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Sports

The first MCCAA games tastes like victory

Photo Credti: Lia Martinez
Photo Credti: Lia Martinez

Skippers triumph over Schoolcraft in volleyball game
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor

St. Clair County Community College’s Lady Skippers started slow in the first set, but quickly picked up the pace to secure a win over Schoolcraft College. The Sept. 16 game showed both teams being evenly matched most of the time (15-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17).
The first set saw Schoolcraft topple the Skippers, but the set proved to be a warm-up match for both teams. They both battled furiously in the following 2 sets, with SC4 claiming victory with just a few points to spare.
The last set showed the well-practiced defense of the Skippers, providing them with the 3-1 score that left the SC4 athletes winners.
This win allows the SC4 Skippers to start strong at the beginning of the season, and proceed with much earned confidence.
“Going into the game, I was excited to see how we would do. This is our first actual conference game that we’ve played in. I knew we were going to be pretty evenly matched up but I thought we played well today,” said Couch Shannon Pummill of Schoolcraft.
“In the beginning, I told the girls they needed to improve their defense or they wouldn’t be able to win. And that’s what got us the win; blocking,” SC4 Head Coach Chuck Weisner said.

A young team misses the mark

Skippers slump into 11th place of MCCAA standings

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

11 out of 14 ain’t bad, right?

The SC4 Skippers fail to achieve a playoff berth, and obtain a less than pretty overall record. Photo credit: MCCAA
The SC4 Skippers fail to achieve a playoff berth, and obtain a less than pretty overall record. Photo credit: MCCAA

When talking baseball, hitting 3 out of 10 balls and batting .300 is Hall of Fame worthy, and throwing 11 strikes out of 14 pitches is god-like, but for the Skippers, 11 out of 14 isn’t so flattering.
Coach Scott Tesluck, coming to SC4 for his first full year as head coach, has a team that is ranked 11th out of the 14 MCCAA teams.
Naming the three teams that rank under the Skippers baseball team would be easier than naming the 10 semi-elite teams that are cruising past them in the rankings.
Ancilla, Lansing, and Henry Ford are all lacking in the standings, yet two of the three teams have a more appealing record compared to the Skippers.
Lansing is playing at an overall of .405 at 15-22 and Henry Ford is playing around a .382 at 13-21, yet the Skippers are moseying around .281 at 9-23.
Since April 10, the Skippers have won only 5 of their 20 matchups, coming out on top against Ancilla, Jackson, Henry Ford, and Glen Oaks.
Last year the Skippers ended the season at an overall .525 at 21-19, just missing the post-season under Tesluck’s interim supervision.
After the disappearance of Mike Greene, former coach of the Skippers, Tesluck took over the team and finished strongly in 2013, but the tables have turned in 2014.
One cannot jump the gun and blame Tesluck for all the woes of the team, but the Skippers haven’t won the eastern conference since 1981, and according to MCCAA.org, they haven’t won a championship since their self-proclaimed dynasty from 1974 to 1976.
Looking for a title of some sort, the Skippers are plagued not only by the inability to succeed in a demanding league, but by the inability to actually play in 2014.
The constant cancellations and postponements had the Skippers on the run and go, as new games were popping up every other day due to rescheduling.
Many causes of an unsuccessful season could be attributed to the Skipper slump, but the amateur and rookie coaching staff, as well as the players may be a prominent cause.
Assistant Jordan Rhody is in his second season with the team, and Larry Monsurak and Cam Ciaciuch are both in their first season with the organization.
With a young coaching staff, a young team, and young aspirations; the Skippers have plenty to work on in the offseason, as this year’s post-season seems like it will miss their grasps.

Season stopped cold

Michigan weather wreaks havoc on Skippers softball

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

The SC4 Skippers play hard in the 2014 Softball standings. Photo credit: MCCAA
The SC4 Skippers play hard in the 2014 Softball standings. Photo credit: MCCAA

When the 2014 seasonal schedule was released for Skippers softball, the team was granted a packed schedule full of MCCAA conference matchups. Little did the team know, the Michigan weather would play a bigger part in their season than they would.
The Skippers’ season was cut short by 14 cancellations, and 12 postponements due to weather, preventing the Skippers from finding time to complete a full season.
Snow still falling from the sky made an unplayable field commonplace in Skippers’ season.
MCCAA softball regulation states that a postponed game may not be played more than 10 days passed the originally scheduled game, and conference games take precedence over non-conference games.
This rule really made the Skippers’ season a difficult one to play, as games were being cancelled every other day so their conference games could be played.
“It totally killed us,” says pitcher, Katie Nietzke.
“We are rushing to get all of our games in and get our season done, and we are on the road a lot,” said Nietzke.
The Skippers have qualified for the NJCAA District H tournament, but needed to complete their inner-conference games before they could advance to the post season.
Paige Fillipowski, a first year outfielder, believes that the Michigan weather had a slight impact on their season.
“I think it had a little bit of an effect because of all the delays,” said Fillipowski, “we practiced when we could, but the field was always so bad…there’s only so much you can do.”
With a bumpy road to a now 8-19 record, the Skippers are trying to regroup after a busy end of the season, to be a refreshed team as they take on conference rival, Mott CC, on May 7th.
Playing Mott four times in the season, the Skippers have only won one game, being the most recent on May 1st, 6-3.
“We are going to go in there and give it our all,” said Fillipowski, “we can definitely beat Mott with the right mindset.”
The Skippers softball team has never won an MCCAA Championship, and the last time they won the eastern conference was in 2008 under head coach, Ron Matthews.

Bring on the talent

SC4 offering sports camps for young athletes

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

St. Clair County Community College is taking aim at the athletic development of young athletes around the area in their annual Skipper Summer Sports Camp.
Taking place this June and July, young athletes in grades 3 through 12 are welcome to register for camps ranging from softball, volleyball, baseball, and more.
All camps will be held at SC4’s Port Huron campus with the exception of baseball and softball, which will be held at local Port Huron fields.
The following are the camps offered by SC4 and the Athletic Department:

Girls’ Softball – Tuesday, June 24 to Thursday, June 26 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Open to girls entering grades 4 to 12. (Located at Pine Grove Park)
Boys’ Baseball – Monday, July 21 to Thursday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to boys entering grades 3 to 12. (Located at Fort Gratiot Field on State Road)
Girls’ Volleyball (Beginner and Intermediate) – Monday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 9 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Designed for girls ages 10 to 18, beginner to high school experience.
Girls’ Volleyball (Advanced) – Monday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 9 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Designed for experienced players preparing for collegiate level.
Girls’ Volleyball Setter’s Clinic – Thursday, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to all ages and skill levels.
Girls’ Volleyball Hitter’s Clinic – Friday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to all ages and skill levels.
Boys’ Basketball Camp – Monday, July 14 to Thursday, July 17. Grades 4 to 6 attend 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and grades 7 to 12 attend 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Girls’ Basketball Camp – Monday, July 21 to Thursday, July 24. Grades 4 to 6 attend 9 to 11 a.m. and grades 7 to 12 attend noon to 2:30 p.m.

You can register for the camps at sc4.edu/sportscamps or call (810) 989-5670 for more information.

From Jayhawk to Skipper

Ryan Walling see’s baseball in a new light

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Every athlete begins somewhere. Each has their story of where they came from and how they got where they are today. Ryan Walling, 22, short stop for the Skippers, follows the same equation – yet being special in his own way.
Walling, born south of Grand Rapids in Spring Lake, Michigan, comes from Muskegon Community College, where he played baseball as a freshman.
“It’s a lot faster paced down here,” says Walling in reference to the difference between Muskegon and St. Clair. “They [Muskegon} has their style, and St. Clair has theirs. Muskegon is a lot of small ball.”
Already achieving something he has not in his baseball career, Walling stepped up to the plate against Ancilla College and cranked his first out-of-the-park home run.
“I have had multiple inside the park home runs,” said Walling, “when I do get a hold of one, it’s fun. It was the best feeling.”
Walling’s 2-run homer on April 10 put the Skippers on top of Ancilla, which led to winning the double header, 6-3, and 3-0.
The Skippers are still in the act of getting the ball rolling with a 7-15 record, but that doesn’t shy Walling away from taking the initiative to win.
“I always try and bring energy to the table. I want to be the glue of the team and play with a lot of emotion,” said Walling.
Originally, Walling said that he was not the biggest baseball fan.
“I didn’t really like baseball. I was a big soccer, football and basketball player. When I was about 12, my Dad made me try out for my first travel baseball team, and I did not want to.
“I made it on the team and I was pretty good, and my father and I grew a huge passion for it.”
Aspiring to not only to be a ball player, Walling also looks to be in the front office at an MLB organization.
“I’m trying to go pro, but if that doesn’t happen, I want to get my masters in sports management.”
Walling learns lessons in baseball, but also picks up life lessons as he plays the game he has grown to love.
“In life and in baseball, it’s all about how you respond. Either I can dwell on my errors, or I can think ‘it’s okay, I’m going to get 10 more balls today and make every one of them,’” said Walling, “you can’t turn a mole hill into a mountain. It teaches me a lot. It’s a life changing game.”

We’re not in Kansas anymore

Skippers come up short of first, but don’t walk away empty handed

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

For the second year in a row, fourth place plagues the Lady Skippers in the National tournament as the end of the season met the team in Overland Park, Kansas on March 21, 2014.
The Skippers advanced through the first two rounds of the tournament, defeating North Central Missouri, 80-72, and Monroe College, 79-60, but were trumped by Highland Community College, 64-69, ending a 26-game win streak.
“It’s bittersweet two years in a row,” said head coach, Michael Groulx, “we had opportunities to win it, and we needed to get on top and score.”
The ladies lost against North Iowa, 71-77 in a runner up game which sealed the Skippers into a fourth place title.
“It was the little mistakes that cost us the game,” said forward, Rachel Kehoe.
The semi-final game was close, with 42 seconds on the clock against Highland, Andranay Beverly put three points on the board, making the score 64-66, with SC4 trailing.
“We needed that shot and she came through with it,” said guard, Haley Rutledge, “we just needed a few more minutes and we would have had that game.”
Highland CC, a number two seed out of Kansas, advanced to the finals and were defeated by the number four seed Mesa, out of Arizona.
Groulx, with a two year track record as head coach, has two MCCAA State titles, two NJCAA 4th place titles, and was awarded MCCAA Coach of the Year twice.
With a similar situation happening last year in the semi-finals, Groulx’s Skippers lost by one point against Mesa, 54-64, and fell short in the runner up game against Illinois Central College, 70-51.
“It hurts this year because we were ready to play,” said Groulx, “basically, beating ourselves is what was hard to handle.”
Even though the season is over, and a handful of players are leaving after their two-years, the girls don’t plan on taking much time off.
“Personally, I’m happy to rest,” said Kehoe, “I’ll probably take a day or two off before I start working out again.”
The Skippers were decorated favorably within the MCCAA, as they collectively won over 10 awards.
The award recipients included Sheyna Deans, awarded All-Region XII First Team and All-MCCAA, Ta’kira Height, winning All-Eastern Conference Second Team and Eastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and Whitley Currie, Lariah Stevens and Kehoe all being awarded with the All-Eastern Conference Honorable Mention.

Sports Calendar

March 27th – April 10th
Baseball
March 29th – Grand Rapids CC* (1PM)
April 1st – Lorain County CC (1PM)
April 5th – Muskegon CC* (1PM)
April 8th – Lansing CC* (2PM)
April 10th – Ancilla College* (2PM)

Softball
March 29th – Owens CC (TBA)
April 1st – Macomb CC* (3PM)
April 4th – Henry Ford CC* (3PM)
April 5th – Oakland CC* (1PM)
April 8th – Concordia University JV (3:30PM)

Golf
April 7th – Mott CC (10AM)
bold denotes home games
*denotes MCCAA Eastern Conference game

2013-2014 Alumni Hockey Charity Series comes to an end

$36,000 raised in first season

Liz Whittemore
Photo Editor

The March 14 game against the Red Wings Alumni marked the end of the first season for the SC4 Alumni Hockey Dream Team with over $36,000 in donations to benefit students and local charities.

The game against the Red Wings Alumni brought the largest turnout of supporters and brought in a net donation of $30,500 for the SC4 Alumni Association and student scholarships.

Starting Oct. 17 the Dream Team, a group made of local supporters and SC4 alumni, played five games raising money for various organizations such as the Jayden Lamb Memorial Foundation and D.A.R.E., Drug Abuse Resistance Education; a program that seeks to educate children on substance abuse.

D.A.R.E. Community Service Officer Adrianne Mynsberge was in attendance for the game the SC4 Alumni played against the Port Huron Police and the Port Huron Fire Dept.

“All of the money that was donated from ticket sales goes directly to the Port Huron D.A.R.E. program to purchase supplies, books, and t-shirts for all the students,” said Mynsberge. “The program is very strong in Port Huron.”

Manager and Coach of the Dream Team David Goetze is positive about the turnout of the season.

“Of course it’s nice if you can win, and though we were one in four, in my mind we were five in o. It’s all about raising money for the charities.”

The game schedule for the 2014-2015 season is in the planning stage and will be announced closer to the beginning of the season.

“I think they had a good time even from day one. We did it for charity. No one was delusional and thought we were going for the Stanley Cup,” said Goetze. “We were giving back to our students; that’s why we do it.”

 

 

 

 

Trying our luck with Tesluck

A new brand of baseball is forming in Port Huron

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

New coach. New team. New attitude. The Skippers have an updated look, and are playing a new ball game in 2014.
After a 21-19 season in 2013, and missing the opportunity to be a State tournament qualifier by only one MCCAA league win, the Skippers Baseball team needed some renovations.
Returning to his alma mater, Scott Tesluck begins his first season as head coach at St. Clair County Community College, where he played in 2001 before being the middle infielder at SVSU.
“This is a big turning point,” said first year assistant coach, Cam Ciaciuch, “Coach Tesluck is good in this area, and he is bringing in good players.”
Tesluck, former assistant at Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central High School, coached the team to the 2005 State championship and 2007 State semi-finals.
Tesluck is coming to SC4 from a distinct baseball background, where he has coached three Mr. Baseball award winners in Michigan, including Tyler Mills and William Arnold of Mt. Pleasant in 2008, and Joel Seddon of St. Clair in 2011.
Ryan Walling, a transfer from Muskegon Community College, came to the Skippers in hopes of challenging himself under the new coach.
“Coach Tesluck is a new and young coach that has a ton of knowledge for the game,” said Walling, “He brings excitement and passion to this team.”
Walling, who has already committed his 2015 season to the University of Illinois Springfield, can see a bright future for the team.
“We have two things on our mind,” said Walling, “the conference championship and making it to regionals. We are ready to rock and roll.”
Jake Hornbacher, the returning first baseman, stands beside his coach in confidence.
“From a coaching standpoint, I don’t think it gets much better than Coach Tesluck,” said Hornbacher, “He is a good talent coach, and a good instructor. He’s the whole package.”
Hornbacher, committed to Cleary University in Howell, MI, is taking his last year seriously.
“Getting to playoffs is the main goal,” said Hornbacher, “being first or sixth place doesn’t matter, it’s a free for all.”
Go see the Skippers in action at their home game on March 29 at Sanborn Park against Grand Rapids Community College.

Lady Skippers set to take field

SC4’s softball team starts season

Donald Lierman
Staff writer

While playing the game is the easy part, having enough players to fill a team is a necessity. The Lady Skippers softball squad took somewhat unique measures to have all their bases covered.
“So many players graduated from last year’s team that we were forced to canvas students to see if they were interested in playing,” said freshman Marissa Isaac.
The Marine City second baseman feels this year’s group has much to learn.
“We are inexperienced,” said Isaac. “Only four players are returning. We only have 14 overall. Still, we have a lot of room for improvement.”
A positive point from that is we won’t be intimidated by anybody because we don’t know who is good or bad. We’ll be expecting to win every time we take the field.”
Last year, the Lady Skippers finished in fifth place with an 8-16 record in the Eastern Division of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. Coach Ron Matthews looks to improve on that record.
“We hope to finish in the top three,” he said. “The team shows a lot of promise. They have come a long way on the Florida trip.”
The team has four returning players who will all play a major part in how the team performs. They are Charli DeKam, Katie Barrett, Ashley Locke and Katie Nietzke.
“New players who should make a positive difference are Marissa Isaac, Carly Taylor, Stephanie Sweet, Paige Filipowki, Caitylyn Sanderson, Taryn Kreger, and Gabby LaMere,” Matthews said.
As is the case most every year, Mother Nature plays a huge factor on the schedule.
“It would have been nice to have come back from Florida and be able to get outside,” said Matthews. “We just have to make do. Everyone is in the same boat as far as the weather goes.”
The Lady Skippers’ next home game will be at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 against Macomb Community College.
All home games are played at Pine Grove Park. For further information, visit www.sc4.edu.