Somers Soars into Record Books
For anyone who pays any attention to the sport of running, it is a well-known fact that Fremont has a long standing tradition of greatness, especially in their distance teams. Year after year Coach Cliff Somers has produced quality caliber athletes who very often go on to post-secondary schools to continue their running careers.
Coach Somers follows in a long line of phenomenal coaches who have built the cross country and track and field programs: Rich Thompkins for both cross country and track from 1969 until 1997; Herb Lindsey until 1999 when Somers took over both programs (Tom Elmer did take over for track for a handful of years in the mid-2000s with Somers as his assistant). This long history of consistent, knowledgeable coaching has transferred into consistent, outstanding performances from many runners.
The most recent mark of greatness came on Tuesday, May 10 when senior Conor Somers crossed the finish line well ahead of his CSAA Gold competitors with a flourish of excitement: he had just broken the 800 meter school record previously held by Dan Radar.
According to Coach Somers, Dan graduated in 1993 and ran cross country and track for Fremont. He was part of 2 State Championship teams, ran on a State Championship 4x800 relay, and was the 1993 800 meter State Champion where he set the (previous) school record of 1:56.0.
After hearing of Conor’s breaking the record, Radar drove up from Grand Rapids and surprised Conor with flowers and congratulations for beating his record.
The meet on Tuesday was a delayed start due to a pop up storm that hung over the area, causing the 4:00 start to be pushed back more than an hour. Fremont’s boys team didn’t let this stop them as they mentally dialed in and ended up winning the Conference Championship after going undefeated in the league.
Coach Somers gave the play-by-play that “Conor hit the 200 in about 28 flat and the 400 in 56.45. He really stayed in his rhythm through the next 200. With about 100 to go he was starting to try to force it and needed a reminder to stay smooth. He relaxed and finished in a new school record of 1:54.81 which is also the fastest time in the state currently.” (Editor’s note: this mark was bested on Friday, May 13 by Brady McArdle at the Davison Twilight Classic and a time of 1:54.18)
Near North Now had the opportunity to talk to Conor and ask him a few questions about this great accomplishment.
What do you think about being the one who currently holds the state fastest time* in the 800? “To be honest it doesn’t feel any different, I still have other things that I want to accomplish this track season but having that time definitely checks something off the list.
Fremont has a long standing tradition of impressive runners who have set school records. What does it mean to you to be a part of this tradition?
Means a lot to be part of a long legacy of success here at Fremont and it feels amazing to have my name alongside so many other legends.
Have you always had your mind set on the 800 record or has that developed this year?
My mind was not necessarily set on only the 800 meter record; I was also chasing the 1600 m record.
What drives you to continue putting in the miles and dialing in on your speed?
The hunger to be great is probably the main reason. Though I do enjoy running in general so it’s easy to train.
When at the level you’re running, improvement can be by tenths of a second or even hundredths. How do you set new goals now that you have reached this big one?
I don’t think that I’ve hit a level where I’m only improving by tenths of a second I think that I have a lot of room left to improve and I think that when you do reach that level you still have one common goal, and that’s just to get faster, no matter the margin.
We saw that you attended the elite 2 mile race in Farmington last week. How did you focus on recovery after that to come back with such a quick turnaround?
I didn’t really do anything special. I just took my runs extra easy in order to prepare for not only our Homie but our conference champ meet that was on Monday.
Coach Somers said about his son and athlete’s accomplishment: “It was really exciting for him to be able to perform like that in front of some of the old legends in attendance; Don Klingel and Dan Price (both former school record holders at the 800), Jim and James Lanciaux, and others.”
The Packers will have the next opportunity to show what they’ve got at their Division 2 Regional at Zeeland East on Friday, May 20th.
Reeve collects conference record and 2 first place finishes
The girls’ track team finished second in the CSAA Silver Division Conference Championship meet Friday afternoon with a total of 120 points.
Leading the team was Gaby Reeve who placed first in both the discus(117’1”) and the shot put (31’11”). Gaby now holds the CSAA discus record.
Eight athletes were named to the All Conference Team: Carsyn Scarlavai, Gaby Reeve , Shantel Palmer, Grace Richards, Jaden Gomez, Annie Feldpausch, Ryleigh Balke, and Mariah Edwards.
Congratulations to these athletes.
High Jump: 2nd Annie Feldpausch 4’10”, 6th Brooklyn Foondle 4’2” Long Jump: 2nd Jaden Gomez 15’2”, 4th Annie Feldpausch 14’10.25”
Pole Vault: 4th Carsyn Scarlavai 7’6”
Shot Put: 4th Kendalin Trapp 28’7.5
400 Relay: 1st Carsyn Scarlavai, Mariah Edwards, Shantel Palmer, Carsyn Scarlavai 54.16
800 Relay: 3rd Ryleigh Balke, Chesney Kooman, Brooke Ringler, Shantel Palmer 2:04.71
1600 Relay: Carsyn Scarlavai, Mariah Edwards, Grace Richards, Jaden Gomez 4:39.72
3200 Relay: 3rd Sam Kukal, Isabella Shockley, Brooklyn Foondle, Jolena Deaton 12:04.68
100 Hurdles: 1st Ryleigh Balke 18.56 4th Chesney Kooman 20.6 6th Grace Richards 20.97
300 Hurdles: 2nd Ryleigh Balke 55.0 4th Grace Richards 59.42 200 Meters: 6th Jaden Gomez 29.71
1600 Meters: 5th Annie Feldpausch 6:25.93 6th Brooklyn Foondle 6:41.16
3200 Meters: 3rd Annie Feldpausch 14:09.49 5th Brooklyn Foondle 15:00.16
Regional competition will be Saturday at Brethren High School.
Lions plate 2 dozen in twinbill
Story by Hudson Harkness
Photos by Jaime Harkness
Game 1: Newaygo Takes Game 1 Over Rival, Grant, in High Scorer
Runs were aplenty in Game 1, as Newaygo defeated Grant 11-6.
Grant put one up on the board in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning, Josiah Long drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Lions would bat around to cross the plate eight more times. Heading to the top half of the 6th, the Lions led 10-3, when Chapin, of Grant, hit a solo shot to give the Tigers another run.
Starting game one on the bump for the Lions was Seth McGowen who got the win to improve to 4-2 on the season. The Lion senior sat down six, walked one, and allowed five runs, and four runs. Glenn Toth and Remy Wells relieved McGowen. Wells ended up recording the save, his first of the season.
Wells led Newaygo at the plate going 2-3 while also drawing a walk. The Lions produced seven hits and reached on a free pass eleven times.
Game 2: Newaygo Starts Hot to Sweep Grant
Newaygo claimed the 13-3 victory despite Grant heating up in the final inning.
The Lions scored 11 runs in the first inning. G. Toth, McGowen, R. Toth, Bazzett, Christensen, and Wells each had RBIs in the frame. Two runs crossed to start the game after the Glenn Toth single. From that point, it was hit after hit for the Lions.
The Lions remained at eleven until the 4th inning where they had two more come in after the Wells single.
The Tigers went on a late push. They scored three in the top of the 5th, but it was too little too late as Grant Harkness came in relief to shut the Tigers down.
Russell Toth got the win for Newaygo to stay a perfect 3-0 on the season. Toth went 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs while striking three out. Harkness came in to shut down the Tiger attack.
Newaygo racked up 14 hits. The Toth brothers, Wells, and Long all managed to get multiple hits in game two.
Newaygo moves to 15-4 on the season and makes it seven wins in a row. Newaygo is back on the diamond on Saturday, May 14, to face Shepard in a doubleheader.
Win in regular season finale brings a share of the title
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
With a 7-1 win over Chippewa Hills on Friday evening, Newaygo Lions soccer finished the regular conference season undefeated, sitting atop of the CSAA standings tied for first place with Big Rapids. Overall, the Lions have a 7-0-1 conference record, conceding just four goals during conference play, while scoring twenty-six goals against their opponents.
Friday night’s match in Remus was a scorcher, under full sun and with 85 degree heat. Both teams played hard, despite the difficult conditions. The first goal came in the first three minutes, with Laura Haavisto finding the back of the net. Haavisto scored three additional goals before the final whistle. Also getting on the board, Grace Painter netted two goals, and Jaxi Long scored off a corner kick.
Coach Painter: “We ended a successful regular season of conference play with a solid all around game against Chip Hills. I’m proud of our girls for how they have worked together, supported each other, and stepped into new or different roles when the need arose. We are planning to continue our success thus far as we head into the conference tournament! I am hopeful we end the week with sole possession of the conference title!"
The Lions begin the CSAA conference tournament at home on Monday at 4:30 PM against Lakeview.
Conference sweep, tourney title and the streak hits 8
Photos by Bobbie Cruzan
N3 Note: A bit over a week ago the baseball team wearing White Cloud uniforms took a bus ride to Holton where they would look to improve on a 3-9 record. Like other teams in the area, their progress had been hampered by a late arriving Spring season as cancellations mingled with games played in the type of weather usually reserved for mid March.
Behind a pair of tough pitching performances and some timely hitting they swept the Red Devils, then a few days later put together a pair of dramatic wins over age-old rival Morley.
And now the run has reached 8 following their title-taking sweep in Custer on Saturday.
The White Cloud squad seems to have captured that elusive magic that happens when a team begins to believe in themselves and their teammates.
Enjoy the ride guys.
Friday, May 13th in Lakeview.
The Indians take the twinbill from the Wildcats 9-1 and 7-2.
In Game #1 - The Indians were led on the hill by Taylor Bode. Bode struck out 9, walked 2, and gave up only 2 hits, in 6 2/3 innings. A lone unearned run was scored late in the 7th inning when the game was already decided.
On the offensive side, the Indians took a 2 run lead in the 4th inning, aided by a big 2 out smash by Jacob Francis. Then in the 5th inning, the flood gates opened when Landyn McGowen whalloped a stand up triple to the right centerfield fence driving in 2 runs, the Indians would plate 5 runs in the inning. Christian Ringler would finish off the scoring in the 6th inning by clubbing a line shot to right to drive in another 2 runs. KJ Strait and Alex Cruzan both added 2 hits each.
Christian Ringler turned in a defensive gem, by driving to catch a fast sinking pop fly.
In Game #2 - Jayson Ruether came on in relief in the 2nd inning to throw 5 2/3 innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 1 to get the win. The Indians defense shined while committing only 1 error for the game. KJ Strait made a great defensive play at shortstop, fielding a sure base hit from behind 2nd base and threw a strike to first for the out. Mason Cruzan also picked up the team by digging out a bad throw in the dirt at first base.
On the offensive side, Taylor Bode led the team with 2 hits and 2 RBI's, KJ Strait also had 2 hits, including a long double, 6 other players collected a hit a piece.
The Indians evened their over record to 9-9, and look to improve on that with a trip to Mason County Eastern on Saturday for a tournament.
Saturday, May 14th
The White Cloud Varsity Baseball Team traveled to Mason County Eastern on Saturday for the MCE Tournament.
White Cloud won their first game of the day against Manistee Catholic Central by the score of 16-1 in the 3 inning contest.
Offensively, KJ Strait started the first inning off with a double to left field, Alex Cruzan was hit by a pitch, Landyn McGowen followed with an RBI single, and Taylor Bode blasted a 2 run double, to put the Indians up 3 at the end of the first inning. The Indians added another 8 runs in the 2nd inning, with the big hit coming from Bode, who knocked in 2 more runs with a single. Bode led the team with 3 hits of which 2 were doubles, along with 5 RBI's. McGowen and Strait, both had 2 hits each.
On the mound, McGowen picked up the win, giving up 1 hit and walking none.
In the Championship Game, White Cloud bested Mason County Eastern by the score of 16-4.
Alex Cruzan took the hill and gave up 3 hits, 2 walks and struck out 6 in 3 2/3 innings in the win. Mason Cruzan pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up 2 hits, and 1 earned run.
Offensively, the team was led by Alex Cruzan with 3 hits, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI's. Christian Ringler and Mason Cruzan each had 2 hits and 3 RBI's in the game.
The Indians record now stands at 11-9, and on an 8 game winning streak. Their next games will be on Tuesday against Kent City at Davenport University.
Story by Hudson Harkness
Photos by Jaime Harkness
Game 1: Newaygo Blows Tri-County out in Game 1 of the Doubleheader
From start to finish it was Newaygo and Newaygo only as the Lions hammered out a 14-1 win over the Vikings in the opener of this CSAA Gold matchup.
The scoring started in the 1st inning for the Lions when Remy Wells crossed the plate on a passed ball.
Heading into the 7th inning the Lions led 8-1 but their bats did not slow down there. Newaygo scored six more times in the final frame as McGowen, Russell Toth, Jordan Cortes, and Wells each delivered RBIs.
Seth McGowen worked on the hill for 6 innings and got the win, holding the Vikings to a lone run while scattering five hits and striking out 10. Glenn Toth came on in the 7th to relieve McGowen and struck out one.
Newaygo racked up 14 hits in the game with 4 players putting multiple hits in the book. In the batter's box, the Lions were led by Glenn Toth who belted a 2 run homer and picked up a pair of walks.
Game 2: Newaygo Claims Lead Late to Defeat TC
Newaygo ran off with the lead late in Game 2 in the 7-6 victory over Tri-County. The game was tied at three going to the 5th inning before a Cam Goodin single sent R. Toth home to give the Lions the one-run advantage.
Newaygo came back in the 6th inning and scored three more to get more insurance, but that did not faze the Vikings. TC pushed across three runs in the bottom half of the 6th to pull within a run but their scoring ended there. Josiah Long was able to finish the game off for the Lions and add the win to his record.
Long moves to 5-0 on the season, after giving up six runs, seven hits, and striking out ten. The Lions' offense was able to scatter nine hits to all parts of the field. Russell Toth and Seth McGowen managed to both get multiple hits. On the bases, R. Toth led the way with two stolen bases as the Lions racked up eight total thefts in the game
Tri-County collected seven hits of their own. The Vikings had 3 hitters with multiple knocks.
After both wins against Tri-County, the Lions advance to 13-4 overall. Newaygo is back in action on Friday against rival Grant in the Battle of M37.
Haavisto nets game winner
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
Newaygo Lions soccer traveled to Tri County on Wednesday night, securing a 2-1 win over the Vikings. With similar conference records, the Lions and Vikings both brought intensity to the field in pursuit of a seeding advantage in next week’s CSAA conference tournament.
After several shots, the Lions gained the upper hand with just eleven minutes left in the first half, when Grace Painter netted a goal off an assist from Connelly Hefferan Nordlund. Tri County responded five minutes later, with a shot from distance outside the reach of Lion Keeper Barbara Toth. At halftime, the game was tied. It would stay that way for most of the second half. Then, Toth sent a long ball up the field, finding Laura Haavisto, who broke away from two defenders. Haavisto was able to fire the ball over the Viking Keeper, in a dramatic moment that switched the game.
Coach Painter: “"Coming in, we knew this was going to be a tough, physical game and we knew that we were going to have to be focused and ready to defend quick counter attacks. Tri-County delivered last night and our girls responded just like we hoped they would. It was a great back and forth game for a full 80 minutes with both teams creating good chances on goal. I was proud of how our girls played through the ups and downs of the game and they remained true to our team values! We are looking forward to ending the regular season and moving on to the conference tournament next week!"
The Lions play their final regular season conference match on the road Friday at 5:45 PM against Chippewa Hills.
Bode slams in opener; McGowen plates 2 and scores winning run in nightcap
Photos By Bobbi Sue Cruzan
In a pair of games that kept an enthusiastic crowd on the edge of their seats the White Cloud Indians swept the Morley Stanwood Mohawks by the scores of 9-5 and 8-7.
In the first inning of game one with the bases loaded, Taylor Bode stepped to the plate and blasted a long home run over the left center field fence for a Grand Slam. Bode finished the game with 2 hits and 4 RBI's. Alex Cruzan, Mason Cruzan, and Christian Ringler, each collected 2 hits in the game.
On the hill, Bode scattered 4 hits and struck out 10 in 4 innings of work, while allowing only 1 earned run. Mason Cruzan pitched the final 3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run.
In game #2 - with White Cloud trailing 7-5 in the bottom half of the 7th inning, Landyn McGowen hit a 2 run double to tie the game, then scored the winning run on a throwing error. McGowen finished the game going 3 for 3, scoring 3 runs, and driving in 5 runs. Alex Cruzan also went 3 for 3, while scoring 3 runs. Jacob Francis joined the hit parade with 2 hits. Alex Cruzan picked up the win on the hill, pitching the final 2 innings, while striking out 3.
White Cloud is in action again on Friday, when they travel to Lakeview.
Boys- Fremont finished atop the conference besting second place Tri County by 65 points. Newaygo placed 7th and Grant 8th.
Girls- Chip Hills dominated the meet posting 200 points to second place Fremont’s 119. Newyago finished 6th and Grant was 8th.
From Packer Coach Somers:
“I am super proud of the way the boys ran. Going into a championship meet there is always a little concern with how the team will respond. This morning I went through the heat sheets and projected how the meet would go. I was a little conservative on a few events and had us winning the meet with 159 points. The boys showed up to compete and outperformed that scoring 178 points for a decisive win. They outscored my projections in the shot put, discus, long jump, 200 dash, and 4x800 relay, and despite the wind turned in several personal records. The boys started out strong and finished strong winning both the first (4x800) and last (4x400) events. Here are our event winners and athletes who set PRs. I am really proud of the way the boys represented themselves at a championship meet.”
800, 1600 – Conor Somers – 1st
Henrik Quist PR 3200 run
300 Hurdles – Daniel Romero – 1st
4x200 Relay – Conner Roesler, Khai Noordyk, Connor Pettis, Gabe Whittle – 1st
4x400 Relay – Gary Springstead, Daniel Romero, Gabe Whittle, Conor Somers – 1st and PR
4x800 Relay – Gavin Schuler, Sean Pettis, Johnny Christensen, Gary Springstead – 1st and PR
Andrew Steger PR Shot Put
Briar Hambrock PR Discus
Michael Romero PR Discus
Long Jump – Gabe Whittle 1st and PR
Newaygo Top 3 finishers
200m Mallaci Mayle 2nd 24.61
4x100 Relays Tim Dosch, Mayle, Chad Saucier, Jayden Joseph 1st
High Jump Cole Hefner 3rd 5-06 PR
Long Jump Blake Kerr 2nd 19-04.5 PR
100m Victoria Ekkel (Fremont) 3rd 14.2
200m Ekkel (F) 2nd 29.61
800m Maria Riddering (Newaygo) 2nd 2:42.09
1600m Remington Arney (N) 2nd 5:43.16
100m Hurdles Kennedy Christoffersen (F) 1st 17.76 Lauren O’Malley (F) 2nd 18.5
300m Hurdles O’Malley (F) 3rd 56.81
4x100 Relay Ekkel, Justina Reimerova, K Christoffersen, Avery Christoffersen (F) 3rd
4x200 Relay K Christoffersen, Ekkel, Erica Maddox, Morgan Best (F) 3rd
4x800 Relay Arney, Elizabeth Chaffee, Iris Herrera, Maria Riddering (N) 2nd
High Jump Maddox (F) 2nd 4-08
Long Jump K.Christoffersen, (F) 2nd 15-05.75 PR, A Christoffersen (F) 3rd 14-06.50 PR
Painter nets 5 in rout over Eagles
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
After two primarily defensive games, the Newaygo Lions were on the attack Monday night, winning against the Kent City Eagles 6-0. Back at full strength following a couple weeks of sickness and injury, the Lions controlled the game with beautiful passing and numerous shots on goal.
Grace Painter started a scoring blitz midway through the first half, netting the first of her five goals of the night. Jaxi Long also scored near the end of the first half with a penalty shot after Kent City handled the ball.
Coach Painter: "We started off strong with 21 shots on goal during the first half but our accuracy left much to be desired! However, the girls found their stride in the second half and put up 4 more goals! All of our girls had the chance to contribute to the game and play on the turf field under the lights! We are looking forward to our match against Tri County on Wednesday!”
The Lions take to the road on Wednesday for a conference game against Tri County. The Lions are currently 5-0-1 in conference play.