Bulldogs Boys’ Athletics Starting Strong in Spring

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Garrett Ketelaar races home against Paw Paw in their recent double header, won by Vicksburg.

By Travis Smola

Everyone was excited to see what varsity baseball would do this season and they haven’t disappointed their followers. The boys rattled off eight straight wins to start the season, including taking the championship game of the Sturgis Invitational on April 15.

The week before that, the team had two thrilling victories in a double header against Three Rivers. Senior Brenden Lovell pitched a one-hitter in game one to help seal a 5-0 victory. The second game saw big hits from Drew Hamilton, Adam Henderson, Ryan Morgan and Matthew Holman as they took that game 7-1.

Closer Garrett Ketelaar made a thrilling last out in the game. The batter sent the last pitch screaming back at Ketelaar’s face, but he got his hand up for a spectacular catch and an unexpectedly quick end to the game.

The team was handed their first loss on April 17 against Schoolcraft.

The lacrosse team lost its home opener, but it’s still showing why it was conference champion last season. The boys defeated Harper Creek 11-7 in their most recent matchup. That comes right on the heels of a 16-0 shutout over Portage Northern on April 13 and 16-3 and 18-3 victories over Pennfield and Kalamazoo United.

And when the team has lost, they haven’t gone down without a fight. Two of their losses came in tight overtime games to Lowell and Hartland.

It’s still fairly early in track season, but so far the Bulldogs are fielding a really competitive team. The team was edged out by the narrowest of scores, 70-67, against traditionally strong Otsego back on March 29.

“We’ll get them at the conference meet,” Co-Head Coach Jon Kachniewicz said during the Paw Paw Lions Invitational. Speaking of that event, it was senior Deondre Lovell putting on a show as he set a new personal record of 11.568 while taking first in the 100-meter dash. He also took first in the long jump.

In the 4x100m relay, it was Lovell, Jackson Holladay, Noah Burton and Tanner Mendham taking first for the Bulldogs. The same team then went and did it again in the 4×200. The team of Aidan Ward, Jacob Wisser, Jacob Klimp and Casey Hall took third in the 4×400 and Elijah Locket, Klimp, Collin Eager and Kyle Strong took third in the 4×800.

Sophomore Andrew Smith also helped with showing how versatile the Bulldogs are, taking second in the pole vault.

Kachniewicz said they have a great mix of new and veteran athletes on this year’s team including a couple of exchange students. Their competitive nature should make the rest of track season an exciting one for the team.

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