Tri-City Area Sports

McDaniel, Smith, and 1600 meter relay teams shine at state


MCDANIEL EARNS THREE MEDALS AT STATE… Co-loma’s Caleb McDaniel earned three medals at the Michigan High School Athletic Associa-tion State competition on Satur-day. McDaniel finished eighth in the 200 meter dash, third in the 400 meters, and teamed up with Brandon Bower, Josh Young, and Caleb Ellis to win eighth place in the 1600 meter relay. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


On a day that started with sunshine, became overcast, and then rained during the final two events, the Michigan High School Athletic Association held their Division 3 state finals competition for track and field at Comstock Park High School.  Coloma’s Caleb McDaniel had a stellar day as he placed third in the 400 meters with a time of 50.04 seconds, eighth in the 200 meter dash (23.64 seconds), and was part of the Comet’s eighth-place 1600 meter relay team.  Watervliet’s Lamarrius Smith earned two medals during the competition. He took third place in the long jump with a leap of 20’ 11”. Smith also took seventh place in the 1600 meter relay with three teammates.  In one of the best races of the day, as the rains poured down, the 1600 meter relay teams of Coloma and Watervliet took to the track for the final event. Watervliet’s team consisted of Jobe Kerr, Lamarrius Smith, Brenden Daly, and Bradley Alden. Coloma sent Brandon Bower, Josh Young, Caleb Ellis, and Caleb McDaniel to the line.  The teams took off at the shot and wound their way around the track, batons transitioning from teammate to teammate without incident. With Alden and McDaniel anchoring their respective teams, the two raced to the finish line.  It would be one of the closest races on the day, as Watervliet topped Coloma by two-hundredths of a second, finishing with a time of 3:29.02.  Both teams placed (finished in eighth place or higher) in the event. Watervliet finished seventh; Coloma took eighth.  Other area track stars participating at state but not placing include: Coloma’s Skylar Brown (discus), Phillip Bryant (pole vault), Bethia Sypian (pole vault), and McDaniel (long jump); Hartford’s Amber Martin (high jump); and Watervliet’s Melissa Swanson (400 meters, 200 meters), Allie Pazera (1600 meters), Alden (400  meters), Daly (1600 meters), Brittney Johnson (3200 meters), and Smith (200 meters).

LA IN THE SPOTLIGHT… Watervliet’s Lamarrius Smith holds up his medal after win-ning third place in the long jump during Saturday’s state finals. LA’s leap was 20’ 11”. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Coloma’s Alex Castillo golf’s his  way to state finals competition

 Alex Castillo, a senior on Coloma High School’s Varsity Golf team, has earned a spot at regional competition June 10 and 11.  At districts, which were held on May 25 at Island Hills Golf Course in Centreville, Michigan, Castillo shot an 86 to qualify for regionals.  The regional competition was held Wednesday, June 1 at Lake Cora Hills in Paw Paw. Castillo shot an 81 to continue his pursuit of a Michigan High School Athletic Association state golf title.  Division 3 state finals will be held Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, at Forest Akers East at Michigan State University.

Coloma Softball claims district champion title; Hartford and Watervliet fall in semi-finals

 It was quite a ride for the Coloma Comet’s Varsity Softball team on Saturday, June 4. With the sun shining and the cottonwood blowing strong enough it appeared to be snowing, the Comets – with help from Watervliet – put on a heck of a ball game.  The squad drew a bye in Division 3 pre-district competition and opened their title run with a game against rival Watervliet, in which some spectators called the championship game as both teams have had stellar seasons.  Host Coloma needed 10 innings to seal the win in an exciting matchup of dueling pitchers and last gasp home runs.  On the mound for Coloma was Skylar Crisenbery, while Karlee Liles and Ariana Rowe pitched for Watervliet.  Watervliet scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Coloma responded by scoring two runs in the fourth inning, but their outright lead didn’t last very long.  Watervliet scored one run during their next at bat to tie the game at 2-2.  Coloma scored two runs in the sixth inning to see-saw the lead back their way, 4-2. Coloma held Watervliet scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning to keep the lead.  It was the bottom of the seventh inning before Watervliet was able to convert a Crisenbery pitch into a home run.   Watervliet’s Mercede Daugherty sent the ball flying and scored two runs, tying the game at five all. Welcome, fans, to extra inning softball!  Both teams failed to produce any runs in the eighth and ninth innings. It took until the top of the 10th inning before a run would be scored, courtesy of Alyssa Dillenbeck’s clutch home run.  Crisenbery held Watervliet at bay for three more outs, and the victory went to Coloma.  On the mound, Crisenbery pitched the complete game. She allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out 11 batters.  Liles started the game for Watervliet and pitched five and two-thirds innings before leaving the game after being hit by the ball. She allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out four batters.  Rowe stepped in and took the loss; she pitched four and one-third innings, allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three.  Coloma’s top hitters included Dillenbeck, Jenna Walter with a triple and two RBIs, and Mya Potter who hit one single and scored two runs. Kayla Yore hit a fierce double in the second inning that landed just inside the foul line at the left field fence.  Watervliet was led at the plate by Daugherty. Taylor Shafer and Zoe Smith scored one run apiece.  The Lady Panthers closed out their season with an impressive 30-9 record.   With the win, Coloma faced Fennville in the district title game. Fennville had knocked off Hartford in the second semi-final game of the day.  Coloma’s Crisenbery effectively shut down Fennville’s offense from the get-go, as the Comets recorded a 10-0 shutout. She pitched a complete game during which she did not give up a run and only allowed five hits.  She struck out five batters and walked four.  Coloma’s own offense wasted no time, putting up one run in the first inning. They scored three runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth to take a 9-0 lead. One more run sealed the victory.  At the plate, Coloma’s Morgan Wagner swatter two singles and scored three runs.  Potter hit a triple and single and recorded one RBI. Jenna Walter hit one single and scored two runs.  Coloma moves on to regional competition in Bridgman on Saturday, June 11. The Lady Comets will take on Schoolcraft. Game time is noon.     Hartford won their pre-district game against Bangor on Tuesday, May 31 by a score of 14-1. The Indians then faced Fennville in a semi-final game on Saturday but lost 14-6.

MATTHEWS ON THE MOUND… Watervliet fresh-man Garrett Matthews took to the mound on Tuesday for the team’s pre-district game against Hartford. Matthews allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six batters as Watervliet topped Hartford 4-2 to advance to the district semifinals game against Coloma. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Grace Christian Softball 2016 District Champions

 With his career as Grace Christian softball team’s head coach drawing to a close, there is no better way for John Jewell to celebrate than hoisting a district championship trophy with the Lady Patriots. The squad accomplished that on Saturday, June 4. Making it a bit sweeter for Jewell and the team is that it is Grace’s second district title in two years.  District competition was held at Martin and kicked off with Grace Christian facing Saugatuck.  Jaidyn Hutsell provided yet another solid performance on the mound. She struck out 16 Saugatuck batters and walked five. Hutsell allowed one run on two hits.  Grace opened up the scoring with one run in the fourth inning. Saugatuck tied up the game in the sixth inning.  The contest remained tied until, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Sarah Reeve blasted a double that scored the game winning run, as Grace Christian topped Saugatuck 2-1.  The Lady Patriots scored two runs on seven hits.  Both Riley Hess and Hutsell hit a double and single.  With the win, Grace Christian moved on to the championship game against host Martin.  Grace Christian blanked Martin 7-0 for the district title.  Hutsell pitched for the Lady Patriots. She struck out 11 batters, walked one, and allowed just two hits.  Grace Christian scored two runs in the fourth inning and then cranked out five runs in the sixth for the victory.  Hess hit a double, single, and scored a run.  Hutsell hit two singles in the winning effort.  Grace Christian will head to Centreville for regional action on Saturday, June 11. Their first opponent will be Decatur, whom they face at 10 a.m.  Should the Lady Patriots secure a win, they would face the winner of the Kalamazoo/Three Oaks River Valley game at 2 p.m. for the title of regional champion.

Coloma Soccer ends season with district semifinal loss

 The Lady Comet soccer squad opened Division 3 district competition at home with a 2-1 win over Buchanan on Tuesday, May 31.  Tristin Hicks and Emma Tavolacci notched goals for Coloma, while Grace Gagliardo was credited with two assists.  The Comets were aggressive throughout the game, outshooting Buchanan 11 to eight. With the victory, Coloma moved out to semi-final competition and faced Paw Paw on Thursday, June 2 at host Berrien Springs.  The Comets were shutout by Paw Paw 8-0 and ended their season 11-7-1.  Paw Paw took 31 shots during the game, including 25 on goal. Coloma mustered one goal attempt by Alyssa Bahr.  Coloma keeper Tristen Howard closed out her season with 17 saves during the contest.  Paw Paw duked it out with Fennville in the district finals game on Saturday, June 4. Paw Paw recorded a second shutout during the tournament, this time blanking Fennville 8-0 for the championship.  Rick Redman, head coach for Coloma, said he is “pleased with the season overall and hope to keep improving in the future.”  The Comets were limited by “losing Paige Derrick for a good part of the season and not having Ashley Sipla because of Miss Coloma and Miss Blossomtime duties,” Redman commented further. He is, however, proud that this year’s team posted the “best record for the girls’ [team] to date.”

COLOMA GRADUATE SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT… Congratulations Paige Derrick of Coloma High School who signs letter of intent with head coach Justine Dover with Lake Michigan College to play soccer. She is the daughter of Terry and Kim Derrick.


Hartford and Watervliet fall in Division 4 District Soccer

 Hartford’s Girls’ Varsity Soccer squad, led by head coach Nick Blackmer, took on Kalamazoo Christian in Division 4 district competition on Tuesday, May 31. The Indians were shutout by Kalamazoo 8-0 in first round action.  In the finals, Kalamazoo Christian faced Kalamazoo Hackett. Christian won the game 1-0 and the district title.  Watervliet also played a Division 4 district soccer game. The Lady Panthers faced LMC on Tuesday, May 31.  LMC blasted Watervliet for eight goals, all within the first half of the game, to take a decisive first round victory. That win would propel LMC to the championship game and the district title. They defeated host Brandywine and finals opponent Bridgman.

Coloma tops Watervliet in district baseball but loses  in championship; Watervliet beats Hartford in pre-district battle but loses to Coloma  in semi-finals

All three local high schools participated in Division 3 district baseball this past week.  Coloma received a bye in pre-district competition, while Watervliet faced Hartford in Hartford.  Watervliet won 4-2 after a terrific performance on the mound by Garrett Matthews.  Matthews allowed two runs on four hits during the contest. He struck out six and walked one.  Watervliet scored one run in the first inning and two runs in the second inning to take an early 3-0 lead.  Hartford put Joe Cleary and Lincoln Gendron on the bags in the third inning but came up short, stranding both players.  Watervliet added a run in the fourth inning on a snafu by Hartford.  Watervliet’s Bryant Kieft squared up and showed bunt. This drew Hartford third-baseman Hunter Ackerman in toward the plate.  The pitch from Gendron sailed into catcher Matt Kemp’s glove. Seeing Watervliet player Jakob Aldrich on the move from second base to third, Kemp came up firing. But, with Ackerman moving in, third base was not covered and the throw sailed into the edge of the outfield. Aldrich would score taking the game to 4-0 in Watervliet’s favor.  Hartford scored two runs in the fifth inning, one on a Michael Heinisch single that scored Dalton Freemyer. The Indians would score a second run to close the gap 4-2.  That would be it for runs during the game, and Watervliet posted the win and moved into the district semifinals against host Coloma on Saturday, June 4.  Saturday’s nine-inning semifinal game between the Comets and the Panthers would certainly prove epic.  Coloma opened the game with a single run in the first inning as Dylan LeClear scored.  Each team was held scoreless through the sixth inning. Watervliet broke open scoring action in the seventh after Blake Kiekenapp singled in Brandin Legon. Tied at 1-1, the game headed into extra innings.  Neither team was able to secure a run in the eighth inning as tension mounted in the stands.  Watervliet took the lead in the top of the ninth inning Alex Lefor scored on a hit by Jacob Aldrich. Watervliet lead 2-1 with three outs to go.  But, Coloma wasn’t done scoring either. Alex Lohraff belted in two runs on a single, scoring Calvin Starnes and Grant Kroschel for the 3-2 win.  Justin Pullins tallied the win from the rubber for Coloma. He pitched a complete game and struck out nine. Cam Rendo took the loss for Watervliet.  At the plate, Coloma was led by Lohraff with a single and two RBIs. LeClear stroked a single and scored one run.  Watervliet was led by Nick Brant with a single and RBI and Bryant Kieft with a double.  Watervliet closed out their season with a record of 16-19.  With the semi-final win, Coloma moved on to the championship game against Fennville.  After winning against Watervliet with a gut-check performance, the Comets were intent to deliver in the finals. But, Fennville proved to be a tougher opponent and snagged the 4-2 win and district title.  Fennville got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the second inning. Coloma responded with one run in the third. Fennville’s answer? Two more runs in their half of the third.  Fennville held the 4-1 lead until Coloma scored one run in the sixth inning.  Coloma was held to two runs on four hits. Starnes slugged a triple and scored one run for the Comets.  Mathew Kelley pitched for Coloma. He allowed four runs on nine hits. Coloma ended their season with a 23-11 record.

Watervliet teams tangle on the diamond

 The varsity softball squads for Watervliet and Grace Christian met on the diamond in the teams’ final regular season game Tuesday, May 31 at the home of the Panthers.  Watervliet edged Grace Christian 7-5, as the Lady Panthers had the bats cracking from the first inning. They scored two runs in the first, second, and third innings to take a 6-0 lead.  Grace Christian was held scoreless until the fifth inning where they scored one run. Watervliet scored their seventh run of the game in the fifth inning to move to 7-1.  Grace returned to the plate in the sixth inning and scored one run, drawing to 7-2. A three-run seventh inning, courtesy of Emily Essmyer’s three-run bomb, pulled the Lady Patriots to within two of the tie.  But, the comeback attempt ended there and Watervliet won the game.  Karlee Liles pitched a complete game for Watervliet and earned her 14th win of the season. She allowed five runs on five hits and struck out eight batters.  In addition to Essmyer’s homerun, Grace Christian’s Crystal Kendrix hit two singles.  Watervliet’s Kara Liles, Logan Mizwicki, and Taylor Shafer each hit one single and scored one run. Ariana Rowe stroked a double. Grace Christian ended the regular season with a 21-6 record and the BCS Conference – White Division title. Watervliet ended their regular season with a 30-8 record.

DIVISION FOUR DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP GOES TO GRACE CHRISTIAN… After defeating Saugatuck 2-1 in a nine-inning battle, Grace Chris-tian faced Martin in Division 4 district softball on Saturday. The Lady Patriots went on to shut out Martin 7-0 to take the district crown.


Coloma Baseball beaten by Bridgman

 Coloma’s Varsity Baseball team faced Bridgman in a regular season game on Friday, May 27. The Comets were shut out by the Bees 1-0.  Justin Pullins took the mound for Coloma and pitched five innings. He allowed one run on two hits. He struck out five batters and walked one.  Mathew Kelley pitched the sixth and final inning for Coloma without allowing a hit.  Bridgman scored their lone run of the game in the first inning and it would prove to be all the team needed.  With the defeat, Coloma’s record moved to 22-9, but the team remained undefeated in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore division at 12-0.

Golf results for June 6

  Ladies Monday Night Happy Hour Golf League June 6, 2016, weekly winner report: Event winner –Low Gross:  Cheryl Hutchins with 47, Low Net:   Ursela Bansen with 33, Low Putts: Cheryl Hutchins with 12, Pars: Cheryl Hutchins #1 and #8, Closest to the Pin Hole #2:  Penny Hanks, Correction for May 23: Low putts was Cheryl Hutchins with 16.

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