Hope football set to host first playoff game since 2000

Posted at 11:11 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 23:11:28-05

HOLLAND, Mich. -- Peter Stuursma has led his alma mater to its first playoff berth since 2006, it will also be the program's first time hosting a playoff game since 2000.

"To come back 19 years later and see this it's exciting," Stuursma said, "there's no question about it. It's rare air, I remind our guys we're now in the field of 32 to play for a national championship and I hope that resinates with them."

Hudsonville alum and senior quarterback Mason Opple was named MIAA offensive MVP on Tuesday morning but his focus is on Saturday's game.

"This doesn't happen a whole lot," Opple said, "just being in the playoffs and we actually get to play here at Ray and Sue Smith [stadium], it's definitely a special atmosphere and it'll be sweet on Saturday."

Meanwhile, West Ottawa alum and senior linebacker Mason Dekker was named MIAA defensive MVP and knows how much work the team has put in to get to this point of the season.

"We just earned it, we worked really hard," Dekker added, "it's not real yet, but when Saturday comes and we have that home playoff game, it's unbelievable that we're hosting, you couldn't make up a better story."

Hope will face Wartburg (Iowa) on Saturday at noon at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium.