The high school football season opened last week to cheers all around. Watervliet welcomed the Indians of Hartford to town for their home opener and, frankly, wiped the field with the Indians. In what would turn out to be a heavy indicator of the final result, Watervliet scored 50 unanswered points in the first quarter alone on their way to an 86-0 decisive victory over the Indians. With senior Cam Rendo leading the Panther charge, it was all Watervliet all game long. In addition to the 50 points put on the scoreboard in the first quarter, the team added 22 points in the second, giving Watervliet a healthy – and unreachable – 72-0 edge at the half. Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter, before Watervliet tacked on two more TDs in the fourth. Watervliet seemed to fire on all cylinders, while Hartford seemed out gunned from the get-go. “We knew going into the game it was going to be tough. We played almost as many freshman and sophomores as we did juniors and seniors,” first-year Hartford varsity head coach Ben Kain stated. “Only having four people even get to see a varsity game field prior to Friday didn’t help. We have a long way to go and despite the dark times, we have a bright future,” he continued.
RENDO RIPS THROUGH THE HARTFORD D-LINE… Watervliet quarterback Cam Rendo led the Panthers to an 86-0 season opener at home on Friday. Rendo, a senior, completed 14 of 18 passes for 240 yards and earned a QB rating of 158.6%.
“Our youthfulness hurt us. We had a lot of wide-eyed players on Friday. Time also hurt us with such a young team; we need more time to develop them. This fall camp we spent over 100 hours with kids teaching them, but still didn’t get it done.” The big story on the evening, besides the blow-out first quarter, was Watervliet varsity head coach Jeremy Andrews’s new kicking philosophy – or lack of kicking philosophy might be more accurate. In a move he has been considering “for years” the team will, “no longer punt on fourth down,” he commented. Instead, the Panthers will onside kick every time and will also attempt a two-point conversion after each touchdown scored. “There have been studies done and the data shows these things are in your favor to do, especially with an offense like ours that is generally pretty potent. Our coaches and players are all in. I realize there may be some fan push back, but it has been a carefully considered decision and one I hope will help us get our program to the next level,” Andrews explained. Friday’s game against rival Hartford was Andrews’s first opportunity to test the new coaching shift and it worked with resounding success. The team scored 12 touchdowns and nailed the two-point conversion seven times for 14 points. And as for the criticism that Watervliet ran the score up, Andrews said, “We scored 50 in the first [quarter] which included a punt return and two unforced Hartford turnovers deep in their territory which led to quick scores. We did not onside kick after the first quarter and ran the play clock all the way down each play after that.” Andrews was also quick to point out that the team’s victory was attributable to each Panther who played. “We have nine new starters on both sides of the ball. I’ll give our guys a lot of credit for attention to detail in our prep and being ready to play from the opening kickoff.” Rendo marked his stellar season debut by completing 14 of 18 passes for 240 yards. He threw for five touchdowns. He also carried the ball 11 times for 94 yards and two TDs. “Cameron played almost flawlessly,” Andrews stated. Rendo “made the right reads, threw the ball well, ran the ball well, and led our offense just like we need him to be successful.” Watervliet junior Zackery Pickens rushed for 153 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Pickens also lined up behind center. He attempted two passes with zero completions. Carlos Hernandez, a senior, scored one rushing TD for the Panthers. Bryant Kieft’s two carries for 22 yards also netted one Watervliet TD. Rendo was generous throwing the ball around. His 14 passes were grabbed by nine different Panther receivers. Senior Tyler Brant caught three receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Devon Flowers caught two passes for 36 yards and one touchdown. Junior Lamarrius Smith scored one touchdown; he caught two passes for 21 yards. Pickens also netted 63 yards on two catches, including one for a TD. Hernandez caught one pass for 21 yards, while junior Tate Halamka’s one reception moved the ball seven yards. Junior Trent Boone had one reception for six yards, and junior Ryan Chisek scooted three yards on his one reception. Defensively, Watervliet was led by Chisek, Brant, and junior Bryant Kieft; all three notched three tackles. Kieft also tallied one sack. Smith and junior Sheldon Tobar accounted for two tackles each. Junior Anthony recovered a fumble and had a tackle for Watervliet. The Panther defense held Hartford to -20 yards rushing. And, in what will certainly make his highlight reel, Watervliet’s Trent Boone, a junior, ran the distance – 100 yards – on a Hartford interception late in the game. While Watervliet was racking up points, Hartford tried to combat the tidal wave of scoring. According to Kain, “Our adjustments worked offensively. We just struggled to catch the ball and win the line of scrimmage.” Kain had strong words regarding the game’s outcome. “The onside kicking most of the night even though they had a big lead,” surprised him the most. “I felt it showed poor sportsmanship on their part.” The upside, however, is Kain feels his players will be ready for action on Thursday. “I think the Watervliet game will help us tremendously because it showed our guys what it is really like to be on the varsity stage. The only place we can go is up from here.” For the Indians, Randy Ramirez had a team-high 10 tackles and one sack. Berto Ibarra contributed seven tackles. Watervliet will welcome Schoolcraft and Hartford will host Delton-Kellogg this Thursday.
MEET KIM BALLARD… a couple of weeks ago Kim took her first archery lesson with Julie Holtsclaw at the Watervliet Rod and Gun Club. Julie says Kim is a natural! Julie is a nationally certified basic archery instructor and has also been instructing with the Berrien County 4-H for over 15 years. She is taking appoint-ments for private lessons with a small donation fee asked for adults, kids are always free. Ju-lie has a new partner joining her to help with group lessons, Jim Trueblood, he has a level 2 na-tional archery certificate to teach and had taught for several years in Florida. Sundays, September 11 and 25, and October 9 and 23 at 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. will be lessons for kids and adults. Kids are free; and adults, $5 donation per class asked to help fund the equipment repair fund. Seats are limited for these classes, please inquirer by calling or texting Julie Holtsclaw at 269-277-2233.
Coloma crippled on the gridiron by strong Schoolcraft
Coloma varsity football head coach Joe Stephens knew Thursday’s game against Schoolcraft was not going to be a cakewalk. After all, Schoolcraft posted a 9-1 season last year and topped the Comets 41-7 in the 2015 season opener. Coloma’s energy was high but expectations low as they took their opponents’ field. Schoolcraft did not deviate from their winning ways; they tamed the Coloma offense en route to a 48-7 victory. Early on, it appeared Coloma could hang with Schoolcraft. The Eagles fired the first scoring shot, a 20-yard pass for a TD. Schoolcraft took the lead 7-0. Coloma answered with a blistering quick 72-yard run by Caleb McDaniel. After Derek Plitt kicked the successful point after attempt, the score stood tied at seven apiece. Unfortunately for the Comets, Schoolcraft bounced right back. The Eagles scored two rushing touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Schoolcraft split their two TDs between a reception and rush, taking the score to 35-7 at the half. Schoolcraft scored six points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth to take the 48-7 victory. McDaniel ran for a total of 107 yards, including the touchdown, on eight carries. Jamane Smith carried the ball eight times for 55 yards. On defense, Trystan Skaggs led the Comets with eight tackles. Coloma’s home opener is Thursday, September 1. They will take the field against Gobles who topped Delton-Kellogg last week 14-13 in overtime.
Watervliet Boys Cross Country wins Bridgman Invitational; Hartford’s Loera medals
The always popular Bridgman Invitational was held Wednesday, August 24 at Lake Township Park in Bridgman. Participating teams included Bridgman, Eau Claire, Lawrence, Hartford, Watervliet, Lawton, Bloomingdale, Three Oaks-River Valley, Bangor, Buchanan, Cassopolis, Gobles, New Buffalo, and LMC. In the boys division, Watervliet claimed first place with a total of 53 points. The Panthers were led by Jobe Kerr, the second-place overall finisher with a time of 17:52.3. Gus Hinch, a freshman, finished 12th (20:48.4). He was followed by Klayton Marshall in 23rd place overall (20:55.7). Nick Swanson crossed the finish line in 37th place (21:22.0), and Brent Simmons took 53rd (21:30.3). Alex Isbrecht’s time of 21:50.7 was good for 73rd place, and Austin Roberts took 100th (22:46.5). Hartford’s Francisco Loera medaled for the Indians. He placed 22nd overall with a time of 21:24.5. Hartford coach Spencer Carr’s cross country squad returns four athletes this year, having graduated two runners. According to Carr, “We are pretty young with six underclassmen athletes. We are also inexperienced with five to six guys who have never run before. “I will be leaning on my seniors Tristan Hanners and Ricky Austin to help lead the way. Those two, along with the other two returning runners, sophomores Francisco Loera and James Lucero, will be the core of the team.” Carr’s main focus will be training proper running technique as well as how to race properly. Once those two items are tackled, he said, “I think we are going to see some big improvements.” Carr is also looking forward to seeing what the newcomers can contribute to the team. “Freshman Blair McMeekin has shown some promise early in the season and will have a big impact on the varsity.” Carr’s goal is to finish in the top half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference this season. “If we can do that,” he stated, “and have everyone improve constantly throughout the year, I will consider it a successful season.”
Hartford and Watervliet girls take on Bridgman Invitational
The ladies varsity cross country teams at Hartford and Watervliet traveled to the Bridgman Invitational on Wednesday, August 24. Both squads tied with 207 points for eighth place. Watervliet’s Bailey Evans was the team’s top placer. She finished 21st overall with a time of 26:12.1. Teammate Jade Miller finished 24th (26:27.2). Alyssa Hobson’s time of 31:30.3 landed her in 94th place. For Hartford, junior Angela Saldana was the team’s only medalist. She finished 23rd with a time of 26:17.8. Maria Guitierrez, a freshman, finished 64th (29:38.6). Lawton won first place at the invitational with 25 points.
Hartford Soccer starts off season with two wins
NICK OF TIME….Nick Pultz, a freshman on Hartford’s varsity soccer team, maneuvers past a South Haven player Wednes-day during the team’s season opener. Hartford won the contest 5-1. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Hartford boys varsity soccer coach Nick Blackmer and his squad are starting off the 2016 season on the right foot. The team has secured two victories in two games. On Wednesday, August 24, the team hosted South Haven for the Indians season opener. Hartford won 5-1, after scoring three points in the first half of the game. For Hartford, Williams Martinez booted two goals. Roy Rodriguez, Ulises Bacilio, and Austin Nelson each scored one goal. Fernando Alvarez and Joel Soto were credited with one assist each. In at keeper for the Indians was Jake Griffith. He notched five saves. On Monday, Hartford traveled to Fennville and blanked the Blackhawks 5-0. Austin Nelson led the Hartford scoring effort with two goals. Roy Rodriguez, William Martinez, and Ulises Bacilio tallied one goal each. Martinez and Fernando Alvarez had one assist each. Griffith, in as goalkeeper, recorded five saves. Hartford improved to 2-0 on the season, while handing Fennville their second loss.
LMC tops Watervliet Volleyball in season opener
The Lady Panthers of Watervliet opened their varsity volleyball season against Lake Michigan Catholic on Wednesday, August 24. Watervliet lost the contest in four very close matches with games of 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23. Watervliet was led by Kara Liles, who had nine kills and three blocks. Zoe Smith contributed six kills, three aces, and four digs. Maggie Lynch added 10 digs and one ace. Mercede Daugherty provided 21 assists, two aces, and five digs. Grace Smith had two kills and 10 blocks. Arianna Rowe notched six kills and two blocks, while teammate Madalyn Hutchins tallied three assists, four kills, and three digs. Katie Schultz rounded out the team effort with one kill and three blocks.
Hartford Volleyball hits the court for Dowagiac quad
The Hartford varsity volleyball team played three games on Wednesday, August 24 in Dowagiac. They faced the host in their first game and lost 25-15, 25-10. The Indians then took on Bridgman and lost 25-15, 25-16. In their final outing of the day, the squad topped Michigan Lutheran in an exciting match 16-25, 25-23, and 15-13. Amber Martin led the team with nine kills, 10 blocks, four digs, and six aces. AJ Jackson had four kills, three blocks, five digs, and two aces. Olivia Kling added eight assists and two aces, while Ashley Kling posted one kill and eight digs. Cora Wesaw provided one dig and one ace, and Livia Boughner tallied two digs and one ace. Brynn Duffy contributed one block and four digs. Elly Valdes had four kills, and Olivia Ziemer accounted for 26 digs. Jasmine Solis added three assists. Hartford’s record is now 3-7.
Buchanan quad is tough competition for Coloma
Coloma’s varsity volleyball squad faced a tough outing at Buchanan in quad action on Monday, August 29. After beating Parchment 25-17, 25-21, the Lady Comets lost to both host Buchanan and St. Joe. Against Buchanan, Coloma lost 21-25 and 12-25. The Comets were unable to overtake St. Joe, losing 17-25 and 22-25. During the competition, Kayla Yore accounted for 10 kills, 40 assists, one ace, 24 digs, and a whopping five blocks. Morgan Wagner hit eight kills, one assist, three aces, 28 digs, and four blocks. Kelly Walter added 25 kills, three aces, 14 digs, and eight blocks. Nicolle Larson tallied eight digs, two aces, two digs, and two blocks. Jenna Walter contributed three kills, 11 assists, three aces, and five digs. Mika Anderson added six kills and three digs, while Mya Potter chipped in two aces and 36 digs. Alyssa Dillenbeck had 10 digs.
Ladies Monday Night Happy Hour Golf League
Paw Paw Lake Golf Course
Aug. 29, 2016 Report
Event: Best Poker Hand Sandy Johnson
Low Gross: Maureen McGrath 49
Low Net: Maureen McGrath 36
Low Putts: Sandy Johnson and Maureen McGrath 16
Pars: Maureen #16, Sandy Johnson #14, Cheryl Hutchins #10 and #14, Kathy Osborne #15,Ursela Bansen #13 and #14, Mary Beth Kraklau #12, Trina Johnson #16
Birdies: Cheryl Hutchins #13
ChipIns: Kathy Osborne #15
By Kristy Noack
Kyle Larson drove his #42 Chevy straight across the finish line, holding off Chase Elliott in an epic cat-and-mouse battle, for the win on Sunday in the Pure Michigan 400. Held at Michigan International Speedway, the 200-lap, 400-mile event saw 20 different race leaders and only four caution periods. With the victory, Larson scored his first win of his NASCAR career in the circuit’s 24th race this season. He and Elliott battled back and forth for the win, swapping leads. It was on lap 192 that Larson pulled away from the pack on a restart and sailed to the black-and-white checkered flag finish. Larson led 41 laps. Elliott led 31 laps en route to his second place finish. Elliott has earned seven top five finishes this year. Finishing third was Brad Keselowski, who led 14 laps. Keselowski has finished in the top three in three of the last four races and also has four wins under his belt this season. Ryan Blaney earned his second top five of the season; he finished in fourth place. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five. He led 33 laps. Eighteen drivers finished on the lead lap. Joey Logano, the race’s pole sitter, finished 10th after leading 24 laps. Also leading laps on the day were Jimmie Johnson (37), Carl Edwards (1), Greg Biffle (1), Matt Kenseth (8), Austin Dillion (1), Ryan Newman (1), Martin Truex Jr. (7), and Regan Smith (1). Kevin Harvick remains in the top spot of the driver standings. Keselowski is in second, trailing only by 25 points. Edwards is in third place, 75 points out of first. Next up for the NASCAR drivers, fans, and crew is Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The superspeedway track is 1.37 miles long and was completed in 1950. With only two more races to go before the 16-driver Race for the Chase field is set, you can bet on plenty of action on the track.
Armchair QB Hildebrand hits opening football week for 8-0 perfect record
By Kristy Noack
The Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest opened with a bang last week. Tim Hildebrand posted a perfect 8-0 record, taking the first week of the contest by storm. Hildebrand correctly predicted victories by Schoolcraft, Watervliet, Benton Harbor, South Haven, Lakeshore, Galesburg-Augusta, Marcellus, and Lawton. He was the sole AQB to run a complete scorecard and takes his place atop the standings. Each week our six super fans participate in the TCR AQB contest. They must decide the winners of eight football games. Whoever posts the best record wins the week. At the end of the season, the AQB with the best overall record wins a sporty championship cap. One game is specially selected as a tie-breaker game. Our quarterbacks must determine the total number of points that will be scored in that contest. If two or more ‘backs end the week with the same record, their place in the weekly standings comes down to the point total closest to the actual scored. Although Hildebrand won the week outright, the rest of our players fared pretty well. Three players ended the week with a 6-2 record, and they are ranked based on their tie-breaker guess in the Hartford versus Watervliet game. The Panthers shut down and out the Indians in the teams’ season opener, 86-0. Tom Gear, Rodney Lynch, and RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht recorded 6-2 records. Based on her 70 point tie-breaker guess Rodney-Isbrecht lays claim to second place in the standings. Lynch lands in third place with his 49 total point guess, while Gear grabs fourth place, as he guessed 39 points would be scored. Greg Krell and Chris Leach tallied 5-3 records for the week. Krell guessed a total of 59 points would be scored in last Friday’s contest, so he takes fifth place. That puts Leach in at sixth with her 36 point guess. With only one week in, it is already a close race! And, this week, we add college football games to the mix, so it truly can be anyone’s (foot)ball game. The superb six will tackle the following eight games this week:
Gobles @ Coloma
Delton-Kellogg @ Hartford
Schoolcraft @ Watervliet
Constantine @ Decatur
Western Michigan @ Northwestern
Furman @ Michigan State
Notre Dame @ Texas
Hawaii @ U of M
The tie-breaker game this week is the Fighting Irish versus the Longhorns. All three hometown football squads play in their respective stadiums this week. All games will take place on Thursday due to the Labor Day holiday. Swing on out and catch some high school football ac