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Watervliet Press Box


WATERVLIET TOP ATHLETES... Top Male Athlete Andrew Chisek and Top Female Athlete Addison Riley were presented with the 2022 Senior Athletic Award for outstanding performances. (Contributed photo)

Top senior athletes

Andrew Chisek and Addison Riley were presented with the Top Male and Top Female Athlete honors at this year’s Watervliet High School Senior Awards ceremony on May 18. Both seniors also were selected as the first-ever recipients of the Hurst Family Panther Student-Athlete scholarship.

Watervliet Alumnus Gary Hurst and his wife established the scholarship to recognize outstanding sportsmanship, athletic achievement, leadership, community service, and scholarship exhibited by one male and one female senior athlete each year. Gary was an outstanding athlete at WHS in the late 1970s and still holds the record for the 110 high hurdles.

Watervliet coaches select the winners of both the athlete award and the Hurst Family Scholarship.

Andrew Chisek earned a long list of awards throughout his four years at WHS. Some highlights include six team MVP Awards, BCAM’s Best (basketball) Award twice, BCAM Outstanding Senior Athlete, and numerous all-division, all-district, all-region, and academic honors. He is a three-season athlete, playing soccer, basketball and baseball.

Included in Addison Riley’s portfolio are numerous academic and athletic awards for her participation in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She is an Individual Academic All-State Award earner in volleyball this year.


Six Panthers qualify for state track meet

Watervliet boys track team went to Lawton for the regional meet last week and five Panther boys qualified for the state meet at Kent City on June 4. Conner Underwood earned his trip with a third place personal best, throwing the discus 135’1. Royce Daugherty finished fifth, just behind the qualifiers.

The 4x800 relay team, German Casiano, Camdon Geisler, Jimmy Kolosowsky, and Ryan Knapp, finished second and also qualified for the state meet. Overall the team finished in fifth place

On the girls’ side Aleah Sexton won the regional title in the discus with a 105’9 throw. She will represent the Panther girls in the state meet at Kent City.


Softball clinches second consecutive SAC title


NATALIE KNIGHT slides safely under the tag by Kalamazoo Christian’s Morgan Shepperly at home plate to score the first run of the game on Monday, May 23. The Panthers eventually won 10-4 to sweep the doubleheader. (TCR photo by John Oliphant)

The Watervliet varsity softball team rumbles on, going 8-0 last week and clinching their second consecutive SAC Lakeshore conference championship. Along the way they outscored their opponents 104-15. The team is 30-4 and remains ranked 8th in the latest D3 poll. They open the post-season in Bangor on Tuesday, May 31 against Hartford.

On May 18 the team hosted Lawton and won 12-2 and 12-0. Abby Whorton was the big hitter with five hits and five runs. Addy Riley had three hits including a pair of doubles and six RBI. Samantha Dietz and MJ Flowers each had three hits, and Alysse Angelo had four RBI. Hanna Hart and Jaylie Querfurth got the wins.

On May 20 they beat Fennville 17-0 to clinch the SAC title, then beat them again 24-0. Grace Chisek and Dietz each had five hits. Whorton had three hits including a home run, and eight RBI. Ellie Golden had three hits and five RBI. Flowers had four hits, Riley had three. Natalie Knight came up from the JV and got two hits. Querfurth and Hart got the wins.


IN A DUST CLOUD… Watervliet’s Jaylie Querfurth is safe at third as the ball bounces away from Kalamazoo Christian’s Holland DeVries in their game on Monday, May 23. The Panthers ended the day at 30-4 atop the SAC Lakeshore Division and remain ranked 8th in Division 3. (TCR photo by John Oliphant)

The team’s trip to the Polish Classic in Bronson saw them beat Onsted 19-2 on Saturday morning then win the tournament with a 4-2 victory over Bronson. Dietz had six hits including a double, triple, and three RBI. Flowers had four hits and three RBI; Golden had three hits and five RBI. Riley hit a home run and had four RBI. Abby Lomoro and Haiden Edelberg got the wins.

On May 23 they hosted Kalamazoo Christian and came from behind in the last inning to win 6-5, then took an easy 10-4 win in the nightcap. Riley had three hits and six RBI; Chisek had three hits with a triple. Querfurth and Hart got the wins and Edelberg got a save with four strikeouts.

Going into the playoffs the team is batting .403. They have 201 stolen bases, being caught just 12 times for a crazy 94% SB percentage.


Baseball wins seven

The Panther varsity baseball team had an equally good week, going 7-0 and winning by a combined 83-7 score, never giving up more than two runs in any game. The team is 22-2-1 and has climbed to the 12th spot in the state rankings. They open their district tournament at Bangor on June 4 against Hartford.

Lawton came to Watervliet on May 17 and the Panthers beat them 12-2 and 10-2. On May 19 the Panthers went to Lawton and won 17-2. Lots of big stats in this matchup, Wyatt Epple had six hits, five RBI, and seven stolen bases. Tyson Williams and Andrew Chisek each had five hits, Alex Hicks had four hits. Epple, Chase Tremblay, and Hicks had wins on the mound.

On May 20 the Panthers went to Fennville and won 7-0. Chisek was sharp on the mound, giving up just two hits while striking out 12 in seven innings. Wyatt Epple had four hits and stole two bases. Bryton Cockrun had a double and three RBI. Chisek had a 2-RBI triple.

On May 23 they went to Martin and won 17-0 and 20-1. Cockrun pitched the first game, going three innings with six strikeouts and not allowing any runners on base. Meanwhile the Panthers pounded 13 hits, led by Owen Epple with three, and Hicks, Chisek, Williams, and Cockrun each with two. In the second game Chase Tremblay pitched five innings, scattering three hits with nine strikeouts. The Panthers had 15 hits, led by Wyatt with four and four RBI. Others with multiple hits were Owen Epple, Williams, Cockrun, and Ethan Fish.



Girls soccer finishing well

The Panther varsity girls soccer team closed their regular season with a 10-0 win over Covert. Scoring goals were Alyssa Brown, Erika Nykamp, Courtney Van Lente, Natalie Van Lente, Keira Kohles, Emma Ferguson (2), Amya Harvell, and Alexis Hoadley.

They took on Coloma last Wednesday, May 18 and lost 8-0. They got some good chances on Coloma’s goal, but couldn’t score against the Comet’s defense. Chelsea Lange made 12 saves in the match.

The team traveled to Berrien Springs to begin D4 district play against the Shamrocks on Wednesday, May 25.

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