The defending Division 8 champs are now competing for a conference title, in addition to a repeat state championship

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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The Crusaders have been independent since 1985.

This year they will join Orchard View, Fruitport, Ludington, Fremont, and Spring Lake in the Lakes 8 Conference.

Muskegon Catholic Central won the Division 8 state championship last year and this year they're hoping to win a conference title.

"Our goal is always to play and to make the playoffs," Coach Steve Czerwon said. "We know this conference is going to prepare us with some larger schools and get us ready for some Division 8 competition if we're lucky enough to qualify for it."

Grant High School and Tri-County are two schools who left the Lakes 8 this year to join the Central States Activities Association.

Ludington coach Charlie Gunsell told MLive.com that the addition of Muskegon Catholic Central is probably what will keep Lakes 8 together.

"Muskegon Catholic is another phenomenal team to come into the league," Gunsell said. "We'll just continue to line up and play whoever is opposite us."

The Crusaders open up their season against Columbus Bishop Hartley on Saturday, August 30th.

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