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05-02-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

FIRST PITCH… Watervliet royalty was present at Hays Park for the opening over the weekend of the Watervliet Rec baseball season. Pictured (from the left) Back row: Allen Chapin, Co-Mr. Watervliet 2019; Emma Kraklau, 2nd Runner-up; Hannah Yerrington, Miss Watervliet 2019; Emma Yazel, 1st Runner-up; Derrick Burkhardt, Co-Mr. Watervliet 2019; Front row: Little Mr. Firecracker Bradyn Fuller and Little Miss Firecracker Charlotte Weber.

Press Box Player of the Week

By Jerrod Birmele Riley Traver, a senior at Hartford High School, is this week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week. So far this spring, Riley has proven that he is one of the top athletes for the Hartford boys track team, and also can lay claim that he might be one of the best in all of Southwest Michigan. Nothing proves that point more than what happened on the night of Wednesday, April 17.

On that evening, Riley ran the 100 Meter Dash in a time of 10.91 seconds. With that performance, he broke a school record that had been held all the way back to 1966 when previous record holder, Vere Shindeldecker, set the mark many have tried to eclipse, but only Riley has achieved. In addition to the 100 Meter Dash, Riley runs the 200 Meter Dash and competes in the high jump and long jump. Last year, he qualified for the MHSAA Division 3 State Finals in the high jump, after jumping 6’1” in the regional competition. Riley has been part of the boys track team during all four years of his high school career. In addition to track, he was a member of the boys soccer team for three seasons, before taking this past fall off to focus on track and other obligations. Outside of school-sponsored sports, he played two years of indoor soccer and competed in indoor track meets this past winter. Riley is a model student-athlete, who carries a 3.78 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. He is also on the Robotics Team at the Van Buren Technology Center. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, downhill skiing and rock hunting. After finishing high school, Riley will be attending Lake Superior State University to major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Robotics. He will also be a member of the Lakers Track team. Congratulations on this great honor, Riley! Dr. Andy says… “What is good exercise? Exercising should be about movement for extended periods of time. Do not make it so strenuous or complicated that you are not consistent weekly. Move for extended periods of time for at least 3 times per week doing activities you enjoy.”

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Panther Softball takes two from Saugatuck

The Lady Panthers softball team hosted Saugatuck on April 25, winning both ends of the doubleheader, 15-0 and 7-1. In the first game, Celina Klimkiewicz dominated over four innings, giving up just one hit and striking out eight batters. The Panther offense pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of seven walks to end the game by mercy rule after four innings.

Celina led the hitting attack with two hits and two RBI, including a triple. Sabrina Klimkiewicz also had two hits, with one RBI and a double. Emalie Gitersonke had two hits and one RBI and scored three runs. Other batters with one hit were Alex Worley, Maddie Wilkinson, Addison Riley, Serena Reyna, and Brenna Langston.

ALEX AT BAT… Watervliet’s Alex Worley smacks the softball in the bottom of the first inning in game two of the Panthers’ doubleheader against Saugatuck on Thursday, April 25. Although Worley was out on the play, she hit a triple later in the game and scored a run. Watervliet came out on top in both contests, 15-0 and 7-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

The second game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Indians took a 1-0 lead. The Panthers responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, and then added three in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth.

Celina was dominant again from the circle, going seven innings and giving up four hits and no earned runs while striking out eight. She also pounded out two more hits, including a triple. Sabrina added two hits, and Riley had two hits including a double. Worley had a triple, Wilkinson had a double, and Reyna had a single.

The Panthers are now 6-7 overall and 3-1 in the SAC Lakeshore Division. The girls are scheduled to travel to Gobles May 2, then host Berrien Springs on Friday, May 3, and travel to Kalamazoo Christian on Monday, May 6.

Baseball team splits with Saugatuck

The Panther baseball team also hosted the Saugatuck Indians on Thursday, April 25, splitting their doubleheader. The Indians came into the meeting 4-0 in conference play and 7-3-1 overall. The Panthers won the first game in a 19-strikeout pitcher’s duel, 2-1, but lost the second game 5-0.

Garrett Matthews took the mound for the first game, going seven innings with six strikeouts and no earned runs. The Indians scored one unearned run in the first inning, which would be their only run of the game as Matthews remained dominating on the season. He forced the Indians into ten groundouts and didn’t walk any batters. He’s now 3-0 with 28 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. His ERA is perfect at 0.00.

WHAT A CATCH! Watervliet outfielder Caleb Bell robs Saugatuck of a base hit after he lay all-out to catch a line drive Thursday. Watervliet won the first card of the doubleheader 2-1 but lost the second contest 5-0. The Panthers are 4-3-1 on the season and hold a 3-1 record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

For the Indians, Bradley Dunn was just as strong while going the whole way with 13 strikeouts and giving up seven hits and one walk. The Indians scored their only run in the top of the first inning, and the Panthers responded with one of their own in the second. Nick Polaskey reached first base with a single, advanced to third base when the throw on a pickoff attempt ended up in right field, and then scored on a passed ball. The game was tied 1-1 after two innings, and remained there going into the bottom of the seventh.

Polaskey started off the seventh inning with his second hit of the game, then reached second on another pickoff attempt gone awry. Several pitches later Andrew Chisek hit the first pitch he saw into the right field gap, scoring Polaskey from second base to win the game.

Chisek led the Panther offense with three hits and one RBI. Polaskey had two hits and two runs scored, and Matthews and Dylan Lawson each had one hit.

In the second game the Indians jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Panthers were unable to generate any offense as Polaskey had the only Panther hit in the game, which was called after five innings due to darkness. Chisek took the loss on the mound, giving up two earned runs and striking out six with no walks. The freshman falls to 1-1, with 19 strikeouts in 13 innings, with a 1.62 ERA.

The Panthers are now 4-3-1 overall on the season, and 3-1 in SAC Lakeshore conference play. The team travels to Gobles May 2, then to Kalamazoo Christian on Monday, May 6.

Girls soccer loses two

The Panther girls soccer team hosted Constantine on Monday, April 22, losing 4-1. Emma Armstrong scored the first and only Panther goal of the game, with an assist from Emma Kraklau. After taking the early 1-0 lead the Constantine defense held tight and scored four unanswered goals.

On Wednesday, April 24 the girls traveled to Kalamazoo Hackett, where they lost 8-0. The team is 2-6 overall and 0-4 in conference play so far. They host Bangor on May 3, and Kalamazoo Christian on Monday, May 6 before traveling to Schoolcraft on Wednesday, May 8.

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Comet Soccer runs roughshod over Lawton, wins 8-0

The Coloma Comet lady soccer team ran all over Lawton to pick up a conference win, and came away with an impressive 8-0 victory. Coloma outshot Lawton by a huge margin, 26-3, as Emma Watson in goal for the Comets, turned away all three of the Blue Devil attempts.

Scoring for the Comets was Emma Vandermolen who had two goals with one coming on a penalty kick, and Grace Gagliardo also had two goals. Adding to the Comet total with one goal each were Cali Grenon, Addy Kimmerly, Mackenzie Ecker, and Cassidy Henley. Picking up assists for Coloma were Samantha Trousdale with two, Bailey McVay, Mackenzie Ecker, Hannah Guntz, and Emma Vandermolen. Coloma improves to 8-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the SAC conference.

Girls Soccer suffers first loss of the season, comes back with win over Bridgman

The Coloma girls soccer team suffered their first loss of the season, as they fell by a score of 6-1 to Kalamazoo Christian at home last week, but came back two days later and defeated the Bridgman Bees 5-0 in a game also played on their home turf.

Coloma coach Rick Redman stated after the game that he wasn’t complaining about the loss, because sometimes you come up against a better team, and that he was still proud of the way his team played. Kalamazoo Christian has finished as runner-up to the state champion in Division 4, the last two seasons.

MEN IN MOTION… Coloma’s Caleb Ellis pours on the speed after the successful baton exchange from teammate Nicholas Fogarty Wednesday night in the 800 meter relay against Martin on April 24. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Addy Kimmerly scored the only Coloma goal, 71 minutes into the game. Christian led by a score of 3-0 at the half, and outshot the Comets 19-2 in the game.

The Comets didn’t wait long to shake off that loss and came back and shut out Bridgman a couple of days later by a score of 5-0. Addy Kimmerly led the Comets attack by scoring a pair of goals, as Samantha Trousdale, Cali Grenon, and Grace Gagliardo each added a goal to the Comets total. Hannah Guntz and Trousdale each got credit for an assist, and Emma Watson was once again in the goal for the Comet shutout. The Comet record is 9-1-1 on the season.

Comet Baseball suffers tough home loss

The Coloma nine started well, as Nate Wilder scored a first inning run to put the Comets up 1-0, but the Kalamazoo Home School pitcher shut the home team down, and struck out 12 en route to a 2-1 victory for the Kalamazoo squad.

The Comets who scored 34 runs in a doubleheader win the night before at Martin, were held to just one hit, and even with getting two walks and three Kalamazoo errors, couldn’t get any more than the one first inning run. Coloma’s lone run and hit were picked up by Wilder.

Comet Freshman Dylan Nelson started on the mound and pitched the first five innings. He only gave up single runs in the second and fifth innings. His offense couldn’t get anything going, and he was saddled with the loss. Fellow freshman Jake Ickes also pitched well, giving up one hit walking one and striking out one in two innings of work.

Comet Baseball splits pair of road games at Kalamazoo United

On Thursday, April 25, the Comet baseball boys traveled to Kalamazoo to take on United, a combo team from K. Christian and K. Hackett. They split a doubleheader.

In the first game the Comets were victorious after they took an early 4-0 lead, but then fell behind 5-4. They then scored a run to tie the game and a run in the sixth inning for the 6-5 win. Ethan Price started on the mound and picked up the win. Price pitched 5-1/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits, and helped United with five walks, while striking out seven.

OUT AT HOME… Coloma catcher Nate Wilder, after getting the out at home in the fifth inning, comes up firing to first base during the Comets’ game against the Cougars of Kalamazoo on Tuesday, April 23. Coloma ended up losing the game 2-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Ethan Vandermolen pitched the final 1-2/3 innings, and held the opponents scoreless. He walked one, but did not give up a hit. A leader for the Comets on offense was Ian Ishmael. The Coloma catcher had a double and a single. Kenyon Boyd had three hits and three RBI. Nick Eastman reached base on three singles, and Jake Ickes also had a pair of singles.

The Comets fell in the night cap by a score of 9-3, and though the game was called after 4-1/2 innings because of darkness, it is considered a complete game. Hunter Crist started on the hill for Coloma and had his roughest outing of the year. The United team jumped on Hunter, and his replacement Nick Eastman, for nine runs in the first three innings.

Kenyon Boyd had one of three Coloma hits and knocked in the only two runs, as Jake Ickes and Eastman each added a single to the Coloma cause.

Comets Softball drop first game to St. Joe, then rebound for 2nd game victory

In the doubleheader played on the Comet diamond, Coloma lost to St. Joe by a score of 9-7. The game was tied 4-4 after four innings. St. Joe scored three times in the fifth and followed with single runs in the 6th and the 7th. The Comets tried to fight back with three runs in the 6th, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

Megan Koenigshof was the losing pitcher for Coloma, but she led the offense for the Comets with a pair of singles. Gracie Whitaker had a home run, Kelsey Ellis had a double and three RBI, and Mia Cole chipped in with a double.

The second game was a better story for the Comets as they came out on the better end of a 6-3 score. Koenigshof again was on the mound for Coloma and picked up the win, as she held St. Joe to three runs on only six hits.

KEEP AWAY… Coloma sophomore Abby Vandermolen kicks the ball away from her Kalamazoo Christian opponent Wednesday, April 24 in varsity soccer action at home. Coloma lost the contest 6-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

After St. Joe had tied the score 1-1 in their half of the third, the Coloma offense got untracked and scored three in the bottom of the third and two in the fourth. Koenigshof held the Bears to two more runs in their half of the fourth and then shut them out for the last three innings.

Koenigshof, who also bats leadoff for the Comets, had three singles in the game. Megan Neubecker blasted a home run and knocked in a pair, as Sam Stewart had a single and also knocked in a pair of runs. With the split, Coloma’s record is now 8-3 on the season

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford’s student-athletes were extremely busy last week with every day from Monday through Saturday basically filled with games, matches and meets. This was despite the fact that senior athletes were unavailable for much of the week, as a majority of them were on their senior trip in Florida.

In total, nine athletic events were contested, including two softball doubleheaders and a weekend tournament, two baseball doubleheaders, three girls varsity soccer matches, and a track meet were run, so the action never slowed down.

Hartford Baseball goes 1-2 in conference-filled week

The Hartford Indian Varsity Baseball team took the field for three games last week and did so with several key players on the senior trip. They took their show on the road to face opponents Mendon and Marcellus, and with conference implications on the line in both games, the team knew they would have to play their best to stay competitive. Having players missing was to be no excuse for the Indians, as the expectations are growing with every game.

On Monday, Apr. 22, the Indians traveled to Mendon to take on the Hornets, who came into action sporting an undefeated record. Unfortunately, that would spell bad news for Hartford, as they would be swept in the doubleheader. Mendon won both games by the 10-run mercy rule, as they took game one by a 10-0 score, before taking the nightcap, 12-2.

On Thursday, Apr. 25, the Indians traveled to Marcellus to take on the Wildcats, a team that played Hartford tough last season. However, the Indians made sure they got back on the winning track on this night, and they did so in a big way. Despite this being a doubleheader, only one game was finished, and it belonged to Hartford, as they scored a 12-5 victory. Game two was postponed due to darkness and may be made up at a later date.

The Hartford Baseball team will conclude this week by traveling to the Coloma Round Robin tournament on Saturday, May 4. Check back next week to see how the team did!

Hartford Softball captures divisional title at Gull Lake Tournament

The Hartford Indian Varsity Softball team spent three days on the diamonds last week, in one of the busiest weeks they will have all season long. The ladies played in a pair of conference doubleheaders on two weekdays and spent Saturday morning at a tournament in Battle Creek. The Lady Indians currently sport a record near the .500 mark, but in many of their losses early in the season, they’ve been a hit away from pulling out some victories.

On Monday, Apr. 22, the team traveled to Mendon to take on the Lady Hornets in a Southwest 10 Conference doubleheader. These games had the ability to be very good, and that’s exactly what ended up happening. In two of the tightest games Hartford has played all year, they lost game one and game two – well, is still in progress. The Lady Hornets took game one by a 5-4 score, and game two is currently suspended while tied 4-4 in extra innings.

In game one, Lainey Goodson took the loss on the mound for Hartford, but she recorded a season-high 15 strikeouts. The Lady Indians got RBI hits from Vanessa DeLaRosa and Regan Sinclair, while Megan Nelson and Goodson also had multi-hit games.

In game two, Karly Manning took the mound and, when play was suspended, had struck out 16 Mendon batters. Regan Sinclair came up clutch for Hartford, as she has all four RBIs in the game, including a 3-run hit in the seventh inning to tie the game.

On Thursday, Apr. 25, the ladies loaded the bus to Marcellus to take on the Lady ‘Cats in another conference doubleheader. Hartford has split a slew of doubleheaders to begin the 2019 season, and for the Lady Indians, it was another case of déjà vu. The result was yet another split, as the host Lady ‘Cats took game one by a score of 3-0, before Hartford bounced back to score the win in the nightcap, 8-3.

In game one, Lainey Goodson took the mound loss, but managed to strike out seven Marcellus batters. Even though Goodson pitched very well, the Hartford offense went stagnant, and could not provide their pitcher any run support.

In game two, Hartford broke open a 3-3 game in the top of the fifth inning, scoring one run in the frame on a Destiny Chacon base-on-balls to make it a 4-3 game. The Lady Indians put the game out of reach for good by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning, courtesy of a pair of run-scoring hits by Regan Sinclair and Vanessa DeLaRosa.

Karly Manning got the mound victory for the Lady Indians in game two, allowing three runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out ten. On offense, Hartford pounded out ten hits, and was led by Sinclair, Megan Nelson and Jaelyne Galvan, who picked up two hits each.

On Saturday, the ladies traveled to Bailey Park in Battle Creek to compete in the Gull Lake Tournament. They were paired in the Bronze Division, alongside teams from Battle Creek Harper Creek, Battle Creek Lakeview, Berrien Springs, Galesburg-Augusta and Haslett.

In game one, they took on Galesburg-Augusta and dominated, winning 19-3. Game two saw the Lady Indians take on Battle Creek Harper Creek, and they walked-it-off, winning 8-7 when they scored in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the third and final game of the day, they took on Haslett and won a high-scoring affair, 14-12. Haslett had the bases loaded with one out, but Hartford’s play on defense bailed them out, and they held on to win the Bronze Division title.

Hartford girls soccer goes 2-1 during three game stretch

The Hartford Indian girls soccer team faced their most active stretch to date last week, as the ladies had three matches in the course of just four days. And while that may seem like a daunting task to many, soccer players come from a different breed. These athletes are constantly active in practice and in games, and because of that, they are very well conditioned.

CLEAR KICK… Hartford striker Jessica Cardoso has a clean field Tuesday, April 23 as she prepares to kick the ball downfield against Berrien Springs. The Lady Indians shut out visiting Berrien Springs 6-0. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

On Monday, Apr. 22, the ladies traveled to Cassopolis to take on the Rangers in a Southwest 10 Conference match. These two teams were among the best in the league last season, but in this match, Hartford handled Cassopolis with ease, scoring a 4-nil victory. The Lady Indians led 3-nil at halftime and extended their lead with a goal in the second half to bring the score to the final margin of victory.

For Hartford, Mercedes Requenes scored a hat trick, putting together a three-goal game for the Green and White, while Abigail Lopez scored the other goal, and also added two assists. Bianca Lopez also lent a hand on offense by assisting on one of the goals. Mary Pultz pitched a shutout in net, recording seven saves and, according to head coach Abel Robles, the defense played extremely well.

On Tuesday, Apr. 23, the Lady Indians played Berrien Springs in a home non-conference soccer match on the Indian Soccer Pitch. You would never have known that Hartford had played just 24 hours prior by the way they played in this match. They dominated the visiting Shamrocks from start to finish, and scored a shutout for the second straight night, winning 6-nil. The Lady Indians led 5-nil at the half, and much like the night before, needed just one goal in the second half to keep the game on ice.

For the second straight night, Hartford had a player score three goals in a game. This time, it was Abigail Lopez who put up the hat trick, while also assisting on one goal. Mercedes Requenes added to her impressive weekly total, scoring two goals and adding one assist, while Yovana Naranjo added the final Indian tally. Madison Hays added two assists for the Lady Indians, while Mary Pultz recorded eight saves in net.

On Thursday, Apr. 25, the team traveled to South Haven to take on the Lady Rams. After this game finished, you got the feeling that the busy week finally took its toll on the ladies. The Lady Indians fell 4-1 to South Haven, thus ending the week with a sour taste in their mouths. The Lady Rams jumped out to a 3-1 halftime lead and never looked back, scoring their fourth goal in the second half to wrap up the victory.

Hartford’s lone goal was scored by Mercedes Requenes, with an assist credited to Abigail Lopez. Mary Pultz was extremely busy in net, as she made 14 saves in the loss.

As always, GO INDIANS!

Hartford Indian Emerald Vanguard Annual Golf Classic

Saturday, May 18 is the 2019 annual Golf Classic fundraiser for the Hartford Indian Emerald Vanguard. This event is being played at Lake Cora Hills Golf Club located at 56640 CR671 in Paw Paw.

The Classic is a 2-player, 15-team scramble. There is a $60 per player fee that includes cart, greens fee, lunch and refreshments. Entry fee for current Lake Cora Hills members is only $45.

Check-in is at 7:14 a.m. with donuts, juice and coffee provided. Shotgun (trumpet) start is at 8 a.m.

Cash prizes are awarded in three flights; $200 first place prize.

Entry forms and payment should be mailed as soon as possible to Derek Clements, Hartford Middle School, 141 School St., Hartford MI 49057. Sign up is available day of tournament.

Net proceeds support the Hartford Indian Emerald Vanguard.

Email Derek Clements at for more information.

COLOMA VARSITY GOLF TEAM… (from the left): Front Row – Jacob Huttenga, Brad Darling, Charlie Cullitan; Back row – Coach Ted Zahrt, Tyler Streu, Jaden Miller, Vincent Tavolacci, Aaron Wurn, Brandon Simmons, Coach Dan Roberts. (Photo courtesy of A&A Sports Photography)


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