The Grant Wrestling team took home the runner-up trophy from the annual Kelloggsville Team Tournament. The Tigers opened by defeating Fennville 54-10,before tacking on win number 2 over host Kelloggsville 54-27. Senior James Montney recorded his 100th career win by pin during the dual. The grapplers from Grant then pulled off a tight 37-36 victory over Coopersville then saw their 5 dual victory streak get halted by Gull Lake by a score of 48-29. The Tigers finished strong defeating Buchanan 54-24 to secure second place in the 6 team tournament Going undefeated on the day with 5 victories were Billy Ostyn (4 pins), Jaggar Jenerou (3 pins), Kalub Bonter (3 pins), and Montney (5 pins). Gabe Castro (4 pins) went 4-1, while Emma Morey, Joe Millett, Hunter Humphreys, Drew Luoma (3 pins), and Austin Ulrich each pitched in 3 victories.
Tiger Hoop Report
Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant Varsity Girls Looking to Get the Jitters Out Big Rapids 44 Grant 34 The Grant Varsity Tigers opened up their CSAA Gold conference play against the Lady Cardinals of Big Rapids. “This is our first conference game,” stated Paige Paulsen, Grant’s head coach. “We’re looking to get the jitters out, and play well.” Grant’s young squad would certainly be put to the test against a veteran Big Rapids team headed by seniors Kaitlyn Ray, Kelsey Walch, and Jayla Strickland; of whom both Ray and Strickland have the eyes of college scouts. Regrettably for the Lady Tigers, the first half of play did not go as Coach Paulsen had hoped. “[Big Rapids] did what they wanted to. They established how they were going to play right away, and it kind of put us on our heels,” noted Coach Paulsen as Big Rapids jumped to the early lead and led by seven at the end of the first quarter. While the Lady Tigers were able to move the ball around the parameter, a lack of movement on the inside and the quickness of the Cardinals made for a dismal second quarter. The tigers were only able to net an addition four points with only two of those points off the field. The other two were earned on free throws. By the end of the half, it was looking like a long night for the Tigers as Big Rapids dominated the boards 27-11. However, games are not won and lost in the first half, and a much more relaxed and focused Tiger team appeared in the second half. “We came out in the second half, and really didn’t back down; made a good run,” said Coach Paulsen. The Tigers limited Big Rapids to only ten points in the third quarter while gaining ground with 15 of their own. The fourth quarter continued to see the downward trend of Big Rapids finding the rim as the Tigers only allowed the Cardinals seven points. Unfortunately the Tigers couldn’t make it up due to a couple of turnovers and some easy Big Rapids layups by the time the final buzzer sounded losing to the Cardinals 44-34. Junior Kylee Wemple lead the Tigers with 14 points, followed by sophomore Kirstyn Throop with nine, junior Jill Arends with seven, and junior Kylie Patton with four. Up next for the Tigers is the Eagles of Kent City on Tuesday, December 12 starting at 5:30 in the Grant Middle School gym.
Grant Varsity Boys Look to Prove They Can Compete Big Rapids 65 Grant 61 The Grant Varsity Boys opened up their CSAA Gold conference play against the one team that kept them from a conference championship last year; the Cardinals of Big Rapids. Last year the Cardinals dominated the conference with Braeden Childress, Jakob Martinson, Jackson Lund, and Dorian Martin; all of whom returned to the Cardinal squad this year. “I wasn’t sure what [Big Rapids] had as far as a bench, but man those forwards are as good as anyone we have in our conference right now,” stated Tiger’s head coach Matthew McCorkle. “So I wasn’t sure what we were going to do because we’re inexperienced. I start two freshman, a sophomore, and two seniors; one who didn’t play a whole lot last year.” The Tigers were coming off a close lose to Whitehall on Tuesday night where returning sophomore Carter Chase put up 35 points so anticipations and hope were high that maybe the boards would fall Grant’s way this season. Apparently Big Rapids received the memo about Chase’s work against Whitehall. Right from the opening tip off, Big Rapids made sure that Chase was well covered. The Cardinals jumped out to a nine point lead while Grant could not field a board for the first five minutes. But thanks largely to the determined play of Senior Tyler Naffziger, once the Tigers did find the net, it took only one minute for them to tie it up. From that point on, the Tigers were out to show Big Rapids it was game on. The Tigers began spreading out the shots which opened up Chase, and by the time play ended for the first half, the Tigers headed into the locker room with a one point lead 29-28. The second half of play picked up right where the first half left off. Both teams battled hard switching leads, yet it seemed that Big Rapids always had an answer when Grant would get up on them. And with one minute remaining in the game, excitement was mounting as Grant evened up the score 61-61. Could David slew Goliath for a CSAA Gold upset? The Cardinals scored quick but left plenty of time for Grant to rise to the challenge. Unfortunately the Tigers were called for traveling in the Cardinals offensive half, and Big Rapids put up another board to stretch the lead to four with only eight seconds left on the clock. That proved to be too much for the young Tiger squad to overcome, and in the end Big Rapids avoided the upset winning 65-61. Carter Chase led the Tiger’s effort with 18 points, followed by Tyler Naffziger with 15, Michael Frey with 8, Alex Longcore with 7, Brett Long with 6, Cole Chase with 5, and Frederick Hull with 2. “I think we can compete with anybody. Whether it’s Whitehall on Tuesday who goes 6’8” and 6’6”, and I go 6’3”, or we go against a team that’s really athletic like Big Rapids,” stated Coach McCorkle. “I think we can hang with anybody whether it’s big, small, whether they want to play physical, we’re up for the challenge. So I think we’re ready for anything… But credit to my guys, they stepped up and they’ve been doing it two games in a row. I just wish that the hard work would translate to some victories now.” The Tigers next meet the Eagles of Kent City on Tuesday, December 12 starting at 7:00 in the Grant Middle School gym.
BOYS: Packers Rally For Win, Lions Outrun By Coyotes
The Packers moved to 2-0 on the young season overcoming foul trouble in winning their conference opener while the Lions fell shot in a high scoring affair in Reed City
Fremont 57 Chippewa Hills 51 “We were able to survive a sloppy game with most of our starters in foul trouble against a scrappy and aggressive Remus Chippewa Hills team,” said Coach Pete Zerfas after the Packers survived a tough CSAA opener. The Warriors battled to a halftime tie then edged ahead by a point after three before the Packers came back with a strong 4th quarter. Despite taking extended breaks from collecting too many infractions Logan Karnemaat stayed on the floor long enough to drop 22 on the Warriors while grabbing 7 boards and rejecting 4 shots off the hands of Chip Hills players.Calvin Miler caught fire in the second half scoring 14 points and led the team on the glass with 13 rebounds. Ben Schmidt also reached double figures with 10 points while dishing out 6 dimes and picking Warrior pockets 5 times. “We played more inspired basketball in the 4th outscoring Chip Hills by 13 in the first 4 minutes to take a 12 point lead and hung on from there,” added Coach Zerfas. Fremont (1-0, 2-0) go on the road to face Sparta Tuesday. Reed City 79 Newaygo 72 The Lions kept in close up in Coyote country but could not gain the ground they needed against their hosts. Connor Swinehart led a trio of Newaygo players who finished in double figure scoring with 22 points adding a team high 12 boards. Mitch Karrip finished with 15 and Morgan Manlikck dropped a dozen for the Lions. Newaygo heads west Wednesday for a non conference tilt with Holton.
Lakeview 58 White Cloud 36 The Indians were down just 5 at the half but the Wildcats came out of intermission on fire and distanced themselves in the third to secure the Silver opener from the Cloud Jared Elder led the team knocking down 13 points with Sean Kakoczki adding 8. Delton Dowling scored his first Varsity points for the Indians
Girls: Cloud Rolling, Pack On Track , Coyotes Defeat Lions
White Cloud 48 Lakeview 39 Hannah Brown was on fire Friday night as she ripped the nets for 29 points to lead the Indians past the Wildcats in the conference opener for both teams. Lakeview sent her to the charity stripe in the 4th in an attempt to catch up but Brown coolly dropped in 9 of 10 down the stretch. Eleis Plotts continues to show a lot of mettle against taller front courts as she held her own in the paint knocking down 10 points and notching a team high 11 boards. Olivia Bowman continues to shine for the Cloud putting together another excellent all-around game with 5 rebounds, 3 stars and a pair of assists. “This was a monster win for our young team,” said Coach Kurt Brown. White Cloud goes cross conference Tuesday to face Reed City of the Gold Division in Coyote country.
Fremont 54 Chippewa Hills 30 Fired up by the return of Bre Harris to the lineup from an injury the Packers took care of business in their conference opener with a convincing victory over the visiting Warriors Friday night. Holding a 6 point edge at halftime, Fremont exploded out of the locker room for 21 points in the third with 9 coming off the hands of Harris, then followed with 16 more in the final frame. “Just a great team effort for us tonight as we played our best defensive game of the season while all ten players were able to score tonight,” said Packer Coach John Krim. Harris excelled on the defensive end grabbing a total of 10 steals. Anna Patenge continues to be prolific in the paint as she finished with 10 rebounds to go with her 11 points and Natalie Jamieson hit for 9. Calla Miller notched 5 steals for th Pack and Chloe Shriver scored 5 points in the winning effort. The Packers are now 2-1 on the year and 1-0 i conference play. The will host Sparta Tuesday in non conference tilt
Reed City 46 Newaygo 31 The Lions fought to within 3 points at halftime but the Coyotep pulled away after intermission to take the conference opener. "We just weren't able to get over the hump in the 2nd half,” said Lion Coach Nate Thomasma.“ We gave up too many easy baskets in the first half and it's hard to beat a team like Reed City while doing that. They are well coached and their girls play hard. We competed well against them. We just have to put together a good 4 quarters. “We’re happy with the effort and look forward to bouncing back next week." Madi Bush led the Lions with 13 points and 7 rebounds with Jaylee Long hitting for 7 points and Lily Ruehmeier finishing with 6 to go with her half dozen boards.Daisy Hagen also finished with 6 rebounds. The Lions (0-1, 1-2) next game is Friday when they go on the road to face Chippewa Hills.
Central Montcalm 55 Tri County 36
BOYS HOOPS: Packers Double Up Tigers In Opener
Fremont 54 Shelby 27 The Tigers came out with a lot of energy grabbing an early 6-2 lead then holding off Fremont to end the first quarter with a 14-12 advantage. Then the Packer defensekicked in to hold the Tigers to a half dozen points in the second as Fremont went to intermission with a 26-18 edge. The second half saw the Packer ‘D’ smother the Tiger attack holding them to 2 points and building a 41-20 lead they would use to cruise to the win Calvin Miller led Fremont with 14 points and 10 rebounds Logan Karnemaat hit for 12 points, while snaring 7 rebounds and rejecting 4 Shelby shots. Both Bailey Baddis and Carter Moon played well in their first varsity starts with 9 points each. The Packers will host Chippewa Hills Friday in their home and conference opener.
BOYS: Cloud Comeback Falls Short
Hart 47 White Cloud 34 It took a quarter into the season for the Cloud offense to wake from hibernation as they failed to score while yielding a 15 point lead to their opponent. Once the drought ended the Indians battled their way back to pull within 2 of the Pirates in the fourth before a late Hart rally put the game on ice. Devion Trice paced the scoring for the Cloud with 10 points and Darrion Holland hit for 8 while Buck Seabrook and Sean Kakoczki dropped in a half dozen each. “I’m proud of the way we fought and never gave up,” said Coach Bob Jones. There’s still a lot to work on but there’s a lot to feel good about as well. “Hopefully Friday’s home cooking will help.” White Cloud opens Silver Division play Friday when they host Lakeview
GIRLS: Lions Roar To Early Lead, Defeat Red Devils, ‘Cats Late Run Beats Vikes
Newaygo 47 Holton 28 The Lions took control early building a 23-9 bead by halftime before busting out of intermission with a 10-1 run in the third. In a foul filled game involving 46 whistled infractions for the two teams the Red Devils went to the line 20 times in the fourth quarter when they broke out of a scoring slump to notch 18 points. The Lion freshmen paced the offense as Jaylee Long led the Lions with 16 points and 4 steals while Lily Reuhmeier finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Madi Bush chipped in 6 points and pulled down a team high 8 rebounds adding 4 steals. Sophia Frisbie and Alexis Bocker notched 5 points apiece. "Overall, I thought we played a pretty good game. We still haven't shot the ball as well as we can, but the girls worked through and played a good game. Defensively, we have to move our feet a little bit better and get into better position. "We’re happy with the W.” Newaygo evened its record d to 1-1 on the season and will begin conference play Frida when they travel to Reed City to face the Coyotes. Holton will be glad to be ending their three team tour of the Gold Division finishing 0-3 against the Packers Vikings and Lions
Lakeview 39 Tri County 31 Maybe it was the sudden change in outside temperatures that put a chill on the TC offense Tuesday night as the Vikes could not seem to find the bottom of the cylinder. Despite those shooting woes The game was knotted at 30 apiece with 5 minutes to play before the Wildcats sent their fans home happy with a 9-1 run to seal the win. Grace Miller paced the Viking scoring finishing with 8 points. Tri County travels to Stanton Friday to face Central Montcalm in the Gold Division opener for both schools.
GIRLS: Cloud Sinks Pirates; Pack Falls To Tigers
White Cloud 50 Hart 35 The Indians put together four quarters of basketball Monday night and came away with a convincing win over the Pirates. Hannah Brown poured in a team high 24 points while picking the Pirate pockets 4 times and adding 5 rebounds. Elexis Plotts was a force on the glass pulling down 10 boards to match her 10 points. Hallie Schulz notched a half dozen points and Olivia Bowman put together a strong all around game posting 7 rebounds while dishing out 5 assist. White Cloud evened their record at 1-1 and will enter conference play this Friday when they face the Wildcats of Lakeview
Shelby 47 Fremont 32 Jenny Beckmann and Toni Mussell combined for 22 of the 29 Tiger points in the first half to give the visitors a 15 point edge by intermission. That lead would stand up as the teams played evenly the second half and the Tigers left town with the win. “Shelby did a great job on the boards when they missed and that was not very often in the first half.,” said Fremont Coach John Krim. The Packers struggled from the stripe connecting on just 3 of 15 tries. Calla Miller knocked in a team high 13 points,Anna Patenge finished with 10 rebounds and Chloe Shriver grabbed 5 steals while hitting fora half dozen points. The loss evens the Packer record at 1-1 as they open CSAA Gold platy Friday night facing Chippewa Hills.
Girls: Vikes Stifle Red Devils In Opener
Tri County 60 Holton 17 The Vikings opened the season with a convincing 60-17 victory Thursday night. After leading 21-13 at half, Tri County started the second half with a 25-0 run. 11 Vikings scored in the contest, led by Tricia Slavens and Summer Longstreet with 10. Emma Overbeek added 8. Slavens tallied 8 rebounds. “Our effort and enthusiasm were outstanding tonight. We did a great job of sharing the ball”, said Tri County coach Chris Overbeek. The Vikings will travel to Lakeview next Tuesday.
Girls Hoops: A Trio Of Openers
Tigers Take Thriller, Pack Wins, Lions Fall To Vikings
Grant 47 White Cloud 44 It seemed like two separate games Tuesday night as the Tigers traveled north to face the Indians in the season opener for both teams. Jill Arends opened the scoring for Grant and was answered immediately by Hannah Brown for the Cloud.Kylie Patton canned a shot followed by a split from the line by Hallie Schultz. Then Olivia Bowman stepped up and fired in a pair of triples giving the hosts a lead they would hold until just before the final frame. The Indians were dictating tempo and breaking the Tiger press with a crisp passing game while playmaker Brown efficiently ran her offense hitting a three pointer, dishing off to teammates, and running the pick and roll she and Elexis Plotts have mastered in their years playing together. Brown also shoveled a pair of pinpoint passes to Schulz before the end of the quarter to put the Indians in the driver’s seat with a 19-8 advantage. Grant picked it up a bit in the second quarter, holding the Indians to 9 points and getting a couple of 3’s from Arends and Cecilia Male. Brown tripled again and worked some inside magic with Plotts and White Cloud would enter intermission with a 28-17 lead, but toward the end of the half Patton seemed to fire her teammates up when she came up with a thundering block from inside the paint. The third quarter Patton absolutely caught fire. She ruled the inside game pulling down rebounds, scoring off timely passes from the hands of Nicole Whan, Arends and Kirstyn Throop and when she wasn’t rejecting, she was misdirecting. It was Throop that got it going after the break knocking one down from beyond the arc, . Plotts muscled one in through heavy traffic before Patton split from the line then blocked two quick attempts leading to a break that saw Arends rip another 3. Throop scored from the top of the key then Arends found Patton for 2 to cut the deficit to 30-28. Bowman stopped the 8-0 run with a bucket that was answered by Patton then after a Grant stop Patton took a rebound and hit one just before the buzzer to knot the game at 32 heading into the final period. The Tiger press began to wear on the hosts as the fourth began with a steal by Throop followed by a Whan basket and Grant had their first lead since early in the first quarter. The Indians responded to tie it up before Throop ripped the nets for three and a 37-34 Tiger lead. Plotts worked her way in for 2 to cut the lead to one and after turnovers by both teams Patton took a Whan pass missed the shot but hit the putback and was fouled. She converted to make it 40-36 and after a defensive stop on a 5 second call Whan hit for 2 to stretch the lead to 42-36 with under 2 minutes left. The Indians failed to score and began fouling to get the Tigers to the line. Grant missed the front end of a pair if 1:1 opportunities but their defense held off the Cloud until Plotts stepped up again this time with a with a triple to make it a one possession game.The teams traded missed free throws until Throop canned a pair to stretch the lead to 44-39. Alexis Strait gave Cloud fans hope when she took aim from 3 point land and hit a clutch basket and the Indians had another possession after a turnover but the Tiger defense held again and the opener went to the girls from Grant.
Fremont 51 Holton 30 With Bre Harris on the sidelines nursing an injury the Packers won their opener with a strong second half showing that bested the Red Devils. “We got in serious full trouble in the first half and had to play a much more conservative style for us,” said Packer Coach John Krim. “ The 2nd half we turned the pressure up on defense and were able to score in transition. Fremont held a 14-11 lead at the half before distancing themselves from the visitors with an 18-5 third quarter. Leading a balanced Fremont scoring attack was Natalie Jamieson with 14 points.Calla Miller hit for 9 and added 8 steals while Torey Reichert-Slater and Chloe Shriver banged in 8 apiece. Anna Patenge had a big night on the boards pulling down 15 rebounds to go with her 4 points.Riley Sweet also tallied 4 with Taylor Crowley and Katie Nicholas each notching a pair. Kaylie Piper led the Red Devils with 12 points. “It was a good start for us,” added Coach Krim.
Whitehall 56 Newaygo 43 I what proved to be a physical game the Lions battled to a 30-28 halftime lead on the road in Whitehall but the Vikings came out strong in the second half to go in front and hold back the visitors sealing the deal at the free throw line in the final minutes Alexis Brocker led the Lions with 11 points while grabbing 7 steals. Jaylee Long had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in her varsity debut while Madison Bush finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds "Overall, pleased with the effort and intensity we gave tonight,” said Coach Nate Thomasma. “ Whitehall is a good, well coached physical team. We are never happy losing a game and there are some things we need to work on and improve at.
THE PREP REPORT
Boys Hoops Preview By N3 Sports Team
The Gold Division could be a dogfight this season as a cluster of teams have strong returning casts while others were hit hard by graduation and look to rely on players new to the Varsity game.
Grant Tigers The Tigers finished last season with 17 wins and a district title. This year they return just 4 players from that squad with Carter Chase the lone starter coming back. The varsity experience of Tyler Naffziger Alex Longcore and Mike Frey will be counted on to provide leadership to the half dozen newcomers to the ‘A’ team. “We are going to need contributions from everyone this year if we are going to be successful, especially from our young guys Freddy Hull, Brett Long, and Karlton Zerlaut,” said Coach Matt McCorkle in his second year guiding the Grant varsity. Also new to varsity this year are Cole Chase, Connor VanderWilt, and Patrick Lancestremere. “Having so many inexperienced and young guys on the team this year, it's hard to predict how we are going to be. I think we will have a good idea how we stack up once we hit the holiday break.” Coach McCorkle:”Our conference is probably open for the taking for the first time in at least 3 years given the graduation of Demetri Martin & Co. from Big Rapids. That said, the Cardinalsare the reigning champs and until proven otherwise, they will be the team to beat again this year. “I foresee Fremont being a frontrunner for the conference title though Reed City could also win it this year. Reed City was super young last year and I think they only lost two seniors. Central Montcalm is going to be tough this year. I think they will surprise a few teams, including us, if you don't come in focused with a good game plan. “Overall, the league is going to be tough. It is going to be vital to protect your home floor and then sneak out a couple of road wins.” Grant opens against the Vikings in Whitehall on Tuesday December 5th before coming home to face the Cardinals of BR on Friday December 8th. Fremont Packers Coach Pete Zerfas welcomes back 8 players including 3 starters to a team that looks to be in the hunt for a conference title. Ben Schmidt, coming off a stellar cross country season, and point guard Riley Krim along with Logan Karnemaat who will be working the paint for the Pack lead a strong cast of returnees including 3 point sharpshooter Bailey Baddis, Wyatt Kaastra, Micah Whittle, Caleb Kooman and Ben DeVries, Calvin Miller, Carter Moon, Julian Echavarria, and Noah Christensen will be the new arrivals on the scene. “We return a very nice mix of experience and have some good players coming off the JV, said Coach Zerfas. “ We have size and athletic ability and had a very good summer. Our concerns are that we are banged up and will not be starting healthy.” Krim is working his way back from some football injuries and is day to day while Kaastra is out until Christmas recovering from surgery. Coach Zerfas: “I think our league is wide open with Big Rapids and Grant losing key players, but both teams returning experienced and talented players also. Reed City returns its entire team as they were very young and Central Montcalm is the dark horse in the league returning good players to go with their undefeated JV league team from last year. I also think Newaygo and Chippewa Hills will be athletic and good. It will be wide open. We will be in the mix. The Packers start their season on the road Tuesday, December 5th when they take on the Tigers of Shelby. The home opener will be Friday the 8th when they host Chippewa Hills in the first conference game.
Newaygo Lions “We’re hoping to build on last year,” said coach Joe Barrette. “With over 50% of our offensive production returning this season, the sky’s the limit.” The varsity welcomes back five players from last year’s team including Mitch Karrip, Connor Swinehart, Jacob Polasek, Morgen Manlick, and Richard Hearth. Newcomers Cooper Heinzman, Kade Bhuyan, Noah Cantu, Ryan Brummel, Gabe Limberg, and Brandon Sekach round out this year’s squad. Swinehart can dominate inside play and the Lions will boast some strong play from the guard position. Coach Barrett: “We will play with energy and enthusiasm. Our goal is to represent our school with class and dignity every time we take the floor.” The Lions have a tough scheduling start to the season opening December 6th at Reed City followed by three more road games before the holiday break. Fans will get to see them perform at home for the first time on January 5th when they face the Central Montcalm Hornets
Tri County Vikings Six players return from a year ago when the Vikes won just a single contest. Seniors Macario Castillo, Kyle Proctor, Hunter Merchant, Wil McClurken, and Mason Clewley and junior Chase Jelinski have logged varsity minutes and will be leading a youthful team with Nick Poprawski and Bryce Hallan key additions from last year’s JV squad. Coach Josh Delamater“The challenge for this season will be competing in every game.With Big Rapids and Grant graduating some significant players, the conference is up for grabs. We may not be looked at as a contender, but the boys have been working hard to improve. The schedule sends the Vikings road-bound for their first four contests beginning with a short trip to Lakeview to face the Wildcats. Like Newaygo TC won’t host a game until after the New Year has been rung in. Chippewa Hills comes to town the 5th. Of January
White Cloud Indians Eight varsity veterans and 4 new faces will be plying the hardboards in White Cloud for Coach Bob Jones. Seniors Jared Elder, Darion Holland,Sean Kakoczki,Andrew Newfer and Buchanan Seabrook as well as juniors Garret Ebert, Trenton Jones, and Devon Trice return to be joined by incoming juniors Delton Dowling, Gavin Kehr, Chance Montemayor,and Adrian Rodriguez. Coach Jones cites varsity experience as one of the team’s strengths while recognizing a lack of height will make competing with taller teams a challenge. Tuesday December 5th sees the Cloud heading into Hart where they will open the season facing the Pirates. On Friday December 8th they will host the Wildcats of Lakeview.
Near North Nowwill be providing coverage throughout the season to recognize the efforts put forth by our student athletes. If you have photographs of the games you would like to share in our pages or would like to assist in providing coverage please let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls Basketball Preview
Girls Basketball Preview Ready? It’s Hoops time again, the beginning of a lengthy season that will stretch through the winter months into what we hope will be the cusp of an early spring come tournament time. With the Girls kicking things off next week the staff of the much acclaimed N3 Sports and Custodial Services Department gathered a little information on the local teams for our friendly readers. Next week we’ll follow up with the skinny on the Boys squads.
Fremont The Packers will be a fun team to watch with Bre Harris and Anna Patenge capping off their 4 year Varsity careers, sophomore Natalie Jamieson playing her second season with the A squad. and returning starter Riley Sweet heading up a supporting cast that includes freshman Calla Miller and sophomore Chloe Shriver. Senior Erin Belleman and juniors Torey Reichert-Slater and.Taylor Crowley return to the team and are joined by newcomers Katie Nicholas and Hannah Hamilton. Then midway through the season the team will add Brianna and Sydney Noordyke who previously played in the Home School League. Transfer rules will keep them out for the first ten games but the senior sisters should add to what looks to be a versatile offensive arsenal. Harris has been a sparkplug for the team since she burst on the scene as a freshman grabbing attention with her fearless style of play that as led to three years of bumps and bruises along the way. Frequently targeted by opposing defenses she still drops more than 15 points a game while tossing in some defensive wizardry including a school record 15 steals in a game last year. Patenge is a force in the paint where her defensive skills helped keep opponents under 40 points a game last season. She is a workhorse on the glass leading the Pack in boards each of the past 2 seasons. Jamieson was a much different player at the end of the season than when she arrived on the varsity scene gaining confidence along the way. She seems to possess quick hands along with uncanny instincts for rebounding. This is a team that looks to be strong on defense once again while expanding their offensive arsenal. They are, however, a bit banged up and Harris will likely miss the opener. Others are nursing various injuries and may miss games or be limited in playing time. Not the kind of start a coach wants with a long road ahead for his team but the addition of the Noordykes mid season will be most welcome. “We have a great combination of experience and youth going into this season,” said Coach John Krim in his 5th season guiding the Packers. “There is experience at all 5 starting positions with the key spots of point guard and center filled by 4 year varsity players. 4 starters who contributed to the majority of the scoring for us last season return plus we feel we have quality players coming off the bench.” “We are very excited about the upcoming season and couldn’t be happier with the caliber of the young ladies we have on this year’s team.They are a very hard working group who take a lot of pride in the way they play defense and practice unselfish basketball . If we stay injury free, and that's a big if right now, we believe we have a chance to be very competitive this season and hope to make it difficult on the league favorites. The Packers open at home Tuesday facing the Red Devils of Holton in a game beginning at 7 pm.
Newaygo The Lions lost 5 seniors to graduation and return just 4 players from last years team. That quartet of seniors will need to provide leadership to a group new to the varsity hardboards. Madi Bush is the lone starter from last season though the other seniors Daisy Hagen, Alexis Brocker and Dana Duchemin each logged significant minutes and should be major contributors on both ends of the court. While not short on talent the young Lions are a bit short on experience. And height as well “We're going to be younger and a little bit inexperienced this year,” said Coach Nate Thomasma. “We are also pretty small again this year so we are really going to have to work hard on the glass.” A half dozen newcomers to the varsity scene will be on a quick learning curve in what looks to be a rugged Gold Division. “Our conference is going to be pretty tough with all the teams bringing back a lot of experience so we are going to have our hands full every night.” Sophomore Sophia Frisbie and freshmen Lillian Ruehmeier and Jaylee Long join juniors Sarah Behnke, Mya Berwald, and Daniella Duchemin as additions to the new look Lion squad. “Our 6 newcomers are working hard and learning everyday,” added the coach.“ I am happy with the effort and the attitudes of the girls.They are meshing real well and putting in some good work so I'm excited to see what the season will bring.” "It’s a good group to be around.” The Lions begin the season by traveling to Whitehall to take on the Vikings Tuesday . Gametime 7pm.
Tri County The Vikings lost two of the area’s premier scorers when Ashley Bowen and Jenna Degeer cap and gowned it last spring. Defensive stopper Julia Hauenstein joined them in the ceremony leaving the defending District champs with gaps to fill. Fortunately the team returns 4 seniors in their third varsity year, Tricia Slavens, Emma Overbee, Taylor Reed, and Dayoni Mahlich. Each played major roles in taking home that district hardware. Adding to the depth are seniors Julia Bice and Cierra Rose and juniors Jessica Thompson and Grace Miller who enter their second varsity season. Newcomers to the team include senior Errin Kamp and Mickalia Sprik, juniors Emma Sickelsteel and Summer Longstreet and freshman Alicia Bowen. Yes, that’s right, Bowen. “Our strength will be in our depth and athleticism” said Coach Chris Overbeek.”We’ll use this to push an up-tempo pace. “The conference will be very balanced. While I would list Central Montcalm as the favorite, I believe there are as many as 6 teams that could win the title.” The Vikings sail into a new season Thursday November 30 when the Red Devils of Holton continue their cross conference tour. Gametime 7pm
Grant A rugged beginning saw Grant staring at a 1-9 mark as the basketball season reached the midway point last year. Then it started to click on the court for the Tigers as they ran off wins in 9 of the next 12 before falling in the district finals. “We have 4 players coming back who played a significant role for us last year,”said Coach Paige Paulsen. Juniors Kylie Paton, Jill Arends,and Cecelia Male along with sophomore Nicole Whan make up that quartet of returnees who will lead the way for the Tigers this season. “The Gold will be a tough conference this year, added Coach Paulsen.“ Central Montcalm, Big Rapids and Tri County have all have had a lot of success the last couple years while Fremont and Reed City may also challenge for the top spot. Every night in conference will be a dog fight. “We are looking to be fundamentally sound on defense and limit our turnovers on offense. We have a look of people that can play many positions, so finding our identity we be key to having success.” The Tigers take a trip to the Cloud Tuesday for a 7pm game
White Cloud The Indians return 5 players from last years team led by junior Hannah Brown and senior Elexis Plotts “With new additions combined with experienced leadership, we are hoping to create some noise in the conference’” said Coach Kurt Brown The Indian roster includes seniors Breanna Sutherland and Arianna Kakoczki along with juniors Hallie Schulz, Kayla Pasch and Haley Foster, sophomores Olivia Bowman and Layna Yeiter and freshman Alexis Strait. White Cloud will host the Tigers of Grant Tuesday with tip-off scheduled for 7pm.
Bear Season Begins
The 2017 bear hunting regulations can be found in the Bear Hunting Digest, available online at michigan.gov/dnrdigests.
Michigan’s first bear season of 2017 starts today in a few counties of the northwestern Lower Peninsula, with seasons in other locations opening Sept. 10 and 17. For the 2017 hunting season, 7,140 bear licenses were available across 10 different bear management units in Michigan. Close to 56,000 hunters applied for either a preference point for future license drawings or a bear hunt unit – 4,500 more than in 2016. Drawing results were available to applicants starting June 26. See a video about how the bear preference point system works. Since 1925, hunting has been part of the state's bear management program, with several different hunting structures seen over the years. The majority of Michigan’s bear population resides in the Upper Peninsula, with an estimated adult black bear population of nearly 10,000. The Lower Peninsula’s adult black bear population is estimated at over 2,500. “Our diverse habitat in Michigan produces excellent bear hunting opportunities,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources bear management specialist Kevin Swanson. “Millions of acres of public land give unlimited locations for hunters to target. You just have to keep in mind where bear are traveling now and the food they’re after this time of year.”
Free junior deer hunting licenses available at Meijer Friday/Saturday
Young hunters once again will have the opportunity to get a free deer hunting license at all Meijer stores in Michigan Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9. Youths must be accompanied by an adult, and can receive the free junior deer hunting license coupon in stores. Locate a Michigan Meijer store. The coupon is valid for one junior deer hunting license, a $20 value, or mentored youth hunting license. Those who hunt in Michigan also must purchase a base license, which costs $6 for youth ages 10-16. The base license allows hunters to hunt small game and purchase additional hunting licenses. The mentored youth hunting license, valid only for hunters under the age of 10, includes a base license and does not require separate purchase of the base license. Meijer has offered youth hunters free deer hunting licenses since 2008.