By Travis Smola
Vicksburg softball head coach, Paul Gephardt, says last year’s state finals appearance is in the past. The focus is on the here and now as they work on just one game at a time. After a couple of losses to state-ranked powerhouse Caledonia, the Lady Bulldogs bounced back against Three Rivers with 16-6 and 5-4 wins.
One thing fans will be happy to see is that the girls’ bats are still hot in the early part of the season. In the first of those wins against Three Rivers, nearly every girl on the roster had a hand in scoring runs and capitalizing on Wildcat mistakes. Their scoring ability was further showcased in 5-1 and 13-1 wins over Schoolcraft on April 18. They beat Sturgis 15-0 on April 21 and split a double header with Coloma on April 24, following that with a win over Allegan 39-5 and a perfect game thrown by Avery Slancik.
The lacrosse team is still a club sport for the Lady Bulldogs, but unlike last year, where they played a JV schedule, this year it is all varsity. The team is 2-3 currently. “The girls are getting better every day in practice,” Head Coach Charlie Glascock said.
Even though they recently lost against Portage in a scrappy 17-12 game, Hannah Corwin had a hat trick of three goals as the team rallied late to give Portage a scare. Glascock wants to thank the 12 different sponsors who contributed to helping grow and expand the program by getting the girls new warmup gear this spring.
The soccer team is playing scrappy ball despite some growing pains. Goalie Kelsey Aldworth racked up 16 saves in an early 5-0 loss to Lakeshore. Michelle Bower, Emmaline Miller, Katelyn Woosley and Haylie Burr all clogged up shooting lanes and made scoring difficult for opponents. “We’re going to be competitive, but we’re very young,” Head Coach Mike Moldovan said. The team got its most recent victory in a 4-0 road win over Dowagiac on April 19.
The tennis team defeated St. Joseph in a clean 8-0 sweep on April 13. But then the girls fell to powerhouse teams from Caledonia and Edwardsburg in subsequent matchups. But two girls did pick up some individual wins at Edwardsburg. Ady Reno won her matchup 7-6, 2-7, 6-2. And Josephine Hosner won 7-5, 4-6 and 6-1.
Track and field has a good mix of new and veteran athletes, according to Head Coach Lucas Wolthuis. The team defeated Allegan at a recent tri-meet and weren’t far behind Three Rivers. At the Paw Paw Lions Invitational, Mia Mulhearn set a new personal record while taking the 300-meter hurdle final.
Freshman Riley-Ann Bierema took second in the 400-meter dash and senior Layna Steele took third in the 800 meters. The 4×400 and 4×800 teams also both took second in the finals. And field events continue to be strong, with Grace Welch taking second in shot put and Anna Schriemer taking third in discus.
Skylar Rogenski turned in another strong long jump with a third place finish. Wolthuis says Otsego is the team to beat still. But he thinks they can be in the hunt for second or third in the conference.