I’ve been thinking for a few weeks on what and how to write my final column as sports editor of The Daily News. As I write this column, I’m still not exactly sure what to say, so I’m just going to type what comes to mind. After 15 1/2 years, today is my final day working for Stafford Publishing.
Carson City-Crystal began the Division 3 regional baseball tournament as underdogs.
They finished the tournament just a few runs shy of a regional championship after falling 8-5 in the finals to the Mason County Central Spartans at Lakeview High School on Saturday.
Greenville junior Landon Kemp is always calm and focused. Competing in three events at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 state track championships, Kemp needed her calm and focused demeanor over eight hours of competition at Hudsonville on Saturday. For the second consecutive season, Kemp earned All-State honors in three events including a state championship in the pole vault, state runner-up in the long jump and fifth place in the 100-meter hurdles.
Scoring goals has been a challenge at times this season for the Greenville Yellow Jackets. Especially, against the Cedar Springs Red Hawks. For the third time this season, the Yellow Jackets were shut out by Cedar Springs. This time 3-0 in the first round of the Division 2 district tournament at Yellow Jacket Stadium on Wednesday.
In a track meet pitting the area’s best of the best, a pair of juniors stood out among the rest. On a beautiful Tuesday evening, the annual Daily News Track Classic was held at Greenville High School. The meet consists of the best athletes from The Daily News coverage area, minus Montabella (they opt to compete at the Morning Sun Invitational), plus Cedar Springs. Greenville junior Landon Kemp, winner of three events, and Tri County junior Aaron Jason, winner of two events, were named the top male and female athletes of the meet. This was the third time Kemp won the honor and first for Jason.
On most nights, the pitching performance by Central Montcalm’s Brandon Braman would result in a win. On Monday, Braman was slightly out dueled by Carson City-Crystal’s Dallas O’Green in a 1-0 shut out win at Central Montcalm. Both pitchers went the distance. O’Green allowed a single hit in the first inning and struck out six including the final three outs of the game. Braman allowed four hits, one of them a game-winning infield hit, and struck out five.
Greta Wilker is the ultimate student-athlete. In less than two weeks, Wilker will graduate as valedictorian of her class (4.2 GPA). The dual-sport athlete will also wrap up the softball and track seasons and will finish her high school athletic career with 16 varsity letters. The Belding community, and others in surrounding areas, have been aware of Wilker for the past four years. Wilker will now be known nationwide and more after being named Sports Illustrated’s (SI) May Athlete of the Month this week.
It’s been a smooth transition for new Greenville High School varsity football coach Eddie Ostipow. Ostipow, who was announced as new coach in January, began his new position (also the strength and conditioning teacher) on Feb. 1. The position opened with the retirement of Dave Moore.
Central Montcalm has been struggling at the plate. On Friday, behind two key defensive plays, the Hornets combined some small ball and timely hits to defeat CSAA Gold rival Chippewa Hills 5-0 in game one of a doubleheader. Chase Myers pitched a complete game for the shutout win allowing four hits and and three walks.
Both the Greenville Yellow Jackets and Forest Hills Northern Huskies deserved to win. The Huskies though, took advantage of a couple of Greenville mistakes to pull out a 3-2 walk-off win on a ninth inning double by Quinton O’Connor in an O-K Bronze game on Thursday. Northern coach John Dolce said it was a great high school baseball game.