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Top stories of 2010


Accomplishments abound for Tri-City Times athletes



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December 29, 2010
TRI-CITY AREA — From the beginning to the end the year 2010 was an action-packed one for Tri-City Area sports fans.

Here is a look at the top-10 sports stories of 2010 and a few others that just missed our list:

1) Almont tennis ace Matt Bulger is a candidate for the Mr. Tennis Award (November 24th issue).

Almont senior Matt Bulger, who was named to the Division 4 All-State tennis first team lineup recently, is a candidate for the Mr. Tennis Award. He is the first Almont player every to be in the running for the honor.

Last fall Bulger, the Blue Water Area Conference's Most Valuable Player, went 23-7 as Almont's number one singles performer. Six of his seven setbacks came to first team All-State selections, including a loss to the number one seed at the state finals.

He earned the distinction of flight champion at the Blue Water Area Conference Tournament and at a Division 4 regional that his school hosted, the second straight year he has accomplished the feat.

Bulger also reached the second round of the Division 4 state tournament.

With his help, Almont won the BWAC Tournament title and ranked second as far as the final league standings were concerned.

Almont also garnered a second at a Division 4 regional and claimed a 10th at the state finals.

Bulger ended his four-year stint on Almont's squad with an 85-32 career mark.

2) Almont high jumper Aaron Benton and Almont cross country runner Dylan Creger turn in second-place showings at their respective state meets (June 9th and November 10th issues).

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Almont first singles performer Matt Bulger returns a shot during a match this past fall.
Sophomore Aaron Benton posted a school record-setting high jump clearance of 6 feet 8 inches en route to a second, helping the Almont boys' track team to a five-way tie for 29th place at the Division 2 state track and field finals.

Zeeland High School is where the action unfolded.

A few months later, another Almont athlete found himself among the state's best.

Almont senior Dylan Creger pulled up second with a blistering time of 15:48.5, leading the Almont boys' cross country team to a 19th-place showing at the Division 3 state finals.

Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, is where the action unfolded.

For the aforementioned accomplishments, Benton and Creger earned All-State accolades.

4) Capac grappler Thomas Bolday places third at the Division 3 individual wrestling state finals (March 10th issue).

Capac junior 189-pounder Thomas Bolday made it back-to-back years with All-State honors (given to the top-eight in each weight class) by earning a third last Thursday through Saturday at the Division 3 individual wrestling state finals.

The Palace, in Auburn Hills, is where the action unfolded.

Bolday wrapped up the season with a 60-6 mark.

5) The Almont boys' soccer team advances to the Division 3 state semifinals before seeing their tournament path wind down (November 10th issue).

Third-rated Lansing Catholic brought a halt to unrated Almont's dream season, pulling out a 4-2 victory in a Division 3 boys' soccer semifinal confrontation last Wednesday evening.

Williamston High School is where the action unfolded.

There Almont (19-5) took a 2-0 edge into the last 20 minutes of action, before allowing four unanswered goals to Lansing Catholic (20-2-1).

Almont figures to be a force again in 2011 as the Raiders will lose just two players due to graduation.

6) The Capac wrestling team upholds its strong tradition, advancing to the regional finals before seeing their tournament path conclude (February 17th and February 24th issue).

Capac (37-6) overcame a 17-6 deficit after five weight classes to register a 42-29 triumph against host Imlay City (29-17) in a Division 3 dual wrestling district title encounter.

It marked the sixth straight year Capac, which equaled a school record for wins in a season, has earned the distinction of district champions.

A week later, Capac continued their postseason path at a Division 3 regional hosted by Montrose High School.

There Capac got things underway with a 33-24 semifinal win against ninth-ranked Birch Run.

Capac (38-7) then bowed out with a 56-13 championship match setback to Richmond (45-4), the eventual state champions.

7) The Almont boys' tennis team again excels in postseason action (October 13th and October 20th issues).

The Almont boys' tennis team saw to it that they would earn a state final appearance, claiming a second-place finish at a Division 4 regional it hosted.

Almont amassed a 19-point output, nine off the pace set by Armada.

The following week Almont's success continued.

There fourth singles performer Jake Matthews netted a semifinal round appearance, leading the Almont boys' tennis team to a 10th-place finish at the Division 4 state finals.

Holly and Fenton served as the tournament venues.

8) The Almont girls' tennis team pulls up second at a Division 4 regional (May 26th issue).

The Almont girls' tennis team amassed 19 points, paving the way to a second-place showing at a Division 4 regional that it hosted.

Bobbi Enos (first singles) and Michelle Fox (second singles) paced Almont with flight titles that day.

Two weeks later, Almont returned to the courts at the Division 4 state finals.

Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University is where the action unfolded.

Aided by quarterfinal round appearances by Michelle Fox (second singles) and Brooke Streber (third singles), Almont left with a 15th-place team showing.

9) Capac gridiron standout Thomas Bolday is mentioned with the state's top players (December 15th issue).

Capac's Thomas Bolday, a 5-11 and 185-pound senior linebacker, was chosen to the Detroit Free Press Division 5 All-State football first team which was announced recently.

The three-year veteran on Capac's varsity accumulated 66 solos and 77 assisted stops, featuring seven-and-a-half tackles for a loss and one quarterback sack, en route to those accolades.

10) The Almont and Capac football teams share the BWAC title with Cros-Lex and compete in the Division 5 playoffs (October 20th and 27th issues).

The Almont varsity football team saw to it that they would claim a piece of the Blue Water Area Conference title along with Capac and Cros-Lex, rolling to a 42-0 victory over visiting Armada on Friday, October 15.

The Capac varsity football team clinched a share of the league title as well the same night, accomplishing the feat with a 28-13 road triumph against BWAC counterpart Yale.

It marked the first time since the BWAC started that the Chiefs have ended the season atop the standings.

The following week Almont and Capac hit the highways for the Division 5 state playoffs. It was there Almont exited play with a loss to Birch run, while Capac was ousted by Millington.

Honorable mention- The Almont boys' soccer team lands four picks on the Division 3 All-State boys' soccer lineup (November 17th issue).

The Almont boys' soccer team was well represented on the Division 3 All-State team that was announced this past week.

Aaron Schapman, a junior forward, topped the list of honorees. He earned a second team appearance.

Junior forwards Hector DelToro and Kyle McNeil along with sophomore goalkeeper Wes Hall were also recognized for their outstanding play. They were named to the honorable mention portion of the squad.

Capac's Dave McKee garners some attention on the Division 5-6 All-State football team (December 6th issue).

Capac's Dave McKee, a 5-8 and 170-pound junior cornerback was named to the honorable mention portion of the Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State football squad which was announced recently.

This fall McKee wound up with 49 total tackles, including 29 of the unassisted variety.

In addition to those numbers, McKee notched six interceptions and broke up two pass plays.

Almont wins girls' district basketball title (March 10th issue).

Almont assured themselves of at least one more game, earning a 45-34 win against Notre Dame Prep in a Class B girls' district basketball championship encounter last Friday night at Armada High School.

It marked the second-ever district title for Almont, the first coming during the 2008 campaign.

The Imlay City girls' golf team wins its league title (October 6th issue).

Janaye Powers carded a medalist round of 83 over 18 holes, leading the Imlay City girls' golf team to a first-place finish at the Thumb Independent Women's Golf League Tournament.

Holly Meadows Golf Course, in Capac, served as the tournament venue.

Imlay City's performance came on the heels of a regular season slate which saw them go 6-0 versus conference foes.

Imlay City boys' soccer assures themselves of a top BWAC showing (October 13th issue).

The Imlay City boys' soccer team clinched the Blue Water Area Conference championship outright, accomplishing the feat with a 4-0 victory over league counterpart Yale last Wednesday afternoon.

Imlay City bowler Nathan Gill is a semifinalist at the Division 3 state finals (March 10th issue).

Nathan Gill, of Imlay City reached the semifinal round last Saturday at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 Singles Bowling State Championship.

Airport Lanes, in Jackson, is where the action unfolded.

Dryden wraps up their season at the Division 4 bowling state finals (March 10th issue).

Dryden brought home a 12th among 18 entries at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 boys' bowling finals last Friday.

Sunnybrook Lanes, in Sterling Heights, is where the action unfolded.

Almont claims at least a share of the BWAC title (February 24th issue).

The Almont girls' basketball team assured themselves of at least a piece of the Blue Water Area Conference title with a 50-34 win against visiting Yale last Friday night

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.
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