High School

Spark Plug POY new

Daily News fall sports Spark Plug Players of the Year

Recognizing our local “spark plug” players from our fall sports season.

Tri County’s Austn Nagelhout (24) attempts to dribble past Central Montcalm’s Zachary Bigelow (3) as Vikings guard Justin Kirkwood (11) looks on during the first half of Friday’s game, which Central Montcalm pulled out a close 56-54 win for its first league win of the season.

Central Montcalm boys survive last-second Vikings shots

With less than five seconds play, the Tri County Vikings had two great chances to steal a win on the road. Instead, both shot attempts bounced off the rim as time ran out, giving the Central Montcalm boys basketball team a thrilling 56-54 win in its first Central State Activities Association (CSAA) game Friday.

Central Montcalm’s Bree Brasington (10) gets a rebound and gets ready to put up a shot as Tri County’s Tricia Slavins lurks behind her in the second half of Friday’s game, which Central Montcalm won 48-46. (Daily News | Ryan Schlehuber)

Central Montcalm girls edge out Vikings 48-46

Ashley Bowen knew it would be a close battle to the end when her Tri County Vikings basketball team came into the Hornets’ nest of Central Montcalm. With 3.2 seconds left in the game and the Vikings down by two, Bowen, a senior, tried to get open for the game-winning three-pointer. But Central Montcalm’s defense forced a shot from teammate Jenna DeGeer, which bounced off the backboard and rim, giving the Hornets a 48-46 win at home Friday.

Tri County sophomore Summer Longstreet earned her personal record time of 19:45.8 at regionals this year. (File photo)

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Summer Longstreet, Tri County

As only a sophomore, Summer Longstreet is making her mark in Tri County’s cross country sport. Having already set a new school record for fastest ninth and 10th grade female 5K runner, Longstreet’s expectations for the next few years may not have a ceiling.

Tri County junior Julia Bice was the team’s No. 1 golfer all season, qualifying individually for the Division 3 state finals.  (File photo)

GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Julia Bice, Tri County

Three years ago, Julia Bice wasn’t sure how good she was at golf, or even if she liked the sport enough to keep at it. This season, the Tri County junior realized her potential and how much fun she had, reaching the Div. 3 state finals as an individual qualifier.

The Tri County Vikings had one genuine Viking among them this year, Norwegian foreign exchange student Anders Leine, who played backup quarterback and played a “big role” on the team this year, according to Vikings football coach Phil Butler. (Daily News/Ryan Schlehuber)

Norwegian foreign exchange student lives out dream of playing American football

If you know who “Wilson” and “Wilma” are, then you know just how much Anders Leine loves football.

Leine, a 17-year-old foreign exchange student who lives near Lillehammer, Norway, is enrolled as a senior at Tri County High School this year. Since his arrival in August, he can often be seen carrying Wilson and Wilma, two footballs he purchased shortly after he arrived in America, which is example of just how much this “Viking” loves American football.

Senior tight end Quentin Stevens (80), who played multiple positions for the Vikings, including quarterback, was considered one of the best players in the Central State Activities Association this year, Vikings coach Phil Butler said.

Vikings have up and down season, but coaches see improvement building

It wasn’t the way the season was expected to go, but the Tri County Vikings football team and its coaching staff did see good progress.

The Vikings, who finished 3-6 overall on the year, matching their record from last year, are still seeking their first winning season since 2004, but fifth-year coach Phil Butler and his coaching staff have noticed a lot of improvement in this year’s team, despite what the record says.

spt 1022 cs Lakeview vs CM-1

If done right, Friday night football can be better — for everyone

With the Big Ten Conference (B1G) announcing it will schedule more games on Friday nights next year, one question remains: Will this really hurt high school football?

Zach Ingles, right, talks with his father Kent before a boys basketball game between Kent’s Big Rapids Cardinals and Zach’s Tri CountyVikings on Jan. 8. Zach is now the coach of Olivet College’s women’s basketball team. (File photo)

Former Tri County coach Zach Ingles now coaching Olivet women

Zach Ingles lasted just one year as Tri County boys basketball coach before switching to a college career.

Ingles is now coaching Olivet College’s women’s basketball team after he was hired Oct. 12 to oversee the Lady Comets.

The Vestaburg Wolverines Straight T offensive formation is similar to what its state playoffs foe Beal City runs. The two teams face off in a Division 8 match-up in Mount Pleasant at 7 p.m. Friday. (File photo)

Beal City, Vestaburg have much history between them

There are many similarities and history between the Vestaburg Wolverines and the Beal City Aggies, two teams that will meet in the first round of the Division 8 state playoffs at 7 p.m. in Mount Pleasant Friday.