It’s a theme that is in many of my favorite country music songs. If you listen to country music you know what I am talking about: growing up in a small town, wanting to leave, but realizing later you miss it so you come back. Of course there is always some mention of dirt roads, driving a truck or a tractor, and perhaps your favorite pet dog (never a cat). It is funny, but the same theme has become prevalent at the Kent City Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony over the past five years — minus the dirt roads, trucks, and dogs, although those are all important to me personally.
This year’s ceremony was no exception. Originally scheduled for Friday night, the weather forced us to postpone to Saturday where we enjoyed a night with the latest inductees in the Kent City Hall of Fame: Shannon Carlson (Class of 1992), Adam Anderson (Class of 1998), Jacob Thompson (Class of 2002), and Alex Wilson (Class of 2010). This year it was Alex Wilson who talked about the powerful influence Kent City has had on his life both personally and professionally. Athletics have and continue to play a large role in Wilson’s life as a collegiate cross country and track and field coach at Rochester College near Detroit. For Wilson it was not the dirt roads (although most runners appreciate them), or the trucks, or the dogs, rather it was the people, the people who make Kent City a special place. From what he said on Saturday night, Wilson knew he was going to miss it before he left and welcomes any opportunity to come back. Hopefully someday he will come back and raise his own family (of elite runners) here, but if he doesn’t, it will be another student-athlete that this school and community served well.
On Saturday we had a marathon of basketball at Kent City that saw 10 games in total played from 9:00 a.m. — 7:00 p.m. At the high school level, Kent City finished the day winning three out of four games against conference arch-nemesis Morley Stanwood. The varsity girls basketball team put to rest any ideas the Mohawks had of an upset from the start, racing to a 74-30 victory. Sensational senior Zara Weber matched Morley Stanwood’s 1st quarter output with 10 of Kent City’s 31 1st quarter points by herself — she led all scorers with 21 points on the night. Kenzie Bowers ended the day with 15 points, while Jenna Harrison had 13 points. The win on Saturday, along with Monday’s 65-15 thrashing of Lakeview, guarantees Kent City at least a share of their fifth consecutive conference championship.
The varsity wrestling team traveled to Ravenna on Saturday for the MHSAA Individual Districts and advanced five to next weekend’s regionals at New Lothrop. Of the five wrestlers, three of them wrestled for a District title, all coming up short. Carson City Crystal continued to be thorn in our side as two of those match-ups were repeats from Wednesday night when the blue and gold Eagles abruptly put a stop to the scarlet and white’s district championship streak. Alex Russo (112), Jayden Williams (119), and Evan Jones (130) all finished in 2nd place. Jake Anderson (140) who had to beat teammate Austin Neuman in the blood rounds to advance, along with surprise qualifier Jesus Hernandez (145) finished in 4th place.
Kent City’s varsity bowling team finished up their conference season on Saturday at Northway Lanes in Muskegon with their final CSAA Silver Jamboree of the season. Even though the final results have yet to be posted due to some confusion on the number of games played by some of the bowlers in the top eight, it is safe to say Kent City will have five bowlers between both the boys and girls teams on the all-conference team this season. For the boys, sophomore Curtis Poling will be 1st team all-conference with his 2nd place finish. Seniors Nick Brummel (tied for 4th place) and Mason McVicker (5th place) are awaiting to hear where they will fall when the guidelines in the constitution are applied. For the girls, fabulous freshman Peytin Brake earned 1st team all-conference with her 3rd place finish. Senior Chelsea Torres is picking up where she left off as a junior with a 7th place finish and an all-conference honorable mention nod.
The varsity boys basketball team also picked up two wins in three games last week, defeating Lakeview on Monday 60-26 and then beating Newaygo the next night 61-44. Kent City stands at 9-8 on the season and 5-3 in the CSAA Silver. With the 62-50 loss on Saturday to Morley Stanwood, Kent City’s conference championship aspirations have been officially squashed.
Please continue to use www.kentcityathletics.com as we navigate this sometimes unpredictable winter weather. We are doing our best to try to keep the schedules and posts up-to-date.
Three to Watch
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Sparta — Reschedule
Monday, February 11, 2019 @ 5:30 p.m.
Monday’s match-up with Sparta will be a pivotal game as they near the end of the season and gear up for the post season. The Spartans enter Monday’s game with a 7-7 record . The Spartans had a rough January with a 1-5 record. They will be looking to turn it around in February, starting 1-1 with a win over Comstock Park (52-40) and a loss on Friday against West Catholic (59-37). Kent City is 5-1 against Sparta in the last six meetings and are certainly capable of picking up their sixth victory in seven years, but they must finish inside and control the boards. The Eagles will also need to knock down free-throws down the stretch, something that has haunted them in key games this season.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Sparta — Reschedule
Monday, February 11, 2019 @ 7:00 p.m.
The same can be said for the varsity girls who will play in the nightcap on Tuesday. Kent City has owned our neighbors in girls basketball over the past decade, winning eight out of the last nine meetings. The last time Sparta beat Kent City in girls basketball: January 12, 2010 when the Eagles traveled to Sparta and fell to the Spartans 53-35. This year, Sparta enters the game with an 9-5 record, while the Eagles are 11-2. Two common opponents hint at what could be a tight game, both teams played Grant and Coopersville. Each team defeated Grant (Kent City 71 Grant 25 and Sparta 53 Grant 33) while the Eagles defeated Coopersville (48-46), but Sparta lost to the Broncos (52-42). Note the girls varsity team will be playing in the nightcap at 7:00 p.m. Expect a big crowd for the latest edition of the War on the Ridge.
Varsity Wrestling @ Individual MHSAA Regionals (New Lothrop)
Saturday, February 16, 2019 @
The varsity wrestling team will travel to New Lothrop for the MHSAA Individual Regionals on Saturday. Coach Kik is in uncharted territory after the shuffling of the assignments for both team and individual districts this season. This will be the first time in over eight years that Kent City is not competing on Wednesday for a Regional title, thanks to a very tough Carson City Crystal squad. The Eagles will also be making a two hour trek east-southeast to the closest regional site in 2018-2019: New Lothrop. The site selection committee at the MHSAA must have been looking to reward New Lothrop and Hudson for their success over the past ten years as both schools were awarded an individual regional. Successful is an understatement, New Lothrop and Hudson have accounted for the past ten state championships in division 4, including those two teams in the finals against one another the past five years. The other Regional locations? Charlevoix and Clinton. I don’t like to be sour grapes, but Kent City rather than three sites from the southeast portion of our state seems like it would make a lot of sense. Regardless, our wrestlers who make it to Ford Field will certainly be battle tested. Considering the location and quality of wrestling, you can expect all of our five wrestlers who finish in the top four on Saturday to advance to the State Finals 🙂
Here is this week’s schedule.
Home Games are in black.
Away Games are in red.
Practice Notes are in blue.
Picture Notes are in purple.
Transportation methods and times are in (parentheses)
Monday, February 11, 2019
Middle School Volleyball Practice Begins
J.V. Boys Basketball vs. Sparta 4:00 p.m.
8th Grade Boys Basketball vs. Morley Stanwood 4:30 p.m.
7th Grade Boys Basketball vs. Morley Stanwood 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Sparta 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Sparta 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
No Athletic Events Scheduled
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
7th Grade Boys Basketball vs. Chippewa Hills 4:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. (High School)
8th Grade Boys Basketball vs. Chippewa Hills 6:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. (High School)
J.V. Boys Basketball @ Kenowa Hills 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. — Drop Only)
J.V. Girls Basketball @ Kenowa Hills 6:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. — Drop Only)
Thursday, February 14, 2019
J.V. Girls Basketball vs. Hesperia 5:30 p.m.
J.V. Boys Basketball vs. Hesperia 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 15, 2019
Varsity Girls Basketball @ Hesperia 5:30 p.m. (4:00 p.m. — Drop Only)
Varsity Boys Basketball @ Hesperia 7:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. — Drop Only)
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Varsity Wrestling @ MHSAA Individual Regionals (New Lothrop) (Van)
7th Grade Boys Basketball @ Chippewa Hills Tournament TBD (No Transportation)
8th Grade Boys Basketball @ Reed City Tournament TBD (No Transportation)