Ryan Schlehuber “Scoop”

Carson City-Crystal sophomore Bailey Fitzpatrick (4) fends off a swarm of Green Hornets in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s game between the Eagles and Central Montcalm. The Eagles pulled out a 51-33 win during the opening season game at home. Pictured are, from left,  in the background, Eagles’ Cara Wiles (13) and Hornets’ Emilee Bohen (1) , and surrounding Fitzpatrick are Kiley Guelzo (12), Bree Brasington (10) and Kenzie Rutz. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

CC-C girls basketball’s 51-33 victory over Central Montcalm earns coach’s first win

It wasn’t until the final buzzer sounded that the new Carson City-Crystal girls basketball coach could sigh a relief.

It took three quarters for both teams to shake off the opening season jitters Tuesday, but it was Tim Stout’s Eagles that finally got into a scoring groove, exploding for 28 points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 51-33 non-conference victory against the Central Montcalm Green Hornets.

Simone D’Errico, a foreign exchange student from Turin, Italy, and a senior at Belding, played football for the first time with the Belding varsity football team. He’s now focused on playing with the basketball team this winter. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Italian exchange student playing 3 sports for Belding

When Thaddeous Holbrook first saw Belding’s new exchange student trying out for football, he wasn’t impressed.
“He looked skinnier than the rest of us,” the Belding senior said of Simone D’Errico, of Turin, Italy, who is spending a year at Belding High School.
“I thought maybe he might get hurt.” But when the soft-spoken Italian put pads on and started practicing with the team, Holbrook’s thoughts about D’Errico’s ability completely changed.
“He blindsided me on a tackle and I was floored,” Holbrook laughed. “He was real fast, and is real good.”

Denise Oostinga, a foreign exchange student from the Netherlands, has been taking on a lot of “firsts” in her life since arriving in America in August. The Carson City-Crystal senior took on the sport of volleyball, playing withe Eagles volleyball team this past fall. She’s now challenging herself to learn basketball and will be playing for the Fellowship Baptist Academy team this winter. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Netherlands exchange student Denise Oostinga takes on ‘firsts’ in America

As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do what the Romans do.”

For Denise Oostinga, she’s doing what Americans do, and loving it.

Oostinga, 17, of Heiloo, Netherlands, is enrolled as a senior at Carson City-Crystal, and is enjoying her first time in America.

The Tri County Vikings had one genuine Viking among them this year, Norwegian foreign exchange student Anders Leine, who played backup quarterback and played a “big role” on the team this year, according to Vikings football coach Phil Butler. (Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber)

Norwegian foreign exchange student lives out dream of playing American football

If you know who “Wilson” and “Wilma” are, then you know just how much Anders Leine loves football.

Leine, a 17-year-old foreign exchange student who lives near Lillehammer, Norway, is enrolled as a senior at Tri County High School this year. Since his arrival in August, he can often be seen carrying Wilson and Wilma, two footballs he purchased shortly after he arrived in America, which is example of just how much this “Viking” loves American football.

Senior quarterback Jason Whitens (15) scampers down the field for an 89-yard touchdown run to put his Powers North Central Jets up 14-0 against the Deckerville Eagles during the MHSAA eight-man football state finals at Greenville’s Legacy Field Friday. The Jets repeated as champions, winning 58-22. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Powers North Central establishes ‘legacy’ with back-to-back 8-man state titles

The small community of Powers is quickly establishing itself as the “title town” of the Upper Peninsula with its school.

The Jets of Powers North Central used a 30-0 run in the second half of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s eight-man football state final game Friday night at Greenville’s Legacy Field to beat the Deckerville Eagles 58-22 to repeat at state champions.

Senior tight end Quentin Stevens (80), who played multiple positions for the Vikings, including quarterback, was considered one of the best players in the Central State Activities Association this year, Vikings coach Phil Butler said.

Vikings have up and down season, but coaches see improvement building

It wasn’t the way the season was expected to go, but the Tri County Vikings football team and its coaching staff did see good progress.

The Vikings, who finished 3-6 overall on the year, matching their record from last year, are still seeking their first winning season since 2004, but fifth-year coach Phil Butler and his coaching staff have noticed a lot of improvement in this year’s team, despite what the record says.

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Legacy Field to host two football playoff games

Legacy Field at Greenville High School will still see some more football action this year, as it is the location for two playoff games this week.

Greenville’s football stadium will host Michigan High School Athletic Association’s eight-man state finals game Friday and a Division 4 semi-finals game Saturday.

Central Montcalm senior Courtnee Nicholson, second from right, signs a letter of intent Thursday to attend Grand Rapids Community College and play softball for the Raiders. With her are, from left, her father and Central Montcalm softball coach, Bruce Nicholson, GRCC softball coach Brian Skudre, and her mother, Kelly Nicholson. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Green Hornets’ Courtnee Nicholson to be a GRCC Raider

This spring will be the last time Courtnee Nicholson will play for the Central Montcalm softball team; however, her career won’t be finished just yet.

The Green Hornets senior signed a letter of intent to attend Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and play softball for the Raiders.

Greenville senior and state pole vault champion Landon Kemp holds up a flag to the school she chose to attend next year: The University of South Dakota. She will compete in pole vaulting under the tutelage of Coyotes track and field coach Derek Miles, a three-time pole vault Olympian. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

State pole vault champion Landon Kemp commits to South Dakota University

Surrounded by several family, friends, teammates and coaches, Landon Kemp finally announced what everyone was waiting for.

The 2016 state pole vault champion will be attending the University of South Dakota to play for Derek Miles, a three-time pole vault Olympian and head coach of the Coyotes’ track and field team.

Lloyd McMaster, left, of Elsie, arm wrestles with Danny Picola of LeRoy during an amateur match at the Rockwell Open arm wrestling tournament at The Horse’s Mouth in Belding Saturday. McMaster, who participated in the tournament with his brother, Steve McMaster (pictured in back with a hat), of Belding, hadn’t arm wrestled in nine years. Picola, who won the match, had broken his right arm in an arm wrestling match years ago, and learned to arm wrestling left-handed. He now arm wrestles with both. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Arm wrestling event draws 30 pullers to Belding

An estimated 30 people competed in a Rockwell Open arm wrestling tournament Saturday at The Horse’s Mouth Tavern, which continues to expand ways to entertain its patrons and the community.