MCDANIEL RUSHES FOR 100 YARDS… Coloma’s Caleb McDaniel rushed for 100 yards and one touchdown during Fri-day’s final regular season football game. Coloma topped Eau Claire 51-7 and finished the season 3-6. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
The Watervliet varsity football team ended their regular season with a 60-6 victory over Bangor Friday night. The squad then followed that up with news on Selection Sunday that their first opponent in the playoffs would be 7-2 Jackson Lumen Christi. The teams will take the field in Jackson on Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. Watervliet ran roughshod over Bangor, earning 23 first downs compared to three by the Vikings. The Panthers ran 59 total plays, while Bangor was limited to just 30. Watervliet opened the game by scoring 14 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Panthers put an impressive 40 points on the board. Bangor, who was lugging around a 0-8 record prior to tangling with Watervliet, had been shut out five times this year. Against the Panthers, Bangor scored six points in the second quarter on a kick return. That would be all she wrote for the Vikings, who were held scoreless in the first, third, and fourth quarters and dropped to 0-9 to close out their season. Watervliet did not convert any touchdown attempts in the third quarter and was held to Carlos Hernandez’s lone TD in the fourth. Watervliet quarterback Cam Rendo threw 24 passes, 18 of which connected with Panther receivers. Rendo picked up 270 passing yards and threw for two touchdowns. He also ran for five TDs, carrying the ball 10 times for 76 yards. For the regular season, Rendo threw 2,619 passing yards and 30 TDs. He was 151 of 227 under center and had only five passes picked off. Tyler Brant was Rendo’s most popular target Friday night. He picked up 123 yards on seven catches. Carlos Hernandez caught three passes for 33 yards and one touchdown. Zack Pickens had three receptions for 15 yards. LA Smith’s three catches resulted in 35 yards for the Panthers. Trent Boone caught two passes for 57 yards. Devon Flowers caught one pass for seven yards. Pickens rushed for 63 yards on eight carries, while Hernandez crossed the goal line for a touchdown on one of his eight carries and 51 yards. Dylan Lynch ran for 55 yards on seven carries, and Bryant Kieft had one carry for seven yards. Boone had a rushing TD as well. As a whole, the Panthers rushed for 252 yards and added 265 yards passing for 520 yards of total offense. The Panthers were led by Ryan Chisek on defense. His nine tackles was the team high. Kieft had five tackles, and Lynch notched four. Lynch also recovered two fumbles. Pickens and Brad Yazel both had three tackles. Brant, Matt Melcher, and Sheldon Tobar accounted for two tackles apiece. Tobar also recovered a fumble. Flowers caught one interception. The Panthers will travel across I-94 Friday to take on Jackson Lumen Christi at 7 p.m. Friday, October 28. Lumen Christi ended their regular season 7-2. Their two losses during the season came at the hands of Grand Rapids West Catholic and Battle Creek Harper Creek, in weeks one and three, respectively. They recorded one shutout against Jackson Northwest. They won one overtime game by one point over Coldwater. The team won four additional games by 27 points or more. Watervliet head coach Jeremy Andrews had his nose to the grindstone this week, reviewing film of LC. “I know they are a good program,” he said. “They play a tough schedule as well, mostly teams that are a little bigger population wise. (We have) no specific concerns (playing Lumen Christi. We) just need to get ready for an opponent we are not familiar with. The nice thing is they aren’t very familiar with us either.” Break out the maroon and white Friday night. Head east to cheer on your hometown Panthers!
Hartford crushes Covert in district semi-final; suffer heartbreak in championship game
The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Division 4 District 50 soccer tournament was hosted by Hartford, much to the excitement of players and fans alike. Hartford opened the tournament on Monday, October 17 with a 7-1 win over Bloomingdale. Bangor topped Saugatuck 4-1 and Lawton defeated Gobles 6-0. In the first semi-final matchup, Lawton battled Bangor to a 3-2 win on penalty kicks in the second overtime period. Hartford faced Covert and ran away with an easy 8-0 win in the late semi-final game Wednesday, October 19. Hartford opened up the superabundant scoring with William Martinez cranking a ball into the goal in the second minute of play. Martinez scored his second goal of the night in minute six bringing the score of the game to 2-0. Hartford’s Austin Nelson got into the scoring surge by kicking the next two Indian goals, one in the 16th minute and the second in the 20th minute of the game. His goals increased the Hartford lead to 4-0. Danny Resendez kicked the team’s fifth goal in minute 21. His score was followed by Michel Calderon’s at minute 30. Joel Soto and Jovani Calderon tag-teamed for one goal apiece in minutes 38 and 39 of the contest. According to the rules, with Hartford leading 8-0 at the half, the game was called, giving the Indians a trip to the district championship game. Hartford faced Lawton on Friday, October 21 for the title. Unfortunately for the Indians, Lawton eked out a 2-1 victory and won the championship title. Hartford coach Nick Blackmer said, “I think the loss was attributed to Lawton playing harder than us; plain and simple. I can only imagine how excited those players must have been. It helps me cope with the loss a bit knowing how much that victory must have meant to the other team.” Make no mistake, Blackmer and his players are disappointed. But, they know from the beginning of each season that soccer is, well, just a sport. “The reality of it is, if you truly love your sport, every time your season ends it is a heartbreaker,” Blackmer shared. “I give the same speech when our season is over that I give our first day of practice. We are not here to win soccer games. We are here to use soccer to make (the players) better men. If we accomplish that, then we have reached a higher level of success than any championship can bring. And the funny thing is, sometimes it takes a hard loss (like Friday’s) to really open your eyes.” Since he became the soccer coach in 2010, Blackmer has seen changes in his program, players, and community. “We had 32 little rascals that put on a jersey and played for me this year. I had more people this year tell me they went and saw a soccer game for the first time than I ever have. That means a lot to me coming from my community where soccer is a foreign sport.” With only four losses in two seasons, Blackmer and his tribe of soccer players is certainly doing something right. Expect them back next year on the soccer field ready to dominate the Southwestern Athletic Conference yet again.
Coloma Football closes out season with win
The Comets of Coloma dominated the gridiron Friday in a nonconference matchup against Eau Claire. Coloma’s first score came courtesy of a one yard scamper by quarterback Zach Goodline. The point after attempt by Derek Plitt was no good, and the Comets led 6-0. Goodline blistered a toss to Brendan Lute on a 50 yard pass play for another six points. This time Plitt’s kick was good as Coloma widened their lead over the Beavers to 13-0. With quickness, the Comets were back in the end zone for the third time after Calvin Starnes caught a Goodline pass for another six points. Plitt’s kick was no good, but the Comets led 19-0. The lone rushing touchdown of the first quarter came courtesy of Caleb McDaniel. His 23 yard run gave Coloma another TD. Add to that Plitt’s point after kick and the score stood 26-0. The final scoring drive of the opening quarter came on another Goodline pass, this time to Levi Wilkens for the touchdown. Plitt was not able to get the kick through the uprights, and at the end of the first quarter Coloma enjoyed a 32-0 lead. Zane Lute was the sixth Comet to score on Friday. His three yard run in the second period gave Coloma a 38-0 lead. Then Goodline carried the ball 13 yards for a TD. Coupled with Plitt’s kick, Coloma led 45-0 at intermission. The one and only score in the third quarter was a rushing TD by Eau Claire and their ensuing point after kick. The Beavers trailed Coloma 45-7 at the end of three. Fourth quarter scoring found Plitt nabbing a touchdown on a 12 yard run. His follow up kick was no good, but the Comets closed the game with a 51-7 victory. Goodline completed four of six passes for 144 yards and three TDs. He also picked off an errant Beaver pass. Brenden Lute caught one pass for 50 yards and one TD. Starnes had 47 yards and one TD on two receptions. Wilkens caught one pass for 47 yards and a TD. McDaniel rushed for 100 yards and one TD on seven carries. Goodline picked up two rushing TDs on three carries for 45 yards. Plitt toted the ball three times for 39 yards. Zack Lake had six carries for 36 yards. Adam Hearn picked up 17 yards on two carries but also fumbled once. Zane Lute had one TD and three carries for 16 yards. Jamane Smith Jr. had a stellar game. The junior rushed for 47 yards on five carries. Defensively, Smith was on fire. He had a team-high seven tackles including two for losses and was seemingly in on most plays. Sergio Hernandez accounted for four tackles, while Wilkens had three. Trystan Skaggs, Christian Hudson, Calvin Hutchinson, Matthew Davis, and Pablo Martinez were credited with two tackles apiece. The Comets ended their season 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division.
Indians crushed by Constantine
The Hartford Indians football team was crushed by Constantine Friday, October 21 in the teams’ final regular season game. Hartford lost 65-8 on the road and was left with a 2-7 overall record for the 2016 season. Hartford was 1-4 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Central Division standings. Their two wins game against Bangor in week five and Eau Claire in week eight. The Indians were shut out four times this season, including the first three games of the season.
Coloma Volleyball geared up for long district run
Coloma’s varsity volleyball team, led by Coach Kim Gear, is prepared for a district title run. The squad, currently leading the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division with a 5-0 record, will take part in Class B District 33 competition at Lakeshore next week. The Comets drew a bye in round one play which will feature Benton Harbor versus South Haven and Buchanan against Berrien Springs. The winner of the Benton Harbor/South Haven matchup will take on the Comets Wednesday, November 2 at 5:30 at Lakeshore. “Everyone is healthy and ready to go!” commented Gear. “I feel we are prepared but we are looking to finish up conference play first. (We’re) taking it one day at a time!” Coloma had a busy week at the net as they faced Gobles on Tuesday, October 18. The Comets notched a three-game win 25-9, 25-6, 25-12. Kayla Yore led Coloma with five kills, 18 assists, seven aces, 11 digs, and two blocks in the Comets’ dominating performance. Kelly Walter had 18 kills, 11 aces, six digs, and five blocks. Morgan Wagner contributed five kills, one ace, and 13 digs. Mya Potter had 16 digs, while Nicolle Larson added one kill, two aces, and one block. Alyssa Dillenbeck provided three digs, and Jenna Walter tallied four kills and six assists. Sam Stewart and Hannah Mathis notched one dig each. Mika Anderson had two digs and one block. Megan Neubecker tallied one kill. On Thursday, the Comet crew added two more wins to the scorebook. This time, they defeated Galesburg-Augusta (25-16, 25-18) and Delton Kellogg (25-22, 25-14). Yore’s stat line read seven kills, 45 assists, eight aces, 21 digs, and one block. Kelly Walter had 32 kills, 15 digs, and three blocks. Wagner piled on 10 kills, three assists, two aces, 26 digs, and two blocks. Potter provided three aces and 31 digs. Larson landed five kills, two aces, and four digs. Dillenbeck added 12 digs. Jenna Walter hit seven kills, 17 assists, nine digs, and one block. Anderson added eight kills and eight digs. Stewart chipped in one dig. On Saturday, the team traveled to St. Joe for tournament action. The squad split with Lakeshore (25-20, 19-25), lost to St. Joe (22-25, 17-25), and defeated a third opponent. Niles won the St. Joe tourney after defeating Lakeshore in the semi-finals. For Coloma, Stewart had two digs. Anderson provided five kills, six digs, and one block. Jenna Walter contributed two kills, 10 assists, one ace, eight digs, and two blocks. Dillenbeck’s 10 digs aided the Comet effort. Larson had five kills, two assists, eight aces, and three digs. Potter placed one ace and 31 digs for Coloma. Wagner tallied 13 kills, three assists, five aces, 36 digs, and three blocks. Kelly Walter had 42 kills, two assists, one ace, 19 digs, and four blocks. Yore hit eight kills, 51 assists, five aces, 23 digs, and two blocks.
Hartford Volleyball busy before district opener
Hartford volleyball opened last week on Tuesday, October 18 with a three-game loss to Saugatuck 16-25, 19-25, 18-25. The team dropped to 6-24 overall this season. Amber Martin led Hartford with one ace, 11 kills, two blocks, and six assists. Ashley Kling added three kills and 25 digs. AJ Jackson tallied one ace, three kills, and four blocks. Sarah Rice chipped in two aces and 37 digs, while Amara Wesaw contributed five kills. Olivia Ziemer had 35 digs, and Olivia Kling provided 11 assists. The squad participated in quad action on Thursday, October 20. They faced Marcellus in the first game and lost 14-25, 17-25. In game two Hartford beat Lawrence 25-22, 25-13. Olivia Kling hit two aces, four kills, 39 digs, and 10 assists for Hartford. Martin provided two aces, three blocks, nine kills, 33 digs, and six assists. Ashley Kling contributed two aces and 33 digs. Jackson had five blocks and three kills. Wesaw tallied three kills. Rice and Jasmine Solis crushed two aces each, while Ellie Valdes blocked four shots. Ziemer had 20 digs. On Saturday, the Indians joined in the volleyball fun at the St. Joe tournament. The team lost to Niles (8-25, 14-25) and Edwardsburg (6-25, 23-25) before splitting with Paw Paw (26-24, 21-25). Amber Martin led the Indians with three aces. Rice, Olivia Kling, Janell Babcock, and Megan Nelson each hit one ace. Jackson and Martin had eight kills apiece. Rice added four, while Brynn Duffy had two and Valdes added one. Jackson led the team with 11 blocks, followed by Martin with 10. Olivia Kling had a team-high 67 digs. She was followed by Nelson with 48, Martin with 47 and Rice with 32. Kling also led with 15 assists, followed by Nelson (4), and Martin (1). The squad holds an 8-30 overall record and remains winless in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division. District competition opens Monday, October 31 for the Indians as they face Gobles at 7 p.m. at tourney host Bloomingdale. Also on the docket that evening in the early game is Kalamazoo Hackett versus Bloomingdale. If Hartford advances Monday night, they will play Kalamazoo Christian on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Hartford coach Patricia Matheny is excited about the prospect of facing Gobles. “We drew a team that we are pretty equal to. We will face Gobles this Thursday, so it will be a nice preview for us. My girls are healthy and really starting to perform. “I’m expecting great leadership from my senior setter Olivia Kling and middle hitter/setter Amber Martin. These two young ladies do a fantastic job running the floor. “My senior outside hitter Sarah Rice has become a stronger hitter and server as well. AJ Jackson has become pretty strong on the net; she has really developed into a great blocker. Ellie Valdes has been a kid that started hitting outside but we transitioned her into the middle rotation and she has done a fabulous job. Ashley Kling has been a big defensive help; she has great control of the ball. “All of my girls have started playing with more confidence and are ready for districts. Our overall record does not really show (our) talent.”
MARTINEZ’S FIRST AND SECOND STRIKES… William Martinez works the ball downfield during Hartford’s semi-final district game against Covert last Wednesday. Martinez scored the first two goals for the Indians as Hartford went on to blank the Bulldogs 8-0 in the first half to end the game. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Opponents pounce on Panthers at the net
Watervliet volleyball suffered a series of losses last week against two different opponents. On Tuesday, October 18, the squad celebrated Senior Night as well as playing in their first Pink Out match hoping to bring awareness to breast cancer. Watervliet faced Kalamazoo Hackett and lost three games 12-25, 18-25, 21-25. According to Watervliet coach Edie Daugherty, “Hackett’s tough serving challenged the Panthers to run their offensive attack tonight.” Mercede Daugherty led Watervliet with 21 assists, two kills, two blocks, and seven digs. Logan Mizwicki added 13 digs and three kills. Zoe Smith contributed seven kills, one block, and seven digs. Kara Liles had five kills, six blocks, and four digs. Katie Schultz offered up six kills, one block, and one dig. Grace Smith tallied two kills and six digs. Ariana Rowe had three kills and two blocks, while Maggie Lynch added four digs. Watervliet then traveled to Delton Kellogg to face DK and Galesburg-Augusta. On the court against Delton Kellogg, the Lady Panthers lost 13-25, 18-25. Mercede Daugherty led the Panthers with 12 assists, one ace and seven kills. Zoe Smith had five kills and 10 digs. Mizwicki tallied six kills and 10 digs. Grace Smith was credited with eight digs. In the second matchup of the evening, Watervliet faced Galesburg-Augusta and dropped two games. In the second contest, Liles had two kills and two blocks. Schultz smacked three aces and one kill. Grace Smith hit one kill and eight digs. Daugherty tallied seven assists, one ace, and three digs. Katie Clark hit two kills. Watervliet will host the Class C District 65 tournament next week. District competition opens Monday, October 31 with Brandywine taking on New Buffalo and Bridgman crossing paths with Eau Claire. Watervliet received a first round bye and will compete on Wednesday, November 2 at 5:30 against the winner of the Brandywine/New Buffalo contest in a district semi-final game.
Hartford Cross Country runs in Little Guys Invitational
The Hartford boys’ and girls’ cross country teams participated in Saturday’s Little Guys Invitational at Gobles High School. Three Indian runners set new personal records at the event in the boys’ division. Francisco Loera finished 24th overall with his new PR of 19:29.49. Blair McMeeken took 32nd place with his time of 19:47.90, also a new PR. James Lucero’s time of 21:02.89 was good for a new PR and 57th place. Francisco Medrano finished 84th (38:19.65). The Hartford team finished 10th overall with 255 points. The championship was won by Comstock with 78 points. The Hartford girls’ squad took eighth place overall with 184 points. Quincy won the championship with 64 points. For the Indians, Angela Saldana was first to finish in 18th place overall (23:24.83). Marisol Robles took 28th place (24:29.54). Isabell Heminger finished 38th with a time of 25:41.07. Mariela Gutierrez took 51st place (28:06.09). Evelin Ugalde and Maria Gutierrez finished 57th and 58th, respectively, with times of 28:46.97 and 28:49.94. Jessica Cortes set a new personal record with her time of 30:49.78. She finished in 66th place. Watervliet Cross Country teams finish fifth and sixth at Kalamazoo Christian invitational The cross country teams from Watervliet spent Saturday morning blazing a trail at the Kalamazoo Christian Comet Invitational. The Panthers finished fifth in the boys’ division with 136 points. The invitational was won by Grand Rapids Covenant Christian who tallied 44 points. Finishing first for Watervliet was Jobe Kerr. Kerr took second place overall with a time of 17:08 as he continued his hot streak this season. Dominick Tavolacci took 29th place with his time of 18:34. Gus Hinch crossed the finish line in 35th place (18:51), while teammate Nick Swanson set a new personal record with his 18:51.62 finish time, good for 36th place. Austin Roberts took 45th place (19:20) by setting a new personal record. Klayton Marshall finished 47th (19:22). Rick Ertman’s 49th place time of 19:23 was a new PR for the senior. Kody Edmonds set a new PR with his time of 19:54; he finished 54th. Alex Isbrecht was another Panther setting a new PR; his time of 20:21 was good for 64th place. Trevor Pelton trailed behind Isbrecht by less than one second. He also set a new PR and took 65th place. Haydon Richards claimed 69th place (20:24). Tom Swanson finished 85th (20:47), and Isaac Willmoth finished the course in 22:28 for 119th place. Josh Gruszczyk finished in 138th place with a new PR of 24:23. The Lady Panthers claimed sixth place at the invitational. Their point total was 137. Grand Rapids South Christian won the championship with 36 points. Taylor Shafer led the Panther charge across the finish line. She captured 10th place overall with a time of 21:19.09. Allie Pazera finished in 14th place (21:22.25). Jade Miller earned a new personal record with her time of 22:34.42; she finished 40th. Bailey Evans finished 54th (23:21.75). Alyssa Hobson took 73rd place (23:57.02), and Brenda Hess finished 147th (30:52.02).
Talladega Superspeedway was the site of Sunday’s Hellman’s 500 Sprint Cup race. And, while the NASCAR race was relatively calm featuring only six caution periods, the hopes for a championship trophy crashed down around the cars of Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. in a big way. Keselowski and Truex Jr. were two of the remaining ten drivers in the Round of 12 field hoping for a win or high finish on Sunday to move their teams into the next round of competition. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick had already sealed up their bids and automatically qualified for Round of 8 racing. That left 10 drivers chasing six spots. Pole sitter Truex led two laps before his engine blew on lap 41. He headed to the garage with a 40th place finish and title hopes dashed. Truex Jr. captured four wins in the 2016 season and seven top five finishes. Keselowski’s engine did him no favors, and he was out after lap 144 with a disappointing 38th place finish after starting alongside Truex in row one. Keselowski led 90 laps. Jumping for joy – or was it Joey? – was Joey Logano. Logano drove his Ford into the winner’s circle after leading 45 laps. With the win, he automatically qualified for the Round of 8 racing. Rookie Brian Scott, also in a Ford, finished in second place. Sunday marked Scott’s highest finish this year. Denny Hamlin took third and led 12 laps, while Kurt Busch finished fourth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led six laps and earned a fifth place finish in his Ford. Drivers who also led laps were: Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards (all with one), Kyle Busch (2), Ryan Blaney (3), Michael Annett (6), Chase Elliott (9), and Greg Biffle (13). There were a whopping 31 lead changes on Sunday. The race covered 192 circuits, and 34 drivers finished on the lead lap. The field of drivers for the next round is set and includes: Logano, Johnson, Harvick, Kenseth, Edwards, Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch. Besides Truex Jr. and Keselowski, Dillon and Elliott were eliminated from championship contention. Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix host the Round of 8 races. Drivers’ points have been reset and the field starts fresh. Only four drivers will move on to compete at Homestead for the championship trophy. Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 will feature plenty of gusty racing on the half-mile Martinsville Speedway short track. You can bet Kyle Busch, who won here back in April, will be gunning for another victory and a chance to hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy.
Krell & Rodney-Isbrecht post perfect week; Lynch & Krell tied atop leaderboard
Each one of our six superstar Armchair Quarterbacks fared well last week. Greg Krell and RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht posted perfect 8-0 records, while everyone else went 7-1. With his perfect prediction, Krell joined Rodney Lynch at the top of the Tri-City Record AQB leaderboard. Each week, our stupendous six predict the winners of eight high school, college, and professional football games. The AQB with the best record come February will win a cool TCR AQB championship cap. In the event the ‘backs tie in the weekly race, one game is specially selected as the tie-breaker game. Contestants must determine how many total points will be scored in that game. Rankings are determined by who guessed closest to the final point total. This week, Krell and Rodney-Isbrecht pegged all games correctly. That meant their weekly ranking came down to the point total of the Chicago at Green Bay game. The Bears were dropped for another loss and a 1-6 record as the Packers notched a 26-10 victory. Rodney-Isbrecht guessed 47 points would be scored in the contest, so she led the week in first place. Krell took second with his 51 point guess. Lynch, Tim Hildebrand, Tom Gear, and Chris Leach all posted awesome 7-1 records. With his 44 point guess, Hildebrand takes third for week nine. Lynch nabbed fourth place with his 55 point guess. Leach landed in fifth place for the week with her 56 point guess. Gear garnered a sixth place finish; he guessed 60 points would be scored in the contest. Krell advanced one game to tie Lynch in first place. They hold 55-17 overall records. There was little movement elsewhere on the board as everyone kept pace. Rodney-Isbrecht gained one game on Lynch, but she still trails the leaders by two games. Her record is 53-19. Hildebrand’s 49-23 record gives him fourth place. Gear is in fifth place overall with a 44-28 record. Leach remains in the cellar with a 42-30 record. The high school football season drew to a close for Coloma and Hartford. Watervliet is the only local gridiron great in contention with playoff fever. Our AQBs will face an uncertain week as we introduce a couple of new teams into our game. They will determine the winners of the following contests:
St. Joe @ Lakeshore
Watervliet @ Jackson Lumen Christi
Grand Rapids S. Christian @ Benton Harbor
Michigan @ Michigan State
Miami (FL) @ Notre Dame
Nebraska @ Wisconsin
Detroit @ Houston
Minnesota @ Chicago
The Michigan versus Michigan State game is this week’s tie-breaker contest.
Watervliet will face a 7-2 Jackson Lumen Christi team in their first playoff game this season. Let’s go, Panthers!!!!