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Unity Christian preparing for first ever trip to semifinals

Posted at 10:55 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 00:15:59-05

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- Thirteen years ago Unity Christian had just finished the programs first season, one that didn't see a single win. Last Friday night the Crusaders celebrated the programs first ever regional title with a win over Lakewood.

"It was the first one for this program and hopefully we just keep it rolling to Ford Field and hopefully a state championship," said senior guard/defensive end Conner Ymker.

This run is unprecedented in the young history of the Unity Christian football program. The Crusaders piling up a whole lot of firsts this season.

"We keep finding ways to make up some new firsts for this team and this program," said coach Craig Tibbe.  "What did we have? This is our first 10 win season, our first regional title."

"I mean, we've done a lot of history of 6-0, 10 wins, regional title, district title and hopefully keep going on this week and then Ford Field next week," said senior tight end/linebacker Cole DeVries.

Now the Crusaders get Grand Rapids Catholic Central in their first ever semifinal. Facing the Cougars is not a first for Unity Christian. In fact, the Crusaders have knocked Catholic Central out of the playoffs the last two seasons, but with how well the 11-1 Cougars are playing, that may prove more difficult this year.

"Yeah, we've seen them the last two years now," said Tibbe.  "We went and watched them play Saturday and they're good. They've got some really talented kids, some good size, well coached. It's gonna be probably one of our toughest games of the year."

If Unity Christian is able to beat Catholic Central on Saturday, the Crusaders will be celebrating something even they didn't imagine before the season, a trip to Ford Field to play for a state championship.

"Beginning of the year not a lot of guys pictured that in the picture, but now we're looking at it," said DeVries.

"That would be fun," said Tibbe.  "I hope we're smiling after that one, but just preparing for it too and being out here and just realizing how fortunate we are to keep playing. It's been fun right now and we'll worry about that later."