11-21-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele


Hartford Soccer hosts banquet amidst awards bonanza

On Monday afternoon, Nov. 4, the Hartford Indian Boys Soccer team gathered together to celebrate another outstanding season in 2019. The Indians finished with a record of 20-4 overall and 9-1 in Southwest 10 Conference play. Among the highlights for the season was a 17-match winning streak, a tournament victory in the Shoreline Shootout in South Haven and winning the Southwest 10 Conference for the third straight year. The team also won another district trophy to go into the ever-expanding trophy case, and making it to the state “Sweet 16” in Division 4.

Despite the disappointing early ending to another fantastic year, the mood was upbeat as the team celebrated all of the great accomplishments their program achieved this season. This was awards night after all, and there were plenty to go around.

Starting with all-conference awards, four players were selected for first team all-conference honors in the Southwest 10, while two more players received second team all-conference honors and another pair of Indians received honorable mention all-conference recognition.

Players earning first team all-conference honors included seniors Miguel Cardoso, Nick Pultz and Joel Soto, along with sophomore Aaron Lopez-Robles. For his exemplary play and sportsmanship on the soccer pitch this season, Pultz was voted by the coaches of the conference as the “team captain”. Earning second team all-conference honors were sophomore Kaden Johnson (goalkeeper) and freshman Alan Gonzalez, while junior Danny Gutierrez and freshman Bryan Torres were awarded honorable mention all-conference.

Upon the announcement of the members of the all-conference team, Head Coach Nick Blackmer was honored to hand out a few more special awards. First, Coach Blackmer was honored as the District Coach of the Year by his peers, and accepted the award the only way he knows how: graciously and with humility. Six members of the team were placed on the all-district team: Miguel Cardoso, Alan Gonzalez, Kaden Johnson, Aaron Lopez-Robles, Nick Pultz and Joel Soto, while Cardoso, Pultz and Soto were also named to the all-regional team.

Awards were also announced for all-state, and three players received honors on those lists, as well. Miguel Cardoso, Nick Pultz and Joel Soto each received recognition, with Pultz earning second team honors, while Cardoso received third team honors and Soto earned honorable mention status. Pultz and Soto also received individual all-academic awards from the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association (MIHSSCA) for their exemplary work in the classroom.

Congratulations to these exemplary student-athletes, and to all the soccer players, for their achievements this season!

Hartford Cross Country teams celebrate successful season at banquet

On Thursday afternoon, Nov. 7, the Hartford Cross Country teams came together and celebrated their 2019 season. The Indians were able to gather for their banquet knowing that both teams had another successful year, and that they gave it their all each and every race.

The season was highlighted by the ladies team placing 2nd in the Southwest 10 Conference, while the mens team placed 5th overall in the conference. On the men’s side, the team placed in the top-5 in six different meets, with a season-best finish of 3rd in the Lawrence Early Bird Invitational. Meanwhile, the ladies placed in the top-3 in ten of their twelve meets, highlighted by a victory in the Decatur Raider Invitational.

There was plenty of reason to celebrate, as a total of seven runners – five ladies and two gentlemen – were awarded all-conference honors. To earn their place on the all-conference roster, runners must compete in all three conference jamborees and place consistently in the field. At the end of the three jamborees, where the runners place is totaled up and is used to determine the representative of each all-conference team. Hartford managed to place five runners on the first team all-conference list, while the remaining two runners took home second team all-conference status.

On the ladies side, three runners managed to take home first team all-conference honors in seniors Yovana Naranjo and Katherine Sanchez, along with sophomore Jasmin Janicki. Meanwhile, two other Lady Indian runners, juniors Mayra Naranjo and Jamie Smith, took home second team all-conference honors. On the men’s side, both all-conference runners, senior Joey Lehmkuhl and junior Jacob Morales, made it on the first team list.

Congratulations to these fine student-at