MARQUETTE -- The Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters have released this week's football big five/little five and after a very competitive weekend - a lot of changes have taken place atop both polls.
In the Big Five, Calumet makes their first appearance into the top five, after defeating unbeaten L'Anse 26-6 at home. The Copper Kings are 4-3, but have won four straight ballgames after opening up with losses to Northland Pines (WI), Negaunee, and Ishpeming. They will look to roll their way into the playoffs with back to back wins to end the season. First up this Friday is the Ironwood Red Devils.
Kingsford and Menominee remain in the top five this week as well after big wins. Menominee dominated previously ranked Marquette 42-7 at home last week. Kingsford was able to squeak by Iron Mountain inside the Yellow walls on Saturday with a 10-0 win - moving them to first place in the big five. Both teams have just one lone loss, with Menominee losing to Kingsford by a point earlier in the year. The Flivvers will end the year against Gladstone and Escanaba. If they win out, they will take home the Great Northern Conference crown for the fourth time in the last five years.
Menominee will end the season in non-conference play against rival Marinette and downstate opponent Petoskey.
Undefeated Negaunee received three first place votes, but fall to second place in the Big Five, despite defeating #1 Ishpeming 20-8 on Friday. The Miners will take on a very stout Marquette team in the battle of the Diamond Jubilee on Friday. With a win, Marquette would secure a playoff spot in their final game of their season. Negaunee is ranked third in the AP Michigan Division 7 rankings.
Ishpeming remains ranked as well, despite suffering their first loss of the season.The Hematites ring in week 8 ranked fourth in the Big Five.
Atop the polls again are North Dickinson and Saint Ignace - as both continue to runover opponents. The Nordics of North Dickinson have outscored opponents by a total of 337-81. They will end the year this week against Lake Linden-Hubbell.
Right behind them is St. Ignace, who have rolled through opponents this year. Opposing offenses have only scored 18 points. Their first true test will come in the final week of the season when they take on a very tough Cheboygan team. This week they will take on a Pellston team from downstate that has lost three straight contests.
Forest Park, who was the top ranked team to start the season, really put a pounding on Baraga after losing to North Dickinson two weeks ago in a battle of the top two small schools in the Upper Peninsula. They will take on a game Gogebic Miner team that is a surprising 4-2 on the season.
The Stephenson Eagles have won three straight and rank third in this week's little five. Austin Grinsteiner and Nolan Lukasik have taken over things offensively for the Eagles after two tough losses back to back against Norway and North Dickinson. Since then, this team has been on a roll - outscoring their last three opponents by a total of 119-26.
Despite a tough loss in conference to Calumet, L'Anse rounds out the top 5 this week. The Purple Hornets were hit in the chin last week on the road, but will look to bounce back this week. Unfortunately, they will be met by Northland Pines (WI) - a team that is considered one of the best in the state of Wisconsin.