High School

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.

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.

Belding’s Mitchell Ward reacts to his blood round win against Mount Morris’ Jesse Munsell during the second round of consolation matches Friday. He was 2-1 on the day and has reached Saturday’s next consolation round.

15 of the 21 local wrestlers still alive in state finals

With each wrestler that walked onto the mats at the state individual wrestling finals, there is a story of hard work, dedication as well as triumph and heartbreak.

Belding’s Avery German, middle, tries to put up a shot but is blocked by both Central Montcalm’s Bree Brasington, left, and Kenzie Rutz during the teams’ Class B district game Monday night. (Daily News | Chip Burch)

Central Montcalm beats Belding 47-37 to advance in districts

One quarter and one missing player ended Belding’s girls basketball season Monday night. Belding had its season end by Central Montcalm in the Class B girls basketball district opener Monday night, losing 47-37 in Alma.

Tri County’s Dakota Greer will compete in the individual state finals as the only undefeated wrestler in the local area, having set a 50-0 record this season and is the 119-pound district champion. Individual state finals are at The Palace of Auburn Hills March 2-4. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

21 local wrestlers move to individual state finals at The Palace March 2-4

A total of 21 local wrestlers are going to The Palace of Auburn Hills to try to win a title. All 21 finished fourth or better at their individual tournaments across the state and will move on to wrestle at The Palace for the final time March 2 to March 4.

Members of the Tri County competitive cheer team show off their stunt abilities during the third and final round of the districts tournament in Comstock Park on Saturday. The Vikings finished second and qualified for the state regionals next weekend. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Tri County cheer moves on again while Belding wraps up historic season

In the District 18, Division 3 competitive cheer finals Saturday, the host team, Comstock Park, took first place while Tri County finished second and Belding finished sixth.

The Belding competitive cheer team includes, in front, Shae Pallick, Ebony Noland, Jaimie Cole and Jasmine Royce, second row, Lauren Barker, Karah Ring, Megan Couture, Julia Lacopelli and Kailey Heath, third row, Aly Kline, Paige Martin and Alexis McCarty, back row, coaches Rikki Venneman, Rachelle Stressman, Laney Klooster and Stacy Venneman. (Courtesy photo)

Belding competitive cheer team heads to districts

With its first conference championship in hand, Belding’s competitive cheer team is looking to continue rewriting the history books.

Greenville’s Stephan Hilliker, above, works Forest Hills Eastern’s Ryan Roth into position for a pin during Saturday’s state individual districts tournment in Lowell. Hilliker would get the pin 1:44 into the match, giving him a district title in the 125-pound division. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch)

30-plus local wrestlers qualify at weekend individual districts

As the dust settles from Saturday’s state individual district tournaments, as many as 33 wrestlers qualified for the next round, the regionals, which will be next Saturday. The Carson City-Crystal Eagles, wrestling out of the 27-4 Hesperia district, saw 10 wrestlers qualify, which is the most among the area schools, followed by Greenville, which had eight qualify. Belding had six qualify while Tri County and Montabella each had four wrestlers who finished fourth or better to qualify for regionals. Central Montcalm finished with two qualifiers and Lakeview with one.

Belding’s Simone D’Errico goes up for a shot as teammate Josh VanDyke (10) opens up the lane for him against NorthPointe Christian Friday. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch)

Redskins fight all four quarters, fall short to Mustangs 34-27

  BELDING — “Under the weather” would describe the Belding boys basketball team, both in health and in shooting Friday night against NorthPointe Christian. In a low-scoring 34-27 loss to the Mustangs, the Redskins were playing without four of their players owing to sickness, while most of the rest of the team battled symptoms. Belding [...]

Belding’s Olivia Stephan, right, tangles with NorthPointe Christian’s Kaycee Sluiter during the second half of Friday’s game. The Redskins won 67-47 to improve their record to 8-7 overall. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch)

Belding shows depth, tenacity in 67-47 win over NorthPointe Christian

After losing its best player to an injury and its head coach to a questionable ejection, one might think Belding would have folded against NorthPointe Christian on Friday. Not so.