05-28-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

What could have been: Panther Baseball 2020 Watervliet is tentatively planning a belated high school graduation ceremony for Friday, July 24. The hope is to have a regular graduation in the stadium, weather permitting. Naturally, the school will be following any virus-related restrictions in place at that time including social distancing. This is the smallest graduating class in several years so hopefully the crowd is proportionally smaller and everyone fits comfortably. Panther stadium appears large enough for everyone to spread out as much as necessary. Meanwhile, here’s a look at what would have been the 2020 Panther baseball team. Holding true to form for all the boys teams this year the Panthers field just three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. Although young, this is a talented team that had a good chance to repeat as district champions. Pitching for the Panthers this year were senior Cole Pline, sophomore Andrew Chisek, junior Josh Reeves, freshman Tyson Williams, senior Jordyn Angelo, and senior Dylan Tucker. Pline and Chisek were key pitchers last season and looked to lead the staff. Angelo and Reeves would have pitched plenty of innings as well. The outfield would be patrolled by a speedy group, including junior Logan Duscha, junior Garett Hotovy, senior Dylan Tucker, and junior Dylan Lawson. Junior Evan Hutchins returns to his role as catcher, joined by junior Caleb Bell. First base would be manned by two guys with very long stretches, Pline and Lawson. Angelo would be working at second base, along with sophomore middle-infielder Ethan Fish. Shortstop will be covered by Chisek and Fish, while third base duties fall on freshman Bryton Cockrun. Chisek and Angelo were certain to be a potent double-play combination. Next week is a look at the 2020 softball team.

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma senior girl soccer players recognized The Coloma Press Box this week would like to honor Comet senior lady soccer players, who also had their final season as a Comet get yanked out from under them by the COVID-19 virus. These four ladies were part of the girls team who, last year, won Coloma’s first ever district soccer tournament. They all were looking toward making another run, and not only winning another district but making their run last a few games longer.

Hannah Guntz is an all-around Coloma Comet athlete who is very competitive, and says she was extremely disappointed when she first heard that the season and school year was ended, back in early April. Hannah says, “We took districts last year, and I was hoping we could make it farther this year.”

Samantha Trousdale, another senior Comet soccer player, tells that in spite of the bitter disappointment of not being able to take the field once again with her tremendous teammates, her senior year was still filled with making new friends, and stepping out of her comfort zone and getting more involved with a variety of activities. Samantha says she has been playing soccer for about 12 years, starting when she was 5-6 years old, and always loved the game. She also says she was surprised at how quickly the four years of high school seemed to have flown by. Samantha has also competed on the Comet Competitive Cheer team.

Emma Vandermolen is a very fierce competitor in competition, as she ran cross-country for three years, and also played on the Comet girls’ soccer team all four years. Emma claims she really loved both sports, but for different reasons. She says that cross-country really pushes you mentally as an individual, and soccer is always all about the team.

Senior Coloma Comet soccer player Emma Watson says she was heartbroken that they didn’t get to play their final soccer season this spring. She goes on, “With the way our team ended things last year, making it to the regionals, our team had set some even higher goals for this season. I would do anything to be on the field with my girls again.”

Sports on the national scene It was about 10 weeks since there had been any competitive sports on any level in our country, or around the world. However some are slowly coming back. NASCAR has been back on television and on the track without fans in the stands for two weekends now. On Sunday the world of golf was on the television with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson playing a partners match against each other, with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning joining them on the course. It was a made for charity event that raised over 20 million dollars for the Covid Relief Fund. During the event all the golfers were miked and carried on conversations with mostly needling each other as they played. Tiger and Peyton defeated Phil and Tom, and after taking a big early lead Phil and Tom worked back into the match and had a chance to send it to extra holes. But on the 18th they weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunity. It is still going to be sometime, most say July, before any major league baseball plays for real so fans still have to be patient. However, it was a great five hours watching the golf match on TV… it has been so long. At the present time the NBA and the NHL are also looking at July for a resumption, and also completion of their seasons.

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford Lady Indian softball team receives Academic All-State Over the past few weeks, Hartford Press Box has been documenting the Hartford Class of 2020, and their accomplishments on the athletic courts and fields. However, this week, the Press Box is extremely honored to announce to its readers that the 2020 Hartford Lady Indian softball team, despite having not played a game this season, has received Team Academic All-State honors for the third consecutive season. Team Academic All-State honors are awarded by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association (MHSSCA). To receive this distinction, teams must be a member in good standing with the organization and also carry a cumulative grade point average of at-least 3.0 or higher. This year’s group of ladies that received the award carried a cumulative grade point average of 3.26. Members of the team that accomplished this feat include freshman, Lindsey Goodson; sophomores, Vanessa DeLaRosa, Karly Manning, Ginny Sewell and Descenya Rodarte; juniors, Karlee Scherer, Ariah Jordan, Lainey Goodson and Meghan Deckard; and seniors, Megan Nelson, Destiny Chacon, Jaelyne Galvan and Regan Sinclair. The Hartford Lady Indian softball team is coached by Steve Galvan. Next winter, this year’s team will be honored with another plaque in the hallway leading to Indian Gymnasium, celebrating their outstanding achievements in the classroom. Congratulations, ladies! A look back: Hartford senior stories return next week Returning to this column in the coming weeks will be our look back at the seniors of the Class of 2020. In the next edition of the Tri-City Record, Hartford Press Box will take a look back at the boys soccer team which won Southwest 10 Conference and District championship honors last fall. Hartford’s most successful team as of late will get their time in the spotlight in next week’s edition of Hartford Press Box. Get ready for some great stories in the coming weeks! As always, GO INDIANS!

Press Box Player of the Week!

By Dave Vollrath Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week for May 28, 2020 is Coloma Comet 3-sport athlete, Marissa Sherburn. Marissa is one of only a half dozen or so Coloma seniors to be so honored.

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