The Grace coaching staff has once again put together a schedule that will involve some great travel opportunities for the team as well as competition that will prepare them for another post season run.
The Tigers will begin the 2011-12 season with an exhibition game against the Sports Power Academy Professionals, a team of former professional players from around the area. The Tigers will then travel north to Sault St. Marie, MI to take on NCAA II Lake Superior State University in the season opener. Early the next week, the Tigers will play Ferris State University (NCAA II) in an exhibition game in Big Rapids, MI. This game was slated to be a regular season game but Ferris Stae accepted an offer to play the University of Michigan and this game had to be moved to an exhibition. The next weekend, the Tigers will travel to Chicago, IL to take on East West University (NAIA) and Roosevelt University (NAIA), both appearing on a Grace schedule for the first time in school history. The Tigers will then have their home opener on November 7 against Midwest Region foe Great Lakes Christian College. The Tigers will have free poster night at this contest.
The Tigers hit the road later in the week to travel to Grayson, KY to play in the Super Eight Classic. The Tigers will play Kentucky Christian University (NCCAA II) and College of the Ozarks (NAIA). In the final game of the weekend the Tigers will play a rematch of the 2011 National Championship game with Valley Forge Christian College (PA).
The Tigers will play the following weekend in the Calvin College Tournament. The Tigers have beaten the Knights the last two seasons and won this tournament last year. The other teams in the tournament are Wilhamette University (NCAA III) and D’Youville College (NCAA III).
The Tigers will be the host school at the annual Midwest Regional Tip-off Tournament. There will be four games each day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with the Tigers playing Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Lincoln Christian University, and Emmaus.
The Tigers will fly out to Orlando, FL the following week to play in the Florida Christian College Holiday Tournament. The Tigers will open with Clearwater Christian College on Thursday. On Friday, the Tigers will play the host school, Florida Christian College. On Saturday, the Tigers will play Valley Forge Christian College again.
The following week the Tigers will travel across town to play Cornerstone University, the 2011 NAIA II National Champions. Last year the Tigers lead the Golden Eagles by 16 at the half before being defeated on a buzzer beater. After Christmas the Tigers then roll into Holland, MI to participate in the Russ Devette Holiday Tournament at Hope College (NCAA III). The Tigers defeated Hope last year for the first time in school history and went on to win the tournament. The Tigers will open this year against Indiana Wesleyan University (NAIA) and play either Marietta University ( NCAA III) or Hope College (NCAA II) the following day.
After the new year the Tigers travel to Circleville, OH to take on Ohio Christian University (NCCAA II). The Tigers then travel to Midland, MI to take on D-II Northwood University for the first time in school history.After another week off the team travels to Gary, IN to play Indiana University Northwest (NAIA). the Tigers will return home to take on the 2011 USCAA II National Champions of Andrews University. The Tigers defeated the Cardinals twice last year.
On February 24th, the Tigers travel to the other side of Grand Rapids for the 5th annual Cross Cup game with Kuyper College (NCCAA II). The Tigers hold the traveling trophy from last years victory. The Tigers hit the road again for another NCCAA matchup in Lansing, MI against Great Lakes Christian College. The Tigers and GLCC have played 90 times over the last fifty years with Grace holding a 61-29 lead in victories.
The month of February begins and sees the Tigers hosting Indiana University Northwest for the season rematch. This game will be played at Calvin Christian High School in Grandville, MI. The Tigers men’s and womens teams have four players from Calvin Christian and will hold the game there to help with their athletic fundraising efforts. Grace will host Kuyper College (NCCAA II) in the final home game of the season before traveling to Dunbar, WI to take on rival Northland International University. The Tigers will finish the road trip by stopping off in Chicago, IL to take on MoodyBible Institute (NCCAA II).
The following weekend the NCCAA II Midwest Regionals begin. The Tigers will travel back to Dunbar, WI to try and win their 5th straight Regional crown at regional host, Northland International University. The NCCAA II National Tournament is held in Springfield, MO again this season. The Tigers have made it to the National Tournament the last six seasons in a row. Five of those trips as the Regional Champions and once as an at-large team.
The Tigers broke the school record for wins last year finishing at 31-7 and winning the 2011 National Championship.