Belding’s girls will be well represented at the state Division 2 track finals in Zeeland. The Redskin girls will be going in eight events after the regionals Friday at Houseman Field. Belding’s 800-meter relay team of Hallee Breimayer, Johanna McCully, Emma Jakeway and Lauren McDowell (1:47.04) finished second to Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills and is headed to the state finals.
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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.
Four hits and four runs by the Belding Redskins baseball team broke open a pitcher’s duel against the Carson City-Crystal Eagles. Leading 1-0, the Redskins scored four times in the sixth inning and added a run in the seventh to defeat the host Eagles 6-1 in a non-conference game on Friday. Belding only had two hits and one unearned run through the first five innings.
With nine wins in its first 12 games, the Belding Redskins are off to a good start this baseball season. Belding coach Michael Ostrander said pitching has been the key to its early season success. He also noted the schedule will toughen up quickly.
Greenville girls soccer coach Jeremy Neve may wish he had a taller goalkeeper. Belding scored two goals over the head of Greenville goalkeeper Kenna Allen to beat the arch rival Yellow Jackets 2-1 on Thursday at Yellow Jacket Stadium. Belding coach Tom Griffioen noted they had to play without a few key players, including his daughter Tina, who watched from the sideline.
The Belding Redskins girls track team has a stranglehold on the O-K Blue. Belding, which has not lost a league meet since the 2012 season, is 2-0 in the league this season including an 80-56 win over Allendale at home on Tuesday. The boys team hasn’t had that same success and struggled against Allendale in a 122-15 loss on Tuesday.
After spending spring break in the sunshine and warmth of Florida, the Belding Redskins baseball team played like they were in midseason form. Belding pounded out 11 hits, three each by Dylan McMaster and Tyler Reichel, while Aaden Quinn put together a solid performance on the mound in a 7-0 win against the Lakeview Wildcats at home on Tuesday. Quinn pitched all seven innings. He allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out eight.
Pitching usually has the edge early in the softball season while hitters adjust their timing. Belding’s Paige Ledin had that edge. The senior starter threw six shutout innings, while striking out nine batters, in an 8-0 season opening win at home against Vestaburg on Tuesday.
Such a wide range of emotions can be found at the state wrestling finals where even winning is sometimes met with disappointment. Tears can stream from the faces of winners and losers. Winners can feel exhilaration, shock and relief. Losers can feel heartbreak, anger and even contentment. Without a doubt, no other sport displays as many emotions as wrestling does. After three days, just 56 wrestlers out of 896 will be crowned individual state champions, although 448 in four divisions will walk away with All-State honors.
A few matches that could have gone either way ended up being the difference for Belding’s wrestling team. In the first round of the Division 3 regionals at Tri County High School, the Redskins were ousted by Grand Rapids Catholic Central 38-33. The result was not what Belding coach Art Ward hoped for.