12-05-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma Comet Girls Bowling team ready to defend as Division 3 state champs

According to Coloma girls bowling coach, Carley Burrell, the Lady Comets should be very capable of repeating as the Division 3 state champs in the upcoming season. But she also states that they are a long way from that competition and will need a lot of work by her whole team to achieve that lofty goal when the state tournament rolls around next spring.

The Comet girls ended last season’s campaign at the top of the Michigan Division 3 bowling world, as they came home with their second state championship trophy, having first won it in 2010. Coach Burrell thinks she still has the makings of a highly competitive team, with four returning bowlers. But on the other side of the coin, the roster is made up of three newcomers, who have no bowling experience what so ever.

The returning bowlers for Coach Burrell are all seniors who have been a part of the Comet lane brigade since they were freshmen. The coach says that she has very high expectations for all of them, as Morgan Hosbein, Carissa Richmond, and Emily Feldten all have been named to the All State team in the past. Ashley Ikerd is the other senior on the team and she has previously been a member of the all-conference team.

As for the new members of the team, Maddison McQuillan, Eadie Needham, and Clover Sinkler, Coach Burrell expects them to work hard at improving as the year rolls on. With no previous bowling experience, she expects them to improve by at least 50 pins per game from where they are starting. As in most sports, the only way to improve your bowling skills is to put in the work on the lanes. So a great deal of practice and instruction will be necessary for their successful improvement.

With Morgan, Carissa, Emily, and Ashley, Coach Burrell has some seasoned veterans. Their leadership and teaching should certainly help in bringing their newer team mates along. All in this group have showed they have the ability to get hot and carry their team when needed.

In winning the state championship last spring, Emily Feldten as the anchor or cleanup bowler needed two strikes and one pin for Coloma to win the championship in the 10th and final frame. She was able to bear this weight when she rolled two strikes and then eight pins to lock away the State Championship Title.

As a team, to have a chance to repeat, these four will also have to continue their improvement in order to carry the one spot that will need it. Coach Burrell does say however, that she has full confidence in her seniors and fully expects to win their conference and to proceed into the state tournament with high expectations. Coach Burrell states that, “I believe in my seniors, they are great leaders, very hungry, motivated, and determined. My newbies are working hard, very coachable, and are already showing signs of improvement.” Carley also states that her confidence also comes from the fact that the team in 2015 was in a similar situation talent wise and they were able to bowl their way to the final four at state because of their will to win it all.

The Comets begin their season with a home match at Kelley’s Bowl against Comstock, on Monday, Dec. 9, and another at Kelley’s on Wednesday the 11th, vs. Schoolcraft.

DIVISION 8 CHAMPS… The Reading Rangers hoist the championship trophy in celebration, after defeating Beal City in the Division 8 championship played November 29, 2019 at Ford Field. Reading won 33-6, the first championship game played at 10 a.m. Thanksgiving weekend. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)

Comet girls and boys begin basketball action; kicking off the winter sports season

The Coloma girls next action on the basketball court is on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic in Kalamazoo. The boys open up with their first action on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at home versus Buchanan at 7 p. m. The girls also play on Tuesday preceding the boys at 5:30, against the Lady Bucks.

Coloma Youth Baseball Softball Association announces officer’s slate

The Coloma Youth Baseball Softball Association has announced their new slate of officers for the upcoming 2020 season, with most in their first year in their position. The CYBSA is made up totally of volunteers who work year round to provide a positive experience for kids living in the Coloma area. They continue to meet all year, before and after the playing seasons, planning, preparing, as well as working on the fields, dugouts, and concession and storage buildings. We tip our hat to all of those who give of their time for all of our children.

The 2020 officers are President- Cody Kelley, Vice President- Brenda Crisenbery, Secretary- Sara Ashley, Treasurer- Jodi Lute, Concession Manager- Rochelle Ulleg, Baseball Director- Mark Coble, and Softball Director- Marshall Champion.

MHSAA Football Season ends with 8 division champions crowned at Ford Field

I had the a tremendous experience and privilege of attending the MHSAA football championship games played at Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the Lions, on Thanksgiving weekend. It was my first experience, as a member of the media, at the football championships. I attended the four games played on Friday, Nov. 29 in divisions 2, 4, 6, and 8. The championship games provided plenty of electricity and excitement permeating the air all day long.

On Saturday, four more champions were crowned in divisions 1, 3, 5, and 7. There were three teams who won by shutout, highlighted by Pewamo-Westphalia who beat Jackson Lumen Christi, a perennial power playing in Division 7 this year. It was the ninth shutout of the season for PW, and only one team scored more than one touchdown on them all year, as they went 14-0 on the season.

The results of the championship games were: Division 1 – Davison 35, Brighton 25; Division 2 – Muskegon Mona Shores 35, Detroit MLK 26; Division 3 – River Rouge 30, Muskegon 7; Division 4 – Grand Rapids CC 44, Detroit Country Day 0; Division 5 – Lansing Catholic 31, Almont 17; Division 6 – Monroe St. Mary’s CC 7, Maple City Glen Lake 0; Division 7 – Pewamo-Westphalia 14, Jackson Lumen Christi 0; and Division 8 – Reading 33, Beal City 6.

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Watervliet Athletic Hall of Fame 2020 Class chosen

The Watervliet Athletic Department has announced its third group of Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. The 2020 Class includes 1975 graduate Roberta Salay Stannard, 1980 graduate Scott Tatter, 1984 graduate Eric Anderson, 2000 graduate Gordie Cartwright, and 1977 graduate Greg Krell.

The Class of 2020 will be inducted on Saturday, February 22 during halftime of the varsity boys basketball game. More complete athletic bios of the inductees will be published at a later date.

Other athletes getting votes of recognition were John Hinkelman, 1977, David Coon, 1987, the 1964 football team, 1973-74 cross country team, and the 1984 wrestling team. Also recognized was Coach Bill Forrester and long-time scorekeeper Donna Strine.

Panther Girls Basketball starts this week

The Lady Panthers began their 2019-2020 season earlier this week and host Eau Claire at home Thursday, Dec. 5, Fennville Friday, Dec. 6, and Hartford on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Last years’ team posted a 4-16 record, and was winless in SAC games. They expect to improve on that record this year. The team, with just three returning players, had good participation in their summer program with an enthusiastic and talented, if inexperienced, group of athletes. Coach Ken Dietz is happy with their work in the off-season and is excited to see this group grow.

The team will be led by seniors Alex Worley and Serena Reyna. Worley started several games last year and brings plenty of varsity experience this year. Reyna had limited playing time but was a solid outside shooter and expects to get plenty of chances to hone that shot with this inside-outside game.

Sophomore Madison Saunders is the other returning varsity player and she will pick up a big role this season as a guard. The team graduated eight seniors, so there’s limited experience but plenty of excitement and optimism coming into this season.

Sophomore Addison Riley along with juniors Yana Winters, Sophia Warsko, and Yona Klimkiewicz will see plenty of playing time, as well as a freshmen group including point guard Maddie Flowers, center Myah Hobson, and guard Samantha Dietz.

Coach Dietz says he’s got some good shooters and that they’ll have to play good team basketball to be competitive against some of the more experienced SAC teams. He said they have plenty of opportunities and challenges as they begin the season.

Volleyball All-State Academic Honors

Panther varsity volleyball team picked up several post-season awards, as Adrianna Winters, Allison Pline, Susanna VanLente, Addison Riley, Abbigayle Roberts, Grace Weckwerth, and Kristen Gardiner earned MIVCA Team Academic All-State honors. To qualify for this recognition a team member must be at least a sophomore and have an average GPA of 3.4 or higher. Congratulations also to senior Susanna VanLente who earned MIVCA Individual Academic All-State.

ACADEMIC HONORS… Members of the Watervliet Varsity Volleyball team have earned Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic All-State honors. Pictured are (from the left): Adrianna Winters, Allison Pline, Susanna VanLente, Addison Riley and Abbigayle Roberts. Also honored but not pictured are Grace Weckwerth and Kristen Gardiner. In addition, Susanna VanLente received Individual Academic All-State honors.

Middle School Boys Basketball

On November 27 the Panthers 8th Grade Maroon team traveled to Lakeshore and lost to a tough Lancer squad, 61-44. They were looking good at the half with a 3-point lead, but a flat second half and too many turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.

On November 26 the Panthers 8th Grade White team beat Lakeshore, 35-18. They were led by Joe Coulombe with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Connor Zwar had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Cole Drummond scored 4 points and pulled down 3 rebounds and a steal. Deejay Welch scored 8 points and had 11 rebounds. Devin Geisler and Aiden Bethea each scored 2 points. Anthony Winters grabbed 5 rebounds, and Isaiah Howell had 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

On November 25 the 8th Grade White boys basketball team traveled to Coloma. The Panthers used great team defense to win 43-26. Joe Coulombe had a big game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. Cole Drummond had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Ian Coleman scored 2 points and grabbed 2 rebounds. Doug Hornus played a good game, scoring 4 points and collecting 6 rebounds. Devin Geisler had 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. Aiden Bethea scored 5 points and had 3 steals. Anthony Winters had a season high 7 points and 8 rebounds.

Press Box Player of the Week!

By John Oliphant

Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week for December 5, 2019 is Logan Geisler. Logan was recently selected by the Panther football coaches to receive the Panther Award. This award is given annually to that senior football player who best demonstrates the hard work, perseverance, teamwork, and leadership that drives a football team through its long and tough season.

Logan described winning the award as “Amazing! I honestly didn’t think I was going to get it, but I’m very glad I did.”

Logan just completed his fourth and final year in the football program, and says his favorite part of the game is the brotherhood developed by the team throughout the course of a season. Logan said, “The best part of the football team this year was how we always had the ability to call each other brothers when the season became rough and regardless of the outcome we would still call each other brothers.”

During the winter he’ll be collecting and reading comic books and following the Packers. In the spring he’ll finish his senior year on the track team.

His favorite class is physics, and he’s looking at attending Ferris State, Central Michigan, or Hope College.

“This year’s outcome wasn’t what we expected nor what we wanted as a team, especially for the guys that were there every day and bought into what we were doing and trying to achieve. Many good things came out of this season though, discipline, teamwork, and the realization that not everything goes as planned. Times got rough during this year but no matter what we could always count on each other.”

Congratulations Logan!

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford Lady Indian Basketball season preview

On the girl’s side of winter sports, the Hartford Lady Indian basketball team began practice a couple weeks ago and has been hard at work preparing for the tasks that lie ahead. Last season saw the ladies finish with a record just above the .500 mark at 11-10 overall and 9-8 in conference play, which was good enough for fifth place in the Southwest 10 Conference. Like every team in the state, the Lady Indians advanced to the postseason, but were knocked out in the district semifinals by Niles Brandywine.

In the past eight months, changes have occurred in the Lady Indian basketball program, and it starts at the very top. There has been a head coaching change, and the new coach is a Hartford alumnus. Former three-sport Indian athlete, Jamin Olds, has taken over the program, and brings ten years of coaching experience with him. Most recently, Olds had a five-year head coaching stint as the leader of the boys’ basketball program in South Haven. He led the Rams to a 70-44 mark in his tenure, including a district championship and a regional final appearance in 2013.

Despite the fact that the ladies lost a few seniors last year to graduation, including key contributor Mikenzie Chambers, who is now playing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Coach Olds still has talented players who have crucial experience at the varsity level. Among the players he will be counting on will include a pair of seniors in Megan Nelson and Jaelyne Galvan, who will be counted on as leaders and both are threats from outside the arc. Also returning for the Lady Indians are a quartet of sophomores who gained valuable playing time last season, in the form of Alexis Snodgrass in the front court, and Vanessa De La Rosa, Gillian Kuehnle and Descenya Rodarte in the back court.

In terms of conference competition, Coach Olds mentioned Centreville as the favorite in the Southwest 10 Conference race. The Bulldogs have been the champions of the SW10 in each of the league’s first two seasons.

The Lady Indians will begin the season with three games next week. They begin the campaign Tuesday, Dec. 10 when they travel to Cassopolis to take on the Lady Rangers. The first home game of the 2019-20 season will be on Friday, Dec. 13 against Centreville, before the ladies travel to Watervliet on Saturday, Dec. 14 for a non-conference rivalry game against the Lady Panthers. Expect to see results and stats throughout the season in the Hartford Press Box.

Good luck to the Hartford Lady Indian Basketball team this season!

Hartford Indian Wrestling season preview

On the boy’s side of winter sports, wrestling season is upon us. And, like their basketball counterparts, the Hartford Indian wrestling team has been hard at work preparing for the season ahead. The team is looking to be more competitive in the Southwest 10 Conference this year. The Indians struggled to a 1-12 dual meet record in 2018-19, but a lot of that can be attributed to a lack of bodies on the roster, as they gave up plenty of points in voided weight classes.

However, third-year coach Matthew Nilson has reason to be upbeat about his team this year. In his remarks for this preview, he said the Hartford wrestling program “is a young team with great future potential”. And looking at the roster, his words are right on point. For the first time in a few years, the Indians have a majority of the 14 weight classes covered, and the team is diverse with several returning athletes and a plethora of newcomers, as well. The Indians also are helped by the fact they lost just one senior to graduation last year, although that wrestler, Noah Wade, was an individual regional qualifier.

Among the returning athletes are three seniors and two juniors that will have to show up as leaders all season long and be role models for the younger athletes on the roster. The three seniors include 189-pound James Terry, 215-pound Uberth Morales and heavyweight David Fernandez. The two juniors include 140-pound Tye Phillips and 189-pound Zach Harris.

However, the team’s biggest strength resides in their newcomers and youth, especially in the freshman class, where the team has nine ninth graders dotting the roster. There are also two new wrestlers from the sophomore class. Sophomores that are new to the team this year include 130-pound Tim Dumont and heavyweight Ernesto Rodriguez. The large freshman group includes 103-pound Ernesto “Neto” Rodarte, 119-pounders Armando Garcia and Jorge Liborio-Davila, 135-pound Jose Rios, 160-pounders Mason Garner and William Candelario, 171-pounders Angel Rocha and Govani Perez and 215-pound Alex Francisco.

In terms of conference competition, Coach Nilson labeled Mendon, White Pigeon, Centreville and Bloomingdale as teams in the top echelon in the Southwest 10 Conference race.

Coach Nilson is assisted by Ben Williamson, Eduardo Mejia and Chris Llamas. The Indians begin the dual meet season Wednesday, Dec. 11, when they travel to Gobles to compete in a triangular against the host Tigers and Colon. Their first individual tournament of the season will follow on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Galesburg-Augusta. Expect to see results throughout the year in the Hartford Press Box.

Good luck to the Hartford Wrestling team this season!

As always, GO INDIANS!

Greg Krell is Week 14 AQB winner; rivalry week sees another jumble for our group

By Dave Vollrath

It was rivalry week in college football, and when a couple of hinge games turned the right way for Armchair Quarterback Greg Krell he had a nice week of glory leading the pack, as he correctly picked 7 of 8 games.

Part of the fun of college football comes in the trophies awarded to winners of rivalry games, with some dating back more than a hundred years. The end of the regular football season is when a majority of these games are played. Last weekend there was the Iron Bowl won by Auburn over Alabama, which dates back for 66 years. The old Oaken Bucket, which found Indiana taking the trophy home from Purdue, a tradition dating back to 1925. The most meaningful game found Wisconsin winning the Paul Bunyan Axe from Minnesota because that win puts the Badgers in the Big Ten Title game against Ohio State next week. The Axe was a trophy started in 1948, because the original award, a slab of bacon trophy, had been lost around 1943, and had been around since 1930. The two schools started playing in 1890, 129 years ago.

The Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback competition is held weekly from the beginning of the high school football season in late summer, until it finishes with the playing of the Super Bowl in February. We have six Tri-City area football fans competing against each other to predict the winners of a group of pre selected games from the high school, collegiate, and professional ranks. Following the conclusion of the Super Bowl, one winner is crowned champion and will have the honor of wearing the Tri-City Record, Armchair Quarterback Championship hat.

In the event that two or more ‘backs have the same record for the week, or the yearly total, their place in the standings will be determined by a weekly tiebreaker game. In addition to trying to correctly pick the winners of each week’s games, they predict the score from a specially selected game. The AQB whom comes the closest to the total number of points scored by both teams will get the higher spot in the standings.

There is a correction to last week’s overall record for Kathy Summers. It should have read 75-28 instead of 76-27. The Tri-City Record is sorry for any confusion this error may have caused.

Rodney Lynch keeps rolling along in first place, finishing the weekend with a 6-2 mark. RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht jumped back into second place, also going 6-2. She trails Rodney by just three points.

Tim Hildebrand had a tough week going 4-4 and dropped a spot to 3rd place overall, while Kathy went 5-3 and holds onto fourth place. Greg still holds up the group from below, and Dan was 5-3 on the week, which leaves him just four points ahead of Greg.

Greg of course was this week’s best, with RoxAnn winning the tiebreaker for second place over Rodney. Kathy finishes fourth for the week with tiebreaker over Dan, and Tim’s rough week left him in 6th.

There is several college conference championships for our Pigskin Prognosticators to pour over this week, which should challenge their skills, so be sure to check back next week.

Baylor vs. Oklahoma

Georgia vs. LSU