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Collin Bradley Napoleon

Bradley, Napoleon mows down Jonesville

Napoleon High School pitcher Collin Bradley struck out 20 of 22 batters faced during a game Thursday night against Jonesville   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Along about the fifth inning, members of the Jonesville High School varsity baseball team were celebrating foul balls against Napoleon High School pitcher Collin Bradley. Yes, Bradley was that good. The senior pitcher struck out the first 15 JHS batters in a row en route to a 20-strikeout performance Thursday night at home. Bradley finished by striking out 20 of the 22 Jonesville players for a 2-0 win in the opening game. Adam Garcia backed that up for Napoleon with a strong pitching performance in game two for an 11-2 win in game two. The Pirates are now 12-0 on the season and ranked No. 10 in Division three in the latest Michigan High School Athletic Association baseball poll. Bradley used his 88-mile-per-hour fastball and a killer curve ball to stump Jonesville. His split-finger pitch was also working. “I have coached high school baseball for 15 years and he is one of the two best pitchers I have coached,” NHS Coach Jeff Mohr said. “He has hit double-digits in strikeouts in every game…

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Billie Weeks Concord Softball

Versatile Weeks has high expectations in sports

Billie Weeks of Concord High School watches as the softball takes off during a recent game against Hanover-Horton.    By Jeff Steers  JTV Sports   A Cascades Conference coach leaned over and told his assistant coach “that was a win” after Concord High School slugger Billie Weeks hit a sharp single to left field. Nobody scored, Weeks did not hit the ball over the fence, and his pitcher was not forced to walk her. Weeks is quietly hitting close to .650, has four home runs and has a slugging percentage of 1.389. She would have better stats through the first couple of weeks of the season but other teams have noticed her hitting prowess. Weeks was walked seven times in a doubleheader against Reading. But what may be more impressive is Weeks is also competing in track and field at a high level. While a number of athletes “specialize” in one sport, Weeks will finish 2018-2019 with four varsity letters and possibly 14 for her career at Concord. “Being from a small school, you have to go where you are needed,” Weeks said of participating in more than one sport at a time. “It is still fun and I don’t…

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Jack Brockie Hanover-Horton Golf

Hanover-Horton golfers to defend state title

Jack Brockie of Hanover-Horton High School earned medalist honors with a 37 at the first Cascades Conference jamboree at Lakeland Hills Golf Course.   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Brockies and Spinks. The two families – sometimes forged into one – have carried the Hanover-Horton High School boys’ golf program the last decade. That came to a culmination last year when the Comets won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 state title in a classic battle with Big Rapids. The Comets will hope to defend that state title beginning in May and June, but they will be without a Spink on the team for the first time in a number of years. Winning a state title in 2018 will have to suffice for now. “Earning a state title with that group was a better feeling than winning any individual tournament,” HHHS Coach Mike Brockie said. “Having three nephews and one son on the team made it special. “Winning like we did also gave us an appreciation for the fifth man on the team.” Both teams tied with identical scores for two days last year in the state final at Forest Akers West near the campus of Michigan…

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Cascades Conference golf to pilot scoring application

Photo courtesy iWanamaker.com   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   The Cascades Conference is expected to be one of the leagues that will pilot a mobile application technology allowing golfers, coaches and fans to view live leaderboards during events. The idea came from a Michigan High School Athletic Association golf council meeting attended by East Jackson High School golf Coach Ray Hill. The longtime golf coach said the recommendation to try such a system by council members. Last May three schools “came out of nowhere to qualify for the state meet,” Hill said. “There was a serious suspicion of stroke shaving was going on,” Hill said. “It knocked a number of teams out of the state meet.” iWanamaker Golf combines desktop and mobile application technology to allow golfers to view live leaderboards during events and tournaments. It also gives charities and fundraising organizations a way to increase revenue by selling live leaderboard sponsorships to supporters. With just a few mouse clicks, tournament could be using iWanamaker's real-time scoring and leaderboards. Hill said the technology is free to coaches and players, and parents and supporters have a chance to purchase information from the application for $25 per season or $5 per…

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Rand succeeds on, off the track at Lumen Christi

Lumen Christi Catholic School track and field runner Allison Rand won the 1,600-meter run Wednesday during a meet at Northwest High School   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Lumen Christi Catholic High School runner Allison Rand has learned to see the potential in other people during her four years on the cross country and track and field teams. She learned it from the best. Rand has been part of three all-state relay teams and last year left the Michigan High School Athletic Association state track and field meet with a pair of medals. The Titans won the 1,600-meter relay and she finished third individually in the 800-meter run. She is proud of the winning relay team. “In track and field and cross country I have learned to see the potential in other people and that helped our relay team,” Rand said. “I learned that from Coach Mike Woolsey. “He sees the potential in each runner … even before they know or believe it.” Rand combined with freshman Renae Kutcha, and seniors Marilyn Schonhard and Audrey Warriner to win the 1,600-meter relay at the state meet in 4 minutes, 1 second. Kutcha went on to win the 400-meter run for…

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Local bowlers earn all-state honors

PHOTO: Mackenzie Johnson of Vandercook Lake  Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Several local high school bowlers – including a pair of state champions – earned all-state honors. The awards are voted on by Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association members. In Division 4, two-time state champion Mackenzie Johnson of Vandercook Lake heads the first-team all-state list. Johnson recently won her second consecutive state individual title with a win over Dakota Smith of Bronson High School in the D-4 final. Johnson was second at the state meet in qualifying, defeated three opponents on the way to a 364-333 win over Smith in the finals. The senior helped the Jayhawks win a pair of state team titles in four years. She also earned an academic all-state honors for her performance in the classroom. Joining Johnson on the first-team are Kassidy Alexander of Hanover-Horton and Kathryn Sayles of Napoleon. Alexander, a sophomore, qualified for the state tournament finishing 10th. She advanced to the stepladder round, but lost in the opening round of 16. Sayles was also a state qualifier who finished 22nd overall at the state meet. Vandercook Lake senior Preslee Stahl and teammate Arielle Oakley were named to second-team all-state. Stahl –…

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Liedel, turnovers cost Comets in quarterfinal loss

Hanover-Horton High School player Jack Brockie (5) attempts to stop Erie Mason's Joe Liedel during the Division 3 quarterfinal game at Tecumseh High School on Tuesday.   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Too many turnovers, too much Joe Liedel, and one too many losses spelled the end of the Hanover-Horton High School boys basketball season. The Comets lost to Erie Mason 55-48 Tuesday in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 quarterfinals at a standing-room-only arena at Tecumseh High School. Hanover-Horton finishes the season with a 23-2 mark – having only one loss during the regular season. Erie Mason will play undefeated Pewamo-Westphalia in the Division 3 semifinals Thursday at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on the campus of Michigan State University. “We feel bad right now because we had such a great season,” HHHS Coach Chad Mortimer said after the loss. “What hurts is we didn’t play our best tonight.” Mortimer said the Comets turned the ball over 20 times in the quarterfinal game – a dozen more than their average. “You can’t give Liedel and that team 20 extra possessions,” Mortimer said. “Our goal was to keep them under 50 points.” Liedel, a junior, went…

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Hanover-Horton High School wrestler Chris Sorrow, right, lifts his opponent during the Michigan High School Athletic Association state individual wrestling finals Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.

Comets make history on Saturday at MHSAA wrestling finals

Hanover-Horton High School wrestler Chris Sorrow, right, lifts his opponent during the Michigan High School Athletic Association state individual wrestling finals Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.    By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   For a school better known for titles in basketball, the Hanover-Horton High School wrestling team has made history this season. Saturday three Comets earned all-state honors in wrestling – the first all-state wrestlers in school history. Earlier in February Hanover-Horton won its first Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 team district wrestling title. And there is more to come according to head Coach Doug Cure. Randy Frailey, Chris Sorrow and Trent Hocter earned all-state honors by placing in the top eight in their respective weight classes at the Michigan High School Athletic Association state individual finals this past weekend at Ford Field in Detroit. Frailey finished eighth at 119 pounds, Sorrow placed seventh at 135 pounds, and Hocter finished eighth at 189 pounds for the Comets. Cure said the process of building a program began five years ago when Ron Sorrow and Josh Frailey started a youth wrestling program. The Comets had struggled putting 14 bodies on the mat after years of participating in a…

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Lumen Christi District Basketball JTV

Titans pull out physical win in district semifinal

Grass Lake High School basketball player Xavier Bargesser (45) attempts to block out Lumen Christi Catholic High School basketball player Conor Spencer during a district game Wednesday at GLHS.   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   Two high school basketball teams with less than stellar beginnings to the season – but enjoyed good endings – met in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 district semifinal at Grass Lake High School Wednesday night. Lumen Christi Catholic High School earned a 49-43 win over the host school on Wednesday night to advance to the district final on Friday. The Titans will face Manchester following a 61-54 win over Vandercook Lake in the other semifinal game. Lumen Christi started the season 0-6, but has won six of its last seven games to end the regular season. Grass Lake was 3-3 at one point to start the season, but finished the regular season with a 12-8 record. Lumen Christi faced a number of injuries to start the season following a successful state championship three-peat in football. “At one point we had 16 guys on the bench … we had not idea who was going to healthy,” LCCHS Coach Tyler Aldridge said. “Players…

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‘I have tough skin’ – EJ student athlete Jared Swiontek

East Jackson High School basketball player Jared Swiontek concentrates on a free throw during a game Thursday night at Hanover-Horton High School.   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports   A man on Mackinac Island made it a point to get off his bicycle to shake the hand and have a word with the East Jackson High School student Jared Swiontek. The stranger thought Swiontek had cancer due to the high school student’s bald head. While the man misdiagnosed the situation, his words of encouragement would have been more profound had he known the rest of the story. Swiontek was diagnosed with Alopecia universalis in junior high school. AU is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata, a condition that causes round patches of hair loss. The senior also battled pneumonia, mononucleosis, a punctured lung, and a broken pelvis the last six years. Some would just give up and say “why me?” “I guess I have tough skin,” Jared Swiontek said after a loss in boys varsity basketball at Hanover-Horton High School on Thursday. “I try to stay positive in my outlook at life.” Swiontek was hoping others would not…

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