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2 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

www.mihomepaper.com

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

Fri Fri Fri

Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM

vs. Detroit Community HS vs. Capac High School @ Richmond HS vs. Yale Public Schools @ Algonac HS @ Croswell-Lexington Community Schools vs. Imlay City (Homecoming) @ Armada High School @ Ovid-Elsie High School

FOOTBALL Almont exceeded all expectations just a year ago when it finished the 2010 season with a 7-3 overall record. However, its magical run came to an end in the first round of the playoffs, as it fell, 27-21, to the Birch Run Panthers. Stability is always key for any athletic program, as is the case for the Raiders, who return head coach Jeremy Ferman for his eighth season at the helm. The Raiders did lose a few key components off of last year’s playoff squad. Inside linebacker Nick Ouillette, wide receiver Aaron May, defensive tackle Matt Budzynowski, and defensive end Derek Kopp all graduated. Despite the loses, Almont has still retained the majority of their core. “Yeah, we’ve got a lot of guys coming back this year,” said Ferman. “I think we’re returning eight on offense and seven on defense.” Several big names return to the gridiron ncluding linebacker Rene Santana, fullback Aaron Born, and Chase Orzel, who according to Ferman is ‘a four-year varsity starter as an offensive and defensive lineman’. The main strength for Almont could very well be its backfield. With Born at fullback, Kevin Creger and Evan Shelton will be anchoring the halfback position. As the Raiders attempt to follow up a great playoff run, coach Ferman remains optimistic about the upcoming season. “Hopefully, we start coming together a little bit more as a team. Right now, I’ve got to get my young guys up to speed. I put some new wrinkles in this year and it’s taking a little bit longer than I anticipated it taking,” continued Ferman.

“We’ve got a hard working group of kids. They spend a lot of time in the off-season together in the weight room. We’re trying to put it together here. We’ve got (two) days from now, I guess, then we’ll play game one and we’ll see where we’re at”. — B.P.

VOLLEYBALL Although coach Sue Fredericksen lost five players to graduation, she has one new player transferring in from Pennsylvania and a cheerleader who comes back to the program after a one-year break. “Ashley Miller is a transfer student from Pennsylvania and I had one player drop from last season,” Frederiksen said. “I’ve already determined much of the lineup for the coming season.” That starts with junior Nicole Diehm, who Fredericksen said “is a very impressive player, is exceptionally quick footed, explosive on jumping and just all around.” Setter Ellie Diaz, a senior, returns and was noted as having worked hard to become an accomplished player. Senior Hailey Hunter is back and Fredericksen noted her as “a nice little defensive player.” Emilee Miller, senior, will likely play at outside hitter after playing defense last season. Sophomore Sidney Switanoski was a defensive specialist last year and will play at outside hitter this year. Junior Caitlin Schmalzel has made the team and likely will play at middle and junior Sydney Nummer will play at backup setter. Autumn Perkins, did not play last year, but returns after one year off. Fredericksen said she’s very aggressive on defense. As far as the league outlook, Fredericksen believes Cros-Lex is going

File photo

Jacob Ferrell (#61), an offensive gurad/defensive end who graduated from Almont in 2010, and senior tight end/defensive end John Finn (#9) look to make a tackle against league rival Cros-Lex last season.

to come in strong. “It’s too early in the season to tell what the other BWAC schools look like based on graduation losses, transfers, etc., so we start the season at the Bronson Invite on August 20 and see the season unfold from there,” Fredericksen said. “It’s still too early to have met with everyone and set team goals heading into our second week of official practice, but I think the girls want to do their best to win the conference title.” — L.P.

SOCCER Fifth year coach John Cmaj is very confident in his team heading into this season. “We were pretty good (last season). We only lost two or three games all season long,” said Cmaj. The Raiders lost very little from last seasons’ squad. “(We lost) two seniors. One was pretty good and the other was okay,” stated Cmaj. The team will be returning the majority of its’ core for the upcoming season. “We’ve got the same team, just the two seniors are gone,” continued Cmaj. “We’ve got a couple of freshmen. We are really a stronger team than last year. We’ve got a really good team, and that’s all I’ve got to say. The strength of their team will be key, as they look to take over their conference. “This season I look to dominate our division. I think we are the best team right now,

Almont’s Ellie Diaz returns for her senior season at setter. File photo

Best of Luck Almont Raidors

File photo

Kyle McNeil, who is a senior this season for the Almont varsity soccer team, takes possession of the ball during a 2010 game against Big Nine rival Flint Powers.

Downing will also throw her talents into the ring for Almont alongside senAfter finishing third in ior Ruby Wallen, an TENNIS the Blue Water Area exchange student from Conference last season, Coach Nate Immekus New Zealand. returns for his his fourth those returning for coach On the boys’ side, senRichard Filar’s ninth year iors David Burkland, Josh year as varsity coach at with the Lady Raiders Almont and sixth overall Klebba, Kyle Robinson include seniors Brooke at the school. and Jess Crawford head Corbin and Carlie Returning this season up a group of returners Lawrence and juniors are No. 2 Singles player from last year’s second Kayla Johnson, Alyssa Domenic Curtis, No. 3 place team that also Leach and Madison Singles Brian Houghton, includes juniors Logan Lewis. No. 4 Singles Jake Kunath and Justin Demo “Cros-Lex swept the Matthews, No. 1 Doubles and sophomores Peter BWAC meets last year, Ryan Chilcote, No. 2 Deppe, Daniel Deneweth and they return their Doubles trio of Mitch and Trevor Edie. entire lineup. They Potapa, Mitchel Bulger “Croswell-Lexington should be solid again this won the league title last and Jason McKelvey and the No. 4 Doubles team of season, and there will be year, and they should be another four teams or so the favorite again this Garret Borton and Jacob battling it out for secUshman. season. The rest of the ond,” said Filar. “We're Junior Jared Klebba league is pretty closely among that group, but and sophomores Kyle matched. Our team our success will depend a should be pretty competiRosenberg and Connor McCarthy could make an little on luck as well tive, as our top three are as our girls' hunger impact this season. very solid,” Filar said. “We will again play the and how badly they want “However, a lot depends to compete. We have top competition in our on how the rest of the some talented runners, division and some of the team develops. We have but we also have some strongest teams in the a handful of kids competstate,” Immekus said. “In girls with on-going injury ing for the remaining varissues. We also have a the BWAC, Armada, sity spots, and the emerfew girls who are new to Almont and Richmond gence of our fourth and will probably be favored.” running that could confifth runners will really tribute.” — E.H. decide our fate this seaSenior Cassidy son.” — M.S. no question about it.”— B.P.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 3

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

Fri

Oct 21

7PM

@ Peck High School vs. Cass City High School @ Kinde North Huron High School @ Harbor Beach High School vs. Mayville High School vs. Sandusky High School @ Ubly High School vs. Marlette High School (Homecoming) vs. Memphis High School

File photo

Senior running back/linebacker Nathan Primeau (#30), pictured here in a Greater Thumb Conference-East contest against Sandusky last season, is back for the 2011 Brown City varsity football team.

FOOTBALL After going 5-4 overall, 2-3 Greater Thumb Conference-East for 2010, coach Scott Banks and assistant coaches Jess VanBuskirk and Luke Prowse have the good fortune of welcoming back a host of athletes that played a key role a year ago, including senior running back/linebacker Nathan Primeau, who earned First Team All League honors on both offense and defense. Also returning are seniors Aaron McIntosh at running back/safety, tight end/safety Charles Baird, three-year letterman Andrew Knox at tight end/defensive end and tight end/defensive end Tyler Banks, who earned Second Team All GTC-East Offense accolades last season. Junior guard/defensive lineman Dan Lindsay and running back/safety Cody Laroque are back, as well. “Our numbers are lower this year compared to previous years. We have four offensive lineman returning, which gives us experience there with our wing-t offense. Nathan Primeau returns after gaining over 1,200 yards last year. We will need to replace both tackles this year and see how they come along. Defensively, we have to replace the secondary in our 4-2-5 set. If they can get to understand their keys and continue to work we should be alright there,” said Banks. “As every year we believe we’re talented enough to make a run at the playoffs. We need to keep working hard each week, get better, and the key for us is to stay healthy.” Helping to bridge that numbers gap for Banks are a host of athletes that are new to the varsity, but could get a chance to contribute in 2011, including senior running back/safety Chris Fiescher, sophomore tackle/defensive lineman Tyler Crenshaw and junior tight end/defensive end Brad Smith. Also joining the cause are sophomore tackle/linebacker Brandon Angerbrandt and juniors Ryan Spokaeski at quarterback, center/linebacker Lex Wiles, running back/center Jacob Primeau, guard/center Dalton Natke and quarterback/center Dillon Natke. “I look at the league this year with potentially five teams making the playoffs,” Banks said. “Even with Ubly having a new coach, they are still

tough with Harbor Beach,” said Perry. “USA and Bad Axe have very good teams as well. We’re very optimistic about this season and the team. Our numbers are a little low this year but it will be a fun year. We want to improve on last year’s record and win the league this year,” Perry said.” — E.H.

CROSS COUNTRY Many state qualifiers bolster the girls’ and boys’ rosters under cocoaches Michelle Blake, in her 11th season, and Joanne Fuhrman, now in her fourth season. Chelsey Ford (#9) is back from last years Lady Green Shoring up the ranks are Devils varsity volleyball team. several All-Conference the team to beat. Harbor she has, and attempts to honorees looking to step Beach will be very good. take Brown City as far as up their roles to help the Marlette has a lot of kids possible. boys’ squad better its secreturning and they are “I want to try and win ond-place Greater Thumb dangerous in their spread as many games as possiConference and thirdoffense. Sandusky, with ble. I have a lot of rebuild- place regional finishes in Mills and Tucker, they will ing to do. I know the 2010. give the opposing team team, from last year to Junior Chad Jackson fits all season. With our this year, is going to be a was Second Team All-GTC low numbers if we stay little stronger,” stated and a state qualifier last healthy we should be Jones. “So I’m trying to season, placing 95th. very competitive.” rebuild it and make it a "Chad had an awesome The Green Devils are strong team, and honestyear last year ending the hoping this influx of new ly, I want to win a lot of season as our number talent can help fill the games. I want to try to two runner, I’m really void left by last years win districts this year. I expecting him to step up graduating seniors, such know I coached two years this year." as quarterback Trenton ago and we did win disSophomore Eli Poth, Wood, running back Cody tricts, so I’m trying to another Second Teamer Anderson, tackles Casey bring that back for Brown and state qualifier (100th Martus and Kyle Lindsay City.” — B.P. place), could have a and safety Quitin Pavel. — strong showing. Blake M.S. said he’s an extremely SOCCER hard worker and he runs Jeff Brasington begins on his own to improve. VOLLEYBALL his fourth season in He’ll have with fellow Nicole Jones enters her charge of the Green state qualifiers from last Devils’ soccer team and first year at the helm of season, junior William assistant Mark Perry the Green Devils. Hermann and senior “I’ve been an assistant enters his third season. Raymond Cronce. Brown City loses three Newcomers looking to set to the varsity from 2004 members from last year’s their own pace include to 2008, and then I did squad including Jordan freshmen for a year, but I junior Lewis Porter and Foster, Ray Bandermere didn’t do the varsity last sophomore Anthony year,” said Jones. “I didn’t and Corey Halbert. Baird. The Green Devils have coach at all last year.” The most significant a wealth of experience The Green Devils will loss to the team was Matt returning led by Matt be returning several key Proctor, a state qualifier players, including seniors Perry, Kyle Loren, Tony all four years he ran. He Sanson, Morgan Grutsch, Jolene Cooper and earned All-State honors Anthony Jakubowski, Sam and was regional champ Chelsey Ford. Celani, Caleb Gould, Matt three years running, made “I have six returning Tackas and Nick Batz. seniors, and I have a senFirst Team All-Conference Newcomers to the ior that is also playing all four years and holds squad include defender that didn’t play last year, the school record of Eric Ford, goaltender Mike 15.58. but she played the year before, which is one of my Ragap, athlete Dillon "Last year was a very Bandermere and goalstarters,” said Jones. exciting year, winning the Jones hopes to contin- tender Alex Carpenter. “The leagues always ue to build on the talent

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FILE PHOTO

An unidentified Brown City runner paced the course.

Lapeer County meet, taking second in the Sanilac County Meet, placing third at regionals and qualifying for the state finals as a team. This year, if we field a full team, we should do well," Blake predicted. On the girls’ side, four veterans will serve as leaders, starting with junior Lily Brewster, Second Team All-Conference the past two seasons and a two-time state qualifier. Junior Sarah White, honorable mention AllConference last season, "is full of energy and a joy to have on the team," said Blake. Sophomore Lauren Kalbfleisch was another honorable mention AllGTC and state qualifier. Junior Susan Tebo "com-

pletes the team," and encourages all of the runners. That will be key motivation for newcomers Taylor Wood, a junior, who has been putting in the work all summer, sophomore Mariah Martus, junior Stephanie Lerchenfieldt and senior Jessica Reinthaler. "Last year we did not always field a full team, but did have two girls qualify for the state finals," Blake said. "Last year, the girls continued to improve their times as the season progressed. This year we hope to see this pattern continue as well as having them compete as a team and we hope to be in the top three in the league if we can field a full team." — L.P.

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4 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

www.mihomepaper.com

FOOTBALL Mark McDonald takes over for Tom Manney at the helm of the Chiefs. McDonald has been with the program for the last eight years. McDonald loses some key components including quarterback Austin Morgan, linebacker Thomas Bolday and running Anthony Closurdo. He also loses a majority of his lineman including Ryan McDonald, Kenny Polzin and Josh Tucker. The players hoping to offset the losses for Capac are led by six-foot, three inch, 290 pound defensive end Dakota Perry. Other players coming back are David McKee, who will battle for time at quarterback, linebacker Dustin Morgan and Sean O’Brien. New players to the varsity expected to contribute right away are quarterback Dan Cornish, who McDonald says may be the best athlete on the team, linebacker Jon Horton, running back Jayson Winsor and defensive backs Jake and Josh Boers. The Blue Water Area Conference finished in a three-way tie last season with Capac earning a share. McDonald expects the Chiefs to be one of the top teams again but notes Cros-Lex, Almont and Yale as “always powerful.” He thinks Armada could be a factor as well. “We want to win the BWAC straight-up this year,” McDonald said. “Of course we want to make the playoffs and from there just take it one game at a time.” McDonald will use the same basic offense that Capac ran under Manney but overhauled the defense and will run a 5-2 scheme. — E.H.

Photo by Lisa Paine

Capac’s senior quarterback, Austin Morgan, took a snap from senior Ryan McDonald in a game against Imlay City last season.

2011 Football Schedule Fri Aug 26 Thu Sep 1 Fri Sep 9 Schools Fri Sep 16 Fri Sep 23 Fri Sep 30 Fri Oct 7 Fri Oct 14 Fri Oct 21

VOLLEYBALL The Chiefs are in a bit of a transition year, as third-year coach Amanda Howe attempts to rebuild what was a senior-heavy team a season ago. The return of Jessica Gilbert and Taylor Venzuch will greatly help Capac this season. Both girls have big shoes to fill after the departure of nine seniors from last season. “It is definitely like a rebuilding year for us,” said Howe. “They are such a young team, but they are really athletic, and we should be competitive in our league”. — B.P.

SOCCER Larry Tullio takes over the program from Chad Baunoch, who stepped down because of college course load conflicts. Tullio said he has 15 on the roster, including three seniors, two jun-

File photo

Capac and league rival Almont went toe to toe last season.

iors, six sophomores and five freshmen. “Key people for us this season are Jesus Cardenas, a senior, and Sergio Zuniga, a sophomore; they’ll both be forwards,” said Tullio. “I have two goalies, Utah

Good Luck Capac Chiefs!

Oosmialowski, a freshman and Drake McArthur, a senior. “Everyone else is in the mix and where exactly they will play remains to be seen with a new coach and where their skill levels lie. We have seen a huge

improvement even though we are young. It’s looking good for us right now.” Tullio noted that the kids seemed to be burned out from playing some of the same positions last season, so he’s

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7PM 7PM 7PM

vs. Oscoda Area High School @ Almont High School @ Croswell-Lexington Community

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

vs. Imlay City High School @ Richmond HS vs. Armada High School @ Algonac HS vs. Yale Public Schools @ Michigan Collegiate High School

mixing things up at practices and will iron out just who plays at which position early into the season to keep the kids challenged and vying for the coveted slots. In the Blue Water Area Conference, Tullion touted Almont as the frontrunner. “Jon Camaj just gets a lot of credit and Ken Kunz, our girls coach, I have learned a lot from both of them,” Tullio explained. “They played professionally and they know the game inside and outside. As far as some of the other area teams, I’m hearing that low numbers and high injury rates could have some in jeopardy for the season before it even starts.” — L.P.

ing years. “We need some younger ones to start trying out next year,” he said. For now, Rachel Rose steps into the role as No. 1 golfer, and Erin Kerr is right behind her. Both should be in the low to mid 40s. Jackie Victor, Mallory Nason and Alyssa McDonald give the team experienced depth, and junior Jessie Laeder is a promising newcomer. “The girls played a lot of golf over the summer and they’ve done well,” said Hollenbeck. “We should be competitive in our league, but some other teams have some good girls coming back, too.” — D.N.

GOLF

The Chiefs lost only one girl and one boy from last season’s roster, but coach Tim Gross did not return phone calls or emails for more information by our deadline. — E.H.

The Lady Chiefs are loaded with juniors and set for the next two seasons. Coach John Hollenbeck is just concerned about the follow-

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 5

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2 Locations 3916 Auburn Rd., Auburn Hills • 248.852.1820 5522 Main St., Dryden • 810.796.2226

D 2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

@ Genesee High School vs. Byron High School vs. Bendle High School @ New Lothrop High School vs. Hamady High School @ Atherton High School @ Bentley High School vs. Webberville High School @ Morrice High School

FOOTBALL

program. “I’ve never worked The Cardinals welwith a kicker as talented come first-year varsity as him, and he’ll do more coach Al Margrif to the than just kick for us. program, who has He’s an incredible allinstalled new systems on around athlete,” Margrif both sides of the ball. stressed. “I’m extremely excited Other key players to begin my first season include seniors Josh as a head coach and my Wargo, a fullback/linefirst season at Dryden,” backer and Adam Bulzan, Margrif said. “I was cona wide receiver/linetent with the turnout at backer. A newcomer lookour summer lifting and ing to get on the starting conditioning program. line is senior Alex Otte, Right now, our program an offensive/defensive has a high level of intenlineman. sity and enthusiasm. We As a former defensive just need to carry that coordinator at Genesee, over to the season. I’m Margrif has some early happy with my coaching predictions on how the staff and the perspectives season might shake out. that they bring to prac“I think we’ll match up tice and film work.” well with the other Margrif also is excited schools in the GAC-Blue,” to have junior Evan he said. “We’ve installed Paupert back at quarternew systems on both back where he started as sides of the ball, so there a sophomore. is a lot to learn and a lot “We are hoping to use to be done. I’ve been him more as a dualimpressed by the comthreat,” Margrif munity’s support for our explained. “We’ll spread team, and we’ll work the ball around, so two hard to put a well-preor three backs will share pared and explosive the load.” product on the field on Senior running Friday nights.” back/linebacker Sean “We only have a few Murphy had a lot of carathletes that will stand ries last year in a wing-t out in our league, so it’s system. Margrif noted important for us to stress that he’ll be opened up a a team-concept with little more this season shared responsibilities,” and should be all over Margrif added. “Some the field. teams will be up and Senior offensive/defen- some will be down in the sive lineman Brian league in terms of talent. Ladner is the anchor on We’re returning a lot and the offensive and defenhave added a few key sive lines. Margrif said players. I look for us to he’s a great leader and improve on our 4-5 backs it up with his play. record last season.” — Senior back Jake Jonik L.P. was injured last year, but he’s expected to be a big VOLLEYBALL contributor going both ways. Senior kicker/wide Repeated calls to receiver/defensive back coach Greg Grabill were Joe Sturza is what Margrif not returmed in time for calls “a dual-sport kid” deadline. — B.P. from Dryden’s soccer

File photo

Senior offensive tackle/defensive tackle Brian Ladner (#74) and senior running back/linebacker Josh Clark (#30) bodyguard the ball carrier during the 2010 varsity football season for Dryden.

SOCCER Coming into his fourth year atop the Cardinals’ boys’ soccer program, coach Ken Kunz has a lot to build on after leading his squad to a record of 11-5-2 in its first year of Genesee Area ConferenceBlue competition. “We should do well finishing with senior Joe Sturza (16 goals, 12 assists) and junior Andrew Kunz (33 goals, five assists) coming back stronger,” said Kunz. “We will be competitive in every game this season.” In addition to Sturza and Kunz, Dryden is also welcoming back a handful of players from a year ago, including seniors Andrew Cahill, Matthew Schuhrke, Adam Hiben and Galen Roediger, who put up four goals and four assists for 2010. Junior Kyle Geirman is returning from last year, as well, along side the four goals and seven assists put up by sophomore Aaron Roediger. “We need to improve on defense, as we lost our starting keeper for the season due to injury and two senior defenders,” Kunz said. “(The teams to beat in our league include) Goodrich, Durand, Lake Fenton and Montrose.” — M.S

File photo

Alexa Mason (#8) keeps the ball in play for the Dryden varsity volleyball team during Genesee Area Conference action at Bentley last season.

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6 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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FOOTBALL After not winning a single game last season, head coach Ken Day and his Spartans are on a mission to show that they can win football games. Although losing a couple of key players may have hurt, Imlay City is returning many key players and starters from a year ago. “We graduated Nick Nivison and Mike Nagy who were key players,” said Day. “We have a lot of returning players also.” Indeed, they do have several returning players, including linebacker Jake Scillian, running back Kent Wargo, defensive tackle Ro Olivia, center Jake Newton, and sophomore defensive tackle Zach Rosillo, who Day dubbed the “strongest guy on our team.” Along with the many returning players, the Spartans have also added a couple of key weapons. “We’ve got a runner coming in who took a year off, his name is Nick Reese,” said Day. “We’ve also got A.J. Caldwell at running back, who’s a strong kid. We’ve got a lot of returners, but you have to remember, we didn’t win last year, so we have to teach them to win.” With the dreadful 0-9 season behind it, Imlay City looks to be a stronger program for the upcoming season. “Well we’re stronger, and faster, and these guys

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

Fri

Sep 30

7PM

Fri Fri Fri

Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM

@ North Branch High School @ Richmond High School vs. Armada High School @ Capac High School vs. Croswell-Lexington High School vs. Yale High School (Homecoming) @ Almont High School @ Algonac High School vs. Elkton Pigeon Bay Port Laker High School

including senior Matt Van Dyk, junior Kory Kanter Imlay City’s RJ See (#9) and the Spartans varsity boys soccer team are looking to and freshman Salvador stand tall in the Blue Water Area Conference standings this season. Barragan. have been together as a players returning who seniors Jose Barragan, “We are gonna do well team for a long time,” con- should help ease the loss- Zachary Darnell, Ben pressuring and we are tinued Day. “Some of them es. Coming back are outRodak, Tyler Michaels and gonna be in good shape, right up through seventh side hitter Carissa Vincente Torres, first-year and we are gonna have to and eighth grade, so we’re McDougall, middle hitter head coach Luis work our system of play, excited.” — B.P. Jennifer Jerzeski, outside Hernandez has his work the strategy and commuhitter Emily Job and right- cut out for him after nication and thats someside hitter Kelli Brandt. spending the past two sea- thing that we are gonna Mueller has several sons as an assistant coach learn with time,” VOLLEYBALL young players to keep an for a squad that went 15-4- Hernandez said. “Just After a 2-12 Blue Water eye on including outside 1 overall, 13-1 Blue Water want to thank Don Area Conference record hitter Chloe Kosinski, set- Area Conference and won Gauthier, for giving me last season, Aaron Mueller ter Page Queener and a league title in 2010. this opportunitty, (and is looking for his team to freshman Alexandra “The teams to beat this former Imlay City varsity continue to grow and gain Vandenberg. year are all of them. We boys soccer coach) Rob experience. Mueller is “The League should be have to treat every team Scwable, because if it wasentering his sixth year fairly wide open this year,” evenly, but if I have to give n't for him, this program with the program. Mueller said. “Richmond names it would be wouldn't exist.” — M.S. Though he lost a lot of has come back to the Almont, Richmond, and players to graduation, pack a little bit and CrosArmada,” said Hernandez. Mueller does have several Lex should be the team to “Competitively, I expect to TENNIS beat. They were young be first place at everyWith nine losses to last year and surprised thing in league, districts graduation, the Imlay City Go Imlay City some people when they and why not think about program took a pretty regionals and states. good hit. After cuts were Marching tied for first.” I just want the team to Academically, everyone made late last week only Band! continue to grow. We’re must succeed, seniors two positions have been young and are going to must graduate and the nailed down for certain have some learning rest must have good with senior Kyle Strohm moments. I would like to grades and follow the sen- earning the coveted No. 1 Domestic & Import Auto Parts win more games than we iors example.” Singles spot. Junior Wyatt lose.” — E.H. The Spartans will also Carden will play at No. 2 Passenger Car - Trucks - Farm Tractor benefit from the addition Singles. The rest of the Construction - Industrial Equipment of several athletes that are Spartans’ lineup will get SOCCER new to the varsity but ironed out as the season Dennis Burns With a group of return- could get the opportunity gets underway and the ing athletes that includes 320 S. Cedar • Imlay City to make a difference, boys challenge one another for playing positions. "My remaining lineup is still up in the air with a majority of the kids a very even mix of freshmen, junGift s iors and seniors," said e t a Certificable coach Todd Schultz. il a v A "We’re fairly inexperienced from the standpoint of losing so many players." As to hazarding any guesses as to how the league race could shake Give Katy a call today about any of your financial needs Schultz noted that 525 E. Capac Road, Imlay City 810-724-6888 810-724-0090 • www.tri-countybank.com out, Richmond, Almont and Armada are always tough, File photo

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quality programs. Beyond that, it all depends on how many losses other opponents had to graduation and the skill and talent level of their players. "I expect the best out of the kids every day and we’ll certainly fight for every match we are in until the very end," Schultz stressed. "I am looking forward to a really good season and we’ll have to see how everyone steps up." — L.P.

GOLF The Lady Spartans will miss four-year standout Janaye Powers, but juniors Hannah Campbell and Alisha Lowe are back from the varsity lineup. Senior Abbey Cohoon, juniors Megan Earehart and Olivia Pauli and sophomore Leyia Bollimi will step up from the junior varsity. “We have kids to fill in,” said 14th-year coach Joyce Harlukowicz. “It will just be a matter of how well we develop. That’s the case in any sport.” — D.N.

CROSS COUNTRY One strength to this year’s effort for the Lady Spartans and head coach Jim Reinke will be chemistry because they haven’t lost any talent to graduation. Despite not qualifying for the state meet, Imlay City was led in last year’s postseason at Algonac Regional No. 16-2 by Morgan Lee in 44th place at 21:54, Jacklyn Van Dyk was 52nd in 22:19 and finishing 56th with a time of 22:29 was Jessica Stoey. The boys’ team faces similar circumstances in 2011 after only graduating Jesus Flores and Eric Harbin from a year ago. With assistant coach Brian Wells helping Reinke pull double duty, Imlay City scored a 244 at last year’s regionals and were paced by Troy Harbin in the 24th position at 17:40, Matt Van Dyk slid in the 39th slot by clocking in at 18:12 and finishing 42nd by clocking in at 18:13 was Josue Leon. — M.S.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 7

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

FOOTBALL Athletic director Joe Beckwith takes over for Bob Buckel, who moved over to Flint Powers, as the Falcons look to make the playoffs after falling just short last season with a 5-4 record. Beckwith is entering his first as a varsity head football coach, but has coached football for 28 years. Beckwith will have to replace 15 starters from last season’s team including Josh Johnson, Trevor Komar, Cody Smith, Kenny Sanders and Nick Streichert. Returning for the Falcons are Dave Rutherford, Billy Smith, Preston Dailey, Bryson Morawski and Garrett Taylor. Beckwith has to replace his quarterback this fall and Caleb Mathews and Eric Woolley are the two competitors. Brett DeSonia is also new to the varsity and expected to contribute right away. “We’re going to be a different type of team,” said Beckwith. “We relied on big plays last year, but we are going to be more of a running team this year that tries to control the tempo and the game clock. The (GAC) Red is always tough, but you always have to start with Goodrich on top. I think Montrose will be very good this year, and I think Lake Fenton will surprise some people and do well.” Beckwith wants his team to compete and not give games away. “We will play hard every game and compete,” he said. “We will play our best ball and if we lose I want it to be because the other team beat us, not because we gave games away.” — E.H.

VOLLEYBALL Second-year coach David Simmonds welcomes back a key component to this year’s Falcons team. Senior Autumn Lang is a second-year starting setter “with real leadership qualities,” the coach said. Also returning is senior outside hitter Caitlyn Bradshaw, who is looking very strong at the net, Simmonds added. Promising newcomers include juniors Shelby Sims, Nicole Satkowiak and Mallory Warner. “I’m very excited about this year,” said Simmonds. “We have girls that really want to be on court and compete at a high level.” — D.N.

SOCCER The Falcons soccer program stumbled through the season last year, finishing 4-16-1 over-

File photo

LakeVille’s Garrett Taylor (#22) trys to avoid a Goodrich tackler last season in Genesee Area Conference competition.

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

vs. Marlette High School @ Frankenmuth High School @ Lake Fenton High School @ Goodrich High School vs. Montrose HS/MS @ Beecher High School vs. Durand High School vs. Mt. Morris High School @ Millington High School

Photo by Lisa Paine

LakeVille in black, battled against Dryden during Cancer Awareness game.

all. However, they didn’t lose too much during the off-season. “Actually, we really didn’t graduate many. We had a couple decent players that graduated, but really didn’t produce last year for us,” said coach Keith Roberson. The returning players come back with more experience and determination to win. “We’ve got Garrett Morey coming back this year, he’s a pretty good player. He was actually GAC First Team last year. We have Mike Abbasspour coming back this year, and he’s a good player. Both of them are going to be seniors,” proclaimed Roberson. “Then we have some sophomores that are real good players this year, who were freshmen last year.” Experience plays a key factor for any high school program attempting to compete at the varsity level. “We had a really young team last year, which was

our biggest problem. This year, with the sophomores that are returning, they played varsity ball last year when they really should’ve been JV, but we don’t have a JV program,” said Roberson. “It just made it a little bit tougher for them.” Newcomers have been few and far between, especially this early into the pre-season practices. “We’ve had one freshman show up to practice so far. A lot of times the freshmen don’t show up until after school gets started,” said Roberson. Shifting some momentum their way will be a tough challenge for the Falcons, as they try to rebound from last year’s sub par season. “I think we finished fourth in the GAC last year, so at least the wins were in our division, which was helpful. I really think that we’re going to do better this year. I’d like to think we could win half our games this year,” added Roberson. “Like I

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said, with the sophomores that are returning, they’re a little bigger, a little stronger, a little faster this year. Plus they won’t be as overwhelmed as they were last year as freshemn. I pretty much had freshmen on the field the entire season. So they won’t be as new this year, and they’ll be more ready for a varsity program.” — B.P.

CROSS COUNTRY A strong 1-2 punch of seniors Jordan West and Mark Williams lead the Falcons’ boys team into a promising season. Both are under 18 minutes, and West ran a 4:30 mile to win the GAC meet last year. Seniors Alex Collings and Joe Kennedy also return, while Andrew McCray and Adam Bachelor are promising freshmen trying to crack the top five on the nineman roster. “We’re looking for our boys to do something this year,” said fifth-year coach Mike Brouillet. “If those kids can run consistently under 20 minutes, we’re going to be hard to beat.” Sophomore Savannah Coolman leads a thin girls’ roster. She was third in the GAC two-mile as a freshman. Katie Smith is a returning senior and senior softball star Morgan Coolman is a first-year runner on the team. Freshman Allison Joyce shows potential. — D.N.

Photo by Lisa Paine

LakeVille’s Mark Williams paced a pack of runners at last season’s County Meet.

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8 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

www.mihomepaper.com

2011 Football Schedule

File photo

Emily Shallman competes in the breaststroke for the Lapeer East and Lapeer West combined varsity girls’ swim team that practices at the Lapeer Recreation Center and has no home meets this season.

FOOTBALL The Eagles are coming off of a 7-2 regular season that saw them finish second in the Metro League last year and the program’s first playoff appearance under coach Jake Weingartz. Weingartz is entering his fourth season in charge of the Eagles and his fifth year overall with the program. Last season, the Eagles had a lot of experience evidenced by the number of players that moved on to college football this season. Weingartz does have a nice mix of returning players and newcomers to keep the Eagles competitive in the Metro. Returning is quarterback Gary Bulzan, who will also see time at linebacker, wide receiver and defensive back Aaron Hirsch, offensive and defensive lineman Joe Perry, wide receiver and defensive back Paul Woloszyk, wide receiver and defensive back Brad LaBrie, offensive and defensive lineman JT Pillars and defensive end and offensive lineman Colin McCallum. New players to the varsity squad expected to make an impact are fullback and linebacker Nick Burgess, quarterback and free safety Garrett Schaller, linebacker and tight end Kyle Rachwal, defensive end and wide receiver Ken Mullins and freshman offensive lineman and nose tackle Anthony Herbert. When asked about the upcoming season, Weingartz responded by

Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

@ Holly High School vs. Clio High School @ Kearsley High School vs. Lapeer West High School @ John Glenn High School @ Brandon High School vs. Fenton High School vs. Swartz Creek High School @ Linden High School

saying, “(We’re) going to take one game at a time.” — E.H.

VOLLEYBALL

The main downfall for the Eagles this season may be their youth. After losing five seniors, Lapeer East may be in a bit of a rebuilding process. The transition has definitely begun, as the Eagles return just two of last seasons’ starters. The main players who return from last years’ roster include Jenna Vierk, Lauren Tillery, and Meaghan Saelens. Newcomers Angela Ciaravino and Morgan Kopacka are expected to File photo make an impact in their debuts this fall. Joe Perry (60), Eric Strickler (33) and Patrick Rieves battled St. Marys last season. “We are a young team, players as they lost to “So far in our scrimDonahue, Shelby Dulin, and will improve throughgraduation, including sen- Amy Gaylor, Kelsey Jarvis, mages we’ve had outout the year,” said coach iors Brandon Kelts, Henry Allyssa Mazur-Batistoni, standing play from our Dan Purvis. — B.P. Peabody and Justin goalie, Colin Owen,” said Sabrina Pflanzer, Jeeni Townsend, juniors Matt East coach Chad Kenny. Putz, Jessica Starr and SOCCER “He’s been peppered with Wagner and Blake Ludwick Natalie Werner. The Eagles are conduct- shots as we have not figand sophomores Alex Newcomers include ing a crash course on ured out what we’re doing Apfel and Drake Dominique Burke, Leah defense after graduating defensively yet. We have a Lamphere. Crittenden, Courtney all four starting defenders. lot of excellent defenders “Our singles should do Jarvis, Mariena Jones, But Most Valuable Player very well. Once we have and we are still trying to Celeste Lareau and Gina Colin Owen is back to our doubles players select- Torre. sort it out in the back anchor the defense at third. Our midfield has not ed we'll know more about “Three girls with state goalkeeper, and seniors our team's expectations,” committed to playing meet experience and 11 Andy Gonda, Zachary Rodriguez said. “Our defense yet either. returning varsity letter Whatcott, Alex Henson, matches in the (Flint Offensively, if our better winners bodes well for the Duncan Rowley and Nick players compete and work Metro) league will be a girls’ squad,” said Burt are stepping into the hard, we’ll be all right.” — battle this year. As always, Schmidt. “This team defenders’ roles. Brandon, Fenton and Holly should be competitive.” D.N. Offensively, East has will be tough to beat.” The boys’ team does some skill in seniors Alex For 2011 Lapeer East not return the experience TENNIS Podolski and Justin finished at 6-3-2 overall, 4- or the depth that the girls With a large part of last 2-1 Metro, placing third in Henderson, and junior do but could get better as Evan Schlaud has been the year’s team no longer a the conference and fifth at the year progresses. best player in scrimmages part of the Eagles champi- regionals. — M.S. Returning are Lucas onship expectations, the so far. Bailey Boyer is Bonesteel, Dan Gildner, theme for 2011 is one of expected to play midfield Joe Gizinski and Jacob GOLF change and features first and forward as the first McNutt. Newcomers time varsity tennis comAudrey Fleming and freshman on the varsity include Ricky Burly, Jamie petitors seniors Kyle Meghan Gordon are back since Cullen Turczyn. Dulin, Thomas Gildner, Nelson and Bryant to lead a junior-dominated Josh Kimsey, Jack Lareau, Stuewer, junior Brandon team. Kelsey Sinclair and Jared Putz and Ethan Sox. Warrean and sophomores Megan Culbert also played “The boys’ team lacks Alec Kluck, Levi Gonzalez as sophomores, and Sierra experience but with a couand Keaton Pnacek. Woodcum followed up a ple of good seniors and LAPEER COUNTY “We have four other strong freshman season five potentially outstandVISION CENTERS players fighting for a varsi- with a full summer of play. ing freshman on they ty position. We lost seven Soccer player Alexis team, they should be comEye Exam • Glasses players from last year's Whatcott is out for her petitive by season’s end,” Contact Lenses team but we expect to first season of golf as a said Schmidt. — E.H. Most Insurance Accepted work hard to improve on junior. last years accomplishThe Lady Eagles made SWIM AND DIVE ments,” said coach Oscar the state tournament last Rodriguez. year but graduated their For a co-op team that Despite the roster top two players. doesn’t even have a high changes, the Eagles are “It’s definitely a rebuild- school pool to use, the still returning just as many ing year,” said coach Steve Lapeer team somehow Stearns. “Hopefully, a cou- manages to keep a floatila ple of the girls have been of swimmers coming back working over the summer each year. This season, 35 Mark A. Braniecki, DO and getting better.” — D.N. girls, 14 from Lapeer West and 21 from Lapeer East will look to best its secCROSS COUNTRY Timothy FAMILY PRACTICE ond-place Flint Metro Piontkowski, DO Manny Schmidt is in his League finish from one PEDIATRIC CARE third stint as head coach season ago. Ten freshmen INTERNAL MEDICINE for the Eagles’, while and 13 sophomores will Albert Noelle Grignani is begincontinue to build upon the “Dedicated to providing quality, Smith, Jr., DO ning her seventh year with program as they find their personalized and individual health care.” the program. positions on the team. The girls’ cross country “I have 18 returning Janelle Keyser, PA Kathleen Fisher, NP team returns a wealth of total swimmers and 17 Curt Coulter, DO (810) 245-5562 • 944 Baldwin Rd., Ste. A, Lapeer talent that includes Laila new girls in that 35,” said Affiliation with Genesys Regional Medical Center and Lapeer Regional Medical Center Al-Ghanem, Jacki coach Pat Thomas. “My Kenneth Jostock Jr., MD Cunningham, Brennah captains this year are all

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juniors with Emily Shallman and Jen Mauslof from East and Megan Verbeke from Lapeer West.” Thomas said Shallman is seeking to make several state qualifying times this season. The seniors on the team include Emily Corriveau, Sarah Crittenten, Hannah Hastings and Lindsay Kile. Sophomore Molly Brown shows great potential. Of her strong junior contingent, Thomas said Mausolf is expected to be strong in the sprints, especially the 100 freestyle. She’s worked through the Liquid Lightning over the summer to build herself up. Maranda Rutkowski could do well in the sprints and the IM races as a very strong swimmer. Megan Verbeke will hold one of the leadership roles as a third-year swimmer and will be key in the distance events, especially the 200 and 500, said Thomas. “This season we are looking to make state relay in the 200 IM, that’s our goal,” Thomas added. “Corriveau will be key in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, and looks for this to be her best year. Crittendon, a backstroker, also looks for her best times and hopes to break the school record. She’ll also be key in the freestyle sprints. Kile is the team’s top breaststroker and also looks for a fantastic season and Hastings is expected to do well in her final season. “The team was tied for second in the Metro last year, and predominantly everyone has returned, especially in 200 IM, 100 fly, 100 breaststroke and 500. These will be our strongest events,” Thomas said. “In diving, Alycia Mauslof is a newcomer and will try the diving as a freshmen, so I’m all up for anyone willing to take that on. Others could return to diving, but it’s too early to tell who.” Thomas has employed a new Big Sister/Little Sister mentor program for the underclassmen that is going quite well. She noted that a lot of strong swimmers are in the underclassmen ranks, and four in particular are being put through more rigorous workouts. The team will have no home meets this season, as the scheduling issues at the Lapeer Rec Center have proved to be a deterrent for opposing teams. Senior night will take place at Flint Kearsley and the girls opened the season Tuesday at Oxford. — L.P.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 9

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

FOOTBALL The Panthers won their last three games and four of their last five in 2010. The bad news was, they dropped their first four. Mike Smith is looking for a faster start this season, and the 14th-year coach has the horses to do so. Key personnel are back in key positions, starting with senior David Price at quarterback, junior Zeshawn Jones-Parker at receiver and linebacker, junior Michael Ledington and Chad Ferguson at running back and Gabe Taylor and Craig Frazee at receiver. Senior Ken Boal and Brandon Welling anchor the offensive line. The defensive line is well-seasoned with Boal, Nate Page, Zane Schubert and Luke Knickerbocker, and Price, Jones-Parker and Taylor are back at linebacker. Ledington and Frazee return to the defensive backfield. Players expected to move into starting positions include Jeff Maier on the offensive line and Briar Moshier at running back and defensive line. Junior Cody Perkins is competing at quarterback, and C.J. Melton shows potential at linebacker. Two newcomers to the program, seniors Kyle Swailes and Darrell Bougie, are vying for positions at wide receiver and defensive back. Swailes also kicks. “We return a lot of experience in our defensive line and we have a lot of kids that are pretty skilled,” Smith said. “Already we have a little better team speed, and hopefully we’ll play special teams better. “We’ve got to be a better team early. We got out of the gates slow last year, and we’re just looking at trying to be more prepared.” — D.N.

VOLLEYBALL Coach Karen Eckel enters her ninth season at West and has been with the program for 22 years. Eckel has plenty of experience returning

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

vs. Fenton HS/AGS MS vs. Davison High School vs. Brandon High School @ Lapeer East High School vs. Swartz Creek High School @ Linden High School @ Holly High School vs. Clio High School @ Kearsley High School

for when these JV players come in. They need to understand once you get to the varsity level, there is no more ‘going through the motion’ thing like you go through in JV, where the pace of the game is slower. We want them to understand what they’re going to be facing when they come up.” — B.P.

TENNIS

File Photo

Lapeer West’s Justlin SLater was teken down during last year’s action.

from a team that finished second last year in the Metro League. Returning are seniors Maddison Smith, Marisa Liburdi, Marnie Fettig, Madigan Franko and Anna Gwyn and juniors Katie Eckel and Shannon Brown. The Panthers have several new faces to the varsity that include Mallory Rozewicz, Savannah King and Lapeer East transfer, Shelby Wagner. Eckel, Wagner and Smith will once again look to earn All-Metro honors. “I think Fenton will be the team to beat,” Eckel said. “East versus West is always an exciting game. (The) team has been working very hard and I look forward to a great season. If we can pass well we should be

stronger than last year.” — E.H.

SOCCER Lapeer West is in a period of youth transition, as it tries to get its young core more experience. “We were a bit below .500 last year. We had a young team,” said coach Kenny Uzoigwe. “There were about three or four seniors on the team that hadn’t really played high level, competitive soccer. That kind of hindered us from doing what we needed to do to be a successful team. On the other hand, we also had two or three quality players. At the end of the day, it’s about putting the ball in the net, and if we can’t put the ball in the net, it’s defi-

Photo by Dan NIlsen

Lapeer West’s Caycee Turczyn competed during last Friday’s annual preseason tuneup at the Lapeer Country Club.

nitely going to cost us.” “We graduated defender Matt Cox. He was one of our strong defenders,” stated Uzoigwe. “He used his height, his size, and he’d try to help us out defensively.” West will be returning several players, including Matt O’Brien, who according to Uzoigwe is “one of my top three players”. “We are a younger team this year, and we’re going to try to build on the athleticism we have.” The season was filled with ups and downs for the Panthers last year. “Last season we lost about our first six games, and then we went on to beat Fenton, and that was a big win for us,” continued Uzoigwe. “It carried us to win three straight games. I just want to make sure that we have a good start this year.” Not many key additions will be made to West’s team. “I have a couple of JV players that I moved up. One of the things we’ve been working on through the off-season is the pace of the game,” said Uzoigwe. “We want to make sure we’re working on the pace of the game

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With only 13 athletes on the roster as of Aug. 16, West’s tennis team found itself two players short of the school board minimum required 15 participants with just a day to make up the difference. Fortunately, the Panthers were able to avoid canceling their season with the addition of two last-minute signups, allowing the squad to enjoy a full singles and doubles lineup as they try to climb their way up the ladder of the Flint Metro League standings. “Players new to the courts, I would hope each match out they improve their game, and by the end of the season are consistent with their skills and performing at their personal best,” said coach Sue Pittsley. “Holly, Fenton, Brandon and East are always strong teams and consistent with depth.” Coming back from a year ago is a wealth of talent that includes seniors Brian Stover, Eric Hyatt, JT Harris, Wyatt Fleisher, Eric Boskee and Dan Delvecchio, junior Jeff Simion and sophomore Braydin Walters. “I expect returning players to set season goals where they challenge themselves to finish higher with their overall record, league and regional play then last year,” Pittsley said. — M.S.

GOLF The Lady Panthers return four of their top five players from a statequalifying team. Lindsay Yateman and Haley

Byard are seniors, Kate Carlson is a junior and Tori Carlson is a sophomore. Freshman Caycee Turczyn looks like a topfive player after qualifying for the Optimists International tournament in Florida this summer. Chelsea Miller also returns, and coach Mike Ogg has “eight freshmen who all want to be on the varsity.” “We’re capable of being one of the better teams in our league, but who knows?” said Ogg, who has coached 58 teams in seven sports over his career. “Sometimes you think you have a good team but they don’t perform; other times you’re surprised. We’re excited about the season.” — D.N.

CROSS COUNTRY Russ Reitz enters his 13th year of coaching cross country with this being his second year with the Panthers. The boys’ team returns more experience than the girls’ squad and should be competitive this year. Returning for the boys are Jake and Johnny Weingartz, Kody Thorton, Shane More, Nick Williams, Jackson DeRuiter, Michael O’Brien, Erik Groom and Zach Hendrick. The girls return Alisha Kitner, Gina Cavanaugh and Stephanie Anderson. Incoming freshman looking to crack the varsity rotation are Andrew Pollum, Devin Karpovich, Shannon DeRuiter and Vicki Martindale. “Our boy’s team should fair well this year,” said Reitz. “We have a group of boys who will run together as a pack. Last season we finished seventh in our league and we hope to improve on that.” “Our girls team will miss Tori Peet this year, as she was always at the front,” Reitz added. “Alisha Kitner has been training hard all summer to become our lead runner.” — E.H.

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10 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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FOOTBALL The Red Raiders return a corps of leadership with nine-year coach Denny Lester at the helm. He has 41-43 win-loss record and his Raiders just missed the playoffs after finishing at 5-4 overall, 2-3 Greater Thumb Conf.East. The 10 lost to graduation will be missed, but 16 letter-winners returning including quarterback/defensive back Kolby Lange, a FirstTeamer from last season, who rushed 131 times for 1,000 yards. He was 58-for-133 for 678 yards with seven touchdown and eight interceptions. He also had 37 total tackles at corner. "Kolby is really an explosive offensive player," Lester said. "He has an opportunity to make a big play every time he touches the ball." Senior Kyle Jickling enters his third season at wide receiver/defensive back. He had 30 total tackles and 4 interceptions and started all nine games at corner, rotating in at wide receiver when needed. Also at wide receiver/defensive back is senior Donnie Thomas. The SecondTeam All-Conference honoree started in the slot on offense and at defensive back the past two season, who tallied 80 rushing yards with two scores and 25 receptions for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 33 total tackles and six interceptions. Lester said Thomas was a big play guy for Marlette last season, and is expect to really improve this season. Senior Justin Carello played superback for Lester last season, rushing 90 times for 404 yards and four touchdowns, while also making 14 receptions for 93 yards. He’s also expect-

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

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Marlette’s Kolby Lange (#7) is back for the Red Raiders 2011 varsity football team.

ed to contribute greatly each game. Senior Joey Volz started at offensive tackle and linebacker and enters his third season after leading in tackles with 120 total. He also made five sacks and one interception. Lester tabbed Volz as one of the team leaders for this season after making First team AllConference at linebacker last season. Three seniors, Michael Wells, Jacob Wiley and Evan Howard, will do duty on the online and as linebackers. Wells enters his third and was honorable mention last year after amassing 46 total tackles that included three sacks. Wiley enters his third year and was also an honorable mention on the O-line last season. On defense, he was Marlette’s second-leading tackler with 58 total tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. Howard had 40 tackles and is expected to play

at an even higher level this season. Seniors Curtis Morrison, split back, defensive line and Anthony Hoisington, Oline/D-line are both expected to pick up where they left off last season disrupting the opposition. Sophomore Brad Schaub was brought up at the end of last season at wide receiver/defensive back and will play both sides this season. Seniors Eric Leveiller and Kyle Creason will both battle for key starting spots. Senior Brad Montgomery, who Lester said earned a starting spot last season is expected to contribute again in 2011. Senior James Marquardt looks to start on the O-line or D-line this season and senior Cody Newland was the team’s long snapper and wide receiver last season. Lester called him "a very intelligent football player that will contribute this year."

A crop of newcomers includes juniors Anthony Kappen, Zachary Kady, Ryan Miller, Alan Sager, Aaron Hirsch, Alex Howe and Nate Straul. Lester said the team has a lot of athletic ability with speed as the strength and size as a limitation, but added that the team has the same high expectations that it does every year and feels it can contend. — L.P.

Aug 26 Sep 1 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM 7PM

@ LakeVille High School @ Mayville Community Schools vs. Ubly High School vs. Elkton Pigeon Bay Port Laker vs. Sandusky High School @ Harbor Beach High School vs. Deckerville High School @ Brown City High School @ Peck High School

returning seniors, the experience of juniors Abby Bowman and Alexis Nesto becomes that much more essential. Also coming back from last years team are sophomores Keara Wilson, Kristen Reinstra, Lily Solgat and Magin Dings, who will be complimented by a handful of first-year varsity athletes that include junior Lexi Cooper and freshmen Marrisa Ferguson and Courtney Quade. “As you can tell by our roster, we are very young, it will take a little while to get everyone’s feet wet, but they have a great work ethic and should become veterans quickly,” McDowell said. “The three seniors had large roles in our quarterfinal win two years ago and are tested and true volleyball veterans.” — M.S.

VOLLEYBALL

SOCCER

Now in his 10th year with the team after going 25-21-4 overall, 9-1 Greater Thumb Conference-East a season ago, Fred McDowell has the good fortune of facing the challenges of 2011 with the help of a staff that includes junior varsity coach Josie Volz, eighth-grade coach Kim Anstett and seventhgrade coach Denise Shaver. “We will play together very well, we will have a lot of fun, and when you watch us you will see great sportsmanship and positive attitudes plus some pretty decent volleyball,” said McDowell. “Sandusky, and Brown City should be very good this year, Ubly is always tough, and we should be ok by mid season.” With Karley Sauder, Kelsey Roggenbuck and Rachel McEwewn serving as the teams only

Dave Hayden returns to the Red Raiders’ bench where he led them to an 11-2-1 record and a league title last season. Marlette returns a majority of its team from last season including Mike Boyne and Chris Titus at forward, Derek Platte, Jacob Kipp, Casey Johnson, Chad Walker and Aaron Cook on defense and Alex Hayden, Andy and Jacob Bowman, Christian Mason and Alex Byars at midfield. Newcomers include forward Logan Dean, goalies Kody Ray and Jordan Cross, defender Jeremy Fearson and midfielder Mike Jocham. “I feel that this year’s team should be solid but will have to work harder to win the league again,” said Hayden. “The talent is in place, now it is up to the guys to put in the work

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Good Luck Red Raiders

Karley Sauder (#10) connects at the net for the Marlette varsity volleyball team.

required to do well in the league.” — E.H.

CROSS COUNTRY The Red Raiders’ boys’ team is the twotime defending GTC-East champs and the girls’ squad is the defending champ. Coach Chris Titus, now in his sixth season at the helm, expects the team to defend those titles and qualify for the state meet. He also coaches at the junior high level. The boys’ squad is led by juniors Andy and Jacob Bowman, state finalists from last season, juniors Matt Titus, Matt Chappel and Nick Shaver anchor the squad. Returning lettermen Casey Johnson, Jared Hutchens, Alex Herman, Michael Boyne and Jacob Kipp will provide the depth throughout the season. Freshman Marcus Dale was a standout on the junior high team and will be joined by rookies Andrew Clark and Connor Byce. The girls’ squad looks for new leadership after graduating one of the school’s best runners ever in Sarah Smith and Rebecca Spinks, another solid runner, according to Titus. A younger and less experienced corps will take to the course led by sophomore Tori Mock and freshmen MacKenzie Kelly and Sami Sisson. Titus noted Kelly as the junior high record holder. Others looking to break into the ranks include rookies Larissa Duff and Randy Hughes. Newcomer and junior Izabella McCanham has what Titus calls great potential because of her distance abilities. "We are building toward something great," Titus said. "This year we are excited about the boys’ team and their opportunity to compete for another league title and spot in the state finals. "It will be hard to replace some of the great girl runners that graduated, but we have some real talent on the young squad." – L.P.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 11

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

FOOTBALL

points than last season and to be competitive in Head coach Mike each and every game,” Campbell has his work said Campbell. “The cut out for him when it Greater Thumb comes to changing the Conference-East is always culture of a program that a very tough and compethas posted just one winitive league. Each and ning season since 1988. every week you play “This year’s Mayville another tough opponent. team returns six players Harbor Beach, and Ubly off of last year’s team. could be considered The seniors are hard favorites to win the workers that hope to league, but any of the have a successful seaother teams are also son,” said Campbell. capable of winning the “Andrew Dumka and Josh league.” Buhl are two captains While Campbell’s rosthat will help anchor the ter may only go 18 playoffensive line. They are ers deep, at least he has also two potential a six-man coaching staff starters on the defensive to help him guide his side of the ball. Brandon troops through the variGott returns as the leadous adversities that are ing receiver off of last sure to arise. This year’s team.” includes Keith Whitaker, Complimenting this Dave Forystek, Ed crew of veteran talent are Stevenson, Sean Squires, a handful of athletes who Russ Coutcher and Chris are new to the varsity but Kidd. — M.S. may get a chance to make their presence felt, VOLLEYBALL including running back Dakota Walker, Michael Now in her seventh Shaver, Ryan Weckle and season as head coach of Wade Stevenson, who will the Lady Wildcats varsity help give the team speed volleyball team, Nita and depth in its backStevenson has several field. returning athletes from a “I think that this ediyear ago who could play tion of the Mayville key roles in 2011. This Wildcats will be very well includes senior left hitter balanced. This team has Haley Phelps, who some good lineman and Stevenson describes as a, some speed in the back“strong hitter and servfield,” Campell said. “On er”. Senior Middle the defensive side of the Stephanie Wheaton, a ball we are aggressive strong server according and want to improve to Stevenson, is also back each and every week. along side the, “best The one drawback of our defensive player on the team is the lack of depth team”, senior middle Alex at certain positions.” Diller. Last year, the “We will be a very Wildcats’ varsity football young team with four team went 0-8 overall, 0-5 sophomores on varsity. Greater Thumb We will be focuding on Conference-East, scoring being tough defensively 69 points for 2010, while while we work on being allowing 359. Despite more aggressive on these results, the squad offense, “ said Stevenson. still lost a wealth of tal“With only three returnent at key positions to ing players, we will be graduation, such as quar- working on improving terback Aaron Mercer every game and work on and offensive lineman being competitive in the Evan Franke. league.” “Some of the team Among those in their goals for the season are first year of varsity comto give up 50-70 fewer petition for Mayville is

2011 Football Schedule Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

The Lady Wildcats lost Annie Ricardson (#8) from last years team to graduation.

sophomore left hitter Crystal Savage, a strong hitter and server, and junior setter Kelsey Blasdell, who Stevenson describes as, “quick and vocal. Runs the offense with confidence.” These additions will help the Lady Wildcats make up for those lost to graduation, including Amber Savage, Kelsey Schenk and Annie Richardson. — M.S.

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vs. Michigan Lutheran Seminary vs. Marlette High School @ Sandusky High School vs. Ubly High School @ Brown City High School vs. Star International Academy @ Bay City All Saints High School vs. Harbor Beach High School @ Kingston High School

of their core still intact. “We return all but one runner from last year’s state qualifying team,” stated Garno. Returning contributors include Ruth Squires, Ashley McMullen, Nicole Redfield, Jordan Dunham, Cora Sharp, and Tori Bakewell. First year junior, Emily Middleton, is expected to make an impact as well, and according to coach Garno, ‘should fit into the top seven quite nicely’. As far as the season goes, Garno is quite optimistic about her squad. “My top group should be pretty strong. We are hoping to compete for the league title as well as return to the state meet,” said Garno. “We did not earn any championship titles last year, but we finished second in both the league championship and the regional meet.” The boys’ squad will be missing a key component from last year’s team. “Hayden Garlick fin-

ished 22nd at the state meet. He will be continuing his running career at Adrian College this year,” continued Garno. “We also graduated Brandon Baber and John Madocks from our top five runners.” The Wildcats will return senior Francis Buggia, juniors Nick Fox and Justin Harris, and sophomores Kyle Baxter and Tyler Rowe, who will be expected to step up to fill the shoes of the graduated seniors’ according to Garno. The season overall could have some positive results for Mayville. “We have a hard working group of boys that are going to push themselves this year to finish at the top of the league,” said Garno. “They also have goals of qualifying for states as a team.” The boys are coming off of a season in which they placed third in the league and fourth in regionals. — B.P.

The girls’ portion of Mayville’s cross country team is coming into the season quite strong, losing only one key player

Mayville in white and Marlette in burgundy clashed last season.

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CROSS COUNTRY

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from last year’s team. “The only loss from last year is senior Kelli Pape, who is out for the season due to knee surgery. She earned AllConference honors and competed at the state meet last year,” said head coach Angie Garno. On the returning side, the Wildcats look to be strong with the majority

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12 • Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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FOOTBALL Losing 20 to graduation led to a very exciting quarterback battle over the off-season for the Broncos. Coach Pat Forster announced that the starting spot goes to sophomore Jacob Young, who was battling last season’s backup and incoming senior Jakob Bonner. Because of how Bonner has handled the pressure and the move from quarterback to wideout, Forster and the coaching staff named him as a captain. The team typically chooses its own captains. "Young is a special kid and at 6-foot, 165 lbs. he runs a 4.7 second 40 for us," Forster said. "He has a strong arm, is very smart and coming along quickly. Bonner has really taken a senior leadership role, moves out to wideout and being a quarterback, knows his route, has tremendous hands and knows where to be. He’s also going to start at strong side for us." Other key returning players include senior captain Trevor Marceau, a 6-4, 215 lb. wide receiver. He had 493 yards and seven scores last season and was a TVC Second Teamer. Senior and thirdyear starter and captain Stewart Fielder stands in at 6-4, 225 lbs. on the offense/defense line. He replaces Ethan Deshetsky at left tackle. Cody Bader, 6-foot, 220 lbs. played on the line last year, this season he returns to his full back position. Another captain and Forster’s "QB of our defense this season" is newcomer and sophomore Doug Stikeleather, at running back/defensive back. Sophomore Jacob Pasek is a cornerback and kicker that Forster is really excited about. "Hands down, he’s the most athletic kid in the program and kicked several 35 yard field goals as a freshman," Forster said. "We picked up another strong kicker that continues our strongsuit at that position over the years." Forster said because the rest of the team is so new and young, a lot is still up in the air, but the bunch is very athletic and

2011 Football Schedule Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri Fri

Aug 26 Sep 2 Sep 9 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 30 Oct 7 Oct 14 Oct 21

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vs. Imlay City High School @ Birch Run High School vs. Caro High School vs. Millington High School vs. Frankenmuth High School @ Essexville Garber High School @ Lake Fenton High School vs. Bridgeport High School @ Yale Public Schools

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North Branch’s Jakob Bonner will play at a new position this season.

strong. "As the offense and defense line go, so do we," he said. As for the season? "Regardless of past history the expectations are the playoffs every year," Forster stresed, entering his 12th season with the program. "We’re excited about that first game (with Imlay City) and Coach Day is doing a phenomenal job with that program. We need Imlay City to be back to what they were six or seven years ago. We want that excitement and rivalry. We’re going the right way and feel they are, too. We want that to be that premiere game every season in the Thumb." — L.P.

VOLLEYBALL Jim Fish returns to the North Branch sidelines for his 12th season at the school and is entering his 25th year of coaching overall. Fish has amassed over 800 victories in his career with 618 of those at North Branch. The Broncos won the

state championship in 2009 and lost in the state finals in 2010. This year’s squad will have some big shoes to fill if they want to return to Battle Creek. Returning for the Broncos are middle hitter Sam Garza, who was Second Team All-State last year and led the team in blocks, defender Whitney Strich, who led the team with a 95.9 serve percentage, and Micaela Deshetsky, who will move from middle position to outside hitter and will play both offense and defense this year. Junior Rachel Fish will have to replace two-time First Team All-State Catherine Brusie as libero and Ali Ruhlman and Jamie Barrows will combine to replace three-time First Team All-State and 2010 Miss Volleyball Jordan Fish at setter. The Broncos will rely on some young pieces this year to replace the four seniors that are now playing in college. Besides Barrows, sophomore Tiffany Walker and freshman Maddy Ruhlman, Victoria Severance and Laura Willson will see the court right away. North Branch has won seven consecutive unde-

feated Tri-Valley Conference Championships and 46 consecutive TVC matches, but will be hard-pressed to keep the streak going. Frankenmuth returns most of its players from last year’s regional semifinal team. “Frankenmuth is a top ten team in the state and we will have to play them in Frankenmuth,” said Fish. “We will have our work cut out for us.” — E.H.

SOCCER

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With final cuts still to be made as went to press, coach Josh Spencer was not yet ready to release this seaon’s preview information. — L.P.

CROSS COUNTRY In the early days of preseason practices, its’ hard to get a grasp of what the North Branch cross country squad will look like. “I’ve only had two days of practice, so I’ve only got like five kids,” said head coach Jason Castle. “I’m going to get more next week.” Last season went fairly well for the Lady Broncos, but the boys, however,

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didn’t get as much shine. “The girls finished, in the Tri-Valley East, I believe they were fifth. As far as the boys, I did not have a complete team,” stated Castle. North Branch lost a few key players this off-season, who were major contributors. “On the girls side there was Samantha Griffin and Jessica McKnight. (For the boys it was) Leo Juengling, he was a foreign exchange student last year,” continued Castle. “Also Ryan Ormiston just decided not to run, and he was allleague.”

The girls team will have a few returning players who Castle expects to make an impact. Only a sophomore, Morgan Sawgle was a state qualifier in her freshman season. Also returning are seniors Maggie Verellen, and Stephanie Schlaud. For the boys’ squad, not many are returning, but they have picked up a promising new runner in Ryan Garza. “I’m going to have, probably eight or nine girls on my team,” said Castle. “We should finish around the top three in the league.” — B.P.

Best of Luck North Branch Broncos

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 • 13

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

FOOTBALL The Pirates turn the page to a new era after going 1-7 last year and 4-5 in 2009. Prior to that, they had made three straight playoff appearances and six in eight years. New coach Rob McDaniel has 17 varsity players and some good experience at key positions to work with. Tim Logghe is back at quarterback and twin brother James returns at running back for their senior years. Senior J.T. Cahoon also returns to the backfield, and senior tackle Jimmy Cribbins is back to anchor the line. “Talent-wise, we’re pretty solid as far as returners in key positions,” said McDaniel. “I’ve seen them on film from last year, but once we get them in a scrimmage and see how they respond to contact, we’ll know better where we’re at. I think we’re going to be okay.” Peck scrimmaged at Cass City with Ubly and Imlay City last Friday, after County Press deadlines. Promising new players include junior Jake Overstreet, a tight end and backup quarterback. Juniors Nolan Kreiner and Camron Warren are vying for time at running back, and Warren also can play tight end. Junior Jarrett Bell looks like a solid addi-

2011 Football Schedule

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Peck lost several defenders to graduation, including Darryl Garvey (#31) and Brandon Manns (#20), who are shown here making the tackle.

tion to the offensive line. “The biggest thing is putting in a new offense and new defense,” said McDaniel, who has been coaching since 1987. “We have a lot of growing pains right now, but they seem to be catching on quite well.” McDaniel is new to the North Central Thumb League but sees Deckerville as the top contender. “Even in a down year,

they’re probably the favorite to win the league,” he said. “Kinde North Huron is supposed to be fairly decent.” As they have done for the last eight seasons, the Pirates will open against non-league foe Brown City at 7 p.m. Friday at home. — D.N.

VOLLEYBALL Trisha Bussey enters her fifth season in charge

VIEW Newspapers columnist Jeff “The Fat Guy” Day and broadcast partner Jason Connolly will provide play-by-play high school football again this fall.

US 103.1 football broadcast schedule

of the Pirates’ volleyball program. The team did not win a game last season, but looks for a big pay-off this year with the talent coming up through the ranks. Gone from last season’s squad is Courtney Ziegler, Tina Daniels, Elizabeth Peck, Karen Jones and Brittany Partlo. Jones moved to South Carolina and Partlo transferred to Cros-Lex though neither will play volleyball.

Fri Thu Fri Fri Fri Sat Fri

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vs. Brown City High School @ Whittemore-Prescott HS @ Deckerville High School vs. Lutheran HS Northwest vs. North Huron HS vs. Kingston Middle/High School @ Arenac Eastern Middle/High School 7PM @ Memphis High School 7:00PM vs. Marlette High School

Returning for Peck are Shayla York, Heidi Behnke, Mairead Warner, Kendall LaFleur, Miranda Davis and Katie Weller. New varsity players include Nickie Sheldon, Jessica Girska, Lauren Avers, Sami Murray, Megan Pitts and Rebeca Birdman.

“We’ve built the program up over the last few years and we should see it pay-off this year,” Bussey said. “There is more help this year and I look for the girls to play as a team this year and fill in some of the gaps.” — E.H.

Best of Luck Peck Pirates!

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