01-11-2018 Tri-City Area Sports


AQBs perfectly predict Roll Tide victory in National Championship Game

By Kristy Noack

The college football season ended on a perfect and exciting note as the Alabama Crimson Tide eked out a 26-23 victory in overtime over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Smart money, like all six of our Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterbacks, bet on the Tide, but a lot of football fans were hoping for a Cinderella ending for the ‘Dogs, especially after they held a 13-0 lead at the half.

The National Football Championship game was the final contest in the college football season that our AQBs had to face.

For the last 20 weeks, six local football fans from Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet have been tasked with predicting the winners of high school, college, and professional football games.

Additionally, they were asked to predict the total points scored in a special contest selected each week. If two or more AQBs ended the week with identical records, the tie-breaker game would be used to determine their place in the standings. Whomever more accurately predicted the total points scored in the special game would receive the higher place on the docket.

This week, RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht, Tim Hildebrand, and Bryan Conrad picked their way to 4-1 records. Their place in the standings came down to the college title game.

With 49 total points scored, Rodney-Isbrecht claimed first place with her 44-point guess.  Hildebrand took second with his 46-point prediction. That left Conrad in third; he foresaw 75 points being scored.

Rodney Lynch and Chris Leach both ended the week with 3-2 records. So, the numbers game continued.

Lynch landed in fourth place as he predicted 44 points would be scored. Leach moved into fifth place with her 61-point guess.

Greg Krell was the sixth-place finisher with a record of 2-3 for the week.

Overall, Lynch held onto the top spot in the contest with a 113-44 overall record. He had a three-game lead over second-place Rodney-Isbrecht. She gained a game on Lynch and currently holds a 110-47 record.

Hildebrand maintained his grip on third place overall with a 104-53 record.

Things were shaken up in the lower half of the rankings. Conrad jumps to fourth place overall with a 97-60 record. He gained two games on Krell and one on Leach to overtake them both in the standings.

All knotted up in fifth place are Krell and Leach. With 96-61 records in hand, the duo will battle it out next week to see if the tie can be broken.

With high school and college gridiron seasons complete, the ‘backs are tasked with predicting winners of professional games only. Here are the divisional matchup games:

Atlanta @ Philadelphia

Tennessee @ New England

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh

New Orleans @ Minnesota

The tie-breaker game will feature plenty of beaks and feathers. (It’s the Falcons at the Eagles).

With seven games left in the season, time is running out to make any major moves. Can Lynch hold onto the top spot again this week? Check back to find out!

Frigid temperatures make Run, Frosty, Run a true winter delight

 It was cold! There were no two ways about it. With snowflakes falling and temperatures hovering between 10 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit Saturday, the fifth annual Run, Frosty, Run 5k event, benefitting the Watervliet Athletic Boosters, kicked off with 44 participants.

Runners as far as Holland, Grand Rapids, and Rockford, Michigan, as well as those from Chicago, Illinois, braved the weather and trekked to Watervliet North Elementary for the 10:00 a.m. race start.

Organized by the Southwest Michigan Racers, the 5K walk and run kicked off the 2018 sports season. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Watervliet Athletic Boosters. The Boosters uses the monies to fund special requests from the district’s sports programs, which previously included equipment and tournament fees.

WALKING TO FIRST PLACE… Christine Washing-ton (left), of Stevensville, was the overall winner of the Run, Frosty, Run 5K walk Saturday. She completed the course in 43:22. Tom Nimtz (right), of Benton Harbor, was the first male finisher; he crossed the finish line with a time of 46:46. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

The 3.1 mile jaunt was traversed by 32 runners and Mike Moser, 38, of St. Joseph, Michigan led the overall charge with a time of 20:18.  He was followed by Brian Moore, 14, of Chicago (22:14), and Brandon Karl, 42, of Buchanan Township (25:53).

FIRST PLACE FINISHERS… Mike Moser, of St. Joseph, and Margaret Rivera, of Chicago and Watervliet, finished first and third overall, respectively, in the Run, Frosty, Run 5K run with times of 20:18 and 22:26. Winners were awarded safety lights and medals. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

James Moore, 13, of Chicago, finished fourth (27:23).  James Bowman, 36, of Grand Rapids rounded out the top five (28:14).

FROSTY RUN INDEED… The 2018 Run, Frosty, Run 5K event lived up to its name as 44 participants faced snow falling from the sky onto already slick, snow-covered roads with tem-peratures at 10-degrees Fahren-heit as they took off from the starting line at Watervliet North Elementary School Saturday. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Margaret Rivera, 33, a Chicago resident who splits her time in Watervliet, was the first female finisher. She crossed the finish line with a time of 22:26.

Taking second place for the ladies was Rockford’s Shannon McCormick, 34 (23:25).  Emily Maki-Rusk, 41, from St. Joseph, took third place (26:44).

South Haven’s Kylie Shelton, 13, ran to a fourth place finish (27:31), while Loretta Jacobs, 38, of Coloma finished fifth (27:45).

Christine Washington reigned supreme in the 5K walk. The Stevensville resident, 51, finished first overall with a time of 43:22.

Coloma’s Gwen Doneruse, 49, took second place (45:20). Terri Carlson, 57, finished third (49:25).

Dowagiac’s Lisa Koenig, 39, earned a fourth place finish (49:44).  Fifth place went to Coloma’s Sybil Smith, 53 (51:03).

Tom Nimtz, 64, was the first male finisher in the 5K walk. The Benton Harbor resident completed the course with a time of 46:46.  Terry Voss, 77, of Stevensville finished second in the men’s division (56:36).

John Donnelly drove down to Watervliet from Holland and was “excited” to participate in the race. He was trying to get a jump on the 2018 5K season.

Donnelly was prepared for the effect the cold weather would have on his finish time. Times, he said, “will be 20 to 40 percent slower” than normal.

The biggest draw for Donnelly was the bright orange “Run your buttons off” beanie, which was given to registered participants.

Rivera participated in the race to “see where I’m at” regarding her training. She is prepping for May’s Kalamazoo marathon and then the Chicago marathon in October.

“It’s beautiful out here!” she exclaimed. Rivera commented the snow on the course was pretty well packed, although it was slick going on Shady Drive.

Many runners commented that the race was “challenging” due to the snow and cold.

ICY MIKE… Mike Moser, formerly of Coloma, makes like a snowflake and flies through the air Saturday during the Run, Frosty, Run 5K run. Moser was the overall winner of the event. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Inside the North School gymnasium, crockpots full of steaming hot chili, bananas, water, doughnuts, and coffee awaited the dedicated participants.

Awards, including medals and a warning light that can be pinned to clothing, were awarded to the top male and female finishers in both the walk and run.

Although the numbers of runners and walkers was down from previous years, the Watervliet sports program appreciates everyone who participated.

Watervliet whips River Valley 58-33

 The outcome of most any game is never a foregone conclusion. That being said, Watervliet had a pretty easy time, as they defeated host River Valley Saturday, January 6.

Watervliet jumped out to an early 17-6 and the Panthers proved strong on offense all game long.

In the second period, the Panthers took the 26-14 lead.

Third period action found Watervliet still controlling the ball, as the squad scored 16 points. River Valley posted 12 points, but the Panthers enjoyed the 42-26 lead.

Watervliet matched their third period point total, adding another 16 points to the board before they closed out the game with the 58-33 victory.

According to Watervliet head coach Chris Prom, “The boys competed hard all game, obtaining five of their eight game goals.”

Those goals included “outscoring their opponent by 10 points in the paint (44-10), having a better effective field goal than their opponent (41 to 28), having a turnover percentage less than 15% (9.1%), having an offensive rebound percentage of over 35% (35.7), and holding our opponent over 50 points (33).”

Leading Watervliet in the scoring department was Dan Cluster. He scored 10 points.

Jakob Aldrich, Garrett Matthews, Ryan Chisek, and James Bell scored eight points apiece.

Matthews also recorded 10 deflections in the contest.

Watervliet improved to 4-1 on the season overall.

News from the fast lane

The Coloma varsity bowling teams keep on rolling. Monday, January 8, the boys topped Parchment on the road.

Danny Clear was the Comets’ high roller. He had a 222 and 229 on the night.

Jason Ridge rolled his best game of the season with a 178.

The Lady Comets also notched the win. It was Lainey Meader with the 212 pin high game.

Wicked weather wreaks havoc on last week’s schedule

 When it snowed, it poured.  The snow and cold forced the cancellation of several games on the final week of holiday break when games weren’t that plentiful to begin with.

Hartford and Coloma were scheduled to participate in cheer competition Wednesday, January 3 at Delton Kellogg, but that plan was scrapped.

The Lady Indians of Hartford basketball were supposed to host Mendon, while the boys’ team was on the road Thursday.

Also on tap Friday was the Coloma basketball squads hitting the court in Brandywine.

The contests were cancelled due to the unpleasant weather conditions.

MHSAA sports news

 The Michigan High School Athletic Association is making changes to some spring sports and has expanded the ever popular “Battle of the Fans.”

This year marks the seventh year in the MHSAA’s “Battle of the Fans” contest, which celebrates the best high school student cheering section in the state.

All schools are encouraged to submit a short video that highlights their school’s “positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership, and fun.”

Schools must submit their application by January 13. The MHSAA will review all submissions and select three semifinalists from each of the following Classes: A, B, and C/D.

In the semifinals round, schools will have two weeks to complete additional challenges demonstrating their sportsmanship and school spirit.

Three finalists will be selected and visited by MHSAA staff at a home game to see their fans in action. The champion will be determined by the MHSAA Student Advisory Council and is based, in part, on activity on MHSAA’s social media sites.

The winner of the “Battle of the Fans VII” will be announced February 23.

Last year’s winner was Frankenmuth.

The MHSAA Representative Council approved a change in format for the state varsity baseball tournament.

Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, “baseball will move from its current one-day Saturday Regional and Quarterfinal (games) the following Tuesday to a two-day ‘Super Regional’ format,” according to an MHSAA press release.

The Super Regional will start with a regional semifinal game scheduled for the Wednesday following the completion of district competition. Then, two regional final games will be held Saturday at the same location.

The MHSAA is advising the change is necessary “to provide teams more opportunities to use their top pitchers in the most meaningful games of the season.”

The governing body of high school sports in the State of Michigan develops rules for athletic eligibility.  More than 1,500 public and private high and middle schools are members of the MHSAA.


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