Mackenzie Johnson of Vandercook Lake High School looks to repeat as an individual state champion bowler and as a member of the Jayhawks Division 4 team. Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Competitive cheer, bowling and wrestling will wrap up their seasons this weekend at various locations around the state.
Jackson will be will represented in all three sports.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association state individual wrestling championships start today at 11:30 a.m. at Ford Field in Detroit.
Bowling in four divisions will take place at various locations in Michigan.
Competitive cheerleaders from around the state will show off their moves at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids Friday and Saturday.
There could be a bevy of state champions from Jackson County.
In wrestling, Michigan Center High School senior Corey Gamit is going for his third individual state title. The senior won a pair of titles in Division 2 at Western High School before injuries forced him to miss the MHSAA tournament as a junior.
Napoleon High School senior Ethan Weatherspoon is looking for his second consecutive state title. He is undefeated as a senior and looks to be the school’s only two-time undefeated champion.
Regional champions looking for the top of the podium include: Jared Riggins of Jackson in Division 1 at 135 pounds; Josh Rankin of Michigan Center in Division 3 at 130 pounds; teammate Brock Kuhn at 285 pounds in Division 3; Nick Marienfeld of Napoleon at 112 pounds at Division 4; Thomas Potter of Springport in Division 4 at 140 pounds; and brother Zach Potter at 145 pounds in Division 4.
The Jackson area will send 30 wrestlers to Ford Field all looking for medals. The top eight in each weight class earn medals and are considered all-state in wrestling.
In bowling, Mackenzie Johnson of Vandercook Lake looks to repeat as an individual champion. Johnson led all qualifiers at the regional individual tournament last weekend with an 1,172 for six games.
She will be joined by teammates Arielle Oakley (1,012 pins) and Shelby Miller (1,006).
The Cascades Conference will be well represented at the state site at M-66 Bowl just North of downtown Battle Creek. Kathryn Sayles of Napoleon finished third at the regional individual tournament (1,054), and Kassidy Alexander (1,042) and Hunter Jones (1,032) of Hanover-Horton were sixth and seventh respectively at the regional tournament.
Vandercook Lake looks for a three-peat in the Division 4 team tournament on Friday. They will be joined by East Jackson who finished third at the regional tournament.
Michigan Center will compete in the Division 3 girls’ team bowling tournament at Norway Lanes in Muskegon on Friday. The Cardinals were second at the regional tournament last week.
MCHS senior Allison Fagan will also compete in the individual tournament on Saturday. She finished 10th at the Division 3 Flat Rock regional with 1,086 pins for six games.
Kaylee Hall of Northwest will represent the Jackson area in Division 2. She finished fifth at the Division 2 regional tournament with 1,017 pins. The Division 2 tournament will be held at Century Bowl in Waterford.
In the boys’ tournaments, Jackson High School will compete in the Division 1 team tournament on Friday. The Vikings placed third at their regional with 4,020 pins for six Baker games and three individual games. Jackson will bowl at Thunder Lanes in Allen Park on Friday.
The Northwest boys’ team qualified for the Division 2 team tournament in Waterford by placing second at the regional tournament. The Mounties finished with 3,571 pins to finish behind Owosso.
Northwest freshman Cody Hall finished fourth overall at the regional individual tournament with 1,137 pins. He will bowl Friday in hopes of advancing to the stepladder portion of the tournament.
Nathan Sedlecky of Columbia Central will bowl in the Division 3 individual tournament on Saturday. The junior finished fourth overall at the regional tournament with 1,191 pins.
Cascades Conference bowlers dominated the Division 4 regional held at Jax60 Recreation Center last weekend. Napoleon earned a regional title 3,723 pins and Grass Lake was third with 3,710. Both will advance to the team tournament today in Battle Creek.
The regional featured four of the top five ranked bowling teams in Division 4 – as voted on by the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association.
Korey Reichard of Vandercook Lake and teammate Conner Lackey finished first and second respectively with 1,351 pins and 1,299. Joining the Vandercook duo on Saturday in the individual tournament will be Sean Wyers of Grass Lake (1,207). Collin Baldwin of Napoleon (1,196), Jack Stapleton of Grass Lake (1,190), teammate Logan Judson (1,156) and Napoleon bowler Evan Brzyski (1,129).
The top 16 individual bowlers following a qualifying round on Saturday will advance to a stepladder-style tournament until a champion is crowned.
In the team competition on Friday, the top eight teams advance to the stepladder tournament.
In competitive cheer, Michigan Center will represent the Jackson area at the MHSAA Division 4 final on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Cardinals are five-time state champions in the sport, but will have their work cut out as they finished fourth at the regional tournament.
Only eight school will compete in each division for the team title. The top team in scoring after three rounds is crowned the champion.
For more information on the various tournaments, go to MHSAA.com and click on sports for times, dates, places and other information concerning the various tournaments.
Barak Haring of Springport High School is one of 30 Jackson-area wrestlers who will compete for medals at the Michigan High School Athletic Association state individual wrestling finals starting today. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
Michigan Center High School will be competing on Saturday for the school’s sixth state title in competitive cheer. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.