10-03-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma Homecoming festivities were dampened, Comets lose on Saturday to Constantine 39-0

Coloma’s Homecoming game against Constantine, with all the planning and preparation, finally was played on Saturday afternoon following an 18-hour rain delay. Some of the pageantry that comes with Homecoming had to be set aside for this year.  Friday the decision to move the game to Saturday was made early in the afternoon when the radar showing the day long rain which included plenty of fireworks was going to continue into the night.  The dance went on as scheduled, and the king and queen were crowned, as the teams had to cool their heels until 1 p.m. Saturday.

READY TO RUN… Coloma Comet #33 David Caulton takes the handoff from QB Michael Case as James Clay provides the blocking during Coloma’s homecoming game Saturday against Constantine. Saturday proved to be a much nicer day weather wise, but Coloma lost the game 39-0. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)

The game with two teams seemingly going in opposite directions, the Falcons at 3-1 and the Comets at 1-3, got underway under cloudy skies, and Constantine wasted little time in showing their strength against Coloma. The Falcons scored two first quarter touchdowns, although they were unsuccessful on both 2-point conversions. They led 12-0 after the first quarter.  The game was played very close to the vest by both offenses. There were only two passes thrown by Constantine to five for the Comets, and both relying on their ground attacks.

The Comets once again were outmanned up front as their d-line and o-line both struggled with their counterparts.  The Falcons went up by a score of 32-0 by halftime, and the only mystery left was when they would go up enough to start a running clock.

Constantine finished with a final score victory of 39-0, and totally dominated all the stats.  Coloma finished their second week in a row on the wrong side of a lopsided score book.  Constantine rushed for 377 yards to Coloma’s 64, and had 18 first downs to just five for the Comets.

To add to the Comet misery, their quarterback, junior Drew Goodline came out from the locker room after halftime with his arm on ice and in a sling, and their offense just couldn’t get untracked.  David Caulton the Comet fullback had a few big first down runs and finished with 39 yards on ten carries, while Kenyon Boyd added 28 yards on five carries. Boyd also caught the only Comet completion of the game for seven yards.

Despite the lopsided losses in consecutive weeks at home, Coach Joe Stephens is optimistic that his team will continue to work hard and strive to turn things around with four games left in the season.

Young Comet Cross Country teams continue to impress

The Coloma Cross Country boys and girls continue to stay busy running around southwest Michigan.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25 they ran in the SAC’s second jamboree of the season at Galesburg-Augusta.  The Comet boys ran well once again and finished in fourth place out of 11 conference teams.  Sophomore Jake Ickes finished in 17th place overall leading his team mates, in a time of 18:42.28.  Junior Blane Sutherland was 19th finishing in 18:52.18. Sophomore Caeleb Ishmael was next in 24th overall, crossing the line in 19:14.82.  Sophomore Ethan Vandermolen was the fourth Comet in at 19:37.58, in 31st overall.

The girls also ran well and finished in 4th place out of nine teams, led by junior Abby Vandermolen who came in at 22:23.78 in 12th place overall.  Sophomore Ava Genovese was 20th in a time of 23:03.35, followed closely by Emma Vandermolen in 21st at 23:08.90.  Sophomore Chloe Williams finished in a time of 23:31.59 which brought her 27th place.

The Comets then traveled to Lake Michigan College on Saturday the 28th for the Berrien County meet and faced some of the toughest competition they have run up against this year.  Berrien Springs boys, the class of the county, placed seven runners in the top 25 as they blew away the competition.  Coloma finished in a very respectable 6th place of the 12 teams entered, as Jake Ickes once again led the Coloma contingent.  Jake finished in 24th overall in a time of 18:42.2 on the soggy course, and running right with him was Ethan Vandermolen in one of his best races of the year, coming in 26th by a fraction, 18:42.5.  Blane Sutherland was 35th for the Comets in a time of 19:13, and Caeleb Ishmael finished in 19:23.2.

The girls finished 6th of nine teams, led by Emma and Abby Vandermolen who came in 14th and 15th respectively in times of 22:51.4 and 23:00.  Ava Genovese finished in 22nd place in a time of 23:17.

Coloma Volleyball team loses a pair

The Coloma Volleyball team lost a pair of games last week to a couple of pretty strong teams.  Coach Kim Swisher’s team fell at home to Saugatuck on Tuesday the 24th, as they took the first set in very exciting fashion by a score of 25 to 22.  They continued to play well but Saugatuck was just a little bit better on this night as they won the last three sets by scores of 25-19, 25-9, and 25-20.

Then on Thursday the 26th Coach Swisher’s team traveled to  Schoolcraft, where they lost in straight sets, 25-11, 25-9, and 25-8.

Against Saugatuck, Madison McQuillan had a fine game with 3 kills, 17 assists, 3 aces and 15 digs.  Megan Neubecker had 11 kills, 10 digs, and 4 blocks, while Marissa Sherburn had 4 kills, Taryn Blazier had 4 kills, 3 aces, 8 digs, and 4 blocks.  Mia Cole chipped in with 11 digs.

The stats for the Schoolcraft game looked like this: Kelsey Ellis 15 digs, Madison McQuillan 11 assists and 4 digs, Gracie Whitaker 2 kills and 4 digs, Taryn Blazier had 5 kills, while Megan Neubecker had 6 kills, 4 digs, and 3 blocks.

Coloma boys soccer has great week, winning 2 games and tying one

The Coloma boys soccer team had a very busy week playing three games.  On Monday, Sept. 23, Coach Gary Gagliardo’s team manhandled Constantine at home by a final score of 6-1.  The young Comet team scored early and often, and spent most of the game on their offensive end of the field, making the Comet goalie a very lonely, albeit happy player.

On Wednesday the 25th, the Comets hosted Saugatuck and continued their excellent play by defeating the Indians, by a score of 5-2.  Coloma was led by Cannon Hodges and Tyler Russell who each scored one goal in both the first and second half.  The other goal for the Comets was put in the net by Luis Olivera Rodriguez, scoring in the second half. On Thursday the team celebrated Senior Night at home against Bridgman and came away with a 1-1 tie.

Press Box player of the week

By John Oliphant

Our Press Box Player of the Week is Jordan Abney. Jordan is a junior on the Watervliet Panther varsity football team. He’s had several great games so far this season, leads the team in catches and receiving yards, has a kickoff return for a touchdown, and also leads the team with four interceptions on defense.

Jordan, who has been playing football since he was six years old, is making a big impact in his first year on the varsity team. In addition to his impressive offensive stats, he’s a solid pass defender and is in on most of the tackles when the plays come his way. Coach Josh Tremblay says Jordan is pound-for-pound the toughest and hardest hitter on the team.

The best advice he’s gotten from his coach so far is “if you mess something up, mess it up 100% and learn from the mistake.” He says the football team this year has its ups and downs but they all work to overcome obstacles and try to come back stronger the next day.

Jordan also plays basketball for the Panthers, and plans to make the varsity team this year.

Congratulations, Jordan!

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford Football dashes to third straight win after first quarter forfeit

Last Friday night, Sept. 27, the Hartford Indian Football team returned home for the first time in nearly a month, hosting conference-foe Bangor at Indian Stadium. After suffering large defeats in their first two games, the team had rebounded with back-to-back shutout victories to get back to the .500 mark on the season. With the win-less Vikings coming into town, the Indians had a great chance to get their third straight win, and get back in the playoff conversation.

Unfortunately, there is not much to talk about this week. The Indians jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead behind two rushing touchdowns by Aaron Sinclair, before thunderstorms arrived in the area with 7:09 remaining in the opening stanza. After waiting 30 minutes per state protocol, constant thunder and lightning were still in the sky, forcing Hartford officials to make a decision to move the remainder of the game to 9:00 Saturday morning. However, Bangor officials decided to end the game, leading to a 14-0 forfeit victory for the Indians.

Team and individual statistics were not made available as of press time. But, Hartford was dominating the game from the get-go, and likely would have scored several more times if the game was played to completion.

Hartford is currently 3-2 on the season, and also has the same record in Southwest 10 Conference play. The Indians will remain home for the second straight week, as they host the Mendon Hornets this Friday, Oct. 4. Mendon comes in at 4-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming in week two versus Cassopolis. Fans are reminded that along with the early 5:00 p.m. starting time that this week is Homecoming in Hartford and the stadium is usually packed before game time.

Hartford Volleyball serves-up successful week, wins two of three matches

Last week, the Hartford Indian Volleyball team had another busy week on the court, as they played three matches in a four-day stretch. The only saving grace is that all three matches were held in the friendly confines of Indian Gymnasium. The team was coming off of a rough week, losing five of their six matches. However, this was a new week and with a non-conference match and two critical conference matches on the schedule, this was a week to get back on track.

On Monday night, Sept. 23, the Lady Indians played their lone non-conference match of the week against New Buffalo. The Lady Bison had already defeated Hartford twice in a tournament earlier in the season, and our ladies were looking to exact revenge. However, it was not meant to be, as New Buffalo won the match in straight sets: 25-10, 25-17 and 25-13.

In terms of statistics, Hartford was led in aces by Lainey Goodson, Gillian Kuehnle and Karla Robles, with one ace each. Alexis Snodgrass led the team in kills with 4, while Mercedes Requenes added 2 kills. Megan Nelson led the team in digs with 10, while Robles added 8 digs and Goodson posted 6 digs. Other statistical leaders included Kuehnle with 3 assists and Snodgrass with 2 blocks.

On Tuesday night, Sept. 24, the Lady Indians hosted the Bloomingdale Lady Cardinals in conference action. The two teams played recently in a tournament that saw the teams split sets. This match was bound to be a good one, and it was from start-to-finish. The final result, however, saw Hartford score the victory in straight sets: 25-17, 25-23 and 25-20.

In terms of statistics, Hartford was led in aces by Megan Nelson with 3, while Gillian Kuehnle added 2 aces. Alexis Snodgrass led the team in kills with 5, while Mercedes Requenes and Lainey Goodson added 3 kills each. Nelson led the team in digs with 15, while Karla Robles added 8 digs and Goodson posted 7 digs. Other statistical leaders included Nelson with 8 assists and Snodgrass and Emilie Fillmore with one block each.

On Thursday night, Sept. 26, the Lady Indians concluded their week by hosting the Lady Beavers from Eau Claire in conference action. Two weeks prior, Hartford swept Eau Claire easily in straight sets in the New Buffalo tournament, so they hoped to carry that momentum into this match. The final result was a second-consecutive straight set win for the Lady Indians, as they defeated the Lady Beavers 25-10, 25-15 and 26-24.

In terms of statistics, Hartford was led in aces by Karla Robles with 7, while Ariah Jordan and Megan Nelson added 4 aces each. Nelson led the team in kills with 13, while Alexis Snodgrass added 6 kills and Descenya Rodarte posted 4 kills. Robles led the team in digs with 13, while Nelson added 10 digs and Gillian Kuehnle posted 8 digs. Other statistical leaders i