09-15-2016 Tri-City Area Sports


 Tim Hildebrand, RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht, Greg Krell, and Rodney Lynch are surely bemoaning the Detroit Lions, who topped the Indianapolis Colts last weekend. All four AQBs were running with a perfect record until that game, which dropped the four top contenders to 7-1 records in the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest.  Each week, six local superstars predict the winners of eight high school, college, and professional football games. Their records are tabulated each week, and at the end of the season one AQB will be crowned the champion.  In case of a tie, one game is specially selected each week as the “tie-breaker” game. Each contestant must determine the total number of points scored in that game. If two or more AQBs wind up with the same record, the tie-breaker is used to determine their place in the standings.  Tom Gear also posted a 7-1 record last week, but the Lions did not trip him up; it was the Chicago game that knocked him from perfection. The Houston Texans topped da Bears.  With five AQBs predicting their way to 7-1 records, their spot in the rankings depended on the Coloma/Watervliet tie-breaker game.  The Comets lost to the Panthers 66-26, with a total of 92 points being scored.  For the week, Hildebrand hops into first place with his 86 point guess.  Krell captures second place; he guessed 77 total points would be scored.  Rodney-Isbrecht rolls into third place with her 71 point guess, as Gear grabs fourth place with his 60 point prediction.  Lynch lands in fifth place; he guessed 55 points would be scored.  Chris Leach is in sixth place after correctly picking six games. Leach went with her hometown Comets to upset Watervliet which did not work out to her advantage.   Five of our six AQBs maintain their spots in the standings, while Leach slips one game.  Hildebrand still reigns supreme. He holds a 20-4 record. Rodney-Isbrecht and Krell are one game back, tied for second place, with 19-5 records.  Lynch’s 18-6 record puts him in sole possession of fourth place. Gear is in fifth place overall with a 17-7 record, just three games out of first. Leach improves to 14-10 and is in sixth place.  High school football is already in its fourth week, as our contest hits the gridiron again this week. Our savvy six will predict the winners of the following eight games:

Coloma @ Constantine

Watervliet @ Kalamazoo United

Gobles @ Hartford

Colorado @ Michigan

Michigan State @ Notre Dame

Western Michigan @ Illinois

Philadelphia @ Chicago

Tennessee @ Detroit

The tie-breaker game will be the Spartans at the Fighting Irish.

Who among our six will have the right picks? Check back next week to find out!


Watervliet roughs up Comets in football rivalry

PANTHER SLANT… Watervliet’s Zack Pickens moves the ball up the field during first quarter action against Coloma Friday night. Trailing Pickens is Coloma’s Trystan Skaggs. Wa-tervliet topped the Comets 66-26. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Watervliet went into Friday’s game at rival and Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent Coloma with a 1-1 record, seeking a victory after losing 51-30 the week before to Schoolcraft. Coloma, on the other hand, was looking to break their 0-2 winless streak with their first victory of the season.  In the end, it was Watervliet domination in both the run and pass games that gave them the 66-26 victory over the Comets. Watervliet scored 52 unanswered points in the contest and scored on their first three possessions.  With the rain alternating between mist and downpour, the Panthers crossed the end zone the first time with a quarterback Cam Rendo pass to Tyler Brant for a quick six.  The two point conversion was good, and Watervliet led 8-0.  From there, the Panthers would hit the end zone six more times before the Comets responded.  The first quarter also saw three more receiving touchdowns and one more successful two point conversion. The score at the end of one was Watervliet 28, Coloma 0.  The second quarter continued in the same vein: three more touchdowns by Watervliet with all three two point conversion attempts being successful.  Coloma got on the board late in the second quarter on an eight yard run by quarterback Zach Goodline. Coloma’s own conversion failed, and the score stood 52-6.  In one of the few turnovers of the evening, Coloma’s Calvin Hutchinson recovered a Watervliet fumble and took the ball straight into the end zone for six points. This time, the Comets scored on the conversion and the gap closed to 52-14.  Watervliet coach Jeremy Andrews made the decision to sit Rendo in the second half. Additionally, the running clock was in effect.  Watervliet scored first in the third period on a 39 yard run, taking the game to 58-14.  Coloma’s Caleb McDaniel responded for the Comets with a 68 yard run and touchdown of his own. The point after attempt kick by Derek Plitt was no good, and the Comets trailed 58-20.  Fourth quarter action saw Watervliet score on a 16 yard run, while Coloma’s Jamane Smith scored on an 18 yard run.  Final score: Watervliet 66, Coloma 26.  Watervliet ran 48 plays and earned 21 first downs. The Panthers were penalized three times for 20 yards.  Coloma ran 41 plays and notched 16 first downs.  Rendo was 12 of 17 for 347 yards and five touchdowns. His favorite receiver this game was Tyler Brant who grabbed two touchdown passes among four receptions for 92 yards. Trent Boone hauled in one touchdown catch for 64 yards.  Zack Pickens racked up 65 yards on three receptions and one touchdown. LA Smith scored one touchdown on two receptions for 114 yards. Carlos Hernandez caught one pass for 10 yards.  Devon Flowers gained two yards on one pass.  Pickens rushed for two touchdowns, gaining 88 yards of prime real estate on nine carries.  Rendo carried the ball seven times for 26 yards and one TD. Hernandez picked up 24 yards on seven carries. Boone added one touchdown to his tally as he gained 34 yards on five carries.  Dylan Lynch toted the ball once for three yards, and Bryant Kieft’s one carry gave him 24 yards.  Defensively, Ryan Chisek led the Panthers with nine tackles.  Brant was credited with seven tackles, while Blake Kinzler notched six tackles of his own.  Lynch contributed four tackles. Kieft, Sheldon Tobar, and Eric Kehrer each had three tackles.  Kinzler and Tobar also popped the Comets for one sack apiece.  Coloma’s Goodline was one for one for 20 yards. He also threw a two point conversion, which was caught by Tevon Blazier. Brenden Lute caught the lone Comet pass.  Goodline ran the ball 16 times for 57 yards and one touchdown.   McDaniel picked up 88 yards rushing on six carries with one TD.  Zack Lake’s nine carries resulted in 44 yards. Blazier rushed for 31 yards on three carries. Jamane Smith notched 34 yards on three carries. Levi Wilkins picked up 28 yards on two carries. Zane Lute tallied 14 yards on two carries.  Trystan Skaggs led the Comet defense with seven tackles. Smith contributed four tackles, and Bryce Collins added three.  Although the weather played into the game a little, Coloma coach Joe Stephens felt his squad was just plain outmanned. “Our guys were a little shell shocked at the opening of the game. I thought that once we settled down we did do some good thing but it was a little too late. It’s tough to win when you spot a team 28 points after only three running three offensive plays. Our guys have a lot of character and tried to crawl their way back into the game.  “We expected to give Watervliet a more competitive contest than we did. Watervliet is a good program, but our kids have a lot of pride and expect to compete at a higher level than we did on Friday night.”  Billy Boyd, Hutchinson, and Wilkins provided two tackles apiece.  Coloma remains winless, falling to 0-3 this season. They face Constantine on the road this week.  Watervliet moves to 2-1 and will take on Kalamazoo Hackett on the road.

Hartford Football scoreless against Schoolcraft

 The 2016 varsity football season is proving to be a tough road to hoe for the Hartford Indians. The squad faced Southwestern Athletic Conference foe Schoolcraft on the road Friday, September 9 and suffered a 70-0 shutout at the hands of the high-scoring Eagles.  Hartford is winless and scoreless this season, having also lost 86-0 to Watervliet and 65-0 to Delton Kellogg.  The Indians return home Friday to play undefeated Gobles.  Friday’s drubbing, amid a steady downpour, only solidified head coach Ben Kain’s resolve. “We took another small step forward in doing better on defense. The three games of experience are helping our young team, and they are becoming a close knit family. We have another tough week coming up in Gobles, and we are looking to expand the running game.”  Hartford is 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the SAC Central division.

FRANCISCO FINISHES FAST… Hartford’s Francisco Loera was the first Indian finisher last Thursday in the Teske Invitational. Loera’s time of 20:53.2 was good for 20th place. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Teske Invitational: Watervliet Boys take 2nd; Hartford Boys finish 7th

 The rain held off for much of Thursday evening, allowing the Teske cross country invitational to kick off without a hitch.  Held at the Van Buren County Fairgrounds, the invitational featured eight teams including host Hartford, Watervliet, Bangor, Marcellus, Lawrence, Fennville,  Bloomingdale, and Gobles.  Bangor won the championship with 23 points. Watervliet took second place with 55 points. Hartford finished in seventh place with 172 points.  Jobe Kerr of Watervliet was the first to finish the course, with a time of 17:30. According to Watervliet cross country coach Aaron Weber, Kerr’s time was “the second fastest time in the meet’s history.”  Dominick Tavolacci took 11th place (20:00.2).  Klayton Marshall and Brent Simmons finished 13th and 14th, respectively (20:12.5, 20:17.2).   Nick Swanson (20:36.8) and Augustus Hinch (20:39.1) added their own one-two punch, finishing 16th and 17th, respectively.  Austin Roberts took 23rd (20:57.4), while Haydon Richards’ time of 21:33.4 was good for 29th place.  Crossing the finish line in 30th place was Thomas Swanson (21:53.4). Kody Edmonds had a time of 22:20.2 and took 39th place.  Rick Ertman (22:35.5) finished 41st  and Isaac Wilmouth took 42nd place (22:37.0). Alex Isbrecht had a time of 22:52.8 for a 44th place finish.  Josh Gruszczyk finished 53rd with a time of 29:05.9.  Hartford’s Francisco Loera was the Indians’ top finisher. He ran the course in a time of 20:53.2 and finished 20th.  Teammate Blair McMeeken’s 22:07.4 time was good for 32nd place.  Tristan Hanners finished 40th (22:33.1), and Nick McGlothlin finished 46th (23:02.0).  James Lucero took 51st place (25:35.1), and Zak Romhilt and Francisco Medrano finished 57th and 58th, respectively, with times of 41:20.1 and 42:59.3.

Watervliet girls run to third place finish at Teske Invitational; Hartford ladies finish sixth

 Hartford hosted their annual Teske Invitational Thursday, September 8 at the Van Buren County Fairgrounds. With eight teams in attendance, including Watervliet, Bangor, Marcellus, Lawrence, Fennville, Bloomingdale, and Gobles, there was plenty of running through the hilly, and occasionally muddy, course.  Bangor won the title with 33 points. Watervliet took third place overall with 76 points. Hartford raced to a sixth place finish with 149 points, just one point behind fifth place Lawrence.  Watervliet’s Allie Pazera finished third overall with a time of 22:13.8. She was the top Watervliet finisher.  Teammate Taylor Shafer finished in 10th place with a time of 24:20.0. Bailey Evans hung on to 14th place (24:58.2).  Jade Miller took 20th (25:37.8).  Alyssa Hobson’s time of 26:54.6 landed her in 29th place.  Magan Simkins and Brenda Hess tied for 49th place (37:51).  Hartford’s highest finisher was Angela Saldana. She crossed the finish line in 15th place with a time of 24:59.8, just 1.6 seconds behind Watervliet’s Evans.  Saldana’s teammate Marisol Robles took 30th (27:14.1), while Evelin Ugalde finished 31st (27:50.3).  Isabella Heminger and Maria Gutierrez finished 37th and 38th, respectively, with times of 28:49.6 and 28:52.5.  Alexis Griffith took 40th (29:42.2).  Mariela Gutierrez finished 46th (30:54.3), and Jessica Cortes posted a time of 34:55.2 for 48th place. Watervliet volleyball takes to the court


MERCEDE DAUGHERTY… volleys the ball back across the net during a visit to Coloma for quad action last Thursday. Watervliet lost to Kalamazoo Christian 25-11, 25-9. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Watervliet varsity volleyball team is being led by four seniors this year: Mercede Daugherty, Logan Mizwicki,

Maggie Lynch, and Katie Schultz.

 Coach Edie Daugherty will rely on the core four to guide the other members of team, including the new players who are up from last year’s junior varsity squad.  Coach Daugherty’s goal of for the team is to “Compete every day!” and the squad certainly put that to work last week, playing in matches on Thursday, September 8 and Saturday, September 10.  On Thursday, the Lady Panthers visited Coloma for quad action. Watervliet faced Kalamazoo Christian and lost 25-11, 25-9. According to Coach Daugherty, “The Panthers struggled finding their rhythm on the court tonight” against the number three Class C team in the state.  In their second match, Watervliet was across the net from Kalamazoo Hackett. The Lady Panthers dropped two games, 15-25, and 13-25.  “The team came up with 16 aggressive kills in the match, in addition to some great volleys but it wasn’t enough to win the match,” stated Daugherty.  Kara Liles led Watervliet with six kills, one assist block, and two solo blocks. Mercede Daugherty notched 13 assists, one kill, and one assist block.  Zoe Smith contributed three kills and two assist blocks. Grace Smith had six digs and one ace, while Arianna Rowe tallied four kills.  On Saturday, Watervliet’s 10th annual volleyball invitational was held at South Haven Middle School due to construction at the Watervliet gym.  Paw Paw, Watervliet, Bridgman, Michigan Lutheran, and Lawton competed in the maroon pool. South Haven, Constantine, Decatur, Bangor, and Lake Michigan Catholic made up the white pool.  Watervliet posted a 4-4 record in pool play and tied with Bridgman for second place.  In the quarterfinals, Watervliet played Decatur and lost two games, 25-23, 25-17.  Paw Paw would go on to win the invitational, downing South Haven in three games.  During the invitational, Daugherty had 49 assists, four kills, one ace, and six digs. Mizwicki contributed five assists, nine kills, one block, one ace, and four digs.  Liles added 19 kills, six blocks, one ace, and one dig. Schultz tallied 20 kills and two blocks.  Rowe had 10 kills and one block. Zoe Smith provided eight kills, two aces, and 20 digs. Grace Smith added three kills, one ace, and 26 digs. Lynch had 14 digs.

Coloma Cross Country on course

 Coloma’s cross country team visited Berrien Springs on Thursday, September 8 for the Shamrock Invitational.  Josh Young was the top Comet finisher; he earned a 21st place finish with a time of 20:45.  Adiel Granados took 53rd place (23:28) and Bryton Fitzgerald finished 61st (24:57).  Three Lady Comets competed as well. Vanessa Crisenbery, a freshman, took 50th place (28:43). Teammate Amaria Echols, also a freshman, posted a new personal best time of 29:35 and finished 52nd. Julia Sternaman, a junior, took 61st place with a time of 34:13.  The squads also participated in the Fennville Invitational Saturday, September 10 at Fenn Valley Winery. There were some big named schools at this invitational with a lot of powerful runners. The competition was fierce!  The Lady Comets earned a 10th place finish. They were led by Marissa Sherburn. Her time of 25:49.68 was good for 46th place. Crisenbery took 83rd (29:17.97), Echols finished 92nd (30:34.35), Gabrielle Ezell ended the event in 100th place (32:12.86), and Sternaman finished in 105th (33:37.96).  Senior Greg Olsen led the Comet men with a 48th place finish and season record time of 21:24.42. Granados also turned in a new season record time of 21:29.94 as he landed in 51st place.  Young crossed the finish line in 61st place (22:15.31), and Fitzgerald set a new personal record with a time of 24:38.04; he finished in 85th place.

IN MOTION… Hartford’s Ashley Kling serves up the volleyball during a game last Thursday against Galesburg-Augusta. Hartford lost 25-10 and 25-22. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Hartford struggles in quad action Thursday

 The varsity volleyball team at Hartford struggled on the floor last Thursday in games against Galesburg-Augusta and Delton-Kellogg.  Hartford lost 10-25 and 22-25 against Galesburg-Augusta and then dropped two games to Delton-Kellogg, 14-25, 16-25.  Olivia Kling, Amber Martin, and AJ Jackson led the Indians with two aces apiece.  Kling posted 12 assists, while Amara Wesaw contributed four. Jackson led the team with five blocks, while Martin chipped in four.  Ashley Kling had a team-high 39 digs. Olivia Ziemer tallied 29 digs, and Martin notched 16.  The Indians are 3-9 this season.

Coloma volleyball takes court twice in three days

 Coloma’s varsity volleyball team hit the court for volleyball competition on Thursday and Saturday last week.  On Thursday, September 8, the Lady Comets hosted a quad that included teams from Kalamazoo Hackett, Kalamazoo Christian, and Watervliet.  Coloma faced Kalamazoo Hackett and won two games, 25-11, 26-24. The Comets then took on Kalamazoo Christian and lost two games to one, 25-21, 23-25, 14-25.  Kayla Yore led Coloma with 10 kills, 35 assists, 22 digs, and four blocks. Kelly Walter added 27 kills, two aces, six digs, and nine blocks.  Morgan Wagner hit four kills, 24 digs, and five blocks. Nicolle Larson had two kills, one ace, eight digs, and one block.  Jenna Walter contributed eight kills, four assists, two digs, and three blocks. Mya Potter notched three aces and 30 digs. Mika Anderson tallied four kills and two digs, while Alyssa Dillenbeck accounted for 14 digs. Sam Stewart had 10 digs.  On Saturday, the team traveled to Climax-Scott for an invitational.  Coloma split with Pittsford (25-12, 21-25) and Galesburg-Augusta (23-25, 25-12) before beating Tekonsha in two games, 25-9, and 25-9.  In bracket play, Coloma crept by Climax-Scott 25-10, 25-23 in the semi-finals.   Coloma had a run on the championship title after coming back in game to tie the match up (25-19, 15-25). However, the squad lost the third and deciding game 15-10 to wind up in second place.  Yore posted 25 kills, 79 assists, seven aces, 31 digs, and three blocks on the day. Jenna Walter had seven kills, 11 assists, two aces, and eight digs.  Wagner tallied 28 kills, five aces, 56 digs, and two blocks.  Kelly Walter supplied 50 kills, seven aces, 15 digs, and seven blocks. Potter provided one kill, one assist, five aces, and 70 digs.  Larson had 13 kills, 11 assists, two aces, and eight digs. Dillenbeck contributed 25 digs, one ace and one assist. Anderson had six kills and five digs, while Stewart added 15 digs. Hannah Mathis had three digs for Coloma.

Last chance to register for 13th annual golf outing at PPLGC

 If you are interested in registering for the 13th annual community golf outing benefiting the North Berrien Community Development and Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce groups, now is your last chance!  The outing will hit the links on Friday, September 23 at Paw Paw Lake Golf Club.  The $60 registration fee includes continental breakfast, greens fees, golf cart, and lunch.  Monies raised from the event are used for local projects.  The event is being sponsored by Lakeland Healthcare, while Combined Insurance Agencies (CIA) is sponsoring the $10,000 hole-in-one contest.  Get registered today! Contact Chana Kniebes at 269-468-4430 or 269-757-2457.


 Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 was a prime example of NASCAR drivers letting loose on the Richmond International Raceway track. It came down to this: one final, regular season event before the Race for the Chase championship started.   What started out as a 400-mile race ended in overtime with 24 drivers finishing on the 407th lap. As Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag, cars slid sideways across the finish line and smoke filled the air.  Hamlin, who was the pole sitter, led 189 laps and earned his third win of the season and 29th of his career.  Kyle Larson finished in second place. He led 15 laps. Martin Truex Jr. took third and led 193 laps. Brad Keselowski ran to a fourth place finish, and Kevin Harvick held on to fifth place.  Amid the record setting 16 caution periods, there were 21 lead changes. Others who led laps included Kurt Busch with three laps. Jeffrey Earnhardt was at the helm for two laps.  Regan Smith was at the front of the pack for two circuits, and Matt Kenseth led three laps.  Saturday’s race was exciting and action-packed, with drivers who had not yet qualified for the Chase field giving at Richmond all they had.  In the end, 16 drivers move on to participate in NASCAR’s Race for the Chase. The field includes six-time champion Jimmie Johnson and two rookies: Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott. Also qualifying was: Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., and Matt Kenseth.  The Chase begins with the 16 qualifying drivers racing in three events at Chicagoland, New Hampshire, and Dover. The winners of those events automatically qualify for the next round of three races. Joining them will be the top nine qualifiers based on points. Only 12 move on for second round competition.  The first Race for the Chase go-round will be held Sunday at Chicago Speedway. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 will be held on the 1.5 mile track. The D-shaped oval opened in 2001 and the first Sprint Cup Series race was won by Kevin Harvick. Rest assured Harvick will be hoping for the track to show him some long-time love, so he can cruise through Round One competition.

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