The Calumet Copper Kings moved into the top five in the latest poll from the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. Calumet claimed the No. 5 spot in the Big Five poll after defeating the Houghton Gremlins 22-6 to move to 3-1 on the season.
In other local poll movement, the L’Anse Purple Hornets moved up to No. 5 in the Little Five poll with their 20-18 win over the Hancock Bulldogs. Hancock, who was recently No. 4 in the Big Five poll, drops to honorable mention.
The Ontonagon Gladiators dropped from the second spot in the eight-person poll to No. 4 following a 26-22 loss to the Rapid River Rockets.
This week features perhaps the biggest regular season game in our area this year — yes, even including the Copper Bowl. Given the rivalry between Calumet and Hancock, along with the conference implications, this matchup carries more meaning than the traditional battle between Hancock and Houghton.
Calumet (3-1, 2-1 West-PAC) has been the recent power in the West-PAC and in this area, while Hancock head coach Ted Holmstrom is attempting to build the same type of successful program. A win for Hancock (3-1, 2-1 West-PAC) would truly mean their program has fully arrived, while a victory for Calumet re-establishes them as the premier local power and keeps them near the top of the West-PAC standings.
But both Calumet and Hancock are looking up to L’Anse (3-1, 2-0) in the West-PAC; the Purple Hornets are tied with the West Iron County Wykons (3-1, 2-0) for the conference lead. West Iron County comes to Houghton (0-4, 0-3) on Friday, while L’Anse will travel to face the Hurley Midgets (3-1, 3-1) for a marquee West-PAC matchup.
L’Anse and Calumet will meet in Week 7 at L’Anse.
The Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes (0-3, 0-1) return off a bye week and will look for their first win of the season when they host the Newberry Indians (3-1, 2-0) on Saturday.
In eight-person, Ontonagon (2-1, 2-1) welcomes the North Dickinson Nordics (1-3, 1-3) on Friday.
1. Menominee (5) 3-1 28
2. Escanaba 3-1 20
3. Kingsford (1) 2-1 20
4. Gladstone 4-0 16
5. Calumet 3-1 4
Honorable mention: Hancock 3-1 2
1. Norway (6) 4-0 30
2. Westwood 3-1 19
3. Newberry 3-1 18
4. BR-Harris 3-1 7
5. L’Anse 3-1 7 West Iron 3-1 7
Honorable mention: Ishpeming 2-2 2