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Saginaw Connection

Schempp, Leibinger Making Statement At Ferris, Michigan Tech

Men’s Hoops

Swimming Preview:

Winter Preview 2013

www.gliac.org

Northwood Has Strong Mix Of Youth, Veterans

Wayne State / Hillsdale Loaded With Local Talent


Winter Preview 2013 Feature Stories

Clare’s Lindsay Winter Chooses Michigan Tech....................................... 13 Ferris State’s Droste Returns Home To Play Ball...................................... 6 Homecooking - Northwood Welcomes Influx Of Local Talent To Hardwood....................... 16

Men and Women’s Basketball Preview Ashland University......................................... 4 Ferris State University................................ 5 The University of Findlay............................. 7 Grand Valley State University................... 8 Hillsdale College.............................................. 9 Lake Erie College......................................... 10 Lake Superior State University............. 11 Malone University....................................... 12 Michigan Technological University....... 13 Northern Michigan University............... 14 Northwood University............................... 15 Ohio Dominican University...................... 17 Saginaw Valley State University........... 18 Tiffin University............................................ 19 Walsh University......................................... 20 Wayne State University........................... 21 Hockey Saginaw natives Leibinger, Schempp Find Home In GLIAC.............................. 22

Swimming

Wayne State Swimming Has Tri-City Ties............................................................. 3 Former Alma Standout Jennifer Wheeler Making Mark At Hillsdale........................................ 3

Thanks to all athletic departments and contributing photographers.

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Wayne State swimming has Tri-City ties For Wayne State University swimming coach Sean Peters, having three athletes from the tri-city area is a positive. “We are certainly fortunate to have the swimmers from the tri-cities area that we have,” Peters said. “The swimmers from this area have done great things in the past such as conference championships, national championships, and in a few cases, national records. This season, we have one female and two male athletes.” The female athlete is freshman Emily Maraskine, a Midland Dow graduate. “She has made an instant impact on our program in the sprint freestyles, and I certainly like her potential to groom into a national level swimmer,” Peters said. The male athletes are seniors Cameron Fryzel of Bay City Western and Calvin Reder of John Glenn. “Fryzel has grown into a leader of the team and really made huge strides this past season,” Peters said. “If he keeps that progression going, he can compete for relay spots at the end of the season. Reder is a returning all-American last season in the 200 butterfly and really can finish strong this senior season by making a run and repeating this endeavor.” Each swimmer is important to the Wayne State program in different ways. “All of these swimmers swim vastly different races but share the common goal of being successful and helping Wayne State Swimming and Diving compete at a national level,” Peters said.

Former Alma standout Jennifer Wheeler making mark at Hillsdale Her freshman year was good. Jennifer Wheeler’s sophomore year at Hillsdale College has been even better. “This year has been quite different,” the 2012 Alma High School graduate said. “I have altered both of my strokes, and it has helped bring my times down. Currently I am ranked second in the GLIAC for the 100 freestyle, fifth in the 200 butterfly, and 10th in the 500 freestyle. I swam the 1000 at our first meet of the season and got a personal record by 19 seconds.” Wheeler, who plans to study either finance or accounting, is no stranger to success in the pool or in the classroom. At Alma, where she was valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, she had 16 all-league honors, was conference champion four times, had 13 all-state honors, was the state runner up three times, and had school records in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. “My success as a swimmer has been greatly influenced by my coach at Alma, Jeff Huxley,” Wheeler said. “He has helped me build my race strategy, and he has coached me to become the best swimmer I can be even from a very young age. The amount of effort I

put into the pool basically determines how well I perform at championship meets. Swimming is an individual sport, so I rely on myself to become faster. This drive to be better has made me become the swimmer I am today.” Wheeler has upped her expectations at the collegiate level. “My goals for this year are to obtain B-cuts for nationals in either the 1000 free, 200 fly, or 500 free,” she said. “I would like to make top eight for these events at the GLIAC conference championship, but we will just have to see how the game plays out. I hope to someday swim at nationals.” To get there, Wheeler knows it’s going to take continued hard work. “Swimming at the collegiate level has been tough but one of the most enjoyable experiences,” she said. “Being a student-athlete is very challenging, but I would never give up this experience. The competition is a lot tougher in this field, but it has helped me bring out the best of me in my races.” Even though the competition, expectations, and dedication have all increased in college, the pool is still somewhere that Wheeler can go to blow off some steam. 

“I keep swimming to this day because it is such an important aspect of my life,” she said. “If I have had a long day at school, I can just go to the pool and it will feel like home. It’s a constant aspect of my life that does not change.” 

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Ashland University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: John Ellenwood (5th year) Record last year: 13-12 overall, 11-11 GLIAC Key players: Will Evans, DaWuan Thomas, Brook Turson Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Eagles have three starters back as they look to

make strides during the upcoming season. Ashland closed last season with a four-game win streak and nearly made the conference tournament. Leading the way this year is senior forward Will Evans, who averaged 9.4 points per game and grabbed 6.1 rebounds per outing. Junior guard DaWaun Thomas clicked for 7.4 points per outing and dished out 54 assists. He also tallied 29 steals. The other key returning player is junior guard Brook Turson, who averaged 8.4 ppg and grabbed 4.6 rebounds per outing. Junior guard Cole Krizancic could play a key role after averaging 6.8 points per outing and junior forward Paul Honigford averaged 5.2 ppg. Krizancic hit 39 3-pointers last season. If the Eagles can overcome the loss of Evan Yates, who averaged 16.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, they will have a shot at a winning record in league play.

Head coach: Sue Ramsey (19th year) Record last year: 37-1 overall, 21-1 GLIAC; GLIAC

regular season and tournament champions; regional and national championships

Players lost: Kari Daugherty, Daiva Gerbec Players returning: Alyssa Miller, Taylor Woods Coach’s Comment: “With seven new players, our team

chemistry has been a focus in the preseason. I am very exited about the work ethic and leadership of this year’s team. Since we are so young, the focus of our season will be to continue to improve every time we step on the court.”

Overview: The Eagles are coming off a national championship

and duplicating that success will not be easy with only two starters back. Junior guard Taylor Woods (12.3 points per game) and senior guard Alyssa Miller (10.3) are both returning starters. Miller is the Eagles’ career leader in assists and dished out 192 last season. Ashland features three other returning players who could make an impact in junior guard Chelsea LaPorte, junior guard Melanie Poorman and sophomore guard MaKenzie Miller. All three will be looked upon to provide help on both ends of the floor as the Eagles try to overcome the loss of national player of the year Kari Daugherty (22.3 ppg, 13.7 rebounds per game). The Eagles lost a total of eight players from their title team but start the season ranked No. 15 in the nation.


Ferris State University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Andy Bronkema (1st year) Record last year: 14-13, 13-9 GLIAC Key players: Drew Lehman, Dietrich Lever, Jared Stolicker,

Milton Cribbs, Jibreel Jackson, Josh Fleming, Matt Sinnaeve, Dan Chilcote, Matt Stoll, Raymoan McAfee

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Three starters are back for the Bulldogs, who are

coming off their eighth appearance in the conference tournament in the last nine seasons. Junior guard Drew Lehman is the leading returning scorer after averaging 13.1 points per game last season. He hit 30 3-pointers and dished out 64 assists. Junior guard Dietrich Lever averaged 10.0 ppg and knocked down 27 treys. He also tallied 34 steals. The other returning starter is sophomore center Jared Stolicker, who averaged 5.6 points per outing and blocked 41 shots. Five letterwinners are also back for FSU in wing Milton Cribbs, guard Jibreel Jackson, forward Josh Fleming, win Matt Sinnaeve and forward Dan Chilcote. All five players are sophomores. Jackson averaged 4.2 points per outing and dished out 40 assists. Junior forward Matt Stoll and senior forward Raymoan McAfee should also see playing time for the Bulldogs.

Head coach: Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate (2nd year) Record last year: 13-13 overall, 12-10 GLIAC  Key players: Sarah DeShone, Katie Mavis, Ashley Rando, Kara Hess, Hannah Hoffman, Destiny Robinson, Dena Droste , Christiana Branch

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Bulldogs reached the conference tournament

for the 14th time in program history last season and have won 10 or more games in 16 of the last 17 seasons. This year’s Ferris State squad will be led by senior guard Sarah DeShone, a twotime All-American who averaged 17.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. She also racked up 54 steals. Sophomore guard Katie Mavis averaged 8.4 points per game and hit 18 treys while senior guard/forward Ashley Rando (10.3 ppg), junior forward Kara Hess (6.7 ppg) and junior center Hannah Hoffman (4.4 ppg) also have experience as starters. Rando hit 39 3-pointers and Hoffman grabbed 5.0 rebounds per game. Hess dished out 29 assists. Three players who used redshirt seasons last year are also back in the fold for the Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Destiny Robinson started out at Grand Rapids Community College and sophomore guard Dena Droste is a transfer from Kent State. Christina Branch was the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2011-12 and helped the Bulldogs win a North Division championship and earn an NCAA tournament bid that season.

Nouvel’s Rachel McInerney signs her National Letter of Intent to attend Ferris State University next season.

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Droste returns home to play ball at Ferris State; Expected to make immediate impact on Bulldogs by John Raffel Sports Scene

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ena Droste feels right at home at Ferris State University. The Bulldog women’s basketball team is looking for Droste to fit in this season and help out the squad. Droste made her debut for Ferris in an exhibition game in early November against Michigan State University, which Ferris lost 100-52. Droste started at guard, and in 19 minutes of action, she was 3 of 8 from the floor, 0 for 4 in 3-pointers, and 1 of 6 at the free-throw line for seven points. She also had two assists and three rebounds. “It was a real learning experience for us,” she said. “It was cool to play a Big Ten team, a team a lot of us are familiar with. We found out a lot of things about our team, what will work and what will not work. I think we learned that we’ll battle to the end.” Droste is impressed with the depth of the Bulldogs. “We’ll have a ton of athletes on our team,” she said. “All the players on our team work so hard. We’re all competitors. We all want to win. That will carry us a long way.” She’s a red-shirt sophomore who played for the Kent State University Golden Flashes on the Division I level during the 2011-12 season. She averaged 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest during 252 minutes of court time. “After the season was complete, I decided I was going to transfer,” she said. “This is my second year at Ferris but will be my first season of playing. I red-shirted last year due to an injury.” She has three years of eligibility remaining. When she decided to transfer, Droste was looking for schools of interest. “Ferris interested me because of the health administration major,” she said. “That was the major I was looking into. I talked to a lot of people about the basketball team here. I didn’t hear negative things. A lot of people say they’re like family, but this team really means it. “It’s a great environment, that’s what made me come.” Ferris was was making a coaching transition while Droste was searching for a school. She finalized her decision when Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate got the job. Coach Lamoreaux-Tate anticipates Droste being in the top seven or eight. “She’ll have a major role,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “She can shoot and she can drive. She has stepped up her defense and everything. She’s gotten physically strong.” Lamoreaux-Tate pointed out that Droste became a coach of sorts while she was redshirted last season. “We’re definitely on the same page,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “We had respect for each other, and she buys into  my program and my style and what I believe in. “She has that leadership. People really listen to her. She’s like a coach out on the floor.” Said Droste, “I feel like this year, hopefully, on the court, I can be that extended coach and help everybody else on the floor, whether it be like being another Colleen out there, or driving or scoring buckets, or whatever the team wants me to do, that will be my role. It will change depending on the game.” Against Michigan State, Droste looked like “a fish out of water,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “It was her first competition in two years. That’s the only time we could play Michigan State. She was not herself. But in practice, she’s been showing her true abilities.” On the high school level, Droste averaged more than 20 points per game her senior year at DeWitt High School. She totaled 252 minutes of playing time and was an all-stater in

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2010. She had 18 points in an MHSAA state semifinal game as a sophomore . Droste was also a talented golfer at DeWitt and finished fifth at the 2009 MHSAA Division 3 state tournament and helped her team to a third-place finish. She also helped DeWitt place third at the 2008 MHSAA Division 2 Girls Golf Tournament as a freshman and fifth at the 2010 Division 3 tournament. This year, Droste will try to utilize her 3-point shooting abilities to help Ferris. “My mid-range game can contribute to the team,” she said. Droste sees plenty of potential in a Ferris team that was 13-13 last season. “We have a lot of returners from last year and also a decent amount of freshmen,” she said. “Our freshmen are catching on really fast. I feel like this team has a ton of potential. We can do some really good things this year.” Droste is confident the Bulldogs can be title contenders. “There’s a lot of strong teams in the conference,” she said. “Ashland, the national champions last year, are on the other side of the GLIAC. They’ll be a team we look forward to playing. Grand Valley is a rival. That’s a fun game to play. They have a lot of talent. Every night, we have to come ready to go. It’s a strong league. There’s a lot of talent.”


The University of Findlay Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Charles Ernst (3rd year) Record last year: 22-8; GLIAC South Division champions, GLIAC tournament champions

Key players: Greg Kahlig, Jake Heagen, Alphonso Baity Coach’s Comment: “Our team this season has good

leadership, but seven of our top 11 are freshmen and sophomores. I believe the keys for us this season will be the development of our bench and low post scoring. If we can continue to improve in those areas, we have a chance to have a nice season.”

Overview: The Oilers are coming off back-to-back GLIAC

tournament championships, winning both titles on the road, and they will go into the year with high expectations. Senior forward Greg Kahlig, a potential league player of the year candidate, will lead the Oilers after averaging 17 points per outing. He scored in double figures 26 times and hit 64 3-pointers. The other seniors are forward Mark Frilling (3.8 ppg, 21 blocks) and point guard Sean Samsel (3.5 ppg, 67 assists). Sophomore point guard Alphonso Baity returns after a freshman campaign where he averaged 5.1 points per outing and dished out 49 assists. Junior forward Jake Heagen averaged 8.7 ppg and pulled down 5.4 rebounds per game while sophomore forward Dylan Kaufman averaged 5.2 ppg and earned a spot on the GLIAC All-Tournament team last year. The Oilers have added Northern Kentucky transfer John Staley as well. Staley started 18 games for the Norse last year. Freshmen Austin Gardner and Ricardo Smith should make an immediate impact for the Oilers.

Head coach: Jim Wiedie (1st year) Record last year: 24-6 overall, 19-3 GLIAC; GLIAC tournament runner-up

Key players: Margaret Wuebker, Ciara Geiger, Karli Bonar  Coach’s Comment: “I think we are a deeper team than last

season. We can go 12 or 13 deep easily. We’ll be a more balanced team offensively than we were last season. We have a solid inside game, and with the addition of three key perimeter players, we’ve upgraded our outside shooting. We should be a harder team to defend this year. I thought last year we were pretty one-dimensional and relied on our leading scorer most of the year. Obviously, we need to stay healthy, but besides that, our press needs to be as effective, if not more so, than it was last year. Our ability to defend in the half court and our rebounding will be keys as well. Right now my biggest concern in these three areas is our rebounding.”

Overview: All-American Kayla Brown is gone but the Oilers

should have plenty of experience back to make a run at the conference title. Point guard Ashley Andrews is one of four seniors and averaged 5.3 points per game last year while dishing out 73 assists and tallying 44 steals. Senior guard Karli Beasley averaged 5.0 ppg last season and tallied 48 assists and 43 steals while senior forward Kaleigh Kenny (4.0 ppg) and senior center Andrea Kras will also provide experience. Sophomore forward Margaret Weubker is actually the leading returning scorer, clicking for 5.5 ppg last season. She also led the team in rebounding (4.0 rebounds per game). Junior forward Lacey Kessler (4.8 ppg) and junior point guard Kristin Klausing (2.7 ppg, 53 assists) will also play a key role for the Oilers. UF has three transfers as well, including Ciera Geiger from Urbana. Geiger, a junior forward, was the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season and averaged 18.4 ppg for the Blue Knights. She scored nearly 1,000 points (995) in two seasons at Urbana. One of the top freshman is guard Karli Bonar, who set Ohio high school records for 3-pointers in a season (110) and career (350).

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Grand Valley State University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Ric Wesley (10th year) Record last year: 19-9 Returning players: Ryan Sabin, Ricardo Carbajal, Rob Woodson, Darius Norman, Darren Washington, Ernijs Ansons, Darren Kapustka

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Lakers are coming off a year where they made the semifinals of the conference tournament and expectations should be high with nine returning players. Five of those players started at least one game. Junior guard Ryan Saban will lead the way, averaging 10.8 points per game a season ago. He is a solid shooter and was 88.1 percent from the free-throw line. Ricardo Carbajal, a sophomore forward, shot 55.9 percent from the field and clicked for 7.3 points per outing. Guard Rob Woodson is the lone senior and dished out 41 assists last year. Junior forwards Darius Norman and Darren Washington will be key players as well while sophomore guards Ernijs Ansons and Darren Kapustka will both vie for more playing time.

Head coach: Janel Burgess (7th year) Record last year: 19-8 overall, 15-7 GLIAC Key players: Dani Crandal, Meryl Cripe, Kat LaPrairie, Daina Grazulis

Comment: “I am thrilled about my youthful team. We are a

tough, focused, and competitive team who has grown quickly throughout the early part of the season. We will play fast tempo style this year and enjoy using our depth to our advantage.”

Overview: Grand Valley State is coming off its eighth appearance

in the conference tournament in the last nine seasons and the Lakers return nine players from that team, including one starter. Dani Crandall is the lone senior for the Lakers and started 18 games last year. The veteran guard averaged 8.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. She shot 44.4 percent from the field and dished out 47 assists. Junior forward Kat LaPrairie will likely move into the starting lineup after averaging 8.4 points per game off the bench. She is a viable threat from the outside, having hit 43 3-pointers last season. Junior center Daina Grazulis and junior point guard Meryl Cripe will also play key roles. Two Division I transfers should make an impact as well. Junior guard Janelle McQueen started 25 games in two seasons at Texas Southern and sophomore guard/forward Bailey Cairnduff played in 32 games for Bowling Green State a year ago. Freshman Kayla Dawson could make an immediate impact after finishing as a semifinalist for Miss Basketball of Wisconsin as a high school senior. Freshman point guard Taylor Lutz could also play right away.

 

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Hillsdale College Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: John Tharp (7th year) Record last year: 17-10 Key players: Tim Dezelski, Brandon Pritzl, Anthon Manno,

Derek Schell, Tony Nelson, Darius Ware, Cod Smith, Brandon Crane, Michael Furlong, Ian Sheldon, Kyle Cooper, Jason Pretzer, Lucas Grose, Garrett Jones, Rhett Smith, Nick Archer, Eric Chilcote, Stedman Lowry

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: With four of its top five players back, the Chargers

enter the 2013-14 campaign with high expectations. Senior forward Tim Dezelski headlines the group as he is coming off a year where he averaged 16 points per game and grabbed 7.0 rebounds per outing. Dezelski nailed 38 3-pointers, tallied 36 steals and blocked 28 shots. Senior guard Brandon Pritzl averaged 11.3 ppg and ledthe team in long-distance shooting with 62 treys. Senior guard Darius Ware averaged 5.8 rebounds per game and tallied 41 assists and 21 steals. Junior guard Cody Smith also has starting experience and averaged 5.1 points per outing last season. Smith handed out 50 assists and tallied 15 steals. Senior guard Anthony Manno (6.2 ppg) and senior forward Tony Nelson (4.3 ppg) both return with experience as well and should help put the Chargers in a position to contend for the conference championship.

Head coach: Claduette Charney Record last year: N / A Key players: Marissa DeMott, Megan Fogt, Angela Bisaro,

Allyson Lloyd, Kadie Lowery, Brooke Borowski, Chelsea Farrell, Betsey Bildner, Abbey Lovat, Sarah Theut, Kayla Geffert, Ashyln Landherr, Kelsey Cromer, Madison Berry, Alex Moynes, Becca Scherting, Katelyn Newsome

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Chargers are looking to return to their winning

ways this season as they feature an experienced team that includes junior forward Megan Fogt, who dropped in 14.8 points per game and pulled down 10.3 rebounds per game last season. Junior guard Kadie Lowery averaged 7.5 points per outing and hit 34 3-pointers last season while senior forward Angela Bisaro is coming off a year where she averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Sarah Theut clicked for 4.1 ppg and pulled down 3.7 rebounds per game. She also racked up 19 steals. Sophomore guard Ashlynn Landherr (3.6 ppg, 68 assists, 28 steals) should step into a more prominent role for the Chargers and senior guard Marissa DeMott (6.8 ppg) will be key to the success of the Chargers as well.

Former Valley Lutheran standout Becca Scherting is hoping to have an immediate impact for the Hillsdale Women’s basketball team.

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Lake Erie College Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Cliff Hunt (9th year) Record last year: 8-18 overall, 5-17 GLIAC Key players: Tom Parker, Riley Thomas, Garrick Sims, Roy Alexander, Andy Bosley, Trey Howard, Nate Tait.

Coach’s Comment: N /A Overview: Three starters are back for a Lake Erie team that

should have an opportunity for a winning season. Senior guard Riley Thomas will lead the way after averaging 12.8 points per game last season. Thomas knocked down 42 3-pointers and shot 90 percent from the free-throw line. Senior center Garick Sims and senior guard Tom Parker are also returning starters. Sims averaged 7.5 points per outing and grabbed 5.0 rebounds per game. Parker clicked for 6.5 ppg and tallied 45 steals. Lake Erie has four other players with significant experience back as well, including juior guard Trey Howard, who emerged as a scoring threat last year and averaged 5.2 ppg and while racking up 28 steals. Sophomore guard Andy Bosley, a key player off the bench, averaged 4.6 points per outing and tallied 24 steals. Senior guard Nate Tait (4.6 ppg) and sophomore forward Roy Alexander (4.0 ppg) are also back.

All-American Joe Postwaite and assistant coach Ryan Rademacher (photo courtesy Ryan Rademacher)

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Head coach: Bob Booher (10th year) Record last year: 4-22 overall, 2-20 GLIAC Key players: Chrissy Delaney, Chloe Irish, Jackie Murray, Shelby Carpenter, Kaeding Skelton

Coach’s Comment: “We will continue to work to become

strong defensively, but we will only improve record-wise when we shoot better. Need some of last year’s reserves and this year’s freshmen to add depth and help us to continue to improve.”

Overview: The Storm is hoping to take steps forward this season

and one of the players it will be counting on to make that happen is junior guard Jackie Murray. Murray averaged 7.2 points per game and dished out 37 assists. She hit 48 3-pointers and racked up 30 steals. Senior forward Chrissy Delaney also returns after averaging 6.5 ppg and 3.5 rebounds per outing. Sophomore center Kaeding Skelton clicked for 4.8 points per outing last year and grabbed 3.5 rebounds per game. Delaney racked up 30 steals and Skelton came through with 28 steals. Freshmen Kennedy Walker, a center, and guard Alyssa Brumbaugh, are two newcomers who could make an immediate impact. Brumbaugh scored 12 points in an exhibition loss to Akron.


Lake Superior State University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Steve Hettinga (7th year) Key players: Alex Williams, Jorddan Myrick, Jordan Dasuqi, Tony Harris, Devin Daly, Derek Billing, Derek Reetz, Lance Monroe, Skylar Ross, Jacob Blake, Cameron Metz, Lucas Holt, Colin Sekal, Michael Smutny

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Lakers made a run all the way to the conference

tournament championship game as the eighth seed a season ago. Their remarkable run would end with a 75-69 loss to the Oilers but there is every reason to believe they can make another run this season. Four starters are back for the Lakers, with the group being headlined by senior guard Derek Billing. He poured in 15.2 points per game and grabbed 3.7 rebounds per outing. Billing hit 72 3-pointers and dished out 85 assists. Junior guard Alex Williams and senior center Cameron Metz also return and their presence will make an impact. Williams clicked for 11.0 ppg last year and was a viable threat from the outside, hitting 66 treys. Metz pumped in 10.2 ppg to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jordan Myrick is back after averaging 8.3 points per outing and junior center Lucas Holt, junior guard Tony Harris and sophomore forward Devin Daly will also play vital roles in the Lakers’ quest to win a league title.

Head coach: Shannon Eggers (2nd year) Key players: Kandace Crittendon, Stephanie Fisher, Crishuana

Harper, Megan Harkema, Marie Gaedke, Megan Manninen, Mackenzie Edwards, Katie Schild, Kaylynn Counts, Kelsey Ance, Alexandra Morrow, Raven Trammell, April LaCross, Laura VanEs, Candice LaCross

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Lakers will need to fill the void left by Maria

Blazejewski (17.8 points per game), but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem with 10 returning players. Paving the way will be junior guard Kandace Crittendon, who is coming off a season where she averaged 9.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Raven Trammell is back as well after averaging 8.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per outing. Candice LaCross also returns. The senior forward averaged 4.6 points per outing and grabbed 4.0 rebounds per game. All three should have solid seasons and help put the Lakers in a position for a better finish in the league.

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Malone University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Tim Walker (5th year) Record last year: 14-12 overall, 11-11 GLIAC Key players: Isiah Elliott, Che Richarson, Christian Graves,

Stephen O’Daniel III, Jason Miller, Vince Kazmierzak, Brandon Bapst, Jalen Miller, Cory Veldhuizen, Brian Stone

Coach’s Comment: “Our guys understand the depth of this

conference. It was great to record wins over some of the top teams last year, but we also dropped games to some teams in the bottom half of the league. If we want to qualify for the GLIAC Tournament and put ourselves in the hunt to win a title, then the next step we have to take as a program is to improve our consistency.”

Overview: Four starters are back for a Pioneers team that was

very competitive during its first season in the conference. Leading the way will be Cory Veldhuizen, a senior forward who dropped in 11.7 points per outing and pulled down 5.7 rebounds per game. Senior guard Isiah Elliott also returns a year after earning first-team All-GLIAC honors. Elliott clicked for 19.2 points per outing and hit 36 3-pointers. Elliott also dished out 83 assists. Senior guards Che Richardson and Vince Kazmierczak are also back to fill out a veteran cast of returning players. Richardson clicked for 8.3 ppg and led the team in steals with 38. Kazmierczak averaged 6.5 ppg. Five other players are also back for Malone, including GLIAC Freshman of the Year Christian Graves. Graves pumped in 8.9 points per outing. He knocked down 65 3-pointers and tallied 27 steals.

Head coach: Jason Mishler (3rd year) Record last year: 14-12 Key players: Deborah Simmers, Sydnee Penn, Logan Pastor,

Lauren Myers, Selena Reale, Leslie Raifsnider, Lindsy Snyder, Tara Schaffter, Sarah Bardall

Coach’s Comment: “All I worry about is that our team

competes every night. We are at the stage now where we need to expect to win every time we take the floor. It is important that we learn to combine these two things to create a winning atmosphere.”

Overview: With 12 letterwinners back, Malone should be one

of the more improved teams in the conference this season. The Pioneers return all five starters, including senior guard Deborah Simmers, who was a second-team All-GLIAC pick after averaging 12.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Simmers knocked down 34 3-pointers. Sydnee Penn is the other senior among the returning starters. The veteran guard clicked for 9.4 points per game and grabbed 3.6 rebounds per outing. Junior guard Logan Pastor is coming off a year where she averaged 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She also dished out 94 assists. Junior forward Lyndsy Snhyder averaged 7.5 ppg and pulled down 5.8 rebounds per game. Junior guard Selana Reale rounds out the returning starters. She averaged 7.2 points per outing. Six other players also have experience, including sophomore forward Tara Schaffter, who averaged 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game a year ago.


Michigan Technological University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Kevin Lutke (20th year) Record last year: 21-9 overall, 16-6 GLIAC; GLIAC North Division champions

Key players: Austin Armga, Alex Culy, Ben Stelzer, Jordan

Chariter, Troy Hecht, Phil Romback, Luke Heller, Connor McLeod, Kyle Stankowski, James Wezensky

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Michigan Tech shared the North Division title and

reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. The Huskies lost GLIAC Player of the Year Ali Haidar but have four players with starting experience back to soften the blow. Leading the way is senior guard Austin Armga, who averaged 12.5 points per game last year. Armga dished out 47 assists as well. Junior guard Ben Stelzer also returns average averaging 12.1 points per outing and hitting 83 shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Alex Culy is back as well after averaging 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He hit 46 treys last year and tallied 29 steals. Junior forward Phil Romback started 23 games and averaged 6.9 points per outing while grabbing 3.7 rebounds per game. He tallied 21 steals and blocked 12 shots. Sophomore guard Jordan Chartier should play a bigger role for the Huskies this season. He averaged 2.0 ppg and hit 15 3-pointers. He also dished out 37 assists.

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Head coach: Kim Cameron (4th year) Record last year: 21-9 overall, 17-5 GLIAC; North Division co-champions

Key players: Jillian Ritchie, Kylie Moxley, Paige Albi, Kelcey Traynoff, Michelle Gaedke, Danielle Blake, Kerry Gardner, Mackenzie Perttu, Tayor Strippel, Kate Glodowski, Heather Kessler, Emily Harrison

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Michigan Tech earned a share of the North Division

crown last year and will have high expectations again this season. The Huskies, who played in the NCAA tournament last year, return three starters, including sophomore forward Kylie Moxley. Moxley averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Junior forward Jillian Ritchie averaged 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per outing last year while sophomore guard Mackenzie Perttu clicked for 6.6 points per outing. She hit 22 3-pointers and tallied 21 steals. Senior forward Taylor Stippel will provide a veteran presence and is coming off a year where she avearged 7.8 ppg and blocked 10 shots. Senior guard Paige Albi (4.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Danielle Blake (4.0 ppg) will also be counted on for the Huskies. Albi hit 15 3-pointers last year.

Clare’s Lindsay Winter chooses Michigan Tech The library at Clare High School was packed on the afternoon of November 13th. Family, friends, teammates, and coaches all piled in to witness Clare senior Lindsay Winter sign to play collegiate basketball at Michigan Technological University. “I am excited,” Winter said shortly after signing the scholarship. “It was nice of everyone to come out for this. I appreciate everyone coming here and supporting me. They’ve all been through the ups and downs with me.” Winter helped lead the Pioneers to the class ‘B’ state quarterfinals and the Jack Pine Conference championship last year. Next year, she will join the Lady Huskies program that goes deep in the Division II national tournament every year, including 2011, when it was national runner up. “I just felt it was the school that gave me the best chance to succeed in both basketball and academically,” Winter said.

Winter has 1299 career points in her three-year varsity career, just 74 shy of the school record. She also has a chance to break school records in steals and assists. “Obviously, our school and program are very proud of Lindsay,” Clare girls’ basketball head coach Matt Rodenbo said. “She has put numerous hours into becoming an outstanding player. Michigan Tech is getting not just a great player but also an outstanding student. Lindsay will excel at the next level, because she has a commitment to getting better that is unmatched. She is never satisfied.” Winter has already had three practices in preparation for her upcoming senior season, a year in which she hopes her team can continue its recent string of success. “Our first couple of practices have been good,” she said. “We have a lot of intensity. We’re looking forward to what’s to come.”

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Northern Michigan University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Bill Sall (1st year) Record last year: N/A Key players: Michael Smith, Spencer Huss, Terry Nash, Ethan Blackwell, Brandon Havercamp, Chavis Mattison, Alex Mustert, Justin Newell, Larry Taylor, Joey Barnes, Marcus Hall

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Sall has a challenge in front of him in turning the

Wildcats around. Northern Michigan has only three returning players in senior forward Michael Smith, junior guard Spencer Huss and sophomore guard Terry Nash. Smith played in 11 games last year and only averaged 2.3 points per outing. Huss saw action in 25 games and Nash appeared in four games. The rest of the team is made up of 12 newcomers and that could mean some growing pains for the Wildcats. Among the newcomers are six transfers in junior guard Ethan Blackwell, sophomore forward/center Brandon Havercamp, junior forward Chavis Mattison, junior forward/center Alex Mustert, junior forward Justin Newell and junior guard Larry Taylor. Blackwell is the lone Division I transfer as he came over from Texas Southern.

Head coach: Troy Mattson (9th year) Record last year: 13-14 overall, 10-12 GLIAC Key players: Alyssa Colla, Lauren Gruber, Sarah Miller,

Katelyn Husband, Anna Liewen, Brooke Coenen, Abbey DeBruin, Nea Makela, Annie Rubendunst, Courtney Lemon, Ashley Colla

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Northern Michigan should be one of the most

improved teams in the league this season with 12 letterwinners back. The group includes junior guard Alyssa Colla, who led the Wildcats in scoring at 13.1 points per game. She pulled down 4.1 rebounds per game as well and dished out 79 assists. Colla tallied 32 steals as well. Junior guard Lauren Gruber also returns after clicking for 11.7 points per outing last year. Gruber nailed 38 3-pointers and handed out 75 assists while tallying 37 steals. Sophomore forward Nea Makela (8.9 ppg), junior forward Abbey DeBruin (7.6 ppg) and sophomore guard Anna Liewen (5.6 ppg) are also returning starters, making the Wildcats one of the most experienced teams in the conference. Junior forward Brooke Coenen (3.9 ppg) and junior center Courtney Lemon (3.9 ppg) will help provide depth for the Wildcats.


Northwood University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Jeff Rekeweg (4th year) Record last year: 13-14 overall, 12-10 GLIAC Key players: Wes Wilcox, Will Bowles, Darvin Ham, Dylan Langkabel

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Northwood should have an opportunity to improve

with its top two scorers back in senior forward Wes Wilcox and junior forward/center Will Bowles. Wilcox led the Timberwolves in scoring at 14.7 points per game and was effective from beyond the arc as he hit 40 shots. Wilcox also averaged 6.1 rebounds per game and dished out 60 assists. Bowles clicked for 12.3 points per outing and pulled down 7.6 rebounds per game. Senior forward Darvin Ham also returns and is coming off a year where he averaged 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Ham drilled 27 treys. Sophomore guard Dylan Langkabel should play a more prominent role after averaging 6.0 ppg. He knocked down 28 3-pointers last season.

Head coach: Jeff Curtis Record last year: 12-16 overall, 10-12 GLIAC Key players: Gab Rivette, Lauren Robak, Allie Wylie Coach’s Comment: “We return 11 of top 12; very excited

about where we are. Defense, rebounding, and transition [will be keys].”

Overview: Sophomore forward Lauren Robak is the leading

returning scorer for a Timberwolves team hoping to take a step forward this season. Robak averaged 10.4 points per game last year and came through with 35 steals. Junior guard Gabrielle Rivette is also back. She averaged 9.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Rivette was tough defensively as well as she tallied 39 steals. Sophomore center Jordyn Nurenberg clicked for 7.9 ppg and pulled down 4.7 rebounds per game while junior forward/center Aleigha Wylie averaged 7.3 points per outing. Wylie tallied 23 steals and blocked 14 shots. Junior guard forward Sarah Susan (5.9 ppg), senior guard Sarah Spring (5.8 ppg) and junior guard/forward Kaitlin Susan (5.3 ppg) also have experience and will play key roles in the success of the Timberwolves.

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Homecooking

Northwood welcomes influx of local talent to hardwood by Butch Harmon Sports Scene

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ith a number of players from the Saginaw Bay region leading the way, the Northwood University men’s basketball team has its sights set on a big season this winter.

Last year, Northwood turned in a 12-10 record in the GLIAC and finished 13-19 overall. Plenty of talent returns from that squad, and the Timberwolves look to move up in the league standings. “We have the potential to be a real good team,” coach Jeff Rekeweg said. “Our front court, I think, is one of the best in the league. We have a lot of experience with it. Our top three leading scorers back are all our three front court guys.” While the Timberwolves know what they have returning up front, the backcourt is more of an unknown. “Our question mark is our guards,” Rekeweg said. “That is the X-factor.” Up front, a local player will be playing a key role. Senior forward Darvin Ham is a 6’6”, 205-pound forward from Bridgeport High School, who played a key role last season. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. “I’ve never had a player work harder or have more passion for the game than Darvin,” Rekeweg said. “He has really developed his perimeter game, and he is a threat from beyond the arc as well as by the basket. He was our third-leading scorer last year, and he did that off the bench most of the time. We had five seniors last year, and Darvin was usually the first player off the bench. He is one of our co-captains this year, and he will do a real good job for us as a leader.” “Darvin scored 17 points in our first game,” Rekeweg said. “He has been a little inconsistent in the past, but I look for him to have a more

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consistent numbers from game to game.” Ham is part of a front line that includes 6’8” senior Wes Wilcox and 6’7” junior Will Bowles. Another area player up front, junior Tony Johnson, is a 6’3” forward from Midland who is looking to contribute off the bench this season. “Tony is in our top eight rotation this year,” Rekeweg said. “He has played some significant minutes for us so far this season. He works real hard at it and is an intelligent player. He is also a lot stronger this year. He has changed his body in the off-season and is bigger and stronger, and because of that, he is a lot better able to compete at this level. He will be seeing significant minutes this year.” Another local player is looking to answer the question in the backcourt. Junior Joe Ruhlman from Freeland has been handling the majority of the point guard duties so far this season. “Joe started our first two exhibition games and our first two games of the season,” Rekeweg said. “He is a real tough kid. The biggest factor with him is his toughness.” Ruhlman is providing answers at the point and can also play some at the two guard. “Joe will definitely play point guard most of the time,” Rekeweg said. “He is a real good shooter from the perimeter, but his role for us will be primarily as a point guard.” Northwood was expecting another local product to make a huge impact this season, but that may not happen until next year. Maurice Jones, the former Saginaw Arthur Hill standout, transferred to Northwood but has not been cleared to play this year by the NCAA. “As of right now, Maurice has not been cleared by the NCAA,” Rekeweg said. “He practices with us, but unfortunately, that is all he can do right now. He will be good to go next year. We have exhausted everything we can do this year to try and get him on the court.” When he becomes eligible next year, Jones will have two years remaining to play for the Timberwolves. “Maurice is an elite basketball player,” Rekeweg said. “There are not too many programs in the country that would not like to have Maurice Jones on their team, and I’m talking Big Ten, Big 12, and Pacific 12, schools like that. He will have a major impact once he becomes eligible.”       


Ohio Dominican University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Dan Evans (1st year) Record last year: 5-23 overall, 1-21 GLIAC Key players: Bobby Stauffer, Mark Minch, Trent Weaver, Chad Nelson Brandon Carr

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Panthers have a new coach and will look to

be more competitive in the conference this season. They should make strides with seven letterwinners back, including junior center Bobby Stauffer. Stauffer was the second-leading scorer last season, averaging 11.2 points per outing, and he also pulled down 6.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Mark Minch will also provide a big lift for the Panthers after averaging 6.6 points per outing last year. He racked up 18 steals as well. Sophomore forward Trent Weaver averaged 6.1 points per outing and pulled down 4.4 rebounds per game while sophomore guard Chad Nelson clicked for 4.4 ppg and hit 15 3-pointers. Senior guard Brandon Carr could become a prominent scorer as well after averaging 2.2 points per outing.

Head coach: Lynsey Warren (2nd year) Record last year: 11-15, 7-15 Key players: Kacee Hockenberry, Micaela Liddane, Chelsea

Hawkins, Tori Beth Leader, Melissa Scherpenberg, Lauren Bates, Holly Brunswick, Mykeila Mast, Kayla Cook, Rachael Torey, Christina Pentaudi, Lindsey Blanford, Jackie Oestreich, Madi Rittnger, Alex Hallenbeck, Katelyn Stuckey

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Panthers should be a much improved team with

the return of nine letterwinners, including junior guard Kacee Hockenberry, who led the Panthers in scoring at 14.7 points per game. She hit 31 3-pointers and racked up 53 steals. Sophomore forward Melissa Scherpenberg will give ODU a strong presence inside after averaging 9.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Senior forward Katelyn Stuckey will be one of the more prominent scoring threats after averaging 10.2 points per outing last season. Junior guard Micaela Liddane, junior guard Holly Brunswick, senior guard Mikeila Mast and sophomore guard Rachael Torey will also be counted on to contribute. Torey was fourth on the team in scoring (7.8 ppg) and also tallied 34 steals.

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Saginaw Valley State University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Randy Baruth (2nd year) Record last year: 12-13 overall, 10-12 GLIAC Key players: Damon Bozeman, Kellen Smith, Michael Fugate Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: The Cardinals have a lot of work to do to improve

on last season as they return just one starter and a total of four letterwinners. Sophomore guard Damon Bozeman is the leading returning scorer after averaging 7.6 points per game. He also tallied 24 steals. Sophomore guard Kellen Smith (4.5 ppg) is the only other player back who averaged at least 4 points per game. Smith dished out 101 assists and tallied 29 steals and will be counted on to play a key role in the team’s success. Senior guard Michael Fugate should step up as well after taking a redshirt year last season. He averaged 8.1 points per outing and handed out 62 assists two years ago.

Head coach: Jamie Pewinski (3rd year) Record last year: 13-13 overall, 11-11 GLIAC

Key players: Kayla Womack, Kristen Greene, Katelyn Carriere

Coach’s Comment: “We are still a young group that is

figuring out how to play without Emily Wendling [last year’s freshman player of the year, who is injured this year]. We are going to be a team that plays hard and plays together, and we will compete the best we can every night. This is a great group of kids that enjoys playing together, and they are working hard to be the best team that we can be. We are looking to improve as a team and give ourselves a chance in every game. If we do that, we will live with the outcome.”

Overview: The Cardinals will be without its top scorer from

last season, Emily Wendling. The sophomore forward, who was named the the GLIAC “Freshman of the Year” last season after averaging 15.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, will sit out this season with an injury. Sophomore guard Katelyn Carriere returns after averaging 9.9 points per game and dishing out 78 assists. She hit a team-best 26 3-pointers as well. The Cardinals also welcome back their third and fourth-leading scorers in junior forward Samantha Zirzow (9.8 ppg) and senior guard Kristen Greene (8.9 ppg). Zirzow pulled down 7.0 rebounds per game and tallied 27 steals while Greene racked up 21 steals. Sophomore guard Danielle Carriere (5.2 ppg) and junior forward Briana Graham should also have an opportunity to make an impact.


Tiffin University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: Jerry Buccilla (1st year) Record last year: 11-17 overall, 8-14 GLIAC Key players: Joe Graessle, Mike Boan, Jonathan Sutherlin,

Khaleal McCormick, Korab Imami, Ashton Kahn, Nick Ellison, Bryan Jackson

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: Tiffin returns eight letterwinners from last season’s

team and the leader of the group is senior guard Joe Graessle, a preseason Sporting News NCAA Division II All-American. He was second in the league in scoring, dropping in 24.7 points per game, and set school records in points (691) and steals (103) last year. Senior guard Mike Boan and sophomore forward Jonathan Sutherlin are also back for the Dragons. Boan averaged 8.9 points per outing and Sutherlin clicked for 4.7 ppg. Sophomore forward Khaleal McCormick averaged 11.0 points and 5.2 rebounds over the last 10 games. He averaged 6.4 ppg overall on the season. The Dragons hope to aid their quest for improvement with the addition of Division I transfers Korab Imami from Oakland and Ashton Kahn from Canisius. Freshmen Nick Ellison and Bryan Jackson will also battle for playing time.

Head coach: Pam Oswald (7th year) Record last year: 11-15 overall, 8-14 GLIAC Players lost: Jessica Harris (100-point scorer and rebounder), Steph Kelly, Missy Gilliland

Players returning: Karli Mast, Jillian Adams, Mackenzie Storlie, Jordan Fraley, Macy Byrd, Jessica Farr, Marissa Liburdi

Coach’s Comment: “We are a young team this year being led by two seniors [Mast, Adams]. It will be important for this team to consistently pay attention to details while coming together as a team and working as one. Our depth has grown since last year, and we hope that will only be an asset to what we are trying to do out on the court.”

Overview: The Dragons lost several close games a season ago,

including four by less than seven, and improving this season will hinge on being able to survive the loss of Jessica Harris, who averaged 10.2 points per game and scored more than 1,000 career points. Senior guard Karli Mast will be counted on to pave the way after averaging 12.2 points per outing. She played in only five games, though, last season because of a season-ending injury. Sophomore guard Jordan Fraley averaged 7.7 ppg and hit 28 3-pointers last season. Senior forward Jillian Adams averaged 6.7 ppg and pulled down 4.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Mackenzie Storlie clicked for 4.1 points per outing and dished out 51 assists.

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Walsh College Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW

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Head coach: Jeff Young (11th year) Record last year: 18-8 overall, 14-8 GLIAC Key players: Rian Burrell, Brad Dupont, Jeff Copeland,

Davonte Beard, Jesse Hardin, Ryan Vanderhorst, Hrvohe Vucic

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: After finishing second in the South Division a year

ago, the Cavaliers, with four starters back, have their eyes on a division crown this season. Junior guard Rian Burrell will pave the way after averaging 13.2 points per outing. He shot 48.3 percent from the floor. Senior guard Brad Dupont averaged 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while dishing out 100 assists. Junior forward Jeff Copeland and junior guard Davonte Beard will also play pivotal roles for the Cavaliers. Copeland averaged 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while Beard clicked for 8.5 points and hit 18 3-pointers. The other key returnees are sophomore guard Jesse Hardin (8.7 ppg), senior guard Ryan Vanderhorst (6.1 ppg, 44 3-pointers) and senior forward Hrvohe Vucic (5.4 ppg). The Cavaliers have a total of 11 letterwinners back.

Head coach: Maria Marchesano (1st year) Record last year: 8-18 overall Players lost: Tracy Payne, Lydia Corle Players returning: Maggie Berry, Tara Gallupe, Whitney Dabbelt, Audrey Babdovick, Sarah Stephenson, Vicki Harris, Rachael Trujillo, Alyssa Jones

Coach’s Comment: “Being newcomers to Division II, our

goal is to get better every day, because we know we have a lot of catching up to do. Controlling the little things that we can control [will be key]. Many teams will be bigger and faster than us, so limiting our turnovers, making the most of each possession, and staying out of foul trouble will be the three important keys for us this year.”

Overview: Seven players are back for the Cavaliers and senior

forward Maggie Berry will be counted on to lead the way for Walsh as it looks to improve in its second season in the GLIAC. Berry averaged 10.7 points per game and was solid defensively, tallying 45 steals and blocking 26 shots. Junior guard Audrey Badovick also returns and clicked for 5.5 points per outing and dished out 50 assists. Senior forward Tara Gallupe averaged 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season and shot 48 percent from the floor. Sophomore forward Whitney Dabbelt averaged 4.8 ppg and grabbed 7.0 rebounds per outing. She played well on the defensive end, too, racking up 46 steals and swatting 29 shots. Junior guard Alyssa Jones averaged 2.5 ppg and should play a more prominent role on the team this season.


Wayne State University Men’s & Women’s BASKETBALL PREVIEW Head coach: David Greer (13th year) Record last year: 17-10 overall, 16-6 GLIAC; GLIAC North Division co-champions

Key players: Mike Hollingsworth, Chene Phillips, Gerald

Williams-Taylor, Bryan Coleman, Jamar Ragland, Michael Martin, Deon Dismuke, Joel Ndondo

Coach’s Comment: N / A Overview: After finishing second in the South Division a year

ago, the Cavaliers, with four starters back, have their eyes on a division crown this season. Junior guard Rian Burrell will pave the way after averaging 13.2 points per outing. He shot 48.3 percent from the floor. Senior guard Brad Dupont averaged 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while dishing out 100 assists. Junior forward Jeff Copeland and junior guard Davonte Beard will also play pivotal roles for the Cavaliers. Copeland averaged 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while Beard clicked for 8.5 points and hit 18 3-pointers. The other key returnees are sophomore guard Jesse Hardin (8.7 ppg), senior guard Ryan Vanderhorst (6.1 ppg, 44 3-pointers) and senior forward Hrvohe Vucic (5.4 ppg). The Cavaliers have a total of 11 letterwinners back.

Head coach: Carrie Lohr Record last year: 22-9 overall, 17-5 GLIAC; GLIAC North Division co-champions

Key players: Brittany Streetman, Imari Redfield, Kristen Long, Lena Thomas, Kayla Bridges

Coach’s Comment: “I am excited about the possibilities

of this team. However, we have a lot of work to do. We need to continue to work hard and get better each day that we are together. Team chemistry [is key]. We are still learning how to play together, understand one another, and support one another. It is a long season, we need to be able to stick together through peaks and valleys.”

Overview: Wayne State is coming off a magical year in which it

reached the Sweet 16 in its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history. The Warriors led eventual national champion Ashland with just over four minutes to play before the Eagles rallied for the win. Four returning players are back and five transfers have come aboard as the Warriors take aim at duplicating last season’s success. Sophomore guard Brittany Streetman averaged 5.2 points per outing and nailed 31 3-pointers. Senior guard/forward Imari Redfield was the team’s most improved player after averaging 4.5 points per game. Senior guard Lena Thomas and junior forward Kayla Bridges also return. Among the transfers, four of which are from Division I schools, is junior center Shareta Brown from Detroit Mercy. Brown was her team’s leading scorer last year, clicking for 21 ppg, and also led the team in rebounding (9.3 rebounds per game) and steals (41) as she earned All-Horizon League honors. Sophomore guard Desitny Lavita-Stephens has also transferred from the Titans while junior guard Jackie Jones arrives from Chicago State. Jones averaged 8.0 ppg last year. Junior forward Ashley Wilson is a transfer from Olivet Nazarene and averaged 15.6 ppg a year ago. The other transfer is junior guard Ondrea Hughes from Cleveland State.

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Saginaw natives Leibinger, Schempp find home in GLIAC Each having impact on respective team by John Raffel

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Sports Scene

wo Saginaw products are off to solid starts in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The first is Kyle Schempp, who has gotten off to a strong start for Ferris State University’s hockey team. During the first nine games, Schempp, a freshman forward, had five goals and four assists. The Saginaw native played last season for Sioux Falls in the United States Hockey League, and in 64 games, he scored 14 goals and 27 assists. The previous season, he played for the Traverse City North Stars in 59 games and had 13 goals and 22 assists. He was with the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors the previous three seasons. “He’s been a really solid addition to the team,” said coach Bob Daniels. “We’re lucky this year a lot of our freshmen have stepped in to make contributions, and Kyle has been one of them. Not only has he been able to chip in offensively and score some goals, but he’s been able to play well defensively. He transitions to college hockey very well. “This doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but he’s done a very good job for us on the penalty kill. We’ve been able to utilize Kyle in all facets of the game - 5 on 5, power play, penalty kills. He’s transitioned very well to college hockey. He plays more like a seasoned veteran. At this point, right now, he’s exceeded our expectations. We had high hopes for Kyle coming in. We thought he’d be able to step in and contribute. But it’s been better than what you have a right to expect from any freshman. He’s been a really good addition to our team.” Schempp has enjoyed the start of his collegiate career. “I’m getting that confidence, which I feel is huge for playing,” he said. “I feel comfortable as a freshman playing and being in certain roles. Anytime you get that, you’ll produce and get confidence, which will help the team out.” Schempp pointed to the second Ferris game in a sweep at Alabama-Huntsville as one of the major season highlights. “We went down by a goal, and I scored the game-tying goal,” he said. “That really gave me confidence and helped us push out the win.” Schempp realizes his college days have only just begun. “Every day you get put in a new situation where you do certain things and something new, you take it in,” he said. “I like to be a coachable player. Anytime I get the opportunity to learn something new, I take that in and contribute that to my game.” As a forward, “I think I have good hockey sense,” he said. “I feel that I’m smart on the ice, and I can protect the puck well, and see the ice well and find players. That’s my strength.” The USHL helped him prepare for the collegiate level in the speed of the game, Schempp indicated. “It’s the strength that’s the biggest step. Everyone is stronger on their feet and strong with the puck, which makes it that much harder to play against,” Schempp said. Schempp decided to attend Ferris two years ago while he was still playing in Traverse City. “When I came here to visit, I just felt it fit my style,” he said. “My style of play is a hard-nosed, always working, aggressive style. I love the small-town community here in Big Rapids. I love the coaching staff. I feel they do a good job of coaching the players and helping them move on to professional hockey.” Schempp says that pro hockey is “what every kid dreams of growing up. This is just another step to that goal. If it comes down the road, which hopefully it does, I’ll definitely be ready to jump on that train.” Playing in Detroit was a boost to Schempp’s career. “I learned what junior hockey was and what I wanted to do with hockey,” he said. “When I was a little younger, I was more of a goal scorer. In

Saginaw native Chris Leibinger Michigan Technological University

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the last couple of years, I’ve kind of turned into a playmaker. My vision helps me with that.” “One thing that separates him from a lot of freshmen is that he’s physically very strong,” Daniels said. “From a physical standpoint, you can’t tell him apart from our upperclassmen. The second thing is that he has good instincts on the ice. While he’s able to generate offense, he doesn’t do it by cheating the defensive part of the game. He is as strong in our end as he is in the offensive zone.” Ferris is making its debut this season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. “I have the feeling we have the potential to be very good,” Schempp said. The second Saginaw native is Chris Leibinger, a 5’9”, 175-pound freshman defenseman at Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson, a former assistant at University of Michigan, has been impressed with Leibinger. “We had a situation where we had three upperclassmen defensemen that had major injuries, so Chris filled right in and he’s done very well,” Pearson said. “He’s played every game and scored a big goal for us. He’s been terrific so far.” Pearson has known Leibinger for several years. “When I was at the University of Michigan, I saw him play and was always impressed with his poise and patience with the puck and his hockey IQ,” Pearson said. “He has a real good feel and sense to the game. Those are the main things he brings, and he’s a competitor.” “It was good to see him at the next level,” Pearson said. “When I got here, we started recruiting him.” Pearson has been impressed with how Leibinger has played in road games. “He was thrown into the fire and came out of it very well,” Pearson said. “I don’t want to build him up too much. We knew we liked what we were getting, but you never know. Everyone handles that next jump differently. For some, they don’t miss a beat. For others, it takes a little bit of time for one reason or another. He’s been very good.” Pearson is looking for Leibinger to get stronger. “Every day we spend time on quickness and agility skating,” Pearson said. “That will really help him. We want him to be a more powerful skater. He has the work ethic to want to do it, too, which is great.”

Saginaw native Kyle Schempp Ferris State University

The Gliac - 23

Winter 2013


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2013 GLIAC Winter Sports Preview