03-19-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford boys basketball falls to Bloomingdale in District semifinal

Last week, before high school athletics were postponed or outright cancelled, the Hartford Indian boys basketball team began their postseason push, and ready to make a run. It has been an up-and-down year for the team, who entered their “second season” with a record of 10-10, right on the .500 mark. On the docket was conference-foe Bloomingdale, who was 2-0 against the Indians this year, but both games were tight, decided by five points or less.

In their district opener against the Bloomingdale Cardinals, held at Bloomingdale on Monday, Mar. 9, the Indians came up short in a valiant effort, falling to the host Cardinals, 64-61. Without one of the top scorers in the lineup dressed for the game, the Indians had to put together a starting lineup which had not been used all season long. But, Hartford was in the game all night long, leading for a short period of time and staying within ten points for a good portion of the game. Falling behind double digits heading into the fourth quarter, the Indians found their rhythm and got the game within two at one point. With just seconds remaining and down three, Hartford had a chance to hit a half-court shot which could have tied the game, but it was wide right, and the season was over.

Hartford finishes the season with a record of 10-11 overall. Congratulations to Coach Johnson, Coach Ledesma, Coach Nelson and the Indians on a successful season, and also, a massive well-done to the senior class on their solid careers. This season’s record may not look like it was a success but, in reality, nine of their losses were by ten points or less.

Hartford athletics schedule amended to combat COVID-19

Over the last several weeks families across the world have tuned into their television sets, and heard the news about the rising fears of COVID-19, or the coronavirus. Well, those fears have leaked into our little area of Southwest Michigan, and will make for a lengthy period of non-athletic events in Hartford, with the school district following the procedures set forth by the State of Michigan in the weeks ahead.

As everyone well knows, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last week announced all K – 12 schools will be shuttered for three weeks, which began on Monday, March 16 and will last through Sunday, April 5. Because the Hartford Public Schools had designated the week of April 6 – 10 as Spring Break, school will not resume until Monday, April 13.

In an announcement made on social media, the Hartford Athletic Department announced that no games or practices will take place during the shutdown. In fact, they went as far as saying that coaches were to have zero contact with athletes, and also announced that students would not be allowed into any of their facilities. Also, all fundraisers that were set during this time have been postponed until school opens back up.

The hope is that athletics can return on both the high school and middle school level once the school reopens after Spring Break. What this means is that this column will be taking a hit in the weeks ahead, with no results being published for baseball, softball and track. However, this column will continue as we are looking for unique ideas to keep readers excited for Hartford sports in the near future.

Readers are encouraged to stay tuned! In the meantime, as always, GO INDIANS!