The Montabella Mustangs have been in playoff mode for the past three weeks. After back-to-back losses to Carson City-Crystal and Coleman, the Mustangs’ record stood at 4-3. Six wins guaranteed a playoff spot, meaning Montabella needed to win its final two games to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
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Carson City-Crystal’s football team needed to break a two-game losing streak. Montabella’s needed to start another winning streak. The Eagles broke their streak.
Montabella has a football team that can light up a scoreboard in a hurry, and Vestaburg found out just how fast during Friday’s Mid-State Activities Conference matchup. A quick-strike offense, combined with Montabella’s stifling defensive effort, led to the Mustangs’ 35-0 homecoming victory over the Wolverines.
Montabella and Vestaburg had different football games on Friday. The Mustangs were dumped by Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart while the Wolverines shut out Ashley.
Shaun Balhorn has been to the Michigan High School Athletic Association football playoffs before. That was in 2004 during Balhorn’s first run as head coach of the Montabella Mustangs football program. Now, Balhorn is back on the varsity sideline for the first since 2007 after taking over for David Clay, who resigned following the 2013 season.
Montabella’s softball team will have their third coach in four years next season. Whisper Dawson will take over for Chara Nisonger in 2015. She will be the third coach of the Mustangs in the last four years.
Vestaburg’s softball team will be going to the Division 4 semifinals. The sixth-ranked Wolverines won the quarterfinal game at Saginaw Valley State University Tuesday by beating second-ranked Ubly 4-2.
Josh Balhorn is just a sophomore. Regardless of his age, the Montabella golfer has displayed enough skill this year to qualify for the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 state golf finals at Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek today and Saturday.
Montabella’s softball team will have to find something to help them get ready for the district tournament next week. The Mustangs didn’t find much Thursday in their final regular-season games, losing to Saranac 3-1 and 17-2.
Montabella’s boys basketball team made some strides this season, but it didn’t get the wins it wanted. “I would have loved to have won more games, but I thought it was a pretty positive season,” coach Gary Jankowsky said. “Our JV had a successful season and the varsity got better as a team so I thought it was pretty good.”