“Your guide to local sports” at localsportsjournal.com
Thank you for purchasing the 2012-13 Local Sports Journal special basketball section. Inside you will find in-depth coverage of your favorite area high school basketball teams as well as schedules and several other basketball-related items. This section was written by a group of writers with more than 100 combined years of experience writing area sports.
Who will be...
Bound for Breslin? A year ago, the Grand Haven girls’ team captured the Class A state title with a 54-53 come-from-behind victory over Grosse Pointe South. A year ago, the Muskegon Catholic Central boys’ team lost 78-74 in the Class D state semifinals to eventual champion Southfield Christian while the Shelby boys’ squad lost to Traverse City St. Francis 63-54 in the Class C semifinals. This year, which Muskegon-area school will find itself playing at the Breslin Center on the campus of MSU? The road to the state championship began Tuesday, Nov. 27, for the girls while the boys’ season tipped off Tuesday, Dec. 4. Fremont – Page 2 Fremont Providence – Page 3 Fruitport – Page 4 Fruitport Calvary – Page 5 Grand Haven – Page 6 Hart – Page 7 Holton Page 8 Mona Shores – Page 9
Montague – Page 10 Muskegon – Page 11 Muskegon Catholic Central – Page 12 Muskegon Heights Academy – Page 13 Schedules – Pages 14-15 North Muskegon – Page 16 Oakridge – Page 17 Orchard View – Page 18
You also will find this 28-page publication to be the only one of its kind previewing area high school basketball teams. Our staff worked hard on this project and is proud to have been able to assemble this information and get it into the hands of diehard area sports fans. Writers Mike Mattson Mark Lewis Ron Rop Shawn Liverance Dave Tomczak Jason Goorman Cody Liverance Boys’ basketball front page photo by Tim Reilly Girls’ basketball front page photo by Rachel Resterhouse Design/Layout Warren Kent III Printer Hi-Lites Graphics, Fremont
Ravenna – Page 19 Reeths-Puffer – Page 20 Shelby – Page 21 Spring Lake – Page 22 Western Michigan Christian – Page 23 Whitehall – Page 24 Other Schools – Pages 25 News – Page 26-27-28
Girls’ coach looks to trio to provide spark By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal “We should have a strong bench. We’ve got some big girls who we will be able to go to. With some senior leadership, we should do all right.” Bill Karnemaat, coach
Claire Abendroth senior
Makayla McDonald senior
Marissa Spikerman junior
Fremont Girls’ Roster
Fremont girls basketball coach Bill Karnemaat has a dilemma on the offensive end of the court this coming season. “I have a lot of returning girls from last year’s team, but the problem is I graduated about 70 percent of my scoring,” said Karnemaat, the Packers’ third-year coach. “We have other girls who are going to have to pick it up.” A year ago, Fremont looked to Abbie DeLong and Christine Lathrop to provide a solid 1-2 punch on both ends of the court. Between those two, the Packers received about 23 points and about 22 rebounds per game. There was the senior leadership and tenacity on the defensive end of the court as well. Karnemaat and his team is prepared to move on, but in order to put points on the board, Fremont will be looking to a trio of players, including one junior and two seniors. Junior Marissa Spikerman will man the wing but, in a pinch, could also play point guard for the Packers. “She has a great outside shot,” Karnemaat said. “She was third on the team in scoring, and she did have the highest 3-point percentage.” Point guard Claire Abendroth is a senior who joined the varsity midseason of her sophomore year. This year, she had been slowed during fall conditioning by mono, but her coach is hoping that is all behind her and she can quickly get up to speed with her teammates. “We will run all of our offense through her,” Karnemaat said. Abendroth averaged nearly 5 assists per game last season. Thirdly, there’s Makayla McDonald, who made an instant impact on the team when she
Claire Abendroth 5-6 Sr. Shelby Karnemaat 5-9 Sr. MaKayla McDonald 5-9 Sr. Haley VanBoven 5-3 Sr. Brittany Willett 5-11 Sr. Katie DeKryger 5-11 Sr. Marissa Spickerman 5-5 Jr. Hannah Maat, 5-8 Jr. Kenzie Zuchowski 5-6 Jr. Hailey Lensky 6-0 Jr. Nicole Zerfas 5-6 Jr. Kera Howell 5-8 Jr. Coach Bill Karnemaat joined the Packers after sitting out the first semester last year. She was a transfer from Fremont Providence Christian. “She only played half a season with us last year, but she played varsity as a freshman at Providence,” Karnemaat said. “She brings a lot of defensive intensity.” SCOUTING REPORT The Packers will need contributions from more than that trio of players to be successful. The team’s leading rebounder, Shelby Karnemaat, returns for her senior year and is expected to be among the team leaders once again. Junior Hailey Lensky is getting her first taste of varsity basketball. Karnemaat said she’s a bit timid, but “when we get her to play mad, she will play real well.” Two other senior post players will be called
upon to be an inside presence. Katie DeKryger brings some size and physical play and is expected to be a solid rebounder. Brittany Willett had a solid offseason and is expected to make significant contributions. “Our game last year was outside shooting and this year it will be lot in the post,” said Karnemaat, whose team finished 8-11 last season. “We should have a strong bench,” Karnemaat said. “We’ve got some big girls who we will be able to go to. With some senior leadership, we should do all right.” The Packers are hoping with so many returning players that they can move up in the Lakes 8 standings. Of course, standing in their way at making it all the way to the top is Ludington, which returns another talented team. “It’s going to be a battle with Ludington,” Karnemaat said. “I can see us fighting for the upper half of the league this year. I don’t know what it is with Ludington, but when we get off the bus, we’re down 10 points already.” The Packers also see teams like Grant, Spring Lake and Fruitport among teams to beat once the Lakes 8 portion of the season gets rolling. “I do think we could surprise a lot of teams,” the coach said. While Karnemaat is in his third season as the girls varsity coach, he has coached at Fremont for 14 years. Before the boys and girls started playing during the winter, he coached both boys and girls at the freshmen and jayvee levels. Once again, the Packers will be one of the few programs to field a freshman team. “We are very fortunate for that,” said Karnemaat, who will coach his youngest daughter Shelby during her final year. “This will be a bittersweet year for me,” Karnemaat said. “It would be nice to finish with a district win, but we will see.”
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New gym, returning players equal excitement By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal There is a lot of excitement swirling around the Fremont Packer boys’ basketball team for this coming season. For starters, the Packers are fired up about playing a game in their brand-new gymnasium. “We are pretty excited having Shelby here on Dec. 4,” coach Pete Zerfas said. “It’s a huge rivalry even though it’s a non-league game. We go back and forth…Coach Zoulek runs such a good program over there.” Besides the opening of the new gymnasium, the Packers have a solid returning team. Three starters did graduate, but there is high quality in the returning players. And that starts with senior Mike Siegel, a 6-foot-5 star who can do just about anything the team needs. He’s a returning first-team all-area performer and considered one of the top returning players in the area. “He’s a 6-foot-5 kid who can do just about everything on the court,” Zerfas said. “Last year at times, he was playing point guard, sometimes he was inside guarding the center. Inside, outside, he’s very versatile.” Several colleges and universities have been taking a close look at Siegel, who had a solid summer playing in the AAU program. Last season, Siegel averaged 16 points and 6.8 assists per game. He had a high game of 37 points, he had three games of 12 rebounds, a game with 15 assists and another game in which he had 11 steals. “He’s unique in what he can do,” Zerfas said. And in the same breath, Zerfas has another standout player in junior Dillon Krim, a returning
Fremont Boys’ Roster Mike Siegel 6-5 Sr. Mike Maclean 6-1 Sr. Troy St. Peter 6-4 Sr. Andy Zimmerman 6-0 Sr. Jared Bacon 6-0 Sr. Jeremy Collis 6-3 Sr. Ryan Swenson 6-5 Sr. Dillon Krim 6-2 Jr. Jacob Kaastra 6-2 Jr. Blake Siersema 6-4 Jr. Mitch DeLong 6-5 Jr. Kyle Flannery 5-8 Jr. Coach Pete Zerfas all-conference player. He played part of last year with an injury, but once healthy, he was another go-to guy for the Packers. In the final 10 games of the season, Krim averaged 18 points per game. That surge pushed his season average to about 14 points per game. “He is our point guard,” Zerfas said. “He’s a tough kid, and we’re real excited to have him back healthy.” SCOUTING REPORT While Siegel and Krim may get a lot of the attention, there are other players whom Zerfas has a lot of confidence in. “We have a wave of shooters,” Zerfas said. “We need to put those shooters around so that Mike and Dillon can’t be double-teamed. “And we have real consistent height,” Zerfas said. “We don’t have anyone real tall, but we go
6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 across the board.” Troy St. Peter, a senior co-captain, earned a starting spot near the end of last season. He, too, brings plenty of versatility to the lineup. Sophomore Jacob Kaastra is a good shooter, and senior Mike Maclean came on toward the end of last season and earned more minutes. Senior Andy Zimmerman also put in a lot of offseason work, and that is expected to get him some added responsibilities this season. There’s also Blake Siersema, a junior, who suffered an injury during the football season. Coach Zerfas said he expects him to get healthy soon and contribute heavily as well. Siersema had a solid summer working at the center position. “We do return a little bit of playing time,” Zerfas said. “We did lose three starters, but I like our kids coming back.” That returning experience should keep the Packers right in the thick of the Lakes 8 race. “Anything can happen,” Zerfas said. “I think it will come down to the same three just like it always does – Spring Lake, Ludington and Fremont.” The Packers have earned the last two Lakes 8 titles, and that should put a target squarely on their backs for this season. That is a role Zerfas gladly accepts. “We know everyone will be gunning for us,” he said. “But, we sort of like that. We’d rather be the team everyone is shooting for. “Our kids are working hard and so far, it’s been great,” Zerfas said. “And we’re waiting to break in that new gym of ours.” That opening night will feature a varsity doubleheader with the Packer girls taking on Shelby’s girls in the evening’s first game.
“We know everyone will be gunning for us. But, we sort of like that. We’d rather be the team everyone is shooting for. Our kids are working hard and so far, it’s been great. And we’re waiting to break in that new gym of ours.” Pete Zerfas, coach
Mike Siegel senior A 6-foot-5 star who was a first-team allarea player last year, when he averaged 16 points and 6.8 assists per game; had a high game of 37 points and three games of 12 rebounds
Winter 2012-13 “Our team is looking good. We’ll focus a lot
First-year coach returns to alma mater By Ron Rop
Fremont Providence Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal
on quickness Carley DeKryger is ready to get to work.
and intelligence. Our team is
The first-year girls’ coach at Fremont Providence Christian is stepping into her first var-
sity coaching job, and she said she’s excited to get
We will play
a lot of man-to-man defense and try
In order to be successful in her inaugural season, DeKryger will be leaning on one returning starter from last season, junior Bri DeKryger.
to ‘out-quick’ the other team and get steals. Our tight defense with strong help down low will be an integral part of our program. Focusing a lot on good defense and good looks on offense will give us a strong base.” Carley DeKryger, coach
“She is a post player and will be strong down
being vocal, but her basketball smarts will be a definite asset to the team. “She’ll be a smart guard for our team and we
Bri DeKryger Jr. Libby Tubergen Sr. Elena Sokolowski Soph. Jena Dietz Fr. Kayla Sherman Sr. Dani Visser Sr. Becca Wolffis Jr.
can’t wait to see how she’ll grow over her heard
Head coach: Carley DeKryger
“We’ll focus a lot on quickness and intelligence.
at PCHS,” coach DeKryger said. Dani Visser is a senior forward who hasn’t played basketball since middle school. However, coach DeKryger said she brings a solid attitude and a solid work ethic. “Our team is looking good,” the coach said. “Our team, this year, is guard heavy,” Coach
low for us,” DeKryger said. “We are excited to
to practices and games. She keeps us on our toes,
DeKryger said. “We will play a lot of man-to-man
get her the ball down low and watch her do her
and her humor is important to team moral.
defense and try to ‘out-quick’ the other team and
“I can’t wait to see her gain confidence to drive
thing.” Her moves and strength in the post will be a
to the hoop more frequently,” coach DeKryger. Junior guard/forward Becca Wolffis is another
definite asset to the team. She is expected to be not only the leading
hard worker who is eager to learn the game. She had put in a lot of time working on her
scorer, but the leading rebounder. Senior guard Kayla Sherman will bring a solid
outside shot and that has been paying dividends in the early going.
attitude to the team. “She has a lot of heart and won’t let anyone get away with anything,” Coach DeKryger said. “Watch for a lot of steals and smart passes as this court to be the most effective.”
misses a layup,” the coach said. “Libby brings
on offense will give us a strong base.”
“Her defense is quick and threatening and she The coach also has high hopes for freshman Jena Dietz.
joy to the team, never hesitating to bring laughter
“Our tight defense with strong help down low
Elena Sokolowski is a sophomore and a promHer versatility will allow her to play outside at
“She loves to drive to the hoop and hardly ever
“Focusing a lot on good defense and good looks
works hard,” coach DeKryger said.
intensity and converting that into energy in the
a guard position or down low in the post.
Another key player is senior point guard Libby
The Storm will be looking to be strong for 32 minutes, and that means keeping up the defensive
will be an integral part of our program,” she said.
ising newcomer to The Storm’s varsity squad.
senior knows exactly where to place herself on the
As a player, Coach DeKryger played in grades 7-11 at Providence, where she played under Steve Yonker. “I learned more from him about the game of basketball than I could ever hope to teach to any of my players,” she said. She also served as a student assistant coach at
She maybe on the quiet side when it comes to
Calvin College under Coach John Ross.
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Small squad relying on interchangeable parts By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal There are plenty of interchangeable parts to this season’s Fremont Providence Christian Storm boys’ basketball team. With just seven players on the roster, Coach Tracy Johnson won’t have any trouble getting everyone an ample amount of playing time. The Storm did lose a couple of players who transferred to nearby schools, but that won’t put a damper on the squad either. Leading the way will be Daniel Geeting, a junior, who will be relied upon to do many things well. Johnson said one of his strongest assets is his outside shooting. “Daniel is a guard and probably my best outside shooter,” Johnson said. That’s also the case for CJ Miller, a 5-foot-11
Fremont Providence Boys’ Roster CJ Miller 5-11 Sr. Josh Clapp 6-1 Sr. Daniel Geeting 5-11 Jr. Jared Tinkham 6-4 Jr. Malon Volz 5-11 Soph Robert Wang 5-10 Sr. Alex Brown 5-8 Jr. Coach Tracy Johnson
we’re playing against. “One of our challenges is trying to slow down their offense and score using our defense,” he said. “That should help us a lot.” SCOUTING REPORT The Storm have been accepted into the Alliance League, and while they will play most
“We just do not have a lot of height. I have more guards than I do on the height end of it.
of the teams in the league, those games will be
counted as nonleague one more year, Johnson
said. Johnson said the league’s scheduling had been
to rely on playing
completed by the time The Storm were approved
starting point guard. His ability to distribute the
as league members, thus the one-year wait to play
ball will be a key to the Storm’s success.
a full conference slate.
Jared Tinkham, a 6-foot-4 junior, is the tallest Storm player. “He will need a lot of work, but he has nice post-up shot,” Johnson said. Robert Wang, an exchange student, is a good
“We are playing a lot of the Alliance teams, but
to slow down the offenses
not all,” Johnson said. “Next year, we will be in
the league. There will be five teams in our divi-
sion and five teams in the other division.” Johnson expects Holland Calvary and West
One of our challenges
senior who is coming back from a knee injury that
outside shooter, but Johnson said he also hopes
Michigan Lutheran will be tough matchups
forced him to miss all of last season.
Wang uses his quickness to penetrate the lane and
among Alliance teams, but he’s not counting out
to slow down
get some easy buckets.
Fruitport Calvary as another highly competitive
“CJ will play the post and guard,” Johnson said. “He’s a good outside shooter and a good post player.
Alex Brown, also a junior, played on the jayvee team a year ago.
foe. Johnson, who is a first-year varsity coach
and score using our
While he didn’t see a whole lot of playing
for the Storm, served as the jayvee coach at
addition to this year’s team. He sat out the entire
time, Johnson said he has improved over the
Providence for three years, so he knows his
season with a knee injury.
summer and will be counted on to contribute.
players very well from past teams.
Josh Clapp, another senior, is a welcomed
“Last year, he did not play, so he is a year
“We just do not have a lot of height,” Johnson
His coaching experience also includes girls
behind, but he should be one of my go-to guys in
said. “I have more guards than I do on the height
basketball at Kent City, and after that stint,
the post,” Johnson said.
end of it. But we’re just going to rely on playing
he moved over to Grant Christian to help his
good defense and try to slow down the offenses
Malon Volz, a sophomore, has been tabbed the
help us a lot.” Tracy Johnson, coach
Girls to be athletic, but scoring is a concern By Dave Tomczak Local Sports Journal “We’ll need (the junior class) to step up. They’re a real athletic group. But we’ll have to see how they do. There are definitely some things we still need to spend some time on. But by the time we get into the conference schedule, we need to be able to bring our game and be able to play with everyone else.” Bob German, coach
Debbie Pekel senior
Francesca Cerniglia junior
Fruitport Girls’ Roster
Fruitport girls’ basketball coach Bob German knows what he has in this year’s team. It’s what’s missing that’s going to be the problem. “We have a real athletic group this year,” German said. “And we’ll be very good defensively, but who’s going to score?” Coming off a 14-8 season, the Trojans will only return two girls – senior guard Debbie Pekel and junior post-player Francesca Cerniglia – who saw any significant playing time last year Pekel will be relied upon to lead a young Fruitport team. The Trojans guard started on and off last season and will run the offense. She also will be counted upon to start putting the ball in the basket. “She’s just a real quick guard,” German said. “She can really move both offensively and defensively, but we’ll need her to score.” Cerniglia, a 5-foot-10 forward/center, came up from the jayvee team last year and was starting for the Trojans by the end of the season. Despite being one of the younger players on the team, German says they will rely on her to continue in her role as a force on the boards. “She’s a tenacious rebounder. She uses her body well and really has a nose for the ball,” German said. She also is part of a good junior class that will make up a good chunk of Fruitport’s team, and it is a junior class that will have to step in right away and find someone who can help put points
Jessica Erny Hayley Richards Haylie Hanks Debbie Pekel Francesca Cerniglia Janelle Vest Amy Rogers Breanne Burns Allison Beckwith Alexis Black Caitlin Hughey
Head coach: Bob German on the board. “We’ll need them to step up, (but) they’re a real athletic group coming in,” German said. “But we’ll have to see how they do.” The Trojans also will have a pair of returning seniors, who will grow with the added playing time that they are about to get. Guards Jessica Erny and Amy Rogers return and will be counted on to add to the offensive end. “Jessica has a good all-around game,” German said. “(And) Amy is a smart kid who’s not going to make too many mistakes.” Fruitport’s squad will not have a lot of size, German said, being about average in the backcourt and a little on the small side in the front court. SCOUTING REPORT Fruitport finished third in the Lakes 8
Conference last year behind Ludington and Spring Lake. The Trojans, who dropped both regularseason games to the Lakers, were able to get their revenge come the districts. Fruitport defeated Spring Lake 49-44 in the district opener before falling to Oakridge 54-35 in the second round. This year’s conference race will probably look a lot like last year. “There’s no question about it, Ludington’s going to be the top team in the league,” German said. “The rest of us will be fighting to stay in the top third of the conference.” Fruitport will begin the season against Ravenna and Reeths-Puffer and will use scrimmages and the early-season non-conference schedule to get ready for Lakes 8 action. With a large group of younger players coming up, German said he knows it will take some time for the remaining varsity players from last year to mesh with the newcomers. “They have to get used to playing with each other,” the coach said. “The younger girls have to get used to the pace of the game, it’s definitely faster at the varsity level.” By the time the Lake 8 Conference opener at Fremont rolls around on Dec. 7, Fruitport will hopefully have the rough edges smoothed out and be ready for battle. “There are definitely some things we still need to spend some time on,” German said. “But by the time we get into the conference schedule, we need to be able to bring our game and be able to play with everyone else.”
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Senior trio uses offseason to focus on improving By Dave Tomczak Local Sports Journal Hoping that hard work over the summer will pay off, Fruitport’s boys’ basketball coach Bill Andree is looking forward to an improved hoops squad this year. Leading the way, on the court and off, will be Trojan seniors Aaron Veihl, Tyler Fehler and Caleb Cutler. That trio that will try and turn around the fortunes of a team that went 4-17 last year. “Over the summer, all three of those kids came in, and they dedicated themselves to everything we asked them to,” Andree said. “They’ve been committed not just in-season, but in the offseason as well.” With five returning seniors, each of whom saw starting action at some point last year, Andree said he is hoping the dedication shown by the seniors will rub off on the new players. “Fruitport’s struggled for a long time, basketball-wise,” the coach said. “We’re hoping all the hard work in the offseason pays off right here.” Veihl, Fehler and Cutler not only will provide leadership but also help lead an offense that will run when the opportunity is there or slow the game down and work the ball into the post. The post is where 6-foot-3 forwards Luke German and Amilio Flores will be trying to establish a presence. Although this squad is going to have a deep bench, German and Flores present the only real size for Fruitport.
Fruitport Boys’ Roster Tyler Fehler Aaron Veihl Caleb Culter Amilio Flores Justin Wierengo Travis Grimm Luke German Vincent DeVette Brian Horacek Jacob Dyer Luke Brown Matt Umstead
Head coach: Bill Andree “We’re not really deep on the frontline,” Andree said. “German has shown great improvement from last year to this year, (and) we have good players and can go seven, eight, maybe nine deep. We have guys you can feel confident having in there, we haven’t had that in a long time.” Fruitport will have most of its depth coming at the guard position. Led by Veihl, Fehler and Cutler, they are not only the strength of the squad but also key to the offense. “One thing we’ll have a lot of, that we haven’t had in the past,” Andree said, “is the outside shooting. We have a lot of outside shooting.” And if anyone struggles to put points on the board, the team seems talented enough to make up
for it. “I think Fehler has asserted himself as the main scorer,” the coach said. “(But) we have a lot of guys who can step it up.” It will be that ability to find scoring from other sources that will hopefully help all the hard work pay off for the Trojans this season. SCOUTING REPORT Despite only earning four wins last season, the Trojans earned three of those in the Lakes 8 Conference and finished with a 3-11 record. “We’re deeper and more talented,” Andree said of this year’s team. “Our goal is to finish in the top half of the league.” Fruitport will play a non-conference schedule that includes contests against West Michigan Conference teams – Ravenna, Montague and Oakridge – as well as clashes against Western Michigan Christian, Reeths-Puffer, Mona Shores, Comstock Park and Coopersville. “Those are all tough teams to play because of the conferences they play in,” Andree said. The Trojans will kick off the Lakes 8 schedule with a Dec. 7 matchup at Fremont, one of the teams that should compete for the conference title along with Ludington and Spring Lake. Now in his fifth year as head coach, Andree said he feels that the 2012 team could be one of his best and even make a surprise run in conference. “You never know, we felt good last year, and we had some injuries that changed things for us,” the coach said. “Talent-wise, this is one of the best teams we’ve had.”
“Our goal is to finish in the top half of the league. You never know, we felt good last year, and we had some injuries that changed things for us. Talent-wise, this is one of the best teams we’ve had.” Bill Andree, coach
Caleb Cutler senior
F R U I T P O R T C A LVA R Y Richards, Mohr provide 1-2 punch for Eagles By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal
Brad Richards, coach “I’m very excited about this season. It’s a very special, close-knit group of players and parents, and we all just love spending time together.”
Hayley Mohr senior Has surpassed 1,000-point plateau in her career
Taylor Richards sophomore Been on team since eighth-grade year and has led team in scoring both years
Brad Richards plans to enjoy every minute of the girls’ basketball season at Fruitport Calvary Christian. The third-year coach has plenty of reasons to be so optimistic, but two in particular, would be his 1-2 punch of senior Hayley Mohr and sophomore Taylor Richards, his oldest daughter. Both have the ability to play down low as well as dribble the ball up the court. And their height – Richards is 6-foot-1 and Mohr is 5-foot-11 – also will be assets to the Eagles when it comes to scoring, rebounding and blocking shots. “Hailey is strong inside,” said Brad Richards of his fifth-year senior. “She can also play guard for us, and I can run her in any position. She worked very hard in the off-season and equally important is her work ethic.” Mohr comes into the season having already surpassed the 1,000-point plateau, and she is within striking distance of the career scoring record. “But, she is very unselfish,” Brad Richards said. “She won’t be thinking about that scoring record.” Mohr, who was a second-team all-area performer last season, as well as a first-team all-conference choice, has received interest from several NAIA colleges for next season. Taylor Richards, who began her varsity career as an eighth grader, was a first-team all-area player when she was still in junior high. She has led the team in scoring the last two years and will surpass the 1,000-point mark in the early stages of the season. She made an instant mark on the varsity scene
Fruitport Calvary Girls’ Roster
Hayley Mohr 5-11 Sr. Natalie Kapanka 5-8 Sr. Shymari Harris 5-7 Sr. Megan Beals 5-7 Sr. Samantha Rasmussen 5-5 Sr. Lauren Wilcox 5-7 Sr. Brianna Zehr 5-3 Jr. Sophia Zelenka 5-7 Jr. Taylor Richards 6-1 Soph. Elise Maine 5-2 Soph. Allyson Richards 5-11 8th Head coach: Brad Richards when she scored 25 points against Muskegon Catholic in a district loss as an eighth grader. “She is 6-foot-1, but she can take it coast-tocoast,” Brad Richards said. “She’s good with both hands. And, she has her best games against the best teams.” Mohr and Taylor Richards were instrumental in leading the Eagles to a 20-4 record last season, the school’s first-ever district title in any sport and a berth in the Class D regional finals. In order to match those marks, the Eagles will count on a solid supporting cast. SCOUTING REPORT Coach Richards is confident this year’s team can hang with many bigger schools. “Even though this high school is small, you can only put five players on the basketball court,” he said. “We feel the five that we are going to put on the court can compete with anyone.”
To do that, Richards will be banking on a solid supporting cast. Junior Brianna Zehr, a third-year varsity player, will man the point guard position. The team’s top defensive player is senior Shymari Harris, who played AAU basketball this past offseason. Senior Natalie Kapanka is fast and physical and will be a solid presence on the court for the Eagles. Coach Richards also has dipped into the eighth grade and brought in his younger daughter, Allyson, to provide some more inside punch at 5-foot-11. “No doubt, this is the most talented team assembled at this school,” Brad Richards said. “But, we also play a very difficult schedule.” Part of that difficulty is getting past West Michigan Lutheran, a team that sent a player to Ferris State University last season. WM Lutheran handed Calvary two of its four losses a year ago. North Muskegon also defeated the Eagles as did Portland St. Patrick in the regional finals. “Our goal is to win the conference,” Brad Richards said. “We’ve got Muskegon Catholic in the districts, and they have six new players from the Muskegon Big Reds.” However, that game is a long way off. Richards and his team have a lot of work to do and a lot of games to play. And a lot of enjoyment for the coach. “For me, this is such a blessing that God allows me to be part of my daughters’ lives like this,” he said. “Plus, I’m very excited about this season. It’s a very special, close-knit group of players and parents, and we all just love spending time together.”
Eagle boys must overcome lack of height By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal Last season, the boys’ basketball team at Fruitport Calvary Christian was blessed with plenty of height. But graduation has a way of taking away those “bigs,” and that’s exactly what happened to the Eagles. Well, there is one left, and he’s a keeper for this coming season. Mike Warren, a 6-foot-5 forward, is the top returning player for an Eagle team that finished 18-4 last season. That victory total was a school record. In the Class D district tournament, the Eagles fell to Muskegon Catholic, which made it to the state semifinals at the Breslin Center. Warren brings in some impressive numbers from a sophomore season in which he averaged 17.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Eagles will need more of the same, and maybe even more, this time around. Warren honed his game this past summer by playing plenty of AAU basketball. Last season, he was an all-conference performer in the Alliance League and a second-team all-area selection. “He’s an inside/outside player who worked hard on his 3-point shot,” said Fruitport Calvary coach Jim Warren, who also is Mike’s father. “He hit a lot of 3-pointers this summer, and he’s been working on his ball handing and spin moves. He wants to be an all-around player, not just in the post. He worked on his dribble-attack moves.” Mike Warren also is known to produce a highlight-reel slam dunk now and then as well. But he is the only Eagle player taller than 6-foot-1. Mark Carlson, a senior guard, along with senior point guard Drew Maine will be counted on
Fruitport Calvary Boys’ Roster
Mark Carlson 6-0 Sr. Drew Maine 5-7 Sr. Josh Hatfield 6-1 Sr. Miles Burgtoff 5-9 Sr. Mike Warren 6-5 Jr. Jeff Britton 6-1 Jr. Isaac Burns 6-0 Soph. Brendan Hamilton 5-11 Soph. Carson Burgess 5-10 Fr. Head coach: Jim Warren to contribute leadership, offense and defense. Carlson averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game a year ago while Maine, a standout soccer player for the Eagles, will lend his quickness on both ends of the court. He was named second-team all-conference as a junior. “He led us in 3-pointers last season,” Jim Warren said. “We will be looking for a lot of scoring from him.” “Drew is so quick,” the Eagles’ coach said. “He’s worked on his offensive game. We expect him to attack the rim, but he’s also got an outside shot, and he can distribute.” Height will be an issue for the Eagles, but coach Warren said he expects the team to overcome that with a group of players who worked hard to develop their game, including rebounding, during the summer months. SCOUTING REPORT “We will have to rebound like crazy,” Jim Warren said. “Last year’s team was blessed with size.”
That’s where guys like senior Josh Hatfield come into the equation. “Josh will be big on the defensive end and in rebounding,” Jim Warren said. “And we need him to take the pressure off Mike (Warren) with the inside defense so that we can avoid foul trouble.” Also, throw into the mix sophomore Brendan Hamilton, a guard who played varsity as a freshman. “We expect him to take on a bigger role scoring inside and outside,” Jim Warren said. “This year, we’re not as tall, so we will play more up-tempo and look to run even more.” Junior Jeff Britton, a forward, brings the versatility of being able to play guard or forward to the Eagles. Coach Warren said he expects him to be one of the team’s better rebounders coming off the bench. Last season, the Eagles had eight players on the varsity roster. This season, it’s nine. “With the size of the school, less than 70, it’s great that we have a jayvee team,” Jim Warren said. “We need to be competitive with some of the real sizeable schools.” In the Alliance League, Coach Warren said he is hoping his team can remain near the top, or even at the top. His team finished second last year. Holland Calvary and West Michigan Lutheran are a pair of serious contenders in the league race. Especially West Michigan Lutheran, which also has a stellar girls’ program. “It comes down to rebounding,” Jim Warren said. “We think the second-biggest stat behind scoring points is rebounding. And we really want to create turnovers by wearing people out with our press and trap.” Warren, in his second season as the boys’ varsity coach, was the girls’ varsity coach at Spring Lake for 10 years. He also coached boys’ varsity at Carson City-Crystal back in the 1990s.
“It comes down to rebounding. And we really want to create turnovers by wearing people out with our press and trap.” Jim Warren, coach
Mark Carlson senior
Drew Maine senior
Mike Warren junior
G R A N D H AV E N
Bucs have eyes set on return trip to state finals By David Tomczak Local Sports Journal “It’ll be an exciting year. I think we’ll still be picked to win, but it will certainly be more competitive.” Katie KowalczykFulmer, coach
Abby Cole senior
Hannah Wilkerson senior
Taylor Craymer junior
Grand Haven Girls’ Roster
For two years, the Grand Haven girls’ basketball program went through the season with a bulls-eye on its back. The Bucs were the top ranked team in Class A both years, and nothing less than a state title was expected of them. They came up just short in 2011, experiencing their only loss of the season in the state semifinals to Detroit Renaissance, 39-38. Then, they rolled through the 2011-2012 season with only one loss, claiming the state title with a thrilling come-from-behind win over Grosse Pointe South, 54-53. You would think with a title residing in the Bucs’ trophy case, coach Katie KowalczykFulmer could rest easy this season, but she’s not so sure. “There’s less pressure than last year. We had seven seniors last year, and I think if we didn’t win a title we would’ve been labeled a disappointment,” she said. “But I still think we have a target on our back. We’ve won the OK Red conference four out of the last five years. Teams around here still want to beat us.” The Bucs lost seniors, size, and scoring but will return more than enough on the frontline to make up for all three. Abby Cole, a 6-5 center who scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had eight blocked shots in the state title game, returns to man the paint for Grand Haven. “She has to play more minutes,” KowalczykFulmer said. “But she’s great, she’ll block shots and score points for us.”
Abby Cole Sr 6-5 Hannah Wilkerson Sr 5-10 Taylor Craymer Jr 6-0 Christina Davis Jr 6-0 Jami Hogeboom Jr 5-11 Bailey TeBeau Jr 5-11 Courtney Springer St 5-10 Grace Kendra Sr 5-6 Angie Schultz Sr 5-5 Mallory Beswick Jr 5-6 Emily Sexton Jr 5-7 Amanda Merz Soph 5-4
Head coach: Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer Joining Cole down low will be 5-foot-10 forward Hannah Wilkerson, who started eight games as a junior last year, and 6-foot forward/guard Taylor Craymer. “(Taylor’s) a true post player, but we played her at guard at times last year,” KowalczykFulmer said. “She’s got a good shot and can shoot the 3. Hannah is great inside and out. She had a great summer, and she’s heading to Ferris State next year to play basketball.” And as odd as it seems, having players like Christina Davis (6-foot), Jami Hogeboom (5-foot11) and Bailey TeBeau (5-foot-11), actually give the Bucs a smaller squad than last year. “Yes we’re smaller, but we’re definitely not small,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “I think we’ll surprise some people.” At the guard position, Grand Haven will have
three seniors coming back and will be able to go six deep. SCOUTING REPORT The Bucs lost four of their five starters from last year’s title team, including all-stater’s Alex Law and Shar’Rae Davis, but bring back six girls with playing experience. They also will add six girls from a jayvee team that went 19-1 last season, making Grand Haven a bit younger but still the favorite in the OK Red conference. “It’ll be an exciting year,” the Bucs coach said. “I think we’ll still be picked to win, but it will certainly be more competitive.” Kowalczyk-Fulmer expects a conference title challenge to come from Grandville and Hudsonville, two teams that could match the Bucs’ size along the frontline. West Ottawa, the only team to hand Grand Haven a defeat last year, also should be in the mix, followed by Rockford and East Kentwood, two teams that will rely on talented young players to make an impact. The Bucs began their title defense Nov. 30 at Traverse City Central before turning around and taking on Traverse City West the following day. The out-of-conference battles should allow Grand Haven to work out any early-season kinks it may have, but with the experience of players who have made two title runs coming back, it looks as if the Bucs could be on their way to a return trip. “There’s not as much pressure, but the bar has been raised for sure,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “It’ll be an exciting year. We won’t be ranked No. 1 like the last two years, but the goal is still the same – getting to Breslin.”
Bucs to battle EK, Rockford for OK Red crown By Dave Tomczak Local Sports Journal It would be difficult to label Grand Haven’s boys’ basketball team coming into this season. On the one hand, the Bucs only return two starters from a team that finished 14-11 last year. But by the same token, half of the players back saw playing time on a team that claimed a Class A district title and reached the regional finals. “Four of the kids returning saw a lot of playing time,” Grand Haven coach Steve Hewitt said. “Six had meaningful playing time.” Fortunately for the Bucs, the players they will rely on at the start of the season will be seniors, starting with point guard Sean Steffel, who will do exactly what the position calls for. “He started a lot for us last year, and he does a good job of running our team,” Hewitt said. “He’s improved his outside shot and is a threat on both sides of the ball.” Also helping out at the guard position, both at the point and off-guard, is senior Kevin LaCroix. “He’s played a lot against some tough opponents,” his coach said. “He’s a defensive kid who can help at the point, and he’s a real good rebounding guard.” Along the frontline, the Bucs will rely on seniors Ty Van Wieren, Mack Carter, Ethan Groothuis and Ryan Peterson, while juniors Jon Cahalan, Connor Grimes, Isaak Newhouse and sophomore Noah Lein are expected to contribute. “We are undersized and will play a lot of 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2 kids,” Hewitt said. “We’ve made adjustments, but we are lacking a true backto-the-basket post player.” Hewitt added, however, that Carter could
Grand Haven Boys’ Roster Chad Mattson Jr 5-11 Max Young Sr 5-11 Sean Steffel Sr 5-11 Kevin LaCroix Sr 5-10 David Zuidema Jr 5-9 Connor Grimes Jr 6-3 Ethan Groothuis Sr 6-0 Isaak Newhouse Jr 6-0 Mack Carter Sr 6-1 Noah Lein Soph 6-3 Ryan Peterson Sr 6-3 Ty Vanwieren Sr 6-4 Bryce Peterson Jr 6-0 Jon Cahalan Jr 6-3
Head coach: Steve Hewitt become a physical presence for the Bucs in the post and Van Wieren could present problems for other clubs. “(Ty) started last year as a post player,” Hewitt said of the 6-foot-4 senior. “He can also play out on the perimeter, which could really cause matchup problems.” Grand Haven can also expect to get help from senior Max Young and juniors Chad Mattson, David Zuidema and Bryce Peterson. “We’re a team with some depth,” Hewitt added. “We are deeper than I thought, and we didn’t have that last year.” SCOUTING REPORT By the time the OK Red Conference schedule
begins, Hewitt said he thinks his team will be ready to compete for a possible run at the conference crown. “I think we will be competitive,” the Bucs coach said. “We should be right in the mix, but it’ll depend on how consistent we are, especially on defense.” While the conference should be as tough as ever, Hewitt said that most, if not all, of the squads will have a chance to make some noise but will have to deal with Rockford and East Kentwood for the title. “If you look at Rockford and East Kentwood, they both bring back the most,” Hewitt said. “Those two teams stand out, other than that, everyone’s in the mix.” Grand Haven will open the year with home games against Holland Christian and Mona Shores before hitting the road for five straight games. The Bucs will finally head into their conference slate at home with games against East Kentwood and Rockford, on Jan. 15 and 18, respectively. The showdown with Rockford will be the first meeting between the two teams since last year’s Class A regional finals. After a 10-10 regular season, Grand Haven won four straight, including a 47-45 district title over Muskegon, before falling to the Rams, 57-41. It will also provide Grand Haven with a gauge to measure how they’ll stack up in the OK Red. “We’re going to gain experience and knowledge – knowing what’s required (to win),” Hewitt said. “(And) what we lack in size we are going to make up with effort.”
“We’re going to gain experience and knowledge – knowing what’s required (to win). (And) what we lack in size we are going to make up with effort.” Steve Hewitt, coach
Kevin Lacroix senior
Mack Carter senior
Sean Steffel senior
Pirate girls look to climb conference ladder By Mark Lewis
Hart Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal “We’re going to hope to take a get-it-andgo approach. But first we have to get it. That means learning to rebound is going to be important for us to focus on.” Dean Bates, coach
The Hart girls’ basketball team has a lot of youth up and down the line, so it is a good thing that the Pirates will have three seniors to pick up the slack. Hart coach Dean Bates said a lot will be expected of seniors Landyn Lorenz, Macayla Greiner and Taylor Weigand if only because sophomores dominate half of the Pirates’ roster. “We’re going to need a lot from those three,” Lorenz, who will be the team’s main scoring last season’s 16 points-per-game average.
make her a team leader.
but the seniors are really helping to make up the difference.” With the team’s apparent lack of height, rebounding will certainly be a point of emphasis. “Our overall speed and athletic ability should help overcome the fact we don’t have my height,” Bates said. Bates, usually a coach who likes to take advantage of half-court sets, will look for his team to push the ball up the floor in order to highlight his up problems against the competition. “We’re going to hope to take a get-it-and-go approach,” said Bates. “But first we have to get
it. That means learning to rebound is going to be
With six sophomores, the Pirates will be one
pretty important for us to focus on this season.”
of the youngest teams in the West Michigan
does not like to lose.” Greiner will be the team’s floor leader, using her quickness and ball skills to get the ball to Lorenz or look inside for another option. “Macayla is a good leader on and off the court,” Bates said. Finally, Weigand will be the team’s primary Taylor Weigand senior
“Taylor is one the best jumpers I’ve seen,” Bates said. “She’s quiet, but her hard work helps
“She’s tough, and she loves the game. And, she
pretty quickly. We will rely on the sophomores,
team’s strength – speed – and help create match-
threat at shooting guard, looks to improve upon “Landyn is very aggressive,” Bates said.
Macayla Greiner senior
Head coach: Dean Bates boards.
Bates said. Landyn Lorenz senior
Landyn Lorenz 5-6 Sr. Macayla Greiner 5-3 Sr. Taylor Weigand 5-8 Sr. Monica Agular 5-3 Jr. Louren Hegedus 5-6 Soph. Annika Wilson 5-5 Soph. Nichole Jorisen 5-5 Soph. Anna Herpzler 5-9 Soph. Jenny Herrygers 5-9 Soph. Sydney Scarbourgh 5-6 Soph.
the sophomores seem to be gelling pretty well and
rebounder. Though she lacks elite height, Bates said Weigand’s quickness will help her on the
Bates sees Oakridge and Shelby as the early favorites in the West Michigan Conference,
Despite that, Bates said his senior nucleus should help the squad remain competitive. Still, the underclassmen will quickly need to
although he also said he believes there is a chance to challenge those teams for the top spot in the league.
get a handle on the speed of the varsity game if
“We are looking to improve on last year,”
the Pirates hope to finish at, or better, in the con-
Bates said. “If our sophomores come along, and
ference than last year’s third-place finish.
our seniors play the way they can, we have a
“The good news,” Bates said, “the seniors and
New coach seeks to ‘Raise the Standard’ By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The high school basketball culture in West Michigan doesn’t quite match the intensity of some other regions of the country. Thankfully for Hart High School, the Pirates landed a new coach who has played and coached in the hoops hotbed of Indiana. Hart coach Mike Rawert takes over the boys’ team with hopes of turning his team into a basketball program reminiscent of one you may find in the Hoosier State. For Rawert, such a cultural change begins at the lowest levels of the program. “In Indiana, by second grade, lots of kids are fully a part of the program,” Rawert said. “That’s why I have spent a lot of my time here at Hart building a feeder system. It requires the kids to give more of a commitment at a younger age, in and out of the season.” Rawert said changing the culture is important for his current varsity players. “A big thing we have talked about is making change right now, planting a different culture that will pay off,” he said. “We’ve adopted the slogan ‘Raise the Standard.’ We are committed to becoming better every time we step on the court.” Helping with that will be two juniors, Brandon Amstutz and James Freeman, and senior Torian Williams. Amstutz is expected to be one of the team’s most consistent offensive weapons. “Brandon is going to be one of our team’s better shooters,” Rawert said. Likewise, Williams will be counted upon to use his explosive athleticism to make life easier for the Pirates on the offensive end. Freeman, on the other hand, is a jack-of-all-
Hart Boys’ Roster
Adam Emory Sr. 5-6 James Freeman Jr. 5-10 Joe Fillips Jr. 5-10 Brandon Amstutz Jr. 5-11 Torian Williams Sr. 6-0 Gill Colon So. 6-1 Omar Garcia Jr. 5-8 Connor Boundy Jr. 6-4 Jordan Redding Sr. 6 -5 Jaykob Gallop Jr. 5-11 Thomas Stoneman Sr. 5-10 Head coach: MIke Rawert trades, Rawert said, who also gives his all when given the opportunity. “James is probably our most versatile player,” the coach said. “It’s his versatility that allows him to play inside/out. He always gives very good effort.” The Pirates also will have pretty good size, with 6-foot-5 senior Jordan Redding and 6-foot-4 junior Connor Boundy. SCOUTING REPORT With success at Hart fairly fleeting – the Pirates were fairly competitive in the mid-2000s under Terry Smith – Rawert said the goals of this year’s team will be basic. “We’ve said we have two goals this season,” he said. “We want to get better every day, and we want to be competitive in every game we play. That means we’ll have to give our best effort all the time.” Without a single dominant player, the Pirates will work on getting the most out of everyone one
the floor. “We are working on being pretty balanced,” Rawert said. “We want to give the guys a chance to step up if they get going. We want the others to recognize the players who are being successful and take advantage of that.” But wins-and-losses success may take a little time, as Rawert has only recently installed his system, an inside/outside approach that will try to give his players good shooting opportunities. “We’re learning to play as a group right now,” he said. “We are also focusing on becoming stronger with our fundamentals. That will help close the gap quickly between us and some of the other teams.” Because he is new to the area, Rawert said he is not quite sure what to expect of the other conference teams. He will get a better idea of what he is working against once the league season begins Dec. 6 with his team hosting Whitehall. “I’m sure some of the other teams might be picking us to finish at the bottom of the conference,” Rawert said. “That’s what people will think until we show them differently.” He said his team is looking forward to its twice-annual meeting with rival Shelby, hoping it to be a good gauge of how far his team has come. But whether his team finishes first or last in the league, Rawert, who played at Indiana’s Hanover College and later was an assistant coach at his alma mater, is keeping a keen eye toward the future. “We want everyone to make a commitment to this sport,” said Rawert, who also coached at West Lafayette High school in northern Indiana as well as the Indianapolis Project School. “If we want to be successful, we are going to need everyone to commit to what we’re doing here.”
“We’ve adopted the slogan ‘Raise the Standard.’ We are committed to becoming better every time we step on the court.” Mike Rawert, coach
Brandon Amstutz junior
Jame Freeman junior
Torian Williams senior
8 “This team is athletic, hard working and eager to compete. Although lacking in size, we make up for much of that in our speed, athleticism and work ethic. Time and effort put forth by these girls in the offseason will pay off for this young team. We compete in a very tough CSAA league.” Kendra Wilson, coach
Ashley Latsch senior A four-year starter who averaged 6.2 points and 1.2 assists last year
H O LT O N
Lone senior to lead Red Devils in tough CSAA By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal
Holton Girls’ Roster
Holton girls’ basketball coach Kendra Wilson has a true leader for this year’s Red Devil team. Her lone senior, Ashley Latsch, whom Wilson calls the hardest working player she has ever coached, brings solid credentials to this year’s team. The four-year starter is the team’s point guard who averaged 6.2 points and 1.2 assists per game last season. But that isn’t the reason why Wilson is so attached to Latsch. “She leads by example every day with her work ethic and determination,” Wilson said. “She is a great shooter who can drive and finish inside.” But, there’s more that Latsch brings to the team. “She was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis a few years back,” Wilson said. “This has severely inhibited her ability to play basketball.” Ankylosing Spondylitis is a long-term disease that involves inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. Eventually, these joints become swollen and inflamed. “Yet, she continues to give everything she has to this team and program,” Wilson said. “She is an amazing individual with a wonderful story.” Latsch will lead a group of Red Devils who are very young. Three sophomores are expected to contribute
Ashley Latsch 5-4 Sr. Rachel Younts 5-8 Soph. Jacki Stone 5-9 Soph. Megan Latsch 5-7 Jr. Elizabeth Colvin 5-8 Soph. Katie Wildfong 5-7 Soph. Riley Hicks 5-7 Fr. Head coach: Kendra Wilson significantly to the fortunes of this year’s team. Rachel Younts averaged 8.8 points and 7.9 points per game. Those numbers helped earn her second-team all-conference honors as a freshman. She also was a second-team all-area player. Not bad for a freshman, but now with a year under her belt, Wilson is looking forward to see what she brings this time around. “She is primarily a post player, though offensively, she can shoot, drive and post,” Wilson said. “She is a great defender and rebounder. “Despite being a sophomore, Rachel has proven herself as a leader and has taken a captain role.” Another sophomore who had a lot of success as a freshman a year ago is Jacki Stone. She averaged 5.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. That versatility will be counted upon heavily again this season. “Jacki plays both point and guard,” Wilson
said. “She has the ability to score against anyone with a lot of offensive tools. She is a very good defender and rebounder.” That’s not all. Wilson has yet another sophomore with varsity experience. Payton Bearup had a solid off-season and will take on an even bigger role this year. Last season, Bearup averaged 4.8 points per game as a guard. “Payton has the ability to shoot and drive,” Wilson said. “She is very quick, the fastest kid on the team.” SCOUTING REPORT One junior and two more sophomores also are expected to contribute with significant roles on the team. That group includes junior Megan Latsch, along with sophomores Elizabeth Colvin and Katie Wildfong. “This team is athletic, hard working and eager to compete,” Wilson said. “Although lacking in size, we make up for much of that in our speed, athleticism and work ethic.” The efforts put in during the offseason are expected to pay dividends for the Red Devils, who compete in the Central States Athletic Association. “Time and effort put forth by these girls in the offseason will pay off for this young team,” Wilson said. “We will compete in a very tough CSAA league.” Wilson sees a wide open league race and is hoping her young Red Devils team can be in the mix when it’s all said and done.
Boys shooting to improve as year progresses By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal Derek Westerlund isn’t expecting his team to come out of the blocks real fast this coming basketball season. However, he does expect his team to continue to work hard, improve on a daily basis and then hit their stride the last half of the campaign. “The first few games might be a little ugly, but that doesn’t matter,” said Westerlund, the thirdyear coach for the Red Devils boys’ basketball team. “We want to be good the last 10.” Westerlund has his team focused on that mission in a league where they will face some stiff competition. Heading into the season, Westerlund is looking at a handful of players to carry the load on his nine-man roster. That starts with senior guard Victor Reagan, a transfer from Fremont High School. “He rebounds well for a guard, and he will give us that shooter that the team needs,” Westerlund said. Brodey Gould, who is coming off the football field and his now stepping onto the hardcourt, will bring some muscle and toughness to the Red Devils’ lineup. “He brings experience,” Westerlund said. “He’s pretty much our only returning starter from last season. He’s a real good defender, and he will be our point guard. He really is the heart of the team, I would say.” Another player expected to step into a significant role on the team is junior forward Jacob Russell. “He is kind of a slasher, and he’s good with both hands,” Westerlund said. “He is good around
Holton Boys’ Roster
Victor Reagan 6-1 Sr. Brodey Gould 5-10 Sr. Ben Anderson 6-4 Sr. Brad Epplett 6-2 Jr. Jacob Russell 6-2 Jr. Cordel Korstanie 6-1 Jr. Isaac Mock 5-10 Sr. Adam Wiegand 5-11 Sr. Jeremiah Sergeant 6-1 Sr. Coach Derek Westerlund the basket, and he finishes real well. “He’s not a great shooter, but he’s a really good passer. He sees the court really well for a big guy, and he can do a little bit of everything.” SCOUTING REPORT Westerlund can’t just count on those four players to do it all. He’s got several other players who will fill key roles of his team both inside and outside. Ben Anderson will use his 6-foot-4 frame at the center position. “He is going to be our inside presence,” Westerlund said. “He is probably our smartest player. He is really good at setting screens and getting other guys open. He also runs the floor real well.” Westerlund said he is hoping Anderson can even move away from the low post at times and hit that 15-foot jump shot. “Over the summer, he’s worked pretty hard, so we’re looking for a big year from him.” The same goes for senior Isaac Mock, who is
expected to come off the bench this season. He’s also a solid shooter who can give the Red Devils a spark with some quality minutes. Westerlund tabs 6-foot-2 junior Brad Epplett as his best athlete. And that means he will be a key contributor this season. “He is fast, and he runs the floor very well,” Westerlund said. “He will defend, and he will rebound. He will do the ugly stuff we need done…he’s kind of a scrapper.” “We’re athletic, but we don’t shoot the ball real well,” Westerlund said. “We will look to run, fast paced style, but under control. “If that doesn’t work, we will run a motion offense,” he said. “We will try to use our athleticism to get some points.” The Red Devils hope that is a formula for some success in the Central States Athletic Association. “A lot of teams graduated a lot,” Westerlund said. “Reed City is always up there, so they will be solid. White Cloud will be solid, so I would have to say it’s going to be those two.” Add in league newcomer Newaygo, and that makes a potential third team vying for the top spot in the league race. “I want to be a realist,” Westerlund said. “We will try to be in the middle of the pack. If we can get to .500 in the league or close to that, it would be good for us.” Westerlund, who previously coached boys and girls at Muskegon Catholic, has been impressed by the work ethic and coachability of his team. He said he is hoping that, too, will improve on his team’s chance to win some more games. “These kids are really good students and really good citizens,” he said. “And real good to work with. It’s kind of refreshing.”
“(In our conference), Reed City is always up there, so they will be solid. White Cloud will be solid. I want to be a realist. We will try to be in the middle of the pack. If we can get to .500 in the league or close to that, it would be good for us.” Derek Westerlund, coach
Brodey Gould senior
Jacob Russell junior
Victor Reagan senior
Quickness, depth key to Sailor girls success By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal “We have 10 kids who can play. I’m proud of all these girls. They are wonderful young ladies.” Brad Kurth, coach
Jasmyn Walker junior
Meredith Smith senior
Morgan Smith senior
Mona Shores Girls’ Roster
Mona Shores girls’ basketball coach Brad Kurth doesn’t hesitate when asked the strength of his team this season. “The strength of our team is definitely the speed we bring,” Kurth said. “Our one, two and three players are fast and our one, two and three players off the bench are fast. And they all will defend.” Shores hopes to put that backcourt speed to good use and improve last year’s 15-8 overall record and second-place finish in the OK Black conference. Shores will feature one of the top juniors in the state. Jasmyn Walker is back for her third varsity season and will be a catalyst on both ends of the floor. “Each year, she has addressed the weaknesses in her game,” Kurth said. “She’s worked hard in the off-season to make her weaknesses her strengths.” Walker plays about 100 games per year between the high school season and AAU seasons. She can play guard, forward or center and relies on her experience. “It’s a new team and we’re all together,” said Walker, who averaged 13.5 points and 10 rebounds last season. “We’re working hard and putting in the time to play our game. I think I will bring in a new mindset to learn a new position.” Walker said some of her goals are to beat defending state champion Grand Haven “and continue to play hard and bring the intensity.” Kurth said Walker will play more on the perimeter facing the basket this season – a move that will make it more difficult for teams to implement the double team on defense. “She will still take it to the basket for us,”
Rachel Anderson Jr. Amy Gillings Jr. Morgan Smith Sr. Kortnie Heinig Jr. Brooke Ledsworth Sr. Meredith Smith Sr. Corrine DeWitt Sr. Jasmyn Walker Jr. Saddie Vela Jr. Sarah Jones Jr.
Head coach: Brad Kurth Kurth said. “She can go coast-to-coast with a rebound. She will be more of a wing player.” More speed in the Sailors’ backcourt will come from senior twins Morgan and Meredith Smith. Morgan will play point guard and continue her golf career at Oakland University while Meredith is a shooting guard who will play soccer at Ferris State University. “I’m a senior, and it’s our last year, so I want to do really well,” Meredith said. “It will be our last time playing basketball. We lost some great players from last year, but we have girls who will step up.” “I want the underclassmen to emulate us,” Morgan said. “We want to be good leaders and good role models. I’m excited to see how well we will do. We don’t have much height, so we have to get big. We’re ready to bring it.” SCOUTING REPORT Size is a concern for the Sailors. They have good quickness, but they are lacking an abundance of big players in the front court.
Kurth is counting on 5-foot-8 Corrine DeWitt, 5-foot-9 Sarah Jones and 5-foot-9 Saddie Vela to step up in the post. “Our post players are not as big, but they are quicker,” Kurth said. DeWitt is the most experienced of the trio while Jones brings good strength and some perimeter shooting, and Vela has some experience and a good vertical jump. Kurth also is counting on a solid group of players who helped the jayvees to a 17-3 record last season. Depth should be another plus. “We have 10 kids who can play,” Kurth said. “I’m proud of all these girls. They are wonderful young ladies.” Kurth said the Sailors learned a lot at their preseason scrimmage against Grandville, Grand Rapids Christian and Calvin Christian. “One of the nice things is we have veteran players,” he said. “A press doesn’t rattle us. A lot of things don’t rattle us.” Kurth sees Muskegon, Reeths-Puffer and the Sailors in the thick of the OK Black race. The Big Reds, especially, should be a team to watch. “Our goal is to win this conference,” Kurth said. “Muskegon has some good team speed. They can put some things together. Nobody will want to go into Muskegon and battle them. I love the fact we have a crosstown rivalry in the conference with them.” Shores will be tested right away in the first two games against Oakridge and Grand Haven. The schedule also includes other teams from the bigger OK Red conference. “I think it will tell us a lot,” Kurth said about the first two games. “Those two games might be tougher than our conference. Grand Haven definitely is the team to beat every time they walk into the gym.”
Sailor boys hungry after disappointing season By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal Mona Shores is ready for a turnaround on the basketball court this season. Senior guard Dimitris Demetriou said the Sailors are hungry to succeed after a disappointing 2011-12 season. “Last year, we didn’t get to where we wanted,” Demetriou said after a recent practice. “We have some new additions, and we hope to go as far as there is to go. Last year, we thought we could do it, but we couldn’t come together. This year, if we play together and not apart, we can win a lot.” Expect the Sailors to step it up after going 6-15 last season. Coach Nick Bronsema has more experience, talent, quickness and team unity than his previous three years at the helm. “This group, especially our juniors, has bought into working in the offseason on their game,” Bronsema said. “It’s a special group. They are respectful, and they hate to lose. They are great kids.” Bronsema welcomes back four experienced players to lead the way – 7-foot senior center Adam Rayner, 6-foot-3 junior forward Logan Smith, 6-foot-5 wing Adreon Billips and Demetriou. Rayner returns after averaging 10 rebounds per game and should make a difference again on defense. “He’s definitely a presence on defense,” Bronsema said about Rayner, who had 22 rebounds against East Grand Rapids last season. “If he doesn’t block shots, he alters them.” Rayner said he believes the Sailors will be better physically and mentally this season.
Mona Shores Boys’ Roster Julian Loera Jr. Jamarius Williams Jr. Marcus Tumblin II Jr. Dimitris Demetriou Sr. Marquon Sargent Jr. Adreon Billips Jr. Logan Smith Jr. Collin Adams Sr. Cameron Matthews Jr. Kobe Burse Fr. Logan Haugh Jr. Adam Rayner Sr.
Head coach: Nick Bronsema “We have quicker guards and can do more,” said Rayner, who is drawing college attention from Grand Valley State, Ferris State, Hope College and Calvin College. “We have a lot of good talent this year.” Smith is a physical player who brings toughness to the court from the football team. “It’s a different game, and we’ll have a winning record,” Smith said. “The fact is we can push the ball this year and guard the ball on defense. I think the sky is the limit this year for us.” Billips, who just turned 15 years old, said the Sailors are motivated to change the mentality of Shores basketball. “We will prove people wrong this year and come out on top,” Billips said. “I feel we have a disciplined team and a better defense. We can win and go far.”
SCOUTING REPORT Three transfers should help. Senior guard Collin Adams (Western Michigan Christian) and junior Marcus Tumblin (Grand Haven) have to sit out the first nine games, but Marquon Sargent (Muskegon Heights) can play right away. Adams is a strong perimeter shooter while Tumblin and Sargent are versatile and effective defenders. Freshman guard Kobe Burse is another newcomer to watch for Shores. Other juniors on the team are Julian Loera, Jamarius Williams, Cameron Matthews and Logan Haugh. Bronsema said the Sailors will have enough experience on the floor to help them in tough games. Quickness, unselfishness and a better mental approach also should be team strengths. “This group is ready to win,” Bronsema said. “We will be a tough-minded in-your-face group. We will play unselfishly in thoughts and actions.” Bronsema said his early concern is getting the entire team to buy into his system. He said he also is hoping for a balanced attack on offense to score points because there are no proven scorers returning. Look for Muskegon, Zeeland East, ReethsPuffer and Mona Shores to challenge for the OK Black Conference title. Bronsema gives Muskegon the preseason nod. “Keith Guy is a good coach,” he said about the Big Reds. “They will be prepared, and they will be hungry.” Bronsema likes his team’s schedule, which includes more games against area teams. Assisting Bronsema this season are Russ Doane and Doug Burse.
Adam Rayner senior
Adreon Billips junior
Dimitris Demetriou senior
Logan Smith junior
M O N TA G U E
With new coach, Wildcat girls look to improve By Mark Lewis
Montague Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal “They know they want to get better this season, and I’m seeing that in the effort and attitude they’ve brought to practices.” Bill Stone, coach
Before the start of this season, new Montague girls’ basketball coach Bill Stone was not sure he would be coaching basketball. A teacher at Shelby School District’s Oceana High, his day was lengthened by 45 minutes, meaning he wasn’t going to be able to coach at his previous school, Ravenna. But then the Montague job opened up, and the rest as they say is history. “I’m very fortunate to be in this job,” Stone said. “I feel fortunate things ended up the way they did.” The Wildcats, after enjoying a district title a
Hailey Cockerill junior
couple years ago under Bill O’Connell, won just
Cockerill, a junior three-year varsity player,
teams in the area. “We are going to have to get better defensively,” he said. “I know every coach says it, but it’s true for us: we have to improve on our ball handling as well. Those two things will be critical to any success we have this season.” Likewise, coming off a two-win season last year may have dampened expectations the squad has for itself. Early on, though, Stone said he is not really seeing that. “This is a real positive group,” he said. “Their attitude has been great. They know they want to get better this season, and I’m seeing that in the effort and attitude they’ve brought to practices.”
combines great awareness with great leadership
things back on track as quickly as possible.
skills to produce, what many believe, will be one
many others, sees Oakridge and Shelby again bat-
of the best point guards in the league.
tling for the top spot.
Fessler and Nicole Rumsey, and junior Hailey
“Hailey has a real good sense of leadership,”
In the West Michigan Conference, Stone, like
He said he is not really sure where his squad
Cockerill. Rumsey will be a dominant force in the
Stone said. “And her ability to see the court is
fits into the mix, but he is sure what it is going to
league, Stone said.
also very strong. She’s a hard worker, too.”
take to get back on top.
“She has a strong presence at the post and she’s a really great defender,” Stone said. “She will also get to plenty of rebounds.” Fessler will be the two-guard although Stone said she can also play the point. “Leanne is a fantastic shooter,” he said. “She
Nicole Rumsey senior
Head coach: Bill Stone
things before they are able to challenge the best
two games last season, and are looking to get Helping to that end will be two seniors, Leanne
Leanne Fessler senior
Hailey Cockerill Jr. 5-6 Leanne Fessler Sr. 5-6 Nicole Rumsey Sr. 5-11 Madison Aebig Jr. 5-5 Karleigh Davis Sr. 5-6 Sarah Harrie Jr. 5-10 Kaylee Kessler Sr. 5-7 Katie Rice Sr. 5-8 Jacqui Sellers Jr. 5-6 Chase Michelson Jr. 5-8 Morgan Shugars Jr. 5-6 Elyse Taylor Jr. 5-10
However, the squad will need to work on a few
also handles the ball so well.” Leading the way will be Cockerill.
“When you look at what we have, if we can put
The Wildcats are really coming together as
all of it together consistently, we should improve
a team, Stone said, which is going to help them
things considerably,” he said. “Right now, we’re
run the inside/outside approach Stone recently
hoping for a middle-of-the-pack finish. To finish
in the middle of the conference would be a signifi-
“We have a nice balance, I think,” the coach
cant improvement from winning just two games a
said. “We’re going to be deep, as well. That
year ago. We would all look at that kind of finish
as a successful season.”
Boys ready to bust loose behind Moore, Casebolt By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The Montague Wildcat boys’ basketball squad has been flying high for several years. And yet, Coach David Osborne said he believes this year’s edition may be the highestflying yet. While everyone has heard about the athletic feats of senior Brandon Moore – whose antics around the rim have become nothing short of legend – Moore may only be the second-best player for Montague. Senior Chase Casebolt, who is no rookie when it comes to full stat lines or late game, high-pressure shots, is ready to step out of Moore’s shadow in a big way. “Chase has gotten better in every way,” said Osborne of his 6-foot-4 forward. “He shot over 30,000 baskets this summer. He’s increased his bench press by over 30 pounds and his vertical has increased by 5-6 inches. The kid has put in a ton of work and is ready to become the complete player we always knew he could be.” Devoting himself to getting better on the court, Chase spent the summer playing AAU. When he wasn’t doing that, he worked on perfecting his mid-range jumper – hence the aforementioned 30,000 shots. One shouldn’t forget that Casebolt was already one of the area’s most complete inside/outside players in 2011-12. Then there is Moore, whose athletic ability will now be matched with more basketball-specific skills. Moore worked hard in the offseason on his ball-handling skills, making him a force not only around the basket but also while running the break or driving. “What can you say about Brandon that hasn’t
Montague Boys’ Roster Spencer Morse Sr. 5-9 Chayce Lohman Jr. 5-10 Kris Kieft Sr. 5-9 Riley Lohman Sr. 6-0 Luke VanBoxel Jr. 6-2 Kalup Bentz Sr. 6-3 Arthur Reed Sr. 6-3 Brandon Moore Sr. 6-4 Brandon Stine Sr. 6-0 Jacob Marsh Sr. 6-1 Chase Casebolt Sr. 6-4 James Boerema Sr. 6-6
Head coach: Dave Osborne already been said?” Osborne asked. “This is his senior season, and he wants to prove that he is ready to take his game to the next level.” The pair is on track to break 1,000-career points. Casebolt is 400 points away while Moore, who is just 70 points away, will most certainly become Montague’s career scoring leader. SCOUTING REPORT The Wildcats will have a new floor leader in 2012-13. Junior Luke VanBoxel will take over at point guard while last year’s point, senior Brandon Stine, will move to the two-guard spot. VanBoxel, who stands 6-foot-2, may just become the West Michigan Conference’s Magic Johnson look-alike. Osborne said that this year’s team has been really honing up its defensive skills, which will allow them to match its offensive firepower with a shutdown defense.
“I think, defensively, these guys are really trying to better themselves,” he said. “If we are able to become a more defensive team, it will only make our offense better. “I think we have the potential to be a very high-scoring offense, too,” Osborne continued. “When you add in our new guys (VanBoxel and 6-foot-3 senior Kalup Bentz), this might be the most athletic team I’ve ever coached here at Montague.” Osborne said, however, with so many moving parts, it may take awhile for the team to really gel. “But we’re battle-tested and ready to hit the ground running,” he said. Most prognosticators are putting the early West Michigan Conference title-race favorites tag on the Wildcats and Shelby. It is worth noting that Shelby defeated Montague three times last season, the last of which came in the regional finals. Osborne played his cards close to his chest in regards to a revenge-factor issue his team may have versus Shelby. “There may be some of that, a need for revenge, with our guys,” Osborne said. “But I’ve been emphasizing that we want to get better, that we not get them now, but we want to get them when it is really important, when, and if, we see them in the post season. We want to beat them in March.” Osborne also points to Oakridge and North Muskegon as other early favorites to win the league title. He also didn’t want to count out rival Whitehall. But for now, Osborne and his high-flying crew are focusing on themselves. “This group is pretty confident of what they can do,” he said. “Now, it’s their chance to go out there and do it.”
“I think we have the potential to be a very high-scoring offense. This might be the most athletic team I’ve ever coached here at Montague. We’re battle-tested and ready to hit the ground running. This group is pretty confident of what they can do. Now, it’s their chance to go out there and do it.” Dave Osborne, coach
Brandon Moore senior
Chase Casebolt senior
Youth will be theme for Big Red girls’ team By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal
Jade Paige junior
Janiece Levelston junior
Keiarra Guy junior
Raven Moore junior
Muskegon Girls’ Roster
Muskegon will unveil another young girls’ basketball team this season. Coach Tashauna Burrel’s team includes one senior, one freshman, one sophomore, eight juniors and – 2-month-old Ava. “She will be on the sidelines in her gear,” Burrel said about her newborn daughter. “Her dad (Avery) will be on the scoreboard.” Muskegon is hoping to put more points on the scoreboard this season and rely on its good quickness to improve upon last year’s 9-11 record. Leading the way are four key juniors – Raven Moore, Jade Paige, Janiece Levelston and Keiarra Guy. Moore, the floor leader at point guard, is coming off knee surgery and said she hopes to return to the lineup before the holidays. “I think as long as we play together and focus as a team, we will go far,” said Moore, a threeyear starter and vocal leader. “With me being hurt, somebody has to step up. I’ll be motivating (my teammates) and myself. “I’m sick about (being injured),” she added. “I love the game of basketball, and I want the team to play well without me.” Moore will have help in the backcourt with Levelston and Guy, a transfer from Muskegon Heights. “We’re prepared and looking forward to a championship,” Levelston said. “If we work hard, we can get there. We have more shooters this year.” Moore, Guy and Paige will serve as team captains. Guy should help improve the perimeter shooting and provide more leadership. “I believe we will be very good,” said Guy,
Veronica Miesch Shawnteanna Dame Mardrieka Cook Jabria Wright Valencer Jones Keiarra Guy Raven Moore Jade Paige Artmetria Williams Brianna Barrow Janiece Levelston
Head coach: Tashauna Burrel who is the daughter of Muskegon athletic director and boys’ coach Keith Guy. “We are all dedicated and want a championship. This group of girls likes to work.” SCOUTING REPORT The lone senior is newcomer Veronica Miesch, who will provide another fresh face and help at the guard position. Muskegon’s inside attack will be led by 6-foot-1 athletic freshman Mardrieka Cook and the experienced 5-foot-11 Paige. “I think we have a good team this year,” Paige said. “We can go far if we play together. We all motivate ourselves, and coach picks us up.” Burrel also cited guards Valencer Jones, Shawnteanna Dame and Brianna Barrow for their commitment and hard work last summer. Burrel, who won a national championship as a player at Grand Valley State University, said the Big Reds have the key ingredients of chemistry
and unselfish play. “Attitude is one of the biggest things we have going for us,” said Burrel, who is in her third year as head coach. “This is a strong-willed bunch, and they are together and family-oriented. They are always hustling and ready to work hard, and I can’t ask for more.” Burrel said she is more optimistic this season and doesn’t have any real early concerns. She said the squad does not have overall good size and is working daily to improve its perimeter shooting. “Hopefully, we can work our (inside-outside game) together,” she said. “Our guard play has been developing the last two years. “We have weapons,“ she added. “It’s getting the girls used to doing what we do all the time. We will have defensive intensity and we just have to get after it.” Muskegon has moved from the OK Red to the OK Black Conference this school year. It will create some new basketball challenges and different opponents for the Big Reds. “Being the new kid on the block, we’ll just come in and play our style,” Burrel said. “We’ll give it all we’ve got no matter who is in front of us. There will be good competition, and we’ll be ready.” Assisting Burrel on the bench this season are her brother Takari Churchwell and Marty Waalkes. Both are Muskegon High graduates. Burrel said she is also encouraged by a talented and dedicated jayvee team. It means the future of the program has plenty of potential to reach the championship level. But it all starts this season with a junior-oriented varsity team. “If we’re healthy and playing together, I will be happy,” Burrel said. “I’m just excited. It feels like my first season.”
Big Red bball hopes to follow in football’s steps By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal Some high school basketball coaches frown when their football teams make it to the state finals. It means a late start for basketball and a frustrating period of catch-up to other schools. But Muskegon coach Keith Guy says phooey to that line of thinking. “We’ll only have one week to prepare for the first game, but we’ll have kids who will come in with a championship mentality,” Guy said. “Winning is contagious.” Muskegon lost to Birmingham Brother Rice in the Division 2 state championship football game at Ford Field – forcing the late start for basketball. A talented group of transfers from Muskegon Heights also will have an effect on the equation. “Our kids know what championship football and basketball is all about,” said Guy, the former coach and athletic director at Heights before it switched to a charter school system. “We have kids who are driven. They set goals and work to achieve them.” Guy is counting on seniors Juwon Martin, D’Vonte Dockery and Jalen Smith to lead his squad this season. Martin and Dockery are Heights transfers. Smith (quarterback) and Dockery (defensive back) also are key players on the football team. Martin, the 6-foot-5 wing player, has honed his skills in the off-season and will draw plenty of attention from opponents. “He’s gotten better on the perimeter and creating his own shots,” Guy said about Martin. “He’s starting to turn the corner as a leader. Hopefully, that will translate on the floor on a consistent basis.” Martin is ready for more responsibility while
Muskegon Boys’ Roster D’Vonte Docker Sr. Deshaun Thrower Jr. Jalen Smith Sr. William Roberson Jr. Jordan Waire, Jr. Joeviair Kennedy Soph. Jason Loera Soph. Sherman Hodges Sr. Juwon Martin Sr. Deyonta Davis Soph. Marcus Smith Sr. Ronald Jenkins Sr. Keyon-Dre Craig Sr. Head coach: Keith Guy wearing the Big Reds’ uniform for the first time. “I want to be a better player, a floor general and a coach on the floor,” Martin said. “I want a championship bad. We’re all used to playing against each other, and now, we will be playing with each other.” Smith, meanwhile, will bring his leadership skills to the court after guiding the Big Reds’ offense in football. The senior guard said he thinks the basketball team can unite just like the football team. “It’s very exciting. We have new players and a new coach,” Smith said. “We all grew up together and we just went to two different schools. Players on the basketball team are hungry and want to go in the same direction as football. I think we have a good chance to get to the Breslin.” Dockery was part of the last two Heights teams that reached the Class B Final Four in
East Lansing and expects the bar to be high for Muskegon in Class A. “We’ll try to win for a new school and help build a tradition,” Dockery said. “We want to win and get back to the Breslin. The late start will make the team hungrier to go to practice to work hard and get ready for the season.” SCOUTING REPORT Deshaun Thrower, Will Roberson and Sherman Hodges are other key players who will make the transition from football to basketball. Another Big Red to watch is 6-foot-8 sophomore center Deyonta Davis, who should blossom with playing time this season. “He is long, athletic and has a good skill set for a guy his size,” Guy said. “He needs to get stronger. He could be very special.” Guy lists depth, speed and athleticism as team strengths. He does not plan to change his uptempo style of play with the Big Reds. “I will be who I am,” Guy said. “This has been successful. We’ll have the same system. We’ll tweak it if it needs to be tweaked.” Muskegon will battle for an OK Black Conference title this season as well as district and regional crowns. “This program will be built on scholarships and championships,” Guy said. “We want to contend for the OK Black championship, and at the end of the year, we want to be playing in the championship game in March in Class A.” Guy hopes the community will support Muskegon basketball just like Muskegon football this past season. “We don’t look at this as being Muskegon kids and Muskegon Heights kids,” Guy said. “We are Muskegon Big Reds. The biggest problem is not the kids, it’s the adults. The adults need to follow the lessons from the kids. You can bring two communities together and not be against each other.”
“Our kids know what championship football and basketball is all about. We have kids who are driven. They set goals and work to achieve them.” Keith Guy, coach
D’Vonte Dockery senior
Jalen Smith senior
Juwon Martin senior
M U S K E G O N C AT H O L I C
4 returning starters, 6 transfers to lead Crusaders By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal “It’s amazing to me how much the girls want to work toward a state championship this year. With hard work, I think we have the pieces to do it. I want it for them because they want it so badly.” Erich Adams, coach
Katherine Salisz senior A four-year starting guard
Jamauree Neal junior One of six transfer players
Nobody knows the pulse of the Muskegon Catholic Central girls’ basketball team better than Katherine Salisz. She’s a four-year starting guard. And she said she has a gut feeling this could be a special year for the Crusaders. “This is the best team I’ve been on in high school,” Salisz said. “I’ll try to be a leader and lead this team to a successful year. And get a ring.” By the way, that would be a state championship ring. Yes, the bar is set high this year for the Crusaders, who are coming off a 10-10 season. Experience is a key strength with the return of four senior starters – guard Haleigh Locke, post player Kendall Wickstrom, Marissa Mastella and Salisz. The backcourt especially will be seasoned, with Locke complementing Salisz as the shooting guard. “I think this is the most talented team we’ve had,” Locke said. “We are diverse, and everybody can participate. It’s my senior year and our last year together, so hopefully, we can do something big.” Locke and her teammates put in a lot of work in the off-season. It gave Locke a good chance to assess the talent on her team. “This is a different year,” said Locke, a twoyear starter. “Our depth will definitely be a key.” MCC is expected to get a boost in the second semester when six transfers will become eligible. Junior Jemauree Neal is one of those transfers who should make an immediate impact. “It should be a good year,” said Neal, who previously attended Muskegon. “We have a lot of tal-
Muskegon Catholic Central Girls’ Roster Katherine Salisz Sr. Haleigh Locke Sr. Marissa Mastella Sr. Kendall Wickstrom Sr. Natalie Bertolone Jr. Montoya Briggs Jr. Janae Coon Jr. Jessica Ladd Jr. Jemauree Neal Jr. Kayleigh Schulte Jr. Gabrielle Thelen Jr. Kimyonna Thompson Jr. Zhane Harris So.
Head coach: Erich Adams ented people.” Third-year head coach Erich Adams will work with only seven girls for the first nine games until his transfers become eligible. He plans to use all 13 girls in the second half of the season. Adams said team chemistry is a big plus, and the Crusaders will be quick and aggressive on defense. About five players are considered good college basketball prospects, too. “We have real good leadership this year,” said Adams, who will be assisted by JeQuan Brown and Cory Melvin. “Our girls are excited. Practices have gone well.” Adams is looking forward to the return of Wickstrom, who suffered a knee injury and only played in five games as a junior. She will be counted on to shore up the post on offense and
defense for the Crusaders this season. SCOUTING REPORT Other juniors on the team are Natalie Bertolone, Montoya Briggs, Janae Coon, Jessica Ladd, Kayleigh Schulte, Gabrielle Thelen and Kimyonna Thompson. Zhane Harris is the lone sophomore on the squad. A lack of team size is one of the few early concerns for Adams, who plans to play a more uptempo, full-court game. Adams admits the bar is set high this year, especially after the boys’ team made an impressive run to the state semifinals last season. “It’s amazing to me how much the girls want to work toward a state championship this year,” Adams said. “With hard work, I think we have the pieces to do it. I want it for them because they want it so badly.” Look for MCC to be in the thick of the River Valley Conference title chase along with Western Michigan Christian and Covenant Christian. Both of those teams will have good size to counter MCC’s full-court game. MCC also will face cross-town rival Mona Shores in the second half of the season and will participate in a holiday tournament at Oakridge. The state tournament likely will find MCC facing defending champion Fruitport Calvary Christian in the district. “We play bigger schools outside of the conference, and that gets us ready for the state tournament,” Adams said. Overall, Adams said he is anxious for the season to take off. Of course, he said he hopes the Crusaders are playing their best basketball when it counts in March. “We have the pieces,” Adams said. “Time will tell whether we put it all together. I will reserve judgment until we reach the three-quarter mark in the season.”
Boys shooting for a return to the Breslin Center By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal Playing at Michigan State’s Breslin Center last March left an impression on Muskegon Catholic Central guards John Daniel and Adam Callow. The duo helped the Crusaders advance to the Class D semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Southfield Christian 78-74. For an encore, Daniel and Callow are driven this season to take it one step further and capture the state crown. “We had a really good season last year,” said Daniel, who is the senior shooting guard. “Hopefully, we’ll put together the same success, especially in the playoffs. We made it to the Breslin, and I really want to get back this year. It was a lot of fun.” Callow, a junior who runs the show at point guard, has similar goals. “I’m definitely excited and hope to get back to the Breslin,” Callow said. “We want to get back there, so people don’t think it was just a one-year run. We want to make it often.” Three starters are back to fuel MCC’s attack – senior Cari Campbell, Daniel and Callow. Campbell, a standout two-way end in football, will provide a strong inside presence after averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds as a junior. The Crusaders also hope 6-foot-6 junior Todd Hall will fill the rebounding and defensive role left by Jason Ribecky, who is now playing baseball at Muskegon Community College. First-year head coach Lamar Jordan said the improved play of his backcourt could be the key, especially with the loss of Ribecky’s 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. “Both John and Adam coming off the Breslin experience picked up a lot of experience,” Jordan said. “John will have a bigger role this coming
Muskegon Catholic Central Boys’ Roster Adam Lewis Jr. 5-9 Adam Callow Jr. 6-2 Brant McCullom Sr. 6-3 Cari Campbell Sr. 6-2 Chase Klairter Jr. 5-10 Eric VanFossen So. 6-3 Ian Tyler Jr. 6-3 Jack Farrell Jr. 6-1 Jessie Anderson Sr. 5-8 John Daniel Sr. 6-0 Lamar Jordan III So. 5-11 Todd Hall Jr. 6-6
Head coach: Lamar Jordan season. John and Adam will have to score more from the backcourt. Adam will have a significant spot at the point.” The backcourt also gets a boost from senior Jessie Anderson, whose defensive intensity off the bench last year will be counted on again. Anderson was a key running back for the football team with his strength and speed. Daniel realizes he’s being asked to turn his game up a notch. “I’ll definitely take on more of an important role,” Daniel said. “I was the lowest scorer in the lineup last season. I’m motivated to score more and use my offensive skills.” Ribecky was a force down low, so the Crusaders may have to spread out the attack. “Without Jason down there, a lot more guys will have to do their roles,” Callow said. “I have
to make sure all the pieces are in place, and that’s my job as point guard.” SCOUTING REPORT Jordan is no stranger to MCC basketball. He’s a previous jayvee coach and started coaching at the lower levels in 2005. “The transition will be fairly easy, and that will help,” said Jordan, who will be assisted by Lenord Vines and Matt Callow. “I’m really excited about this season after the run last year. We still have the pieces to get back there.” Jordan cites team strengths as Campbell’s lowpost presence, a seasoned backcourt, depth and experience. Jordan also will have players contributing off last season’s 11-9 jayvee squad and said he expects the River Valley Conference race to come down to Tri-unity Christian, Western Michigan Christian, Covenant Christian and MCC. The nonleague schedule includes dates against bigger schools Mona Shores, Muskegon Heights, Grandville and Grand Rapids West Catholic. “We play a tough regular-season schedule, and that ultimately helps us,” Daniel said. “Even though our record doesn’t show it, we’re better than people think.” MCC again will have a later start due to the football team’s state playoff run. But that doesn’t seem to bother the Crusaders. “A lot of teams will have a head start on us, but we’re used to that,” Daniel said. “This happens a lot with the success of our football teams.” Overall, expect MCC to start playing its best basketball after the holidays and the transition from a late football season is complete. “This group is really hungry with the seniors we have,” Jordan said. “Those juniors got a taste of the run to the Breslin and weren’t satisfied with what we did. They want to hoist that trophy at the end this year.”
“This group is really hungry with the seniors we have. Those juniors got a taste of the run to the Breslin and weren’t satisfied with what we did. They want to hoist that trophy at the end this year.” Lamar Jordan, coach
Cari Campbell senior Averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds last year
Adam Callow junior Helped lead the Crusaders to the semifinals last year
M. HEIGHTS ACADEMY Junior quickness key to girls’ MHA success By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal
“We’re not looking at wins and losses this year. I could see us shooting for the .500 mark with this young team.” Tanjalyn Jackson, coach
Rodrica Jefferson junior
Joslyn Fox junior
Mikeyia Townsend junior
Juniors will lead the way for Muskegon Heights Public School Academy this girls’ basketball season. The Tigers’ 10-girl roster includes five juniors – make that five swift juniors. “The junior class is fast,” said first-year head varsity coach Tanjalyn Jackson. “We have speed and will try to score off transition points and fast breaks. Our defense is our new offense.” Jackson will look to the juniors in this first girls’ season as a Heights charter school. Four experienced varsity players transferred to other schools, leaving Jackson with an inexperienced squad. Jackson especially will look to her three junior captains – Mikeyia Townsend, Rodrica Jefferson and Joslyn Fox, the coach’s daughter. Jefferson said the Tigers are motivated to prove themselves in this first year of transition from the public school system. “Some people are doubting how hard we will work,” said Jefferson, a shooting guard. “They think we will not be as tough. My coaches come here every day and push us hard. I’m looking forward to a great season.” Townsend, who plays guard and forward, said the team’s work ethic has been a positive in the preseason. “I have something to prove because we want to win more games than last year,” Townsend said after a recent practice. “My team hustles a lot, and they try hard.”
Muskegon Heights Academy Girls’ Roster Rodrica Jefferson 5-3 Jr. Mikeyia Townsend 5-5 Jr. Leslie Roberson 5-6 Jr. Akeecia Day 5-8 Soph. T’Nari Spralls 5-7 Sr. Amari Chalk 6-1 Fr. Ashley Jones 5-6 Sr. Nicaria Crawford 5-11 Jr. Joslyn Fox 5-1 Jr. Amiya Brown 5-7 Fr.
Head coach: Tanjalyn Jackson Fox will run the show from her point guard position. “It’s a rebuilding season,” said Fox, who previously attended Mona Shores. “It’s different, but it should be a good year for us. I’m motivated to lead my team to victory.” Jackson likes having Fox at the point. She said she believes the mother-coach-daughter relationship will be a positive on the floor. “It’s always a good thing,” said Jackson, who is a 1993 Muskegon Heights graduate. “She will give a lot to this team with her speed. She has court awareness and will finish for you.” Another plus for Jackson is the help from her husband Tony Jackson, who is an assistant coach. SCOUTING REPORT MHA opened its season on Nov. 30 with a cross-state trip to Ecorse. The 20-game schedule
also includes games with area schools and traditional rival Benton Harbor. Tanjalyn Jackson has been coaching basketball for 16 years, including lower-level positions at Western Michigan Christian and Muskegon. She played under Dorothy Gill-Jackson at Heights and considers her a valuable mentor. Jackson is hoping for steady improvement and isn’t setting any outrageous goals. “We’re not looking at wins and losses this year,” Jackson said. “This is a new school and a new year. I could realistically see us shooting for the .500 mark with this young team. “They work hard and are dedicated,” Jackson added. “They give 110 percent.” While MHA should be strong on the perimeter, the Tigers are expected to get a lift inside from 6-foot-1 freshman Amari Chalk. The roster also includes sophomore Akeecia Day, freshman Amiya Brown, juniors Nicaria Crawford and Leslie Roberson and seniors T’Nari Spralls and Ashley Jones. Depth, Jackson said, could be a concern with only 10 players on the squad. MHA also will field a junior varsity team this season comprised of freshmen and sophomores. Overall, Jackson said the Tigers, who play an independent schedule, will gear up for the postseason since there is no conference title at stake. “We’d like to get a title for the academy,” Jackson said. “If we could win the district, it would be the first one for the academy. “I would love for the alumni, boys and girls, to support us and get more involved. We need more support from the community.”
New coach set to lead Tigers as charter school By Mike Mattson Local Sports Journal Aaron Sydnor and Eddrick Tornes are on a mission this boys’ basketball season. The duo has extra incentive to excel in their roles for the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy. “I’m highly motivated and just want to prove people wrong,” Sydnor said. “People think we lost players and a coach and the school has changed. They are worried we are going from the Breslin to a losing program.” “A lot of people will doubt us, but they will find out when the season starts how good we are,” Tornes added. Heights has transitioned from a public school system into a charter school system due to financial difficulties. Former coach Keith Guy was hired by Muskegon and many talented players transferred there when the fate of the Heights’ schools was unknown. Heights, which has captured six state championships, made runs to the Class B Final Four the last two seasons. Hence, many in the community are wondering if the basketball tradition will continue with a new identity. New coach Dalrecus Stewart said the quest for excellence will continue on his watch. “I want to aim high in everything we do,” said Stewart, who is a 1989 Heights graduate and former head coach at Reeths-Puffer. “If what you grew up learning is the desire to win a state championship, why should that change? “We still have kids who love basketball, and we have kids who are talented. We’ve had success before. I don’t see why it shouldn’t continue.” SCOUTING REPORT Stewart’s young team will feature a solid starting five consisting of point guard Jeff Jordon,
Muskegon Heights Academy Boys’ Roster Jeff Jordon Jr.5-8 DeMonte Crosby Jr. 6-0 Carlos Hudson So. 6-0 Eddrick Tornes Jr. 6-1 Aaron Sydnor Jr. 6-3 D’Montae Jones So. 5-11 James Doxey So. 6-3 DeQuarire Love So. 5-10 Dominic Green Jr. 5-10 John Manurs So. 6-3 Javen Harvey So. 5-8 Michael McGee Sr. 6-2 Kwamayne Anthony Jr. 5-8 James McBride Jr. 6-2
Head coach: Dalrecus Stewart sophomore guard Carlos Hudson, inside-outside player DeMonte Crosby, Tornes at guard and the versatile Sydnor, who can play all five positions on the floor. The roster is comprised of six sophomores, six juniors and one senior. Of course, Stewart is most concerned about inexperience. Juniors Jordon and Sydnor are the lone ones with varsity experience. Size is another concern with sophomore James Doxey and Sydnor being the tallest players at 6-foot-3. Jordon averaged 20 points on the jayvee last season and can hurt opponents with his jump shot and quickness to the basket off the dribble. “I’m ready,” the 5-foot-8 Jordon said. “I think we have a good chance to win a championship.
We’ll work harder. Everyone on the team can shoot well.” Sydnor and Jordon were elevated to varsity last season and Stewart will count on their experience. “I like everything about this team,” Sydnor said. “We’re quick and shoot well. We have the potential to be a great defensive team. Every game we have something to prove.” Tornes is a solid perimeter shooter and strong ball handler who can create shots in the lane, too. Hudson is the Tigers’ fastest player and will be a key player in the transition game. “I feel we’ll keep working hard and give our best effort in practice,” Hudson said. “We know we can make it to the Breslin like last year and win it.” Crosby can position inside and outside and plays bigger than his 6-foot-2 frame, Stewart said. Work ethic and speed are the biggest team strengths, Stewart added. “We’ll be very fast,” Stewart said. “The guys can beat people off the bounce and can finish with contact. When everybody becomes confident with up-tempo and the system, it will be fun.” MHA will compete in Class C and play a 20-game independent schedule. Among the Tigers’ opponents are Rockford, Benton Harbor, Shelby, Albion, Whitehall and Melvindale ABT. Stewart said he knows there are doubters who don’t think the Tigers can excel on the court in the new charter-school environment. “The transition is worthwhile, but it’s come with its share of challenges,” Stewart said. “Being an alumnus, I want the best for the students who are still here. The history and tradition is a motivational factor to move this forward.” “We can operate with an ‘us’ against the world mentality,” coach Stewart said. “We will work real hard to get it back to where people expect it to be. But it may not come overnight.”
“I want to aim high in everything we do. If what you grew up learning is the desire to win a state championship, why should that change?” Dalrecus Stewart, coach
Aaron Sydnor junior
Eddrick Tornes junior
Jeff Jordon junior
14 December 3 Pentwater at Fruitport Cal. Christian - 7:30 p.m. December 4 Shelby at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Holland Christian at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Grant at Morley Stanwood - 7 p.m. Hart at White Cloud - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Mona Shores at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Montague at Manistee - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Holland West Ottawa - 7 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Greenville at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Spring Lake at Allendale - 5:30 p.m. Calvin Christian at Western Mich. Chr. - 7 p.m. Way Point Aca. at Muskegon Heights Aca. Fremont Providence Christian at Holton - 7 p.m. December 6 Whitehall at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Shelby at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. North Muskegon at Montague - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Holton - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Ravenna - 7 p.m. December 7 Fruitport at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Mona Shores at Grand Haven - 6 p.m. Ludington at Grant - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Cedar Springs - 7:30 p.m. Musk. Cath. at Fremont Providence - 7:30 p.m. HC Tri-County at Orchard View - 7:30 p.m. Coopersville at Spring Lake - 7:30 p.m. Western Mich. Christian at Kelloggsville - 7 p.m. Rockford at Muskegon Heights Academy Fruitport Cal. Christian at Kalamazoo Heritage December 8 Muskegon at Benton Harbor December 10 Kent City at Grant - 7 p.m. Remus Chippewa Hills at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Fruitport Calvary - 7 p.m. Holton at Lakeview - 5:30 p.m. December 11 Fruitport at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Grand Haven at Holland - 7 p.m. Belding at Grant - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Traverse City Central at Ludington - 7 p.m. Ravenna at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Montague at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Grand Rapids Creston - 7 p.m. Lakeside Academy at Muskegon Heights Aca. December 12 Mona Shores at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. December 13 Reed City at Holton - 7 p.m. Lakeview at Newaygo - 7 p.m. December 14 Fremont at Orchard View - 7:30 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Spring Lake - 7:30 p.m. Hart at Montague - 7 p.m. Sparta at Kent City - 6 p.m. Manistee at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Mason County Central at Whitehall - 5:30 p.m. Muskegon at Rockford Muskegon Catholic at Tri-Unity Christian - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Oakridge Ravenna at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Western Mich. Christian at GR Covenant - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence Christian at Walkerville December 15 Muskegon Heights Aca. at B. Harbor Dream Aca. December 17 Grant at Sparta - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Montague - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Holland Calvary - 7:30 p.m. Holton at Hesperia - 7 p.m. Reed-City at Newaygo - 7 p.m. December 18 Fremont at Mona Shores - 7 p.m. Fruitport at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Grand Haven at GR Catholic Central - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Grant - 7 p.m. Walkerville at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Coopersville at Kent City - 7 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Ludington - 7 p.m. Western Michigan Christian at North Muskegon Ravenna at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Shelby at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Muskegon Heights Academy December 20 Grant at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Benzie Central - 7:30 p.m. Mason Co. Central at No. Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Montague at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Shelby at Whitehall - 7 p.m. December 21 Grand Haven at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Godwin at Kent City - 6 p.m. GR Prep. at Muskegon Catholic Central - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Orchard View - 7:30 p.m. December 22 Muskegon at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills December 27 Orchard View Holiday Tournament Oakridge, Muskegon Catholic Central Muskegon Heights Academy at Benton Harbor Christmas Tournament December 28 Comstock Park at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m.
BOYS’ SCHEDULE Hall of Fame Classic at Reeths-Puffer Muskegon Heights Academy at Benton Harbor Christmas Tournament December 29 Orchard View Holiday Tournament Muskegon Catholic Central, Oakridge, Sparta January 2 Reeths-Puffer at Western Mich. Christian - 7 p.m. January 4 Fremont at Howard City Tri-County - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m. Grand Haven at Traverse City Central - 7 p.m. White Cloud at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. North Muskegon at Muskegon Heights Academy Orchard View at Spring Lake - 7:30 p.m. January 5 Muskegon Basketball Showcase at Muskegon Manistee at Shelby - 3:30 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Algoma Christian - 4 p.m. January 7 Hesperia at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Stanton Central Montcalm at Holton - 7 p.m. January 8 Cadillac at Fremont - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Forest Hills Northern at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Grant at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. Hart at Mason County Central - 7:30 p.m. GR NorthPointe Christian at Kent City - 7:15 p.m. Ludington at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Hart at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Jenison at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Montague at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Shelby at North Muskegon. Whitehall at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Grandville at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. GR Prep at Western Mich. Christian - 6:45 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Black River 7:30 p.m. January 10 Stanton Central Montcalm at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Holton at White Cloud - 7 p.m. January 11 Fremont at Ludington - 7 p.m. Grant at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m. Grand Haven at Muskegon - 6 p.m. Hart at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Kent City at Wyoming Lee - 6 p.m. Montague at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Orchard View at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Cov. Christian - 7 p.m. Whitehall at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Zeeland West at Reeths-Puffer - 6 p.m. Tri-County at Spring Lake - 7:30 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Freedom Chr. - 6:45 p.m. Algoma Christian at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. January 12 Western Mich. Christian at Spr. Lake - 6:45 p.m. January 14 Fremont at Montague - 7 p.m. White Cloud at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Mason CE - 7:30 p.m. Big Rapids at Holton - 7 p.m. January 15 East Kentwood at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Pentwater at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Grandville Cal. Christian - 7:15 p.m. Shelby at Ludington - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Kenowa Hills - 6 p.m. Grand Rapids Union at Muskegon - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Zeeland East - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Covert Potters House at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. January 17 Hart at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Mason County Central at Oakridge - 6 p.m. Whitehall at Montague - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Big Rapids - 7 p.m. Ravenna at North Muskegon Holton at Morely Stanwood - 7 p.m. January 18 Fremont at Grant - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Spring Lake - 7:30 p.m. Rockford at Grand Haven - 6 p.m. Hopkins at Kent City - 6 p.m. Ludington at Orchard View - 7:30 p.m. Zeeland East at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Muskegon at Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills - 6 p.m. West Mich. Christian at Muskegon Cath. - 7 p.m. Grand Rapids Union at Reeths-Puffer - 6 p.m. Lakeside Prep Academy at Muskegon Heights BR Crossroads at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Zion Christian - 7:30 p.m. January 21 Morley Stanwood at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Remus Chippewa Hills at Holton - 7 p.m. January 22 Spring Lake at Fremont - 7 p.m. Grant at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Hart at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Kent City at Kelloggsville - 7:15 p.m. Ludington at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Shelby - 6 p.m. Montague at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Grand Rapids Christian at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Holland Christian - 7 p.m. WM Lutheran at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. January 23 Muskegon CC at Musk. Heights Aca. - 7:30 p.m. January 24 Holton at Newaygo - 7 p.m.
January 25 Fremont at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m. Grand Haven at Grandville - 6 p.m. Grant at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Hart at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Kent City at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Ravenna - 6 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Shelby at Montague - 7 p.m. Zeeland East at Muskegon - 6 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Freedom Christian - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Orchard View at Tri-County - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights at Way Point Academy K-zoo Heritage at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. January 26 Bear Lake at Western Mich. Christian - 5:30 p.m. January 28 Montabella at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Remus Chippewa Hills - 7 p.m. Lakeview at Holton - 7 p.m. January 29 Fremont at Sparta - 7 p.m. Fruitport at Coopersville - 7:30 p.m. Grand Haven at West Ottawa - 7 p.m. Ravenna at Grant - 7 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Kent City - 7 p.m. Ludington at Cadillac - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Whitehall at Muskegon Catholic Central - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Saugatuck Kenowa Hills at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Black River at Fremont Providence - 7:30 p.m. Freedom Christian at Fruitport Calvary – 7 p.m. January 31 Montague at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Whitehall at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Montague at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Oakridge at North Muskegon Shelby at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Lakeview - 7 p.m. Holton at Reed City - 7 p.m. February 1 Orchard View at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Howard City Tri-County - 7:30 p.m. Hudsonville at Grand Haven - 6 p.m. Spring Lake at Grant - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Godwin - 6 p.m. Ludington at Manistee - 7:30 p.m. Mona Shores at Grand Rapids Union - 6 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Muskegon - 6 p.m. Wyoming Tri-Unity at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Cov. Christian at Western Mich. Chr. - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights at Albion Zion Christian at Fremont Providence - 7:30 p.m. February 4 Mason County Central at Pine River - 6 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at GR West Catholic - 7 p.m. Grattan Academy at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Reed City at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Hesperia at Holton - 7 p.m. February 5 Grand Haven at East Kentwood - 7 p.m. Hart at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at NorthPointe Christian - 7:15 p.m. North Muskegon at Mason Co. Central - 6 p.m. Kenowa Hills at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Ravenna at Montague - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Grand Rapids Union - 7:30 p.m. Zeeland East at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. BH Dream Academy at Musk. Heights Academy Holland Calvary at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. February 6 Newaygo at Hesperia - 7 p.m. February 7 Holton at Stanton Central Montcalm - 7 p.m. February 8 Fremont at Howard City Tri-County - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Muskegon Catholic Central - 7 p.m. Mason Co Central at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Wyoming Lee at Kent City - 6 p.m. Mason County Central at Hart - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Zeeland East - 6 p.m. Oakridge at Montague - 7 p.m. Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills at Muskegon - 6 p.m. North Muskegon at Shelby Spring Lake at Orchard View - 7:30 p.m. Ravenna at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Grand Rapids Union 6 p.m. Western Michigan Christian at Tri-Unity - 7 p.m. Covert at Muskegon Heights Fremont Providence at Pentwater - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at WM Lutheran - 7:30 p.m. February 11 Manistee at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Stanton Central Montcalm at Newaygo - 7 p.m. White Cloud at Holton - 7 p.m. February 12 Fruitport at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Grant - 7 p.m. Calvin Christian at Kent City - 7:15 p.m. Spring Lake at Ludington - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Holland – 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at GR Ottawa Hills Hesperia at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Zion Christian at Fruitport Calvary - 7 p.m. February 14 Ravenna at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Mason County Central at Montague - 5:30 p.m. North Muskegon at Whitehall
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Shelby at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Fremont Providence at Holland Calvary - 7 p.m. Newaygo at White Cloud - 7 p.m. Holton at Big Rapids - 7 p.m. February 15 Ludington at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Grant - 7:30 p.m. Grandville at Grand Haven - 6 p.m. Kent City at Hopkins - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Reeths-Puffer - 6 p.m. Muskegon at Zeeland East - 6 p.m. Cov. Christian at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Spring Lake at Tri-County - 7:30 p.m. Freedom Christian at Western Mich. Chr. - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Potters House - 7 p.m. Black River at Fruitport Calvary - 7:30 p.m. February 18 Hopkins at Kent City - 6 p.m. Muskegon Heights at North Muskegon Big Rapids at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Morely Stanwood at Holton - 7 p.m. February 19 Whitehall at Fremont - 7 p.m. Montague at Fruitport - 7 p.m. West Ottawa at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Hart at Waypoint Academy - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Kelloggsville - 7:15 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon - 6 p.m. Montague at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon - 6 p.m. Muskegon Hieghts Academy at North Muskegon Spring Lake at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Ravenna at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Kenowa Hills - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. February 20 Mason CE at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. February 21 Newaygo at Morley Stanwood - 7 p.m. Holton at Remus Chippewa Hills - 7 p.m. February 22 Grant at Fremont 7:30pm Spring Lake at Fruitport, Friday 7:30 p.m. Grand Haven at Hudsonville - 6 p.m. Shelby at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Orchard View at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Montague at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Reeths-Puffer - 6 p.m. Muskegon Cath. at Western Mich. Chr. - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Ravenna 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Melvindale ABT Way Point at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Potters House - 7:30 p.m. February 26 Reed City at Fremont - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Fruitport, Tuesday - 7 p.m. Manistee at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Coopersville - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Benzie Central - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Holland - 7 p.m. Muskegon Catholic Central at Montague - 7 p.m. GR Catholic Central at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic Central at Montague - 7 p.m. Covenant Christian at North Muskegon Ravenna at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Aca. at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Spring Lake at Zeeland West - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Algoma Christian - 7 p.m. February 28 Fremont at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Fruitport - 7:30 p.m. Unity Christian at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Grant - 7 p.m. Hart at Mason County Eastern - 7:30 p.m. Mason County Central at Manistee - 6 p.m. Freedom Christian at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Ravenna at Belding - 7 p.m. Tri-Unity at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary Christian at Muskegon Heights Fremont Providence at WM Lutheran - 7:30 p.m. Howard City Tri-Count at Newaygo - 7 p.m. March 1 Montague at Kent City - 7 p.m. Walkerville at Holton - 7 p.m.
Dates and times were taken from ScheduleStar.com.
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November 26 Mason County Central at Manistee - 6 p.m. November 27 Fremont at Coopersville - 7 p.m. Fruitport at Ravenna - 7 p.m. White Cloud at Grant - 7 p.m. Ludington at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Mona Shores - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Montague - 7 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Greenville - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Potters House - 7 p.m. Pentwater at Fruitport Calvary Christian - 6 p.m. November 28 Tri-County at Newaygo - 7 p.m. November 29 Muskegon at Kent City - 7 p.m. Wellsprings Prep at Ravenna - 7 p.m. November 30 Spring Lake at Fremont - 7 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Grand Haven at Traverse City Central - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Ludington at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. Mason Co. Central at Manistee Catholic - 6 p.m. North Muskegon at Fruitport Calvary - 5:30 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Ecorse Mason Co. East. at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. December 1 Grand Haven at Traverse City West - 1 p.m. December 3 Morley Stanwood at Grant - 7 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at No. Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Muskegon Heights Aca. at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. December 4 Shelby at Fremont - 6 p.m. Oakridge at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Grand Haven at Holland Christian - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Grant - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary Christian at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Montague - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Ludington - 6 p.m. Holland West Ottawa at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Ravenna at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Spring Lake at Allendale - 7 p.m. Pentwater at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. December 5 Western Mich. Christian at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. December 6 Grand Rapids Creston at Muskegon - 7 p.m. Freedom Christian at Muskegon Catholic - 7 p.m. Way Point Aca. at Muskegon Heights Academy December 7 Fruitport at Fremont - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Grand Haven - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Grant - 6 p.m. Whitehall at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Cedar Springs - 6 p.m. Shelby at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Mona shores at Grand Haven - 7:30 p.m. North Muskegon at Montague - 7 p.m. Musk. Catholic at Fremont Providence - 6 p.m. Holton at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Tri-County at Orchard View - 6:30 p.m. Coopersville at Spring Lake - 6 p.m. Kelloggsville at Western Mich. Christian - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at K-zoo Heritage Aca. - 6 p.m. December 10 Grant at Kent City - 7 p.m. December 11 Montague at Fremont - 7 p.m. Fruitport at Western Mich. Christian - 5:30 p.m. Grand Haven at Wayland Union - 7 p.m. Benton Harbor at Muskegon - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Remus Chippewa Hills - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Fremont Providence at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Shelby at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Lakeview at Holton - 7 p.m. December 13 North Muskegon at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Ravenna at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Montague at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Tri-Unity - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Whitehall - 7 p.m. GR Creston at Muskegon Heights Academy December 14 Fremont at Orchard View - 5 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Fruitport - 6 p.m. Chandler Park Academy at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Spring Lake at Grant - 6 p.m. Sparta at Kent City - 7:30 p.m. Manistee at Ludington - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Holland - 7 p.m.
GIRLS’ SCHEDULE Muskegon at Rockford - 6 p.m. Newaygo at Lakeview - 7 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Cov. Christian - 5:30 p.m. Fremont Providence at Walkerville - 7:30 p.m. Holton at Reed City - 7 p.m. December 17 Mona Shores at Holland West Ottawa - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Holland Calvary - 6 p.m. December 18 Fruitport at Godwin Heights - 7 p.m. GR West Catholic at Grand Haven - 7:30 p.m. Hart at Montague - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Coopersville - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Whitehall - 5:30 p.m. Holland at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Reed City at Newaygo - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Oakridge - 6 p.m. Ravenna at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Grand Rapids Creston at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Tri-Unity at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. Fremont Prov. at McBain NM Christian - 7 p.m. Hesperia at Holton - 7 p.m. December 19 Muskegon Heights at Lansing Christian December 20 Newaygo at Grant - 7 p.m. Ludington at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. White Cloud at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. December 21 Hart at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Godwin at Kent City - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. Mason Co. Central at No. Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Montague at Ravenna - 7 p.m. GR Preparatory at Muskegon Catholic - 5:30 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Orchard View - 6 p.m. Shelby at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Holton at Fremont Providence Christian December 27 Grand Haven at Waverly Oakridge Christmas Tournament Muskegon Catholic Central, Muskegon Heights, December 28 Comstock Park at Fruitport - 6 p.m. December 29 Oakridge Christmas Tournament Muskegon Catholic Central, Muskegon Heights January 2 Walkerville at Holton January 3 Freedom Christian at Fruitport Cal. - 6:30 p.m. January 4 Fremont at Howard City Tri-County - 6 p.m. Ludington at Fruitport - 6 p.m. Grant at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Western Mich. Christian at Mona Shores - 6 p.m. Saugatuck at North Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Orchard View at Spring Lake - 6 p.m. January 5 Manistee at Shelby - 2 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Benton Harbor Fruitport Calvary at Algoma Christian - 2:30 p.m. January 7 Whitehall at Fremont - 7 p.m. January 8 Fruitport at Orchard View - 7 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Grant - 7 p.m. Kent City at GR NorthPointe Christian - 7:15 p.m. Spring Lake at Ludington - 7 p.m. Jenison at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. Newaygo at Hesperia - 7 p.m. GR Prep at Western Michigan Christian - 5 p.m. GR Ottawa Hills at Muskegon Heights Academy Fruitport Calvary at Holland Black River - 6 p.m. Holton at Stanton Central Montcalm - 7 p.m. January 10 Hart at Mason County Central - 7:30 p.m. Montague at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Cov. Christian - 5:30 p.m. Shelby at North Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Whitehall at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Hesperia at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. January 11 Fremont at Ludington - 6 p.m. Grant at Fruitport - 6 p.m. Grand Haven at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Wyoming Lee - 7:30 p.m. Stanton Central Montcalm at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Zeeland West at Reeths-Puffer - 6 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Spring Lake - 6 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Freedom Christian - 5 p.m. Albion at Muskegon Heights Academy Algoma Christian at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. Holton at White Cloud - 7 p.m. January 12 Western Mich. Christian at Spring Lake - 5 p.m. January 15 Fremont at Muskegon Catholic Central Grand Haven at East Kentwood - 7 p.m. Hart at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Grandville Cal. Christian at Kent City - 7:15 p.m. Mason County Central at Montague - 5:30 p.m. Mona Shores at Kenowa Hills - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon at Grand Rapids Union - 7 p.m. Whitehall at North Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Shelby at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Zeeland East at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Algoma Christian - 7 p.m. Potters House at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. Holton at Big Rapids - 7 p.m. January 16 Muskegon Heights Academy at Fremont January 17 Muskegon Heights Aca. at Way Point Academy
BR Crossroads at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. January 18 Fremont at Grant - 6 p.m. Fruitport at Spring Lake - 6 p.m. Grand Haven at Rockford - 7:30 p.m. Hart at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Hopkins at Kent City - 7:15 p.m. Ludington at Orchard View - 6 p.m. Mason County Central at Oakridge - 6 p.m. Zeeland East at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. Whitehall at Montague - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Kenowa Hills - 7:30 p.m. Western Mich. Chr. at Musk. Cath. - 5:30 p.m. Big Rapids at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Ravenna at North Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Grand Rapids Union at Reeths-Puffer - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Zion Christian - 6 p.m. Morley Stanwood at Holton - 7 p.m. January 21 Fremont at Mason County Central - 7:30 p.m. January 22 Fremont at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Fruitport at Holland - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Grant - 7 p.m. GRCatholic Central at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Muskegon Catholic Central at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kelloggsville at Kent City - 7 p.m. Howard City Tri-County at Ludington - 7 p.m. Rockford at Mona Shores - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Grand Rapids Christian - 7:30 p.m. Newaygo at Morley Stanwood - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Muskegon Heights Academy WM Lutheran at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. Holton at Remus Chippewa Hills - 7 p.m. January 24 Hart at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Shelby - 6 p.m. Montague at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Oakridge at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Manistee January 25 Fremont at Fruitport - 6 p.m. Grand Haven at Grandville - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Ludington - 6 p.m. Western Michigan Christian at Kent City - 7 p.m. Montague at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Zeeland East at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Newaygo at Holton - 7 p.m. Orchard View at Howard City Tri-County - 6 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. K-zoo Heritage Aca. at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. January 28 Mason County Central at Pine River - 6 p.m. January 29 Fremont at Manistee - 7:30 p.m. Coopersville at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Holland West Ottawa at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Hart at North Muskegon - 7 p.m. Kent City at Tri-County - 7 p.m. Cadillac at Ludington - 7 p.m. Mason County Central at Ravenna - 5:30 p.m. Muskegon at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. Shelby at Montague - 7 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Musk. Heights - 7:30 p.m. Remus Chippewa Hills at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Whitehall at Oakridge - 7:30 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Kenowa Hills - 7 p.m. Spring Lake at Grand Rapids Creston - 7 p.m. GR West Catholic at Western Mich. Chr. - 7 p.m. Holton at Lakeview - 7 p.m. January 31 Fruitport Calvary at Musk. Catholic - 5:30 p.m. Muskegon Heights Aca. at Fremont Providence February 1 Orchard View at Fremont - 6 p.m. Fruitport at Howard City Tri-County - 6 p.m. Hudsonville at Grand Haven - 7:30 p.m. Spring Lake at Grant - 6 p.m. Hart at Montague - 7 p.m. Kent City at Godwin - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Manistee - 6 p.m. Whitehall at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Grand Rapids Union - 7:30 p.m. Tri-Unity at Muskegon Catholic - 5:30 p.m. Lakeview at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Oakridge at North Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Shelby at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Reeths Puffer at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. GR Cov. Chr. at Western Mich. Chr. - 5:30 p.m. Zion Christian at Fremont Providence - 6 p.m. Reed City at Holton - 7 p.m. February 2 Reeths-Puffer at Muskegon, Friday 7:30 p.m. February 5 Coopersville at Fremont - 7 p.m. East Kentwood at Grand Haven - 7 p.m. Grant at Ravenna - 7 p.m. Hart at Western Michigan Christian - 7 p.m. GR NorthPointe Christian at Kent City - 7:15 p.m. Kenowa Hills at Mona Shores - 7:30 p.m. GR Union at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Reed City - 7 p.m. Shelby at Orchard View - 6 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Zeeland East - 7 p.m. BH Dream Academy at Muskegon Heights Fremont Providence at Wyoming Lee - 7 p.m. Holland Calvary at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. Holton at Hesperia - 7 p.m. February 7 Oakridge at Hart - 7:30 p.m. North Muskegon at Mason Co. Central - 6 p.m. Ravenna at Montague - 7 p.m. Shelby at Whitehall - 7:30 p.m.
Western Michigan Christian at Tri-Unity - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at Grattan Academy - 6 p.m. February 8 Fruitport at Ludington - 6 p.m. Grand Haven at Rockford - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Muskegon Catholic Central - 7 p.m. Wyoming Lee at Kent City - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Ludington - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Zeeland East - 7:30 p.m. GR Kenowa Hills at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Hesperia at Newaygo - 7 p.m. Fremont Providence at No. Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Spring Lake at Orchard View - 6 p.m. Reeths-Puffer at Grand Rapids Union - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at WM Lutheran - 6 p.m. Stanton Central Montcalm at Holton - 7 p.m. February 9 Western Mich. Chr. at Orchard View - 3:30 p.m. February 11 Muskegon Catholic Central at Montague - 7 p.m. Tri-Unity Christian at Fremont Prov. - 7 p.m. February 12 Orchard View at Fruitport - 7 p.m. Grant at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. Mason Co Central High at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Calvin Christian - 7 p.m. Ludington at Spring Lake - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon Catholic - 5:30 p.m. Oakridge at Montague - 7 p.m. Newaygo at Stanton Central Montcalm - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Shelby - 6 p.m. Ravenna at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Holland at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Zion Christian at Fruitport Calvary - 5:30 p.m. White Cloud at Holton - 7 p.m. February 14 Muskegon Heights Aca. at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. February 15 Ludington at Fremont - 6 p.m. Fruitport at Grant - 6 p.m. Grandville at Grand Haven - 7:30 p.m. Fruitport at Grant - 6 p.m. Ravenna at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Hopkins - 7:30 p.m. Ludington at Fremont - 6 p.m. Montague at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Reeths-Puffer - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon at Zeeland East - 7:30 p.m. GR Cov. Chr. at Muskegon Catholic - 5:30 p.m. White Cloud at Newaygo - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Whitehall - 5:30 p.m. Oakridge at Shelby - 7:30 p.m. Spring Lake at Howard City Tri-County - 6 p.m. Freedom Chr. at Western Mich. Chr. - 5:30 p.m. Holland Black River at Fruitport Calvary - 6 p.m. Big Rapids at Holton - 7 p.m. February 19 Grand Haven at West Ottawa - 7 p.m. Shelby at Hart - 7:30 p.m. Kent City at Kelloggsville - 7 p.m. Benzie Central at Ludington - 7:30 p.m. Oakridge at Mason County Central - 6 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Montague at Whitehall - 7 p.m. Mona Shores at Muskegon - 7:30 p.m. Muskegon Catholic at Freedom Christian - 7 p.m. North Muskegon at Ravenna - 5:30 p.m. Kenowa Hills at Reeths-Puffer - 7 p.m. Muskegon Heights Academy at Fruitport Calvary Holland Calvary at Fremont Providence - 7 p.m. Morley Stanwood at Holton - 7 p.m. February 21 Hart at Manistee, Thursday 7:30 p.m. Mason Co. Central at Mason Co. Eastern - 6 p.m. Musk. Heights Aca. at No. Muskegon - 5:30 p.m. Ravenna at Howard City Tri-County - 7 p.m. February 22 Grant at Fremont - 6 p.m. Spring Lake at Fruitport - 6 p.m. Grand Haven at Hudsonville - 7:30 p.m. Grant at Fremont - 6 p.m. Orchard View at Ludington - 6 p.m. Fremont Providence at Montague - 7 p.m. Muskegon at Reeths-Puffer - 7:30 p.m. Musk. Cath. at Western Mich. Chr. - 5:30 p.m. Newaygo at Big Rapids - 7 p.m. Fruitport Calvary at Potters House - 6 p.m. Remus Chippewa Hills at Holton - 7 p.m.
Dates and times were taken from ScheduleStar.com.
Norse girls boast ‘most talented’ team in years By Cody Liverance Local Sports Journal
Morgan Seaberg senior
Alli Wierda senior
Abby Clark junior
Laura Hardy senior
North Muskegon girls’ basketball coach Doug Clark might finally have the perfect storm he has been waiting for. A talented group of players who bring with them a good amount of varsity experience has Clark excited to get this season started. “In my seven or so years as the head coach, I would say that this is probably the most talented team I’ve had,” Clark said. “They know they’re going to have to work for it though. Nothing’s going to be handed to them.” While Clark was quick to point out that games are not played on paper, he said he definitely knows that his team looks as good on paper as any he’s had. The Norse return six players with varsity experience, five of whom are seniors. Leading the way for North Muskegon will be senior Morgan Seaberg, who will be in Clark’s starting lineup for the fourth-straight year. An all-conference selection from a year ago, Seaberg was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Norse. Clark has watched her game evolve over the years, both on and off the court, and said that the best still may be yet to come. “Morgan’s had the talent. We’ve been waiting on her leadership to come around, and it’s come a long way,” said Clark. “While I’m happy with where she’s at right now, she and I both know that she’ll have to continue to improve for us to be successful.” Joining Seaberg will be senior Alli Wierda, an
North Muskegon Girls’ Roster
Morgan Seaberg Sr. Hannah Meier Sr. Christine Buchanan Sr. Alli Wierda Sr. Laura Hardy Sr. Abby Clark Jr. Anna Osborn Jr. Keah Brown Jr. Katie Hendrickson Jr. Martina Stroemme Sr. Chevelle West Jr. Olivia Duncan Fr. Head coach: Doug Clark honorable mention all-conference selection last year. Seniors Hannah Meier, Christine Buchanan, and Laura Hardy, as well as junior Abby Clark all were on Coach Clark’s roster last year and will be keys to success for the Norse this season. SCOUTING REPORT Clark said he also hopes that previous winning ways of many of the girls will help the Norse in the long run. More than half of North Muskegon’s roster was a part of an undefeated 19-0 season two years ago while under the tutelage of jayvee coach Al Karaba. Coach Clark is optimistic that the athleticism on his team will help make up for the size they
lack, as he calls his team “average” sized. “We lost some size down low, so we’re going to need some girls to step up, especially when it comes to boxing out and rebounding,” Clark said. “We have to make sure that teams get one shot and that’s it.” Depth should also be a strong point for the Norse. Clark says that he expects to play 10 or 11 players on any given night and knows that the girls he has coming off the bench are going to contribute to his team’s success. When it comes down to how the season will shape up, Clark said his team will be competitive in every game. While Oakridge is the favorite in the West Michigan Conference, North Muskegon should give the Eagles a push for the conference title. North Muskegon also has to deal with an unfamiliar draw for districts. The Norse will head south this year to the Saugatuck district, which is different than the northern draw North Muskegon has become used to in recent years. Joining them in that district will be area teams Muskegon Heights Academy and Western Michigan Christian. While the Warriors will most likely be the favorites to move on to regionals come March, Clark said he knows that his team will give them a run for their money. “I feel like our team should be in contention for the conference championship as well as a district title,” Clark said. “These girls know that, and we’re all going to put in the work it takes to try and get there.”
NM boys will rely on fresh faces this season By Cody Liverance Local Sports Journal North Muskegon boys’ basketball coach Jeff Cooke is all too used to the feeling of patroling the sidelines in big games. The Norse have made it to the district championship game in each of the past four seasons. Unfortunately for Cooke, the Norse were defeated in each of those games. “With the conference and district we play in, we’re used to playing good teams,” Cooke said. “We’ve always been competitive in those games but it seems like, more often than not, we just fall a little short.” Repeating these feats will be a tough task for Cooke this year as he returns a team with very little varsity experience. Only one player on this year’s squad, senior Zach Rummery, was a consistent starter on last year’s district runner-up team. The Norse have some game experience in seniors Sam Powell, Chase Cooke, Wil Byl, and Adam Edick but will also have to rely on consistent play from several juniors and new seniors if they are to experience the type of success that Cooke thinks they can. When it comes to weaknesses for the Norse, Cooke said their most glaring shortcoming can and will be fixed with more time on the court. “Individually, we have some talented players. The problem is that, besides some of our summer workouts, this group of guys hasn’t really ever played together,” Cooke said. “I know we’ll be successful once our chemistry and familiarity with each other grows. We just need time on the court for that to work itself out.”
North Muskegon Boys’ Roster
Zach Rummery 6-0 Sr. Tony Gordon 5-8 Jr. Reese McCamant 6-0 Jr. Chase Cooke 5-11 Jr. Bailey Cooper 6-4 Jr. Wil Byl 6-3 Sr. Adam Edick 6-2 Sr. Corey Hogan 6-0 Sr. Sam Powell 6-3 Sr. Ryan Gannon 6-3 Jr. Justin Fairfield 6-1 Jr. Scott Henley 6-3 Sr. Head coach: Jeff Cooke Another area where North Muskegon will be disadvantaged at is the size battle. With the tallest player on the team standing at 6-foot-4, the Norse will more than likely be the smaller team in almost every game they play this season. Cooke said he sees that fact as a blessing in disguise, however. He says that the quickness and athleticism of the players are a strong point. He also said this makes his team versatile and he will use that to his advantage. “The thing about this team is that, at least looking at it right now, I have two or three completely different lineups I can put on the court depending on what our opponent throws at us,”
Cooke said. “If we need to run and push the ball, we have the speed and quickness to do that. But I also feel confident in our guys’ ability to run the offense and find the open shot.” Cooke said he hopes the seniors who were on the team last season and experienced success at the varsity level will step up and help guide the rest of players in the right direction because they know what it takes. SCOUTING REPORT As for the outlook on the season for the Norse, Cooke said that it is difficult to tell this early in the season how everything will shake out. A strong West Michigan Conference schedule awaits North Muskegon, including a trip to conference favorite Montague right out of the gates on Dec. 6. Like the Norse girls, the boys also head south for districts. The boys will head to Fennville. Making the journey with them will be Muskegon Heights Academy and Western Michigan Christian, with another potential showdown with the Warriors for the right to advance in the state tournament waiting in the shadows. Cooke, who says that he is not a man about numbers, still thinks that the Norse can have varied degrees of success this season. It just depends on how hard the players are willing to work to get there. “I see us as a middle of the pack team in the strong West Michigan Conference, and I feel we should compete with Scottville, Shelby, and Whitehall for a top-half finish in the conference,” Cooke said. “With us playing the schedule we do, I think that will do nothing but improve our chances to succeed and compete for a district title once the season’s over.”
“I see us as a middle of the pack team in the strong West Michigan Conference, and I feel we should compete with Scottville, Shelby, and Whitehall for a top-half finish in the conference. With us playing the schedule we do, I think that will do nothing but improve our chances to succeed and compete for a district title once the season’s over.” Jeff Cooke, coach
Sam Powell senior
Eagle girls take aim at elusive regional crown By Shawn Liverance Local Sports Journal “We are definitely hunting for that regional championship this season. We have been so close.” Terry DeJonge, coach
Keyara Wiard senior
Sam McGhan junior
Morgan Giddings junior
Oakridge Girls’ Roster
The Oakridge girls’ basketball team has had plenty of success the past three years. The Eagles have won three straight Class B district championships only to fall short each time in the regional semifinals. They would like to change that this season. “We are definitely hunting for that regional championship this season,” Oakridge coach Terry DeJonge said. “We have been so close the last three years. We want to take the next step this season.” If the Eagles can take that next step, they could possibly make a run at the most successful Oakridge team in school history. That 1991 team made the state quarterfinals and finished the season with a 22-3 record. Ironically, two of the players on the 1991 team have daughters playing for this Oakridge team. Keyara Wiard’s and Morgan Giddings’ mothers both played on that 1991 team, and their daughters will be the leaders for Oakridge this season. Wiard is coming off a junior season where she earned all-state honorable mention honors for the second-straight season. The senior averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, 4.5 steals and 2.5 assists last season, and the team’s record is 58-7 in her varsity career. “Keyara will top 1,000 points in her career this season and committed to play at Grand Valley next year,” DeJonge said. “She is working on
Keyara Wiard Sr. Morgan Giddings Jr. Kaycee Gillies Soph. Megan Larabee Soph. Sam McGhan Jr. Almanda Molter Sr. Aliza Olsen Jr. Ashley Weaver Sr. Sam Eely Sr
Head coach: Terry DeJonge playing the wing for us this year, but she can also play the point or be a shooting guard as well.” Giddings was a key cog in the Eagles’ run last season as a sophomore as she sank 48 3-pointers, while averaging 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and a 6.7 steals per game. “Morgan is a very explosive player who scored 20 points in a quarter last season,” DeJonge said. “She will float between the point and shooting guard this season.” Both, Wiard and Giddings played AAU basketball this summer and head into the season as two of the top players in the area, but they should get plenty of contributions from several teammates SCOUTING REPORT Ashley Weaver, who will miss the first couple of weeks of the season recovering from a broken foot, averaged five points, six steals and two rebounds per game last season.
Almanda Molter, a Danish exchange student, also will be a starter for the Eagles. “Both are solid fundamentally and have good outside shots,” DeJonge said. Sam McGhan, Megan Larabee, Sam Eely, Aliza Olsen and Orchard View transfer Kaycee Gillies all should see significant playing time for the Eagles. “We might be working against a height issue this season with our tallest player being 5-foot-9,” DeJonge said. “But, we have good athletic ability and hustle. I think we can be a very explosive team.” DeJonge, who has compiled a 149-71 record in 10 years at Oakridge, has beefed up the Eagles’ schedule this season with an openinggame against Mona Shores and other non-league games against Muskegon Heights, Orchard View, Fruitport, Muskegon Catholic and Grant. “That is going to be a great first game for us,” DeJonge said. “It will be tough dealing with Mona Shores’ talent. We have been working for three or four years to set this game up.” Although Oakridge is the prohibitive favorite to win the West Michigan Conference championship, DeJonge sees Hart and Shelby as possible title contenders. “Shelby is always good and have good point guards and role players, while Hart has two really tough players in Greiner and Lorenz,” DeJonge said. “We have been preparing ourselves. We have paid some dues, and we are hoping to compete every night and get better.”
Versatile boys could create match-up problems By Shawn Liverance Local Sports Journal The Oakridge boys’ basketball team could pose a problem for its opponents this season. The Eagles can rely on seven players to provide scoring this season, causing a potential match-up nightmare for opposing teams. “We will be a very deep team that can start seven different guys,” Oakridge coach Tracy Ruel said. “There could be several different games where we see who is hot. If someone is hot, we just keep feeding him the ball.” From the tall inside presence of 6-foot-8 Mike Eacker to quick speedsters like 5-foot-9 guards Francis Decker and Dominic Greenawalt, the Eagles should be able to play several different styles of basketball. “I think a lot of teams will struggle with our quickness on defense and the full-court pressure we should be able to play against teams this season,” Ruel said. “I think zone defenses will be tough for teams to play against us with our size inside and being able to shoot from the outside as well.” When the Eagles look to go inside this season, Eacker will be the main threat. The senior, who averaged eight points and seven rebounds last year even though he suffered a dislocated shoulder, played with an AAU team this summer in preparation for the upcoming season. “He can handle the ball for a big guy, which helps us break the press,” Ruel said. “He also has a good 3-point shot and passes the ball very well for a big guy.”
Oakridge Boys’ Roster Dom Greenawalt 5-9 Jr. Joey Warren 6-4 Sr. James Abriatis 5-11 Jr. Jordan Wahr 6-4 Sr. Francis Decker 5-9 Sr. Austin Wright 6-3 Jr. Brock Gonyon 5-10 Sr. Mike Whittiker 6-0 Sr. Kohl Chase 6-3 Jr. Chad Lazarock 6-5 Sr. Mike Eacker 6-8 Sr.
Head coach: Tracy Ruel While Eacker will be asked to control the inside, Decker will direct the offense from his point guard position. The speedy senior, who averaged six points and 4.5 assists last season, also will be the Eagles’ defensive stopper this season. “Francis has really stepped up as a leader and has learned to control his emotions,” Ruel said. “He knows he will have a lot on his shoulders, but he is the one we put on the other team’s best player, and he can pick that guy up and play defense on him all the way down the court.” Greenawalt and Austin Wright could also see time running the Oakridge offense this season with each bringing a different dimension. “Dom is like Vinny Johnson; when he gets hot, he can really score,” Ruel said. “He anticipates very well and sees the court well.” Wright, a 6-3 junior guard, could be a surprise
player for the Eagles this season, Ruel said. “I think Austin will catch people off guard,” Ruel said. “He is probably one of the hardest working players I have ever coached. He can shoot, run the offense and guard a forward to a point guard on offense. He will do whatever is needed from him.” SCOUTING REPORT Seniors Joey Warren, Brock Gonyon and Chad Lazarock also will be counted on to provide important contributions for the Eagles. The core group of this year’s Oakridge team all were members of the Eagles’ successful football team and have brought that mentality to the basketball team. “We have set team goals and have a strong team-oriented group of kids,” Ruel said. “No one is saying ‘I’ or ‘me.’ It is more like what I can do for the team.” The Eagles finished with an 11-10 record and a fourth-place finish in the West Michigan Conference a year ago. Ruel sees Montague as the league favorite with Shelby and his Eagles as top contenders to the Wildcats. “We want to be conference and district champions,” said Ruel, who lists Coopersville and Spring Lake as favorites in the districts. The Eagles don’t play Montague until after Christmas, allowing Oakridge time to gain experience and confidence with individual roles. “We try to divide our season into quarters, and we would like to gain some confidence early with a winning streak,” Ruel said. “We want to be competitive and bring back the Oakridge basketball tradition.”
“We try to divide our season into quarters, and we would like to gain some confidence early with a winning streak.” Tracy Ruel, coach
Francis Decker senior
Austin Wright junior
Mike Eacker senior
Cardinal girls to take court with small squad By Shawn Liverance
Orchard View Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal Jayshonna Blackshire sophomore
With not much height, it is pretty simple what type of team Orchard View will need to be this season to be successful. “The philosophy we have is defense first,” Orchard View coach Rodney Walker said. “We need to get out and run an up-tempo style of
Precious Anderson junior
who as a freshman last season, averaged 11 points, six assists and two rebounds. A player who can beat her defender off the dribble both ways, Blackshire excels in the open court. “Defense turns into her offense as she gets steals in the passing lane and anticipates well and likes to get in the open court,” Walker said. “She is just one of those rare athletes and a
playing for the Tigers last year. Hill can play all five positions on the court, but will play center or forward most of the time while Tucker will play point guard. McGee, whom Walker calls the best shooter on the team, should spread opposing defenses with her 3-point shooting. Shooting the ball will be key for OV as most of their opponents will have a decided height advan-
around as well,” he said.
offense will be sophomore Jayshonna Blackshire,
Diamond McGee senior
Head coach: Rodney Walker
offense, and hopefully, we can create points off
Leading that fast-charging Orchard View
Daejia Hill junior
Precious Anderson Jr. 5-5 Jayshonna Blackshire Soph. Ashley Brown 5-7 Daejia Hill Jr. 5-8 Diamond McGee Sr. Alisha Stone Jr. Damiah Tucker Sr.
McGee join Orchard View this season after
Blackshire’s running mate this season should be junior guard-forward Precious Anderson. Anderson averaged 8.5 points per game last
“We are going to be small and will struggle against bigger teams,” Walker said. “I think we should do some good things. Just depends if the
season and comes into the season conditioned and
girls believe in each other to make the right plays
with an improved jump shot.
and right decisions.”
“Precious has done everything we have asked
Orchard View could challenge plenty of teams
her to do,” Walker said. “Her ball handling is
this season with their speed and quickness and
coming along, and for her size, she really plays
will look to sneak a victory or two from the top
hard down low.”
teams in the Lakes 8 this season.
“We will probably struggle against teams
Even though the Cardinals lack size and have
with height like Ludington,” Walker said. “But,
player you really don’t have to coach so hard. She
only seven players on the team, three transfers
it should be interesting with the transfers from
really listens and her work ethic has improved
from Muskegon Heights should add athleticism.
Muskegon Heights and how that changes the
so much this year. Plus, her jump shot is coming
Daejia Hill, Damiah Tucker and Diamond
dynamic of the team this season.”
Challenging season awaits Cardinals boys By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal It could be a season of challenges for the boys’ basketball team at Orchard View High School. Coach Scott Warsaw, whose team is coming off a 4-17 season, will be breaking in four new starters after graduation depleted his ranks. Senior John Leonard, a versatile shooting guard, could also see some time at forward. He will provide the Cardinals not only with good shooting, but he’s tough on defense and is a solid rebounder. Last season, Leonard averaged 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. “John is a good shooter, defender, rebounder and just an overall good player,” Warsaw said. After that, Warsaw will be forced to replace the remainder of the starting lineup. Senior center Keith Melton is only 6-foot-1, but his competitiveness will certainly come in handy when he’s forced to go up against larger post players. Senior forward Brandon Smith brings leadership and intelligence to the lineup while Alec Sherwood is a 6-foot-2 senior forward. “Brandon is probably the leader of our team,” Warsaw said. “He really is an intelligent leader.” Both players will be handed plenty of responsibility on a team lacking in experience.
Orchard View Boys’ Roster Blake Andrews Soph. 6-0 Bobby Clanton Soph. 6-0 Brandon Edwards Jr. 5-8 Jake Jett Sr. 5-6 John Leonard Sr. 6-2 Keith Melton Sr. 6-0 Eddie Owens Jr. 5-6 SaRaun Render Jr. 5-10 Alec Sherwood Sr. 6-2 Brandon Smith Sr. 6-0
Head coach: Scott Warsaw
Cardinals. “We’ve got speed, and we’re going to try to hang around and see where we are at the end of the game,” Warsaw said. “It’s going to be a challenging year. Everyone knows their role and who gets the ball and where. They want to win and they believe in themselves. We’ll see what happens.” Adding to that defensive strategy will be senior leadership. Leonard, Melton, Sherwood and Smith all will bring something different to the Cardinals team this season
Sophomore Blake Andrews will provide the team with some solid shooting. “He’s a scorer and he’s quick,” Warsaw said.
to attitude and work ethic,” Warsaw said. “Our guards can get up and down the court. We should be quick. They are good kids with great senior
be a good person to step up and fill positions.”
leadership. They will work hard, that’s all they
The philosophy heading into the season for Orchard View is pretty simple – defense. That is what is going to win games this season for the Cardinals.
can do.” OV has been hit hard by student transfers. That has kept roster numbers on the low side. Lake to be among the contenders for the top spot. “Spring Lake is going to be tough, but besides
Warsaw said. “We are not tall, and we are not an
them, I think each game is going to be a tossup,”
offensive team. I figure if we compete hard, we’ll
Warsaw said. “If you’re an underdog team, you
see what happens.”
just keep coming at your opponents. You keep
and there should be no shortage of that with the
Keith Melton senior
In the Lakes 8, Warsaw said he expects Spring
“All of our practices are defensive oriented,”
Part of playing tough defense is quickness,
Alec Sherwood senior
“We will have strong leadership in regards
“He can double up and play point guard. He will SCOUTING REPORT
John Leonard senior
being underestimated and keep coming at teams – that’s all you can do to try to win.”
Brandon Smith senior
R AV E N N A
Bulldog girls head into season with new coach By Shawn Liverance
Ravenna Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal “Even if you lose the first 10 games, you will get better. With 10 games under your belt, the second half of the season will be different. You always seem to go on a run the second half of the season, and that is what we want to do.” James Lane III, coach
Lindsey Jacobs Erica Adams Sydney Hanson Madeline Jazdzyk Melissa McWatters Lois Thornburry Trisha Alocen
The Ravenna girls’ basketball team is going into the season with the attitude that it’s the final 10 games of the season that count the most. That is the philosophy James Lane III is taking
you on defense,” Lane said. An intriguing player this season for the Bulldogs could be 6-1 sophomore Erica Adams. “I think she will get stronger and tougher as the season goes on,” Lane said. “She can post up and
“Even if you lose the first 10 games, you will
head into the season with a very young team.
get better,” Lane said. “With 10 games under your
belt, the second half of the season will be dif-
Senior Lois Thornsburry will be the leader of
sophomore Melissa McWatters will all play roles for the Bulldogs as well. “We have a couple of girls that can do some
scoring option. “Lois is going to be our leader on the floor,” Lane said. “She has a real nice jump shot and can
Changing the culture of Ravenna girls’ basket-
has some offensive skills.” Senior Carley Jawor, junior Nicole Helsen and
the Bulldogs this season and should be their main
half of the season, and that is what we want to
finish in traffic. We are looking for her offensively
things,” Lane said, “but we are still looking to see what will happen.” The Bulldogs finished seventh in the West
ball will be the challenge Lane faces this season
to give us a boost. She is solid on the defensive
Michigan Conference last season but are hoping
after coaching Mason County Central’s jayvee
end as well and makes good decisions.”
to move in the standings this season.
boys’ team the past several seasons. “Being successful takes hard work,” Lane said. “Nobody is expecting much from us this season, Melissa McWatters sophomore
“We call her the bulldog. She will just be on
“You always seem to go on a run the second
Erica Adams sophomore
Another player that can get after it defensively for the Bulldogs will be Madeline Jazdzyk.
Head coach: James Lane III
as he heads into his first season as the Bulldogs
and is very aggressive out there.”
Foreign exchange student Trisha Alocen will play power forward and hopefully add some
games this year,” Lane said. “I don’t think it is
scoring punch to the Bulldogs’ lineup.
going to be that easy to just come out there and
and I want to change that.”
“She has sound fundamentals,” Lane said.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 2-18 record and
“I don’t think anybody expects us to win many
“She can steal the ball, finish around the basket
beat us. We are not going to say we will win every game, but we will approach it like we can.”
New coach aims to re-establish winning tradition By Shawn Liverance The Local Sports Journal
The Ravenna boys’ basketball program has struggled the last several years. Victories have been hard to come by as last season produced just a 2-19 record. The Bulldogs are hoping that stability in the coaching ranks will help turn their program in the right direction.
Ravenna Boys’ Roster Kyle VanderWoude Sr. 6-3 Colton Kantola Sr. 5-10 Jake Sied Jr. 5-9 Josh Sanford Sr. 6-5 Alex White Soph. 6-2 Joseph McKenna Sr. 5-9 Nick Anderson Jr. Neal Wilds Jr. Brian Towner
Head coach: Mark VanderWal
For the fourth straight season, Ravenna will have a new coach. Mark VanderWal takes over as the Bulldogs coach and he is hoping to re-establish Ravenna’s basketball tradition. “I am sure the last three coaches have been optimistic about turning things around,” said VanderWal, who played for Cedar Springs in high
from the guard position. Seniors Josh Sanford (6-foot-5) and Joseph McKenna (5-foot-9) will provide defense and rebounding for the Bulldogs, while sophomore Alex White (6-foot-2) should provide scoring and rebounding from his forward position. VanderWal said he is already impressed with the attitude of his players and the support network they seem to have. “We have some very good parents who opened up the gym during the summer months so these
VanderWoude (6-foot-3) is an all-round player
attitudes have been great, and I can see they are
working toward getting better.” The Bulldogs know they have a tough hill
said. “He is all right to the basket and can dribble
to climb in a very competitive West Michigan
to the right and left.”
Conference, but are ready to compete.
Kantola, who at 5-foot-10, will run the
“We are working on setting goals this season
school and was an assistant to former Ravenna
Bulldogs from the point guard position after aver-
as a team,” VanderWal said. “As a coach, I want
varsity coach Trent Harvey last season. “I think
aging 6.5 points last season.
to see improvement every game and be competi-
Ravenna is moving in the right direction, and I want to continue that this season.” If the Bulldogs are to improve their win total, they are going to have rely on a pair of seniors in Kyle VanderWoude and Colton Kantola.
“Colton likes to fast break and take the ball to
Josh Sanford senior
tive most of the time.
the basket,” VanderWal said.
“I think the guys need to see they are
improving every week, and if we can do that,
Junior Jake Sied got a taste of varsity action as
then I think we can sneak up on some teams this
a sophomore and should provide outside shooting
Joseph McKenna senior
guys could play,” VanderWal said. “The guys’
who averaged six points and six rebounds last
“Kyle can play inside and outside,” VanderWal
Colton Kantola senior
Kyle VanderWoude senior
Girls looking to surprise teams in OK Black By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal “This is a group who like each other and are willing to play for each other. As a whole, it’s a pretty athletic group. We could finish in the middle of the pack, or we could be a real big spoiler this season. Considering what have, if we play the way we can, we should surprise a lot of folks.” Brandon Barry, coach
Grace Swanson senior
Taylor Seidell senior
Reeths-Puffer Girls’ Roster
Reeths-Puffer girls’ basketball coach Brandon Barry is excited to get the 2012-13 season underway so that he may see just how much the program has progressed. Not known as a girls’ basketball superpower, primarily because the squad often plays against some of the area’s best clubs in the OK Black conference, Barry said he believes a hoops’ resurgence could just be in the cards for the Rockets. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to beat some teams who, in past years, had a pretty easy time with us,” Barry said. “We have some real good pieces, so putting them all together will be something we are hoping to do.” Boasting a roster of six seniors, the Rockets will particularly lean on the shoulders of three of those players – post player Taylor Seidell, point guard Grace Swanson and center Hannah Lemieux. Swanson, Barry said, is the team’s best player, with a formidable inside/outside offensive game that should help power the Rockets on the offensive end. “Grace is very strong, so she has a really good presence in the post,” Barry said. “But she also has a pretty good range with her shooting. She’s also a good defender. She’s a pretty complete player.” Seidell, on the other hand, will occupy the point, dishing the ball and providing solid leadership on the floor. “We know we can count on her to be a good leader,” Barry said. “She can also defend, though. Her quickness, which is pretty impressive, gives her a leg-up on slower opponents.” Finally, Lemieux will do her best to keep the paint clear of easy shot attempts, using her leaping
Grace Swanson 5-10, Sr. Hannah Lemieux 5-10, Sr. Taylor Walker 5-11 Sr. Taylor Seidell 5-3 Sr. Kayla Melton 5-7 Sr. Sreanna Khrystler 5-4 Sr. Carrie Wilson 5-7 Jr. Kallie Acuna 5-10 Jr. Sara Volher 5-5 Jr. Gabbie Klemp 5-5 Jr. Camaryia Williams 5-6 Soph. Kalisa Williams 5-5 Fr. Head coach: Brandon Barry
ability to turn back smaller players driving into the heart of the Rocket defense. “She’s a good shot blocker and overall defender,” Barry said. “She will be a very important piece for us.” SCOUTING REPORT Joining the half-dozen seniors is a good group of juniors, who, Barry said, are quickly acclimating themselves to the rigors of varsity basketball. Add into the mix an impressive player from the jayvees, sophomore Camaryia Williams, and freshman Kalisa Williams, and what you have, Barry said, is a solid lineup from top to bottom. “We will be able to mix and match people on the floor,” he said. “There won’t be anyone out there taking up space. Everyone who plays will have something to contribute.” Team chemistry has been notable so far, Barry said.
“This is a group who like each other and are willing to play for each other,” he said. “As a whole, it’s a pretty athletic group that is going to be able to get after other teams across the entire floor.” Transition baskets will be sought after, allowing the team to take advantage of its athleticism and good jumping skills. Easy transition baskets will also help to take some of the pressure off of Swanson. To that end, Barry said he has been working hard at developing other scoring threats. “We don’t want teams to be able to just key-in on Grace,” Barry said. “We’re looking to be as balanced offensively as we can so we don’t become a one-dimensional threat.” Though the team isn’t exactly small, it lacks overwhelming size from front to back court. Discipline and aggressively on defense will be one key to neutralize any height disadvantages. Barry points to the difference between being smart aggressive and overly aggressive. “One will get you more playing time,” he said. “The other will get you time on the bench.” Barry said he thinks the OK Black will be as competitive as ever, pointing to rival Mona Shores and Zeeland East as the league’s two early favorites. Muskegon also entered the conference this season though Barry isn’t really sure what to expect of the Big Reds. “They are always up-tempo and explosive,” he said. “It is going to be interesting for us to play them again.” As for his own club, Barry said it remains to be seen if the Rockets will be able consistently compete with the league’s best teams. “We could finish in the middle of the pack,” he said, “or we could be a real big spoiler this season. Considering what have, if we play the way we can, we should surprise a lot of folks.”
Former Crusader coach takes reins of Rockets By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Following a trip last March to the Breslin Center, new Reeths-Puffer coach Dave Ingles suddenly found himself out of a coaching job. Ingles had taken his Muskegon Catholic boys basketball team all the way to the state semifinals. Enter Reeths-Puffer, which dismissed Coach Dalrecus Stewart, snapped up Ingles’ coaching talent with the hope of reviving what was once a thriving program. The timing was perfect for both. Now, Ingles is doing his best to bone-up on the kind of competition the Rockets will face in the similarly new-look OK Black conference – which dropped Forest Hills Central and Holland and picked up Zeeland East and Muskegon. “Being new to the conference and a lot of the teams we play, I am not sure what to expect,” Ingles said. The same can be said of some of his team members. Just like the football team this fall, ReethsPuffer benefitted from the attrition caused by the dissolution of what was the Muskegon Heights School District. In fact, the players who made an impact on the Rocket football squad are now set to do the same for the hoops team. Seniors Marques Livers and Quinzell Pinnell, both 6-foot-2, transferred into the district after Muskegon Heights became Muskegon Heights Academy.
Reeths-Puffer Boys’ Roster Trevor Barnes Sr. 6-2 Jalen Benton Sr. 6-0 Deedrick Blake Sr. 5-6 Troy Gilmore Jr. 6-3 Jake Hollemans Sr. 5-10 Marques Livers Sr. 6-2 Quinzell Pinnell Sr. 6-2 Connor Pena Jr. 5-9 Kevin Polk Sr, 6-0 Andrew Reinecke Sr. 6-0 Tristan Wright Jr. 6-5 Kyle Versalle Sr. 5-10 Head coach: Dave Ingles Describing both athletes as quick and strong, Ingles said the duo will go a long way toward helping him make his first season at Reeths-Puffer into a success. “They’re both going to help us,” said Ingles about the two transfer student-athletes. Senior Jalen Benton, a returning contributor from last season, will help guide the show at the guard spot. “We’ll need all three to play well for us to make a move,” Ingles said. But the trio will have the help of six more seniors, including guards Deedrick Blake, Kyle Versalle and Jake Hollemans, and forwards Trevor Barnes, Kevin Polk and Andrew Reinecke. Three juniors also will contribute, including guard Connor Pena, and big men Troy Gilmore
and Tristan Wright, who are 6-3 and 6-5, respectively. SCOUTING REPORT Again, because many unknowns remain for Ingles regarding the competition, the team is focused on some of the things they can control. “Our goal will be to get better every day,” he said. “The kids are learning a new style of play, so it is going to take some time for them to become comfortable with everything.” Ingles said he likes the direction the team is going, however, and is thankful for some of the returning experience they do have. “We are a senior-heavy team,” he noted, “and we will rely on their leadership.” The squad opens up Dec. 4 with Greenville, and then travels to Grand Rapids Creston a week later. With Fruitport on Dec. 18, and a visit to Orchard View on Dec. 21, the Rockets should have a good handle on what they will be able to do this year. The conference season begins Jan. 15 at Zeeland East; the team will have to play four of its first six conference games on the road. Fortunately, Ingles said he knows that despite the lack of scouting notes, his team will have to play at a high level every single night if the Rockets hope to finish near the top of the standings. “Again, I do not know much about the conference,” Ingles said. “I am somewhat familiar with the coaches in the conference and know that wins will not come easy as the other teams will be prepared.”
“The kids are learning a new style, so it is going to take some time for them to become comfortable with everything.” Dave Ingles, coach
Jalen Benton senior
Marques Livers senior
Quinzell Pennell senior
21 SHELBY Girls hope to challenge Oakridge for league title By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal
Our goal is to be in the Top 2 of the league, but what we really want is to win the conference. That is what we are shooting for. To do that, we’re going to need to play well against Oakridge.” Sarah Wolting, coach
Sydney Czurak senior Center who will play college ball at Wayne State
Abby Rodriguez senior Point guard who is a three-year varsity player
Shelby Girls’ Roster
This year’s edition of the Shelby girls’ basketball team is once again stacked with skilled ball handlers, quality upperclass leaders and a whole lot of size. Head Coach Sarah Wolting said she is excited to get the final product on the floor. “This is going to be a really tough group, especially on the defensive end,” Wolting said. “Defense is something we have and will continue to emphasis.” The Tigers’ roster features a good array of youth and experience though the team is going to primarily rely upon the play of two seniors, center Sydney Czurak and point guard Abby Rodriguez, to see them through the season. Czurak, a four-year starter for the Tigers, is set to head off to play for Wayne State University in 2013, but before she goes, Shelby will again utilize her ability at the post. “She really is a force inside,” Wolting said. “Sydney’s athleticism is helpful up and down the floor. She also doesn’t mind handling the ball.” Wolting said she has been working with Czurak on her outside shooting, which would force defenses to guard her whether she’s under the basket or out on the perimeter.” Rodriguez, a three-year varsity player, will resume her role as the Tigers’ primary ball-handler. Known for her solid leadership, Rodriguez also has matured into a fine passer. “She may be one of the best passers in school history,” Wolting said. “She’s a good shooter, too, which means she doesn’t just pass the ball any-
Corina Collier 5-6 Sr. Cloe Sillman 5-7 Fr. Mariah Felt 5-5 Sr. Hannah Roberts 5-5 Fr. Jozilyn Kinstner 5-10 Jr. McKenna Inglis 5-10 Jr. Brett Fox 5-7 Sr. Abby Rodriguez 5-9 Sr. Michelle Brown 6-1 Sr. Sydney Czurak 6-2 Sr. Tristen Moore 5-11 Jr. Whitney James 5-8 Sr.
Head coach: Sarah Wolting more.” Rodriguez also may continue next year at the next level. She is looking to grab a roster spot at Muskegon Community College. SCOUTING REPORT With seven seniors, the Tigers won’t lack experience, Wolting said. “There is some really good leadership on this team,” she noted. Such leadership will be needed with two freshman and three juniors filling out the roster. The overall size of the team will be helpful on the rebounding side of things, as the squad sports eight players over 5-foot-7, and two – Czurak and senior Michelle Brown – at 6-foot-2. “We should do pretty well rebounding the ball,” Wolting said.
However, the Tigers will need to work on their outside shooting. Wolting said Shelby has been a little slow to improve on that front and will need to figure it out before it will draw out defenders toward the freethrow line and beyond. “That is one area where we will need to be better,” the coach said. “We’re working on it and improving, but it is something we’ll need to continue to focus on if we want to challenge the league’s top teams.” Which brings us to much-anticipated race for the West Michigan Conference title. Everyone is expecting Oakridge, which returns nearly its entire roster from last season’s league champions, to be the early favorite. But that is before a game has been played. Wolting said she hopes the Tigers have enough fire power to keep up with the Eagles. “They’re going to be good,” said Wolting of Oakridge, “but we already know that. We just want to be able to compete with them (for the title). Our goal is to be in the Top 2 of the league, but what we really want is to win the conference. That is what we are shooting for. To do that, though, we’re going to need to play well against Oakridge.” Then she added, “If anything, I know our two games against them are going to be good.” Along with Brown, other seniors competing for floor time will be Corina Collier, Maiah Felt, Bett Fox and Whitney James. Juniors Jozilyn Kinstner, McKenna Inglis and Trusten Moore also will provide some depth while freshmen Cloe Sillman and Hannah Roberts will gain good experience playing for the first time on the varsity.
Tiger boys seeking to reload, not rebuild By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal On the surface, it might look like it could be a rough year for the Shelby Tiger boys’ basketball squad. Not only did the team lose seven of its top eight players to graduation, the club also will have to contend without its typical bulwark, a 6-foot-6 or taller center to turn back shots and rule the post. In fact, the team doesn’t have a single player taller than 6-4. But this is Shelby, and Tiger coaching legend Rick Zoulek has been here before. “No, we don’t have that one or two players who can do the things JR did for us,” said Zoulek, referring to JR James, last year’s towering force in the middle. “But we have some other things going for us. “Coaches, especially those in our league, know what we can do. So, I’m confident if things come together, we can compete the way we try to do every single year.” Without a giant staking claim in the middle, the Tigers will rely on two players, junior point guard Jason Beckman, and senior jack-of-alltrades Spencer Peters. Beckman, Zoulek said, gained good experience last season by often playing the off-guard position. Now, moving to the point, Beckman will get a chance to feature his passing as well as his scoring abilities. “We’re hoping he will be able to get off a few shots,” Zoulek said. “He’s a very solid shooter.” Peters, who as quarterback, helped lead the football team to the state semifinal game, will use his unyielding frame to battle for position under the basket. Yet, he will also, from time to time, drift out to
Shelby Boys’ Roster
Spencer Peters 6-2 Sr. Austin Potter 5-10 Sr. Shane Kajtazi 5-11 Sr. Shane Landis 6-1 Sr. Jason Beckman 5-10 Jr. Andrew Beckman 6-4 Jr. Graham Herin 6-1 Jr. Brody Lee 6-2 Jr. Devin Mussell 5-10 Jr. Michael James 6-3 Soph. Tommy Henion 6-2 Soph. Head coach: Rick Zoulek the perimeter to take some long-range shots. “Spencer is very strong,” Zoulek said. “He can play inside and not give up much ground. He can also shoot, so we’ll try to use him in both roles.” SCOUTING REPORT Peters and Beckman also will provide ample leadership for what is shaping up as a pretty young club. Austin Potters, Shane Kajtazi and Shane Landis, the team’s other seniors, will also help in that department while a good crew of juniors will fill in the gaps. Two sophomores, Michael James and Tommy Henion, are both over 6-2. “Size could be a real disadvantage for us,” Zoulek said. “We’re going to have to do those jobs by committee now.” Depth is where the club can make up the difference, Zoulek said. “We’ll be playing 10 players, searching for the one who is hot. We’ll have different lineups, depending on matchups and who has the hot
hand.” Inexperience will be the team’s early challenge. Getting the younger players use to the speed of the varsity game is going to be critical to any success this edition of the Tigers might enjoy. “Inexperience is our big question mark,” the coach said. “If they pick up things fairly early, we could contend for the (West Michigan Conference) title. But if it takes us longer to get a feel for things, it could take a little while. I have no doubt, though, that by the end of the season, this will be a good team.” In the league, Zoulek points to Montague as an early favorite. Though Shelby beat the Wildcats three times last season, two of those three meetings were played at a very high level. Zoulek said he expects the same situation this season. The coach also pointed to Oakridge, North Muskegon and Mason County Central as teams which could contend. And, of course, he said he hopes to see his team in the mix as well. However, despite losing so much off last year’s team, Zoulek said he doesn’t think the Tigers will be able to sneak up on any league opponents. “Everyone in the conference knows what we’ve done in the past and what we are capable of doing,” Zoulek said. “This is a very researchheavy league, so all the coaches know and respect everyone’s potential. Everyone realizes what you can do, so it’s pretty clear no one is going to be taking up lightly.” However, nonleague opponents may be in for a fit if they take the Shelby Tigers for granted. “That’s where we have an opportunity to sneak up on someone,” Zoulek continued. “They may think, ‘Hey, Shelby was a pretty good team, but they graduated seven of their best players.’ That’s where we have a chance to surprise someone.” He added, “This team is kind of relishing its underdog role.”
“Inexperience is our big question mark. If they pick up things fairly early, we could contend for the (West Michigan Conference) title. But if it takes us longer to get a feel for things, it could take a little while. I have no doubt, though, that by the end of the season, this will be a good team.” Rick Zoulek, coach
Spencer Peters senior
Jason Beckman junior
Solid senior corps to lead Laker girls forward By Dave Tomczak
Spring Lake Girls’ Roster
Local Sports Journal “We don’t have a lot of court time coming back. We’ll have to run and outwork people, but we are quick and athletic.” Rich Hyde, coach
Spring Lake’s girls’ basketball coach Rich Hyde is excited about this year’s team. But on the other hand, he admits he’s not sure what to expect. Even for their coach, the Lakers are going to be a mix of the known and unknown. That’s because graduation took a heavy toll, especially when it comes to putting the ball in the hoop. “We’ve got a solid group of seniors back,”
Brittany Beeler senior
Hyde said of his five returnees. “But 75 percent of our scoring (from last year) is gone. Everybody is going to have to score this year to balance that out.” In addition to the returning seniors, Spring
Molly Miedema senior
Head coach: Rich Hyde Wiersma and Molly Miedema. A guard, Miedema is the team’s best defender
will once again be favored, Hyde said, but the rest of the league is up for grabs. Spring Lake, which finished second in conference last year, should battle Grant and Fruitport for that spot again this season although all three of those teams are in rebuilding mode. Hyde said he also thinks that Orchard View is a young team that could challenge for a spot in the upper third of the Lakes 8. “We’d obviously like to maintain where we were last year,” Hyde said. “It doesn’t get any
“Our schedule is a big thing,” Hyde said. “We
schedule doesn’t do the Lakers any favors. It could take some time for the team to get
have two conference games then five tough nonconference games.” In addition to the Hall of Fame games, Spring Lake will also face Shelby, Coopersville and
rolling. They open the season, and Lakes 8 Conference
said. “She’s a great defender. She’s fast and quick
play, at Fremont, Nov. 30, and will compete in the
and has a good outside shot. It’s hard to get her
Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Classic in
off the floor.”
Spring Lake will also rely on seniors Jewel
Defending conference champions Ludington
but I like our chances and our team.”
Coming off a 17-4 season, the early-season
“She’s our most experienced player,” Hyde
people, but we are quick and athletic.”
play either down low or outside.
team and one sophomore.
back,” Hyde said. “We’ll have to run and outwork
easier for us. It’ll be tough to get back to 17 wins,
Leading the way for the Lakers will be
“We don’t have a lot of court time coming
while Wiersma is an athletic forward who can
Lake will add five juniors of a successful jayvee
Brittany Beeler, a three-year starter at the point
Jewel Wiersma senior
Sierra Gipson Brittany Beeler Breanna Williams Karley Engelsman Molly Miedema Grace Peterson Megan VanDeWeg Jewel Wiersma Tori Tober Courtney Kyser Bre Burns Kelsee Zuidema
on Mona Shores and Muskegon.
Allendale before getting into the meat of its conference schedule. “It’ll be a tough time getting to Christmas with all the pieces together,” Hyde added. “But we
On back-to-back nights, the Lakers will take
should be competitive in all of them.”
Boys have eyes set on district, regional titles By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal There are at least two big reasons for the Spring Lake Laker boys’ basketball team to be heading into this season being optimistic. Those two reason would be the return of Austin Johnson and the big man in the middle, 6-foot-7 Nick Goeglein. Johnson, a 6-foot-2 senior, was a scoring machine last season at 19 points per game. He also pulled down seven rebounds per game and was named all-conference, all-area and honorable mention all-state. “I’ve never had anyone as committed to the game as Johnson,” Laker coach Bill Core said. “He’s in the weightroom every day, on the court every day.” Basketball is Johnson’s only sport and, thus, he’s all in when it comes to winning. Geoglein, who played varsity as a sophomore, worked hard during the offseason and had a solid summer of AAU basketball. “We are looking for big things from him as a junior,” Core said. “He runs the floor well, and he’s been in the weight room.” He possesses a soft touch on his mid-range jump shot as well as plays above the rim. His blocked shots, rebounds and defense in the middle of the lane will come in handy. It doesn’t end there. The Lakers have a solid supporting cast, led by Adam Clauss, an athletic point guard who was named to the Dream Team in soccer this past fall. Passing and defense are two of his strong suits. There’s also Erik Johnson, a 6-foot-3 defensive
Spring Lake Boys’ Roster Kyle Zietlow Adam Clauss JP Batts Charlie Warber Jeff Marod Austin Johnson Ryan Nolan Henry McGannon Daniel Hogan Erik Johnson Nick Goeglein
Head coach: Bill Core specialist who brings solid fundamentals. Core expects his role to expand this season. “He will be best in the post,” Core said of the two-year starter. Senior forward JP Batts is a 6-foot-1 versatile player who can also play guard. He is solid in every aspect of the game, including defense and 3-point shooting. Junior Charlie Warber, also 6-foot-1, is coming off a solid football season for the Lakers. Now his attention turns to the hardcourt, where he excels as an inside/outside threat. He brings some grit to the lineup as well as quick feet. “He makes something happen with his physicality and hustle,” Core said. SCOUTING REPORT It’s been quite a long drought since the Lakers last won a district title. As far as regionals,
they’ve never won one of those. However, this season, with Core in his 13th season, the bar has been set high with its versatility. “We pride ourselves in that we can adjust to many styles,” Core said. “We feel like Goeglein and Johnson give us strength. Outside, we think we can handle the zone defenses. We won’t be one dimensional.” In the Lakes 8 race, it appears to be a threehorse race to the top with Spring Lake, Fremont and Ludington. “Fremont lost a lot, but they have Siegel and Krim coming back,” Core said. “Ludington, even with a coaching change, (will be a favorite). They have no superstars, but they always have athletes.” Core also welcomes a tough nonleague slate of games. Those games include Grand Haven, Mona Shores, Allendale, Coopersville, Oakridge, Shelby and Western Michigan Christian. Then comes districts, and there is a familiar foe missing in Class B this year – Muskegon Heights (Class C). “The district is wide open,” Core said. “Spring Lake has never won a regional title, and it’s been quite a few years since a district title. “We’ve always prepared for Heights,” Core said. “You always know you’re not going to get to a district title without going through Heights. Now, you can’t put all that focus on one team. We will have to see how it plays out. “Our goal is, as always, to win the conference championship,” Core said. “Also to win a district title. We haven’t finished lower than third in the conference.”
“We are definitely hunting for that regional championship this season. We have been so close.” Bill Core, coach
Austin Johnson senior
Adam Clauss senior
Nick Geoglein junior
W. M I C H I G A N C H R I S T I A N
Girls’ team hopes to build off volleyball success By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal “I would like to improve on our shooting. That really does need to improve. We will be working on getting better shots through the offense.” Mike Henry, coach
Rachel Bruinsma senior Honorable mention all-state and all-academic all-state last year
Vanessa Eekhoff senior Team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer last year
Waiting an extra week to get his full team together didn’t seem to bother Mike Henry too much. The girls’ coach at Western Michigan Christian High School patiently waited while watching the majority of his team finish up its volleyball season for the Warriors. “Success helps, no matter how you put it,” said Henry, WMC’s second-year coach. “If you are successful, it carries over.” Two of the biggest reasons for Warrior success this coming season is a pair of seniors who also were instrumental on the volleyball court. Rachel Bruinsma and Vanessa Eekhoff are the Warriors’ 1-2 punch this coming season. Bruinsma was honorable mention all-state a year ago and was an all-academic all-stater as an individual. She led the Warriors in scoring last season. She is also a solid free-throw shooter with an 80 percent clip. Eekhoff is an inside threat not only as a rebounder, but a scorer. “We have to take advantage of the talent we have with Rachel and Vanessa,” Henry said. Bruinsma was the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder last season. Eekhoff was the team’s leading rebounder and secondleading scorer. “The points’ separation was not real great,” Henry said. “And neither was the rebounding separation.” “Rachel’s mobility and skill set at different positions allows her to help us handle the ball and she also plays good defense,” Henry said. “Her and Vanessa also are good at blocking shots.” One other thing to note regarding Eekhoff’s rebounding is that she has nearly an equal amount
Western Michigan Christian Girls’ Roster Alyssa Wright 5-6 Soph. Olivia Varnado 5-8 Jr. Julie Merz 5-8 Sr. Sarah Hughes 5-8 Jr. Annelise DeKam 5-9 Jr. Cassidy Kraker 5-5 Sr. Jessica Knoll 5-6 Jr. Rachel Bruinsma 6-1 Sr. Paige Recknagel 5-10 Sr. Lindsey Johnson 5-9 Soph. Vanessa Eekhoff 6-0 Sr. Lorelle Hallenbeck 5-10 Jr. Head coach: Mike Henry of offensive and defensive rebounds. Those offensive rebounds led to a good share of her points on putbacks. SCOUTING REPORT There are other keys to the Warriors’ fortunes this coming season. Point guard Julie Merz came off the bench last season and provided plenty of quality minutes. “Julie did not start, but she was in there a good part of the game,” Henry said. “And if we got into foul trouble, she played even more. She was pretty much considered a starter.” Others expected to contribute include senior Cassidy Kraker and juniors Jessica Knoll and Annelise DeKam. Those who are being asked to quickly turn from the volleyball mode to basketball mode are juniors Lorelle Hollenbeck, Sarah Hughes and
Maria Ma. Ma, from China, is 6-foot-3 and has been working hard to pick up the game of basketball. She played volleyball at a high level in China, but was never exposed much to the game of basketball. “She’s really trying to learn the game,” Henry said. “Height-wise, she will certainly add to our team.” Despite the fact graduation took away plenty of talented players, Henry wants to continue push the ball up the court. “We always look to push the ball first then get into our offense,” Henry said. “We will try to make points off our defense with steals and aggressive play.” Last season, the Warriors played mostly manto-man, but that may change a bit this season as Henry incorporates several wrinkles into the defense. “I would like to improve on our shooting,” Henry said. “That really does need to improve. We will be working on getting better shots through the offense.” WMC finished 19-4 last season, won the River Valley Conference with a 10-0 mark and won a Class C district title. Four losses came by a total of eight points. Two of those losses came at the hands of Spring Lake and two came against Kent City, one in the regular season and the other in regionals. The Warriors lost to the Lakers by 1 and 3 points and also the Eagles by 1 and 3 points. In the league, Henry expects to compete for the River Valley title. “Muskegon Catholic should be pretty good,” he said. “They’ve got a couple of girls back and Tri-unity was young last year. “We hope we are right at the top, keep that spot and keep improving,” Henry said.
Boys begin new era with first-year coach By Ron Rop Local Sports Journal For the first time since 1979, the boys’ basketball team at Western Michigan Christian High will be under the guidance of a rookie coach. Kyle Mastenbrook knows he has big shoes to fill after being hired to replace legendary coach Jim Goorman, who won five state titles and more than 500 games during his career at WMC. “We don’t have to make the huge changes,” said Mastenbrook, who coached the Warriors’ freshman team to a 17-2 record a year ago. “We want to keep the success going. We’re not trying to do something new; we just want to keep it going.” For that to happen this season, the Warriors will be banking on the efforts of a handful of experienced players. Senior Henry DeKam will provide an inside/ outside threat for the Warriors. “Henry has a lot of skills to play a lot of different positions on the floor,” Mastenbrook said. “That will make him tough to stop.” Just as tough to handle will be junior Bernard Smith, a wide body post player, who stands 6-foot-5 and tips the scales at 265 pounds. “He really knows how to use his body,” Mastenbrook said. “He will outmuscle people. He has been working on his athleticism so he will be a more explosive player.” Smith started in the post for the Warriors as a freshman. As a sophomore, he began the season with the Warriors before transferring to Muskegon High School. A week later, he was back at WMC, but he had to sit out the remainder of the season. He’s been working hard during the offseason. Senior guard Nate Taylor is expected to step into a bigger role this season. “He’s passionate, and he’s not going to let any-
Western Michigan Christian Boys’ Roster Nate Taylor 5-8 Sr. Henry DeKam 6-3 Sr. James Jackson 6-2 Sr. Christian Brower 6-0 Sr. Alex Rop 6-2 Jr. Bernard Smith 6-5 Jr. Chaise Schuiteman 6-0 Jr. Sam Mast 6-4 Jr. Charles Phillips 5-10 Jr. Travis Hall 6-1 Jr. Logan Waller 6-0 Soph. Jacob Ray 6-3 Soph. Coach Kyle Mastenbrook body outwork him,” Mastenbrook said. “He’s worked on his game to become a much better ball handler. Nobody will outwork him, and that’s great to have in a senior point guard.” Another athletic player expected to step into a role with more responsibility this season is senior James Jackson. “He’s athletic,” Mastenbrook said. “He’s a good leaper and a shot blocker. He will be a good defender, he will get in the passing lanes, and he will block a lot of shots.” SCOUTING REPORT Mastenbrook has made some early assessments of his team, and leadership is expected to be a strong suit for his inaugural team. “I have been really impressed with the senior leadership that has stepped up,” Mastenbrook said. “That is going to be an important sign for us,
for sure.” Another senior who falls into that leadership role is Christian Brower. “He’s a leader, and he is going to bang inside for us,” Mastenbrook said. “He will be an added physical presence under the basket.” Two juniors expected to contribute are Chaise Schuiteman and Sam Mast. “Chaise really has the potential to make some runs,” Mastenbrook said. “He can be a one-man run and he can score a lot of points in bunches.” Mast is a 6-foot-4 post player who will add even more size under the basket for the Warriors. “We are going to look to play together and play unselfishly,” the coach said. “We will give up a good shot to get an even better shot. We will trust our teammates. We are going to make that extra pass that results in a good shot. “We will get after it and play defense together.” As usual, the Warriors will be facing some mighty stiff competition in the River Valley Conference. Tri-unity Christian is an annual favorite to win the league title. And there’s Muskegon Catholic, which advanced to the Class D semifinals a year ago. “We’d like to compete and be there at the end of the season where we have a chance to say something about the league,” Mastenbrook said. While Mastenbrook doesn’t have a long, impressive coaching resume, he did learn plenty from his father, Jerry Mastenbrook. Kyle played high school basketball at Kalamazoo Christian but was around his father’s program long before that. He also would go on scouting trips with his father. “I feel very blessed to come into a program that has experienced a lot of success,” Mastenbrook said. “And I would say that I’ve been able to learn from two great coaches in ‘Gip’ (Goorman) and my dad.”
“We are going to look to play together and play unselfishly. We will give up a good shot to get an even better shot. We are going to make that extra pass that results in a good shot.” Kyle Mastenbrook, coach
Bernard Smith junior Wide post player who stand 6-5 and weighs 265
Henry DeKam senior Will provide inside/ outside threat
Commitment to program key for Viking girls By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal “For us, it really is learning how to overcome the things we put in our own way. It’s about playing our game, about being able to get up when we are knocked down. We are trying to get across to them that if they get beat on a play one time, that they believe they won’t let that happen again.” Rachel Kent, coach
Jenna Pesch junior
Bailey Seeger senior
Whitehall Girls’ Roster
Whitehall girls’ basketball coach Rachel Kent senses something different in the air. Kent, who took over two season ago for Tony Annese, admits her stint at Whitehall has seen its fair share of discord and lack of full commitment to the program by some of the players on her squad. But this season, the same cannot be said. “Everyone here wants to be here,” said Kent. “The attitude among our players is different, better. We demand a certain level of commitment, and it is good to say that this year we finally have it. These girls are very excited to start the season.” Bailey Seeger, a 5-foot-8 senior post player, who has been on varsity team since Kent arrived, is set to have a breakout year at the post. Seeger, who has always been a good athlete, has worked hard in the offseason on improving her all-around game. Kent said she is confident Seeger will play up to her potential. “Not only have Bailey’s skills improved, but she’s also ready step into the leadership role,” Kent said. “We’re going to need her to do that if we’re going to do well this year.” Junior two-year varsity player Jenna Pesch will again be the floor leader. Though Pesch has played through some difficult times on the court, Kent said she thinks her point guard is ready to showcase her hard-earned skills on the hardwood. “Jenna is going to be our main go-to player,” Kent said. “We are asking her to be a leader out there, to set up the offense every time down the floor.” Seeger and Pesch will get some help from
Bailey Seeger Sr. 5-8 Brandi Balzer Jr. 6-0 Jenna Pesch Jr. 5-6 Jenelle Uganski Jr. 5-5 Emily MacArthur So. 6-0 Morgan Chamberlain Sr. 5-3 Leah Deuling Sr. 6-0 Christy Pladies Jr. 5-8 Shelby Hite Jr. 5-7 Head coach: Rachel Kent 6-foot sophomore center Emily MacArthur and 6-foot junior Brandi Balzer, who will form a good post-first option. “We’re going to need to look inside first,” Kent said. “We are going to try to get some easier baskets underneath before we try for the longer-range shots.” Another Viking who is 6-foot is senior Leah Dueling – whom Kent said has a very good outside shot – rejoins the squad after taking off a year to study in the Czech Republic. Likewise, senior guard Morgan Chamberlain rejoins the team after sitting out last season. SCOUTING REPORT Like what was already said, this year’s Vikings are a close bunch who crack each other up and have fun while still learning the ins-and-outs of the game. “They like to be around each other,” Kent said. “They really enjoy each other’s company. It’s really good to see.” However, the goodwill and success this season may be hampered a bit.
“We are still struggling to get a handle on our basic basketball fundamentals,” the coach said. “That is an area of real concern and real focus. We have to get better in that department if we want to continue to improve.” Likewise, getting the team into its best possible shape has been something that Kent said she has been stressing. “We want to be in better physical shape,” she said. “Our goal is to not get beat by anybody, up and down the court. We want to be able to match any team’s fitness.” To help in both areas, the Vikings played in more than 40 summer-league games in the offseason. Those games also did more than just improve each player’s skill level; they also helped show the players that, if prepared, they can compete with anyone. Such a focus has started to pay off, most recently at a preseason scrimmage at Fruitport. Tipping off against bigger schools, such as Muskegon, the Vikings were able to play toe-totoe against all comers. “We saw that we were able to match up against anyone,” Kent said. In the West Michigan Conference, Kent said Oakridge, with its supreme outside shooting, and Shelby, which is always strong, are the early favorites for the conference title. However, she doesn’t want her team to think the crown has already been handed out. “For us, it really is learning how to overcome the things we put in our own way,” she said. “It’s about playing our game, about being able to get up when we are knocked down. We are trying to get across to them that if they get beat on a play one time, that they believe they won’t let that happen again.”
Despite seven seniors, Vikings lack experience By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal While they may lack much starting experience, the Whitehall Viking roster sports seven seniors whom head coach Nate Aardema expects will lead his team to success in 2012-13. But, as is often the case, talent can supersede seniority, so Aardema said he also will expect a lot of his five juniors as well. Leading the way will be three-year returning starter Isaac Love. Love, who, early in his career was primarily used as a perimeter play with a dagger-like 3-point shot, has steadily matriculated into the team’s foremost leader, both on and off the floor. “(Love) will be the catalyst for our team,” said Aardema, who has now coached the Vikings for three seasons, taking over for Tony Annese. “He is a tremendous leader who leads vocally and by example.” Aardema said Love is the kind of all-around player who can get the job done on both ends of the floor. “He can score in a variety of ways and will be counted on to defend the opposition’s best player most nights,” Aardema said. Senior Dylan Medendorp also will be an important piece to the Vikings’ basketball puzzle. “Dylan is an athletic player who can be expected to contribute in a variety of ways,” said Aardema of his 6-foot-2 wing player. One promising player, senior Jevontae Sims, joined the team after sitting out last season. Sims, who could be one of the team’s best athletes, brings more to the table than just running, jumping and shooting. “Jevontae is a fantastic leader and brings
Whitehall Boys’ Roster Isaac Love 6-4 Sr. Frank Owens 6-3 Sr. Jevontae Sims 6-0 Sr. Daniel Stout 5-9 Sr. Joe VanLoon 6-9 Sr. Nick Decouto 5-9 Sr. Devontae Vance 5-10 Sr. Matt Russell 6-4 Jr. Matt Rohen 6-1 Jr. Dylan Medendorp 6-2 Jr. Michael Flowers 5-8 Jr. Tell Sutton 5-10 Jr.
Head coach: Nate Aardema energy to everything he does,” Aardema said. Finally, one junior will be counted on to provide strength underneath. Matt Russell, who stands at 6-foot-4, will be counted on to use his hard-charging motor to gobble up rebounds and score on putback baskets. “Matt is a very physical, hard working post player,” Aardema said. “He has had a tremendous off season, and we look for very good things from him this season.” The Vikings also boast one of the area’s tallest players, 6-foot-9 senior Joe VanLoon. SCOUTING REPORT Although there is a strong core of seniors on the team, Whitehall will definitely lack the kind of game experience teams with so many seniors usually possess. “We have nearly an entirely new roster,” Aardema said. “Isaac is the only one returning
who has played a full season of varsity basketball.” Nevertheless, the squad is working hard to overcome that lack of experience. In this case, Aardema is emphasizing how the team can use its willingness to put in the necessary effort in practice to help make up any gap in experience. On top of that, Aardema said he likes what he sees in terms of how the team is coming together. “The chemistry and work ethic of this group has the potential to carry them to some really good things,” Aardema said. “But (our) lack of experience must be overcome.” The conference season, which begins for the Vikings on Dec. 6 at Hart after opening up the season Dec. 4 versus non-league rival Mona Shores, doesn’t allow much room for error. With four of its first five contests against conference opponents, at least the team will be able lean on the fact that it is hosting three of those conference contests. However, all four of those league matchups are on or before Dec. 20. Nevertheless, Aardema said he thinks he has a plan to overcome that early challenge. Focusing on the aspects of the game that his team can control, without relying on fleeting skills such as shooting and dribble penetration, Aardema said he is looking for his squad to weather the storm until it gets its feet under it. That is, the Vikings will look to those skills they can bring every single night. And, they will have to, Aardema said, if they have a chance to compete in the league. “We will have to develop a commitment to defending and rebounding to finish in the top half of our conference,” Aardema said.
“The chemistry and work ethic of this group has the potential to carry them to some really good things. But (our) lack of experience must be overcome. We will have to develop a commitment to defending and rebounding to finish in the top half of our conference.” Nate Aardema, coach
Isaac Love senior A three-year starter
Matt Russell junior
Other area schools gearing up for basketball season Local Sports Journal Ludington Girls – The Ludington girls’ basketball team will have a different look this season, but also a familiar one as well. Thad Shank takes over the Ludington girls team from John Stowe after a long stint as the boys’ varsity coach. “The transition has been very good,” Shank said. “There is a definite difference in the speed of the game. For me, it is the fact that I am coaching a program for the very first time so my terminology and what the girls have done throughout their rise up the feeder system is different.” What should make the transition easier for Shank is that he takes over a very talented team that advanced to the regional finals last season and finished with a 22-2 record. The Orioles will rely heavily on the talents of honorable mention all-state player D’Erika Varenhorst. The senior and four-year varsity player, averaged 14 points and nine rebounds last season. “She is a very good athlete,” Shank said. “She is a great athlete and very explosive. She rebounds the ball well and alters shots defensively.” The Orioles should also get a boost from the return of senior point guard Logan Meeker. Meeker was averaging nine points and five assists before breaking her ankle mid-season. A third senior Rachel Petzak will also be counted on to produce offense this season for the Orioles as she averaged nine points a game last season. Three other seniors Mekayla Steckyl, Maressa Sarto and Molly Hallead are good athletes and hard workers, who all should contribute key minutes for the Orioles. Ludington Boys – Ludington looks to surprise teams in the Lakes 8 this season using height and quickness as tools in its arsenal. The Orioles bring a trio of tall forwards and solid ball handlers into the starting rotation. But first-year coach James Bandstra knows his transition will not be easy. Jacob Schoon’s height and inside-outside versatility will give area teams all they can handle. Averaging eight points last season, the 6-foot-4 senior center brings an array of offensive and defensive skills to the hardcourt. Schoon can shoot the deep shot, has a midrange jump shot and an ability to work the post. Juniors Chase and Remington Rohrer are identical twins standing at 6-foot-3 and have solid skills around the basket along with good ball handling and defensive skills. Trevor Wahr is a three-year varsity player who will manage the point-guard duties. Wahr puts a lot of pressure on whoever defends him with aggressive play going to the basket and finding the open man. Christian Bandstra and Adam Bogus will spread out opposing defenders with their good outside presence at the shooting guard position. Mason County Central Girls – Mason County Central would love nothing more than to rebuild the tradition of MCC’s program. In the late 2000’s, the Spartans were annually one of the area’s top teams. If the Spartans are going to make a run in the state tournament this season they will rely on another Geers. Junior point guard Madison Geers the younger sister of Lauren, begins her third season on the varsity and will be the leader of MCC’s team. Geers averaged 16 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 assists and steals per game a year ago.
“Madison should be among the one of the best players in the area,” Mason County Central coach Mike Weinert said. The Spartans should have plenty if senior leadership with Holly Olenchak, Kassidy Jensen and Katelynn Cox. Junior Payton Bladzik and freshman Kylie Mount also are expected to contribute to the Spartans. Mason County Central Boys – Mason County Central was a very young team last season. The Spartans had four sophomores on the varsity, and they hope that experience will pay off this season. MCC head coach Jeff Tuka thought he had a good idea of what type of team he had heading into the season until injuries hit the Spartans. “At this point, we really have to take it day by day,” Tuka said. “I had a good idea before we had our injuries, and right now, I really don’t know.” The biggest injury was to 6-foot-6 center Sean Kelly. Kelly, who averaged 10 points and eight rebounds, suffered a season-ending knee injury. That will put more pressure on Kody Ambrose to provide increased scoring this season. The junior guard averaged 14.5 a game last season and shot 37 percent from 3-point range. Another one of the sophomores from last season who will be looked upon to be a big contributor this season will be Josh Ritzema. The 6-foot-2 guard-forward, averaged four points per game last season. Senior Payton Tyndall and sophomore Coltyn Tyndall should also see significant playing time. Hesperia Girls – First-year coach Tom Welsh is hoping hard work during the offseason and a great team chemistry will result in a successful season for the Panthers on the hard court. Led by junior forward Lauren Zeerip, the Panthers are hoping to drastically improve on their 1-19 record from a year ago. Zeerip already has made her presence felt with a 30-point performance against Walkerville. She also had 18 rebounds and 13 steals. “This team will work hard and has shown a desire to learn and improve,” Welsh said. “We will be much more competitive and will work hard every game.” Other players expected to contribute include junior guard Rachel Farber, junior forward Jacki Pulsipher, sophomore guard Kaycee Jackson, sophomore guard/forward Alex Bieri, senior guard/forward Christie Plewinski and junior guard Jenna Dodge. The top newcomer is freshman Miriah Stitt. “We are still very young, but they are athletic and will continue to improve throughout the season,” Welsh said. “We have a team goal of being in every game we play.” Hesperia Boys – The Hesperia boys’ basketball team was asked what their goals were for the season. And the response from the team was nearly unanimous. “A lot of the goals that came back from the kids are that they want to gain back respect,” Hesperia coach Randy Gordon said. “They want to gain respect in the league, from their peers, coaches and referees.” The Panthers, who are coming off a 2-18 season, have only won eight district games since 1973, which was the last time they won a district championship. Leading the Panthers this season will be senior Alex Prado (5-foot-10) the top returning scorer averaging eight points a year ago. “Alex is a strong and quick defender, Gordon said. “He is a good ball handler, and I expect him to pick up his
scoring this season.” Another senior that should provide scoring production will be forward Cody Harrald (6-foot). Another scoring option for the Panthers this season will be junior Joe McKewon (6-foot-3), who played on the varsity last season and averaged eight points a game. Other players expected to contribute for the Panthers will be junior Brett Salisbury at the forward and center position and senior point guard Eddie Coronado at point guard. Freshman Traxton Gordon should be a nice addition as well. Newaygo Girls – Newaygo is looking to rebound after a tough 2011-12 season and hopes to do so in a new league, the CSAA. After competing in the Lakes 8 Conference for many years, the Lions athletic department saw the switch being a good fit for the school’s tradition. The team will look to its three returning seniors and one junior for support. Sarah Carlson is a 5-foot-6 guard and team captain who will lead with her offensive skills and leadership. Katelyn Campbell is a 5-7 forward who will see solid playing time. Shayne Miller will be another presence inside for Newaygo at the forward position. Also returning is junior Shelby Boyd who will rotate between the guard and forward spots and will maintain captain duties for Newaygo. Newcomers for Newaygo are Allison Morgan, who is the tallest on the team at 5-foot-9 and will hold down the forward and center positions. Sophomore Madisen Giese will play the point guard spot while sophomore Shyanne Jones will work the forward position. The youngest on the team is freshman guard Riley Knight. Newaygo Boys – Newaygo is coming off a successful football season in a new conference, and the basketball team would like to carry over that momentum. “We have a good combination of size and quickness this season,” Coach Terry Bourke said. “We have plenty of work to do, but we are cautiously optimistic.” The Lions will look to a trio of players to lead them this season, including three-year varsity player Connor Bradley. Bradley, a senior, averaged 14 points and six rebounds last season and should form a potent inside threat with 6-foot-5 junior Dakota Queen, who averaged 14 points and nine rebounds on the jayvee team last season. Senior Max Harrington, who averaged 7.5 points last season, will add scoring punch. The Lions will be without Jack Warren a starter, who tore his ACL during football season. Senior Brit Giese, along with juniors Heath Harrington, Kyle Wright, Brandon Weinert and Weston Butler, should also contribute for the Lions this season. Grant Girls – Grant is facing a rebuilding season after losing seven seniors from last year’s squad which went 12-9 and finished tied for third in the Lakes 8. The Tigers do return one senior starter in Dayle Wood at the center position. She averaged five points and seven rebounds. Senior Megan Faurot will lead at the forward position while senior Kaycee Fahlen returns at the guard position. The Tigers will look to new and young faces this season. Junior guard Alyssa Male, and sophomores Dayna Wood and Stella Follett will play guard.
LocalSportsJournal.com: your place for Muskegon-area prep sports Local Sports Journal is approaching the six-month mark in providing area sports fans with the kind of coverage you are used to seeing. We know area sports fans are fanatics when it comes to area sports. And that’s why LocalSportsJournal.com was created in the first place. Since we launched our website on June 10, we have posted more than 1,100 items, and every one of them is related in some way to this area. And in that time, we have had nearly 50,000 views. The reason why we have been able to post such impressive numbers so quickly is that our dedicated staff of writers has the
passion to bring you the kind of stories you want to read. Not to mention that our staff has more than 100 years of experience in covering sports in this area. That group includes Ron Rop (32 years), Mike Mattson (24 years), Shawn Liverance (15 years), Dave Tomczak (11 years), Mark Lewis (11 years) and Jim Moyes, who started writing sports stories back in the 1950s. Not only does Local Sports Journal provide stories, but we’ve also found some very talented photographers who have helped us out. Also, the LSJ’s Jason Goorman has been shooting videos of the top sporting events in the area.
Those videos have received great response from our readers. Back in August, LSJ published a 24-page football preview section. It included a full page of photos and information on all the area teams. That special section was warmly received by area football fans. And what’s why we decided to take on another endeavor. This 28-page basketball preview section is the first of its kind in this area. No other media outlet has ever published a preview section dedicated to the high school boys and girls basketball teams in this area. As you can see, the LSJ is off to a
strong start. We appreciate all the positive comments we’ve received from players, coaches, parents, athletic directors and area sports fans. However, we will continue to strive to get even better in the future. We also would like to thank our sponsors who have supported us and we look forward to continuing that relationship. If you would like to become an LSJ sponsor, contact us via email at Sports@localsportsjournal.com We guarantee you will not find a better website providing coverage of area sports. Thank you for your support, Ron Rop and Jason Goorman – Co-publishers, LocalSportsJournal.com
Which Muskegon-area teams made it to the state title game? BOYS BASKETBALL A total of 47 area boys basketball teams have played in a state championship game. CLASS A 1961: Detroit Catholic Central 72, Muskegon Heights 53 1957: Muskegon Heights 61, Detroit Austin 49 1956: Muskegon Heights 63, Hamtramck 53 1954: Muskegon Heights 43, Flint Northern 41 (OT) 1942: Saginaw 27, Muskegon 24 (OT) 1939: Flint Northern 37, Muskegon Heights 27 1937: Muskegon 37, Holland 27 1931: Grand Haven 31, Lansing Central 15 1927: Muskegon 32, Battle Creek Central 24 1926: Detroit Southeastern 26, Muskegon 20 CLASS B 2011: Lansing Sexton 75, Muskegon Heights 60 2005: Grand Rapids South Christian 67, Muskegon Heights 60 2003: Grand Rapids South Christian 87, Muskegon Heights 64 1993: Saginaw Buena Vista 69, Muskegon Heights 52 1979: Muskegon Heights 52, Saginaw Buena Vista 47 1978: Muskegon Heights 67, Ecorse 52 1974: Muskegon Heights 52, Holt 44 1972: River Rouge 65, Muskegon Heights 64 1971: River Rouge 71, Muskegon Heights 65
1992: Western Michigan Christian 64, Sand Creek 47 1980: Detroit East Catholic 88, Western Michigan Christian 64
1947: Alma 32, Fremont 20 1935: Grand Haven 22, Detroit St. Theresa 21 1934: Grand Haven 33, Ypsilanti Central 14 1933: Grand Haven 24, Mt. Pleasant 11 1929: Grand Haven 25, Howell 18
1979: Detroit East Catholic 58, Western Michigan Christian 56 1953: Muskegon St. Joseph 58, Detroit All Saints 51 (OT) 1942: Leland 18, Whitehall 13 1939: Muskegon St. Joseph 16, Dryden 15 1933: Ann Arbor St. Thomas 17, Kent City 16 (OT)
CLASS C 1998: Detroit dePorres 58, Mason County Central 46 1972: Shelby 71, Saginaw St. Stephen 61 1971: Shelby 71, Stockbridge 57 1970: Muskegon Christian 52, St. Ignace 51 1965: Muskegon Christian 54, Grosse Pointe St. Paul 51 1962: Muskegon Christian 79, Kalamazoo Christian 54 1959: Kalamazoo Christian 63, Muskegon Christian 59 1958: Muskegon Christian 45, Highland Park St. Benedict 35 1953: Saginaw St. Mary 59, Muskegon St. Mary 57 1927: Reed City 18, Shelby 5
GIRLS BASKETBALL A total of eight girls basketball teams have played in a state championship game. CLASS A 2012: Grand Haven 54, Grosse Pte. South 53 CLASS C 1985: Newaygo 46, Detroit dePorres 43 1984: Newaygo 57, Pewamo-Westphalia 52 1982: Carrollton 60, White Cloud 32 1976: Allen Park Cabrini 48, Mason County Central 35
CLASS D 2010: Western Michigan Christian 66, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 56 2009: Western Michigan Christian 62, Cedarville 61 2008: Western Michigan Christian 58, Detroit City 57 2000: Detroit City 70, Western Michigan Christian 49 1999: Western Michigan Christian 60, Detroit City 59 1993: Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 53, Western Michigan Christian 42
CLASS D 1988: Walkerville 70, Portland St. Patrick 52 1987: Walkerville 65, Martin 59 1973: Ewen Trout Creek 57, North Muskegon 48
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Boysâ€™ Hall of Fame games to be held Dec. 27-28 The Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame will be sponsoring its 11th annual Meijer Hall of Fame Classic high school basketball tournament at Reeths-Puffer High School. The two-day event is scheduled for Dec. 27-28. This highly anticipated prep tournament has returned more than $100,000 to its competing schools since 2002. A Hall of Fame girls basketball tournament began in 2010 and will be at Mona Shores High School. That tournament will be Dec. 20-21. For years, the Muskegon vs. Muskegon Heights basketball game was the backbone of the event. This year, with the uncertainty of the Muskegon Heights athletic program earlier this year, the Hall of Fame board decided to reach out and broaden the scope of the tournament with the addition of strong programs Westland John Glenn, Grand Rapids Christian, East Kentwood and Grand Haven. Here is the schedule for the 2012 Meijer Hall of Fame Classic boys basketball tournament at Reeths-Puffer High School: Thursday, Dec. 27 6 p.m.: Grand Rapids Christian vs. East Kentwood 7:30 p.m.: Muskegon vs. Westland John Glenn Friday, Dec. 28 6 p.m.: Grand Haven vs. Westland John Glenn 7:30 p.m.: Muskegon vs. East Kentwood