Michell, Evart track, Reed City football among area’s top sports stories for 2013
REED CITY — Area athletes are getting ready for what they hope is a memorable 2014 calendar year in sports. But it’s time to reflect on the top sport stories from 2013.
1) Sami Michell’s final hurrah
Sami Michell’s last meet in a Reed City track uniform was a memorable one.
The remarkable Reed City senior athlete ended a four-year career in track and field in June at the Division 3 track and field finals with achievements that may never again be accomplished by any female in the state.
Michell, all by herself, was the only team member eligible for the meet and ran to the podium to accept the trophy for the second-place Coyotes.
Michell, for the second straight season, scored 40 points. From that, her team took second place and a state trophy. This time, she was coming off an ACL injury from the volleyball season.
P-W took first with 54 points, but Michell’s 40 put Reed City in second ahead of third place Adrian Madison with 37.
It marked the second straight season Michell claimed four individual event titles at the Lower Peninsula MHSAA Girls Track & Field Finals. She won the same four events, the 100 and 300 hurdles, long jump and 200 dash last year.
Michell earlier in the year signed a letter to run track at Michigan.
2) Evart track boys do it again
For the second straight season, the Evart boys track team won the MITCA state team meet title. A week later, in the MHSAA meet, the Wildcats were third.
Max Hodges won the 800-meter run to spur the effort at the MHSAA meet. The meet also marked the end of the strong four-year track career of distance runners Logan Hammer and David Zinger.
3) Reed City football 9-0 again
For the third straight season, the Reed City Coyotes went 9-0 during the regular season and won the Central State Activities Association title.
The Coyote season ended at 10-1 with a 22-20 loss to Oakridge in the second round of the playoffs. The Muskegon team went on to beat Millington 31-12 at home in the regional, finals, to earn the trip to the Dome to play Menominee that weekend. The Coyotes, with a win over Oakridge, would have played Millington at home. How that match-up would have turned out is obviously unknown, but the Coyotes would have had an excellent chance of advancing.
“It was spectacular,” said Reed City coach Monty Price of the season. “I had a lot of great kids. They worked very hard and were very coachable. Although we would like to see it end in a different way, you still can’t take away from what we were able to accomplish.”
Going 9-0 and defeating league power Newaygo were among the gratifying moments for Price.
Chad Samuels had another all-conference season at quarterback. All-stater Eric Grannis was among the top defensive players.
4) Pine River baseball and softball
The Bucks had a banner season with district and regional titles in baseball and advanced to the state quarterfinals at Michigan State. Pine River defeated Montague 3-0 in the regional finals for Division 3 and then lost 9-3 to Calvin Christian in the finals.
The Bucks had a strong senior lineup led by pitchers Lincoln Erickson and Devin Ruppert.
The Pine River softball squad won its district title before losing in the regional semifinals. Cayman Gatt, Jamie Justin and Christie Nelson led the way for the Bucks
5) Pine River basketball
Under new coach Brian Goodenow, the Bucks battled McBain to a tie for the Highland Conference title. The two teams met in the district finals at Evart with Pine River prevailing for the title. Pine River finished at 20-3.
The Bucks had a strong lineup with the likes of Lincoln Erickson, Brandon Hoaglund, Tyler Lewis, Mitchell McDonald, Skyler Nelson and Devin Ruppert.
6) Pine River girls basketball
Coach Shawn Ruppert’s girls team prevailed with a strong season and district title in girls basketball. The Bucks won the Highland Conference and district titles and finished with a 20-2 record, losing 58-56 to Shelby in the regionals. Cayman Gatt, Jamie Justin and Kassy Nelson led the way for the Bucks.
7) Evart football
Evart football went through the regular-season at 7-2 to qualify for the playoffs. A dramatic win was 33-27 over Pine River on homecoming when the Wildcats were down 27-0 in the third quarter. The passing combination of Jacob Fortune to Jacob Hopkins clicked all season for the Wildcats who were 7-3 and lost to Carson City-Crystal in the first round of the playoffs.
8) Evart boys cross country
The Wildcats won the Highland Conference in boys cross country and took fifth in Division 4 at the state meet. Santana Scott and Max Hodges were 14th and 15th in the team race at Michigan International Speedway.
9) Pine River wrestling
The Bucks had another strong wrestling season under coach Tim Jones. In February, Pine River lost 51-16 to Hesperia in the regional finals after the Bucks had claimed the district trophy. Kyle Nixon in December passed the 150th career win mark.
10) New conference setup for Reed City
The CSAA splits into divisions starting with the 2014-15 season. Reed City will have six divisional opponents with Big Rapids, Chippewa HiIls, Central Montcalm, Grant, Newaygo and Tri County. The other division consists of Hesperia, Holton, Kent City, Lakeview, Morley Stanwood and White Cloud.