Press Box Player of the Week
By John Oliphant
Our Press Box Player of the Week is Alex Worley. Alex is a junior on the Watervliet Panther varsity softball team. She’s currently batting .342 with 13 hits including one triple, seven RBI and 10 runs scored. She is also second on the team with a .893 fielding percentage with 28 chances and 25 putouts.
What sets Alex apart this season is a big change from her favorite position defending left field to splitting time between second base and shortstop. Not many players make that kind of position change, but her coach, Tom Golden, says she has stepped up big as a team player to fill the roles as needed for the team.
Alex has been playing softball every year since she was six years old. Her favorite part of the game is getting on base after a tough at-bat, feeling the relief and watching her coach’s reaction across the field.
She plays travel softball in addition to playing at school. She said, “My coach always told me, keep your head up and get the next play. I’ve realized just how much that actually helps just to keep moving forward.” She said her team has been struggling early, but that they have a lot of potential to put it all together. So far she says they are having a lot of fun this season.
Alex, who also plays on the varsity basketball team, plans to study to become a physical therapist after she graduates, but is undecided where.
Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath
Coloma Comet girls soccer team off to a fast start!
The Coloma Comet girls soccer team has been playing through some very cool spring weather, but they could not have had a much hotter start to this season. The team currently stands at 8-0-1, with that tie being the only slight blemish on their record. In that game Coloma still played very well, and played what could easily have been a loss into a tie. They came back from being down in that game 3-1, to conference foe Delton Kellogg. Emma Vandermolen, Cali Grenon, and Mackenzie Ecker scored the goals for the Comets as Vandermolen also got credit for an assist.
Rick Redman is the Comet head coach of the girls soccer team. He gives credit to their hot start to the fact that the team really believes in themselves and their teammates. He also says they are playing with a great deal of heart and determination. The team has a very balanced group of starters that includes two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and three freshmen. Also according to Coach Redman, the team has had scoring from up and down the roster. Ten different players have put the ball in the net, from the forwards to the defenders. All are capable of scoring.
LEVEL BEST… Coloma’s Karon Smith has plenty of room as he clears 5’5” in the high jump event Friday during the Watervliet Relays. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Leading scorers for Coloma are Cali Grenon with 36 points who is just a freshman, junior Emma Vandermolen with 24 points, and senior Mackenzie Ecker with 24 points. Most of the scoring for this Comet team comes from playing great team defense, which helps set up plenty of scoring opportunities.
Coach Redman names Abby Vandermolen, Bailey McVay, Addy Kimmerly, and Molly McVey as the top defenders, who have also each scored a goal this year. When there is a slight lapse in the defense, junior Emma Watson has been strong playing in front of the goal. She was the goalie for six of the shutout wins, and the recent tie game. Emma has miniscule goals against average of 0.1.
Last year the Comets finished with an overall record of 10-5-1, and 4-3-1 in the SAC. Their year ended in 2018 with a loss in the district finals, and they are working hard with the intention of going deeper into the post season with this group of dedicated players.
The Comet roster also includes junior Hannah Guntz, senior Grace Gagliardo, Samantha Trousdale a junior, Kimberly Spaulding a sophomore, Sierra Shubert a freshman, also freshman Eadie Needham, sophomore Bella Blanco, freshman Paige Penkel, and Cassidy Henley also a freshman.
Assisting coach Redman this year are coaches Butch Jarvis, Gary Gagliardo, and Nate Adams.
Support the Coloma Comet girls soccer team. Home games are played on McDaniels Field. Please check the Coloma Community Schools website for the remaining schedule
Comet boys track team finishes second at annual Watervliet Relays
The 46th annual running of the Watervliet Relays track and field competition was held last week on a mostly sunny but very cool and blustery day. Many in the crowd were huddled together under their winter garb and heavy blankets, but the Coloma Comet boys were running like their hair was on fire and finished second overall in the meet. It was a very fine showing for Coach Bruce Dings’ team, who had two first place, three second place, and one third place finish, in the all relays competition.
In the field events Cole Alsup teamed up with James Clay to win the discus event with a combined effort of 262 feet five inches. Finishing in first place for the Comet tracksters in the 4×200 relay event in a time of 1:35.58 were Mike Dancer, Caleb Ellis, Tayte Coleman, Sin’cere Taylor.
Coming in second place in the middle distance relay were Adiel Granados, Blane Sutherland, Nick Fogarty, and Tayte Coleman in 6:23.64. The Comets also came in second in the Panther Relay which is a 200x300x100x400 meter race run by Caleb Ellis, Steven Trosper, Mike Dancer, and Sin’cere Taylor in a time of 2:04.28. The Comets running in the second place 4×100 relay team were Steven Trosper, Nick Fogarty, Kenny Crowder, and Noah Schwanke.
The third place run for the Comets came in the 4×1600 relay by the team made up of Blane Sutherland, Cannon Hodges, Luke Phillips, and Adiel Granados.
Cole Alsup breaks Comet discus record at home
Coloma Comet Cole Alsup, a junior on the Comet track team, recently put his name into the Coloma record books with a school record discus toss of 153 feet and 9 inches. Cole also is an all conference lineman on the Comet varsity football team and a state finalist for the Coloma wrestling team.
Coloma Softball takes a pair of conference games from Martin
The Comet softball team finally got back on the field after some weather induced postponements last week. They made short work of Martin at home on Monday, Apr. 22 by clubbing the Clippers by scores of 13-3 and 11-1.
Megan Koenigshof, the sensational Comet junior, was the winning pitcher in both games, as she struck out 10 in the first game and 11 in the second. Koenigshof also led the Comets offense as she had a total of four hits, including a double and a triple in the two games.
Also having a great night at the plate for the Comets were Megan Neubecker with a double and two singles and Hannah Mathis with a double and four singles. Mia Cole had a double and two singles in the first game. In the second game Sam Stewart had three singles and drove in four runs, and Taryn Blazier rapped out three singles. The Comets overall record improves to 7-2 with a perfect 4-0 in conference play.
Coloma Varsity Baseball tops Comet team of alumni by a score of 18-11
In the annual Comet varsity vs. Comet alumni game on April 20, the younger Comets struggled somewhat but came out on top of the “old dudes” on a windy and slightly cool Saturday. It was quite obvious on several of the fly balls that were blown around in a strong breeze, that some of the graduates from the Comet baseball program had not been on a ball field for some time. Their efforts on ground balls were not a whole lot better. It was a fun day however and a lot of laughs were had by everyone.
Varsity Baseball pounds out 2 wins over Martin
The Comet baseball team traveled to Martin on Monday, Apr. 22 and picked up a couple of easy wins by pounding on an over matched Martin team by scores of 16-0 and 18-6.
In the first game Hunter Crist pitched three innings of shutout ball, as the offense scored 16 runs on 11 hits with six base on balls added to the mix. Nate Wilder, the Coloma leadoff man, had three hits and scored two runs and had three RBI. Ethan Price also had three hits and scored two times as he knocked in four runs. Nick Eastman had two hits including a double, and scored three times.
In the second game, Nick Eastman started on the hill and picked up the win. He struck out six while giving up just a single hit in two innings of work.
Once again the Comets pounded out a dozen hits, with freshman Jake Ickes leading the way with three hits scoring twice, and knocking in three runs. Picking up two hits apiece were Eastman, Ethan Price, and Matthew Kennedy. Eastman, Price and Hunter Crist each contributed a double.