Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele
With football season having come to an end and the volleyball team taking a week off in anticipation of postseason competition, athletes in Hartford were not as busy this past week. However, athletes in cross country looked to book their tickets to the state meet on the first Saturday in November, while the men’s soccer team looked to score the first regional title in school history.
Hartford Soccer bows out of postseason in Regional Semifinals
On the soccer pitch, the Hartford Men’s Varsity Soccer team, fresh off of the schools fifth district title in nine years, continued postseason play last Tuesday night against Kalamazoo Hackett. The Indians and the Irish met during the regular season, all the way back on Sept. 13, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Hackett. Many observers felt another tight contest was in store, especially since five of the past six matches between the two schools resulted in a tie or a one-goal victory.
KENYON CAN… Coloma running back Kenyon Boyd holds onto the football as he chugs through the field Friday night in the Comets’ game against Kalamazoo United. Paving the way down field for Boyd was Caleb Ellis (13). Coloma was knocked out of the playoffs after suffering a 44-6 defeat. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
What would eventually happen was the complete opposite. The competition was fierce during the first 20 minutes of the match, with neither team giving an inch to the other. However, after that, it was all Kalamazoo Hackett from there. The Irish would push four goals into the net in the final 20 minutes of the first half to take a commanding 4-0 lead into halftime. The second half was more of the same, with the Irish scoring a goal in the first 15 minutes to take a 5-0 lead, which would end up being the final score. However, it must be noted that the Indians did not give up despite trailing for the majority of the match, which showed their pride all the way until the final whistle sounded.
In the other regional semifinal, hosted by Portage Northern, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian went on to defeat Marcellus Howardsville, 3-0. In last Thursday’s regional final, Kalamazoo Hackett defeated Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, 2-0, moving the Irish into the state semifinals.
The Indians finish the season with a record of 19-4. Despite losing 12 seniors to graduation, the tradition of success within the soccer program will continue. After all, Hartford has won seven conference championships and five district titles in the span of just nine years. Congratulations to Coach Blackmer, his coaching staff and the soccer team on another fantastic season.
Hartford Ladies Cross Country Team headed to State Finals
On the Cross Country trail, the Hartford Varsity Cross Country teams competed last Saturday morning in the MHSAA Division 3 regional meet at Centreville High School, along with 14 other local schools. Using the MHSAA’s formula for state meet qualification, just the top-3 teams and top-15 medalists would become eligible to compete in the state finals. On the ladies’ side, the Indians finished 2nd place in a field of 14 teams, thus qualifying all seven runners for the state finals! In fact, the top-5 runners were separated by just 1:21, which was the smallest margin in the entire field. The team was led by Adrianna Morseau, who finished in 10th place with a time of 21:30, while MacKenzie Brinsfield finished right behind in 11th place with a time of 21:33. Other runners that contributed to the team result were Jovana Naranjo (18th place, 22:21), Brianna Morseau (21st place, 22:24) and Jamie Smith (26th place, 22:52). The final two runners for the green and white were Mayra Naranjo (36th place, 23:40) and Asuzena Loera (62nd place, 25:37).
On the men’s side, the Indians finished 12th place in a field of 13 teams, led by Joey Lehmkuhl, who finished in 17th place with a time of 18:08, finishing just two places away from state finals’ qualification. Other runners that contributed to the team result were Francisco Loera (61st place, 20:48), Aldo Acevedo (67th place, 21:15), Keith Sayre (77th place, 21:58) and Francisco Medrano (87th place, 24:27). The final two runners for the green and white were Blake Snyder (88th place, 24:47) and Moises Mejia (92nd place, 27:03).