Conrad wins bowl game-heavy week in Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest
By Kristy Noack
If you were one of the six superstars that gaze into their crystal balls each week in an effort to determine the winners of eight football games, you posted either a 6-2 or 4-4 record this week. There wasn’t much middle ground as our Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterbacks continue their pursuit of the TCR AQB championship ball cap.
All season long, our fearless football fanatics have tested their mettle by predicting high school, college, and professional games. The AQB who ends the season with the best record wins the cap.
Additionally, each week a tie-breaker game is selected. If two or more ‘backs end the week with identical records, the tie-breaker game is used to determine their place in the standings. The players of our game must determine how many total points will be scored in that special game.
On tap this week were six bowl games and two pro games as college football hit its stride and the NFL concluded their regular season.
Bryan Conrad, Chris Leach, RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht, and Rodney Lynch tallied 6-2 records for the week.
The tie-breaker game was Notre Dame facing off against LSU in the Citrus Bowl. The Fighting Irish came back in the fourth quarter and won 21-17.
With four players earning the same 6-2 record, the tie-breaker game favored heavily in their ranking.
With 38 total points scored and a prediction of 41 points, Conrad wins first place for the week.
Leach landed in second place with her 42-point prediction. Rodney-Isbrecht raced into third place; she guessed 51 points would be scored. That left Lynch in fourth for the week with his 63-point prediction.
Tim Hildebrand and Greg Krell both went 4-4 for the week, so their place in the standings fell to the outcome of the tie-breaker game as well.
Hildebrand edged out Krell for fifth place; he determined 39 points would be scored. Krell ended the week in sixth place with his 51-point prediction.
Currently, Lynch still leads the charge with a 110-42 overall record. Rodney-Isbrecht is second, just four games behind Lynch with a 106-46 record.
In third place holding a 100-52 record is Hildebrand. He is followed by Krell, who kept his distance trailing six games, with a 94-58 record.
Leach and Conrad kept pace with each other and remain tied for fifth with 93-59 records.
The College Football National Championship game takes center stage Monday, January 8 as Alabama and Georgia are set to tangle for the trophy. In the NFL, wild card games begin this weekend.
Here are the games on tap for our AQBs:
Georgia vs. Alabama
Tennessee @ Kansas City
Atlanta @ LA Rams
Buffalo @ Jacksonville
Carolina @ New Orleans
The tie-breaker game this week is the National Championship game. Will the Tide roll or will the Bulldogs bite? How will the playoff picture on the professional stage play out? Check back next week to find out!
Wade Family Classic yields three individual champions for area wrestlers
Although winter break, and the lake effect snow machine, continues to hum along for high school sports, limited action was found during the first of the two-week holiday break.
Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet grapplers participated in the Jim Wade Family Classic, held at Climax-Scotts Saturday, December 30. The three squads joined 14 other teams.
Coloma had two champions, while Watervliet had one.
Coloma’s Jamane Smith Jr. earned first place in the 189 lb. weight class.
Smith pinned Hartford’s Alonzo Garcia at 1:03. In the quarterfinals, Smith pinned Maple Valley’s David Hosack-Frizzell at 3:04. The semi-finals brought a big battle, as Smith pinned Andrew Norstrom of Lakeview late in the third period.
In the finals, Smith earned a 15-4 major decision over Grass Lake’s Brett Lockridge.
Coloma’s Cole Alsup also won a championship Saturday afternoon. Alsup earned a first round bye, so he faced Damacio Camarillo of Lawrence in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight division. Alsup pinned Camarillo at 1:07. With the win, Alsup moved on to the semi-finals where he pinned Brendan Herbert of Plainwell at 0:37.
In the championship match, Alsup pinned Lakeview Battle Creek’s Kyle Starkweather at 3:49.
Two Comet wrestlers finished in second place for the day.
Ian Ishmael wrestled in the 135 lb. weight class and earned a first match bye.
He tangled with Lakeview’s Josef Quispe and won the match in an 8-2 decision. Ishmael and Gull Lake’s Dakota Oman faced off in the semi-finals match, with Ishmael earning the 6-4 win.
In the championship match, Ishmael fell to Hunter Bowersox of Athens by a score of 9-6 to earn the runner-up title.
The 140 lb. weight class found Coloma’s Cody Reece earning a first round. He squared off against Gavin Catherwood of Galesburg-Augusta and won the win by pin at 1:02.
Josh Wright of Lakeview was tapped to match wits with Reece in the semi-final match. Reece won by a 10-7 decision.
In the championship match, Reece fell to Rayden Roggow of Athens by an 11-7 decision.
Hartford’s Jared Foerster wrestled his way to a fourth place finish in the 103 lb. weight class.
Foerster beat Gull Lake’s Eli Mason 15-14 but lost in the quarterfinals to Gull Lake’s Mitchell Dame by pin.
Foerster pinned Bangor’s Dylan Little and defeated Maple Valley’s Gage Ertman 11-4 to make to the third place match.
Foerster lost to Dame by pin at 0:57 and had to settle for fourth place.
Watervliet’s Trever Pelton won the championship crown in the 103 lb. weight class.
He opened with a bye and followed that with a pin of Hartford’s Trenton Hicks at 0:48 in the quarterfinals and a pin of Maple Valley’s Gage Ertman in the semi-finals.
Pelton pinned Lakeview Battle Creek’s Gabe Livingston at 1:20 for the championship.
Matt Melcher finished in second place for the Panthers after he notched a pin over West Catholic’s Vincent Mauric in the 215 lb. weight class. Melcher then pinned Peyton McEllis of Grass Lake at 1:52 in the quarterfinals and won a 3-2 decision over Martin’s Michael Minne in the semi-finals.
In his final match of the day, Melcher fell to Logan Birchmeier of Gull Lake by pin.
Two Watervliet wrestlers finished sixth on the day.
Alex Isbrecht, wrestling in the 119 lb. weight class, pinned Plainwell’s Trenton Christy but lost by technical fall to Lakeview Battle Creek’s Bryce Sheeders.
Isbrecht earned a victory over Bangor’s Jose Gallegos after a pin but lost to Plainwell’s Drake Blackmun by a 4-3 decision.
In the fifth place match, Sheeders topped Isbrecht 6-3, earning the Panther a sixth-place finish.
Isaiah Yazel (145 lbs.) pinned Galesburg-Augusta’s Jacob Haun at 1:05 but lost to Anthony Raymond of Maple Valley in the quarterfinal round by pin.
Yazel came back with a win by pin over Neil Gleason of Gull Lake but was pinned by Lawrence’s Chris Schuman to set up the fifth place match.
Yazel took sixth place after he was pinned by Raymond at 0:22.
Coloma remains undefeated on the court with 62-55 win over South Haven
Coloma got off to a slow, extremely slow, start Friday, December 29 as the Comets welcomed the South Haven Rams for a little hoops action.
A LITTLE DAB WILL DO YA… Coloma’s Robbie Schroeder puts the ball up Fri-day, December 29 in the Com-ets’ game against visiting South Haven. Schroeder scored 12 points in Coloma’s 62-55 win. The Comets remain undefeated and are 5-0 overall. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
The Comets’ lack of ball control spelled certain doom for Coloma; South Haven stripped the ball from the Comets, as the home team struggled to maintain possession and score points.
As a matter of fact, South Haven jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Coloma got on the board.
It was Robbie Schroeder who took the ball to the basket for the Comets and hit the team’s first bucket of the night.
South Haven responded with a 3-pointer. Coloma countered with a two-point bucket by Brendan Lute.
DOWNTOWN BROWN… Chris Brown of Coloma’s boys’ varsity basketball team leaps before shooting the ball Friday night. Brown tossed in three points in the Comet victory. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack
Coloma’s Zach Goodline got on the board with a jumper, and Schroeder dropped his second score of the night, another two-points. Coloma trailed South Haven 11-8 with a minute left in the first period.
But, the Comets fought back and after Goodline sank another two-point shot, Coloma led 12-11 at the end of the first period.
Coloma’s Phillip Caldwell opened the second period with a bucket. Caldwell did a nice job all game long of hitting his shots and making plays.
South Haven followed with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 14-14 and moved into the lead on another 3-pointer.
Goodline dropped a 3-pointer of his own, as Coloma kept pace and tied the game at 17-17.
The Rams scored two quick buckets before Coloma’s Michael Dancer dropped a basket of his own. The Rams scored two points, but Coloma dropped a three to move to within one, 23-22.
A bucket by Goodline gave the Comets the 24-23 lead for a brief moment before South Haven visited the charity stripe and hit one of two to tie the game at 24-24.
Lute scored another two points on an inbound pass from Goodline, and the Comets finished up the first half 26-26.
Dancer created some drama in the third period after he lit up the crown. Dancer walloped the ball away from a South Haven defender who was trying to score on a layup, putting the Comet faithful on their feet at the block.
Caldwell went to work in the third period scoring 3-pointers and coming out strong on defense.
The third period closed out with South Haven trailing Coloma 43-37.
Caldwell continued to work in the fourth quarter as he scored Coloma’s opening two-point bucket.
After exchanging steals and baskets early in the period, Coloma led 53-46.
Schroeder also continued with his hot hands as he dropped a two-point bucket.
It was the final minutes of the game that provided the most entertainment. South Haven rallied and at one point trailed by only three points, 55-52.
With just under two minutes on the clock, South Haven drained a 3-pointer to tie the game 55-55.
After trading fouls and free throws, Coloma held a 60-55 lead with 30 seconds left on the clock. Although South Haven tried to make some magic, the Rams fell to the hometown Comets 62-55.
Coloma head coach Paul Marfia commented following the game, “I knew this would be a good early test for us. South Haven has to be one of the best 1-4 teams in the state, and we have to be one of the worse 5-0 teams.”
Schroeder had a double double in the contest. He scored 12 points and brought down 10 rebounds. He also took four charges.
Goodline tallied 23 points, and Caldwell scored 13, including three 3-pointers.
Lute posted seven points, as Dancer scored four. Brown contributed three points.
The Comets landed seven of eight free throws (88%).
Coloma remains undefeated in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 3-0 record; the squad is 5-0 overall.
Time to run your buttons off
There is still time to get off the couch and work off those holiday calories. Lace up your kicks and head over to North Elementary School, located at 287 Baldwin Avenue just north of Watervliet, for the Run, Frosty, Run event. The 5K race will be held Saturday, January 6 with a start time of 10:00 a.m.
Thursday is the last day to take advantage of the discounted price of $20. After Thursday, the registration fee increases to $25 through race day.
The race is returning to its roots and will NOT be a “Predict Your Time” race. Just get out there run, be safe, and stay warm.
The timed event will offer awards to male and female overall and age group winners in the 5K run and 5K walk races.
The race is sponsored by the Southwest Michigan RACERS running club. All proceeds from the event benefit the Watervliet Athletic Boosters.
Previously, the Boosters have been able to furnish Watervliet sports teams with equipment and tournament fees.
Register online by visiting runfrostyrun.com and click on the “Register Now” button.
Limited sports events available to break those mid-winter blues
The winter sports break has entered its second and final week, but there are a few contests on tap if you are looking for a way to break out of those mid-winter blues.
Hartford and Coloma participated in varsity competitive cheer competition Wednesday, January 3.
On Thursday, January 4, the Hartford boys’ varsity basketball team will travel to Mendon, while the Lady Indians are at home. Tip off for the girls is at 5:30 p.m. as they take on Mendon.
If you are seeking some basketball action Saturday, January 6, the Panthers varsity basketball team will travel to River Valley Three Oaks for a 4:30 p.m. contest.
Coloma takes to the road Friday, January 5 as the girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams head to Brandywine for a double-header. The girls tip off at 5:30 p.m. with the boys to follow at 7:00 p.m.
Mark your calendars for some important sports dates. On Tuesday, January 9 the varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams of Coloma and Watervliet will take to the court. Game times begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.
Also on the docket is a wrestling quad at Coloma Wednesday, January 10. Watervliet will be joining the quad action along with Schoolcraft and Constantine.
Hartford’s varsity competitive cheer team will travel to Coloma Monday, January 15 and Wednesday, January 17 for competition at 6:00 p.m.
Finally, the Comet bowling teams return home for action on the alleys at Kelley’s Bowl in St. Joseph against Kalamazoo Christian Wednesday, January 10.