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01-02-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma Comet boys and girls bowlers remain undefeated

Both the boys and girls Coloma bowling teams have had a busy month of December to get the season off and rolling, and both teams have been up to the challenge so far. Each is undefeated in head to head matches with in and out of conference schools.

COLOMA BOWLERS FINISH 1st & 2nd… The Coloma girls bowling team competed in Kalamazoo at the Holiday singles tournament on Sat-urday, Dec. 28. The Comets placed three girls in the final eight places, as Morgan Hosbein finished in first place, Carissa Richmond came in second, and Emily Feldten came in 7th place. Comet girls (from the left): Morgan Hosbein, Coach Carley Burrell, Carissa Richmond, and Emily Feldten.

On Dec. 16 the Coloma boys headed up to Saugatuck for a conference match and rolled over the Indians to the tune of a 29-1 score. The girls were off on this date because Saugatuck is not fielding a bowling team this year.

The Comets took all 10 baker points as they won the first game 155-96 and the second game by a score of 153-119. The Comets also took 19 of the 20 individual and team points, with Nick Santarlas leading the way with a 2-game total of 371. Nick had scores of 165 and 206. Damian Gomez shot 179 & 167 for a 346 total. Jon Swetay shot 150 and 156 for a 306. Charlie Cullitan rolled a one game score of 168. Ryan Wilson shot a 137 first game. Cameron Needham shot a 166 second game and Noah Blankenship shot a first game score of 133.

On Wednesday, Dec. 18 the boys and girls were in action at Kelley’s bowl, the Comets home site. The girls pitched a shutout against the Parchment Panthers, winning all the points 30-0, as the boys also won overwhelmingly by a score of 27-3.

For the boys, they once again won all 10 of the baker points, first game 186-145, the second game 197-141, and the total 383 to 286. For the Comets who bowled in both games, Jon Swetay led the way with a 341 (158 & 183). Charlie Cullitan was right behind him by a pin with a 340 total and a high game of 192. Nick Santarlas shot a 331 on games of 159 and 172. Damian Gomez shot a 314 with a high game of 175. Ryan Wilson shot a first game score of 125 and Cameron Needham shot a second game score of 120.

On the girls lanes, the Panthers of Parchment weren’t able to put up much of a fight as it appears they must have most of the their team composed of first or second year bowlers. Parchment only shot 3 of their 10 games over 100, and their baker scores were both in the 70s. The Comet gals shot baker scores of 128 and 130, to win all 10 baker points. Carissa Richmond shot a very fine 257 second game and totaled 404 to lead the Comets. Morgan Hosbein shot games of 184 and 156 for a 340 total. Madison McQuillan shot a 328 total with a high game of 172. Ashley Ikerd shot a 2-game total of 219 and Eadie Needham shot a 2-game total of 214. The Coloma bowlers shot team scores of 726 and 779, for a team total of 1,505.

Comets compete at Portage Northern Huskies Holiday Singles Invitational

The Coloma boys and girls varsity bowling teams competed on Saturday, Dec. 28 at Continental Lanes in Portage for the Huskies Singles Invitational. Both boys and girls had a couple of fantastic finishers.

On the boy’s side Jonathon Swetay finished in 5th place, and Ryan Wilson finished in 9th. There was a four game qualifying, and Ryan Wilson shot 165, 144, 180 and 193 for a 682. Jon Swetay shot 192, 186, 169 and 133 for a 680 total. Nick Santarlas started out hot with a 231 but really cooled off with scores of 151, 141, and 136 for a 659. Damian Gomez was steady but shot a little low for him, as he had a 651 total on games of 169, 153, 172 and 157. Charlie Cullitan was up and down as he had scores of 181, 131, 167 and 133 for a 612.

On the girls side the Comets had three bowlers in the top seven including the top two spots in the standings. Morgan Hosbein was the top female bowler on the day and Carissa Richmond finished behind her in second place. Also bowling very well and finishing in 7th place was Emily Feldton. No scores were made available for the girls.

The Comet bowling teams’ next action comes after the Christmas break when they travel to face Martin on Monday, Jan. 6 and Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Kelley’s Bowl when they will face the keglers from Bronson.

WRESTLING MY WAY… Coloma’s Jayden Hampton has his opponent all wrapped up, and nearing another victory, on his way to winning a gold medal Sunday, Dec. 29 at the South Haven tournament. Jayden is unde-feated on the season, and finished this tournament at 3-0. He is 8 years old and wrestled at 52 pounds for the Coloma Youth My Way wrestling program. Jayden has already been wrestling for three years.

Coloma Comet wrestlers struggling through the early season

The Coloma Comet wrestling team, as stated in the preseason evaluation, has a young team and is somewhat low on numbers. They are struggling to find themselves as they work through the early part of the season.

On Saturday, Dec. 21 the Comets traveled up to Coldwater to compete in the Coldwater Classic. There they found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard in all five of their matches. In this holiday tournament the Coloma team faced some pretty stiff competition in Chelsea, Coldwater, Jackson, Mattawan, and Union City high schools. None of the team matches were very close score-wise, as even the top Comet wrestlers struggled. Coloma had to give up several forfeits against each team.

The top Comet wrestlers and their record in the matches not including forfeits was Caeleb Ishmael (119) finished with a record of 1-3, Ian Ishmael at 145 finished 2-2 and Alec DeLaTorre finished 2-3 at 152 and 160. The big guys Travis Borr at 215 was 1-3 and Cole Alsup wrestling at 285 finished with a record of 1-2 on the day. The Comets next hit the mat at the Jim Wade meet on Saturday, Jan. 4.

Coloma Comet basketball teams back in action after the Christmas break

The boys and girls basketball teams get back on the hardwood floor when school resumes as the boys will be hosting Paw Paw on Tuesday, Jan. 7. The girls travel to Bridgman the following night Jan. 8. Then both teams will be in competition at home on Friday the 10th against Saugatuck.

Coloma’s Zach Goodline sees his first collegiate action for Oakland University

Coloma’s Zach Goodline who graduated last spring as the 15th all-time leading scorer in Michigan High School history began his freshman season this fall wearing a red shirt. If you do not know, a collegiate red shirt is a term for a player who is a part of his team, practices, and does most things the other players do, except play in the actual games. By doing this, they do not lose that year of eligibility.

Last week the Oakland coaching staff decided to remove the red shirt which allowed Zach to play in his first collegiate game on Saturday, Dec. 28. The game was against one of Oakland’s rivals, Detroit Mercy, a school only about 28 miles down the road from Oakland. Zach entered the game in the first half, and according to head coach Greg Kampe, he was very impressed with the debut of his freshman playing his first minutes of collegiate ball.

Zach finished with no points. He did not attempt a shot but had three assists in his time on the floor in the first half. Oakland went on to win the game 78-69, their sixth consecutive win over Detroit Mercy and first Horizon League conference game of the season.

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Looking back at Hartford Indian Athletics in 2019!

Since there is a slight break in the action for the holiday season, the Hartford Press Box is revisiting some of the best moments of 2019 in Indian Athletics. From record-breaking performances to conference championships, there were many moments that will be etched into fans memories during the final year of the 20-teens. We would like our readers to know that these moments are in chronological order, starting in January and ending this month.

TOP MOMENT FOR HARTFORD ATHLETICS… On April 17, 2019, history was made on the track inside of Indian Stadium. Riley Traver, pictured on the left, broke Vere Shindeldecker’s 1966 record in the 100 meter dash, going the distance in a blistering :10.91 seconds. (Photo courtesy of the Hartford Athletic Department)

Hartford boys basketball team enters state record books

Following the 2018-19 season, the Hartford Indian Boys Basketball team found out they had entered the state record books – and not just in one category, but two. The categories that the Indians are now enshrined in include Most Three Pointers in One Game (including their opponent’s) and Most Three Pointers by One Team during the entire season.

The first record book entry, most three pointers in one game, occurred when Hartford hosted Bangor on Jan. 25. The two teams combined for 23 total three pointers with the Indians making 14 of their attempts while the Vikings made nine of their shots from beyond the arc.

The second record book entry, most three pointers in a season, saw the Indians make a total of 197 three pointers during the season. This meant the team scored an impressive 591 points from beyond the arc. Of their total baskets made, nearly 32-percent of their points were courtesy of the three point shot.

The 2018-19 Hartford Indian boys basketball team, under the direction of Head Coach John Johnson and Assistant Coach Kevin McGrew, finished with a record of 18-4. They made it to the district finals before falling to Niles Brandywine.

Riley Traver breaks 100 Meter Dash school record

It’s not very often you come to a track meet looking for a school record to be broken. But on one Wednesday night in April, that is exactly what happened. In a Southwest 10 Conference triangular with Marcellus and Mendon, Hartford senior, and now graduate, Riley Traver, toppled a school record in the 100 Meter Dash that had stood since 1966.

Traver ran the 100 meters in a time of 10.91 seconds. The previous record holder, Vere Shindeldecker, happened to be volunteering his time at the meet and was in attendance to watch his longtime record be broken. The history books have been updated and Traver’s name joins many others on the track and field “roll of honor” in Indian Gymnasium for his crowning achievement.

Traver had a great year on the track last spring, winning the conference in the 100 meter dash, while also placing second in the league in the 200 meter dash. He also qualified for the state meet in the same events, after placing second in both races at the regional meet.

Covington earns Regional Shot Put Victory, girls track send two to State

When fans think of consistency in Indian Athletics, many will think about the Hartford Lady Indian track team. The team has qualified numerous individuals for state meets over the years, and despite having a season that could be characterized as tough the coaching staff still worked hard every day to continue that tradition. And last spring, they accomplished that in a big way.

The team managed to send two ladies to the state finals last year including one athlete that scored an impressive regional championship. To qualify for the state meet, a participant must finish in the top two in an event, or qualify by accomplishing pre-defined criteria. Nautica Covington won the shot put at the regional meet last May in Centreville with her winning throw going 37 feet, 1/4 inch. She defeated the second place thrower by nearly two feet. Not to be outdone, Khashya McCoy also flashed her brilliance on the track placing second in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles, finishing with a time of :51 flat.

At the state meet, Covington went on to finish in a tie-for-10th, while McCoy placed 19th. Despite what looks to be disappointing finishes, overall, this can be posted in the history books as two great performances by two first-time state qualifiers.

Hartford boys soccer wins Southwest 10 Conference and District titles

The Hartford Indian boys soccer team, year-in and year-out, is notorious around Southwest Michigan for fielding successful teams. Last fall, it was initially thought that it would be a rebuilding year after a mass exodus of seniors had graduated that past spring. What actually happened was another conference and district trophy made their way into the trophy case.

The Indians won the Southwest 10 Conference title for the third straight season by going 9-1 in conference play, winning those nine matches by two goals or more and outscoring opponents, 57-8, in those ten conference contests. By winning the league title, the Indians have now won eight conference championships in school history. They backed up their conference championship by winning districts, and in the process, defended their own turf. They defeated Saint Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (6-2), Bangor (4-nil) and New Buffalo (1-nil) to earn their third consecutive district championship.

The 2019 Hartford Indian boys soccer team, under the direction of Head Coach Nick Blackmer, finished with a record of 20-4. They made it to the regional once again, but fell in the semifinal to Dansville, 2-nil. The Aggies went on to reach the “Final Four” in Division 4.

Hartford Football makes playoffs upsetting state-ranked White Pigeon

After losing to Mendon in week six of the 2019 season, the Hartford Indian football team faced their share of critics. With their record sitting at 3-3, and the daunting task of having to win out to reach the playoffs, the team faced an uphill battle. However, they accomplished that feat with their win at White Pigeon in week nine being one of the defining moments of last fall.

The Indians went in as an underdog against the Chiefs who were sitting #6 in Division 8 courtesy of a 7-1 record. The game was tight from the get-go, as both teams took the lead at different sections of the game. With less than two minutes remaining in the game and trailing by five points, Hartford got the ball back after a punt, and needing to drive the field to keep their chances alive, they did just that. Courtesy of a hook-and-ladder that went for over 60 yards and a couple of other successful plays, the Indians sat at the 5-yard line with less than a minute to play. Kyle Manning scored a huge touchdown with :32 left in the game, sealing a 14-12 Hartford win, and a trip to the playoffs for the second time in three years.

The 2019 Hartford Indian football team, under the direction of Head Coach Brad Manning, finished with a record of 6-4. As mentioned before, the team made it to the playoffs, but fell in the opening round to a tough Schoolcraft squad that made it to the regional finals.

Hartford Athletics honorable mention moments

There are several other memories from 2019 in Hartford Athletics that fell just short of making it to the top-five list for the year. However, in no way, does the Hartford Press Box want to shy away from mentioning just a few of those other moments people will look back on and remember vividly in their memory banks. Like the top five listed above, these moments are listed in chronological order by when they happened.

Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraiser deemed successful

For nearly a decade, Hartford has hosted Coaches vs. Cancer games during basketball season. On Jan. 11, the Indians hosted Centreville for these special contests. The boys team was victorious while the girls took a tough loss. The real winners were those in the cancer community dedicated to eradicating the disease. The Hartford community has always supported this program with enthusiasm, and added soundly to the tens of thousands of dollars donated from previous games.

Noah Wade makes individual wrestling regionals

It had been a tough season for the Hartford wrestling program in 2018-19, but one bright spot showed itself when Noah Wade became the only Indian wrestler to qualify for the individual regional meet. He finished third in the individual districts, and came into a stacked regional with an 8-6 record. The competition is downright tough the further you go, and his road ended in Hudson with two straight losses. However, it is always an accomplishment that you can hang your hat on.

Mikenzie Chambers signs with KVCC for basketball

It is not very often that the tables and chairs are brought out for a collegiate signing day in Hartford, but in April Mikenzie Chambers made her collegiate decision official, signing with Coach Talisha Bridges and Kalamazoo Valley Community College to play basketball for the Lady Cougars. Chambers had an outstanding senior season for Hartford, averaging nearly 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. She also earned all-conference and all-state honors during her final year of high school ball.

Hartford girls soccer wins second straight conference crown

Conference championships are becoming an annual tradition for Hartford’s soccer programs. And despite not having been a varsity sport for many years, the Lady Indian program captured their second consecutive Southwest 10 Conference title last spring. The Lady Indians went 3-0 in conference matches, winning two by shut out and the other by a 5-2 decision. The team made it to the district finals, falling to Holland Black River in heartbreaking shootout fashion.

Hartford volleyball team makes district finals

Last fall was a difficult one for the Hartford Lady Indian volleyball team. They struggled to a 10-34 record in the regular season, but the district was wide open. They had the chance to reboot everything from square one, and get a trophy in the process. The Lady Indians turned away Bloomingdale in four outstanding sets in the district semifinals, setting up a match with Gobles for the district championship. A trophy was not meant to be, however, as the Lady Tigers swept the Lady Indians in straight sets.

Press Box Player of the Week

By Dave Vollrath

This week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma High School standout senior bowler, Damian Gomez.

Damian is the kind of competitor every coach desires to have on their team. Someone who is selfless, leads by example on the lanes, and also helps the newer team mates learn what it takes to remain calm and relaxed when called upon to perform. Coloma boys bowling coach, Sharon Ball, who nominated Damian for this award, says she can always count on him to perform at his best when the competition gets tough.

Damian is usually in the anchor spot in the Comet lineup. He has been bowling for most of his life. His parents first got him on the lanes when he was just 5 years old, competing in the youth leagues at Coloma Lanes. Damian has been rolling up scores for the Comet varsity team for four years, with the hopes this year of helping the Comets earn their way to the state team tournament, and also possibly as an individual state competitor.

Damian is a standout in the classroom and is a member of the Coloma National Honor Society, and has a 3.8 GPA. His parents are Damian and Melissa Gomez. Damian is also a member of the Coloma High School marching band, and a multi talented performer, as he plays the clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and the tenor sax.

Following graduation this spring, Damian plans to further his education by attending Western Michigan University in their aviation program, where he’ll be studying flight science.

We congratulate Damian on this award and wish him the very best in the future.

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Panther wrestlers take fourth at Martin Clipper Classic

The Panther wrestling team traveled to Martin on Saturday, Dec. 28 for the Clipper Classic Varsity Tournament. The tournament is the last of the team events this season where teams match up against one another. For the rest of the season they participate in tournaments where the wrestlers are seeded into weight class brackets.

On Saturday they competed against nine other teams and finished in fourth place. The Lowell “B” team won the tournament, Plainwell took second place, and Grant was third.

In the first matchup the Panthers took on Olivet and quickly fell behind 12-0. Consecutive pins by Don Smith, Royce Daugherty, and Jimmy Kolosowsky put the Panthers up 18-12 and they eventually led 42-12 before winning 42-36.

In the second matchup they faced Allegan and took a commanding 42-0 lead, eventually winning 48-30.

In match three the Panthers faced a strong Lowell team and won just four of 14 matches on the way to an 18-60 loss. Lowell’s primary team has won the Division 2 team state championship for six years in a row, and their “B” team is loaded with plenty of good wrestlers, too.

The Panthers came back strong against Bronson, jumping out to a 42-6 lead before winning the match 45-24.

The Bronson win put the Panthers in a final match with Grant for third and fourth places. Trever Pelton started with a pin to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead, but Grant won the next several matches to take a 34-6 lead, eventually taking third place with a 46-27 win.

On the day, everybody who wrestled won at least one match. Pelton and Smith led the way, going 5-0. Don (8-0) had two pins, won 2-0, won a double-OT match 2-1, and collected a void in the 215 pound slot. Trever (15-1) had a pin, won 6-3, and collected three voids at 112 pounds.

Jimmy Kolosowsky (13-3) continued his good start to the season with three pins and an 8-1 win to go 4-1 in the 103 pound class. Alex Isbrecht (14-3) also went 4-1 with three pins and a void at 135 and 140 pounds.

Dominic Morrison, Nathan Isbrecht, and Santiago Wilkinson each went 3-2. Freshman Dominic (10-5) had two pins and took a void at 125 pounds. Nathan (13-3) had a pin and a couple voids at 130 pounds. Santi (9-3) also had a pin and a couple voids at 189 pounds.

Freshman Isaac Barton (6-9) went 2-3 with a couple voids at 152 pounds. Evan Orlando (2-6) took a void at 145 pounds to go 1-4. Freshman Royce Daugherty (2-2) got a pin to go 1-2, and Thomas Morgan (2-50) took a void to go 1-1 in the heavyweight class.

The team is now at 10-3 in dual meets and they get a week off before heading to the Climax-Scotts Jim Wade Family Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 4. Next after that is a SAC matchup at Lawton on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and the following Saturday they travel to Homer.

MYWAY Wrestling

This area is lucky to have a pair of youth wrestling programs. Both Hartford and Coloma have clubs participating in the Michigan Youth Wrestling Association, or MYWAY. Both groups have local practices and participate in tournaments on Sundays during the high school wrestling season.

Age groups start at six years old and weight classes range from 37 pounds to heavyweight. Wrestlers are put into age groups.

MYWAY is a thriving program that introduces kids to the sport of wrestling and holds tournaments all over the state. Check out the organization at For the Coloma club contact Sara Ashley at, and Hartford is

Upcoming basketball games

The varsity boys basketball team resumes their winter schedule on Friday, Jan. 3 with a trip to Lee HS in Wyoming. The girls have a few extra days off after their busy December schedule and host New Buffalo in the Panther gym on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Middle School Basketball

The 7th Grade boys basketball team recently finished up their season. The team was made up of eight 6th graders and five 7th graders. The White team was young, but tenacious. The boys fought hard all season and never gave up even in some lopsided games. Caleb Jewell, Jorge “JD” Zuniga, and Cole Getz showed their leadership throughout the season and kept the Panthers motivated to finish the season strong. Coach TJ Hoffman said, “This team grew a tremendous amount over the season and they will be back next year determined to win more games.”

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