04-05-2018 Tri-City Area Sports


The strong contingent of soccer players from Coloma started off their season on the right foot with an 8-0 shutout over New Buffalo.

The non-conference contest showed the experience and how well-balance the team is on all fronts.

Coloma’s Emma Vandermolen and Mackenzie Ecker scored two goals apiece.  Emily Bolis, Katelyn Johnson, and Grace Gagliardo each kicked one goal.

THE LONG LEG OF LOPEZ… Hartford’s Abigail Lopez blazed through the field Thursday on her way to the net where she scored one of three goals against Brandywine. Hartford tallied the 6-0 shutout of the Bobcats. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Samantha Trousdale was credited with two assists. Johnson, Vandermolen, and Hannah Guntz each recorded an assist.

Coloma had 18 shots on goal. The Comet defense held New Buffalo to zero shots.

Emma Watson served as keeper for Coloma. She recorded the clean sheet.

Lady Indians all tied up against LMC

The Hartford girls’ varsity soccer team, coached by Abel Robles, hit the field Tuesday, March 27 as they faced Lake Michigan Catholic on the road.

The non-conference game resulted in a 3-3 tie.

Both teams scored their three points in the first half of the game, and both were held scoreless in the second half.

For Hartford, Abigail Lopez kicked off the regular season with the first Indian goal of the season.  Jessica Cardoso was credited with the assist.

Mercedes Requenes and Brianna Morseau both scored one goal in the Indian effort.

Lopez also tallied an assist.

According to Robles, “The Indians’ defense kept LMC out of the net all second half to maintain the tie.” It was Mary Pultz, in as keeper, who saved 17 shots on goal.

Coloma bowlers win All-State recognition

Coloma’s girls’ varsity bowling team continued to receive recognition following the end of the winter sport season.

News hit the streets that Morgan Hosbein and Lainey Meader were selected as First Team All-State honorees in Division 3.

Carissa Richmond received Second Team All-State recognition.

Congratulations, ladies!

AJ Jackson named All-State Honorable Mention

AJ Jackson earned an All-State Honorable Mention nod in the Associated Press’s Class C basketball poll.  Jackson is a senior center on this year’s Indians squad.

Dowagiac downs Coloma baseball

Coloma opened their varsity baseball schedule Wednesday, March 28 with a doubleheader against Dowagiac.

Offensively, both teams pitched a great game through four innings.  Dowagiac scored one run in the fifth inning to take the lead.

Coloma was able to respond in the seventh inning with one run to tie the game.

SHURN’S SURE LEAP… Coloma junior Taequan Shurn leaps during last Wednesday’s track and field meet at Watervliet. Shurn jumped 14’ 3” in the long jump finals. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Dowagiac scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning. Coloma couldn’t garner any offense during their at bat and lost the game 7-1.

Coloma’s one run came on one hit. The Comets gave up six errors during the contest.

Calvin Starnes pitched the first seven innings for Coloma. He allowed one run on three hits. He struck out nine and walked two.

Hunter Crist came on in the eighth inning. Crist allowed six runs on one hit. He struck out one batter and walked four.

In the late game, Dowagiac led 3-0 after three innings of play. That game was called due to darkness.

Coloma holds a 0-1 record overall and is 0-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Indians shut out sluggish Bobcats 6-0

The Lady Indians welcomed Brandywine to the soccer field Thursday, March 29 in the squad’s girls’ varsity soccer season opener.

Hartford put on quite a show, shutting out Brandywine 6-0, courtesy of strong offensive play by Abigail Lopez and Mercedes Requenes. Both young ladies scored three goals apiece, taking their season totals to four.

Lopez also notched one assist.

Mary Pultz held the net for Hartford. The Indian defense held a sluggish Brandywine squad to just two shots on goal. Pultz recorded the clean sheet for Hartford.

Watervliet scores home opener soccer win

Watervliet’s girls’ varsity soccer team started off the 2018 season with a 4-1 win after welcoming Covert to town in a non-conference matchup.

Watervliet opened the first half strong, with Emma Kraklau’s first goal of the season just 10 seconds into the game.

Vicky Smith recorded an assist on the goal and then followed with a goal of her own.

Smith marked her second goal of the season later in the half.  Emma Armstrong also got on the board with her first goal of the season.

Briceida Mandujano was credited with an assist.

Covert scored their lone goal in the second half of the game.

Hartford baseball overshadowed by South Haven

The Indian baseball squad took to the diamond Wednesday, March 21 and lost both cards of the doubleheader to South Haven on the road.

The first game was tied 1-1 following four innings of play. South Haven scored three runs in the fifth to take the 4-1 lead, which held for the balance of the game.

Hartford’s lone run came off three hits.

In the second game, South Haven outscored Hartford 9-1 as the Indians struggled on the mound.

The Rams opened the scoring in the second inning with two runs.  South Haven added two runs in the third, two in the fourth, and three in the fifth.

Hartford’s only run of the game came in the fifth inning. The Indians had two hits in the contest.

Coloma boys’ track and field top Watervliet and River Valley

Watervliet hosted their first track and field meet of the spring season Wednesday, March 28.

14 FOR TWO… Watervliet’s Vicky Smith gets ready to plant her foot, kick the ball, and score her first goal of the season March 27. Smith scored in both halves of Watervliet’s season opener against Covert. The Lady Panthers defeated the Bulldogs 4-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Coloma’s boys captured first place.

Watervliet tallied 42 points for a second-place finish, while River Valley rounded out the field in third place.

Complete results were not available at press time and will be featured in next week’s edition.

Indians pummeled by Paw Paw

The Hartford varsity baseball team closed out a tough week on the diamond with a road game against Paw Paw Monday, March 26.

Paw Paw scored the 7-0 shutout over Hartford by scoring in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.

Hartford had three hits which came off the bats of Trey Ackerman, Luke Manning, and Colby Thornton.

Hartford softball shrugged off by South Haven

The Hartford softball team was served up two losses by the bats of South Haven Wednesday, March 21.

The Lady Indians lost 13-2 and 15-0.

Lainey Goodson was the Indians’ starting pitcher.

South Haven led 10-0 after the first two innings. The Lady Rams tacked on five more runs in the third and held Hartford scoreless.

The Indians were unable to post any hits but did allow three errors.

In the 13-2 loss, Hartford scored their only runs of the game in the fourth inning.

Megan Nelson led Hartford at the plate with two of the team’s five hits.

The Indians committed three errors.

PUTTING UP A LONG SHOT… Watervliet’s Emma Yazel let the shot put fly during her second attempt March 28 during the Panthers’ first home meet of the 2018 spring sports season. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Dan Hutchinson: From 1983 Berrien County Athlete of the Year to member of Watervliet’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class

Dan Hutchinson was a force to be reckoned with during his high school sports career. The 1983 Watervliet High School graduate was All State in basketball and football. He scored 1,016 points during his varsity basketball career. He quarterbacked the 1982 undefeated Panther football team. And, in March, Hutchinson became a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2018 at Watervliet.

Hutchinson was an incredible athlete.  On the basketball court, he scored in double figures over the course of 40 consecutive games.

On the football field, he was 17-1 under center during his junior and senior years.  He was the 1983 Berrien County Athlete of the Year.

You can tell a lot about Dan Hutchinson by his answers to interview questions. He is humble. He is quick to deflect praise. He is even quicker to share the recognition with his teammates, players, and friends.

Upon hearing of his induction into Watervliet’s Hall of Fame, Hutchinson was “…surprised and honored. Honored because this school has had a lot of great three-sport athletes over the years such as Chuck Brock, Billy Husenita, Jim McVay, whom I respect greatly.  To be in this first class is very nice and to be included with such a classy group of people is also great.  To go in with such classy people as [Gerald] Barchett, [Ron] Farac, [Gene] Bednarowski, Jason Forrester, and my brother Tom [Hutchinson] means a lot to me.”

When asked to recall his favorite sports moment at Watervliet, Hutchinson remembered a few. “Our last drive versus Coloma my junior year playing QB and winning on the last play/last second of the game 14 to 9.  On the final drive of that game, I remember a fourth down and 18 [to go] thinking ‘If you don’t complete this pass, our season is done and we don’t be undefeated.’ Fortunately, Kevin Schultz and Bobby Marvin caught some key passes that drive.

“Another memory is beating Hartford my senior year and [Coach] Barchett letting me pass the ball a lot. Back then, throwing the ball 15 times in a game was a lot for Watervliet.

“Another memory is playing a game my junior year in basketball in which I had a 103 [degree] temperature and just came down with the chicken pox at 16 years old. We played Covert and they had one of the best players in the area and we matched up against each other.  I played that game on pure adrenaline. I was in bed for the next two weeks recovering.”

Hutchinson, who is Vice President of Operations for Axion RMS, Ltd., an employee benefit consulting and brokerage firm.  He lives in Naperville, Illinois and is still active in sports. He enjoys biking, swimming, and working out at Xsport Fitness.

Hutchinson sees parallels between participation in high school sports and life after graduation.  “Being involved in athletics has helped me be prepared for so many things: deadlines at work, taking care of customers by doing the extra things that set you apart from competition, writing a to-do script every day of what I have to accomplish at work.”

The necessity of a to-do list was instilled in him a long time ago. “[Coach] Barchett had a script every day of what our football practice would be – to the minute.

“The main thing [sports] taught me is a very strong work ethic and that the Company comes before me.”

And as for the accomplishment of which he’s most proud, Hutchinson responds, “I’m most proud of being part of a group of guys that went 17-1 over two years in football.  Every opponent we played wanted to end our streak and hated all the press we were getting. I consider the guys on those two teams my brothers.  I’ve lost two brothers in my immediate family. That absolutely crushed me. Having life-long friendships with my teammates means everything to me.”

At the Hall of Fame dinner reception, held prior to the induction ceremony March 1, Hutchinson was seated next to two very special guests.

“I brought two of my closest friends to this event: Larry Adams and Kevin Schultz, two really good football players at Watervliet and even nicer people,” Hutchinson stated.

Three lifelong friends who forged a bond on the Watervliet football field proving once again that sports are good for the soul.

“The rewards are endless. You’ll have life lasting friendships with your teammates and opponents you played against. You’ll develop a really good work ethic,” Hutchinson commented.

You might even make it to the Hall of Fame.

MHSAA readies for spring meeting, possible changes on the horizon for transfer students and sports

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has a busy agenda scheduled for its spring meeting in May. One of the hottest topics to be addressed is transfer students and their eligibility.

The goal, according to the MHSAA, will be to address “the chronically troubling nature of transfers in school sports.” Specifically, the MHSAA Representative Council has been reviewing the current rule regarding students who transfer and their eligibility in sports. Currently, students who transfer are required to “sit out” one semester of sports play.

The Council is supporting a “sport-specific” transfer rule.  The recommendation would require transfer students to sit out a season in any sport they played the previous year. The student-athletes, according to the Council, would be eligible to play other sports in which they hadn’t participated.  Students who transferred due to residence changes would be exempt.

“If adopted by the Council in May, the full effect of the changes would not be felt until the 2019-20 school year. What sports are played by a student during 2018-19 would determine that student’s eligibility after a transfer for 2019-20,” stated MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts.

The MHSAA has met with league officials and administrators throughout Michigan to develop the proposed rule change.  Roberts announced the MHSAA will expand upon the proposal and advise school superintendents and principals in late April or early May.

A decision on the Council’s recommendation will be made in May.

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