Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant
Panther wrestlers take second
The Panther wrestling season is in full stride with weekly dual meets on Wednesdays and all-day tournaments on Saturdays through the end of February. Last Saturday they traveled to Climax-Scotts for the Jim Wade Family Classic, featuring 13 teams and 136 total wrestlers. The 13 Panther wrestlers had a great day while bringing home nine medals and easily finishing in second place as a team.
UPSIDE DOWN FALCON! Coloma Comet wrestler Caeleb Ishmael turns his opponent from Constantine on his head, shortly before pinning him at the 1:45 mark of the first period. Wrestling Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Climax-Scotts individual tournament, Ishmael was a perfect 4-0 on the day, wrestling at 112 pounds. Check out more of the Comets results in this week’s Coloma Press Box.
Five Panthers won all their matches to qualify for a championship bout, with four others vying for third or fifth place. They didn’t have any chance to close in on first place, and unfortunately the final round turned out to be their worst of the day as they won only two of the nine matches. All of those in the championship matches faced high-quality opponents. Battle Creek Lakeview brought a powerful team, winning half of the 14 weight classes and then winning five consolation matches in the final round.
Trever Pelton (18-2) led the Panthers with a second place finish at 112 pounds, going 3-1 with three pins and scoring 24 team points. Alex Isbrecht (16-4) took second place, winning three matches with two pins and scoring 23.5 team points. Isaiah Yazel (12-2) took second place, winning two matches on pins and scoring 22 team points. Dominick Morrison (12-6) took second place with two pins and scored 22 team points. Don Smith (10-1) took second place with one pin and scored 20 team points.
Santiago Wilkinson (11-6) took fourth place with two pins, scoring 16 points for the team. Freshman Javier Guiterrez (4-7) was one of the final match winners, taking fifth place with two pins and scoring 13 team points. Parker Lanning (4-9) also won his last match of the day to take fifth place with two pins. Korben Camp was the only other Panther to win a match on the day, a pin good for three team points.
Battle Creek Lakeview ran away with the team scoring by virtue of their seven first-place wrestlers. All the Panther wrestlers looked good and they are steadily improving. The team has the ability to fill most of the 14 weight classes in every meet, and while they might not have any state champions in their midst this year they have several very good and exciting wrestlers.
The team travels to Homer on Saturday Jan. 11 and then on Wednesday, Jan. 15 they travel to Constantine to take on the Falcons and Schoolcraft.
Annual Trent McKinney Memorial Meet on January 22
Panther fans should mark their calendar for the last home wrestling meet of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 22, featuring teams from Gobles, Fennville, and Lawton. The Panther team matches up very well against all of them and the gymnasium needs to be filled for this one to cheer on the wrestlers and honor the seniors. All proceeds from the meet go to the Trent McKinney Memorial Scholarship, given to a deserving senior wrestler at the end of the season.
Boys basketball wins again
The varsity boys basketball team took a holiday trip to Wyoming Lee High School near Grand Rapids. The two teams have probably never faced each other before, but the two coaches have history as competitors in the Detroit Catholic League many years ago. On Friday, Jan. 3 the Panthers came away with a 39-32 non-conference victory, improving their record to 2-3 in the early season.
The Panthers led by seven after the first quarter and took a 22-12 lead into halftime. They were never really threatened in the game. Andrew Chisek led all scorers with 16 points, and Danaveon Gilbert hit four shots to finish with eight points. Brennan Bornas hit some key free throws in the final quarter to finish with seven points. Kenny Russell and Davis King each scored three, and Jordan Abney hit an early basket to finish with two points.
The boys and girls teams play again at Martin on Friday night, Jan. 10 and the boys travel to Brandywine on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The girls then travel to Hartford on Thursday, Jan. 16.
FIT TO BE TIED! Robert Brooks, age 7, and wrestling for the Coloma MYWAY wrestling club, has his opponent tied in knots just before the referee slapped the mat in a win by pin on Sunday, Jan. 5 in Constantine. Young Robert went 3-0 with two pins on the day, in winning first place in the 49-pound weight class. Robert is a second grader at Coloma Elementary and now is 15-0 on the season.
Press Box Player of the Week
By Jerrod Birmele
Aaron Sinclair, a junior at Hartford High School, and a member of the Indian basketball team, is this week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week. Aaron has had a tremendous start to the season on the stat sheet, despite the tough 1-2 start his team has endured. Through three games, he has averaged over 26 points per game, and has scored no less than 24 points in any contest. He scored a season-high 31 points in their game against Eau Claire on Dec. 20, the only victory thus far for the Indians. In that game, he made five three pointers, three two pointers, and was successful on ten of his free-throw attempts. In their two losing efforts, he scored 24 points against Watervliet on Dec. 14 and 25 points against Bloomingdale on Dec. 17.
Last season, Aaron earned first team all-conference honors in the Southwest 10 Conference, courtesy of his 15.1 points per game average. He scored 317 total points over the course of 21 games last year (statistics from one other contest were not reported), scored in double figures on 18 different occasions, and was the top scorer for the team in several contests. He scored 20 or more points five times, including a season-high 25 points in a loss to Cassopolis that settled the conference championship.
Athletically, outside the basketball court, Aaron was a member of the football team this fall, and had an outstanding season, scoring all-conference honors on both sides of the ball. He earned first team honors on offense and earned second team honors on defense. He has also played baseball in the spring. He will focus on next football season by making weightlifting a priority in his offseason training.
Congratulations on this great honor, Aaron! We look forward to seeing what you and the Indians will accomplish the rest of the season!
Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath
Comet wrestlers Alsup & Ishmael win firsts at Climax-Scotts Individual tourney
While most high school athletes have been enjoying the holiday break, and all of the goodies that come with it, the Coloma wrestlers have continued to train and maintain their weights as they have been wrestling the last couple of weekends, with no real break in the action.
On Saturday, Jan. 4 the Coloma Comet wrestlers traveled to Climax-Scotts High School for their Jim Wade Family Invitational individual wrestling tournament. The Comets were well represented at the meet, and came home with senior Cole Alsup and sophomore Caeleb Ishmael bringing home first place medals, as each was undefeated on the day. They also brought home a pair of third place finishers with Travis Borr and Seth McQuillan each wrestling well. Also finishing for the Comets were Alec DeLaTorre with a fifth place finish and Delray Williams with a sixth.
Wrestling at 103 pounds, Delray Williams finished in 6th place with an overall 2-4 record for the day. Williams began the day with a 12-8 win over Sherri Rogers of Battle Creek Lakeview. Delray faltered in his next match to another B.C. Lakeview wrestler, getting pinned in 1:09. Delray won in a consolation round match again over Rogers of Lakeview, before falling in the 5th place match, once again to Chappell of Lakeview.
Caeleb Ishmael, the outstanding Comet sophomore, continues to build his resume and increase his impressive win total as he wrestled his way to a perfect 4-0 record on the day, wrestling at 112 pounds. And also by winning another close match against one of his main rivals from Watervliet. Caeleb started his day with a pin against Ladesma from Constantine, putting him on his back in 1:45 of the first period. Next up, Ishmael defeated Galloway from Battle Creek Lakeview 15-0. The 112-pounder then pinned Matt Carnell another wrestler from Lakeview, in quick fashion at the 1:12 mark. Caeleb then met up once again in the finals, against a familiar opponent and rival from Watervliet Trever Pelton. Caeleb managed to outpoint Pelton, this time by a score of 4-1 to win the champions medal. These two wrestlers met a week before Christmas in a dual match at Watervliet, where Caeleb got the better of Trever in a very close match that finished 1-0.
Logan Ferguson finished in 5th place in the 119 pound weight class. Logan was 2-3 overall on the day and won his fifth place match with a pin at the 2:04 mark against Daniel Clark from Gull Lake High School.
Wrestling for the Comets at 145 was Seth McQuillan, going 3-2 on the day which garnered him a 3rd place finish. Seth lost twice to Caleb Bost from B.C. Lakeview, the second time in the semi finals. McQuillan then came back with a pair of victories, beating Jon Kinney of Athens High School in the 3rd place match by a score of 9-1.
Alec DeLaTorre wrestling at 152 finished in 5th place. Alec finished the day with a 3-2 record. He pinned Isaac Barton of Watervliet in :36 seconds. He also pinned Wyatt Maggert of Marcellus in :35 seconds and then won the fifth place match against Hunter Jollay of Gull Lake, with a pin in :27 seconds.
Cole Alsup, the 285-pound Coloma senior who was a state finisher last year, was also perfect on the day finishing 3-0 with 3 pins. Cole pinned Mann of Marcellus in 3:40 in the quarterfinals, then Miller of Lawton in the semi finals in 1:36, and then defeated Huff of Martin for the championship in 3:00.
Travis Borr also wrestled at 285 for Coloma and had a 4-1 day, with his only loss to Huff from Martin. Travis defeated Vanderpol from B.C. Lakeview with a pin at the 2:35 mark. He also pinned Travis Morgan of Watervliet in one minute and 30 seconds. Borr had pins over Smith from Lawton in 2:35 and again over Vanderpol in 3:13.
One wrestler who was missing on the day was Ian Ishmael, a Coloma senior and one of the top Comet wrestlers. Ian was competing in the Mr. Coloma contest that day, and picked up a victory as he was crowned Mr. Coloma 2020. Congratulations, Ian!
Comet boys and girls bowling teams remain undefeated, and win with a pair of shutouts
The Coloma bowlers started the first week back to school following the Christmas break by traveling to Martin, at the Rock and Bowl, on Monday, Jan. 6. The girls continued their undefeated season into the new year by shutting out Martin by a 30-0 score. The girls won the Baker games by scores of 174-119 and 156-98. They also won the singles games and series by equally lopsided scores.
Leading the lady bowlers was Morgan Hosbein who shot an outstanding 225 first game, and finished with a two game total of 387. Carissa Richmond had games of 168 and 173 for a 341. Madison McQuillan shot 299 with a high game of 161, Ashley Ikerd shot a 279, and Eadie Needham had a 244.
Down the lanes for the men’s squad, they also shut out the Martin team 30-zip. The Baker games were won 160-93 and 162-99. The Comet men won the series total by almost 700 pins, in pounding the Clippers. Charlie Cullitan was high for the Comets with a 414, with games of 236 and 178. Jon Swetay also shot a first game 236 followed by a 145 for 381 total. Damian Gomez had 200 and 171 for a 371 total. Ryan Wilson shot a single first game of 160, and Noah Blankenship shot a single second game of 158.
NCAA Football National Championship game set for Monday, Jan. 13
The National Championship teams are set to play on Monday, Jan. 13 at the Super Dome in New Orleans, LA. Clemson will face LSU in a game that should be one of the best championship matchups played under the new, and current format.
Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele
Hartford Wrestling Finishes 11th in First Meet of 2020
Last weekend, the Hartford Wrestling team returned to the mats for the first Indian Athletic event of the 2020 calendar year. The wrestlers were entered in the 13-team Jim Wade Family Classic in Climax, which has transitioned from a team tournament to an individual tournament over the last couple of years. The team has had several solid performances early in the year, and hoped that the momentum would carry on despite a two-week break.
In the meet held on Saturday, Jan. 4, when the final match was completed, and the points were tallied up, Hartford finished 11th out of 13 teams, scoring a total of 36 team points. The event was won by Battle Creek Lakeview, a team that tallied a whopping 262.5 points, and defeated the second place team by more than a hundred points.
Hartford was led by a pair of placers, which included runner-up, James Terry, at 189 pounds, and 130-pounder, Tim DuMont, in 4th place. Terry went 2-1 on the day, winning his first two matches by fall, before being pinned in the finals by an unbeaten wrestler from conference counterpart, Marcellus. The 130-pound weight class was settled by five rounds of round-robin wrestling, where DuMont’s 1-3 record was enough to secure his placing.
The Indian wrestlers will return to the business at hand this week, competing in a conference quad and a weekend team tournament. On Wednesday, Jan. 8, the Indians hosted Bangor, Bloomingdale and Eau Claire at Indian Gymnasium in Southwest 10 Conference action, before traveling to the Parchment Super Duals on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Hartford Athletic events return in earnest
Well, the winter break has officially ended, and students have returned to the classrooms for the stretch run of the first semester. The end of break also means a return to your regularly scheduled Hartford Indian athletic activities. This week featured a busy plethora of sports events, with each sport being involved in the action. Basketball games, competitive cheerleading competitions, and wrestling meets; you name it, it had a place on the calendar.
On Tuesday, Jan. 7, the Hartford Indian Basketball teams returned to the court in Southwest 10 Conference action. Both teams played Bangor, with the boys playing at home and the girls playing a road contest. The Hartford Indian competitive cheerleading team participated in their first meet of the year, traveling to Gobles to participate in the first conference jamboree of the season.
On Friday, Jan. 10, both the boys and girls basketball teams will be on the road, as they will be traveling to Mendon to take on the Hornets in their second conference games of the week.
Finally, on Saturday, Jan. 11, the ladies on the competitive cheerleading team will participate in a weekend meet, traveling to Richland Gull Lake to compete in the Blue Devil Invitational.
As always, GO INDIANS!