Press Box Player of the Week
By Dave Vollrath
This week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma senior Ian Ishmael. Ian is currently competing at 152 pounds as one of the senior leaders on the Comet wrestling team.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, Ian competed at the annual Greater Berrien County wrestling meet in St. Joe, and finished the day undefeated and standing on the podium as the 152-pound champion. He has been wrestling since his early grade school years.
Ian was brought up around wrestling with his father, Tim Ishmael, being the Coloma varsity wrestling coach in Ina’s younger years. His mother is Heidi Ishmael, a Coloma School Board member and current president of the board.
Ian has had a great career wrestling on the varsity team, as he went over the 100 career wins mark during his junior season. He also was a state qualifier during his sophomore season, and finished just short of going to state during his junior year.
This past fall he was a team co-captain on the Comet varsity football team. Ian, who ran cross country his junior year, came back to football his senior year and played extremely well at the linebacker and fullback positions. He was named to the SAC all-conference team, as honorable mention, in the Lakeshore Division.
Ian is currently working very hard in trying to win his way back to compete at the state wrestling meet again this year. This spring will find him back on the baseball diamond as a catcher on the Coloma varsity baseball team.
Academically Ian is also a very well rounded student, as he is a member of the National Honor Society, a leader of the Coloma student body, and was the drum line leader for the Comet marching and pep bands. Also to add a little icing onto the cake, Ian was crowned in January as the 2020 Mr. Coloma. His future is extremely bright, as he will be going on to the Naval Academy following graduation this spring.
We congratulate Ian on this award and all he has accomplished so far, and everything he has to look forward to.
Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele
Hartford boys basketball losing streak hits season-high 4 straight
Last week, the Hartford Indian boys basketball team played in another pair of critical conference games, trying to get back on the winning track. The Indians came into the week having lost back-to-back contests, and fell below the .500 mark at 5-6 on the season. That record may tell you a lot, but it’s not the whole story. Of the six losses, five have been by single digits, and in a couple of those games, the team has been leading at some point.
In their home game on Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Indians fell in a highly-contested game, as they were defeated by the visiting Bloomingdale Cardinals, 66-64. The game was a tale of two halves, with Hartford being the dominant team in the first half, and Bloomingdale dominant in the second half. The host Indians had reason to be upbeat early on, leading a close 16-14 game after the first quarter. The shots continued to fall in the second quarter, with Hartford extending their lead to 38-26 at halftime, thanks to a 22-12 scoring advantage.
Bloomingdale began to press Hartford in the third quarter, and caused numerous turnovers, and used a 21-13 scoring blitz to chop the Indian lead to 4, at 51-47, with eight minutes left. The Cardinals then used a 19-13 advantage in the fourth quarter to score the victory. The Indians had a chance to win the game with 1.3 seconds left, but the shot from three-point land was blocked.
The Indians had seven players score in the game, with three players managing to end in double figures. Elijah Rodarte had the hot hand for Hartford, scoring a team-high 21 points, while Aaron Sinclair tossed in 16 points and Kaden Johnson added 10 points in a losing effort. Other players that scored for the Indians were Elijah Ledesma (9), Ricky Baker (4) and Elijah Smith and Tanner Kinchen (2 each).