Tag Archives: High School

Unity Christian Freshman Arie Landstra Sinks Hole in One

Arie Landstra began developing a love for the game of golf at a young age during outings to the course with his father. 8 years later, the Unity Christian freshman is in his first year of high school golf as part of the Crusader junior varsity golf team.

The individual nature of the game appeals to Landstra, “unlike the sports I play like basketball or football… there is a lot more of a mental game in golf.” That focus and mental game was tested last Wednesday when Unity Christian participated in a jamboree against five other schools at Pigeon Creek Golf Course.

Landstra opened with a slow start and triple bogeyed his very first hole. He shook off the nerves and managed to get clicking. By hole 17, a 170 yard par 3, he was in a rhythm. He approached the tee wielding his 7 iron and with the wind at his back. He entered his backswing and launched a beautiful shot that sailed towards the flag and disappeared from view.

Landstra was immediately overwhelmed by what he was almost certain he had seen and took off running towards the pin to verify it for himself. What he found was what all golfers aspire to achieve; his golf ball nestled soundly in the bottom of the cup. A hole in one.

He closed the day shooting a 41 on 9 holes, which placed him first as an individual and aided Unity Christian in sealing the team victory as well.

Landstra has checked this milestone off his bucket list, but several goals still stand before him. He hopes to close his freshman campaign with a winning record and work towards earning a spot on varsity next year. His long term goal is to raise a state championship trophy. He is certainly off to a great start.

Kent City Did It Again

There are few teams that lost as much as the Kent City Eagles did last spring as two all-time Kent City greats, Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison, graduated. The two school and state record holders left the small town of Kent City, Michigan to continue their basketball careers in the collegiate ranks (Bowers at Illinois State and Harrison at Siena Heights).

One could have been forgiven for assuming the Eagles would take a step back in 2022, even as they brought back several key pieces of that historic run. The Eagles had other plans and have battled their way into the state final with an unblemished record for the second straight season after handling Madison Heights Bishop Foley with relative ease. The Eagles got a huge boost from junior guard Lexie Bowers, who was held to just 6 points in the state quarterfinal, but was on fire inside Breslin for the second straight year.

Last year the Eagles faced Grass Lake and Big 10 Indiana commit Lexus Bargesser & Northwood commit Gabi Lutchka. This year the Eagles advance to challenge another giant, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.

The Gators are loaded with Division 1 talent and led by Texas A&M commit Mya Petticord and Bethune-Cookman commit Karianna Woods.

One could also be forgiven for thinking the Eagles should shift into “just glad to have made it” mode with such a task ahead of them Saturday evening. While Arbor Prep’s aggressive and physical style of play will be on display in the final, it should be expected to see a Kent City team ready to respond and play with a chip on their shoulder as well.

It is not often that the David in the “David and Goliath” metaphor is the defending state runner-up, but it is the place Kent City finds itself and the stigma they’ve been upending all season long on their way to a perfect 26-0 record going into the final matchup of the season with a state championship on the line.

Area Teams Prepare for Big Playoff Matchups

Boys Basketball Roundup

Northview will have one of the best showdowns in the area as they face a battle-hardened Muskegon team in Grand Haven. Despite being favorites for much of the season and knocking off several giants throughout the regular season, Northview will have their hands full with Muskegon and stellar forward Ethan Hill. Northview has some players to be contended with as well and it will be tough for the Big Reds to slow down all of them. Expect Northview to not overlook this matchup even though they have bigger goals on the horizon.

A year removed from a trip to Breslin and a state runner-up finish, Tri-Unity Christian will look to continue their run this year with goals of taking down the title in star Brady Titus’ senior campaign. It’s championship or bust this year for the Crusaders.

Girls Basketball Roundup
Kent City is no stranger to long post-season runs and will not be unfamiliar with their state quarterfinal opponent, Schoolcraft. The two teams met last year in the quarterfinal round with Kent City dominating their way to a nearly 40 point victory. While both teams have been rolling again this year, Kent City has had to find a new identity behind first year head coach, Aleah Holcomb, and emerging playmakers Maddie Geers and Lexie Bowers with the Eagles losing several key pieces from the 2021 squad. Despite those key changes from last year, Kent City is certainly a favorite to emerge as the victor and head for their second ever trip to the Breslin Center later this week.

The Rockford Rams will have a tough matchup against visiting East Lansing at Calvin University on Tuesday Night. The Rams upset Hudsonville by 22, despite losing both regular season matchups by double digits. The Rams will have another tough test as they face a very well-rounded East Lansing team, which has been rolling as well the last month. This one could go either way, but the Rams will look to play the role of underdog again, but are fully capable of turning the tables as well.

West Catholic got revenge over Newaygo, the team responsible for knocking them out of the tournament last spring. While Newaygo may have got the better of the Falcons that day, West Catholic had vindication on the brain as two of their key players were out of that previous matchup due to covid protocols. This year was a different story and West Catholic dominated for the full 32 minutes. They will have a solid matchup in southern Michigan this Tuesday, but should come out the victors and head to Breslin later this week.

Other Teams in Action this Week

Calvin Christian High School
Sparta High School
Wyoming High School
West Ottowa High School
Grand Rapids Christian High School
Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Kent City Eagles Continue Journey

Despite a very aggressive Covenant Christian team, the Eagles continued their journey towards the grand prize, a State High School Championship.

Covenant Christian led most of the first quarter, with the Eagles trailing close behind. But soon the tide changed and the Eagles took off.

Lexi Bowers finished with 19 points, but it was Madelyn Geers who had to take charge when Bowers got her fourth foul at the begging of the 3rd quarter. The Kent City Eagles defeated Covenant Christian 46-32.

Lexie Bowers 19 points Madelyn Geers 16 points Taryn Preston 9 points.

Kent City (24-0) will play Schoolcraft (23-1) tuesday at Edwardsburg High School at 7pm.

Potter’s House Raises Banner and Downs Grand River Prep for Homecoming

There is an adage that spans the parlance of the battlefield to the chessboard to the gridiron: the best defense is a good offense. Well the Potter’s House Pumas set out to prove two things on Friday night at “The House.” The first was that the age old phrase fits the confines of the hardwood and that the inverse of the popular colloquialism is also apropos: The best offense is a good defense.

The Lady Pumas dominated the court with defensive pressure running the length of the gym and were able to keep the visiting Grand River Prep Titans from crossing halfcourt for what seemed like the majority of the game. Wave after wave of fresh players left the bench and entered play to continue the defensive onslaught, which generated fast break points on the offensive end. That in turn gave the Pumas a sizable advantage early in just the first few minutes of play and they made sure to never look back again.

The pressure proved too much for the Titans and the Pumas gave Potter’s House its first varsity victory of the Homecoming festivities.

Potter’s House was not done celebrating after the teams left the floor and the Puma faithful welcomed and honored their 2021 state champion soccer squad with a post-season highlight film and championship banner reveal. The spotlight glowed on the fresh vinyl and generated even more energy to the already raucous crowd.

Then it was the Puma boys’ turn to bask in the spotlight.

Despite being heavy favorites, the Pumas struggled to settle into the flow of the game early on and fell behind the Titans in the first quarter. However, a big second quarter run gave the Pumas the advantage going into half and some adjustments at the break broke any hopes the visitors had of playing spoiler in night’s finale.

Potter’s House was able to generate significant pressure all over the court and played with such ferocity and energy that, at times, it felt like they might have had eight defenders on the court. Like in the previous game, this pressure gave the Pumas high percentage looks on the offensive end and absolutely crushed the Titans in the second half.

The game entered mercy rule territory and the clock ran out, giving the Pumas the incredible 79-34 homecoming victory.

Detroit MLK withstands Comeback Attempt and Goal Line Stand against Dewitt

The Detroit Martin Luther King Crusaders seemed poised to dominate the defending Division 3 champions, Dewitt Panthers, in the 2021 high school football swan song and both teams have fans one last ride to remember.

Despite being heavily in control of the momentum and direction of the game, Detroit MLK was on the receiving end of a comeback that could only come from a team playing with the kind of championship confidence that the Panthers brought with them on Saturday night.

The Panthers forced several turnovers and managed to get going offensively behind Mr. Football candidate and Brown University commit Ty Holtz. The effort flipped the script and had them up over the #1 ranked Crusaders, 21-19, at half.

Both teams came out in the second half and an absolute slugfest of Michigan high school football juggernauts ensued the final 24 minutes. The back and forth was finally broken when Crusader quarterback Dante Wright, a favorite for Mr. Football and five-star recruit, led his squad down the field to take the lead, 25-21, late in the fourth quarter.

Dewitt wasn’t done, however, and marched down the field where they were stymied on a fourth and goal from the one yard line that left them just inches short of the end zone and regaining the advantage. Detroit MLK managed to push ahead and gain two first downs that sealed the game and ran out the remaining clock to earn the final state football title of 2021.

Zeeland East Sends Seniors Out with a Win Over Muskegon

Friday night was humming in Zeeland as the Big Reds of Muskegon came to town to face off with the Zeeland East Chix women’s basketball team on Senior Night.

Senior night festivities had no sooner ended than the Chix found themselves in a deficit and serious foul trouble with senior forwards Shelby Ulven and Audrey Dreyer both exiting early in the first quarter.

The Chix tallied more fouls than points in the first quarter and found themselves down 10-5. Zeeland East found their rhythm in the second quarter with juniors Maddie Schuur and Paige Westra helping lead the way offensively. On the defensive end, Zeeland East held Muskegon to just two points the rest of the half while posting eighteen themselves. The teams entered the half with a score of 23-12 and all momentum firmly behind the Chix.

Schuur went on to have another big half after the break, posting another twelve and ending the night with a game high 19 points. Muskegon made a last ditch attempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter but came up short 49-39. The Big Reds were led by senior Kailyn Nash who finished with 14 points and aided by Layla Harris with 12 points. Zeeland East spread the workload around and eight Chix netted points on the night and finished the season with the win over the Big Reds.

The Chix kept the momentum going after Friday night’s victory and won their first game of districts over Holland High School. Muskegon will wait for their opening game of the post season on Wednesday after a first round bye as they face the winner of Grand Rapids Union & Kenowa Hills.

Kent City Fends Off Morley Stanwood in Opener

Friday night brought fans their first taste of high school football this fall in a CSAA matchup between the visiting Kent City Eagles and the hometown Morley Stanwood Mohawks.

The Eagles managed to hold the Mohawks out of the end zone after a long drive in the first quarter that stalled with a strong goal line stand.

The Eagles were subsequently the beneficiaries of several short fields after repeated defensive stops, but failed to capitalize on the excellent field position with multiple fourth down passes falling incomplete.

A final defensive effort kept the Mohawks buried in their own territory and forced a punt in the closing seconds of the first half and took both teams into halftime with a scoreless tie. Despite the initial Mohawk drive, the Eagles managed to hold the Mohawks to just 61 yards in the opening half.

The score would not remain tied, however, as Kent City sophomore running back, Mason Westbrook, barreled in for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The Eagles capped off the score with a two point conversion to make the score 8-0.

A few series later, Mason Westbrook went down with an apparent leg injury midway through the third quarter and was sidelined to receive attention from trainers and coaches.

Sophomore QB Kyler Larson also went down shortly after and forced an Eagles timeout with under a minute left in the third quarter. Both returned to action after the Kent City defense stifled the driving Mohawks once again; this time taking advantage of a fumbled snap.

Kent City answered with a drive of its own, but was also almost derailed by a fumble before being recovered by Kent City. The Eagles gained 6 yards on the play and a few plays later, sophomore running back, Webb Longcore, sprinted into the endzone on a second and goal play. Giving the Eagles their second touchdown of the evening. A penalty pushed the two point try to the 7-yard line, but sophomore quarterback, Kyler Larson, was able to scamper through a small hole up the middle and gave the Eagles the 16-0 lead.

The Mohawks responded on the kickoff with a determined return by junior Levi Schuberg that gave them position at the 40 yard line. The drive extended once again, but ended with an interception on a highly lofted ball tossed by junior quarterback, Aaron Moore, that enabled Eagles DB, Kyle Monterusso, to step in and take the pass the other way with just under 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

In the end, the visiting Eagles stifled Mohawk attempts to get on the board and posted the 16-0 shutout to start the season.

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