Lady Lions Subdue Shelby On Opening Night
Photos and Story by Alexis Mercer
With matching purple Nikes and determination, the Shelby Tigers stood mid-court on Tuesday, November 30, ready to face off against the State Runners Up Lions. The newly minted banner donned the gymnasium wall and the excitement was palpable.
Starting for the Lions were seniors Kayla Fisk, Emme Goodin, Jaxi Long, and Lily Swinehart along with junior Grace Painter. These five would be slow to start, but luckily for them, so would the Tigers.
2:10 into the game Shelby’s #22 dropped 2 free throws to start the scoring. It wasn’t until 4 minutes in that Emme Goodin got the first points of the game and season for Newaygo with her 2 point basket.
For the remainder of the first quarter Goodin only scored two more free throws (two separate trips to the line) due to her aggressive attack in the paint to give the Lions a mere 4 points to Shelby’s 10.
Jaxi Long wouldn’t take long in the 2nd quarter to score her own first points of the season, draining 2 free throws of her own. Goodin found another two and then Long made her well-known 3 point shot sing to bring the Lions within 3.
The remainder of the scoring in the first half for Newaygo was split between Long outside and Goodin inside: a combination that would prove fatal for the animated Tigers.
Going into the locker room at halftime, the Lions found themselves down by 1 point. But not for long.
Try as the Tigers might, they were overpowered on the inside with Goodin and Swinehart. They Long kept at her 3s on the outside with Painter providing relief and quick passing to support. And then there was Fisk. Her never ending energy, charisma and tiny bit of sass when prompted by a few foul calls.
The defense won the day for the Lions in the end, smothering the Tigers and opening up offensive opportunities that led to a 47-26 victory at home on opening night.
"Emmerson eclipsed the 500 rebound mark for her career tonight. Very proud of her. She is always willing to do the tough work for our team and it has really helped in our success,” says Coach Nate Thomasma.
"I thought we had a great second half shooting the ball. We struggled in the first half to make shots and I really thought Emmerson carried us through it. Overall, happy with the win. There is always stuff to work on but in saying that Shelby is always well coached so getting a win tonight against them is a great start to the season.”
Jaxi Long led the Lions with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals (5 three pointers). Emmerson Goodin had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Kayla Fisk had 6 points, 4 rebounds and 6 steals.
Three teams from the Silver Division of the CSAA are on tap to begin competition with hopes of slowing down defending champ Kent City. Two of them will be taking to the court under the direction of new coaches as Caleb Wilk takes the helm of White Cloud and Robert Jordan assumes leadership in Holton.
The Cloud finished with a winning record (9-8) last year and took the first round of the districts before falling to state runner-up Kent City. Scarlavai is perhaps one of the premier defenders in the Silver. White Cloud opens on the road in Grant Tuesday Nov. 30.
Holton’s young squad surprised some teams along the way and have two of the best young players in the area in Robbins and Fowler The Red Devils are at home Friday as they welcome in Wyoming Lee
Hesperia lost a lot of points when Bayle departed with her 1000+ career points but Tinkham can clean up the glass with the best of them and put up points as well.
Hesperia begins their season a week from Friday when White Cloud comes to town
As we said in the previous article this is the best show in town during the upcoming winter months so get off the couch, layer up a bit and hit your local high school. These girls work hard and deserve a crowd to cheer them on.
Here are your teams with a few comments by the coaches.
Returners from last year who are going to lead the team this year will be three year varsity players Carsyn Scarlavai #4 and Abby Derks #11. These two seniors put in some time this offseason to work on their skills. Other seniors who are going to be a big part of this year's squad will be Ceara Bode #24, Elizabeth Compeau #20, and Kyleah Baker #2.
Newcomers looking to contribute include Juniors Kiara Edwards #32, Jolena Deaton #22, Lillie Keith #50, and Gaby Reeve #44. Also looking to make an impact is Sophomore Jaden Gomez #21.
This White Cloud team understands their identity, and they are excited to get the season started. Over the past few years Morley Stanwood and Kent City have led the way in the CSAA Silver Division, and this team would like to make a few of those games interesting.
#5 Abby Fowler So.
#4 Ryann Robins So.
#1 Courtney Boes Jr.
#3 Leah Fox Sr,
#10 Mikayla Burns Sr.
#2 Alanna Cregg Sr.
#13 Gianna Reed Sr.
#11 June Newell So.
#23 Layla Canaddy So.
# 30 Summer Wyant Sr.
Even though we have 7 returning players, overall we are still a young team with four 10th graders on the roster. With this being my first year we know we are going to have some growing pains learning the new system but the message has consistently been about growth. Our overall goal is to be in more competitive games throughout the year and we understand that starts on the defensive side of the ball and that has been a point of emphasis in practice this year. If we can come together defensively early in the season and work through some things on the offensive end I feel we can start to take a step in the right direction as a program. The potential is there with this group to drastically improve from years prior, we just have to show up night in and night out and play the right way.
Emmett Tinkham Sr.
Emma Joppich Sr
Natalie Merrill Sr.
Sam Bieri Sr.
Adriana Slater Sr.
Mia Milner So.
Sky Milner Jr.
Isabelle Valdes Jr.,
Noel Evans Jr.
Hailey Robbins Sr.
We are rebuilding after losing 4 starters. This is a hard working group that will get better as we gain more confidence and game experience.
Preview: The Girls of the Gold
By Ken DeLaat
The talented young women who compete for our local teams will be taking to the court starting Tuesday.
And we can’t wait.
It is without question one of the best shows in town if you're a sports fan and following one of the local teams can put a dash or two of excitement into what is likely to be a long winter, what with February being 9 weeks long and all.
Last season, after a belated start due to the pandemic, Newaygo marched to a conference crown, battled their way to district and regional titles, knocked off Wayland in the quarters, and surprised everyone but themselves in the semis by taking down a favored Country Day squad before falling one game short of a state title.
They lost a lot of points to graduation but there’s plenty left in the tank with 3 of the area's best players (Goodin, Long and Fisk) wearing the black and white.
The defending Gold champs will open at home Tuesday against Shelby.
The Tigers were pretty young last year but also showed themselves to be pretty scrappy and improved exponentially as the season progressed.They could prove to be a force in the conference race this year led by returning all conference players Arends and Rider and a strong supporting cast.
They will open at home against White Cloud.
The Packers might be thin on numbers but Zerlaut and the Bennett sisters anchor a capable squad who should be able to put up some points as well as toss out some sterling defense.
Their opener is on the road against an old rival from the Lakes 8 days, Spring Lake.
Here are the team rosters with a little commentary by Coaches Thomasma, Zerlaut and Delamater as they prepare their teams for CSAA Gold competition
#11 Kayla Fisk Sr.
#14 Emmerson Goodin Sr.
#13 Jaxi Long Sr.
#14 Grace Painter Jr.
#23 Lily Swinehart Sr.
#5 Iris Herrera, Jr.
#3 Lyda Lathrop Jr.
#2 Maria Riddering So.
#1 Barbara Toth Jr.
#10 Isabella Welch So.
We bring back 5 players from last year's team and have a good mix of juniors and sophomores coming up to the Varsity level this year. The challenge is getting the team to come together and fill out the roles that are needed for us to be competitive. Our conference is always tough and every team has great coaches and players. We also have a challenging non league schedule too. We are taking the same approach to this year as we always have. We just want to focus on being a team that works hard and gets better every day and if we do that we know that we can be competitive. The group is a fun group to be around and me and Coach Maki look forward to coaching them this year.
#35 Haley Zerlaut Sr.
#33 Kaitlynn Bennett Sr.
#13 Mia Witte Sr.
#24 Carle Bruggema Jr.
#21 Jessica Bennett So.
#3 Julianne Hernandez Jr.
#11 Sydney Moon Jr.
#23 Lily VandenBerg So.
With only 8 players this season, depth could be an issue. We will need to get contributions from everyone, but will need our experienced players to step up and play like they are capable of night in and night out. If we can avoid injuries, illness, and foul trouble we expect this group to compete at a high level.
#3 Sara Arends Sr.
#4 Jayci Hance Jr.
#5 Julie Ashbaugh So.
#11 Chloee Chase So.
#12 Jaycee Rider Sr.
Jocelyn Kruithoff Sr.
Makayla Zerlaut Jr.
Madison Thompson Jr.
Ava Afton Jr.
Morgan Kruithoff Jr.
Jocee Pleune Fr.
Last year we started two freshmen and had a sophomore coming off of the bench. With that, coupled with all the circumstances surrounding the season, we were really in a hole. A summer of basketball has helped us find our identity as a team and gain much-needed experience. We graduated three last year, but are gaining some great athletes. Makayla Zerlaut scored in bunches for the JV team last year and freshman Jocee Pluene is a stat stuffer who could lead the team in scoring, rebounding, steals, and assists on any given night. Jocelyn Kruithoff, Ava Afton, Madison Thompson, and Morgan Kruithoff give us the depth we need at each position and have helped push us to get better in the pre-season. Jayci Hance is a great open-court player who has shown lots of promise in the offseason. Our returning starters come back with experience and determination this year. Sophomores Chloee Chase and Julie Ashbaugh will have a huge impact on every game. Seniors Jaycee Rider and Sara Arends are great leaders and both are looking to cap off three years of varsity basketball with their best season of the three. Both are fantastic defenders with high basketball IQs. Rider can fill it up on the outside and Arends is a great slasher/attacker who sees the floor extremely well. Our outlook on the season is simple, we are looking to compete in every game we play this year. No one will be able to look at their schedule and mark Grant as an automatic win.
2021 Varsity Girls Golf First Team All-Conference CSAA
1st Madison Allen -- Chippwea Hills
2nd Kiersten Stadfeld -- Chippewa Hills
3rd Ryleigh Allen -- Chippewa Hills
4th Jayda Zerlaut -- Grant
5th Kiali Stout -- Big Rapids
6th Haley Zerlaut -- Fremont
7th Gigi Green -- Big Rapids
8th Emily Mathewson -- Big Rapids
9th Nadia Zerlaut -- Grant
2021 Varsity Girls Golf Honorable Mention All-Conference
10th Makenna Currie -- Big Rapids
11th Hanah Herman -- Chippewa Hills
12th Michelle Carr -- Kent City
13th Madi Hudson -- Kent City
14th Cailin Lambart -- Central Montcalm
15th Peytin Brake -- Kent City
16th Felicity Chapman -- Chippewa Hills
17th Leah Fox -- Holton
17th Erika Thomas -- Central Montcalm
Local Harriers Excel at State Meet
Contributions from Cliff Somers, Andrea Atwood, Alexis Mercer and Brent Foondle
On what could be considered the most perfect day for a run of the season, local runners who had earned the right to toe the line at the State Meet headed to Michigan International Speedway to give it their all. And that they certainly did.
Newaygo County’s history at the State Meet is impressive to say the least: last year Fremont boys brought home the State title by an impressive margin and included the individual State Champion.
This year would be no exception in that teams and individuals not only attended, but excelled in place and times both.
All results for both teams and individuals can be found at the following link: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/193479/results
Our students performed great at the State Finals. Once again Taava Johnson (Sr) showed that we were in for a great day by running the best race of her career to finish 108th in 20:29. She went through the mile in 6:30 at 105th. She fell to 115th at the 2 mile mark, but fought her way back up to 111th at the 3 mile. She then turned in a strong finish over the last .1 to move up to 108th. She had a great end to her season getting better each meet down the homestretch.
The boys entered today’s race ranked 17th and would be running without our #2 runner Brennan Schuler (Sr). It was time for our pack to step up. We had nothing to lose and I asked the young athletes to go out much faster than they were accustomed to. They bought in and did the work that helped propel us to an 11th place finish with 343 points. Many of our young athletes struggled a little in the 2nd mile after their fast start but almost all of them regained their composure and moved up well in the last mile. Johnny Christensen (So), Sean Pettis (So), and Henrik Quist (Jr) all had breakout races recording Pr’s in the biggest race of their young careers. Johnny and Sean really moved up well over the last mile. They each caught around 20 people in that stretch. Senior Gavin Schuler ran a solid race for his farewell meet, holding steady in the mid 80s the whole way to run a season best of 16:58. Conor Somers (Sr) topped of the day running his Pr of 15:28 to place 2nd. He came a long way from the first week of the season where he was only running about 5 minutes every other day.
We had two Freshmen compete today, Cole Lowery and Carter Sherman. Neither had their best time, or even their best race of the season, but they both ran the plan and ran with guts when the pain set in. This was a great learning experience for them and should pay big dividends next season.
I am really proud of this group of athletes and how they improved over the course of the season. I am also proud of how the boys stepped up despite some last minute adversity to finish much better than their State ranking.
In her second appearance in two years, sophomore Remington Arney was the sole qualifier for the Lions. She was looking to best her time and place from 2020 (22:22 and 211th place). She ran a smart and courageous race from the time the gun went off. Remington put herself in approximately 60th position by mile 1 and each mile improved upon that place. Around mile 2 she was near 55th. Her final mile, specifically the last 400 meters, she dug deep and passed many runners to cross the finish line in 41st place with a time of 19:38 (her Personal Record).
The White Cloud Cross Country boys traveled to Brooklyn, MI this past weekend to compete at the State Finals at Michigan International Speedway. The boys finished 7th among the best 27 D4 teams in the state. Nathan Ciolk narrowly missed being All-State by 5 positions, finishing in 35th place, and first for the Indians. Coleson Cruzan was the 4th fastest freshman in the race, crossing the line in 54th place. Kobe Canning ended his high school cross country career with a 97th place finish and Academic All-State honors. Carson Foondle, also Academic All-State, was 113th. He moved up 85 places and 2 minutes faster than last year. Kaleb Canning,15th among the freshmen in the race, finished 132nd. Ashton Byle, aslo running his last high school cross country race, set a new personal best time of 18:43 and was 133rd. Malachi Graves, making his first appearance at the finals finished 151st and also earned Academic All-State. The boys had a 1-5 spread of 1:17. The boys team will also receive Academic All-State honors, in addition to those individuals already mentioned. What an exciting way to end a GREAT season!
1. 35. 11 Nathan Ciolkv17:25.10vWhite Cloud
2.v54.v9vColeson Cruzanv17:50.21vWhite Cloud
3.v97.v12vKobe Canningv18:18.23vWhite Cloud
4.v113.v10vCarson Foondlev18:31.79vWhite Cloud
5.v132.v9vKaleb Canningv18:42.81vWhite Cloud
6.v133.v12vAshton Bylev18:43.61vWhite Cloud
7.v151.v11vMalachi Gravesv19:06.89vWhite Cloud
Video: Start of the Division 2 girls race with Taava Johnson and Remington Arney sharing Box 28
Photos by Leanne Roesler
First Team All Conference
#2 Christian Kurtze Lakeview 12
#4 Brendan Pippin Big Rapids 12
#5 Aiden Mieras Reed City 12
#5 Jaret Jaramillo Kent City 11
#7 Aden Herron Big Rapids 12
#8 Enrique Cornado Newaygo 12
#8 Gabe Whittle Fremont 12
#9 Marcus Klimek Fremont 12
#9 Tomas Charles Grant 12
#10 Caleb Nave Tri-County 12
#10 Carter Miller Fremont 12
#10 Owen Westerkamp Big Rapids 11
#11 Derek Osbourne Tri-County 12
#14 Brady Fox Big Rapids 12
#14 Logan Nelson Fremont 12
#15 Matt Stevens Tri-County 12
#17 Ian Oatis Grant 11
#18 Conner Roesler Fremont 12
#18 Sam Freeland Kent City 11
#22 Brock Hearth Kent City 12
#28 Gregory Hearth Newaygo 12
#31 Zachary Clark Chippewa Hills 12
#36 Liam Prins Tri-County 12
Honorable Mention All Conference 2021
#1 Austin Woods Reed City 10
#1 Pedro Diaz-Charles Kent City 11
#3 Justin Sorsen Chippewa Hills 12
#3 Liam Erickson Big Rapids 12
#7 Lorenzo Liuzzi Fremont 12
#11 Alexander Hall Newaygo 11
#13 Brock Outman Lakeview 12
#13 Gage Cronk Grant 11
#14 Logan Rackley Tri-County 12
First Team All Conference
#0 Kennedy Christoffersen Fremont 12
#1 Jaycee Rider Grant 12
#1 Kassie Yuncker Chippewa Hills 12
#3 Sara Arends Grant 12
#4 Chloee Chase Grant 10
#4 Tiana Whitacre Central Montcalm 11
#7 Brynn McArthur Chippewa Hills 12
#7 Katelynn Holmes Reed City 12
#8 Kailey Brown Central Montcalm 12
#9 Kaitlynn Bennett Fremont 12
#11 Kayla Fisk Newaygo 12
#12 Lily Swinehart Newaygo 12
#12 Sophie Derusha Tri-County 12
#14 Carle Bruggema Fremont 11
#20 Marissa Warren Big Rapids 10
Honorable Mention All-Conference
#1 Lily Bohen Central Montcalm 11
#2 Kyleigh Weck Reed City 10
#3 Jenna Williams Big Rapids 11
#4 Alexis LaCount Fremont 12
#9 Emmerson Goodin Newaygo 12
#10 Kylie Avink Grant 12
#10 Liberty Durian Tri-County 11
#14 Kendra Ray Chippewa Hills 12
First Team All Conference
#2 Emilee Cornell Morley Stanwood 12
#3 Carsyn Scarlavai White Cloud 12
#5 Brooke Edgerly Morley Stanwood 12
#5 Abigail Fowler Holton 10
#8 Braelyn Berry Morley Stanwood 12
#12 Layna Cartwright Holton 12
#14 Kaila Krueger Kent City 12
#20 Emmalyn Geers Kent City 12
#21 Lacey McCallum Hesperia 11
#22 Taryn Preston Kent City 12
#28 Courtney Grant Lakeview 12
Honorable Mention All-Conference
#1 Kaden Perkins Kent City 9
#3 Madison Garbow Morley Stanwood 12
#11 Elli McAree Hesperia 12
#11 Abygail Derks White Cloud 12
#15 Ryann Robins Holton 10
#26 Ashlee Anderson Lakeview 10
Photos by Joan Ludtke
Girls Cross Country
1. Kent City - Coach Jill Evers
2. Morley Stanwood
3. White Cloud
1st Team All Conference
1. Miranda McNeil (10) -- Morley Stanwood
1. Lila Volkers (9) -- Kent City
3. Alyeska Linsley (12) -- Kent City,
4. Kierra Flegel (12) -- Kent City
4. Isabella Max (10) -- Kent City
6. Gracie Houtman (10) -- Kent City
6. Emily Lantzer (12) -- Kent City
8. Vanessa Peltoniemi (11) -- Holton
9. Alisha Esquivel (9) -- Kent City
10. Aubrey Goyings (9) -- Holton
11. Cassandra Biot (12) -- Holton
12. Andrea Feldpausch (10) -- White Cloud
13. Hadley Tiffany (9) -- Lakeview
14. Kiara Edwards (11) -- White Cloud
14. Molly Willison (9) -- Lakeview
Boys Cross Country
1. White Cloud- Coach Andrea Atwood
2. Kent City
3. Morley Stanwood
1st Team All Conference
1. Samuel Martini (10) -- Kent City
2. Nathan Ciolk (11) -- White Cloud
3. Jaren Vogel (10) -- Kent City
4. Kobe Canning (12) -- White Cloud
4. Coleson Cruzan (9) -- White Cloud
6. Tyler Vining (10) -- Morley Stanwood
7. Leto Pendleton -- (10) -- Kent City
8. Carson Foondle (10) -- White Cloud
9. Sam Freeland (11) -- Kent City
10. Stephen Priese (10) -- Hesperia
11. Kaleb Canning (9) -- White Cloud
12. Shelby Hopkins (11) -- Morley Stanwood
13. Christian Ringler (11) -- White Cloud
14. Malachi Graves (11) -- White Cloud