T here’s a certain faction of UP football fans who question the quality of the top teams in the West-PAC. The assumption partly stems from the conference featuring a locked-in scheduling format with no openings for nonconference foes, which can leave a traditional power such as Calumet to continually beat up on the same opponents who are simply not at its level. It can result in skeptics referencing a dominant record by asking, “Yes, but who have they played?” Meanwhile, the GNC’s perennial contenders are free to challenge themselves against premier competition outside the division where these questions aren’t typically mentioned when considering its league leaders.
The lack of interconference matchups normally lets this debate hang with no definitive conclusion, so on the rare occasion West-PAC meets GNC in the postseason, the contest can give credence to either side of the argument in the given year.
And in 2019, there can be no mistaking Calumet’s status as an elite large school team. Not after the Copper Kings’ dominating 39-14 victory over the Menominee Maroons Saturday at Agassiz Field to capture a Division 6 district championship.