Monthly Archives: October 2014

Vicksburg Qualifies for Football Playoffs

vix team 6By Sue Moore

The Vicksburg Bulldog football team gets another crack at the Three Rivers Wildcats as they will face off one more time in the 2014 season in the first round of playoffs, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31 in Vicksburg.

This marks a turnaround for the program that went 3-6 last year. Mike Roy pointed out to the team at their TV selection viewing party on Sunday night of history in the making. Vicksburg has never hosted a home playoff game, especially in its new stadium. The Bulldogs have never won a playoff game so they can carve some notches on the record books, if successful.

They lost to Three Rivers in regular season play 25-6 in a game that could have been much closer if the team hadn’t suffered a letdown in the fourth quarter when Three Rivers marched down the field in quick succession to score two touchdowns.

vix team 1Having another chance to avenge the loss was important to the team as they gathered to watch the pairings by the Michigan High School Athletic Association on Fox TV, Sunday night at Angels Crossing club house. Vicksburg is in Division 4 and would face the winner of the Paw Paw/Edwardsburg game in the district finals, should they be able to pull out a victory over Three Rivers.

South County News Features Local Candidates

By Sue Moore

2014 is an election year with the main ones being the race for governor and senate. The South County News has prepared statements from the many candidates running for local offices and three campaigns for state house seats.

These contests typically do not get much attention from the media, but they actually directly impact the daily lives of those who live and work in the south county area.

The November 4 ballot is rather lengthy and voter turnout is critical in local races, such as Schoolcraft School Board, and the state senate ballot where a lot of money is coming in from outside the district. The senate race pits Margaret O’Brien, originally from Fulton, with a Kalamazoo City resident, both of whom are state representatives now. O’Brien has worked tirelessly for Vicksburg through some of its roughest days when the village needed the state to back off and take a more collegial view of its debt restructuring.

The newspaper has offered all of the candidates for village council posts, school board, county commission, state representative, and state senate a chance to state their qualifications in 100 words or less and submit a photo of themselves so voters might recognize them as they campaign door to door in the waning weeks of the campaign.

State Senate

State House of Representatives

Kalamazoo County Commission

Meet the Candidates – Vicksburg

Vicksburg Village Council

Vicksburg School Board

Meet Your Candidates Night Set in Schoolcraft

The South County News and the Schoolcraft Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) are co-sponsoring a Schoolcraft school board “Meet Your Candidates” night on Tuesday, October 21, at 6 p.m. in the Schoolcraft Library’s community room.

There are three seats up for election and five candidates who have all promised to be present to answer questions from a moderator and meet the public afterwards for a social hour.

Two of the candidates are incumbents, Kathy Mastenbrook and Jeannette Marshall. Three others running are Ryan Ledlow, Steve Sutton, and Jason Walther. Two long-time members of the school board, David Krum and Skip Fox, chose not to run for the six year term. Returning members not up for re-election are Darby Fetzer, Matt Devoe, and Mike Rochholz, board president.

All the candidates have been involved in the school district in various ways. During the event, there will be an open discussion of how each candidate proposes to take the school district in one direction or another, according to Bobbie VanZile, PTO president. It will be a question and answer session with each person given a set amount of time to give his/her answer. The moderator will be Sue Moore, editor and publisher of the South County News.

The public is encouraged to attend and judge for themselves who is best qualified to lead the school district for the next six years.

Schoolcraft School Board

Schoolcraft Village Council

Schoolcraft Defeats Kalamazoo United

sch football 4
Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

Schoolcraft brought home a big win, 28 – 7 against Kalamazoo United last Friday against a team that was undefeated and ranked number 5 in Division 5. The wizards at MLive had picked United over Schoolcraft previously.

Coach Terry Haas said this was a big game again United which was 4-0, while Schoolcraft went into the contest at 2-2. “This was a big week for our team. We didn’t know how good United would be, but our team is getting better every week. We have a lot of youngsters playing and they are handling the challenge pretty well. We brought up five sophomores, so this is the
youngest team Schoolcraft has ever had, according to my reckoning,” Haas said. “We are playing a two quarterback system, with Ricky Clark starting, and we’re moving Zac Sharp in and out at QB and the receiver slot. Ricky has kind of taken over but they are both talented and we might move away from our original plan of a two platoon system.”

Vicksburg High School Gym Receives Facelift

muralA Bulldog wall mural, freshly painted walls, new wall pads, and new scoreboards are among the improvements in the Vicksburg High School gym, the gym’s first facelift since its construction in 2001.

The improvements are the joint effort of the Vicksburg Athletic Boosters, the Vicksburg Foundation, and the Vicksburg Athletic Department. The Boosters contributed 60 percent of the $50,000 price tag, with the Foundation and the school each contributing 20 percent.

The massive Bulldog wall mural was done by Dave Wiley of Wiley Wall Graphics of Atlanta, Georgia. The stunning feature-wall is framed by freshly painted walls, as well as the addition of new wall pads.

The new scoreboards have upgraded features including the ability to list player numbers; kills and digs for volleyball; fouls and points scored for basketball; as well as wrestling statistics. The enhanced scoreboards are complemented by new score tables. All of these improvements are capped off by the display of a new American flag.

Jim Mallery, Vicksburg Athletic Boosters President, is proud of the role the Boosters have played in this shared endeavor, noting that the facility is used by basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and competitive cheer, as well as for school and after-school activities. The gym has also been used recently for district and regional events, showing the far-reaching benefit of these improvements.

Future improvements planned include having the floor resurfaced next year at an anticipated cost of $40,000, to be accomplished through Booster fundraising. Three years ago, $25,000 was put into a new sound system in the gym.

Youth Football Last Day Spectacular

rocket cheer
The Little Bulldog cheerleaders will be cheering at the October 11 final event of the season.

To celebrate the winning success of the teams in the Vicksburg Youth Football program, everyone is invited to attend the last home games of the season on Saturday, October 11, at Vicksburg Stadium. Five games are scheduled that day starting at 2 p.m. and ending with an 8 p.m. kickoff for the night game under the lights.

To help engage the community, Kip Young and Josh Baird, the youth leaders, are inviting organizations to attend.  Their goal is to get as much community support for the Vicksburg youth football players as possible for the last games of the season.

“Admission is free, the concession stand will be open, the youth cheerleaders will be cheering, and everyone will be impressed with how well these third/fourth and fifth/sixth teams play,” said Young. “It would be incredible to show these youth our support with a huge community showing.”

The schedule for the day is:

2 p.m. – Vicksburg 3/4 (Hoffman) vs Gull Lake

3:30 p.m. – Vicksburg 3/4 (Minnis) vs Hackett

5 p.m. – Vicksburg 5/6 (Buentello) vs Mattawan

6:30 p.m. – Vicksburg 3/4 (Smith) vs Parchment

8 p.m. – Vicksburg 5/6 (McNeal) vs Mattawan

Vicksburg Loses 31-21 in a Hard Fought Contest

vix football 6
Plainwell’s backs were able to run against Vicksburg in the first half as the quarterback took off from Vicksburg’s defense. Photo by Sue Moore.

By Sue Moore

Vicksburg Bulldogs had their chances to make a close game of it after being down 24-0 to Plainwell in the first half. An interception by Conner Henderson just before halftime made it 24-7 and gave the red and white momentum going into the locker room.

The Bulldogs received to start the second half and marched down the field with a mixture of the run game and some nifty passing by Dalton Ketelaar. With a determined effort, Nick Wallace scored and Keenan Erb kicked the PAT to tighten the score 24-14. Shortly thereafter, Blake Rankin picked up a Plainwell fumble and rambled all the way to score, making it 24-21 with momentum going the Bulldogs way. A couple of untimely penalties began to hurt along with Plainwell’s nifty running back, Jacob Geter gaining ground on most of his carries, finally taking the ball in for a 31-21 lead with about eight minutes left to play.

Vicksburg seemed determined to equalize things with a march to the 13 yard line of Plainwell, when the drive was stalled by a holding penalty a couple of incomplete passes and an offside call against the Bulldogs with only 2:50 left on the clock, Plainwell was able to keep possession for a big victory.

“We’ll need to rest up after this hard fought game,” head coach Tom Marchese said as his dejected players walked off the field. “We’ve played three very good football teams that are extremely physical and next week it’s Three Rivers which is also a tough team. This group represents the ‘meat’ of the Wolverine Conference and to be 4-1, we can feel pretty good about it, he said. I was worried about spotting Plainwell too many points in the beginning, because their running back is so talented. He can find the holes, get outside and cut loose. We had our chances and we played well, once we got the momentum going.”

Big Win for Bulldog Football Team Over Paw Paw

vix football 1By Sue Moore

With a score of 25-20, the Vicksburg Bulldogs broke their 11 year losing streak to the Paw Paw Redskins, even though they were facing one of the most feared quarterbacks in the Wolverine Conference, Jay Doll.

They went into the game with a perfect 3-0 winning streak for the season, having beaten South Haven, Coloma, and Edwardsburg

“Our game plan was to try and keep Doll in the pocket because if he gets out, it can develop into big plays,” Tom Marchese, head coach said.

Before the game was a few minutes old, the Redskins had scored twice and the Bulldogs were down 14-0.

“I told our guys to keep their composure and we would be ok,” Marchese said. “When we finally got the ball back, we had a run and then a big pass play from Dalton Ketelaar to Hunter Van to put the pressure back on Paw Paw.”

From that point, the Bulldogs were able to adjust and within seven minutes had tied the game.

“Now it was a clean slate and we just played an outstanding brand of football,” Marchese said.

The front four defensively were able to keep Doll in the pocket so that he almost ended up with negative yardage, according to Marchese.

“A big part of that effort was our front four, Jarrad Whited, Matt Klingele, Mo Quesada, and Michael Ward,” he said. “They got a lot of help from our linebackers Justin Gearig, Seth Benson, and Brendan Crawford.”

Vicksburg Boys Tennis Team Has a Strong Start

vix tennis
Westin Seifert, a member of Vicksburg’s varsity tennis team.

By Mari Smith

With returning Coach Warner Offord at the helm, the Vicksburg boys tennis team has secured three conference wins. The Bulldogs beat South Haven 8-0 in their regular season-opener. Hosting Plainwell next, the Bulldogs won 7-1, followed by the Wildcats of Three Rivers where the Bulldogs earned another 7-1 win.

The tide turned, however, with matches against Sturgis and South Haven. Sturgis defeated the Bulldogs 7-0 and South Haven handed the Bulldogs a 6-2 loss on their home courts. Wins from the Bulldogs came from number three singles Alvara Ugarte-Diez and number four singles Tyler Tompkins.

The 2014 team members include number one singles player senior Chase Tyre; number two singles senior Kaleb Lewis; number three singles sophomore Alvara Ugarte-Diez; and number four singles junior Tyler Tompkins. Doubles teams include number one seniors Artem Booth and Logal Tassell; number two senior Westin Seifert and junior Daniel Gwin; number three senior Joseph Kilne and sophomore Andras Antal; and number four sophomores Jaymie Gapayao and Matthew McGehee.

The foreign exchange program at Vicksburg High School has once again benefited the tennis team. Antel is an exchange student from Hungary and Ugarte-Diez is from Spain. Ugarte-Diez’s sister, Raquel, also played on the varsity girls tennis team when she was a VHS student during the 2011-2012 school year.

The team has six seniors and with the two exchange students, that means two-thirds of the team will not be returning next year, said Offord. However, he is not concerned because he sees very strong potential in his younger players, including some middle school students who may be future stars of the Vicksburg tennis program.

Eric Flickinger joined Vicksburg this year as the Varsity Assistant Coach and JV Coach.