2009 a memorable year in sports
|The Almont girls’ tennis team consists of front (L to R) Sierra Grant, Courtney Braun, Claire Turvill, Brooke Streber, Christiana Simian and Jill Zygmontowicz; and back coach Mike Finton, Melissa Wilber, Kristen Brinker, Kelsea Offner, Bobbi Enos, Michelle Fox, Jaime Ligon and Laurie Yaklin.|
December 30, 2009TRI-CITY AREA — From start to finish the year 2009 was one that proved an entertaining one for fans throughout the Tri-City Area.
Here is a glimpse at the top-10 high school sports stories of 2009 and a few others who just missed making the list:
1) The Almont girls' tennis team upholds its strong tradition (June 3 and May 20th issues).
The Almont girls' tennis team reached the quarterfinals of six flights, paving the way to a sixth-place finish last Friday and Saturday at the Division 4 state finals hosted by Jenison High School.
Bobbi Enos (first singles) and Michelle Fox (second singles) headlined Almont's singles entries, netting a quarterfinal round appearance each.
Christiana Simian and Jaime Ligon (first doubles), Kristen Brinker and Melissa Wilber (second doubles), Laurie Yaklin and Brooke Streber (third doubles) along with Jill Zygmontowicz and Kelsea Offner (fourth doubles) gave Almont quarterfinal round appearances as well.
The squad also netted a second-place finish at a Division 4 regional it hosted on Friday, May 15.
That day Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's 27-point total set the pace. Almont amassed a 20-point total, good enough for second.
2) The Capac wrestling team excels at the postseason level (March 4th and February 25th issues).
The Capac wrestling team watched an outstanding 34-5 season reach an endpoint, dropping a 54-20 verdict to host Richmond in their Division 3 dual regional title clash on Wednesday, February 25.
One week prior to their regional appearance, Capac (33-4) clinched their fifth straight Division 3 district championship, accomplishing the feat with a 46-26 win against Imlay City (27-20) Wednesday, February 18th at Capac High School.
3) A pair of Tri-City Area grapplers bring home medals from the Division 3 individual wrestling state finals (March 18th issue).
Imlay City 140-pounder Kevin Ahrens and Capac 189-pounder Thomas Bolday saw to it that they would bring home All-State honors (given to the top-eight finishers in each weight class), earning respective showings of fourth and eighth, last Thursday and Saturday at the Division 3 individual wrestling state finals.
The Palace of Auburn Hills served as the venue for the competition.
Ahrens concluded his senior year with a 56-8 mark.
Bolday wrapped up his sophomore season with a 49-16 record.
4) Almont distance ace Marie Burkland places fifth in the 1600-meter run at the Division 3 state finals (June 3rd issue).
Senior Marie Burkland pulled up fifth among 1600-meter run contestants last Saturday at the Division 3 state finals hosted by Comstock Park High School.
She shattered her own school record by a considerable margin of 11.65 seconds, stopping the watch at 5:13.35, en route to a fifth among 1600-meter run entrants to lead Almont that day.
For her effort, Burkland earned All-State accolades (given to the top-eight finishers in each event).
Burkland's performance helped Almont to a five-way tie for 42nd place.
5) The Dryden boys' track team earns a top-ten Division 4 state meet showing and ranks second at its regional (June 3 and May 20th issues).
The Dryden boys' track team generated an output of 22 points en route to a two-way tie for seventh at the Division 4 state finals hosted by Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern High School on Saturday, May 30.
Chad Butler, pole vault, 13 feet 6 inches, led Dryden with a second that day.
For his performance, Butler earned All-State accolades (given to the top-eight finishers in each event).
An 800-meter relay consisting of Matt Lych, Eric Tietz, Doug Ladner and Butler set a school record of 1:34.07 on their way to a fourth.
Ladner had the next best Dryden showing. His 300-meter hurdle clocking of 40.86 seconds paid off with a fifth.
Butler, long jump, 20 feet 3 3/4 inches; sixth; and Al Clark, shot put, 47 feet 6 1/2 inches, seventh; rounded out the list of Dryden placewinners that day.
Two weeks prior to that, Dryden brought home home a second-place finish last Saturday from a Division 4 regional hosted by Brown City High School.
When the final scores were added up, Unionville Sebewaing Area's 121-point output proved best. Dryden accumulated 103 points en route to a second.
6) The Imlay City boys' soccer team enjoys an unprecedented playofff run (October 28th and November 4th issue).
The Imlay City boys' soccer team captured their first-ever top district finish, notching a 4-0 win against host Armada in a Division 3 championship game contested under rainy conditions on Friday, October 23.
Five days later, Imlay City returned to the field again.
This time Jose Barragan capitalized on a pinpoint pass from Drew Schultz 39 seconds into overtime, lifting Imlay City to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Grosse Ile in a regional semifinal battle at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Two days later, Imlay City closed out an impressive postseason run with a 3-0 loss to Detroit Country Day, the eventual state champions, at Notre Dame Prep High School.
Imlay City finished its season with a 19-4-1 mark.
7) The Capac football team surprises many, reaching the district championship game before seeing its season end (November 11th and November 4th issues).
Four weeks into the season, Capac's football team owned a 1-3 mark and did not look as if would post a winning record much less earn a state playoff appearance.
To their credit, Tom Manney's ballclub then bounced back with five straight wins to close the regular season at 6-3.
Those aforementioned outcomes secured Capac a spot in the Division 5 state playoffs.
Capac kicked off their postseason run at home with a 35-0 rout of Harper Woods Chandler Park on Friday, October 30.
A week later, Capac headed to Madison Heights Madison for the district championship game.
It was there Capac (7-4) watched their successful season draw to a close with a 25-7 loss to Madison Heights Madison (11-0).
8) The Almont dance team receives several accolades at a NDA Summer Camp (August 19th issue).
The Almont dance team started its 2009-10 season in impressive fashion, bringing home several accolades from a NDA Summer Camp recently.
The camp was held July 18-21 at Oakland University.
There the Almont dance team received the Superior Trophy, qualifying them for the NDA National Competition Competition in Orlando, Florida next March.
Rachel Bonello, Jillian Zygmontowicz, Lauren Williams and Marissa Sheffield were named as All-America honorees.
Their teammate, Samantha Jakubik, was also an All-American nominee.
9) The Almont girls' cross country team takes second at the regional level (November 4 issue).
Lauren Deneweth pulled up third with a 20:57 clocking and Carlie Lawrence posted a 21:14 time for 10th, leading the Almont girls' cross country team to a second-place finish at a Division 3 regional meet last Saturday.
Goodells County Park is where the action unfolded.
"We knew coming in that we had a shot at making it to states," Almont Coach Rick Filar said. "I though we would probably wind up second or third, but we still had to go out and accomplish that goal," he noted.
"We had several runners (such as Carlie Lawrence, Kayla Johnson and Alyssa Leach) register personal bests today. That helped us lock up second straight trip to states as team."
10) The Almont girls' track team ranks second at the regional level (May 20th issue).
The Almont girls' track team collected a second-place finish last Saturday at a Division 3 regional hosted by New Haven High School.
Lutheran North topped the standings, aided by an output of 190 points. Almont ranked second, thanks to a 77-point total, and Livonia Clarenceville tallied 68 for third. Clawson (63 points), New Haven (53), Detroit Communication Media Arts (38), River Rouge (33), Madison Heights Bishop Foley (30), Detroit Community (13), Harper Woods (eight), Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy (five) and Madison Heights Madison (four) occupied places four through 12 at meet's end.
The Capac varsity softball team stuns Richmond (May 13th issue).
The Capac varsity softball team earned what is believed to be their first win against Richmond in at least 20 years, accomplishing the feat with a favorable 11-7 verdict in game two of a Blue Water Area Conference doubleheader it hosted last Thursday.
Capac's Katelyn Parent places at the Michigan High School Powerlifting State Championships (April 1 issue).
Katelyn Parent, a junior at Capac High School, gave a good account of herself at the Michigan High School Powerlifting State Championships recently.
Parent, who competed in the 145-pound weight class, wound up with a fifth-place finish on the strength of a 545-pound total.
The Dryden girls' basketball team earns its first-ever league championship (February 25th issue).
The Dryden varsity girls' basketball team took a 10-point cushion into the final minute of play and held on for a 40-37 win against visiting Memphis in a North Central Thumb League basketball battle on Tuesday, February 17.
The Dryden boys' track team wins the North Central Thumb League Meet (May 20th issue).
Matt Lynch collected two school records and Chad Butler supplied one, helping the Dryden boys' track team to a first-place finish at the North Central Thumb League Meet on Tuesday, May 12th.
Almont's Matt Bulger gains mention with the state's top Division 4 boys' tennis players (November 18th issue).
Almont junior Matt Bulger netted an appearance on the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 All-State first team lineup announced recently.
Imlay City's varsity baseball team clinches the BWAC title (May 27th issue).
The Imlay City varsity baseball team saw to it that the Blue Water Area Conference championship would belong to them when the final out was registered, earning a 10-5 win at the expense of perennial title contender Richmond last Wednesday afternoon.
Almont's Bobbi Enos nets an appearance on the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association All-State lineup (July 1 issue).
Almont junior Bobbi Enos was named to the honorable mention portion of the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association Division 4 All-State lineup that was announced recently.
The Almont boys' tennis team ends their impressive season at the Division 4 state finals (October 21st issue).
Matt Bulger reached the first singles quarterfinals, leading the Almont boys' tennis team to a three-way tie for 13th last Friday and Saturday at the Division 4 state finals.
Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University is where the action unfolded.
Capac's last-minute stop puts team one way away from gridiron state playoffs (October 21st issue).
Pat White and Dakota Perry combined to deny Addam Wierbicki on a two-point conversion tote with 28 ticks remaining, lifting Capac to a dramatic 41-40 road victory over Almont in a Blue Water Area Conference nailbiter last Friday night.
The outcome left Capac and Almont holding identical 5-3 marks heading into the final week of the regular season.
Almont's Neal Zott is recognized as the Blue Water Area Conference's Male Athlete of the Year (June 17th issue).
Almont's Neal Zott brought home the Male Athlete of the Year Award at the Blue Water Area Conference's Captain's Banquet recently.
Alyssa Dawson, of Imlay City, is named to the Division 2 All-Region softball lineup (June 17th issue).
Imlay City junior Alyssa Dawson was named to her Division 2 All-Region lineup for her prowess as a centerfielder recently.
The Almont boys' tennis team qualifies for the Division 4 state finals (October 14th issue).
The Almont boys' tennis team is headed to the state finals again, thanks to a third-place finish last Friday at a Division 4 regional it hosted.
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett edged Armada, 25 points to 22, for team honors that day. Almont pulled up third, thanks to an output of 21 points.
Dryden's Sarah DeCeuninck competes in the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Class C-D All-Star Game (August 19th issue).
Sarah DeCeuninck, of Dryden, competed in the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Class C-D All-Star Game recently.
Neal Zott, a recent graduate of Almont High School, competes in the 29th Annual Michigan High School All-Star Football Game (July 15th issue).
Neal Zott, a 2009 graduate of Almont High School, suited up for the East squad during their 42-22 loss to the West team in the 29th Annual Michigan High School All-Star Football Game last Saturday.
A pair of Almont bowlers are recognized for their classroom prowess (April 15th issue).
Almont's Lauren Bone and Delena Allegoet garnered attention on the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association Girls' Senior All-Academic lineup.
Bobbi Enos, of Almont, is named the Blue Water Area Conference's MVP (June 10th issue).
Almont senior Bobbi Enos was announced as the Blue Water Area Conference girls' tennis MVP recently.
Capac lands two picks on the Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State football lineup (December 2 issue).
The Capac football team placed two of their players on the Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State lineup which was announced last week.
Pat White, a 6-4 and 295-pound senior offensive tackle, headlined the list of Capac honorees by attaining All-State Special Mention status.
James Morgan, a 5-10 and 190-pound senior fullback, was selected to the honorable mention portion of the team.
The Almont boys' soccer team wins the Blue Water Area Conference title (October 20th issue).
The Almont boys' soccer team concluded the Blue Water Area Conference portion of their schedule with a pacesetting 11-1 mark, thanks to a 6-2 win at visiting Armada's expense last Wednesday afternoon.
The Almont boys' cross country team takes fourth in its region, but makes it to the state meet anyway (November 4th issue).
The Almont boys' cross country team took fourth at its region last Saturday, but will be heading to the upcoming state meet anyway.
Almont earned the right to compete there as a wildcard entry, thanks to them securing four spots among the top-20 regional finishers.
Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.