06-29-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Sonoma is sweet for Harvick

 Deep in California country, Kevin Harvick won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 road race on Sunday.  In the 16th race of the 2017 season, Harvick claimed his first victory of the year and 36th career win.

Harvick led 24 of the race’s 110 laps and earned his sixth top five of the season. Harvick has started the race from the pole position three times this year, but started Sunday’s event from 12th place.

Clint Bowyer captured his third top five finish of the season after coming in second. Bowyer hasn’t won a NASCAR Cup race since 2012, so finishing second had to be sweet for the runner-up driver.

Brad Keselowski finished third. He led 17 laps and earned his ninth top five finish this year. Keselowski has two wins this season.

Denny Hamlin led 11 laps and drove across the finish line in fourth place. He tallied his fourth top five finish.

Kyle Busch led three laps en route to his sixth top five finish. He rounded out the top five in fifth place. Busch is winless this year, so far.

Twenty-three drivers finished on the lead lap.  Drivers who led the racers around the track included: Martin Truex Jr. (25), Jimmie Johnson (12), Jamie McMurray (1), Chris Buescher (4), AJ Allmendinger (4), and last week’s winner and this week’s pole sitter Kyle Larson (9).

Larson remains atop the leaderboard of the driver standings. He is just 13 points ahead of Truex Jr. and 111 points in front of winner Harvick. Busch is 117 points behind Larson, and Keselowski trails by 140 points.

Race cars, pit crews, and drivers have driven cross country and will take part in Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski won last July’s event, while Kurt Busch took the track title in February of this year. It’s anybody’s ball game this weekend, as the drivers leave zero behind and gun their cars toward the finish line.

Indian Pride Park hosts All-Star softball action

 Indian Pride Park in Hartford played host to the 2017 All-Star Softball Invitational Friday, June 23 through Wednesday, June 28. The tourney offered plenty of dirt on the diamonds as squads in four divisions, including 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U, took the field.

CATCHING A GOOD GAME… Watervliet’s Kristin Gardiner picks up a bunted ball and throws to first base in the first inning of the team’s game against Bloomingdale at Hart-ford’s Indian Pride Park. Gar-diner made the out at one. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


In 8U competition, Watervliet was joined by teams from Bloomingdale, Paw Paw, Gobles, and South Haven. In first round action, Watervliet trounced Bloomingdale 12-3. The little Panthers then faced South Haven and lost 13-12 in a hard fought battle. On the brink of elimination, Watervliet bested Bloomingdale for a second time, 16-8. The Panthers played for the championship Monday night against South Haven.

Hartford hit the field in the 10U division with six other teams. Squads from Bloomingdale, Decatur, Dowagiac, Gobles, Paw Paw and South Haven took part in tournament action. Hartford gobbled up Gobles 13-5 and downed Dowagiac 14-4. The mighty Indians then slammed South Haven 13-5 to take an undefeated 3-0 record into the championship game that was played Tuesday.

Five teams faced off in 12U softball. Hartford was joined by teams from South Haven, Paw Paw, Dowagiac, and Bloomingdale. Games opened Friday night with Hartford streaking past South Haven 16-4. On Saturday, the Indians destroyed Dowagiac 18-2. Sunday’s contest featured Hartford taking on Paw Paw and pummeling the Redskins 11-4. With a perfect 3-0 record in hand, the Indians headed to the championship game against Paw Paw Tuesday.

All three local teams participated in 14U competition. Saturday’s matchups included Hartford versus Gobles and Coloma taking on Watervliet. Hartford won 10-5 and Coloma was victorious 16-1.

In Hartford’s second game of the day, the Indians beat Bloomingdale by a 14-0 shutout. On Sunday, Buchanan crushed Coloma 17-9, and Watervliet bested Bloomingdale 16-4. Coloma creamed Gobles 14-0 in their second outing of the day.

Watervliet exited tournament play in the double elimination format after they lost 5-3 to Gobles. Coloma continued their quest for a championship by besting Bloomingdale 18-3. Action continued Monday and Tuesday before a champion in the division was crowned on Wednesday.

RUN FOR HOME… Hartford’s Ginny Sewell scampers from third base on her way home in the second inning of play against Paw Paw during Hartford’s All-Star tournament. Sewell, a player on the 12U squad, stroked a single to get on base. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Results of all championship games will be available in next week’s Tri-City Record.

Coloma’s Naomi Cottrell earns First Team All-Conference honors

 Naomi Cottrell earned First Team All-Conference honors in her senior year of playing tennis for the Coloma Comets on the varsity squad.  Cottrell was the lone area tennis player to make the Southwestern Athletic Conference First Team list. Hartford and Watervliet do not field tennis teams.

Honorable Mention nods were also given to Coloma athletes Grace Hester and Sam Fischer. Hester and Fischer joined forces and competed in doubles action.

All-Conference soccer awards handed out to area players

 The Southwestern Athletic Conference handed out First Team and Honorable Mention All-Conference awards for spring girls’ soccer.

LOPEZ AWARDED FIRST TEAM HONORS… Abigail Lopez of Hartford’s girls’ varsity soccer team received First Team All-Conference honors in the Southwestern Athletic Con-ference.


Watervliet’s Vicki Smith, Hartford’s Abigail Lopez, and Coloma’s Alyssa Bahr received First Team awards.

SAC Conference Champions for 2016-2017

Several area teams notched conference titles for the 2016-2017 athletic school year. For fall sports, Coloma earned the Lakeshore Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference title in volleyball.  Hartford was the SAC boys’ soccer champion.

In the winter, Watervliet girls’ basketball team was the SAC – Lakeshore Division champion. The Comet wrestling team earned a share of the SAC – Lakeshore Division title with Bangor and Gobles.

SMITH IS FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE… Vicky Smith of Watervliet’s girls’ varsity soccer team was named First Team All-Conference in the sport in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.


Spring sports championships were earned by the Coloma baseball team. They co-shared the SAC – Lakeshore Division title with Saugatuck. Watervliet baseball won the District Championship. Coloma won the SAC – Lakeshore Division, district champion, and regional champion titles in softball.

Scholar Athletes named by the SAC

 The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced their senior Scholar-Athlete award winners for the 2016-2017 school year.

Making the grade from Coloma is: Alyssa Bahr, Cassidy Fickett, Patrick Guntz, Grant Kroschel, Jacoby Kroschel, Nicolle Larson, Greg Olsen, Sam Tavolacci, and Jenna Walter.

Hartford’s Scholar Athletes include: Hunter Ackerman, Mariel Hallgren, Olivia Kling, Amber Martin, Brittney Smith, and Amara Wesaw.

Scholar Athletes from Watervliet include: Tyler Brant, Kaylee Chapin, Mercede Daugherty, Bailey Evans, Devon Flowers, Casie Gohr, Jobe Kerr, Ryan Lefor, Maggie Lynch, Logan Mizwicki, Karli McClendon, Cam Rendo, Brent Simmons, and Brad Yazel.

Congratulations, student athletes on the high honor you achieved both on the field and off.

Hartford Council for Recreation has busy summer

 The Hartford Council for Recreation is in the midst of a very busy summer season. The council just wrapped up another successful All-Star softball tourney, which was held Friday, June 23 through Wednesday, June 28.

COLOMA 10U IS NUMBER ONE… Coloma’s 10U girls’ All Star team won the Coloma Baseball/Softball Youth Association’s tournament on June 18.


Next up on their docket is the Hartford All-Star Tournament of Champions. The tourney will be hosted at Indian Pride Park, located at 130 Lincoln Street in Hartford. Baseball teams will hit the field Friday, July 7 through Wednesday, July 12.

One important traffic advisory should be noted for fans from Watervliet and Coloma traveling to Hartford. Red Arrow Highway will be closed at County Line Road. Traffic will be re-routed.

The Council has also announced sign-up dates for rocket and flag football as well as cheerleading. The first sign-up date was held Wednesday, June 28.

If you missed that opportunity, don’t despair. Stop by the park on Wednesday, July 12 between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to get your child or children registered. The cost to play rocket football is $85 for one child or $75 each for two or more children.  To play flag football, the fee is $35 for each child. The sign-up fee for cheerleading is $45 for one child or $40 each for two or more children.

Scholarship programs are available through the Council. Please check with them for additional information.

Last chance to sign up for Saturday’s Bednarowski Cherry 5K

 This is your final chance to get signed up for Saturday’s running of the Gene Bednarowski Cherry 5K. The 5K walk and run will start at North Elementary School, located at 287 Baldwin Avenue in Watervliet and is part of the city’s annual Independence Day weekend festival.

According to race organizer Tim Lynch, the 5K is held in memory of Gene Bednarowski, a former Watervliet resident, teacher, coach, and mentor. Proceeds from the walk and run benefit a scholarship in his name at Watervliet High School.

The race will be held Saturday, July 1 with final registration open at 6:45 a.m., while racers leaving the start line at 8:00 a.m.  The cost to register on race day will be $25.

First place trophies will be awarded to the top male and female finisher in the 5K walk and 5K run. Medals will be awarded to the top three 5K run finishers in each age group and top five overall finishers in the walk.

The race is part of the Michigan Fruit Belt Series.  The series promotes Michigan’s fruit industry, healthy eating habits, and the benefits of exercise. Watervliet’s 5K is one of 10 events slated this year in the series. If a participant completes five races with a time, they are eligible to receive a special coin. Events take place in Traverse City, Coloma, South Haven, Lawrence, Paw Paw, Benton Harbor, and Bangor. Hartford’s Strawberry Walk/Run was the first contest of the season and was held on June 10.

Watervliet’s Chisek and Matthews and Coloma’s Kelley playing Legion ball for Stevensville

Ryan Chisek and Garrett Matthews, Watervliet Panther baseball players, and Coloma baller Mathew Kelley have teamed up this summer with American Legion Post 568 in Stevensville. The trio will be playing on the Legion’s baseball team.

The team’s home games are typically played at Riverview Park in St. Joseph, and the squad just finished a five-game round robin tournament last weekend. They also faced Michigan City Tuesday at home.

6th annual Trent McKinney Memorial Watervliet Wrestling Golf Outing

Registrations are being accepted for the Trent McKinney Memorial Watervliet Wrestling Golf Outing to be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 starting at 12 noon. This annual event is taking place at Pipestone Creek Golf Course, 6768 Naomi Road in Eau Claire.

The cost of this 4-man scramble is $65 per person and includes cart and a steak dinner. In addition there are prize drawing, a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Please register by August 4. Contact Travis McKinney at 269-308-1177 or travisc.mckinney@gmail.com, or Nicole McKinney at 269-308-1176 or niki.mckinney@gmail.com.

It is the goal of the friends and family of Trent to keep this program going, as well as to support the sport that meant so much to Trent.

To sponsor a hole for $25 or donate any items for the prize drawings and silent auction, please contact Nicole McKinney, Watervliet wrestling coach Joe Isbrecht, Dan Isbrecht or one of the wrestlers.

Proceeds from the outing are used to help support the Watervliet wrestling programs and the Trent McKinney Memorial Scholarship.

McKinney graduated from Watervliet High School in 1986. He was a state qualifier in wrestling, and participated in National Honor Society and Student Council.

McKinney lost his battle with cancer on July 3, 2011.

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