Jaidyn Hutsell: Pitching perfection Coloma varsity softball senior Jaidyn Hutsell is this week’s Pressbox Player of the Week. Hutsell helped lead the Lady Comets to a third consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division title this year. Hutsell was on fire this season. She holds a perfect 14-0 record in 2018, with her latest victory coming Friday night against SAC rival Watervliet. Hutsell struck out seven batters and allowed just two hits in the 15-0 shutout of the Lady Panthers. Following graduation, Hutsell will continue her softball career at the collegiate level. She has committed to Lake Michigan College, as her softball career comes full circle. The Red Hawks softball squad is led by John Jewell. Jewell and Hutsell are no strangers. Jewell coached Hutsell when she attended Grace Christian Schools and began her varsity softball career.
Tri-City track-letes headed to State
If you want to see the best of the best in the world of track and field events, head over to Comstock Park June 2 as Division 3 Michigan High School Athletic Association state competition kicks into high gear.
Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet will all send athletes to state this season, and things look especially good for medals to come back to the Tri-City Area.
Following regional competition at Comstock High School Friday, May 18, one female athlete from our area will participate at State. Hartford’s AJ Jackson finished second in the girls shot put with a throw of 34’ 4”.
Also representing the Indians will be Riley Traver. Traver finished second in the boys’ high jump after he cleared 6’ 1”.
Watervliet’s Lamarrius Smith also qualified for State high jump competition. He finished fourth but topped the 6’ mark to make the cut.
Smith was also crowned regional champion in the long jump. He finished first after leaping 20’ 11”, besting his closest competitor by one and a half inches.
Smith will also take part in the 200-meter dash. His second-place time of 23.25 seconds will put him in contention for a State title.
Coloma’s Cole Alsup was the regional champion in the discus. The mighty Comet’s throw of 143’ 1” was almost 12 feet longer than his closest competitor.
Coloma’s Josh Young was also crowned regional champion. He blazed into first place in the 400 meters with a time of 51.08 seconds.
Coloma’s Derek Plitt took fourth in the 100 meters with a time of 11.61 seconds. Plitt qualified for State based on his time not his finish place.
Teammate Caleb Ellis finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.06. Not only did he qualify in an individual event but he – and Plitt – also qualified as part of a Comet relay team.
The relay teams of Coloma will be busy as they qualified for four different events.
It will be Michael Dancer, Ellis, Nick Fogarty, and Plitt leaving the gate in the 4×100 relay. They finished fifth at regionals with a time of 45.21 seconds.
Ellis, Young, Plitt, and Sincere Taylor will take to the track in the 4×200 meter relay. They achieved regional champion status after taking first at regionals with a time of 1:30.59.
That same dynamically fast foursome will also run the 4×400 meter relay. The two-time regional champion squad also finished first at regionals with a time of 3:29.94.
There is an amazing amount of talent headed to Comstock Park June 2. Support our athletes; take in the State track meet. Details regarding time, parking, and other qualifiers are available at mhsaa.com.
MEGAN’S MEGA HIT… Coloma’s Megan Neubecker keeps her eye on the ball before she connects, belting the ball into right field for a two-run single in the fifth inning of the Comets’ game against Watervliet Friday. Coloma won the contest 9-2; they also scored a 15-0 shutout in game two over the host Panthers. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Hartford soccer wins SW10 Conference Championship
The Indians of Hartford scored a 4-2 victory over Bangor at home Monday, May 21 and walked away with the Southwest 10 Conference Championship.
Abigail Lopez kicked two goals for Hartford. Olivia Ziemer and Mercedes Requenes scored one goal each.
Requenes notched two assists, while Yovana Naranjo contributed one.
Jessica Cortes, Hartford’s keeper, was credited with 10 saves.
Coloma softball earns third SAC District Championship following two wins over Watervliet
Friday, May 18 found conference rivals Coloma and Watervliet tangling in Panther country on the diamond. Coloma swept the Panthers 9-2 and 15-0 to earn their third consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division title.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first inning. Coloma took the lead in the second inning and never looked back.
Skylar Crisenbery led Coloma as she picked up her 12th win on the mound (12-1). She struck out seven batters and allowed two runs on six hits.
Taking the loss for Watervliet was Ariana Rowe. She struck out six and gave up nine runs on 14 hits.
Kayla Yore hit a single and crushed a home run for the Comets. She hit four singles and smacked a triple and scored four RBIs. Megan Koenigshof hit four singles and a triple. Megan Neubecker scored two runs and hit two singles. Morgan Wagner stroked two singles, and Mya Potter tallied a single and double.
Leading Watervliet at the plate was Ariana Rowe; she had a single and double. Mikalah Clay hit two singles. Kara Liles bashed a double.
Col 1 1 1 | 0 2 1 | 3 9 14 0
Wat 1 0 0 | 0 0 0 | 1 2 6 4
WATERVLIET AWARDS OUTSTANDING SENIOR ATHLETES… Ariana Rowe and Bryant Kieft was named Watervliet’s female and male Outstanding Senior Athlete recently. Rowe played four seasons of varsity softball, three in basketball and one volleyball season. She will attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College in the fall and has joined the school’s softball squad. Kieft was a four-season varsity football player in addition to playing three years of varsity baseball, two seasons of varsity basketball and one season as a varsity wrestler. Kieft will attend Northwood University in the fall to play football.
In the evening contest, Coloma shutout Watervliet 15-0 as Jaidyn Hutsell picked up her 14th win of the season. She has not lost a game this year. Hutsell allowed just two hits and struck out seven.
Liles took the loss for Watervliet.
Koenigshof’s four singles scored two RBIs. Hutsell, Mya Potter, and Sam Stewart hit two singles and scored two RBIs each.
Morgan Wagner and Crisenbery hit two singles each.
Koenigshof was nine of 10 at the plate for the Comets in the two games.
Coloma ended the regular conference season with a 12-0 record. They are 28-1 overall.
Col 5 6 0 | 1 3 15 17 2
Wat 0 0 0 | 0 0 0 2 3
Press Box Player of the Week rolled out
The Tri-City Record supports the efforts of student athletes in Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet. Truth be told, we are some of their biggest fans.
To that end, a new feature will be added to our sports pages. The TCR is proud to announce the introduction of the “Press Box Player of the Week.”
Each week, an athlete from the Tri-City Area will be selected as being an integral part of their team, an example of great sportsmanship, and of good standing in their school.
Additionally, to be eligible for the honor, student-athletes must participate in a varsity sport at Coloma, Hartford, Watervliet, or Grace Christian.
Each winner will receive a medal and special shout-out in the pages of the TCR.
This effort is another way we recognize the commitment, hard work, and dedication to sport by high school athletes.
In this week’s inaugural Press Box Player of the Week column, we honor Jaidyn Hutsell of Coloma softball.
After high school sports finish for the season, we will accept nominations for the Player of the Week from rec ball participants. Parents will be able to nominate a deserving youngster. More information on that program will be available mid-June.
CHAMPIONS… Watervliet 8U Maroon Team is the winner of the nine-team Watervliet Rec pre-season softball tournament that concluded Saturday, May 19 at Hays Park. Pictured (from the left) are: Front row – Alex Zuniga, Morgan Sells, Mackenzie Birmele, Mila Sirk, Karina Short, Olivia Kinzler, Ava Hobson: Back row – Assistant Coach Jorge Zuniga, Rylee Krueger, Aiyanna Forrester, Brooklyn Wallace, Sophia Rader, Sofie Shafer, and Head Coach Rod Kinzler.
Coloma baseball sham-rocked for both games of doubleheader
Coloma baseball gave up a come from behind 6-5 victory to Berrien Springs Wednesday, May 16.
The Shamrocks led 2-0 after the first inning of play but Coloma fired back with four runs in the second to take the 4-2 lead.
The Comets added one run in the fifth inning, and Berrien Springs scored two runs to trail 5-4 heading into the sixth inning.
Both teams were scoreless in the sixth. Berrien Springs scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to rally for the 6-5 win.
Coloma went deep into their bullpen, with four pitchers taking the rubber for the Comets.
Tyler Streu pitched four innings for Coloma. He allowed four runs on five hits; he struck out one batter and walked another.
Calvin Starnes came in for one inning. He struck out three and walked one.
Ethan Price got the call for one inning of work. He allowed one hit, struck out one, and walked one.
Hunter Crist took the loss for Coloma and now holds a 4-4 record this season. Crist allowed two runs on two hits.
Offensively, Kevin Hearn led Coloma with a home run and three RBIs. Starnes hit a dinger and scored one run.
Col 0 4 0 | 0 1 0 | 0 5 4 3
BS 2 0 0 | 0 2 0 | 2 6 9 0
In the nightcap, Berrien Springs put up another solid game to take the 7-1 victory over Coloma.
The Comets’ lone run came in the fourth inning. The team struggled defensively, giving up five errors.
Nick Eastman started the game from the rubber for Coloma. He pitched two innings and gave up one hit and struck out one batter.
Robbie Schroeder had one inning on the mound. He gave up five runs on one hit; he struck out one and walked one. Schroeder was given the loss.
Kenyon Boyd finished the game, going three innings. He allowed two runs on two hits. Boyd struck out three and walked four.
Starnes was the star at the plate. He hit three singles.
Following the two losses, Coloma dropped to 12-14 overall. The squad is 7-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division.
Col 0 0 0 | 1 0 0 | 0 1 5 5
BS 0 0 5 | 0 2 0 | x 7 4 2
COLOMA AWARDS SENIOR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR… Coloma High School recently named Morgan Wagner as the Female Athlete of the Year and Levi Wilkens as the Male Athlete of the Year during Senior Awards Night Tuesday, May 15.
Panthers pick apart Blackhawks for two wins on the diamond
Watervliet baseball improved to 17-1 overall and remained perfect in the SAC – Lakeshore Division following two victories over host Fennville Thursday, May 17.
The Panthers out hit Fennville 7-6 in the 6-1 game one win.
Watervliet jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning; the squad never relinquished the lead.
Garrett Matthews led Watervliet in the field. He pitched a complete game, giving up the one run on six hits. He also struck out seven.
Matthews proved to be a double threat as he also led on offense. He sliced two singles and belted a double. Benny Myas chipped in a double and single. Jakob Aldrich hit a double.
Wat 1 1 0 | 0 0 0| 4 6 7 1
Fen 0 0 0 | 1 0 0 | 0 1 6 2
In the latter game on the dance card, Watervliet pounded out 10 hits for 14 runs to take the 14-2 win.
Jakob Aldrich got the win for Watervliet. He pitched a complete game; he allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four.
The game was knotted up at one apiece until Watervliet broke the third inning open with three runs. Another seven runs came in the fourth as the Panthers took an 11-1 lead.
Matthews hit two singles and a triple. Ryan Chisek added a single and triple. Aldrich hit two singles. Both Bryant Kieft and Nick Polaksey blasted a double.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS… Coloma varsity softball team earned the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division championship for 2018. The squad went 12-0 in the SAC to take top honors. The Comets are coached by Wendy Goodline and Dave Ehlers.
Watervliet remained atop the SAC – Lakeshore Division with a perfect 8-0 record. Overall, the Panthers are 17-1 this season.
Bats keep ringing for Lady Panthers softball
Watervliet’s girls’ varsity softball team kept the bats popping Thursday, May 17 as they crushed their way to two victories.
In the early outing, Watervliet pitcher Kara Liles pitched a complete game for Watervliet in the 8-0 shutout. In her seven innings of work, she allowed three hits, struck out 12, and walked one.
Watervliet scored their first runs in the third inning, leading 3-0.
Sabrina Klimkiewicz led the way at the plate for Watervliet. She singled three times and scored one run.
Celina Klimkiewicz hit a single and had an RBI. Taylor Shafer hit two singles.
Wat 0 0 2| 1 4 3 | 2 0 8 8 0
Fen 0 0 0 | 0 0 0 | 0 0 0 3 3
In game two, Watervliet tallied the 10-3 win on the strength of pitching from Celina Klimkiewicz and Ariana Rowe.
Celina Klimkiewicz tacked the first three innings of the game; she allowed two runs.
Ariana Rowe knotted up the win for Watervliet with four innings of work. She allowed one run. Combined, the two pitches gave up seven hits.
It was Watervliet leading 4-2 after the first inning. The team truly does a great job of getting their bats on the ball.
Rowe blasted a triple. Liles, Shafer, and Mikalah Clay each hit a single and scored a run. Brenna Langston also scored a run.
Following the two wins, Watervliet remained perfect in the SAC – Lakeshore Division and is 14-8 overall.
Wat 4 0 1 | 2 0 3 | 0 10 6 3
Fen 2 0 0 | 0 0 0 | 1 3 7 1
Comets cruise past Lawrence
Coloma baseball tallied two victories over Lawrence Thursday, May 17 on the diamond.
In the first contest, Coloma tallied the 16-0 shutout over the Tigers.
Calvin Starnes earned his sixth win this season. He pitched two innings and allowed one hit. He struck out two and walked one.
Nick Eastman notched the save for Coloma. He pitched three innings. He allowed three hits, struck out two and walked two.
Hunter Crist led Coloma in the batter’s box. He hit a single and double and scored three runs. Robbie Schroeder scored two runs and hit a single. Starnes and Ethan Price chipped in a single and double each. Nathan Wilder scored two runs and hit a single.
Col 4 8 0 | 2 2 16 11 1
Law 0 0 0 | 0 0 0 4 1
In game two, Coloma led 2-1 after the first inning. The lead bounced back Lawrence’s way 3-2 in the second inning.
Coloma regained the lead in the third inning after they scored three runs. The Comets would go on to win 10-3 to sweep the two-bill card.
Crist pitched one and two-thirds innings. He allowed three runs on four hits; he struck out one and walked two.
Starnes pitched five and one-third inning to tally his seventh win of the season. He limited Lawrence to just four hits and struck out eight.
Schroeder scored two runs and hit two singles. Price hit two singles.
Col 2 0 3 | 1 1 3 | 0 10 7 2
Law 1 2 0 | 0 0 0 | 0 3 8 8
Former athletes make good in college play
Several former local high school athletes have made quite an impact on their college sports teams.
Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Ally Sinclair, formerly of Hartford, was named First Team All-Conference by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association in the Western Conference. Sinclair is an outfielder on the KVCC squad.
Nicolle Larson, who played softball at Coloma and also is part of the KVCC squad, received an Honorable All-Conference nod from the MCCAA. Larson is a utility player.
Jenna Walter also picked up an MCCAA honor. The former Coloma softball player received a conference Honorable Mention award.
Hartford sizzles to 13-4 win over visiting Mendon
Hartford’s varsity softball team kept their bats cracking as they sizzled their way through their lineup in the 13-4 win over visiting Mendon Thursday, May 17.
Hartford trailed Mendon 4-0 after two innings of play but tied things up in the third. The Indians then scored three runs in the fourth to take the lead.
Regan Sinclair was Hartford’s top hitter. She hit two singles and a triple.
Lainey Goodson pitched for Hartford. She got the win after allowing four runs on five hits and striking out four.
Men 0 4 0 | 0 0 0 | 0 4 5 0
Har 0 0 4 | 3 0 6 | x 13 16 0
Hartford soccer blitzed by Bridgman
The Hartford soccer squad suffered a 7-1 loss Friday, May 18 to host Bridgman.
The Indians scored one goal in the first half by Mercedes Requenes. She was assisted by Madison Garland.
Bridgman led 5-1 after the first half. They scored two additional goals in the second half.
Jessica Cortes was in as keeper and was credited with seven saves.
Coloma nets 5-1 win over Watervliet
Coloma scored three goals in the first half of conference play against Watervliet at home Monday, May 21. The scoring jumpstarted second-half scoring for the Comets as well. They netted two more goals and limited Watervliet to one in the 5-1 victory.
Coloma’s Mackenzie Ecker scored two goals. Emma Vandermolen chipped in two goals. Samantha Trousdale kicked one goal.
Vandermolen had two assists, while Grace Gagliardo and Ecker were credited with one assist each.
Trinity Crain scored Watervliet’s goal.
Coloma had 23 shots on goal, while Watervliet had six.
Emma Watson was the keeper for Coloma. She saved five on six shots.
Watervliet softball played in Mustang Softball Classic
Watervliet spent Saturday, May 19 playing in the Mustang Softball Classic in River Valley.
In the first contest, Constantine topped Watervliet 4-1.
Ariana Rowe took the loss for Watervliet. She gave up four runs on five hits.
Watervliet’s only score of the game came in the third inning.
Celina Klimkiewicz led Watervliet offensively with a single and double.
Wat 0 0 1 | 0 0 1 5 0
Con 1 0 3 | 0 0 4 5 0
In the second game of the tourney, Watervliet recorded a 2-1 victory over New Prairie.
Kara Liles tallied the win for Watervliet. She allowed one run on five hits.
Watervliet held a 2-0 lead following three innings of play. New Prairie scored one run in the fourth inning and fell short of the rally.
Taylor Shafer hit two singles for Watervliet.
Wat 0 0 2 | 0 0 2 5 0
NP 0 0 0 | 1 0 1 5 2
The final game of the tourney found Watervliet taking on Frankfort. The Lady Panthers took the 8-5 win to close out the tourney 2-1.
Watervliet led 2-0 after the first inning and 5-2 after the second.
Liles, Celina Klimkiewicz and Rowe combined to power the Panthers past Frankfort. Klimkiewicz got the win.
Mikalah Clay led Watervliet at the plate with two singles, a home run, and RBI.
Klimkiewicz hit a homer and tallied one RBI.
Madalyn Hutchins hit a single and double. Liles bashed a double and scored one run. Taylor Shafer scored a run.
Wat 2 3 0 | 1 0 1 | 1 8 10 3
Fra 0 2 1 | 0 2 0 | 0 5 5 1
Harvick nets million dollar payday in All-Star Race
Kevin Harvick was the million dollar man Saturday night in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The victory, which did not earn the driver any additional playoff points and only counts in terms of purse money and bragging rights, was just icing on Harvick’s cake this season. The driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Ford has five wins in 12 official races this season. He also has nine top 10 finishes. Harvick led 36 laps of the race’s 93 circuits, including 13 run in overtime. Daniel Suarez took second in his second full-time season on the NASCAR circuit. The driver is winless this season but does have one top five finish, which matched the total number of top five finishes he earned last year. Joey Logano raced into third place. He has five top five finishes this season, including one win. Denny Hamlin led seven laps and came in fourth. He remains winless this season but does have five top five finishes. Chase Elliott, also winless this year, rounded out the top five. Elliott has three wins during the regular racing season. Drivers who also led laps but did not finish in the top five included: Kyle Larson (6), Kyle Busch (19), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5), Martin Truex Jr. (17), and Brad Keselowski (3). Race pole sitter Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line in 14th place out of 21 drivers. The All-Star race offered the drivers a chance to run for the money and get extra practice time in before they return to Charlotte for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Last spring, Austin Dillon took the checkered flag at Charlotte. Dillon has one win under his belt this season and one other top 10 finish. Can he win again? Or, will Kevin Harvick make it three in a row for the second time this season? Check back to find out!