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JAOA and Family Create Legacy Scholarship

  • May 18, 2020

Members of the Jackson Area Officials Association will wear this patch to honor Kerry Lehman during the 2020-2021 season. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports (May 18, 2020 8:58 PM) The Lehman family, in conjunction with the Jackson Area Officials Association and the MHSAA, has created the Kerry Lehman Legacy Official Scholarship. The scholarship is in its early stages of planning and coordination. Once the organization has more details, they will be shared with the general public. During a March 11 boys’ district basketball tournament contest, Lehman and another official came down with an illness. Both men later tested positive for COVID-19 and were treated at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. The other official recovered, but Lehman entered a month-long battle with the virus. He died on April 22, 2020, at the age of 62. Lehman was survived by his wife and three children. Lehman was a graduate of Northwest High School and ITT Fort Wayne. He worked as a client specialist for the State of Michigan for more than 20 years. Lehman found has passion later in life as an official for local high school sports. In addition to the legacy scholarship, the JAOA has received approval from the MHSAA for…

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Hill Looks to Marines or Football for Next Move

  • May 17, 2020

Onsted High School running back Travis Hill (5) makes a move during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 6 semifinal football game last fall. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports Onsted High School senior Travis Hill knows a thing or two about comebacks. He was injured most of his junior season, watching the Wildcats struggle to a 3-6 season in football. The Wildcats went on an eight-game winning streak in football after losing a pair of Lenawee County Athletic Association games early in the 2019 season. And the senior recently failed a hearing test for enlistment into the Marines, but hopes that subsequent tests will get him back into the military life. Lessons about comebacks may have helped Hill deal with the cancellation of his final baseball season as a senior. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed the spring sports season in March and permanently closed the book on Hill and other seniors in early April when schools were closed for the year. When the Michigan High School Athletic Association followed suit a couple of days later, the highly successful sports career for Hill was over. “When it first happened, I thought were going to take…

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Five CCHS Seniors Lose Final Baseball Season

  • May 12, 2020

Aiden Adams.  Courtesy photo. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports Three returning players and a transfer student who earned all-state honors a year ago gave the Columbia Central High School varsity baseball team high hopes for 2020. Instead, five seniors from CCHS will have to wonder “what if” when they think about the spring of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in early April and the Michigan High School Athletic Association canceled the 2020 spring season a couple of days later. Seniors Aiden Adams, Lucas Mendez, and Levi Meyers had multiple years of experience playing baseball for the Golden Eagles. Transfer student Adam Wilding was an all-state selection according to information sent by CCHS coaches. Mathew Mackenzie was returning to the sport of baseball after taking time off. Adams was a four-year player for the Golden Eagles and was a career .400 hitter. “Aiden was going to be a team captain and looked forward to being a leader this season,” CCHS Coach Steve Tompkins said. “He is one of the most coachable players I’ve had.” Mendez is a mainstay in left field and was expected to be a pitcher for the Golden Eagles this season. “Lucas is a hard worker who…

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Napoleon Senior has ‘Reason’ to Believe

  • May 8, 2020

Napoleon High School senior Kenzie Reason, left, attempts to block out an Addison opponent during a game last December at home. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports (May 8, 2020 8:31 PM) Napoleon High School senior Kenzie Reason was part of a small group that orchestrated a Wellness Day in early November. Students met twice a week during the summer attempting to attract guest speakers to discuss a wide range of issues including social media, addiction, sexual assault, suicide awareness and others. Reason said the day-long program helped students realize that there is help out there and others have pulled themselves out of negative situations to create better lives. The senior may use some of the information to help stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reason was a senior on the varsity softball team preparing for another season when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer postponed school for the remainder of the season. When the Michigan High School Athletic Association followed suit and canceled the spring season, Reason and thousands of other student athletes lost their last hurrah. Like a lot of student-athletes, Reason believed the time off of school would be short and the Pirates could continue…

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Sova Stars for MCHS On, off the Field

  • May 7, 2020

Michigan Center High School athlete Kole Sova (33) attempts to drive past a Hanover-Horton High School player during a game this past winter. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports Structure. That word keeps coming up during conversations with Michigan Center High School athlete Kole Sova. He liked going to the gym every day because it gave his day structure and kept his mind off of other things. Math is his favorite subject because Sova likes working with numbers. He misses the structure of going to school, practice, and everything that goes with attending high school. And finally, Sova plans to become an engineer – maybe building some structures in the future. There hasn’t been much structure in life for Sova or thousands of high school seniors recently. School was postponed for three weeks in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. In early April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed schools for good for the remainder of the calendar year. A couple of days later the Michigan High School Athletic Association ended the spring season before it even began. “The Thursday everything was shut down was my first baseball practice of the season,” Sova said. “I figured they…

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Road Trip Brings Results for JHS Pitcher, Coach

  • May 6, 2020

Jackson High School senior Camille Wertzbar signed a letter of intent to play softball for Glen Oaks Community College last winter. She will go from a Jackson High School Viking to a Glen Oaks Viking this fall.  Courtesy photo By Jeff Steers JTV Sports A road trip that spanned two-and-a-half days and four college campuses paid off for Jackson High School pitcher Camille Wertzbar. It’s a good thing the senior didn’t wait until the spring to showcase her talents for college recruiters. Wertzbar is one of thousands of seniors who had their seasons/careers cut short when the coronavirus hit in mid-March. Schools were closed for three weeks before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer canceled school for good the first week in April. When the Michigan High School Athletic Association canceled the spring season, Wertzbar was left to wonder what if. “You have to put it all into perspective,” Camille said. “I didn’t think it would take this long for the virus to run its course. Camille was approximately 100 strikeouts away from setting the school record for strikeouts in a season, according to her mother Jeannie – also her high school coach. Being on a team with a sub .500 record can…

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Pandemic Ends Sports Careers for Four JCHS Seniors

  • May 6, 2020

Photos by Teague Gerweck, JTV Sports   By Jeff Steers JTV Sports (May 6, 2020 4:42 PM) Four seniors at Jackson Christian High School had their seasons/careers cut short when the coronavirus pandemic closed schools in early April. Soccer players Johanna Kegerreis and Mackenzie Stucky did not have the chance to hardly start – or finish – the 2020 high school season. Coming off a 12th-place finish in Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 golf, JCHS did not have a chance to back that up this season. Seniors Nate Blumenstock and Tyler Spry were members of the varsity golf squad. In 2019, JCHS finished second – by one stroke – at the Division 4 golf regional and advance to the state meet. The Royals finished 12th overall with a two-day total of 739 at The Meadows Golf Course on the campus of Grand Valley State University. Blumenstock finished fourth overall at the regional competition for Jackson Christian. He played soccer, basketball, golf, and baseball at Jackson Christian. The senior plans to study business at Cornerstone University. Spry played soccer, basketball, golf, and was a member of the school’s National Honor Society and JCHS Student Senate. Spry plans to study…

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Sarah Soper Named Regional Teacher of the Year

  • May 6, 2020

Sarah Soper gets the news in a surprise visit by representatives of the Michigan Department of Education, Northwest staff, and families. (May 6, 2020 10:17 AM) Ten teachers from across the state received a welcome surprise when they learned from their school communities that they were each named a 2020-2021 Regional Teacher of the Year (RTOY) by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).  Sarah Soper, a high school teacher at Northwest High School, Northwest Community Schools, was named Regional Teacher of the Year for District 8. “I want to personally thank each of the Regional Teachers of the Year and all educators across Michigan for their creativity and passion to educate our children in these tough times,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “If there is one thing the last several months have taught us, it’s that our teachers will go to the ends of the earth and back to ensure their students are receiving the best education possible from afar, while supporting parents and guardians who are trying to juggle work and their children’s education.” The notifications took place over the last several days as part of the kickoff to Teacher Appreciation Week/Month and were captured on video.  “Michigan’s teachers deserve…

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Jackson Magazine Announces 2020 Top Teachers

  • May 5, 2020

(May 5, 2020 4:56 PM) Jackson Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Top Teacher Awards.  The annual awards are usually presented at a banquet and ceremony on Teacher Appreciation Day, May 5.  Jackson Magazine has had to postpone the tenth annual awards event to a date yet to be determined. Over 100 teacher nominations were received for this year's awards. To choose the Top Teachers, a committee of educators whittled the list to the Top 10. Those 10 teachers received two classroom visits from a second committee; a third group chose the final five. The Top Teachers of 2020 are: Teacher of the Year: Marnie Hade, Northwest High School Paul Bickel, Western High School Jessica Crandell, Northwest Elementary Amber Keathley, Northwest Early Elementary Sarah Runkel, Northwest Kidder Middle School These are the other Top Teachers making it to the Top 10: Amanda Aguilera, Columbia Elementary School Lisa Ebener, Northwest Elementary Melinda Spicer, Concord Community Schools Julie Evers, Northwest High School Matthew Snell, Northwest High School In addition to recognition in the May issue of Jackson Magazine, the Top Teachers also received a total of $9,000, thanks to a partnership that began in 2014 with the Jackson Community Foundation…

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Abbey Goes ‘All in’ for Golf Scholarship

  • May 3, 2020

Onsted High School senior Noah Abbey on signing day at Onsted High School, October 2019.  Courtesy photo. By Jeff Steers JTV Sports (May 3, 2020 1:04 PM) Spring Arbor University golf signee Noah Abbey once was a budding star in other high school sports. But it wasn’t golf. The Onsted High School senior is glad he made the switch a couple of years ago to pursue a golf scholarship. Abbey is one of many seniors who had his/her seasons and careers cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools were shut down in mid-March and the Michigan High School Athletic Association followed suit a couple of days later cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter season and 2020 spring season. Abbey played linebacker and running back on the OHS varsity squad as a freshman. He also played basketball for two seasons in high school. But OHS boys’ golf Coach Brad Maska said he went “all in” for a chance for a golf scholarship. “Noah did everything he had to get a golf scholarship,” Maska said. “I was pleased to see the year he had in 2019. “It is hard to see his season canceled.” Abbey was the top golfer in…

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