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09-05-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

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 blocks

Panther Football loses to Lawton

Panther Football opened their season at Lawton last week for a JV/varsity double-header. A beautiful and breezy evening eventually gave way to a high overcast sky and a great view of a lightning storm 25 miles to the north. The referees ignored the lightning as long as they could, but eventually it became too impressive and they had to delay and then end the game in the third quarter for a storm that would never quite make it to Lawton.

The young and inexperienced varsity Panthers dropped their first game to the Blue Devils 42-12. The Panthers were doomed by five turnovers and giving the Devils great field position for the entire game.

Junior quarterback Evan Hutchins found a well-covered Logan Duscha over the middle for a 73-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. A few minutes later, Don Smith intercepted a pass at the Panther 16-yard line and evaded several Devils, as well as the sideline, to run 84 yards for the only other Panther score.

Juniors Isaiah Yazel and Don Smith led the defense, with Yazel collecting six tackles in the short game. Coach Josh Tremblay says it was a tough game for the team on opening night, but they will look to regroup for their week two match-up at Saugatuck on Friday, Sept. 6.

Press Box Player of the Week

By Jerrod Birmele Joel Soto, a senior at Hartford High School, and member of the boys soccer team, is this week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week. Joel is a midfielder on the soccer team this fall for the Indians, and over the past couple of seasons, has become one of the most productive players in all of Southwest Michigan. He has had some big matches in the past, but none of them could possibly equal the night he had against Bangor on Wednesday, August 28th. In that match, he scored four goals, with two goals coming in the first half, and the other two being scored in the second half, one of which was from 55 yards out on the kickoff to begin the second stanza. He also helped with an assist on another goal by teammate, Miggy Cardoso.

Last season, Joel scored 16 goals in 23 matches, while also having a hand in assisting on six other tallies. When asked last October about what he brings to his team, head coach Nick Blackmer said, “His demeanor, work ethic, and sportsmanship exemplify what it means to be a student-athlete at Hartford High School.” With a young team this season, a slew of freshman and younger players, it will be essential for players to lead by example. And with his touted experience in the program, there won’t be a finer leader than Joel. Outside of the soccer pitch, Joel is an outstanding individual in the classroom where he is an honor student. Last year he was involved in the National Honor Society and Student Council, and expects to be a member of those groups again this year. Congratulations on this great honor, Joel! We look forward to seeing you accomplish great things on the pitch this season!

Dr. Andy says… “The 5 keys to health are: nutrition, sleep, exercise, attitude, and a healthy nervous system. How are you doing on each of these? Chiropractic helps keep the nervous system healthy.”


Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Comets blocked on the road, fall to Brandywine in season opener

The Coloma Comet football team hit the road for their season opener in Brandywine last Friday night. In a game that was closer than the score indicated, fell to the Bobcats by a final count of 38-8. It was a hard hitting game that was kept basically on the ground by both teams. Coloma rushed the ball 52 times for 197 yards, and passed the ball only 10 times.

Brandywine had 30 rushes for 222 yards, and only six passes attempted. However Brandywine made the big runs and plays when they needed them. Their star running back Jordan Abrams set the all time rushing record for Brandywine in going over the 3,000 career yard mark, and finished the night with 136 yards, in only 15 carries.

IAN CONNECTS… Coloma Comet senior linebacker Ian Ishmael (#5) puts the hammer down on the Brandywine quarterback, causing an incomplete pass. James Clay #79 is in position to help if needed. Coloma lost to Brandywine 38-8. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)

Brandywine ironically scored first via the air, with a 39-yard strike from QB Gabe Gouin to Shane Brown, but the 2-pointer was no good and the Bobcats led 6-0.

Following the ensuing kickoff the Comets went down the field and scored to take an 8-6 lead. Brandywine seemed to have the Comets stopped on downs a couple of times on the drive, but Coloma was gifted with three big penalties by the Bobcats to keep their drive alive. One of the biggest was a pass interference call on a fourth down incompletion, which gave the Comets a first down deep in Brandywine territory. Brandywine also lost their composure on a couple of plays and committed two personal fouls, which cost them considerable yardage in moving the ball down the field. Coloma eventually scored on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Drew Goodline to Nathan Strunk who made a fantastic diving catch at the back of the end zone with a Bobcat defender in close coverage. Goodline ran in the 2-point conversion and Coloma took the lead 8-6.

Brandywine scored twice in the second quarter, once following a very costly Comet fumble deep in their own territory, and then again on a 20-yard pass with only 37 seconds left in the half, giving the Bobcats a 22-8 halftime lead.

Both teams were scoreless in the third quarter. Coloma was still only trailing by two scores, but even though they were able to move the ball effectively on occasion, were not able to sustain their drives, which were uncharacteristically stopped by penalties and mistakes.

Brandywine scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to salt the game away, and made it look more like a runaway than it was.

Kenyon Boyd carried the load for Coloma and had 95 yards in 17 rushes, while Noah Schwanke added 39 yards in 11 carries. Quarterback Drew Goodline rushed the ball nine times for 33 yards and one 2-point conversion, and had the one completion for a 13-yard TD. Michael Case had one completion for seven yards, also from the quarterback position, as Strunk had the one TD catch. Coloma was hurt by six penalties for 55 yards. The Comet O-line, led by all-state Cole Alsup, did a good job opening holes for the Comet runners.

Coloma hits the road again on Friday September 6 to take on the Lawton Blue Devils; kickoff is 7 p.m.

Coloma Soccer goes 0-2 on the week

The young Coloma Comet boys soccer team traveled to Dowagiac on Monday August 26 and lost to a strong Chieftain team by the score of 8-0. Coloma who has 11 sophomores on their squad couldn’t quite keep up with Dowagiac who only lost a couple of seniors from a team that won their district a year ago, and has a lot of experienced varsity players.

Coloma then came home on Wednesday the 28th, and had a tough 2-1 loss to Berrien Springs. Coloma gave up a couple of first-half goals because of a lack of communication between players. The Comets fought back in the second half as Tyler Russell scored a goal on a deflection, cutting the lead in half, but could not get the tying goal. Russell played well as he also came up with eight steals in the contest.

The Comets’ next soccer action comes on Thursday September 5 at home against Three Rivers.

COLOMA DYNAMIC DUO… Coloma linemen #79 James Clay and #66 Cole Alsup are a pair of imposing figures who anchor the Comet offensive and defensive lines this season for the varsity football team. Clay, a junior, is listed at 6 foot 3 inches and 330 pounds, while Alsup is a senior at 6 foot 4 and 310 pounds. Both played well on Thursday, Aug. 29 despite Coloma losing their opening game to Brandywine, 38-8. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)

Coloma Cross Country runs wild

The boys and girls cross country teams coached by Courtney Churchill, both ran in the SW Michigan Rustbuster Invitational meet at Warner Camp, Grand Junction, Michigan on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Both squads looked very good in shaking off the rust.

The boys team finished the meet in second place with 103 points, as the team from Jenison won it with an amazing total of 20 points. Jake Ickes led the Comet contingent by finishing in 17th place overall in a time of 19:28.22. Jake’s team mates, sophomore Ethan Vandermolen and junior Blane Sutherland finished side by side in 21st and 22nd places. Ethan ran a time of 19:37.28 and Blane, right alongside in a time of 19:37.63. Comet sophomore Caeleb Ishmael finished in 27th place in a time of 20:40.84. Two Comet freshmen rounded out the top Coloma runners with Skyler Wolfe finishing in a time of 21:38.75 and Andy Granados in a time of 22:40.84.

Coach Churchill’s girls team also ran very well, and finished the day in 3rd place with 94 points. The Jenison team once again dominated the competition with 29 points in winning the meet.

Coloma’s senior all state qualifier, Emma Vandermolen, led the Comet gals with a time of 22:09.26, in finishing 8th place overall. Sophomore Ava Genovese finished in 19th place in a time of 23:07.93, junior Abby Vandermolen was 26th running a fine 23:31.34. Placing 33rd for Coloma was freshman Camryn Brown crossing the line at the 24:21.069 mark, with sophomore Chloe Williams not far behind in 24:25.084.

The Comet harriers next hit the hills and trails on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Teske Invitational in Hartford. The starting gun goes off at 5 p.m.

There were no results available for last week for the Coloma varsity volleyball team. Their next competition also takes place on Thursday, September 5 with the girls traveling to Kalamazoo Christian. The action begins at 6:30 p.m.

Go on out and cheer for and support these fine young athletes as they represent and compete for the Coloma Comets.

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford Football begins season with 57-0 loss to Cassopolis

On Thursday August 29, the Hartford Indian Football team kicked off their 2019 season with their home opener against defending Division 7 state semifinalist, Cassopolis. The Rangers are one of the favorites to win the Southwest 10 Conference again this season, and the Indians knew the test would be tough, but necessary, if they expect to get to the next level. With another playoff qualifier looming this week, Hartford has one of the toughest starts to a season in school history.

The Rangers proved from the get-go that they deserve the accolades and respect they’ve earned in recent years. They would outgain the Indians in most statistical categories, including total yards (415-99) and rushing yards (373-33), as well as taking advantage of four costly turnovers by the home team. When the final whistle sounded, Cassopolis had defeated Hartford, 57-0. However, the Indians never gave up and never quit on each other, and that attitude can carry them to success this year, if they can sustain it.

Cassopolis scored points in all four quarters. The Rangers led 23-0 after the first quarter, and then added 20 points in the second quarter to take a 43-0 lead into halftime. With a running clock in the second half, the scoring was much more muted; however, they added 7 points in both the third and the fourth quarters to bring the score to the final margin of victory.

Hartford was led offensively by Kyle Manning, who was 6-for-15 passing for 66 yards, but was responsible for one of the turnovers, via an interception. Ricky Baker hauled in four of those passes for 34 yards, while Elijah Ledesma made a catch for 32 yards. On the ground, the Indians were led by Aaron Sinclair, who carried the ball 11 times for 25 yards.

Joe Beebe led the defensive charge for Hartford with his team-high six tackles, while Baker added five tackles to his stat line. David Fernandez and Tanner Kinchen also recorded solid defensive nights from their defensive line positions.

Hartford is currently 0-1 on the very young season, with the same record in conference play. The Indians take the road for the first of three straight away contests this Friday, Sept. 6, traveling to Centreville to take on an up-and-coming Bulldogs team.

Hartford Volleyball wins thrilling five set duel with River Valley

This past week, the Hartford Indian Volleyball team hosted their first match of the season against Three Oaks River Valley. The ladies were coming off of a weekend which saw them go 3-7 at the Lawton Invitational, but there were many encouraging signs despite a record under the .500 mark. With a slew of young talent highlighting the roster from top to bottom, the team has the depth they need to contend for conference and postseason wins well into the future.

In their match against River Valley on Monday, August 26, Hartford won in five long, grueling, tough sets. The Lady Indians won the first set in dominating fashion, 25-13, before dropping the next two sets to the Lady Mustangs, 25-18 and 25-17. With their backs to the wall and down 22-20 in the fourth set, Hartford scored the final five points to take a 25-22 victory, sending it to a final set. In the final set, the Lady Indians jumped out to an 8-2 lead, and never looked back, winning the decider, 15-8.

EYEING A VICTORY… Emilie Fillmore, Lainey Goodson and Karla Robles of the Hartford varsity volleyball team ready themselves for the serve during the team’s recent match against River Valley. The team trailed the Lady Mustangs by a set and 22-20 in the fourth set, before scoring 20 of the final 28 points in the match to pull off the five-set win. Check out the Hartford Press Box for more on this outstanding victory. (TCR photo by Jerrod Birmele)

In terms of statistics, Hartford was led in aces by Lainey Goodson with four, while Gillian Kuehnle and Karla Robles added two each. Megan Nelson led the team in kills with 15, while Mercedes Requenes added five kills and Descenya Rodarte and Kenzie Burfield had four kills apiece. Robles led the team in digs with 28, while Destiny Chacon added 17 digs and Ariah Jordan had 16 digs. Other statistical leaders included Burfield with three blocks and Kuehnle with 11 assists.

Hartford is currently 4-7 on the season. The team played in just one match this week, hosting their rival from the east, Lawrence, at Indian Gymnasium on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Hartford Soccer outscores opponents, 15-1, in two victory week

Last week, the Hartford Indian Soccer team played in two matches, as they looked to build their resume, along with earn experience for their very young team. As mentioned in the preview a couple weeks ago, this is one of the youngest teams in the just over decade that this sport has been offered in Hartford. With the success this program has had recently, fans would expect the learning curve to be steep, but that success will filter in as the season goes on.

Monday, August 26, Hartford hosted their first match of the season against non-conference opponent and rival Watervliet. It is the Panthers first season of varsity competition, and the Indians showed them what a team that has done this before looks like. The home team jumped out to a 4-1 lead at halftime, and scored three more goals in the second half to take a 7-1 victory. However, according to some, the game was much closer than the score indicated.

On Wednesday, August 28, Hartford traveled to Bangor for a Southwest 10 Conference matchup with the Vikings. After their six-goal victory two nights earlier, the Indians came out fired up, ready to play and made every second count. They scored five first-half goals to take a 5-nil halftime lead. Bangor is also young, but the Indians poured it on in the second half, scoring three additional goals to end the game early via the mercy rule, winning this match, 8-nil.

The Indians got their eight goals from five different players: Joel Soto (4), Miggy Cardoso, Elijah Cowgill, Danny Gutierrez and Yael Lopez. Assists were credited to Cardoso, Alan Gonzalez and Soto. Rookie goalkeeper Kaden Johnson recorded five saves in his first career shutout.

After losing two of their first three games, Hartford is currently 3-2 on the season. The team will play just one match this week, as they travel to Bloomingdale on Wednesday, Sept. 4 to take on the Cardinals.

As always, GO INDIANS!

ROTARY SPONSORS INTERACT CLUB STUDENT… Brian Smith (left), President Elect of the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club is pictured here with Watervliet High School student Trever Pelton. Trever is a member of the Rotary sponsored Interact Club at the high school. He attended a Rotary Youth Leadership Conference.

Watervliet student reports to Rotary on leadership conference

Trever Pelton, a Watervliet High School senior, spoke at a recent Paw Paw Lake Rotary meeting about his experience at the RYLA Leadership Conference at Clear Lake in Battle Creek. RYLA is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program for young people. Paw Paw Lake Rotary sponsored Trever to attend this event. Trever is a member of the Watervliet High School Interact Club which is Rotary Internationals service club for young people ages 12 to 18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of service above self. The Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club also sponsors the Interact Club. Trever said approximately 60 young people attended RYLA. They worked on problem solving by using communication and teamwork skills. He said it was a great character builder and he enjoyed the experience and would like to attend again. Trever plans to attend Grand Valley State University next year and enter the Physician Assistant Program. Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets Wednesday’s at 12:15 p.m. at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet.

First week of football action brings no big upsets; AQB Tim Hildebrand sits in

1st place after week 1 results

By Dave Vollrath The first week of the new high school and college football season brought with it only a couple of notable upsets. Included among them were three losses by the powerful SEC conference schools to early season cupcakes, usually set up to get some early season wins. The Big Ten pretty much rolled through its first week schedule, with in-state powers Michigan and MSU winning, even if they weren’t all that impressive in doing so. All three of our local high school teams took it on the chin the first week. Being the good homers that they are our Armchair Quarterbacks had most of their incorrect picks come about by being loyal to their home teams. That’s not surprising, but hopefully our local high school teams will shake off that first week and come back with a surge in this week’s games, and bring back the confidence the AQBs have in them. Tim Hildebrand and Rodney Lynch each went 7-1 on the week, with Tim getting the first place nod based on being closest to the final score of the tie-breaker game. The Tri-City Record AQB competition is held weekly from the beginning of the high school football season in late summer, until it finishes with the playing of the Super Bowl in February. We have six Tri-City area football fans, which compete against each other to predict the winners of a group of pre-selected games from the high school, collegiate, and professional ranks. Following the conclusion of the Super Bowl, one winner is crowned champion and will have the honor of wearing the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback Championship hat. In the event that two or more ‘backs have the same record for the week, or the yearly total, their place in the standings will be determined by a weekly tie-breaker game. In addition to trying to correctly pick the winners of each week’s games, they predict the score from a specially selected game. The AQB that predicts the closest to the total number of points scored by both teams will get the higher spot in the standings. Kathy Summers, Dan Jones, and Greg Krell all went 6-2 in the first week, but Kathy, our newest player, gets the third place position based on the tie-breaker. Greg was the only one of our pigskin pickers who took Oregon to win over Auburn. He looked good for a long time as the Ducks jumped out to a big early lead. But Auburn came all the way back and won the game at the end to keep Greg from pulling an upset. Dan is in fourth place and Greg winds up in fifth. RoxAnn, being loyal to the Big Ten, picked Northwestern who lost to Stanford. She finished in 6th place this week going 5-3. Next week will be the opening week of the NFL, so all levels of football will be in full swing. Check back next week and see how our group fares with this week’s lineup of games.

Coloma at Lawton Watervliet at Saugatuck (tie breaker) Centreville at Hartford Army at Michigan Western Michigan at MSU Detroit at Arizona Green Bay at Chicago Pittsburgh at New England


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