By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Newaygo at Tri County
After a pair of shutouts the Lions put one in the W column during a visit to Morley Stanwood. The ‘Hawks who are having a down year and may still be looking for their first win for a while if they don’t put on an inspired performance for the home crowd this week in their game with Lakeview.
Oh, and Tri County hasn’t lost yet.
Newaygo found a bit more offense last week as Harkness to Wells scored twice and Bazzett added a pick 6 on defense.
But they are facing an explosive team that makes few mistakes and they will need a whole lot of big plays on both sides of the ball if they are going to stay with Coach Butler’s high octane scoring machine. The Vikes are averaging 44 points a game and with Behrenwald and Gould pacing the run attack and Sheehan’s ability to put the ball in the hands of his receivers they will be tough to stop.
When I look at the Lion schedule I can see the chance for more wins, but it would likely take a nearly errorless effort and a whole lot of breaks going their way to make this game one of them.
Fremont (2-1) at Grant (1-2)
This Packer team possesses a new culture and the players reflect a toughness that has motivated and inspired them. When their rugged O-line opened a bit of room last week Dirheimer delivered the yardage and the defense once again came up big against a potent Oriole offense.
The Tigers ran into the solid Viking team we mentioned above and got pummeled but they weren’t the first nor will they be the last team to have that experience this season. Hard to say what the Tigers have got. They have a win over Chip Hills and stayed close to Comstock Park.
And they’re at home.
Fremont has a tough schedule ahead and this is the first of four straight games on the road. If they continue to show the line play we’ve seen so far this season they should be notching a 3rd win here.
White Cloud (2-1) at Kent City (3-0)
That was a big win over a good Panther team last week.
But now The Cloud ventures into Eagle territory to face undefeated Kent City.
In all likelihood and despite not even being halfway through the regular season the winner here will probably be headed for the Silver crown.
This is the best team White Cloud has put on the field in many years.
Whether it’s enough to derail an Eagle team on a roll remains to be seen.
North Muskegon (2-1) at Hesperia (1-2)
The Norse can score a lot of points if they get on a roll. The Panther defense will be called on the hold back a team that has scored over 90 points their last 2 games and the offense needs to keep the D off the field as much as possible. Hesperia’s going to need a few breaks to stay with NM.
Mason County Central (0-3) at Holton (0-3)
Two teams looking for win #1.
The Devs are at home but will need to generate some offense to send the fans home happy.
Packer Boys go deep for the win; Girls capture 3rd
By Michael Paige
Photos by Cari Taylor
“How many hills?” “They have to run that twice?” “Rich Tompkins’ legacy.” All phrases overheard last night at Branstrom Park in Fremont, site of the first WMC Cross Country Jamboree of 2022. Fremont’s Branstrom Park is the team’s legendary home course featuring steep hills and lots of turns mostly on a narrow, wooded trail. Fremont is new to the WMC (West Michigan Conference), and this was the first time many of these runners, coaches and parents had experienced the course.
One might think Fremont would hold an advantage, as the runners practice on the course and run a fair complement of hills throughout the year as part of their training regimen. As the race played out, that appeared to be true.
Two Whitehall senior runners, Andre Richmond and Carter McIlroy, took the early lead and were never seriously challenged. They finished less than a second apart at 18:31.10 and 18:31.53, very respectable times on this course. Whitehall also captured the 9th (Stewart Waters), 17th (Andrew Boeringa) and 19th (Avery Jura) spots. Fremont junior Sean Pettis captured the third-place spot with a time of 18:52.07, an improvement of about 50 seconds over his time on the course at last year’s conference championship. Fremont coach, Cliff Somers stresses closing (time) splits, and that was on display as Fremont runners Sophomore Cole Lowery (19:43.12), Junior Johnny Christensen (19:54.11), Freshman Chase Lowery (19:59.81) and Senior Gary Springstead (20:16.76) captured the 10th through 13th places all within 36 seconds of each other.Muskegon Oakridge runner Peyton Ruel finished 4th with a time of 19:21.02.
Oakridge did not have enough runners to place as a team, so after the scoring, Fremont and Whitehall were tied with 45 points each. “Don’t discount the importance of the 6th and 7th runners” was another phrase overheard last night as the tiebreaker goes to the team with the next best finisher. That would be Fremont Freshman Isaac Romero who finished 15th overall with a time of 20:46.65. Fremont Sophomore Blake Taylor (21:01.46) placed 18th. Ludington (68 points), Manistee (104) and Montague (108) rounded out the team scoring for the boys.
On the girl’s side, Fremont Freshman Linnea Paige took 2nd at the team’s Hill and Bale Invitational on Saturday, 4 seconds ahead of Whitehall Sophomore Cami Kraai. Kraai must not have been happy about this as at Tuesday’s meet she opened up an early lead in the race and never looked back finishing 1st overall with a time of 22:10.65. Ludington’s Summer Brower (22:26.69), Manistee’s Cecilia Postma (22:41.84), Ludington’s Nadia Grierson (22:50.69) and Kraai’s teammate, Ariana Treat (22:51.13), rounded out the top five. Paige finished 6th with a time of 23:01.62. Her teammates Freshman Ariana Tanner (18th – 26:22.55), Freshman Joelle Patten (23rd – 27:02.51), Freshman Rocquel Richards (26th – 27:37.85) and Sophomore Rachel Maddox (28th – 27:50.96) rounded out Fremont’s top five.
Manistee’s top five runners finished 3rd, 20th, 24th, 25th and 29th for, you guessed it, a tie for 3rd overall. To decide the tie, the times for the 6th runner for each team were used and Fremont Junior Elise Pfeiffer’s time of 28:53.45 bettered Manistee Senior Abbie Robinson’s time of 29:32.08 giving Fremont 3rd place at the meet. Ludington (35 points) and Whitehall (44) took the top two spots.
The teams run again on Saturday at Ludington’s annual invitational at West Shore Community College. A few select Fremont runners were honored for running 500 miles over the summer and qualified for the Michigan State Invitational. Johnny Christensen, Sean Pettis, Henrik Quist and Carter Sherman will run Friday in East Lansing.
Newaygo Earns First Win Of Season At Morley
Story and photos by Alexis Mercer
The first possession of the game on Friday, September 9th at Morley Stanwood was by the Lions. They were looking to put a spark back in their season after having lost in the first two weeks. The first drive was not that spark. Luckily for them, there was a full 4 quarters to be played.
Morley Stanwood didn’t make any sparks themselves on their first drive. In fact, the only thing flying through the air were flags after penalties. Both teams needed some luck to make the sparks start flying.
It was Remington Wells in the Lions’ second try at possession that not only found the spark but lit the field on fire. A quick screen pass to Wells from quarterback Grant Harkness resulted in a 75 yard touchdown and a visiting crowd that was overjoyed to be celebrating the first touchdown of the season.
Morley didn’t fare as well on their second possession, and turned the ball over on downs at their own 30 yard line. Newaygo capitalized on that and ran another screen pass from Harkness to Wells with. 4:15 left in the half.
It wasn’t all good for the visitors from there on out, though, as the Lions last drive of the half was intercepted in the end zone. The score was 14-0 at half.
The second half, the Mohawks came out not having lost any fire in their bellies. They drove down the field and found themselves on the 1 yard line, but the Lions defense put up a huge stop and held them out of the end zone.
Jaxon duChemin came up big for Newaygo with an interception right around midfield later on in the half. This drained the Mohawks excitement in a big way. The icing on the cake for the Lions defense was when Dyllan Bazzett intercepted near the end of the third quarter and ran it back for 6.
The Lions finished with 20 to Morley’s 0.
From Coach Force:
Grant Harkness led the Lions with 36 yards rushing and 200 yards passing with 2 passing touchdowns.
Remy Wells led receivers with 114 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Grant Harkness led the Lions with13 tackles with 1 tackle for loss.
Gavin Culver had 9 tackles.
Miguel Alvarez had 8 tackles.
Dyllan Bazzett had an interception for a touchdown with 3 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
I Have To Jump Over What?
Fremont hosts annual Hill and Bale cross country meet on Saturday, September 10
Photos and story by Alexis Mercer
We sat around the pool at the house of a Newaygo athlete after having enjoyed spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and maybe a cookie or two. The Lions Cross Country team most Fridays before Saturday meets celebrates with this tradition of team dinner. It starts with practice at the athlete’s house, followed by dinner, and then some sort of team bonding. This day it happened to be watching the boys team members play a few rounds of chicken in the pool.
I was sitting by the group of exchange students who have blessed our team with their participation since having arrived not long ago in Newaygo with jet lag and an excitement for a sport that boasts great team chemistry. The day was not disappointing in that regard. As is expected, they had many questions about what the next day’s meet would bring.
“We get to ride a bus to the meet?”
“Yes, we sure do.”
“HOW far, again, is this run?”
(Brazilian exchange student’s eyes get very large): “Every time???”
“Don’t worry. You can do it. Just remember, this meet is very different. You run the 5k but you have to jump or run over bales of straw.”
(Brazilian exchange student again, whose eyes remained wide): “Wait. What does that mean? What are bales of straw?”
“Well, you know straw? Like you would see on a farm? They cut that and pack it into rectangular shapes and tie it together with string. Then they stack some of those on top of each other and you have to climb over it about 10 times throughout the race.”
I was surprised she showed up the next day after witnessing the look on her face after having explained it.
“Honestly, though, it’s fun,” I said with a smile.
And I meant it! Many athletes find it to be one of their favorite ways to start the season due to its unique format. The weather proved to be challenging in that it was hot and muggy even early in the morning. But the competition was fantastic and the crowd was even better.
Below are the results from Newaygo county coaches for Fremont, Newaygo and White Cloud.
Full results can be found here - https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/206160/results
From Coach Somers at Fremont:
The boys had a 1:13 1-5 split on their way to a second place finish (52 pts) to Whitehall (44 pts). Sean Pettis (Jr) led the way for the Pack with a 5th place finish in 18:13. We tried to stay packed up through the mile mark and see what happened from there. We didn’t quite make it to the mile mark before breaking up, but I felt it was a pretty solid outing for our first race of the season. Freshman Issac Romero turned in a really gutsy performance. He really worked hard the second half of the race to move up into the last medal position. Athletes who improved over last year's times were.
Sean Pettis – 1 minute
John Christensen – 6 seconds
Gary Springstead 9 seconds
Blake Taylor – 42 seconds
Our varsity squad included Sean, Johnny Christensen (jr), Cole Lowery (So), Issac, and Blake Taylor (So)
Brandon Rasmussen (So) did a good job in his first race fighting to stay in the top 15 to earn a medal. He wound up placing 15th by ½ a second.
We ran two girls in the varsity race, Linnea Paige (Fr) and Ariana Tanner (Fr). Linnea led the way running a fantastically controlled race. She got out very controlled, moved up through the 2nd mile, and dealing with the suffering in the 3rd mile to place 2nd. Ari’s goal was to break 25:50 in the race. She also ran a great race. She was hurting in the last 1000, but really competed with a runner from Wyoming Lee the whole way. She beat her goal by 35 seconds to place 19th.
Joelle Patten (Fr) led the way for the Pack with a fantastic race to place 2nd in 25:52. Rocquel Richards turned in a strong run in the finish stretch to finish 9th (Fr), Rachel Maddox 13th (So), and Elise Pfeiffer 15th (So) rounded out our group. Another group of solid performances for our first race.
From Coach Mercer at Newaygo:
We are back to a full roster after a year of small numbers last year. It was exciting to see the new jerseys sporting the Newaygo N logo and excitement for many of the boys’ first high school cross country meets! Jadon Ryman led the way for the Lions with a time of 22:05 and fellow junior Mathew Miedema was right on his heels with a 22:10. Rounding out the top five were freshman Caleb Bays, senior Bryce Grugett, and freshman Zachary Spaulding.
From the time the gun went off, junior Remington Arney was with the lead pack of four and she maintained that status straight through to the finish with her 4th place medal and a time of 21:56. Next for the Lady Lions was senior Elizabeth Chaffee (25:01) and then three Lions right in a row with Aamori Paz (26:45), Zoey Walerczyk (27:07) and Thalia Pineda (27:19) finishing out for the scoring five.
Joining the three exchange students who would be participating in their first every cross country meet in the United States were 7 other athletes with the Newaygo N on their jerseys. Only 2 of the 10 had ever run in a high school cross country meet before! They all finished having given it their all and earned a runner-up trophy for the JV division. Leading the Lions in this race was senior Sofia Briggs (29:11), followed by Rebecca Grandy, Sydney Biegalle, Joseline Sanchez Magana and Yuri Kasugai in the top five.
From Coach Atwood at White Cloud:
On Saturday, September 10, the White Cloud High School Cross Country team competed at the Fremont Hill and Bale Invitational. The boys finished third behind powerhouses Wyoming Potter's House and West Michigan Christian. Coleson Cruzan finished sixth and Carson Foondle was 14th, both earning medals for their performances. Rounding out the top seven were Malachi Graves and Kaleb Canning, 21st and 22nd respectively. Christain Ringler was 24th, Wyatt Karnes 27th and Avery Bowman was 30th. The girls finished in fifth place with Annie Feldpausch in 16th place as our first girl. She was followed by Kiara Edwards (21st), Jolena Deaton (22nd), Brooklyn Foondle (23rd), Gaby Reeve (30th), and Grace Richards (33rd) In the JV race, Donnie Grovesteen posted a ninth place finish and bringing home a medal as our best reserve runner. Keagan Kailing was 19th, Jarrett Warlick 20th,and Zane Keith 26th. Competing in the Packer division, the JV girls ran a tight group with Makayla Sheldon finishing 36th, Sydnee Ochs 42nd, Lillie Keith 43rd and Chloe Higgs 44th.
Posting season best times were Zane Keith, Christian Ringler, Chloe Higgs, Lillie Keith, and Grace Richards.
Donnie Grovesteen, Jarret Warlick, and Gaby Reeve set personal best times.
Reuther picks a pair, Silverthorn scores a pair
Photos by Cassie Rickert
White Cloud 26 Hesperia 14
The M-20 rivalry between these two schools entered a new era as they played their first non conference game in the 73 game history of this on field competition.
And this one went to White Cloud.
Behind a strong defensive effort that included a trio of interceptions and 5 sacks the hosts were able to contain the passing game of Panther QB Alex Gleason who nonetheless finished with 10 completions for 163 yards.
Jace Silverthorn and Carlos Brown combined for 21 tackles, Lloyd Sebright-Johnson and Landon McGowen each tallied a pair of sacks and Mason Reuther had a pair of picks with Nate Compeau adding another.
On the offensive side Silverthorn ran for 133 yards scoring a pair of TD’s and added a scoring toss to Compeau while McGowen found the endzone as part of his 77 yards on the ground.
Panther running back Skyler Stalbaum finished with 16 rushes for 96 yards and a touchdown, Gleason added to his passing stats with 61 yards rushing and a TD and Mav McKinnon caught 3 passes for 71 yards to go with his 32 yards on the ground. Bryce Billings (3) Brock Bolles (2) and Ian Fox (2) were also on the receiving end of Gleason passes. On the defensive side Bolles tallied a dozen tackles while Stalbaum added 8 and recovered a fumble.
Coach Gorman: “The boys played extremely well! The hard work they put into their conditioning showed as they were relentless the whole night. Unfortunately we didn't have a JV game this week so we dressed some underclassmen that stepped up in a huge way when a couple guys got banged up, Blake Borgman (Fr.) being the shining star of the group. Defensively we had to make some adjustments due to the athleticism of some of their guys. They have some really good athletes and their coaches put them in some good situations to show that. Our usual leaders performed to their expectations but Jose Saavedra Mena had some great plays on the D-Line. Offensively our run game was strong as we anticipated with Jace Silverthorn and Landyn McGowen leading the way. Mason Ruether did a great job leading the team from the qb spot and the O-Line as a whole really worked hard to make that happen. The team is firing on all cylinders and we're excited to head to Kent City next week!
White Cloud (2-1) will open conference play in the CSAA Siver when they travel to Kent City Friday to face the undefeated Eagles while Hesperia (1-2) will make their WMC debut facing North Muskegon(2-1).
Early TD by O’s proves the difference; Packers impressive in loss
Story and photos by Ken DeLaat
Ludington 7 Fremont 0
The Packer defense put on a show Friday as they kept a potent Oriole attack in check most of the night with a bend don’t break strategy that allowed the hosts to stay within striking distance of pulling out a possible win.
The Packers won the toss and deferred, kicking off to their visitors. The defense held and Ludington went 3 and out and the Packers took over on offense. A fumble on the first play gave the ball back to the O’s and soon after Aiden Gilchrist broke free and scampered a dozen yards for the score. Miles Wilson converted to make it 7-0 and with the teams not yet halfway through the opening quarter his boot accounted for the final point of the game.
The rest of the game was defense and field position with the two quality teams battling in the trenches all night.
Michael and Daniel Romero combined for 13 solo tackles and Michael Romero’s sack of elusive Ludington QB Chase Hackert for a big loss in the 4th quarter was huge and set up a final Packer drive. With Dirheimer carrying the load Fremont pushed the ball down to the Oriole 15 yard line but the visitors defense tightened and forced a 4th and long pass that failed to find the hands of a Packer receiver. The Orioles were able to eat up the final 3 minutes and Fremont’s first game in the WMC ended in a loss.
Justin Dirheimer was an absolute beast running the ball. It was clear the Orioles had him in their sights from the start of play and despite their keying on him the rugged running back pounded his way to a game high 121 yards on 25 carries.
Make no mistake this year’s version of Fremont Football will be making some noise in the conference this season. They rose to the occasion against a team that had spent their first 2 games running up over 90 points and held them to a single breakaway touchdown. While the offense could use a bit more diversity the o-line can open holes long enough for Dirheimer to get some traction.
The defense has been superb and time and time again they came together to stop drives and give their offense the opportunity to score.
Coach Hudson and his capable staff have done a great job with this team and the players have responded in kind. It’s apparent on the sidelines that theme players believe in themselves and if they continue to play like they did Friday they will be putting up more W’s as the season and the team progresses.
Next Friday Fremont will renew an old rivalry with Grant in the first of 4 road games in a row. The Packers won’t return to play at home until October 14 when they face Whitehall, currently the #2 ranked D4 team in the state.
Ludington will play in a battle of the unbeatens as they travel to Oakridge.
By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Three conference games including the first WMC games for Fremont (Lakes Div.) and Holton (Rivers Div.) There are no ties so the Newaygo/Morley game will get one of them off the schneid. The Cloud beat the Panthers on their home turf last year and Coach Fehler’s team would love to return the favor. Tigers and Vikes each vying for conference win #2.
Ludington (2-0) at Fremont (2-0)
I love seeing Coach Hudson’s team coming out with a couple of early W’s. It’s been a long time since the Fremont Faithful had much to cheer about and last week the student section found it easy to maintain their enthusiasm from opening kick to the final gun.
Now things are getting serious and the decision to move to the WMC comes home to roost with a powerful Ludington team coming to town. The Oriole line play has been more than solid and they have Chase Hackert at QB, a player who can not only pile on rushing yards but toss a few strikes to his receivers. The O’s have a number of options in their backfield and will look to keep the Packer D guessing.
Dirheimer has been a workhorse in the backfield but the Ludington coaching staff have watched film and stopping him will be a priority QB DeKuiper began to air it out a bit more in last week’s win and the Packer passing will need to be effective to help the ground game.
The much improved Fremont defense that has come up big in the two wins will be called on to contain a team that has put 92 points on the board already this season. No small task.
2-0 is a good start. A conference win over a probable title contender would be huge.
Newaygo (0-2) at Morley Stanwood (0-2)
The best shot the Lions have at a win over the next few weeks is probably this matchup with Morley. The ‘Hawks have been outscored 72-7 in their 2 games, but then again the Newaygo offense has yet to see an endzone while the defense has yielded 57 points so a shootout is not likely
While Kent City and Big Rapids provide tough tests for any team the Lions have to find a way to keep their defense from spending so much time on the field.
And that starts with making a few more first downs than they have in their first two contests.
Tri County (2-0) at Grant (1-1)
The Tigers picked up a conference win when Chip Hills came to town last week.
The Vikings are not CH.
Coach Butler’s team avenged their only regular season loss last week when they simply outscored perennial powerhouse Reed City and served notice that other contenders for the conference title will need to deal with TC.
The Vikes look pretty strong in this early part of the season and the win over the ‘Yotes will boost their confidence moving forward.
The Tiger defense is going to have their work cut out for them because TC’s high octane offense can pile up points given the opportunity.
But Grant also possesses some firepower on offense with Obenauf able to put up yardage in the air and on the ground.
Interesting test for both teams and this game should give Tiger fans a good glimpse of the season ahead.
Hesperia (1-1) at White Cloud (1-1)
From the old NCAA through the WWAC and finally in the CSAA these two teams have been in the same conference since at least 1951. 72 times they have met with the Panthers up 40-32 in the series.
Friday for the first time they renew their rivalry but the game will not affect the league records of either team.
Hesperia has been impressive thus far. Gleason has been effective in guiding the offense while Bolles and McKinnon have been solid on both sides of the ball.
Silverthorn and McGowen are a one two punch on the Cloud offense.
Coach Gorman will have his team ready to play and they’re on home turf but this Panther team are believers and there are a number of players who want to leave last season’s disappointment behind.
And they could use some serious momentum heading into WMC play next week.
Ravenna (1-1) at Holton (0-2)
The Bulldogs looked really, really good in taking down state ranked Montague last week and falling a point short of beating the #1 D8 team from Beal City in their opener.
The Devs have been outscored 103-0 which points to having more problems than they have players it seems. Holton graduated a lot of talent last year and their current personnel, while playing their hearts out, are unlikely to match the level of play they will be facing on the field Friday.
The RD’s will need a lot of breaks to stay with the Dawgs.
Packers, Tigers and Panthers post wins, Cloud falls short, Devils hit hard
Fremont 24 Beaverton 7
It would not be inaccurate to call the 2022 version of Packer football “new and improved”
After all, in two weeks the team not only doubled their wins from last season, they notched a pair of W’s over teams not named Chippewa Hills since the only on-field wins (2) in the past 3 years were over the Warriors.
The Packer faithful didn't have long to wait for something to cheer about as halfway through the first quarter Packer QB Kyler DeKuiper found his running back Justin Dirheimer with a pass and 33 yards later the home team went up 6-0.
DeKuiper delivered on another TD toss in the second quarter, this time hitting Owen Hertel for a 10 yard scoring strike and the teams hit halftime with the hosts up 12-0.
The defense stifled the Beavers in the first half and continued to make yardage a premium for the visitors in the second. Fremont stretched the lead to 18-0 as Dirheimer took it in on the ground this time, an 8 yard run for the score. For the third straight time the Packers failed to convert on the conversion attempt and the score moved to 18-0.
Beaverton got on the board as time expired in the third with a 14 yard strike one of 29 air attempts by the visitors’ offense and after a successful PAT by the Beaver kicker the Packers held an 18-7 edge.
Midway through the 4th Dirheimer found paydirt again taking it home from 16 yards out and with the conversion coming up short again the score went to 24-7 where it remained thanks to another strong defensive finish by the Packers.
Dirheimer finished with a game high 171 yards rushing while DeKuiper hit 6 different receivers for 109 yards, including a pair of tosses to Gabe Curtice who tallied 38 yards.
The defense was impressive once again Thursday with Connor Pettis and Michael Romero adding turnovers to their impressive tackle numbers.
We caught up with Coach Hudson for a few post game posers.
Team looked pretty solid on offense with Dirheimer piling up some yards. Oline coming together as well as you'd like?
Coach H.-We are learning to become a physically imposing team. We had to remind our guys at half, but they came out and cleaned up some of our mistakes from the first half and we were able to control the game.
DeKuiper aired it out a bit more with more yardage on his passes. Looking to throw more as the season progresses?
Coach H.-The more film teams have on us, the more numbers we will see in the box. We will need to be able to complete passes and provide some balance to keep our offensive wheels turning.
Again it was your defense that really seemed to capture the game. Like what you see so far and any tweaks you'd like to see from them?
Coach H-Our seniors upfront have really carried our defense and set the tone of how we want to play defensive football. Our secondary will continue to be tested, so we will need to keep improving and creating turnovers like we have managed to do in the first couple of games.
Ludington's high octane offense comes to town next week. What needs to happen to go 3-0?
Coach H-Like always it all starts up front. We will need to be the more physical team in order to get a W. We have plenty of things to clean up and we will have to play a complete game in order to get that first WMC victory.
Hart 38 White Cloud 19
Photos by Cassie Rickert
The Pirates bounced back from last week’s season opening loss to Fremont, pulling out a come from behind win on the White Cloud home turf.
From Coach Gorman: Leading rushers on the night were Jace Silverthorn with 96 yards and two touchdowns while Landyn McGowen had 95 yards and a touchdown. Nate Compeau had 85 yards receiving and Alex Cruzan had 23. Defensively, the team was led by Carlos Brown and Alex Cruzan with 9 tackles each, Jace Silverthorn added 7, and Lloyd Sebright-Johnson took down 5. The Indians (1-1) next contest is Friday, September 9th at home against Hesperia(1-1).
Grant 30 Chippewa Hills 20
The Tigers began conference play with a win at home over the visiting Warriors.
Grant QB Oakley Obenauf knocked down some serious numbers as he tossed for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns while piling up 181 yards on the ground.
Cotter Scholten also found the endzone on a defensive play.
Grant (1-1,1-0)continues their conference schedule Friday when they welcome in the Vikings of Tri County (2-0,1-0).
Hesperia 18 St Louis 12
The Panthers struck early scoring on their first possession as Maverick McKinnon took it in from 12 yards out and after Skyler Stabaum scored the conversion run Hesperia held an 8-0 lead.
The Sharks came back to score but the conversion failed and the hosts held a 2 point edge. The Panther defense came up big forcing a safety on a muffed punt attempt and pushing the score to 10-6 and giving Hesperia another possession. The Panthers jumped on the opportunity with Panther QB Alex Gleason scoring on a 5 yard run then flipping a 2 point conversion pass to Ian Fox for an 18-6 lead at intermission.
Scoring and yardage were at a premium in the second half with the Sharks putting 6 more on the board and Hesperia gaining their first win under new Head Coach TYler Fehler.
The Panthers (1-1) will head east Friday to take on former conference foe and longtime rival White Cloud (1-1).
Perry 49 Holton 0
The Red Devils rough start continued Thursday as the Ramblers held them scoreless while spending much of the game on the Holton side of the field.
The Devs (0-2) will be taking on the Bulldogs of Ravenna (1-1) in their WMC Rivers Division conference opener
Tri County 48 Reed City 40
7 times since joining the CSAA the Vikings have taken the field to face the Coyotes.
And 7 times they came up short. Add to that, the perennial powerhouse from Reed City was the only regular season blemish on Coach Phil Butler’s team last season.
On Thursday the Vikings served notice of their intention to contend for the title that eluded them last year as they survived a scoring barrage by both teams and emerged with the win.
Coach Butler: "It was a great team effort. We talked all summer about giving a little more. Little more in the weight room, little more in film study and little more in practice. That little more was the difference tonight.
"Super proud of our platers and coaches. Reed City is a great program and very well coached."
Trent Behrenwald paced the running attack with 128 yards on 18 carries and Stuart Gould handled the ball 6 times gaining 77 yards and scoring twice.
Viking QB David Sheehan hit on 16 of 22 passes for 167 yards and a pair of TD's.
TC will travel to Grant Friday to take on the Tigers.
Other Scores of Interest
Kent City 28 Central Montcalm 27
Saugatuck 20 Lakeview 7
Carson City Crystal 34 Morley Stanwood 7
Oakridge 20 Muskegon Catholic 14
Ludington 55 Shelby 7
Ravenna 14 Montague 7
Whitehall 41 Hastings 30
Manistee 27 Mason County Central 6
North Muskegon 54 OV 0
Lions Fall to Cardinals Despite Valiant Effort
Story and photos by Alexis Mercer
Newaygo 0 Big Rapids 37
If football games were won by effort, the Lions would have been victorious on Thursday night against the Cardinals. But alas, the points on the scoreboard are what matter most for a W, and in that contest, the Lions fell to the Cardinals by 37 points.
The scoreboard hasn’t been in the Lions favor yet this season, but this week showed marked improvement for the home team in yards gained and momentum heading in the right direction. It’s just that Big Rapids happened to have a lot to say about whether they would allow the Lions in the end zone.
The Cardinals drove the ball right down the Lions’ field in their opening possession, with only four plays required to get the 6 points. Newaygo went 4 and out on their first possession.
A ray of hope filled the crowd as in the second Cardinal possession, Remington Wells lept high above his receiver and snagged the ball for an interception near mid-field. But the excitement was short lived as it was another 4 and out for the Lions.
Big Rapids found a way to score another touchdown and put 2 extra points in after a side arm sling landed right in the receiver’s open arms. Newaygo went down 0-14.
The crowd grew excited for the next series for Newaygo. Chad Saucier ran the ball for positive yards, then Remy Wells caught the ball with extra yards after a few missed tackles, Dyllan Bazzett added yards with a catch and then Grant Harkness added more yards with a nice run to the outside. But the momentum wouldn’t last as Big Rapids found a way to tackle Harkness at quarterback in the backfield and Lions turned it over on downs.
This same storyline happened again for Newaygo’s next possession, ending in the red zone with a turnover on downs. This time it was followed by a Big Rapids touchdown.
Adjustments in the locker room held promise for the Lions in the start of the second half. But the Cardinals just would not relent. No points were given up in the 48 minutes of play.
Photos and Story By Tara Hefferan
“These girls did amazing last season” says Newaygo Boys Soccer Coach, Jesus De Leon. He is referring to the Newaygo Girls Soccer Team, who in Spring 2022 won the District Championship for the first time in the school’s history. To recognize this success, Coach De Leon and his players organized a celebration on Wednesday night at home before their game against Tri-County.
The brief ceremony took place with the boys lined up on both sides of the center line, as the girls held the trophy at center circle. Coach De Leon began by sharing a few words about the girls with the fans assembled on the sidelines. He said it was important to celebrate the girls’ historic achievements from last season. He also stressed the importance of both teams finding ways to be united in order to celebrate and grow “the sport of soccer that we all love.” He anticipates more joint events between the teams to foster a sense of cohesion within the Newaygo soccer community.
He then turned to Girls’ Varsity Coach, Matt Painter, who offered some reflections on the spring season. The Newaygo girls had a 16-4-1 record in the spring, advancing through district play to claim the title. Coach Painter introduced each of the players in attendance, highlighting their contributions to the spring team and acknowledging their successes.
The fall season is now underway for Newaygo Boys’ Soccer, with fifteen players looking to improve from last year. Coach De Leon expects his team to progress in “teamwork, tactics, and skills” this season, even if they do not win every game. With an overall record of 4-2-0 and a conference record of 3-0-0, they are off to a good start.
The next home game for the boys will be September 10th at 4:30 versus Grand Rapids Covenant Christian.