Ryan Schlehuber “Scoop”

Carson City-Crystal's wrestling coach Kacy Datema’s most precious moments were during the season, watching a wrestler blossom into what he calls a hero. "“It happens to every kid every season. They become heroes,” he said. “They win a dual or help take us to another level. It’s the small victories where you see them improve or step up their games.” (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Carson City-Crystal’s Kacy Datema is The Daily News’ wrestling coach of the year

Daily News wrestling coach of the year Kacy Datema, of Carson City-Crystal, led his young Eagles team to a state team finals appearance, losing to New Lothrop by just one point. He also guided seven Eagles wrestlers to the state individual wrestling finals and coached freshman Jamison Ward and sophomore Braxton Seida to the individual state titles in their respective weight classes.


Daily News All-Area boys basketball awards

Daily News All-Area boys basketball awards

Belding girls basketball coach Connor Hoke praised Hallee Breimayer's work ethic and all-around talent. "I couldn’t be any more proud of her. It is well deserved,” he said. “She meant a lot to our team.”

Belding’s Hallee Breimayer is Daily News’ girls basketball player of the year

“She was the best player on the floor on any team I’ve seen this entire year. She could play the one spot or fifth spot and dominate,” said first-year Belding girls basketball coach Connor Hoke about his senior scoring leader. “She’s one of the most versatile players I’ve seen all year.”

Despite missing some time due to an ankle injury, Hallee Breimayer pushed through the pain and continued to lead the team in several categories — 18.3 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, 5.2 assists per game and 1.3 steals per game.

First-year Carson City-Crystal girls basketball coach Tim Stout led his team to an 18-2 regular season record this year, which included a 16-game winning streak.

Carson City-Crystal’s Tim Stout is Daily News’ girls basketball coach of the year

Tim Stout knows exactly when his Carson City-Crystal girls basketball team turned the season around.

“It was the fifth game of the season, against a good Lansing Catholic team. We went down 15-2 quickly, and I called a timeout,” said the first-year Eagles coach. “I talked to the girls and I told them, we can go in two directions — accept being average or we can continue to be better every day.”

The words from Stout were like magic from Merlin’s wand, as his team not only came back and beat Lansing Catholic 49-33, but the Eagles would cruise to a 17-game winning streak, finishing the season 18-2.

New Lakeview softball coach Ron Cantu with his daughters, Hannah, left, and Hailee with their first place trophies from an end-of-the-year pony softball tournament four years ago. (Courtesy photo)

Defense, hitting, ‘small ball’ will be key to Wildcats’ success this year

Last year, the Lakeview Wildcats softball team won its first districts title since 1994 and enjoyed a 22-12 regular season finish.

This year’s team has a new coach and will have a new approach but the goal is still to be just as successful as last year’s team.

Belding senior Dylan McMaster is one of the key players to the team’s strongest group this year, the pitching staff. “We are very deep at pitching, which is a nice problem to have,” Belding first-year coach David Riches said. (File photos)

Belding baseball team looking for encore to last season’s school-record 28 wins

When a team loses four of its core players to graduation, including its starting catcher, some would say that team is headed for a rebuilding year.

But with what first-year head coach Dave Riches has returning to his Belding baseball team, this season’s team may only need to readjust rather than rebuild.

Carson City-Crystal’s Cara Wiles signs a letter of intent Wednesday with Mid Michigan Community College to play basketball. Pictured with her are, from left, MMCC women’s basketball coach Matt Rodenbo and assistant coach Chadd Fletcher. (Courtesy photo)

Carson City-Crystal’s Cara Wiles signs on to play basketball with Mid Michigan Community College

Cara Wiles is going from one successful team to another, taking her basketball skills to Mid Michigan Community College next year.

Belding senior Johanna McCully signs on the dotted line on a letter of intent with Aquinas College, where she will be one of a few incoming freshmen for the Saints women’s volleyball team next year. Behind her is her mother, at left, MaryJo McCully, and her Belding high school volleyball coach, Mikayla Linebaugh, who retired after the season.

Belding’s Johanna McCully signs with Aquinas to play volleyball

When Rick Schroeder was hired as Aquinas College’s women’s volleyball coach, Johanna McCully was the first person he wanted to recruit. “Right now, we’re graduating six seniors, so the team got a little smaller,” Schroeder said. “So, in 2017, we’re definitely looking to build our roster up with not only great athletes, but great individuals, too. We definitely think that Johanna offers both, exceptionally.” McCully, 18, a senior at Belding, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play volleyball with the Aquinas Saints and study nursing at the college, which is just as important to McCully.

By Ryan Schlehuber

HIT THE LINE HARD: Surviving the first round of March Madness

Perhaps there were many like me, but my brackets for the NCAA mens basketball tournament last year found its way to the trash can far, far too early. And I can thank the first round of upsets — and expected upsets that didn’t happen — for that.

Central Montcalm girls basketball coach Rob Putnam, middle, guided this year’s team to a 17-6 record (a school record for most wins in a season) and to two district playoff wins. It is the first time the Green Hornets won a district playoff game in more than 10 years. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Green Hornets’ season is another step to greatness

The Central Montcalm Green Hornets girls basketball team this year did something it hadn’t in more than 10 years. But that was only one part of what defined the team’s successful season.