Category Archives: Sports

Little League All-Star Softball Team Gets to State Finals

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Photo taken by Amie Mourey, shows the team from left to right: Taya Atkinson, Kiersten Schroeder, Delaney Monroe, Audrie Dugan, Brenna McDonald, Ayla Moughton, Josie Stephenson, Gracie Breitenbach, Ava Snell, Lauren Evans, Ella Luegge, Ella Mann, Lia Mourey.

By Sue Moore

With two out in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Vicksburg All-Star team facing elimination, Delaney Monroe hit a home run over the fence. That tied the semi-final state championship game and sent it into extra innings, where they won in the bottom of the eighth over an Evart Little League team 3-2. Monroe had earlier hit a solo home run in the first inning, accounting for two of the three runs.

The team is composed of 11 and 12-year-old girls from Vicksburg and two from Schoolcraft. The girls try out for the all-star team after the regular season is over. They first won their district by beating Constantine 7-2, Mendon 15-0 and then Constantine again by a 12-2 score.

This put them in state championship pool play with teams from all 16 districts in Michigan. They scored big time here beating Huron Little League 15-0, Jackson NW Little League 15-0 and Grandville Little League 10-1. This made them eligible for the quarterfinals where they beat Westwood, from Kalamazoo, 10-1.

From there, they went to the dramatic semi-final game to advance to the state championship game where they lost to Gladstone Little League, 13-4. “We just ran out of gas in the last game on a very hot day after playing the semi-final earlier in the day,” Coach Rob Moughton said.

Moughton was assisted by coaches Chris Dugan, Bryan Mourey and Duane Monroe. “I don’t coach to win, but for the girls to have success on and off the field. I believe the girls gain valuable lessons along the way.”

Moughton is a Vicksburg graduate; his wife Jessica is a second-grade teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary school. He has also coached Rocket football and youth basketball.

A History of Fishing in Vicksburg on September 2

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This picture of a Vicksburg fisherman of old was found in the files of the Historical Society to illustrate Randy Seilheilmer’s coming talk about the great fishing experiences on the local lakes.

Randy Seilheimer, a former board member of the Historical Society, has been tapped to do another one of his great talks for the 2019 Speaker Series, this one on fishing, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 25. It is sponsored by the Society and open to the public in the township hall on the grounds of the Historic Village.

John Vickers did modern anglers a great favor when he put a brush dam across Gourdneck Creek 188 years ago.  Fish that used to pass through decided to stick around, along with people looking for a great place to live.  However, Vicksburg had more than one fishin’ hole to brag about.  Consider this: Bulldog sports teams might have been called the Lakers.

The Lee Paper company newsletter gave away secrets about local hot spots along with wise and perceptive warnings about the future.  While mom and the kids were at the Spiritualist camp south of town 110 years ago, dad could well be at camp on Indian lake, fishing.

Did you ever want to meet a world-famous fly-tyer?  He had a shop at 126 Main Street.  He also patented two bass baits.  Check your great grandparents’ tackle box.  If you find one of his lures in its original box you could now afford a nice weekend at the Grand Hotel.  Do you have a modern fishing reel?  Do you fish with a weed-less hook?  They have their origins in Vicksburg.

Vicksburg Athletic Boosters Sponsor Golf Outing

It’s a four-person scramble for the Vicksburg Athletic Boosters golf outing at States Golf Course on Sunday, August 25 beginning at 1 p.m. Players can team up with friends, spouses, a son or daughter and enjoy meeting some of the high school athletes who will be helping out during the day. “We do some fun ‘athletic things’ on some of the holes – putt with a baseball bat, putt into a football helmet, lay down and putt in with a cue stick, putt with a tennis ball….” said Maryann Willmeng, one of the organizers.

The cost is $55 per person, benefiting the Boosters organization. Willmeng recommends wearing red for Vicksburg to show loyalty. The price includes golf, a cart, hot dogs and brats at the turn, beverages, prizes and dinner. Special features for the events, with options for men and women, include longest putt, closest to pin, longest and shortest drive, prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

For further information contact Mindy Reno, 209-4450, or Tom or Maryann Willmeng, 323-0490.

Schoolcraft Boosters Schedule Golf Outing

The Schoolcraft Athletic Boosters’ 25th Annual Big Hole Golf Outing is on August 17, at 1:30 p.m. at States Golf Course, Vicksburg. The outing is one of the Boosters’ most important fundraisers and enables them to provide support to the school athletic programs, such as equipment, training, awards and scholarships, according to Wade Rutkoskie, president of the Boosters organization.

“It’s a great day of fun, prizes and a post-outing barbecue dinner to support the student athletes and coaches of Schoolcraft Community Schools,” he said. The cost to participate is $75 per person or $300 per team. The price includes 18 holes, two carts, barbecue dinner and prizes. The golf outing is limited to 36 teams.

Players can sign up at https://runsignup.com/bigholegolfouting. “If you do not wish to golf and would like to get involved, consider becoming a hole sponsor, donating a prize or volunteering for the event. Visit the Schoolcraft Athletic Boosters Facebook page or contact us at scseaglesboosters@gmail.com to learn more,” Rutkoskie said.

Schoolcraft Softball Team Sets School Records

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Kelby and Allie Goldschmeding and Mikayla Meade meet in front of the many trophies that Schoolcraft teams’ athletic teams have earned in the last two years. They helped to add several more to the collection.

By Sue Moore

The 2019 edition of the Schoolcraft softball team broke through the barrier of losing the last four years in regional tournaments. They went all the way to the state finals in East Lansing before dropping their last game of the season. It was the first in Schoolcraft team history to win regional, quarterfinal and semi-final tournament games.

“We had so many different strengths on the team,” said pitcher Mikayla Meade. “We all had a role to play and perfected that role throughout the season. Ours was a close-knit group so the season didn’t feel long. I enjoyed practicing every day. The coach played music that lightened up the atmosphere. We had a lot of fun and yet worked really hard. It brought the love of the game back to the girls.”

“There was a lot more team bonding,” said catcher Kelby Goldschmeding who suffered a concussion late in May and appeared as a designated hitter the rest of the way. Jordan Watts subbed for her behind the plate and was named honorable mention on the all-conference team.

“We knew the 2019 softball team had good potential,” said Athletic Director Jeff Clark. “When Shane Barry interviewed for the coaching position, he blew us away. We came up aces with him. Then he was able to hire assistants Becca Shemberger, who pitched for Western Michigan University and Portage Central, along with Hunter Hart, one of our graduates who went on to play for KVCC.

“Within ten minutes of the first practice while going through drills, I told my assistants that we would be going places with this team, this year,” Barry said. “We had team dinners to draw us together. They planned sleepovers to build team chemistry. Our seniors, Brenna Walther and Meade had one goal, to make softball fun again and build the program to where it should be by bonding. They had time in the training room, they hung out together while icing down and just talked.”

“I didn’t have to change much more than that. Most of the team had been playing travel softball for many years so they had the fundamentals down just fine,” Barry said. “We worked a little on footwork on defense but even that didn’t need much tweaking. We moved a few kids around to get them in the right position. They had confidence in themselves.”

For the record, the team went 32-5 with losses to Portage Central by one run; twice to Lakeshore, a class B team; Livonia Stevenson, a class A team; and finally Millington, which was a semi-finalist in 2018, losing to Coloma and determined to win it all in 2019.

Katie Parker was named first team all-state. Danielle Blyly received honorable mention as well as regional honors that also went to Adrienne Rosey and Kayla Onken. All-conference first team honors went to Parker, Blyly, Onkin, Rosey, Meade and Allie and Kelby Goldschmeding.

“Schoolcraft ran into a really good team in Millington in the state finals,” Clark said. “We didn’t collapse after they scored five runs in the first inning.” The reason for that Meade said, “We had come back so many times before, then we saw their pitcher who has been recruited to play with a Division I team. “It was a long bus ride home, but this team will be back in 2020, of that I’m sure.”

Little League All Stars

little eagles softballThese are the all-star girls from Schoolcraft’s Little League. In the back row, from left: Brynn Bozell, Zoey Triemstra, Valerie DeVries, Payton Gottschalk, Sydney Williams, Leah Ostlund. Front row, from left: Bianca Agnone, Addison Bienz, Kinsley Smith, Breslynn Boyes, Alexis Walther. Photo by Katie Boyes, Little Eagles Learning Center.

Eagles Softball Ends Season as Runner Up in State

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Coaches for the Schoolcraft softball team hold the runner-up trophy. They are from left: Becca Shemberger, Hunter Hart and Head Coach Shane Barry.

By Travis Smola

The Schoolcraft Eagles varsity softball team had a season to remember, but came up just short in its bid for the school’s first state title in the sport.

Schoolcraft failed to score any runs in the state title game against Millington, losing 8-0. The Eagles got down early in the contest as the Eagles struck out their first five at-bats and Millington scored its first five runs in the bottom of the first.

Jordan Watts got on base with a single in the top of the second, but courtesy runner Paige Reid was left stranded. Sophie Ridge and Danielle Blyly both got on base in the top of the third, but they too were left stranded at first and second. The only other hit of the game came from Adrienne Rosey on a single in the sixth.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Eagles after several come-from-behind wins in the tournament to get to the final game of the season. In the semifinal the day before, the team played a thriller against Dundee.

In that game, the Vikings opened an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Dundee loaded the bases in the top of the second, but great home-plate throws by Makayla Meade and Ridge helped the Eagles out of the inning with no damage. Dundee made the score 3-0 in the top of the fifth. The Eagles finally got on the board after a bunt single by Ridge. She got to second on a fielding error and finally home on another.

In the top of the sixth, Kayla Onken walked to start things off. That is when Kelby Goldschmeding made the play of the game. She crushed a huge, two-run homer over the right field wall to tie the game. The Eagles didn’t get anymore runs from the inning, but it helped shift momentum to Schoolcraft’s side.

After the score stayed tied 3-3 in the seventh, the game went into extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Onken walked again and got to second on a pop out. After that Dundee intentionally walked Meade and Kelby’s twin sister, Allie Goldschmeding came to bat. Allie hit a short grounder into the infield which was turned to first and looked like an easy out for Dundee. But the base umpire ruled the throw was late; Goldschmeding’s foot hit the base first. Onken scored on the play 4-3 to win the game.

The young team will graduate only two seniors in Meade and Brenna Walther, meaning next season should be one to look forward to for fans.