06-08-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

 Several local athletes achieved All-State status after competing Saturday in the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 3 track and field finals at Comstock Park.

Leading the way was Watervliet junior Lamarrius Smith. Smith leapt 20’ 10.5” in the long jump and earned a bronze medal and trip to the podium.

SHOWING HIS METTLE… Watervliet’s Lamarrius Smith was the area’s highest finisher at Michigan High School Athletic Association’s state track and field finals at Comstock Park Saturday. Smith earned a bronze medal in the long jump after leaping 20’ 10.5”.

Coloma’s 4×200 meter relay team, comprised of Caleb Ellis, Sincere Taylor, Josh Young, and Derek Plitt, finished fourth in the state. The foursome ran their event in 1:31.21. The group’s time was fast enough to break the school record, which dates back to 1968.

Josh Young also set a new personal record in the individual 400 meters and finished seventh in the state. His time of 51.07 seconds earned him a medal and All-State honors.

Ellis, Kobe Hunter, Brandon Bower, and Josh Young sped to a seventh place finish in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:26.94.  That time also shattered a 47-year school record!

Watervliet’s Jobe Kerr just missed All-State recognition after he finished ninth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:01.18. In his final race, Kerr set a new PR and his time was the fourth fastest in Watervliet’s school history.

Ellis, Young, Hunter, and Greg Olsen leg it out in the 4×800 meter relay and finished 10th with a time of 8:17.86.

Coloma senior Brandon Bower completed the 300 meter hurdles in 42.27 seconds, good for 16th place.

Gabe Doggett, a senior from Coloma, earned a trip to state by competing in the pole vault.  He cleared 11’ 3”, set a new personal record, and finished 21st in the state.

It was a great run for the Coloma and Watervliet athletes at Comstock Park. Congratulations to everyone!

Golfers compete at regionals; Kroshel shoots lowest

 The Division 3 regional golf matches were held Wednesday, May 31 at Stonehedge North Course in Augusta, Michigan.

Teams from Coloma and Watervliet competed in the event.

Coloma’s Jacoby Kroshel finished with a round of 92. The senior took 23rd place. Teammate Jacob Huttenga, a sophomore, shot a 107 and finished 63rd.

Freshman Charlie Cullitan’s 115 was good for 75th place overall, while junior Blake Cartwright shot a 116 and finished in 76th place. Caleb Dahlke, a junior, rounded out the team effort in 82nd place with a 136.

Watervliet’s three-man team was led by senior Trevor Townsend. He shot a 104 for 52nd place.

Matt Lambrecht posted a 106, and the senior finished 57th. Isaac Workman, the lone junior on the squad, finished with a 111 and 70th place.

Great job, duffers!

Watervliet wins district baseball title

 Tuesday, May 30 started what would become an exciting week of Division 3 District 74 baseball action featuring Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet.

Hartford earned a bye in first round action. The other draw found co-SAC Conference champions Coloma taking on host Watervliet in the only first round game.

And what a game it was! Watervliet broke out with a four-run first inning and looked to have the game well in hand. The Panthers added one run in the second inning to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

Watervliet added four more runs in the fourth and the game looked to be over as the Panthers were ahead 9-0.

The Comets had other ideas. The team scored three runs in the fourth inning to draw to within six. Coloma added three runs in the fifth and trailed 9-6.

When Watervliet was held scoreless in the sixth inning, Coloma continued to make their move. The team scored another two runs and suddenly, fans, we had a baseball game! Coloma trailed 9-8 headed into the seventh inning.

Watervliet got their bats back in action and scored three runs putting the rally of Coloma temporarily on hold.

With the Comets at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, all eyes were riveted on home plate. Coloma scored one, and then two runs before their efforts ended in a 12-10 loss.

Garrett Mathews pitched for Watervliet and got the win. Jakob Aldrich came on in relief.

The Panthers’ 12 runs came off 13 hits, while Coloma’s 10 runs came off nine hits.

Watervliet was led at the plate by Bryant Kieft who had a double and two singles with four RBIs.

Zack Pickens hit three singles. Ryan Chisek and Ben Myas stroked two singles apiece. Cam Rendo hit a double.

Neither team played flawless ball as Coloma had two errors and Watervliet had three.

In semi-final action, Watervliet squared off against Lawton, while Hartford faced Bangor.

The Panthers and Vikings played a dramatic 10:00 a.m. game on Saturday, June 3. It was a pitcher’s duel through six innings before a run was scored.

As the home team, Watervliet was up second in the seventh inning. The Panthers held Lawton scoreless in the seventh and it all came down to the Watervliet at bats.

It was Garrett Matthews and Bryant Kieft who combined to get on base and across the plate for the 1-0 Watervliet win and a trip to the district championship game.

Aldrich took the mound for Watervliet. He pitched a complete game, allowed only three hits, and struck out six.

Kieft hit two singles during the game.

The other semi-final game on the docket was Hartford meeting up with Bangor.

Bangor’s stingy pitching gave up little in the way of Indian hits.  Garrod Johnson hit a double to center to open up the Indians offense.  Hartford wasn’t able to generate any other action at the plate and the first inning closed out 0-0.

DOUBLED UP… Hartford’s Garrod Johnson waits for the ball to cross the plate Saturday as Hartford faced Bangor in district semi-final baseball action. Johnson, who bats in the number two spot on the Indians’ roster, belted a first inning double. Bangor went on to shut out Hartford 3-0, ending the Indians’ season. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Bangor scored one run in the second inning following a leadoff single, stolen base, and single to right center.

The score remained 1-0 in Bangor’s favor through three innings. Two more runs by the Vikings tipped the game their way, and they nabbed the 3-0 shutout over the Indians.

That meant Bangor and Watervliet would battle it out on the mound for the championship title. The Panthers nixed that idea early as the squad overpowered and outpitched the Vikings and went on to score a 19-1 decisive district championship victory.

Watervliet opened the contest by taking a 4-1 lead following first inning action. The Panthers never looked back. The squad added six runs in the second, four in the third, and five in the fourth to take the mercy rule-shortened game.

Bangor’s lone run came on one hit. Watervliet’s 19 runs came courtesy of 20 hits, including a double and two singles by Kieft, a double and single by Pickens, three singles from Aldrich and Rendo’s bats, and two singles apiece from Chisek, Tyler Brant, and Tommy Swanson.

Matthews pitched for Watervliet and earned the victory. He gave up one run, allowed one hit, and struck out seven.

“Obviously Tuesday, that was our game of the district and we knew that. They knew that. That was a big game for us. Then, that Lawton game surprised us a little bit, I think. But I felt confident, I think our guys were confident that we would take care of business,” Watervliet head coach Josh Tremblay said.

“I think we’re hitting the ball pretty well right now. If our pitching does their job like they have, we have a chance. If we do the little things right, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”

Watervliet claimed the district title and will now face Schoolcraft in regional action Saturday at noon at host Coloma.

Congrats to the boys of summer wearing maroon!

Coloma makes it two district titles in a row

 Coloma varsity softball coach Wendy Goodline continues to build a legacy on the diamond as her squad won their second consecutive Division 3 title Saturday.

The District 74 competition began Tuesday, May 30 with Coloma and Watervliet squaring off in the only first round game to be played.

Skylar Crisenbery struggled to find the strike zone in the early innings of the Comets game against the Panthers.

Watervliet’s Mercede Daugherty belted a shot to center that fell just beyond the reach of Coloma outfielder Kayla Yore. Daugherty’s shot scored two runs, and Watervliet jumped out to an early lead.

Crisenbery responded with a strike out of Ariana Rowe and got Zoe Smith to ground out to second base to shut the Panthers’ scoring down.

Kara Liles was on the mound for Watervliet. Megan Koenigshof slapped a single, stole second base, stole third base, and scored on a Morgan Wagner sacrifice fly to left. Coloma was on the board.

Jaidyn Hutsell blistered a double to right. That hit was followed by a double off the bat of Crisenbery, which scored Hutsell. The game was tied up at two apiece.

Coloma got on the board again when Morgan Wagner blasted a homerun in the third inning to give Coloma the 3-2 lead.

The Comets added another run in the fourth to make it a 4-2 game.

Watervliet’s Grace Smith doubled to right center in the fifth but was left stranded.

With Coloma up at the plate again, the Lady Comets scored two runs to close out the fifth inning with a 6-2 lead.

LAYING IT DOWN… Coloma’s Nicolle Larson lays down a bunt in front of Watervliet third baseman Taylor Shafer May 30 in the first round of dis-trict softball action. Although the ball would roll foul, Coloma would go on to win the contest 9-3. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Hutsell was sent in to pitch for Coloma in the sixth inning. Watervliet’s Daugherty hit a single, Rowe smacked a double that scored a run, and Watervliet began to inch back into the game, trailing 6-3.

The sixth inning found Coloma batters really going to work. Koenigshof hit a single to get on base and Morgan Wagner got a walk. Hutsell hit a single, and, due to a Watervliet error, runners advanced and scored. At the end of the sixth inning, Coloma enjoyed a comfortable 9-3 lead.

Smith opened the seventh inning with a leadoff base hit to left field but was unable to score as the game ended in a 9-3 Comet victory.

Hartford, who had enjoyed a first round bye, faced Bangor Saturday, June 3 in semi-final action.

Hartford’s Sarah Rice tallied the first base hit of the game with a single. She was tagged out on the ensuing steal. Madisyn Earls put up a nice single in the bottom of the second inning. Jaelyne Galvan got a free pass with a walk, and the Indians had two aboard. Unfortunately, Hartford hitters couldn’t get the base runners home and the inning ended without a run being scored.

The game remained tied at 0-0 through two innings.

In the third inning Bangor batters hit a double and triple to score two quick runs. The Vikings added a third to take a 3-0 lead.

In Hartford’s half of the inning, Megan Nelson hit a solid single to left field, and Rice was walked. Regan Sinclair, with runners on first and second and no outs, watched as her teammates advanced a bag due to a dropped ball. Sinclair was walked.

Amara Wesaw hit a two-run single to center and Hartford rallied but remained down 3-2 at the end of three.

Hartford added another two runs in the fourth as Indians continued to score on passed balls. Nelson drove in a run, and Hartford grabbed the lead, 4-3.

Nelson, pitching for Hartford, certainly put on a show in the fifth inning. She loaded the bases in quick fashion before a single out was scored.

With all bags holding Bangor players, Nelson got a strike out, a fly out and another strike out to end the inning. Wesaw led Hartford with a single in the fifth inning and was followed by an RBI double from Earls that banged off the top of the fence. Galvan scored after reaching first base on a walk. She subsequently scored on a passed ball ruled dead.

Angela Saldana hit a fielder’s choice single that scored a run.

Rice followed that up with a shot to center that scored two, making it a 10-3 ball game.

Regan Sinclair was out at first but her hit scored a run. At the end of the fifth inning, Hartford led 11-3.

The Indians continued to work aggressively on defense. They did not allow a hit in the sixth inning.

The Indians added one final run in the sixth. Earls blasted a double that rolled to the left field fence. Mikenzie Chambers scored the final Hartford run after she ground out with one out and advanced a runner.

With the 12-3 win over Bangor in hand, Hartford earned a trip to the championship game.

Meanwhile, Coloma and Lawton went to work in their semi-final district game.

Coloma opened up a 1-0 first inning lead over the Blue Devils before increasing it to 3-0 in the second.

The Comet batters took advantage of some pretty pitches as Hutsell singled, Crisenbery was walked, Mya Potter was walked, and Jenna Walter hit a two run single to center.

Nicolle Larson was hit by a pitch, and Kayla Yore hit a screaming triple that scored two runs.

Coloma would score six runs in the third inning to take a 9-0 lead over Lawton.

The Lady Comets added two more runs in the fourth and won the 11-0 mercy-rule shortened game.

Hutsell was on the mound for Coloma and got the win.

The championship game featured Coloma taking on Hartford, and it would be the Comets who hoisted the district trophy, notching a 9-0 shutout of the Indians.

Coloma got on the scoreboard early with a four-run opening inning. Yore hit a triple to right center. She was followed by Wagner who hit an RBI double to right. Hutsell had a nice single over the Hartford third baseman’s head and enabled Wagner to score.

Walter scored two runs on a single hit straight up the field.

Crisenbery struck out three Indian batters to close out the first inning with a 4-0 lead.

Coloma added one run in the third and three in the fourth to take an 8-0.

It was Hutsell in the sixth inning who hit a double. Walter then hit a sacrifice fly to score that run to make it 9-0.

Hartford was unable to connect in the sixth or seventh innings, and Coloma nabbed the win, district title, and trophy.

“I didn’t think we came out real focused against Lawton in the first game but we got it together and did what we needed to do. My pitchers pitched well. We got some big hits at good times to score some runs,” Coloma coach Wendy Goodline said.

“I told [my players], ‘We got this far last year, we didn’t make the next hurdle.’ That’s our goal.”

The Comets will have home field advantage Saturday, June 10 as they host regional softball competition. Coloma will take on Schoolcraft at 10:00 a.m.

Grace Christian track & field team proud of five conference champions

 Watervliet Grace Christian’s track team was small by mighty this season. The squad crowned five conference champions at the BCS meet on Wednesday, May 24 at Comstock High School in Kalamazoo.

The 4×800 relay team of Erin Beck, Grace Stockdale, Paige Massey, and Lydia Stalcup finished first with a time of 11:40.53.

Also earning first place honors was Riley Hess. She launched the discus 86’ 8”.

Beck took second place in the long jump with a leap of 12’ 2-1/2”, setting a new personal record.

Hess, Stockdale, Massey, and Stalcup combined for a second place finish in the 4×400 meter relay. They ran the event in a time of 5:00.07.

Stalcup won a silver medal in the 1600 meters with a time of 6:34.01.

Beck had a third place show in the 800 meters. She set a new PR in the event with a time of 2:54.90.

Massey ran the 1600 meters in 6:47.14, taking third place and posting a new PR.

Stockdale earned a third place finish in the long jump. She traveled 11’ 1”. She also earned bronze in the 3200 meters (13:37.40).

Hess qualified for Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 4 Track and Field following Friday, May 19 regional competition. Hess threw the discus 91’ to earn a trip to state. She did not place in the finals but should be commended for her efforts.

Lady Panthers blanked by Black River in first round of districts

The Lady Panthers ended their soccer season after they suffered an 8-0 shutout at the feet of Black River.

The two squads met on the soccer field in Saugatuck in Division 4 District 50 tournament action Tuesday, May 30.

Black River led Watervliet 3-0 after the first half of play. With the loss, Watervliet bowed out of competition.

Black River went on to win the district crown after topping Bangor 4-2 and Saugatuck 7-0.

Coloma soccer stymied in districts

The Coloma girls’ varsity soccer squad reached the semi-finals in Division 3 District 33 action but was stymied by Paw Paw in a tough loss.

Coloma opened districts with a 2-1 win over Comstock Tuesday, May30.

Mackenzie Ecker had the hot foot for the Comets, as she scored both goals.  Alyssa Bahr notched one assist.

With the win, the Lady Comets faced Paw Paw on Thursday, June 1 at home.

Early on, it appeared Coloma was just a step or two off their usual take charge performance. The team spent much of the first half on defense and just couldn’t seem to get control of the ball. Communication on the field was at a minimum, and Paw Paw had plenty of opportunity to take shots, including one early on that ricocheted off the top bar of the goal.

Facing no pressure from Coloma, Paw Paw scored two goals in the first half and two goals in the second half to end the Comets’ season and tournament run with a shutout.

Hartford soccer season stopped by Saugatuck

 Hartford faced Division 4 District 50 host Saugatuck in soccer play Thursday, June 1.

The Indians earned a bye in first round action and headed to the semi-final game well rested.

FANCY FOOTWORK… Co-loma’s Mackenzie Ecker scoots the ball past a Paw Paw defend-er Thursday in the Comets’ dis-trict semi-final game at home on June 1. Coloma lost 4-0, dashing their title hopes and ending their season. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

It was a close game as both squads played strong defense.   Saugatuck drew first blood, and the first half ended with their 1-0 lead over the Indians.

The lone Hartford goal was kicked by Marissa Beraza who evened the score to 1-1. However, the sole Indian score wasn’t enough to squelch Saugatuck. They booted a goal in the second half for the win.

Hartford ended their season, while Saugatuck went on to play Holland Black River in the district finals. Saugatuck suffered a 7-0 shutout and ended their season as well.

Hartford baseball splits with Decatur to end regular season play

The Indians of Hartford finished out their regular season of play on the diamond with two road games in Decatur on Tuesday, May 30.

In the early contest, Hartford trailed 4-1 after the first inning. The Indians were held scoreless through innings two through four before they were able to plate one run in the fifth.

While the Indians struggled in the early innings to muster offense, Decatur had no problems. They scored an additional run in the second inning, two in the third, and one in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead.

The Raiders added three more runs in the sixth and won 11-3.

The second game showcased Hartford’s batting as they scored nine runs to nab the nightcap win.

The Indians scored two runs in the first inning, but Decatur tied it up in the second.

Hartford responded by scoring one run in the third and two in the fifth. Decatur answered once more with three runs in the fifth to take the game to a 5-5 tie.

The sixth inning was all Indians; the pride of Hartford scored four runs to seal the victory.

Pitching for Hartford were Luke Manning and Garrod Johnson. The duo allowed five runs on six hits.

Hartford relied on Garrod Johnson at the plate; he had four hits and drove in two runs.  Elijah Rodarte scored a run and was two for two.

Indians end regular season with three wins

 Hartford ended their regular season of softball by sealing up three victories over Decatur and Lawton.

Tuesday, May 30, the Indians welcomed the Decatur Raiders and won 10-9.

Decatur led 7-3 after the second inning. Hartford scored two runs in the third to make it 7-5.

GOT IT THE GLOVE… Madi-son Birmele makes a play Sat-urday during the Indians district semi-final game against Bangor. Hartford routed the Vikings 12-3 and earned a spot in the dis-trict championship game oppo-site Coloma. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Both teams scored in the fourth inning; Hartford added three runs while Decatur put up one. At the end of four, the game was tied at eight.

Decatur grabbed the lead again with one run in the fifth inning, but Hartford put the game away with a two-run sixth inning.

Hartford’s 10 runs came off 19 hits. Amara Wesaw hit three doubles and one single.

Megan Nelson pitched for the Indians and got the win. She allowed 16 hits and struck out five batters.

On Thursday, June 1, Hartford welcomed Lawton and took both cards of the doubleheader.

Hartford and Lawton battled back and forth in the early contest. The Indians scored two runs in the first, four in the fourth, and two in the sixth before clinching the win.

Hartford’s nine runs came off 13 hits.

Nelson notched another win from the rubber. She allowed eight runs on 10 hits and struck out five.

The nightcap saw Hartford outhit Lawton 17-7, as the Indians scored the 15-4 victory. Hartford led the entire game and was helped by four hits from Nelson, including three singles and a double.  Regan Sinclair hit a double, and Amara Wesaw smacked a triple.

Wesaw got the win on the mound. She struck out five and allowed four runs on seven hits.

Coloma offers free youth girls’ basketball camp

 Coaches from Coloma Junior High School are offering a free four-day basketball camp next week.

The camp will take place at the CHS gym Monday, June 12 through Thursday, June 15. Young ladies in third grade through eighth grade are encouraged to attend the event to learn basic basketball skills.

Participants who are in third through fifth grade will run drills including passing, shooting, dribbling, and footwork.

Hoopsters in grades sixth through eight will also learn offensive and defensive plays that will aid them in trying out for JV teams during the upcoming school year.

The workouts begin at 8:30 a.m. and run until 10:00 a.m. for the younger bunch and 10:00 a.m. until noon for the older squad.

If you have questions, give coach Michael Cade a call at (269) 202-4445 or email him at coachcade@comcast.net.

Ladies Monday Night Happy Hour Golf League

 Monday, June 5 golf report from the Paw Paw Lake Golf Club:

Weekly Event Winner – Longest Drive, Hole 3, Cheryl Hutchins; Low Gross – Ursela Bansen with 51; Low Net – Ursela Bansen with 29; Low putts – Ursela Bansen with 13; Pars – Colleen McKeown #9, Sandy Johnson #1, Ursela Bansen #6 and Cheryl Hutchins #1, #5 and #6.

Jimmie Johnson makes magic at Dover

 Jimmie Johnson proved you don’t have to have the best race car, lead the most laps, or start from the pole position to win a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. You just have to be the best driver.

The seven-time Cup champion grabbed the checkered flag in Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway despite starting the race from last place.

Johnson had qualified to start in 14th place but unauthorized work completed on his car before the race knocked him squarely to the back.

With his third win of the season and 83rd of his career under his belt, he now is tied with Cale Yarborough on the All-Time wins list. You could say Johnson is keeping pretty good company these days.

The driver of the #48 car led only seven laps Sunday and it took six overtime laps before the race was complete.

Kyle Larson, who continues to chase a second first place finish, took second. He led 241 of the race’s 406 laps.

Since Larson became a driver on the Cup series full time in 2014, he has improved with age. This year, he has one win and has finished in the number two spot five times in 13 races.

Crossing the finish line in third place was Martin Truex Jr. He led 102 laps after beginning the race in the front row.

Ryan Newman drove to a fourth place finish. This race marked the second time this year the driver has finished in the top five, after having won in March.

Chase Elliott started 16th and drove his way into fifth place.  He notched his fourth top five finish of the 2017 season.

Fourteen drivers finished Sunday’s event on the lead lap. Other drivers who led laps but did not finish in the top five included: Jamie McMurray (2), Ty Dillon (27), Michael McDowell (4), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (3), and pole sitter Kyle Busch (19).

It’s off to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania for Sunday’s Axalta Presents the Pocono 400.  Kurt Busch won the 2016 June go ‘round at Pocono, which had to be moved to Monday due to a downpour. Busch has only one top five finish this season, which happens to be his only win. He will be looking to add another trophy to the mantle. But, Larson is due for a win. Who will be the final contender in the mountains of PA?


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