White Cloud Boys Bring Home A Title
From Coach Tod Reeve:
The White Cloud Boys’ track and field team entered the history books last Saturday, bringing home a 1st place trophy at the MITCA Division 4 Team State Track and Field Championship at Mt. Pleasant High School. The boys scored 966 points to defeat pre-meet favorites Hillsdale Academy, who finished with 924.5 points. This is the first state championship for the Indians in any athletic field, and comes on the heels of their first regional championship in 47 years the previous Saturday in Brethren.
The boys were led by senior Romeo Johnson who, in his first year of track and field, scored a total of 85 points. For the boys, 1st place was worth 30 points and the points decreased by 1 point per place. Romeo tied for 1st place in the long jump with a leap of 19’2.5”, was 6th in the high jump at 5’8”, was 8th in the 400 meter dash with a personal best time of 55.50, and was part of the 4 x 400 meter relay team that finished 6th. Senior Joel Bradley was also a major contributor to the win, finishing 2nd in the shot put with a personal best throw of 49’1”, his farthest by over 2 feet. Joel also threw the discus 132’10” to finish 4th overall. Fellow senior Kris Hesting had huge personal bests in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, finishing 7th in the 110 hurdles in 18.60 seconds and 13 in the 300 hurdles in 47.18 seconds to gain 8 points over his initial seeding.
The most incredible improvement on the day was made by sophomore Noah Robinson who, in the high jump, gained 6 inches over his previous best height to finish 3rd with a phenomenal jump of 6’2”. Other stellar performances included junior Vinnie Ockert, who broke 12 seconds for the first time in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.94 seconds to finish 10th, and followed that up with a 24.45 second 200 meter dash, his best by more than a second, to finish 16th. Fellow junior Bryce Higman had personal bests in both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, finishing 12th in the 110 hurdles in 19.60 seconds, and 17th in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 48.52.
Overall, the Indians had 15 personal best efforts on the day, while 2nd place Hillsdale Academy came in with 7. White Cloud gained over 100 points on their original seedings compared to Hillsdale to secure the victory.
A special thank you goes out to assistant coaches Tony McHattie, Arnold Baker, and Jim Higgs, as well as girls’ coach Joan Ludtke, for their phenomenal work throughout the season to help prepare the athletes, and to the administrators, teachers, parents, and students who traveled to Mt. Pleasant to support the team. Without their support, this achievement would not have been possible.
The Indians will be sending 8 athletes to compete in 7 different events at the MHSAA Division 4 Track and Field Championships in Hudsonville Saturday, June 4th. The first event begins at 9:30 a.m. Good luck and congratulations on your successes this season.
Cloud Girls Place 3rd At MITCA
The White Cloud girls’ track team competed in the MITCA D4 Team State Meet on Saturday at Mount Pleasant High School placing 3rd of the 12 teams that qualified to participate.
In this competition, three athletes compete in each individual event with each competitor receiving points depending on their finishing place. The girls earned a total of 854.5 points, entering 3 athletes in each event.
The team has worked hard to beat their 4th place finish from 2021.
Ladies finishing in the top half of the entries were:
100 Meters: 2nd Mariah Edwards 13.71. 5th Carsyn Scarlavai 13.81, 15th Shantel Palmer 14.30
200 Meters: 9th Jaden Gomez 28.75 14th Ryleigh Balke 30.05
400 Meters: 15th Vanessa Kenny 1:14.55
1600 Meters: 10th Annie Feldpausch 6:09.05 16th Brooklyn Foondle 6:38.38
3200 Meters 11th Annie Feldpausch 14:22.00 15th Brooklyn Foondle
100 Hurdles: 7th Ryleigh Balke 17.97 16th Chesney Kooman 19.77
300 Hurdles: 8th 53.57
400 Meter Relay: 3rd Carsyn Scarlavai, Mariah Edwards, Shantel Palmer, Jaden Gomez 53.26
800 Meter Relay: 6th Ryleigh Balke, Chesney Kooman, Brooke Ringler, Shantel Palmer 2:01.72
Shot Put: 6th Gaby Reeve 31’9” 11th Kendalin Trapp 28’1/2” Discus: 1st Gaby Reeve 124’7” 15th Kendalin Trapp 70’9” 16th Brooke Ringler 67’0”
High Jump: 5th Annie Feldpausch 4’8”, 11th Brooklyn Foondle 4’6” 13th Mariah Edwards 4’6”
Long Jump: 9th Jaden Gomez 13’9”
Pole Vault: 4th Carsyn Scarlavai 7’6” 11th Isabella Shockley 6’ Gaby Reeve, Carsyn Scarlavai, Mariah Edwards. Shantel Palmer, and Jaden Gomez with be participating in the MHSAA State Finals in Hudsonville.
Lions Dominate District Opener
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
Newaygo Lions Soccer has won their District 47 opening round match against Manistee with a 4-0 score.
The Lions dominated the early minutes of the match, advancing toward the Manistee goal several times. After firing four shots just off target, the first goal came after a Manistee defender fouled Belen Torres just inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a Newaygo penalty kick. Grace Painter took the shot, slotting the ball beyond the keeper’s reach. The score was 1-0 eleven minutes into the game.
The Lions had two other chances before a passing sequence from Jaxi Long to Laura Haavisto set up Painter to blast in a second goal. The score stood at 2-0 within fifteen minutes. Manistee found space to make some runs toward the Newaygo net, sending in two balls that Lion Keeper Barbara Toth easily scooped up. Then, Long and Connelly Hefferan Nordlund had a give and go play on the ball that Long then fired into the net. The score was 3-0 with 19 minutes left in the half.
The Lions continued to pressure, sending another five shots toward goal. With less than two minutes left in the half, Manistee found some momentum, with a break away that looked promising. Center back Sofia Briggs, seeing the threat, turned on the jets to hustle back, clearing the ball to safety. Yet, the attack returned, as Manistee found its first credible shot on goal in the final seconds of the first half. Keeper Toth stopped it with confidence.
Returning from half-time, Newaygo continued to control the game but had trouble finding the back of the net. The Lions put more than a dozen shots toward the Manistee keeper before the fourth and final goal of the night. It came with just four minutes left in the match, when Painter sent a ball into the box off a corner kick. Long was poised to spring, muscling the ball off a Manistee defender and into the net.
In post-game analysis, Holding Midfielder Lynnea Briones said, “I think we played alright. We’ve had better games, but we did pretty good. Coach said this is the first time that Newaygo has won a District’s game out of the boys and the girls in a long time.”
Center Midfielder Connelly Hefferan Nordlund said, “It was humid, and we got tired. We started off strong and kind of settled down a bit, but we were able to score again in the second half.” In looking forward, Hefferan Nordlund is optimistic. “I think we can win. I think we can win Districts.”
The Lions play again Wednesday, June 1 in the District 47 Semi-Final against Oakridge. The game will start at 5:00 PM in Montague.
Cloud Continues Second Half Surge
Photos by Bobbie Cruzan
White Cloud 8-8 Hesperia 2-7
The Indians traveled to rival Hesperia on Wednesday night and swept the doubleheader. The White Cloud team that struggled in the first half of the season has turned it around in style winning 12 of their last 14 games beginning with a 9 game win streak that instilled confidence in Coach Mahn’s scrappy squad. After finishing their regular season next week they will travel to Custer where a win over the Mason County Eastern Cards on Friday June 3rd would send the team to the Regionals.
Game time is scheduled for 6pm.
In game #1, the Indians went on the attack early with a leadoff single by KJ Strait, which was followed by 2 walks and an RBI by Taylor Bode and a RBI single by Mason Cruzan, for a 2 run lead in the first inning.
In the 3rd inning, Bode got on base via the walk, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a single by Mason Cruzan, then both runners scored on a long shot by Christian Ringler. The Indians were now up 4-0.
In the 4th inning, after 2 outs, Alex Cruzan was hit by a pitch, then Landyn McGowen launched a long line drive to the left center field fence for a run scoring double, Bode was then walked, followed by RBI singles from Mason Cruzan and Ringler, to put the White Cloud up 7-0.
The final run was scored in the 6th inning after a Mason Cruzan single, went to 2nd on a groundout and scored on an RBI single by Jacob Francis.
Offensively, Mason Cruzan led the team with 4 hits, scoring 2 runs and driving in 2 runners, Christian Ringler added 2 hits with 2 RBI's, and KJ Strait also added 2 hits.
Taylor Bode dominated on the mound, striking out 10, walking 2, and giving up only 5 hits. Alex Cruzan came on in relief, allowing 2 unearned runs to score.
In the nightcap, KJ Strait started things off with a leadoff single, which was followed by a single by Alex Cruzan and a walk to Landyn McGowen, with bases loaded, Taylor Bode hit a rocket line shot to the left center field fence for a standup 3 run double. The Indians took an early 3 run lead.
The Panthers would answer with 3 runs in their half of the first inning, and then score another 2 runs in the second to take a 5-3 lead.
White Cloud clawed back into the game with one run in the 3rd inning, when Landyn McGowen hit a long triple to the right center field fence and was driven in by a single by Bode.
In the Indians half of the 4th inning, The Indians collected 5 hits in a row, starting with singles by Ringler, Francis, and Jayson Ruether and then a run scoring double by Strait, and a 2 run single by Alex Cruzan. The lead for the Indians was now 7-5.
The Panthers would put another run across in their half of the 4th,and in the 6th inning, tying the score at 7.
With the score tied, the Indians went to work in the 7th inning with a lead off walk to Strait, followed by a single by Alex Cruzan. Bode stepped to the plate and doubled in Strait, for an 8-7 lead.
Offensively, the Indians were led by Taylor Bode, with 2 doubles and a single and driving in 5 runs. Alex Cruzan also collected 3 hits and drove in 2 runs, with KJ Strait having 2 hits while scoring 3 runs.
On the hill, Landyn McGowen went 5 innings, striking out 6, walking 4, allowing 6 hits and 7 runs. Mason Cruzan came on in relief in the 5th, striking out the final 4 batters he faced for the win.
The Indians travel to Ravenna to take on the Bulldogs on Thursday.
Late Game Tiebreakers Spell Sweep
Lions edge CH twice to close out regular season
Story by Hudson Harkness, Photos by Jaime Harkness
Newaygo 4-3 Chippewa Hills 3-2
With the game knotted at 3 following a rally by the Warriors in the top of the 6th and Seth McGowen standing on their base, Coach Long called for the squeeze play. Cam Goodin executed it perfectly, bringing in McGowen with the go ahead run that would stand up and give McGowen the mound victory.
Jordan Cortez had a hot bat for the Lions finishing with three hits in as many at bats including a 2 run double that opened the scoring for the Lions.
Glenn Toth came in relief in the 7th to notch the save.
The nightcap found the teams once again tied in the 6th. This time it was Remy Wells with the heroics as he ripped a base hit that brought home Goodin with the lead run.
That was all hurler Josiah Long needed as he took to the mound in the 7th and finished the complete game win. Long scattered 4 hits and struck out 7. Grant Harkness and Wells each banged out a pair of hits and Goodin plated 2 for the hosts.
The Lions end the regular season on a high note with the wins over Chip Hills. They finished 19-10 overall and 10-4 in CSAA Gold play.
Newaygo begins tournament play June 4th when they travel to Fremont to face Tri County in a game scheduled to start at noon.
First Regional Title since 1975
The White Cloud Boys’ Track and Field Team brought home the regional trophy for the first time in 47 years after finishing in a tie for first place at the MHSAA Region 33-4 Track Meet in Brethren Saturday. The boys finished the day with 138 points to tie Wyoming Potter’s House for the title and bring home the hardware. Potter’s House will also be receiving a trophy for their efforts.
Senior Joel Bradley and junior Jace Silverthorn continued their friendly rival, as Jace defeated Joel 46’0.5” to 45’10.5” to finish 1-2 for White Cloud in the shot put. Sophomore Lloyd Sebright-Johnson added to the scoring by finishing 4th with a throw of 40’01.25”. Joel returned the favor to Jace by outthrowing him in the discus 134’0” to 118’09”, again good for a 1-2 finish. Senior Wes Penland was 7th overall with a personal best throw of 107’7” to also score for WC in the event.
Senior Romeo Johnson continued White Cloud’s dominance in the field events by finishing 2nd in both the high jump and long jump. He cleared a personal best 5’11” to finish 2nd in the high jump, as teammates Noah and Jayden Robinson also scored points for the Indians, finishing 5th and 8th with jumps for 5’06” and 5’03”, respectively. Romeo finished 2nd in the long jump with another personal best jump of 19’6”. Senior Nik Parks-Josepson leaped 17’10.5” to end up 4th on the day.
Junior Nathan Ciolk and sophomore Deagan Wawszyk were 2nd and 4th, respectively, in the pole vault. Nathan vaulted to a height of 10’00”, while Deagan cleared 8’06” to round out the scoring for the Indians in the field events.
Nate also contributed greatly in the running events, finishing 3rd with teammates Carson Foondle, Josh Hicks, and Kobe Canning in the 4 x 800 meter relay, and following that up with a 3rd in the 800 meter run. His time of 2:06.25 was a personal best by 5 seconds.
The 4 x 200 relay team of Vinnie Ockert, Nik Parks-Josephson, David Higgs, and Ashton Byle finished 2nd for the day with a time of 1:36.86. They will join Joel, Jace, Romeo, and Nate as qualifiers for the MHSAA Division 4 track meet held in Hudsonville June 4th after finishing 2nd or better in their events or meeting state final qualifying standards.
Jace, Joel, Nik, and Nate will also represent White Cloud Wednesday, May 25 at the Meijer West Michigan All-Star Meet at Reeths-Puffer High School. Next Saturday the Indians will put their #1 team ranking in the state to the test when they compete against 11 other teams and the MITCA Team State Finals in Mt. Pleasant. The Indians will be able to enter 3 athletes per event at that meet, and every athlete will score points there based on their overall positioning.
Story by Hudson Harkness
Photos by Jaime Harkness
Newaygo 13-2 Big Rapids 5-6
In the opener the Lions took an early lead and kept the pressure on as they battered Cardinal pitching with 14 hits while Josiah Long went the distance on the mound to collect his 6th win of the season
Long, Russell Toth, Glenn Toth, Jordan Cortez, Cam Goodin and Grant Harkness led the hitting parade for the Lions while Goodin and Seth McGowen knocked in key runs for the victors.
In the nightcap the Lions could have used some of those bats from game one as the Cardinal pitching scattered 7 hits enroute to the win and earned a split in the twinbill. McGowen and Long each collected a pair of hits but the Lions could not string together enough offense to climb back into this one.
Newaygo (8-4, 17-10) will wrap up the conference season Tuesday when they host Chippewa Hills.
Reed City 12-13 Newaygo 5-2
Newaygo had their hearts broken in game 1 against Reed City.
Going into the bottom of the 5th, the game was tied at five before the Coyotes started heating up taking a 2 run lead in the 5th then adding to it with a scoring barrage in the late innings to take the opener
Newaygo jumped on the lead early after the back-to-back home runs by Remy Wells and Grant Harkness and Parker Christensen added an RBI in the second but the Coyote bats piled up enough scoring to capture the win.
In the nightcap it was all Reed City as they pounced on Lion pitching early and never allowed the Lions back in the game.
Cloud Girls Take 4th At Regionals
Quintet of athletes heading to Hudsonville for the state meet
White Cloud girls’ track team raced to a 4th place finish at the Brethren D4 Regional track meet on Saturday. The team placed in 14 of 17 events in the 17 team meet that was won by Western Michigan Christian HS.
State qualifiers were Gaby Reeve, 1st place in the discus (120’10”), Jaden Gomez, 3rd in the long jump (15’6.5”), and the 400 meter relay team that placed 1st with the time of 53.35 (Carsyn Scarlavai, Mariah Edwards, Shantel Palmer, Jaden Gomez).
Also placing and earning points were:
High Jump: 4th Annie Feldpausch 4’6”, 7th Brooklyn Foondle 4’2” Long Jump: 6th Annie Feldpausch 14’2.5” Discus: 7th Kendalin Trapp 79’4”
Pole Vault: 3rd Carsyn Scarlavai 7’6” 8th Isabella Shockley 6’ Shot Put: 6th Gaby Reeve 30’10.5”
100 meters: 5th Carsyn Scarlavai 14.15
200 meters: 4th Jaden Gomez 29.20 6th Mariah Edwards 29.58
1600 Meters: 8th Annie Feldpausch 6:09.38
3200 Meters: 7th Annie Feldpausch 13:35.36
100 meter hurdles: 5th Ryleigh Balke 18.08, 8th Chesney Kooman 20.22
300 meter hurdles: 5th Ryleigh Balke 54.82, 7th Grace Richards 58.18
800 meter relay : 5th Ryleigh Balke, Chesney Kooman, Brooke Ringler, Shantel Palmer 2:02.83
3200 meter relay: 4th Jolena Deaton, Samatha Kukal, Isabelle Shockley,Brooklyn Foondle 12:21.31
Several athletes will be competing at the West Michigan All Star Meet at Reeths Puffer HS on Wednesday and the entire team will compete at the MITCA Team State D4 meet in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, May 28th.
Cards Edge Lions in Title Tllt
Rugged match ends in 1-0 win for hosts
Photos and story by Tara Hefferan
The championship game in the CSAA Conference Tournament took place Friday night, with the Newaygo Lions traveling to face the Big Rapids Cardinals on their home turf. The Lions and Cardinals had tied in their previous match up and also shared first place standing at the end of the CSAA regular season. This latest meeting between the two teams promised to be an exciting one, answering the question of who finally would emerge on top.
The match began under drizzling rain and high winds, giving the ball an unpredictability. The Cardinals dominated early possession, putting several shots on target but also finding the ball blown out of bounds by the wind. Lion Keeper Barbara Toth made a number of impressive stops, including diving to the feet of the Big Rapids attack before shots could be taken. The Cardinals used their speed to intercept Lion passes and goal kicks, which often hung in the air due to the wind. The Lions and Cardinals battled hard despite the conditions, ending the first half in a 0-0 tie.
When the teams took to the field in the second half, the winds had died down. The Lions started with good passing and pressure. It looked like Newaygo might break the scoring drought, when in the thirteenth minute Grace Painter blasted by the last Cardinal defender and found herself one versus one against the keeper. Newaygo’s best chance of the game was denied, however, when the speedy Cardinal defense closed in right before the shot could be fired. This near goal seemed to energize the Cardinals, who reversed the momentum to their advantage. In the fourteenth minute, Big Rapids Julia Waltz sent a long ball to Kyra Couch, who netted the first and only goal of the match.
The Cardinals continued pressuring the ball, sending another nine shots to Lion Keeper Toth. The Lions were not able to answer, however, and in the end, fell to the Cardinals 0-1
Captain Jaxi Long said “We worked hard, got some passes going. It’s a little disappointing that we lost, but we’re looking forward to Districts. We had a really good season, ended up second in the conference. It was a really good accomplishment. We work really well together.”
From Coach Painter:
“When we took 2nd place in conference last year, I felt that BR was the better team. This season was different. We believed that we had every right to the conference title and we were going to make BR take it away from us. I am so proud of our girls for making the Big Rapids squad have to scrape and claw through every single minute of last night’s game to get that win from us. It was a great back and forth game from start to finish. We had quality shots that missed by what seemed like inches…maybe the wind had something to do with that! Either way, Big Rapids is a good team. Our Newaygo girls are a great team. I feel very privileged to get the honor of coaching such an amazing group of young ladies. One loss does not define us! We can’t wait for Districts to start next week!”
The Lions are entering Districts with a 13-3-1 record. They have scored 59 goals this season, while allowing only 12 against them. The Lions are back in action at 4:30 on Wednesday, May 25 at home in a District match against Manistee.
Co-Champs go at it again in title tilt
By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Tonight (Friday) Newaygo at Big Rapids 5p.m.
It looks to be one of Those games.
A match that seemed predestined before the tournament began.
After all, co-champs Big Rapids and Newaygo were seeded as they should have been. Each marched through those first 2 games to get here because each team knew they had unfinished business with the other squad.
The last time they met on the field of play the Cards were enjoying a state ranking, were on a 4 game win streak having outscored opponents 21-1 and had already scored more than 7 goals 4 times.
The Lions had a bit of a streak going as well. After being stunned in an early season match with a strong and seasoned Sparta squad Coach Matt Painter’s crew spun off 7 straight with a 25-1 edge in scoring in those matches.
This was the one that would likely decide who would wear the conference crown.
And they fought to a epic 1-1 draw..
The onslaught of attacks by the Cards were repelled again and again in the scoreless second half as the Lion defenders along with some crucial saves by their keeper held their ground and forged a tie
And now the rematch.
BR slammed down a 9-1 win over Fremont to get here.
Newaygo defeated Tri County 3-1. In the regular season the Vikes lost by a single goal to each of the co-champs, their only losses in conference play.
It should be a tough one for the Lions and the game is on the road to boot, despite Newaygo having a better overall record I might add.
Waltz, Allers and Tucci will be looking to find net for the hosts while Painter, Long, Hefferan Nordlund and Haavisto have been the primary scoring threats for the Lions.
But the game is going to rest heavily on the ability of the Lion defense to contain an aggressive Cardinal team that just outshot the Packers 33-3 in their semifinal match. Briggs, Briones, Welch & Co. will be called on to limit the acrobatic saves likely to be needed by Toth.
With Districts coming next week the season won’t be over for either of these teams after this one.
But some serious bragging rights, a conference tourney crown and a good bit of momentum heading into post season play will be on the line tonight.
And despite the potent offense of the Cards and their heady state rankings, this Lion team is made up of warriors.
Warriors with talent.