02-01-2018 Athletes and sports events of 2017 revisited

As reported in the Press Box By Kristy Noack

Continued from last week…

MAY 18, 2017 Coloma softball undefeated 12-0 wins Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division Championship Coloma shut out Bangor 17-0 and 15-0 to win the SAC – Lakeshore Division championship title May 11. Skylar Crisenbery picked up the win in the first game and earned her 14th this season. Coloma was led at the plate by Jenna Walter. Walter smacked a triple and two singles and scored three runs. Jaidyn Hutsell earned her ninth win of the season after securing the victory in game two. She allowed no runs or hits and she struck out nine batters. Julia Sternaman drove in three runs in the second contest; she hit two singles. The Lady Comets were undefeated in the SAC and recorded a 23-3 record overall.

OTHER MAY SPORTS NEWS Hartford softball hosted Watervliet in SAC action, and Watervliet walked away with two wins, 9-6 and 9-3. Ariana Rowe pitched game one for Watervliet and tallied her eighth victory from the mound this season. The Hartford Indians defeated host Coloma 2-1 on May 3 in conference action with Abigail Lopez scoring two goals for the Indians. Coloma’s lone goal was scored by Grace Gagliardo. Watervliet baseball scores two wins over Hartford 12-0 and 3-2. Watervliet’s 12 runs came on 14 hits, and Garrett Matthews pitched the one-hit shutout in game one. Luke Manning of Hartford and Jakob Aldrich of Watervliet dueled in the second game. Watervliet’s Jade Miller set a personal record in the 400 meters where she took fifth place while teammate Allie Pazera finished sixth in the 800 meters at the Benton Harbor Rotary track meet. Karli McClendon of Watervliet tossed her way to a bronze in the discus after her throw traveled 96’ 11” at the Rotary meet. Coloma’s Derek Plitt set a new personal record in the 100 meter dash after he finished third at the Benton Harbor Rotary meet. Teammate Josh Young earned gold in the 400 meters; he set a new PR. Abigail Lopez scored Hartford’s single goal in the team’s 3-1 loss to Bangor. Coloma softball posted a 6-1 record for the week including two shutouts. Jaidyn Hutsell hit a homerun against Dowagiac. The Watervliet varsity softball squad headed to Lakeshore for the host’s tournament action. The Panthers were shut out 10-0 by Grandville, lost 15-4 to Lakeshore, and fell 13-3 to Lake Orion. Anthony Abbot picked up his first win from the rubber as the Comets beat Kalamazoo Christian 4-2. Watervliet soccer shut out Schoolcraft 4-0 as Emma Kraklau kicked two goals and had an assist. Coloma soccer sank Saugatuck 3-1 in overtime and beat Brandywine 3-2. Jade Miller, Emma Yazel, Karli McClendon, and Allie Pazera earned first place finishes in a non-scored track meet at Bloomingdale. The Watervliet Minors baseball team took second place in the Watervliet pre-season tourney. Coloma’s boys’ track team finished second overall in the varsity divisional championship at Saugatuck. Watervliet put together a third place team finish, trailing Coloma by 33 points. The Comet varsity baseball squad split with Saugatuck, losing the opener 1-0 but winning the second game 7-3. The Watervliet soccer squad was topped 5-2 by Fennville. The team then played to a 1-1 tie against Comstock later in the week. Hartford’s Riley Traver won medals in each of the four events which he competed in at Bangor: high jump, 100 meter dash, and two relay events. Watervliet baseball earns two wins over Gobles and wins the LMC tourney. Coloma’s Emma Watson saved 30 of 38 shots on goal in the squad’s 8-0 loss to Kalamazoo Christian. Hartford softball was hit for three losses against LMC and River Valley. Megan Nelson was five for five at plate and scored three runs against LMC. Watervliet won 7-5 and 13-3 over Gobles as Celina Klimkiewicz pitched her way to her first varsity win of her career. The Indians shut out Schoolcraft 7-0 on the soccer field but lost 8-0 to Kalamazoo Hackett. Coloma’s Naomi Cottrell received First Team All-Conference honors in the SAC for tennis. Coloma will send eight athletes and Watervliet will send two to the MHSAA track and field state competition. Gabe Doggett, Derek Plitt, Josh Young, Brandon Bower, Kobe Hunter, Greg Olson, Caleb Ellis, and Sincere Taylor will represent Coloma. Watervliet will send Lamarrius Smith and Jobe Kerr to state competition. Hartford keeper Olivia Kling recorded 20 saves in the Indians’ 8-0 loss to Kalamazoo Christian. Watervliet scored 47 runs in a 4-0 win streak on the diamond; the Panthers allowed only 15 runs in the four games. Garrod Johnson got the 2-1 victory over Lawrence. He allowed one run on four hits and struck out three batters. Logan Mizwicki and Tyler Brant were named Watervliet’s Outstanding Senior Athletes. Coloma’s Hunter Crist hit a single and scored three runs, as Anthony Abbot won his second game of the season in a 10-8 victory over Marcellus. Bryant Kieft belted a three-run homer for Watervliet in their 17-1 win over Lawton. Laury Ward was honored for her contribution to Hartford athletics and the sport of softball. Amara Wesaw earned the 4-3 win over Decatur after she struck out seven batters. Megan Nelson picked up the 3-1 win over Decatur; she allowed just one run on seven hits. The final SAC track meet of the regular season was held at Constantine. Coloma’s boys’ varsity team finished third, Watervliet took sixth, and Hartford was 18th. Watervliet’s girls’ soccer team finished their regular season with a 4-8-2 record. Hartford baseball fell 14-4 and 5-4 to Kalamazoo Hackett. Coloma beat Bangor 5-1 and shut out Schoolcraft 8-0. Mackenzie Ecker scored two goals against Bangor, and Abby Blevins and Macayla Rodgers scored two goals apiece against Schoolcraft. Watervliet baseball celebrated Senior Night by winning both cards of a doubleheader against Dowagiac. Coloma softball topped Grant 15-0 and 16-0 and pummeled Paw Paw 3-0 for the week. The Indians of Hartford enjoyed a 4-0 shut out on the soccer field over New Buffalo as Abigail Lopez dominated with four goals. Coloma baseball finished their final week of regular season baseball with two wins over Grant at Davenport University and two losses to Bridgman. Megan Nelson pitched a complete game for the Indians against Kalamazoo Hackett. She allowed eight runs on nine hits while striking out six. Watervliet softball celebrated the final week of the regular season by scoring six wins. The Panthers ended their regular season with a 27-7 overall record and went 10-2 in the SAC – Lakeshore Division. Isaac Workman, Trevor Townsend, and Matt Lambrecht received First Team All-Conference honors for their work on the Watervliet golf team.

JUNE 8, 2017 Area athletes place at MHSAA track and field finals Several local athletes achieved All-State status after competing in the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 3 track and field finals at Comstock Park. Leading the way was Watervliet junior Lamarrius Smith. Smith leapt 20’ 10.5” in the long jump and earned a bronze medal and trip to the podium. Coloma’s 4×200 meter relay team, comprised of Caleb Ellis, Sincere Taylor, Josh Young, and Derek Plitt, finished fourth in the state. The foursome ran their event in 1:31.21. The group’s time was fast enough to break the school record, which dates back to 1968. Josh Young also set a new personal record in the individual 400 meters and finished seventh in the state. Ellis, Kobe Hunter, Bandon Bower, and Young sped to a seventh place finish in the 4×400 meter relay. That time also shattered a 47-year school record.

OTHER JUNE SPORTS NEWS Coloma’s Jacoby Kroshel finished with a round of 92 at the Division 3 regional golf matches at Stonehedge North Course in Augusta. The senior took 23rd place. Watervliet’s three-man team was led by senior Trevor Townsend, who shot a 104 for 52nd place. Watervliet beat Coloma, Lawton, and Bangor to win the baseball district championship. The Panthers will move on to regional competition where they will face Schoolcraft. Coloma varsity softball coach Wendy Goodline continues to build a legacy on the diamond as her squad won their second Division 3 district title. Coloma topped Watervliet, Lawton, and Hartford for the title. The Lady Panthers ended their soccer season after they suffered an 8-0 shutout at the feet of Black River. The Coloma girls’ varsity soccer squad reached the semi-finals in Davison 3 District 33 action but was stymied by Paw Paw 4-0. The Hartford Indians earned a bye in the first round of Division 4 district soccer. In the semi-final game, the Indians lost 2-1. Hartford’s Luke Manning and Garrod Johnson teamed up at the plate in the Indians’ 9-5 win. Hartford softball ended their regular season with three wins, including a win over Decatur and two over Lawton. With temperatures climbing from the 70-degree mark and into the 80s, the Lady Comets of Coloma defeated Schoolcraft and Buchanan in regional action. Kayla Yore had the first hit for Coloma against Schoolcraft and Skylar Crisenbery picked up the win in the 4-0 shutout. Against Buchanan, Megan Koenigshof opened the game with a leadoff single and steal of second base, as Coloma took a 2-0 lead in their half of the first inning. The Coloma varsity softball team won the MHSAA Division 3 Regional championship after sweeping their opponents with shutouts. The dugout was silent as Watervliet players gathered equipment and filed off the baseball field having suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in District 3 regional play at host Coloma to Schoolcraft. The Lady Comets of Coloma lost a Michigan High School Athletic Association quarterfinals softball matchup 9-7 against Napoleon at Hope College. In the final MHSAA ranking of the 2017 season, Coloma was number six in Division 3. Hartford Council for Recreation hosts All-star Invitational featuring four divisions: 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U. Coloma’s 10U All-Star softball team won first place in the Coloma Youth Baseball Softball Association tourney. Hartford’s 12U team hoisted the championship trophy in their division in the CYBSA tourney. In the 14U division, host Coloma took second place. Indian Pride Park in Hartford played host to the 2017 All-Star Softball Invitational. The Southwestern Athletic Conference handed out First Team awards for girls’ soccer. Watervliet’s Vicky Smith, Hartford’s Abigail Lopez, and Coloma’s Alyssa Bahr received First Team awards. The SAC announced their senior Scholar-Athletes award winners for the 2016-17 school year. Making the grade from Coloma was: Alyssa Bahr, Cassidy Fickett, Patrick Guntz, Grant Kroshel, Jacoby Kroshel, Nicolle Larson, Greg Olson, Sam Tavolacci, and Jenna Walter. Hartford’s Scholar-Athletes included: Hunter Ackerman, Mariel Hallgren, Olivia Kling, Amber Martin, Brittney Smith, and Amara Wesaw. Scholar-Athletes from Watervliet were: Tyler Brant, Kaylee Chapin, Mercede Daugherty, Bailey Evans, Devon Flowers, Casie Gohr, Jobe Kerr, Ryan Lefor, Maggie Lunch, Logan Mizwicki, Karli McClendon, Cam Rendo, Brent Simmons, and Brad Yazel. Watervliet’s Ryan Chisek and Garrett Matthews will join Coloma’s Mathew Kelley on the Stevensville American Legion Post 568 softball team. The Hooterville Hitters lost 19-13 to the House of David Echoes in the squads’ annual vintage baseball game. The two teams face off as part of the Watervliet Independence Day Weekend Celebration. Members of the 2017 Hooterville squad were: Kaden Jonjevic, Paul Jonjevic, Mike Klein, Dominick Klein, Nick Orlando, Evan Orlando, Tony Orlando, Stacy Denton, David Robinson, Chad Worl, Allen Chapin III, Brody Roland, Dave Scheuer, Kaylee Chapin, Maggie Lynch, Katie Schultz, Candy Evett, and Mike Noack. Watervliet’s 8U team took second place in the Hartford Rec Council’s All-Star softball tourney. Hometown Hartford won the 10U division by defeating Dowagiac. Hartford was also crowned the champion in the 12U division. Coloma battled their way out of the loser’s bracket in 14U action to triumphantly claim the championship title over Hartford.

JULY 13, 2017 Summer mainstay Paw Paw Lake Triathlon returns The ninth annual Paw Paw Lake Triathlon was held in ideal conditions with clear skies and temperatures in the upper 60-degrees. The event featured a two-tenths of a mile swim, eight mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run in and around Paw Paw Lake. Worthy of note was the condition of the recently stoned and tarred area roads. The route required a bit more concentration and bicyclists were encourage to ride in the middle of the road to avoid the loose stone near the shoulders. Crowds of supporters lined the banks of Paw Paw Lake at the start of the race, located at the Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club. With the men starting off first and followed by the women after a five-minute delay, nearly 100 participants took part in the race. Mike Moser of St. Joseph, formerly of Coloma, finished first overall. Moser, 38, finished with a time of 47:18. Allen Reed, 52, of Coloma took second place at 50:31. Dennis Tsang, 42, of Bridgman finished in third place at the 52-minute mark. In the women’s division, Lisa Rechkemmer, 51, of Coloma won first place after she finished with a time of 58:45. Finishing second was St. Joseph’s Renee Borah, 46, with a time of 59:07. Third place went to Caitlin Weston, 27, of St. Joseph. She ended the event at 1:02.34.

OTHER JULY SPORTS NEWS First Team All-Conference honors were awarded to Coloma’s Grant Kroshel, Danny Najacht, Calvin Starnes, and Mathew Kelley; Watervliet’s Bryant Kieft, Garrett Matthews, Cam Rendo, and Jakob Aldrich; and Hartford’s Hunter Ackerman in the sport of baseball. All-Star baseball tournament action will be held at Indian Pride Park. The Michigan High School Athletic Association adopted several new proposals, rules, and tournament format issues at its spring meeting. The biggest change involved girls’ and boys’ basketball, and volleyball tournament organization changed. The sports will be changed into equal divisions rather than the traditional Class A, B, C, or D format. Additionally, the MHSAA adopted a recommendation that eliminates overtime periods and shootouts during the regular season of play. In wrestling news, the team regional host school will be chosen from the four qualifying teams on a yearly, rotating basis. All-State and All-Conference awards were doled out to area softball players. Skyler Crisenbery, Morgan Wagner, Nicolle Larson, Kayla Yore, and Jaidyn Hutsell earned First Team nods for Coloma. Watervliet’s Mercede Daugherty, Kara Liles, Logan Mizwicki, and Taylor Shafer received First Team nods. Hartford’s Regan Sinclair earned a First Team award. The Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association bestowed All-State honors on Yore, Crisenbery, Megan Koenigshof, Wagner, Hutsell, and Daugherty. Although the rains came forth and delayed the championship game in Hartford’s All-Star Tournament of Champions, winners were crowned. Watervliet earned first place in the Instructional division. Sailing classes and races hit the open seas on Paw Paw Lake as Blan Page oversees the racing courses. Page handles the Race Committee duties on the lake and boats of all classes are welcome.

AUGUST 31, 2017 Football seasons open for Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet Coloma’s varsity football squad scored a 61-8 crushing victory over Gobles in the Comets’ home opener. Coloma got things started early. Within two minutes, the squad scored a touchdown on a Zach Goodline keeper from the one-yard line. Derek Plitt kicked the point after and the Comets led 7-0. Zack Lake got his first touchdown of the season with 1:09 left in the second quarter. He rushed 26 yards for six points. Plitt notched another successful PAT. On the night, Coloma racked up 474 yards, including 179 passing and 295 rushing. Gobles had zero passing yards. Goodline was five of six for 170 yards. He threw for one touchdown. He also rushed eight times for 18 yards and one TD. Watervliet cruised to a 50-7 victory over Lawton. The tale of the tape says it all. Watervliet’s 22 first downs compared to Lawton’s 10. Watervliet’s three quarters of scoring compared to Lawton’s one. Watervliet’s seven scoring drives compared to Lawton’s one. All in all, it was a decisive victory for the Panthers. Quarterback Zack Pickens worked Watervliet downfield for a minute and half before a pass to Bryant Kieft resulted in the Panthers first score. The two-point conversion pass to Garrett Matthews was good, and Watervliet was on the board early with an 8-0 lead. Jakob Aldrich picked off a Lawton pass in the second quarter from the end zone and ran it mid-field. That set up Pickens who scored the TD. Pickens was 13 of 17 in his first varsity start. He passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 147 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. New Hartford varsity football head coach Brad Manning has to be pleased with the result of the Indians’ season opener against Eau Claire. Hartford’s effort yielded a 35-0 road win over the Beavers. Hartford quarterback Garrod Johnson was the first Indian to see the end zone. He had a three-yard scamper to score six points. Danny Resendez belted the ball between the uprights, and Hartford took a 7-0 lead. Johnson was two of five for 33 yards. He also rushed for nine yards on five carries and had one touchdown. Randy Ramirez led Hartford with 18 carries for 159 yards including one touchdown.

OTHER AUGUST SPORTS NEWS The Glad-Peach run/bike/walk had perfect conditions. The 5K run was won by Kevin Carollo, 48, of Fargo, North Dakota. Nada Kramp, 60, of Stevensville, continued her domination in the Glad-Peach 10K walk. She finished first and has won the 10K walk every year since 2013. First place in the 5K bike event went to Michael Gantt, 57, of Dowagiac. Hartford Athletics’ sports season begins under new Southwest 10 Conference membership. Hartford departed the Southwestern Athletic Conference on December 15 of last year. The SW10 is made up of Bangor, Bloomingdale, Cassopolis, Centreville, Decatur, Eau Claire, Marcellus, Mendon, White Pigeon, and the Indians. The Lake Michigan Admirals return for the 2018 season under the leadership of former owner Chris Glisson. Brad Manning is hired as new head coach of the varsity football program at Hartford. Watervliet has opened up its athletic offerings to include sixth graders. Volleyball and basketball will be offered to the middle school students. The Southwest 10 Conference, of which Hartford is a member, has announced they are supporting “Patriot Games Week.” All schools in the conference will commemorate the week of September 18-22 with special jerseys honoring military family members. With the departure of Tom Gear from the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback roster, an opening needed to be filled. Stepping in to fill the role of AQB is Bryan Conrad, the owner of Watervliet Hardware. Hartford soccer blanked Lake Michigan Catholic 6-0 in the Indians’ home and season opener. Will Martinez led Hartford with three goals. The Hartford varsity volleyball squad is off to a strong start. The team netted a 4-5 record at Lawton tourney. AJ Jackson led the Indians with 16 kills. Coloma’s varsity volleyball squad reached the semi-finals in Kalamazoo Hackett tourney. Kayla Yore posted 37 kills, 63 assists, two aces, 41 digs, and one block for the day. Hartford’s varsity cross country team ran away with second place in the Lawrence Invitational. Hartford kicked their way to an 8-0 shutout of Marcellus in their first road game of the season. It was also their first conference game since joining the SW10 Conference. Watervliet finished sixth at Bridgman Cross Country Invitational, while Hartford hung on for eighth place in the boys’ division. Hartford’s Arianna Morseau finished 10th overall at the Bridgman Invitational girls’ division, as Hartford took third place. Hartford bashed Bangor 60-7 for second win of varsity football season. Robert Ledesma Jr. led the rushing corps with 151 yards on 17 carries. He scored five touchdowns. Watervliet whipped Buchanan 72-36 on the gridiron. Zach Pickens was masterful once again under center. He was 12 of 19 for 358 yards and five touchdowns. Trent Boone led the offense with four receptions for 103 yards and one TD. The Comets of Coloma couldn’t claim a road win over Saugatuck, try as they might. The Comets dropped a heartbreaker of a game 34-27 after solid play all night. Caleb Ellis continued to shine for Coloma. He picked up a touchdown in his second consecutive game. The Watervliet varsity volleyball squad dropped a match to Brandywine 25-15, 14-25, 25-18, 25-21. Kara Liles led Watervliet with seven kills, two aces, four digs, and five solo blocks. Hartford celebrated their home opener with a three-game volleyball win over River Valley. Mikenzie Chambers led Hartford with 12 kills and three blocks. Coloma volleyball was 4-3 in quad action. Coloma cross country competes at Paw Paw Harvest Festival Invitational. The Coloma boys’ team finished 10th. Hartford improved to 3-0 in the SW10 after recording a 5-0 shutout of Bangor. Roy Rodriguez scored three goals. Watervliet trekkers took third at the Bison Invitational. Gus Hinch led Watervliet in 11th place. Alyssa Hobson, a senior on the Watervliet girls’ cross country team, medaled at the Bison Invitational. She finished 15th. CONTINUED NEXT WEEK

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