Photos by Joan Ludtke
White Cloud Cross Country competed at Regionals and the PROM on Friday night. Despite the bump to Division 3, our teams performed admirably. The boys team finished 4th, behind three state-ranked teams. We improved our score by 10 points under our predicted finish. We had a 1-5 spread of 1:22, that was second to first place ranked Hart. Coleson Cruzan finished 18th, qualifying for the state meet, which will take place this Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. Nathan Ciolk was 20th, Carson Foondle 30th, Kaleb Canning 37th, Christian Ringler 40th, Avery Bowman 44th, Donnie Grovesteen 47th. Avery and Donnie had PR's, while Christian ran his best time for the season.
The girls finished 11th of 15 teams. Annie Feldpausch was 40th, Kiara Edwards 48th, Jolena Deaton 53rd, Brooklyn Foondle 54th, Grace Richards 67th, Gaby Reeve 78th, and Makayla Sheldon 83rd. Gaby and Makayla posted PRs.
The Post-Regional Open Meet was after regionals and finished at sunset. Chloe Higgs, Sydnee Ochs, Allie Rodriguez, Josh Brown, Malachi Graves, Tyler Higgins, Keagan Kailing, and Wyatt Karnes participated for White Cloud. Sydnee and Tyler posted PRs.
Congratulations to all the runners on a great season. Awards night will be November 10th at 7pm.
Photos by Cassie Rikkert
The two teams in our coverage area that managed to make the playoffs came up against formidable opponents in their week 10 game. White Cloud faced off against a #3 ranked Aggie squad and to their credit managed to score twice. In 6 of their 9 wins in the regular season Beal City kept opponents in single digits or shut them out.
With a matchup of two high scoring teams we pondered in our preview about TC v. Belding turning into a track meet and they didn’t disappoint putting up 86 points on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Vikings the Black Knights tallied 56 of those.
Beal City 63 White Cloud 16
White Cloud lost to a very efficient and talented Beal City in the opening round of this year's playoffs. Defensively, Jace Silverthorn had 6 tackles, Mason Ruether had 5, Alex Cruzan had 4, Lloyd Sebright-Johnson and Landyn McGowen each had 2. On offense, Mason Ruether passed for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Jace Silverthorn had 83 receiving yards, 2 td's, and 86 yards on kick return. Nate Compeau had 112 receiving yards and Mason Cruzan had 51 receiving yards.
Belding 56 Tri County 30
Just really proud of our team. They had a great year. We are conference champs and beat Reed City and those are huge steps in the right direction. This senior class has the most wins for any class since 2004. They do things right, work hard and are a joy to be around. We ran out of gas in the second half but I am proud of our effort.
Four capture All-Regional honors
By Michael Paige
Photos by Cari Taylor
For the 9th straight year, the Fremont boy’s cross-country program will send a team to compete in the Division 2 State Finals. The school has won ten boys’ state championships, the most recent in 2020.To qualify for the state meet, the team must finish in the top three scoring at the regional meet. The regional meet was held Friday at Chippewa Hills. Three points separated the top three teams. Sparta finished first in the meet with 76 points, Fremont followed with 78 and Petoskey finished with 79 to also qualify.
For Fremont, Sean Pettis continued his fine season finishing 5th overall with a time of 16:30 setting a new personal record by about 17 seconds. Carter Sherman (16:55) finished 8th and Johnny Christensen finished 13th at 17:02, both new PRs. Chase Lowery (17:44) and Isaac Romero (17:54 PR) finished out the scoring for the Packers. Cole Lowery (18:34) and Henrick Quist (18:52) also ran for the Packers.
Sophomore Blake Taylor (18:18) and senior Gary Springstead (18:44) also ran the Post Region Open Meet and turned in impressive performances finishing 3rd and 4th. Taylor's time was a 14 second PR, and while not a PR, in Springstead's last race as a Packer he sprinted out his last 400 meters in style. He will be missed by his teammates and coaches.
On the girls’ side, Fremont Freshman Linnea Paige ran a 14 second PR and finished 9th at 19:33, qualifying for the state finals. She took coach’s advice and got out a little faster, running most of the race in the 6th-10th spots. The Fremont girls ran well as a team and finished 7th out of 12 teams in the meet. Ariana Tanner finished 33rd, running a 13 second PR at 21:53. Joelle Patten came in 38th at 22:03, a huge 40 second PR. Rachel Maddox finished 61st (23:19 PR), Elise Pfeiffer, 66th (24:00) and Rocquel Richards, 73rd (24:59).
Pettis, Sherman, Christensen and Paige earned All-Region honors.
The boys and Linnea will run at the Division 2 Finals at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday November 5. The boys run at 1:30, girls at 2:50.
On yet another beautiful day in the late October days of 2022, Newaygo's cross country runners traveled to Chippewa Hills High School to compete in the Regional meet. As it goes in cross country, the top 7 runners of each gender make up the varsity team: those who run at Regionals.
Five of the 14 runners for Newaygo were seniors, making for a memorable and emotional day for both them and their teammates.
Four of the seven boys who ran on Friday ended with PRs (personal records). The boys ran first with Mathew Miedema leading the Lions. He would end up finishing with a PR of 19:25. Following behind him for the boys was freshman Caleb Bays with his PR of 20:03. Also earning PRs on the day were junior Luke Acton and senior Leon Ventura Neumann.
On the girls' side, junior Remington Arney was gunning for a spot in the top 15 to earn her way back to MIS and the State Meet for the third consecutive year. She did just that, taking 10th place overall and running a season record time of 19:50. Second for the Lions was Zoey Walerczyk, who ran a PR of 22:13 and finishing her season having cut nearly 2 minutes off her all time record. Also earning a PR was senior first year runner Rebecca Grandy. From Grandy's first meet of the season, she cut off an impressive 9 minutes, 13 seconds!
Complete results of the meet can be found here:
Photos by Cari Taylor
Fremont Freshman Linnea Paige has been named to the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division All Conference Team. Paige finished 6th in the first conference meet at Fremont’s Branstrom Park course, 2nd at Ludington, 6th at Orchard View and 1st at Fremont’s Middle School course in the final Mega Jamboree. She missed one meet due to injury. Ludington placed 4 girls on the All-Conference team, Summer Brower, Nadia Grierson, Christina Theis and Olivia Anderson. Cecilia Postma was the lone Manistee runner. Ariana Treat and Adalyn Britton represented Whitehall. Montague’s Cammie Erickson and Merceydez Patton from Oakridge rounded out the ten honored runners. The Fremont girls finished fourth in the conference as a team behind Ludington, Whitehall and Manistee.
The Fremont boys placed four runners on the All-Conference team, Junior Sean Pettis, Sophomore Carter Sherman, Junior Johnny Christensen and Senior Henrick Quist. Cole Lowery was Honorable Mention. Pettis finished 3rd, 6th, 3rd, 2nd and 3rd in the five conference meets, leading the charge for the Fremont boys in each meet. Sherman (13th, 5th, 4th and 4th), Christensen (11th, 9th, 6th, 8th and 6th), Quist (7th, 7th, 9th and 11th) and Lowery (10th, 14th, 16th, 18th and 13th) all contributed heavily to the Fremont team’s success. They won the conference championship by winning each race. Andre Richmond (Whitehall), Carter McIlroy (Whitehall), Jose Flores (Ludington), Peyton Ruel (Oakridge), Owen Fairchild (Montague) and Trey Keson (Ludington) were also named All-Conference.
5 Packers, 3 Panthers and 3 Red Devils make squad
The West Michigan Conference has announced their All-Conference teams.
In the Rivers Division. Hesperia and Holton both joined the conference this year and discovered quickly the level of competition will face in league play.
North Muskegon took the title with a 6-0 (8-1 overall) conference record followed close behind by Ravenna at 5-1 (6-3). The Norsemen and Bulldogs placed 13 players each on the team. Hart put together a 4-2 (6-3) record with 10 Pirates making the squad while Mason County Central finished 3-3 (3-6) with a half dozen Spartans making the cut. Shelby went 2-4 (2-7) on the season, equaling their win total of the previous 7 seasons, and placed 3 on the team.
Hesperia ended at 1-5 (2-7) and the 0-6 (0-9) record of Holton reflected a young team that struggled with numbers.
The Red Devils selected were Tight End Hunter Zang, a Junior, Sophomore Guard Ethan Aleem, and Senior Defensive Back Chase Albright.
We asked Holton Head Coach Tommy Moore for a few words about his trio of players who made the all-conference team.
Hunter Zang Jr. #11. “The ideal size and speed for any HS program. Willing to do the dirty work needed to get things done. Total grit player who defines the word tough. Looking forward to what he can do for us in the future.”
Ethan Aleem Soph #55/33
“Ethan (Cork-screw) Aleem is a hardworking high motor guy. Willing to do whatever it takes for the team to succeed. When times got rough and we needed to play someone out of position, Cork-Screw was the man for the job. He lined up at G, H back, TE and even a few snaps at QB. Hardworking aggressive kid on both sides of the ball.”
Chase Albright Sr #24
“Chase is the definition of a leader. When we asked for team captains he became a general. He does everything he can for his teammates on and off the field. Chase was the heart and soul of our team. Our record does not indicate at all how hard he worked every single snap. There is not a program in the world who wouldn’t want a Chase Albright on their team! Irreplaceable for sure!”
For the Panthers Senior Alex Gleason may have finished the season with a cast on his arm but he also nabbed a spot on the squad as a Kick Return Specialist. His Panther teammates on the team were Sophomore Ian Fox at Defensive Back and Sophomore Running Back Skyler Stalbaum.
Coach Fehlen had this to offer on his players.
“Very proud of my guys. Alex suffered a broken hand in week 5 and a lot was left out there in terms of what he could have done. He was the best athlete who played on our team. Great senior leader.
“Skyler Stalbaum and Ian Fox showed the conference and our area what is to come for the next 2 years because they’re only sophomores and just getting started.”
While their football fortunes improved this past season the Packers had a rough inaugural season in the always competitive WMC. They placed 6th out of 7 teams in the Lakes Division a notch ahead of the OV team that gave Fremont their lone conference win. The WMC has been an elite conference for several years and the Lakes is loaded, as evidenced by having 5 of the 7 teams qualify for postseason games.Ludington and Whitehall will be in D4, Oakridge in D5, and Montague in D6.Each has a lot of playoff pedigree and visits by conference members to Ford Field are not a rare occurrence
The conference champion Whitehall Vikings placed 16 on the All Conference team and 11 came from the second place Oakridge Cards. The Ludington O’s added 8 players as did Manistee with 6 Wildcats from Montague being named.
5 Fremont players were selected to the team. Running Back Justin Dirheimer (So.) was the lone Packer on offense. The defensive team included Defensive End Gabe VanVleet (Sr.),Lineman Andrew Steger (Jr.), Punter Owen Hertel (Jr.) and All Around Michael Romero (Sr.).
“These players have put together some very nice seasons statistically. We are happy for them to be recognized for their hard work and performance on the field. As always, it is a team game which means many players had to do their job for these individuals to put up some of the numbers, so we are very happy as a program to have as many players recognized as possible.”
White Cloud at Beal City
Friday 7 p.m.
There’s a lot of pride on this WC team. They have had some ups and downs but they persevered and find themselves in the playoffs.
Beal City has had no downs. The Aggies began the season falling behind a rugged Ravenna team before pulling off a one point win. From there they never looked back, running off an undefeated season challenged only by conference rival Evart. In what proved to be the title game they handed the Wildcats their only defeat. Five of their victories came against teams playing in week 10.
White Cloud struggled against the better teams on their schedule going 0-3 against playoff bound teams and 3-0 against teams that went through the season winless. And of all the teams on their schedule this is not just one of the better squads they have taken on, it is likely the best of the bunch. The stingy Aggie defense only allowed 3 teams to score more than once and they have been masterful at controlling the ball putting together effective drives behind an intimidating o-line.
This looks to be a steep climb for the Cloud. To have a shot they would likely have to play a near perfect game, manage to not just win but dominate the turnover numbers and find a way to make some big plays.
Regardless of the outcome this team should be proud of what they have accomplished. Postseason games have been a rarity here and they have fought their way in twice in a row, equalling the number of times the school made the cut inna 44 year span from 1975 to 2019 (All teams in the state participated in the postseason in 2020). That’s huge and something to build on as the program moves forward.
Tri County at Belding
TC Coach Phil Butler will see a familiar face on the opposite side of the field when his Vikings travel to Belding. Monty Price who built a thriving program at Reed City is the head coach for the Black Knights who captured the OK Silver title.
Both teams score a lot of points with high powered quick strike offenses so this one could turn into a track meet. The teams seem pretty well matched so the game’s outcome will probably hinge on who wins the turnover battle.
Butler has done a masterful job with his team and they will come in prepared to fight for a week 11 game, which would more than likely mean a rematch with the Oakridge team that defeated the Vikings in the District final last year.
Montague at Reed City
The Wildcats got in with a 3-6 mark. That’s how tough the WMC Lakes Division is. The Coyotes lost a barnburner to Tri County in game 2 but no one else came close until the regular season finale when they outlasted a stubborn Cadillac team for the overtime win.
Last year the Wildcats came into Reed City as underdogs and knocked the Yotes out of the postseason in the District Final. This one is once again in Coyote country and the hosts are again the favorites.I would be surprised if the result was the same.
Not shocked, mind you, but surprised.
Kent City at Muskegon Catholic
A dozen state titles and another 3 visits to the finals are part of the football legacy of the Crusaders. Catholic played a much tougher schedule with 6 of the teams they faced making it into the postseason. They won 5 of those games.
The Eagles schedule is considerably softer and they were blown out by the 2 best teams they played in Reed City and White Pigeon.
The Crusaders may not be adding another state title to their resume this year, but a win here would likely pit them against Reed City in what would be an intriguing matchup
Big Rapids at Whitehall
The Cards have a good team.
The Vikings have a great team.
To be undefeated in the WMC Lakes is no easy task and they tore through the conference outsourcing opponents 263-28.
This one could be over quickly
Ravenna at North Muskegon
A rematch from week 7 won by the Norse on the NM field. This one is also on the Norse turf.
It’s pretty hard to beat a good team twice in a season and the Dawgs are a good team. Lot of pride on the line in this one.
Packers Run Well at Late Season Warrior Invite
Photos and story by Mike Paige
Chippewa Hills hosted the annual Late Season Warrior Invite on 10-22-22. The warm, breezy conditions were a welcome change from the previous Tuesday which was cold and rainy.
This meet provided some of the runners a preview of the course as many schools will run in one of three regional meets at the venue this coming weekend.
All varsity runners from the 24 schools ran together but the results were split into two divisions, red and blue.
One the boys’ side, Benzie’s three-time Division 3 state champ, Hunter Jones led the way with an eye-popping time of 15:05. The Fremont boys won the blue division with a team score of 49. Runners Sean Pettis (17:17), Carter Sherman (17:30), Henrick Quist (17:47), Johnny Christensen (17:57) and Isaac Romero (18:04) led the way for the Pack in the varsity race. Cole Lowery (18:28) and Gary Springstead (19:00) also ran varsity for Fremont. In the JV race, Chase Lowery (18:09) and Gabriel Jones (19:23) took the top two spots.
The girls’ race was won by Benzie’s Mylie Kelly with a time of 19:20. The Fremont girls placed 5th in the blue division led by 9th-grader Linnea Paige who finished 4th with a time of 20:12. Fellow freshmen Ariana Tanner (22nd – 22:44) and Joelle Patten (28th – 23:27) also finished in the top 30. Junior Elise Pfeiffer (34th – 23:58) and sophomore Rachel Maddox (39th – 24:19) rounded out the scoring for the Packers. Freshman Rocquel Richards finished 59th with a time of 26:39.
The Packers compete in the Division 2/10 Regional Championship at Chippewa Hills on Friday. Boys at 4:10 and Girls at 5:55.
4 WC Harriers Finish in Top Ten
The White Cloud Cross Country team competed at the Chippewa Hills Late Season Invitational on Saturday. The boys won the small school division accumulating 31 points which was the lowest score of either division. Only Fremont had a faster 1-5 spread. Medalists included Coleson Cruzan (2nd), Nathan Ciolk (4th), Carson Foondle (7th), and Kaleb Canning (9th). Our fifth runner was Avery Bowman in 15th place followed by Donnie Grovesteen 19th, Christian Ringler 32nd, and Malachi Graves 36th.
The girls contingent was small due to band and volleyball so only three girls competed. Brooklyn Foondle was 19th, Grace Richards 34th and Chloe Higgs was 44th.
The team will be in action at HOME on Tuesday. Racing starts at 4pm at the elementary school. Come out and watch us compete against Hart, Holton, North Muskegon and Mason County Central.
Team will travel to Beal City this weekend
Photos by Bobbie Sue Cruzan
The Cloud may have taken some lumps in their regular season finale against White Pigeon (also in the tournament), but collecting 6 wins over the course of the season was enough to get them into the playoffs for the third straight year. It was the second year in a row they played their way in since all teams regardless of their record played in the pandemic permuted postseason of 2020.
They are the 4th seed in a District that has three perennial powerhouse D8 teams in the bracket and their opponent will be undefeated and #3 ranked Beal City. The winner will face the survivor of Fowler and Carson City Crystal
The Aggies have made 7 appearances in the Finals over the years winning 2 state titles in the process. They have faced White Cloud on the gridiron twice, a District Final in ‘87 and a regular season contest in ‘07.
Both times Beal City was able to corral the Cloud.
While the game will be played in Beal City either Friday the 28th or Saturday the 29th the times and dates of the playoff games have not yet been released.
Teams were divided into divisions before the start of play this fall. The top 32 teams in each division, based on playoff-point average, were selected to the field. Qualifiers were then divided into four regions with eight teams apiece.
Pairings for the first three weeks of the tournament are based on regular-season playoff point averages, with the highest-ranked team hosting, regardless of the distance between the two schools.
All playoff tickets except for Finals will be sold online only via GoFan at https://gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process.
For 11-Player, tickets to District Semifinals and District Finals cost $7, tickets to Regional Finals are $9, and tickets to Semifinals cost $10. For 8-player, tickets for Regional Semifinals are $7, tickets for Regional Finals are $9, and tickets for Semi Finals cost $10.