By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford’s football team will go into some unchartered waters next season.
The Bobcats have signed an agreement to play Kalamazoo Loy Norrix in Week 7 of the 2021 prep football season. Loy Norrix will be the biggest school the Bobcats have ever faced in a varsity football game. The Class A, Division 1 school has enrollment of 1,659 this year.
The game against Loy Norrix will fill the spot on the Whiteford schedule that would have been occupied by Britton Deerfield, who is shifting to 8-Player football in 2021.
The 2021 game will be at Whiteford. In 2022, the Bobcats will travel to Kalamazoo for the contest. It’s a two-year contract, Whiteford Athletic Director and football coach Jason Mensing said.
Loy Norrix is an independent. From 1977 to 2018, the Knights played in the Southern Michigan Athletic Conference. They haven’t had a winning season since 1998 when they went 8-1. That was the last time they qualified for the playoffs. Last season the Knights went 0-7.
Whiteford went 6-3 this past season and have played in Division 8 the last several years.
Whiteford has played much larger schools in the past, but none as big as Loy Norrix. The Bobcats have had games against Airport, Jefferson, Novi and Ypsilanti Lincoln over the years, mainly Class B schools at the time.
In Whiteford’s first season of football, 1957, the Bobcats played a partial varsity, partial junior varsity schedule in which they played the JV teams of Toledo St. Francis and Bedford.