From Coach Atwood:
The White Cloud Cross Country teams competed at their first 2020 CSAA jamboree on Wednesday in Hesperia. The tough course didn't keep Nathan Ciolk down, as he won the boys race in 19:33.52. The boys team finished in second place with help from Tristan McHaney ( 20:18.42, 5th), Kobe Canning (20:38.39, 7th), Terry Trendel (22:25.21, 15th), and Jaden VanDam (22:33.05, 16th). Rounding out the boys results for White Cloud was Nik Parks (18th), Carson Foondle (19th), Christian Ringler (23rd), Malachi Graves (24th), Sam Venema (29th), Ashton Byle (31st), Christian Moomey (37th), Keagan Kailing (40th), Ian Pierce (42nd), Zane Keith ( 43rd), Adam Bulk (44th), and Parker Karnes (45th). Congratulations to Jaden, Christian M, and Keagan for setting personal best times.
The girls narrowly missed a 3rd place finish by two points. Naomi Thompson (24:57.41) was our top finisher in sixth place. She was followed by Annie Feldpausch (26:48.57, 16th), Stine Kristensen (27:23.78, 17th), Grace Richards (28th), Chloe Higgs (32nd), Cecelia Rodriguez (33rd), Allie Rodriguez (34th), Lillie Keith (35th), and posting a season best was Sydnee Ochs (36th).
Nice job, runners! White Cloud will be in action at West Shore Community College on Saturday for the Ludington invitational.
Teams place 1-2 at H&B, sweep Falcons in duals
Story and photos by Mike Paige
On September 12, 2020 at the 16th running of the Hill and Bale Invitational hosted by Fremont, the defending Division 2 State Champion Fremont Boys Cross Country team quickly took control of the race seizing the top 5 places by the 1000 meter mark and maintaining that pace throughout the race. Nathan Walker (Sr) led the team setting a new course record of 15:48, besting the old record by 16 seconds (Isaiah VanDoorn Grant 2007). Ben Paige (Sr), Conor Somers (Jr), Josh Zerfas (Sr) and Adam Ward (Sr) finished 2-5 for a sweep of the top five spots and a perfect score of 15 points. Senior Nathan Johnson and freshman John Christensen rounded out the top 7 for Fremont. Grand Rapids Potter’s House (70) and Whitehall (101) finished 2nd and 3rd.
The girls varsity placed 2nd in a tight battle. Taylor Mater (Jr) led the way with a second place finish. Taava Johnson (Jr) finished 11th, Leah Converse (Sr) 16th, Erin Norton (Sr) 25th and Emily Curtis (Sr) 29th.
On September 15, 2020 the Fremont runners hosted Allendale for a dual meet at Fremont’s Branstrom Park course. Senior, Nathan Walker led the team, once again setting a new course record of 16:21. That’s right, 16:21 at the hilly and uneven Branstrom Park course. To date only four runners (Walker, Matthew Zerfas, Riley Klingel and James Lanciaux) have eclipsed the 17 minute mark at the course. But, it was not a one man show. Three other Fremont boys broke the 18 minute mark. Conor Somers ran 17:29 for 2nd place, Ben Paige ran 17:48 for 4th and Joshua Zerfas ran 17:59 for 5th. Senior, Hayden Rhodea of Allendale cracked the top five placing 3rd and running 17:47. Fremont’s Adam Ward, Gavin Schuler, Nathan Johnson and Jackson Fair placed 6th, 7th, 8th and 12th respectively. The boys won the meet 18-45.
The girls race was awesome!!!! Taylor Mater led the race wire to wire to become the 5th fastest girl to ever run the course, clocking in at 20:39. The rest of the race was a battle. At the mile mark there was a tight pack of 6 Allendale girls surrounding Fremont’s Taava Johnson. Close behind was another pack of five girls including Fremont’s Erin Norton, Leah Converse and Emily Curtis battling with two Allendale runners. By the two mile mark, Johnson was trailing Allendale’s top two runners while Norton had caught and was just ahead of Allendale’s next two runners. Converse and Curtis had caught and were jockeying positions with Allendale’s 5th runner. Allendale fought back and with about 700 meters to go their top two had about a 30 meter gap on Johnson and their 3rd and 4th runners had about a 30 meter gap on Norton giving them back the lead. But the Fremont girls owned the last 700 meters. Taava Johnson ran down Allendale’s number 2 runner to finish 3rd overall with a time of 24:00.8. Erin Norton held off Allendale’s fourth runner to finish 6th overall, coming in at 25:12.8. And in an epic finish, Emily Curtis (25:21.6) and Leah Converse (25:22.2) of Fremont finished just ahead of Jenna Hinken (25:22.6) of Allendale in the 8-10 spots to secure a 27-28 victory for the Fremont girls. It was fantastic display of head to head racing. Freshman Elise Pfeiffer and senior Sierra Horton rounded out the top 7 Fremont girls runners.
New rules and (somewhat) shorter seasons
So what will the teams look like this shortened, masked, and everybody-is-tourney-bound season?
We imagine there will be smaller crowds rooting them on should the attendance requirements of two persons per participant be in play and it’s a later start since this would normally be game #3 but everyone has at least one extra game in the postseason.
The delay has also given teams longer to practice, and if one might recall until the playoffs arrived in the 70’s and then expanded a few times this was traditionally (meaning back when some of us were substantially younger) the week high school football kicked off anyway.
As far as who might be in the hunt for the playoffs?
As we said... everyone is in so what remains up for grabs are the bragging rights in simmering and long standing rivalries and the conference titles..
In the Silver all teams will get a chance to face each other but the Gold is going to lose a conference game so, locally, Newaygo misses Big Rapids, Grant won’t play Chip Hills and Fremont doesn’t get the chance to face Central Montcalm.
At N3 we hope to keep you informed with a weekly preview as well as coverage of the games that matter to you and some that don’t.
Here’s a bit of a preview of this week's games with last season’s records and a smidge of a historical glance.
Newaygo (7-3) at Fremont (0-9)
The Lions got a bit dinged by graduation as a lot of talent cap and gowned it a few months ago.
The Packers have a new coach and received an injection of talent from a JV team that put together a strong season with players who have been competing and winning together since their youth football years.
The location of the game was in question but we were assured the remodeled athletic field will be ready for Friday’s game though a limited number of spectators will be watching the opener.
The teams have played 25 times with Fremont holding a 14-11 advantage in wins. The Packers haven’t beaten the Lions since they joined them in the CSAA but outside of a mid season win over Central Montcalm 2 seasons ago they haven’t beaten anyone since 2014.
Unlike last season Fremont will win some games this season. They have the talent and they have the right coach for this team. Whether they win their first one Friday night will depend on how well the Lions fill some of those holes created by senior departure.
Tri County (4-5) at Grant (7-3)
Outside of Newaygo this is the longest rivalry for the Tigers and is the longest of all for the Vikings.The series stands at .29-26 With Grant holding the edge and 2 games ending in a draw. The Tigers have won 12 of the last 14 including all 6 of the contests as CSAA members. Prior to that run the Vikes had peeled off 7 in a row and in addition there were those early games when TC was known as Howard City.Grant went 5-0 in those matchups.
Both teams return a solid cadre of players.
White Cloud (No team) at Holton (1-8)
Holton owns the advantage with 31 wins to WC’s 26. They also tied once.
The Cloud had a huge edge in this series until 200 4. They had been to their last playoff game the prior year and beaten the Red Devils 34-0.
They haven’t hung a W on Holton since.
WC is coming off a season when they failed to field a team and Holton’s only win was the forfeit over the Cloud.
The Devs graduated a team of all stars the year before when they made that magical tourney run and struggled under a new coach and depleted numbers last season. They’ll be better this year and obviously so will White Cloud.
Lakeview (4-5) at Hesperia (3-6)
The Panthers and Wildcats have faced each other a dozen times with Hesperia coming out on top in 3 of those contests. Last season Hespo got a forfeit win from WC and collected victories over 2 teams that combined for one win on the field, Lakewview opened with a 4 game losing streak that was halted when they took a 24-8 win at home.
This time they’re playing in Panther country and though the stands in Hesperia won’t be as jam packed as they usually are, Doug Bolles’ team would relish a season opening win with Kent City and Morley looming the next 2 weeks.
Reed City (6-4) at Chippewa Hills(4-5)
Central Montcalm (7-3) at Big Rapids (1-8)
Kent City (7-4) at Morley Stanwood (6-4)
Fremont Soccer yet to be scored on
The Packers traveled to Kent City Tuesday evening for a conference match-up and came away with an 8-0 win thanks to an astounding 22-0 shot advantage.
David Wachter had a hat trick for the Packers while Grant Vissia added 2 goals and Tee Ward, Logan Nelson, and Carson Herman added single tallies. Marcus Klimek dished out 2 assists and Lane Converse and Herman also assisted goals.
Joe Kortge and Carter Miller recorded the shutout win for Fremont. Kent City's Pedro Diaz made 14 saves in net for Kent City.
Fremont improves to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference while Kent City falls to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
White Cloud Harriers Off To Great Start
Submitted by Andrea Atwood
The White Cloud Cross Country team raced at MK Conklin Park in Newaygo on Saturday. The Varsity Boys team finished 2nd breaking the tie with Big Rapids when our sixth man finished ahead of their fourth runner. Nathan Ciolk and Kobe Canning finished 6th and 7th respectively, followed by Tristan McHaney in 9th, Christian Ringler in 25th, Terry Trendel in 26th, and Carson Foondle in 28th, Malachi Graves was 30th and Nik Parks was 32nd.
In the Reserve race, White Cloud packed the 1-2 punch with Sam Venema as the winner and Jaden VanDam close behind. They pulled off the team win with help from Ashton Byle in 4th, Ian Pierce 12th, Zane Keith 13th, Zak Buttleman 14th,
Adam Bulk 15th and Parker Karnes 16th.
In the Varsity Girls race, the Lady Indians were led by Naomi Thompson in 15th place. Alexus Richmond followed behind closely for a 16th place finish. Andrea Feldpausch was 18th and Denmark's own Stine Kristensen was 27th. Jolena Deaton, Grace Richards, Chloe Higgs and Cecelia Rodriguez rounded out the varsity finishers in 35th, 39th, 43rd, and 46th place.
In the Girls Reserves, Allie Rodriguez finished 10th and Lillie Keith was 11th.
Personal best times were set by Zak, Carson, Jaden, Sam, Andrea, Chloe, Stine, and Allie. Great job Runners!
Yes there will be football
And yes your team is going to make it to the playoffs.
How can I be sure?
Because just like they do in basketball everyone gets an invite to the dance this year.
The football playoffs began in 1975 with 16 teams including four from each of the 4 divisions competing.
In 1977 it was expanded to include 32 teams.
Eight years later it was doubled again to 64 with 8 teams from each of the 4 regions and four divisions in the hunt.
1990 saw further growth as the 4 divisions doubled into 8 and 128 teams played beyond the regular schedule
Finally in 1999 a 5 week, 256 team format including all squads with 6 or more wins and a few with 5 wins or even 4 qualifying, if slots needed to be filled.
And now the post season party is bringing in all teams who take the field.
So how have our local teams fared in the second season?
White Cloud has been in twice, the first time in 1987 when they won their first game then got beaten by Beal City who went to the finals. The last was in 2003 when their current players were either just out of the womb or not yet born. That year they lost to Oakridge who also ended up playing in the finals.
Newaygo made their first trip to the post in 1993 and has played past the regular season 13 times including the last three years in a row and 6 of the last 8. Included in their 5 playoff wins is the definitive 2012 win over Reed City, a team that had humbled them in week 4. That game began a rivalry that has endured in the CSAA Gold and carried over into all other sports..The next game that season was a loss to West Catholic who were on their way to the finals.
Fremont found their way into the playoffs for the first time in 1999 and made 7 visits the next 11 years winning a pair of games. Their last time in was 2013 when they shook off an 0-2 start to win 6 of their last 7 and the last postseason win came over Spring Lake in 2005 5 weeks after the Lakers beat them by 3 touchdowns.
Grant didn’t play a 10th game until 2003 and the Tigers have made 5 more appearances since including 3 of the last 4 seasons. Their one win? A classic victory over archrival Newaygo just 2 weeks after being beaten by those same Lions.
Hesperia also has been in 6 times the first in 1986 but have yet to win a postseason game. The last time in they drew Pewamo Westphalia only to become tone of 5 teams the Pirates sank on their way to the first of their 2 straight state championships
And finally, Holton. 1988 was their first and 11 years later they were in for the second time. In 2006 and 2007 they won their first postseason games but were eliminated by Muskegon CC Central each time in game 2. You recall the Crusaders, the team that has been in the finals 12 times winning 10 titles? The last time the Red Devils made it in was that magical season two years ago when they lost the last 3 games of the season then went on a stunning run to the semi finals losing to eventual state champion Reading.
And if all goes well each team will be adding to their playoff history.
White Cloud opened their season hosting Chippewa Hills. and started out strong earning a 3-0 win over the Warriors.
Coach Strait:This season is going to feature several returning players and some newcomers that are sure to prove themselves. Coming back for their senior year is Alexis Strait, who will be asked to do a little bit of everything. After being named All-State the last two years and being named to the Under Armour All-American Watch list, we will be looking for her to be a big contributor to our team. Cassie Watson, Naomi Thompson, and Emily Hodges will be looking to continue their tough work on the net as well as playing some key roles in the back row. Carsyn Scarlavai and Abby Derks will also be some key returnees and will both have a couple new hats to wear. Some key newcomers will be Elizabeth Compeau who will be asked to spearhead our back row. Along with Elizabeth, we are joined by three other additions to the team. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this team develops throughout the season. They are a great group of girls and just enjoy being able to, once again, play in the gym!!
Volleyball Returns to NHS
By Alexis Mercer
Wednesday, September 9 marked the start to a much anticipated season for the Lions. Prior to Tuesday the Lions had been practicing outdoors to comply with the state order of gyms remaining closed.
While it was eerily quiet and unusually small attendance due to each player only being allowed to invite two spectators. But that did not stop the Lions from teeming with excitement to actually be playing in a gymnasium against another team not named Lions.
Central Montcalm came to town and showed that they were ready to start the season with a bang. Both JV and Varsity Lions fell to the Hornets in three straight sets, but not without a fight.
Varsity scores were 18-25, 23-25, 18-25.
Newaygo's Varsity Team plays at home in a tri against Shelby and Hesperia starting at 5 PM.
The Packers took on the visiting Cardinals in a conference showdown Thursday evening. It took just 3 minutes for Fremont to jump out to a quick start when Marcus Klimek found David Wachter for the first goal of the match. Grant Vissia added to the lead 10 minutes later making it 2-0 and Braiden McDonald finished off the scoring on a corner kick from Wachter with just 4 minutes to play in the first half.
That score held up as both teams played well defensively in the second half. Fremont outshot Big Rapids 12-6 in the match. Joe Kortge of Fremont recorded his second shutout of the season with 6 saves. Brendan Pippin of Big Rapids made 9 saves.
Fremont improves to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Big Rapids falls to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
New Executive Order doesn’t mention harriers
Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-180 Wednesday specifying that a face covering must be worn at all times by athletes training for, practicing for, or competing in an organized sport when the athlete cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance, except for occasional and fleeting moments.
“Athletes are not required to wear a face covering if they are swimming. Athletes competing in football, soccer, or volleyball, for example, are not able to maintain 6 feet of social distance as required and therefore would need to wear a facial covering.”.
Soccer, Volleyball? Referred to in the same sentence.
But what about Cross Country?
Though the order doesn’t mention cross as it does swimming (maskless ok) the last line in the first paragraph press release cites part of the order expressed parenthetically as “Except for occasional and fleeting moments”
Aren’t those occasional fleeting moments at the beginning of a race? Or maybe when one runner passes another? Might that not be a fleeting moment?
And what is a fleeting moment?
The Gov will hold a press conference tomorrow (Thursday September 10) at 10am.
Maybe she’ll be asked?