Sports

spt 0131 ward, mitchell 100 wins

Belding’s Mitchell Ward earns 100th career wrestling win

Belding’s Mitchell Ward said he had butterflies when he went for his 100th career win Wednesday. “I was very nervous. I was super-nervous,” he said. “I didn’t want to let anyone down.” Ward didn’t, getting an 11-3 major decision over Wyoming Kelloggsville’s Connor Moore for win No. 100.

After coming off the bench as a freshman for the varsity team last year, Levi Syrjala has matured into a starter and leader for this year’s Belding Redskins basketball team. ““He’s a very versatile player. He has matured not only as a player but also as a person,” said Lynette Syrjala, Levi’s mother.

Syrjala stepping up as one of leaders of young Belding team

On a team still finding itself in a rebuilding year, one player, in particular, is helping to keep all of his teammates together. “He’s the heart and soul of our team,” first-year Belding boys basketball coach Steve Saboo said about Levi Syrjala. The soon-to-be 16-year-old sophomore is in his second year on the varsity basketball team and has been leaned on to take on more of a leadership role on a team that is underclassmen-heavy.

Belding’s Justin McMaster (5) and Trent Collins wrestle the ball away from Kelloggsville’s Alex Guzman in the second half of Friday’s game. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch)

Despite loss to Kelloggsville, Belding’s bench players stepping up

The Kelloggsville Rockets know all too well what this year’s Belding Redskins team is going through. Though the Rockets (9-1 overall, 5-1 O-K Silver) looked superior in its 77-42 win against the Redskins (2-10, 0-5) Friday, it was only last year that they too had to go through the growing pains to get better as a team.

Belding senior guard Hallee Breimayer scored a game-high 30 points against Kelloggsville Friday. It was two points shy of tying her career-high in points in a game.

Belding’s Breimayer outscores entire Kelloggsville team with 30 in 69-24 win

In a game where one player outscored an entire team, one would think it would be all smiles on the winning coach’s face. Not the case for Connor Hoke. The first-year Belding’s girls basketball coach expected his team to win against an undermanned and inexperienced Kelloggsville team, which they did 69-24 Friday, but what he didn’t expect was his team making the same mistakes they have in past games.

Mikayla Linebaugh pumps her fist in the air as she and Belding volleyball team’s bench celebrate a match point win  against Ithaca in the district semifinal game in November 2016. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Belding varsity volleyball coach Mikayla Linebaugh steps down after 15 years

When Belding’s volleyball team clinched its third district title in four years last November, Mikayla Linebaugh darted toward the center of the court, dived to the floor and slid into the open arms of her overjoyed team. It was a prime example of what she brought to the team: Energy, heart, confidence and, above all, passion. After 19 years of coaching volleyball — 15 at the varsity level — Linebaugh has decided to step down from the position, saying that it was just time.

Belding’s Tyler Smith, top, tries to roll over Traverse City West’s Audie Herrera during their 145- pound match at the Sparta Invitational Saturday.

Area wrestling coaches happy with Sparta wrestling invitational

SPARTA — Out of the three area coaches who had teams in the Sparta Invitational wresting tournament Saturday, none said they were really disappointed in their teams. Belding, Lakeview and Tri County were among the 17 teams at Sparta, which was an individual tournament, even though team scores were kept. Belding had one winner. Mitchell [...]

Belding's Erin Rich, left, and Olivia Stephan, middle, trap Hopkins' Taryn Kilbane during the second half of Tuesday's game in which Belding won 47-38 to earn its first conference victory of the season.

Belding beats Hopkins for first conference win

First-year head coach Connor Hoke told his Belding girls basketball team all week to be tough with everything they do and good things will come.

On Tuesday, at home against a taller Hopkins Vikings team, the Redskins earned its first conference win of the season with a 47-38 win.

Connor Hoke, Belding’s new girls varsity basketball coach, has implemented a new, fast-paced tempo for his team this year that includes running the full-court press defense often to make up for his team’s lack of size. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch)

First-year Belding coach ingraining fast-pace tempo, philosophy

For the Belding’s girls basketball team, it’s not just a new coach the players are getting accustomed to. Connor Hoke, 25, spent the past four years with the Lowell Red Arrows boys varsity basketball program, where he learned the strategy of basketball’s full-court press defense, which is one of Belding’s newest looks Hoke’s new team is learning.

Belding’s Trent Collins drives to the basket against a Wyoming Lee player during the first half of Friday’s game. The Rebels beat Belding 74-46 to stay undefeated on the season. Belding fell to 2-5 overall. (Sports Pro Images | Jamie McNinch

Wyoming Lee stays undefeated with win over Belding

  BELDING — The game between the Wyoming Lee Rebels and the Belding Redskins was pretty well decided by the third quarter, but the intensity and high emotions continued throughout the game Friday. The Rebels stayed undefeated (6-0 overall, 1-0 OK-Silver) with a decisive 74-46 win against Belding (2-5, 0-1). The conference win was the [...]

Cedar Rock Sports Plex in Cedar Rock is offereing a free program to young children who are interested in learning the sport of hockey. The program is at 6 p.m. Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

Free program offers hockey lessons to youths

James Hodge has loved the sport of hockey since he was 7 years old. Now he’s getting the chance to love the sport through his two sons.

Hodge, of Greenville, has played many levels of hockey during his life, including collegiate. And now that his sons, Zander, 5, and Conner, 4, are old enough to strap on a pair of ice skates, Hodge has introduced them to the sport he loves through a free program called “Try Hockey for FREE,” offered at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex.