Fall arrived with uncertainty with football and other sports off the table, then moved to spring, then back on again for the fall.
COVID was a presence on the field forcing the cancellation of games, forfeitures and a couple of seasons that are about to go deep into their 5th month with the finals scheduled for a week beyond the projected opener of the basketball season.
Here’s a summary and a pair of stories we really liked a lot.
Well, all of the local teams we cover made the playoffs.
Truth be told, every team in the state made the playoffs as a result of the shortened season that didn’t end up being shortened by any means.
Newaygo finished 2-5 losing their playoff opener to Big Rapids
Fremont also finished 2-5 with one win a forfeit. The fell to Spring lake in the playoffs
Grant wound up with a 3-4 record with one loss a forfeit. They won their playoff opener before being knocked out of the tournament by the Tri County team they had beaten in their season opener.
White Cloud notched a pair of wins by forfeit but couldn’t get one on the field ending with a playoff loss to Holton and a 2-5 mark
Holton won 3 and lost 5. They beat WC twice including the first playoff game then got taken out by the Fowler Eagles.
Hesperia was the only team finishing with a winning record going 4-3 with a season ending loss to Pewamo Westphalia.
The Biggest story? The Packer juggernaut that ran their way to a second straight State Championship.
White Cloud teams also made the trip to Brooklyn with the boys finishing 12th and the girls 20th.
Newaygo and Fremont tied with Central Montcalm to share the Gold title while Kent City and Morley Stanwood halved the top spot in the Silver.
The Packers swept through the conference for the title but were derailed in the playoff opener by Ludington.
Our favorite pieces?
Editor Alexis Mercer (a former collegiate Volleyballer herself) captured the competition that led to the end of a 20 year title drought for the Lions. Beyond her narrative is the photographic story that unfolds from her stirring shots.
Lions Volleyball Earns First Conference Championship Since 2000
Mike Paige skillfully chronicled the story of the Packer XC team’s march to a second straight state title from Hills and Bales to the triumph in Brooklyn. His close coverage and knowledge of the runners may have had something to do with being Dad to Ben Paige one of the repeat champions.
Fremont Runners Look to Repeat as State Champions
Here’s hoping for a safe return to high school sports in the near future.
Photo credits include Leanne Wuerfel Roesler. Joan Ludtke, Mike Paige, Alexis Mercer