Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant
Panther boys cross country wins again!
The boys cross country team is off to a roaring start as they won their second meet in a row. Recall that they won the Bridgman Invitational in the season opener, and in their next meet last week they captured another first place finish at the New Buffalo Invitational.
Ezra Troyer was the pacesetter this time as he ran the 5000 meters in 18:39, good enough for fourth place overall in a field of 79 runners. Gus Hinch was right behind with a fifth place finish in 18:50. Trever Pelton cracked the top ten, finishing ninth at 19:26.
German Casiano ran a great second half, finishing at 20:13 taking 13th place. Kody Edmonds, Matt Hanks, and Alex Isbrecht rounded out the seven varsity Panthers. Newcomers Jimmy Kolosowsky and Nick Orlando saw big improvements in just their second race, as both took over a minute off their time from last week’s race. Top team scores were Watervliet 53, Bridgman 60, Mendon 95, and Marquette Catholic 122.
The girls cross team also ran its second race of the year, finishing third out of 12 teams at the New Buffalo Invitational. The girls saw big improvements over last week with seven of them knocking a minute or more off their times.
Yona Klimkiewicz once again led the squad finishing the 5K course in 26:37. The next three Panther ladies were tightly packed as Sophie Tavolacci crossed the line in 27:35 with both Brenda Romero and Kristina Swanson two seconds behind. Alyssa Lange rounded out the top five with her 28:52 in a field of 77 runners. The team looks to keep improving as they head to the Van Buren Fairgrounds for the Teske Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Boys’ soccer at 2-2-1, also wins at Bridgman
We learned that the 6-6 tie with Bangor on August 24 during the Bridgman round-robin tournament matched a state record for the highest tie score in a high school soccer match. Just three games into their first season and the team is already in the record books.
Meanwhile, after getting beat 7-1 by a strong Hartford team on Tuesday, August 27, the team reset themselves by beating Lakeside Academy of Kalamazoo 8-0 in a game that was stopped in the 46th minute due to an 8-goal differential.
Off to their usual fast start, Brennan Bornas started the scoring in the first minute, stealing an attempted clearing pass and knocking it home for a 1-0 lead. After that Nathan Isbrecht and Brady Bornas took over the game with the next four goals (4th, 10th, 15th, and 30th minutes) that were all scored by Nathan on assists from Brady. Brady then scored on a direct free kick in the 33rd minute to end the first half, 6-0.
The defense of Andrew Chisek, Ryan Knapp, Erick Perez, Robert Kraklau, Dominick Mandujano, Devin Miller and Jakob Stibal did not allow a shot on either of our keepers, Zach Hastings or Norberto Palacios.
In the second half, Brady scored in the first minute on a nice feed from Nathan, and finally Nathan wrapped up the victory with an unassisted goal in the 46th minute where he dribbled through several defenders before beating the keeper.
The coaches offered a shout out for the gritty play of Jesus Garcia, who took a hard hit and ended up having to come out of the game. The team is now 2-2-1 heading into their next game at Constantine on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Volleyball team looking good
Watervliet Varsity Volleyball played their first games of the season, hosting Bridgman and Lake Michigan Catholic in the Panther gym. The very young Panthers, playing with three freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors, and just one senior, opened the night against a strong and seasoned Bridgman team. With all but one player seeing their first varsity action, the Bees quickly captured the win 25-11 and 25-12.
With that first match out of the way, the Panthers faced the Lakers. In game one the Panthers were better but just short, losing 25-20. In games two and three the Panthers found their rhythm and confidence, winning 25-14 and 15-7. Their aggressive offense and strong serving led to their first taste of victory this season. As this team gains more experience they will be winning many more.
Stats: Samantha Dietz – 9 kills, 3 aces, 6 digs, 1 block; Susanna VanLente – 2 kills, 5 aces, 8 digs; Addison Riley – 4 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks; Kristen Gardiner – 15 assists, 3 digs; Allie Pline – 1 ace, 4 digs; Lilly Lefor – 1 ace, 1 assist; Myah Hobson – 5 bl