
"They have a lot of experience on this year's team. We will need to play a mistake-free game to have an opportunity to move on."
The winner of this Friday's regional championship game advances to the state semifinals on Saturday, November 22 against the survivor of a contest between Hopkins (9-2) and Muskegon Oakridge (11-0).