06-27-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

NANCY MCKIE… AYSO U6 Sportsmanship Award for Spring 2019 presented on June 8. Coach Gonzalez commented that Nancy always came with a bright attitude and winning personality and that she was at every soccer game and practice giving her all.

LUKE PARIS… AYSO U6 Sportsmanship Award for Spring 2019 presented on June 8. Coach Cowgill commented that Luke is an outstanding kiddo and he came will-ing to learn at every soccer game and practice, willing to go the extra mile for his team.

ALIYAH GALVAN… AYSO U6 Sportsmanship Award for Spring 2019 presented on June 8. Coach Rowe commented that Aliyah always came with a smile and willingness to learn soccer. She was eager to help her team in anyway asked and she came to every game and practice with an eager spirit.

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Zach Goodline caps fantastic high

school athletic career by winning top honor

On Friday, June 19 Coloma Comet graduate Zach Goodline capped his fantastic high school athletic career by being named this year’s top male athlete in Southwest Michigan by the Herald-Palladium newspaper. Zach had outstanding seasons in both football and his number one sport basketball in the 2018-19 school year.

Goodline is only the second male athlete competing for the Comets to earn this honor, which was first awarded in 1950. The first Comet to earn this award was Joel Carlson, who won the award following the 1968 school year. Joel was a three sport star for Coloma, standing out in football, basketball, and track.

Zach has earned seven varsity letters in his Comet career, as a 3-year starter in football, and 4-year starter in basketball. During the football season Goodline led the Comets to their first playoff appearance in 10 years. He almost willed them into the playoffs by winning their final two games, which they needed to, to get in. The Comet senior quarterback had more than 1,000 yards both rushing and passing, which put him over the 4,000 career yard mark. He accounted for 52 touchdowns from his quarterback position in his career.

During his senior basketball season, Zach was even more impressive. He started as a freshman for the Comets, and led the program to a couple of their best won loss records in Coloma history. The Comets were 19-3 in Zach’s junior year, and 16-6 in his senior season. One of the best attributes of any top athlete is that they will leave a program better than when they arrived. With Zach, this is very much the case.

Zach is a totally unselfish player on both the football field and basketball court, and is always looking to do what is best for his team. He is always leading his teammates to being better themselves.

Goodline’s name will be etched into the Michigan basketball record books many times. He finished his career on the hardwood with 2,204 total points, which is 14th on the all time scoring list in the state. It also makes him second in southwest Michigan history, and again, he could have finished much higher had he not been so unselfish. He was always looking to get his team involved.

According to Zach, one of the highlights of his career was being able to play his senior season with his younger brother Drew as his teammate. Drew, a good athlete in his own right, made the jump to varsity as a sophomore, and had a great start to his varsity career. Drew had a season high of 30 points in one game, which was assisted by Zach on many of the threes he made that night.

Zach will be continuing his basketball career as a preferred walk on, at Oakland University, where he will be competing at the division 1 College level. It will be a great challenge for Zach, but one he greatly looks forward to. He says that competing at the top collegiate level has been a dream of his for a long time. While at Oakland, Zach will be studying journalism and marketing.

Hard work and belief in himself are two of Zach’s greatest attributes, and should serve him well as he takes on the collegiate elite. Congratulations Zach, it’s a very good bet Joel Carlson is proud of you as well, all of the Coloma Comet faithful certainly are.

More All State honors for Coloma Comet girls

Another name was added to those girls winning all state honors for the Coloma Comet girls for this spring sport season. Cali Grenon has earned all state honorable mention, in division 3 in soccer. Cali helped lead the Comet girls soccer team to their best record ever, and their first ever division 3 district title.

Coloma boys 8U all star team wins Berrien Springs tournament

The Coloma boys 8U all star team won the Berrien Springs tournament the hard way, losing their first game to North Lincoln, and then coming back to win five straight games to win the title. The resilient Coloma boys followed a 16-2 opening game loss, by coming back to defeat Eau Claire 13-3, Berrien Springs 11-0, and Lakeshore #1 10-6. Then they faced North Lincoln again and things were much different this time around. They didn’t let that first game bother them at all, and defeated the NL all stars 8-3 and moved on to the championship game to face the Lakeshore #2 team.

The Coloma stars came out swinging the bats early and jumped on Lakeshore, and led 13-5 going to Lakeshore’s final at bat. With the help of some outstanding defensive plays they held their opponent to two more runs to come away with a 13-7 victory. It is the second year in a row the Coloma 8U has won this all star tournament.

The Coloma all stars making up this team are Aiden Shoeneich, Bryce Cartwright, Brody Winnell, Eli Veal, Bryce Harris, Lane Ulleg, Gunnar Yahr, Johnny Dahlquist, Jayden Hampton, Matthew Hejduk, Parker Duffield, and Kollen Norden. The bat boy is Robert Brooks. The team is managed by John Dahlquist, and coached by Gordie Cartwright and Cody Kelley.

The Coloma 10U all star team also won the championship in Berrien Springs but the details were not available.

The Coloma All Stars next competition will come this weekend at Eaton Park’s annual all star tournament, followed next week at Lakeshore.

Press Box Player of the Week

By John Oliphant

Our Press Box Player of the Week is Watervliet High School’s Sabrina Klimkiewicz.

Sabrina was the leadoff hitter and centerfielder on the Panther softball team and was recently named to the 2019 All-Region team. She was also named First Team All-Conference and a member of the All-District team. She finished the 2019 season batting .356 with 48 total hits and had a .929 fielding percentage.

Sabrina played every inning of the 38 games played this season, leading her team with 149 plate appearances.

Every Panther game started the same way: Sabrina getting a fist-bump from coach Tom Golden who told her “You got this” and just about half the time she ended reaching a base. She said the best part of the season was having fun with her teammates, and that this season was the best one by far as the young team figured out their roles and positions.

Sabrina, who began playing softball at age 5, will continue her playing days at Kalamazoo Valley Community College next season, where she will study agribusiness.

Sabrina also played on the basketball team, and plans to spend her summer barrel racing with her horse before college softball workouts begin in August.

Congratulations, Sabrina!

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

What a beautiful weekend it was in the Tri-City area! The picture-perfect weather allowed 23 youth softball teams representing 10 different communities the opportunity to participate in the 2019 Hartford All-Star Softball Invitational. The action was fierce on the diamonds all day long on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – one champion was crowned, and three more were yet to be decided. One thing was made clear – these young ladies can play ball! Are you ready to hear how the tournament fared, and especially how the Hartford “young ladies” did this past weekend? Without further ado, it’s time to open the door to the Press Box and jump right into the highlights of all things Green and White!

Hartford All-Star Softball Invitational rides positive wave to success!

This past weekend, the community of Hartford and its Recreation Council was honored to host the 2019 Hartford All-Star Softball Invitational. This tournament has received numerous positive, rave reviews throughout its storied history, because of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of so many to make the tournament a success. This year, one of the largest fields in recent memory made the visit to Indian Pride Park, with 23 teams making the trek to Hartford.

One championship has already been decided, and it belongs to Paw Paw, as their ladies defeated Hartford, 6-2, to secure the 14U Live Pitch Division.

Three teams made up the 14U Live Pitch Division field, so three games were held this past Saturday to determine the seeding for Sunday’s single elimination bracket. In the round robin games, Hartford defeated Paw Paw, 10-9, Paw Paw defeated Gobles, 16-4 and Hartford defeated Gobles, 11-3.

This meant that Hartford received the #1 seed and a birth in the championship game. In the battle between the #2 seed, Paw Paw and #3 seed, Gobles, Paw Paw defeated Gobles handily, 14-0, to earn their place in the finals.

Earning the Gold Glove award for Most Valuable Player in the division was Paw Paw pitcher, Leah Wilder, while the Hartford team was given the Best Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the umpires.

The finals have been set in the 8U Machine Pitch Division, as it will be Hartford taking on South Haven to see who will reign as champions. The game was originally set for Monday, June 24, but weather wrecked havoc, and the game would end up being delayed at least one day.

Hartford reached the finals by going 3-0 over the course of the weekend. They began with a 17-8 victory over Watervliet on Friday night, securing their place on the next line in the winner’s bracket. On Saturday, they would play Decatur, who received a “first-round bye” and would take home a 13-2 victory. They finished the weekend off in style on Sunday, taking on Paw Paw, who was the only remaining team in the winner’s bracket. Hartford handled them, 8-3, securing their spot in the championship series.

The finals have also been set in the 10U Machine Pitch Division, as it will be South Haven taking on Coloma for supremacy in that division. The championship series was also set to be played on Monday, June 24, but also had to be scratched because of bad weather and moved back at least one day.

As for the home team, Hartford finished the tournament with a 2-2 record. They played two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. In their first game of the tournament, they came up against a tough River Valley club, and suffered a defeat by mercy rule, 17-7. That loss sent them to the loser’s bracket, where they would match up with Gobles. In that game, the ladies would go on to win by mercy rule, 15-5.

On Sunday, Hartford began their day by playing their “rivals”, the team from Watervliet. Hartford came out swinging the bat, sending Watervliet home by a score of 19-6. Unfortunately, the Hartford ladies’ stay in the tournament only lasted one more game, as they would be knocked out by Coloma in the next round by a score of 17-2.

One finalist, Decatur, has been guaranteed a spot in the 12U Live Pitch Division final by way of starting the tournament with a 3-0 record. However, the other finalist has not yet been decided. As of press time, Coloma, Hartford and River Valley each have an opportunity to join them in the final.

Games were set to be played on Monday, June 24 and the final series on Tuesday, June 25, but have also been pushed back by weather.

As of press time, Hartford has posted a record of 2-1 in the tournament. They began with a game on Friday night against River Valley and won by mercy rule, topping them by a 15-5 score. That kept them in the winner’s bracket, and led to a date with South Haven, who received a “bye”, in the next round. Hartford cruised to a dominating 17-0 victory in their second game, leaving them unbeaten on the weekend.

Their final game to date was on Sunday against the other unbeaten team left in the winner’s bracket, Decatur. A tough pitcher and a hot lineup led to a Hartford defeat by a 12-4 score, putting them in the loser’s bracket, yet only one win from the championship series.

Watch for final results next week. As always, GO GREEN!

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Panther Football workout schedule

Coach Josh Tremblay has announced the schedule for summer workouts and the weightlifting program. The program was created in cooperation with the wrestling program, and prospective athletes from either sport are encouraged to attend. The workouts are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Students can attend sessions at either 8 a.m. or at 6 p.m. Fridays are also available as a bonus or makeup day at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.

Rumor has it that Coach Tremblay plans to make adjustments to the offensive scheme as well as the defensive approach this year in order to match up with the size, skills, and experience of the players he’ll have this fall. Their season opens with a JV/varsity doubleheader at Lawton on August 29.

Lady Panthers summer basketball

Coach Ken Dietz finishes up his Summer of Competition schedule. The program was well-attended, with as many as 21 high school and middle school athletes participating in the two-week program. The activities included lots of skill development, workouts and scrimmages against other nearby schools.

Coach Dietz said he’s impressed with the level of commitment from the players and the amount of work they put into the program. He also wants to thank the parents who made sure their girls took advantage of their exceptional program. It looks like the Panther’s long history of strong girls basketball teams will continue!

Baseball and Softball All-Star Teams in action this week

Most of the Watervliet All-Star teams are playing in tournaments this weekend. The girls’ 8U, 10U, and 12U teams are all playing at Berrien Springs. The 8U team kicked off on Wednesday, June 26, and plays again Thursday, June 27 at 5:30. Bracket play for all the teams begins on Saturday.

The 10U team played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the 12U team played two games on Wednesday then again today at 7:00 p.m.

On the boys’ side, the 12U team played at Berrien Springs last weekend. They beat Lakeshore #1 and lost to Buchanan in pool play, then beat Coloma 8-4, beat Buchanan again 8-2, then lost to Lakeshore #3 10-0. Playing for a third-place trophy, they beat host Berrien Springs.

The boys’ 8U team plays this weekend at North Lincoln, and the 10U team plays close to home in Hartofrd.

VAN LENTE HONORED… All Dis-trict, All-Conference Honorable Mention, and team MVP awards were bestowed upon Watervliet junior Susanna Van Lente for her dedication and talent on the Lady Panther varsity soccer field.

AMAZING EMMA… Emma Krak-lau, a senior member of the Water-vliet varsity soccer team was named Honorable Mention All-Conference in the SAC, received All District honors, Academic All-State honors, and was a captain on this year’s squad.

STRONG ARMSTRONG… Emma Armstrong, a senior on and captain of the Watervliet varsity soccer team, earned plenty of honors at this year’s banquet. She received the team’s Iron Man award, was named First Team All-Conference in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, earned All District honors, and achieved Academic All State recog-nition.

SENIOR SUCCESS! Watervliet se-nior Trinity Crain was recently hon-ored for her work on the soccer field. She received All District honors, was selected as an Honorable Mention award winner in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, earned Academic All-State, and was a varsity team captain on the Panther squad.