Category Archives: Sports

Sports

GRCC Raiders football sacked! Skippers fortunate

Michael Scott

Staff Writer

In November, the Grand Rapids Community College football team capped off a banner season by going undefeated and winning a conference championship.

On Monday, Jan. 9, the NJCAA school announced the cancelation of its football program effective immediately.

After 80 years of fielding a team with a winning tradition, the defending Midwest Football Conference champions have laid this once gridiron giant to rest. According to www.grccraiders.com, the recent departure of longtime head coach Tony Annese, and an estimated $250,000 per year budget, invoked GRCC to feel it was unnecessary to continue football operations.

Charlie Wells, the athletic director at GRCC, stated on Jan. 16, that the decision to cancel the program was strictly financial. Wells said that generally, students are not pleased with the decision.

“Students are a big piece. They are saddened. Recently, some have lifted their heads and things are returning to normal but there was definitely a somber moment there,” said Wells. The GRCC athletic director also stated that it will be tough to gauge whether or not the loss of the football team will have a negative effect on the rest of the Raiders athletic program, and to let the process walk its course and take things one step at a time.

The cuts of the unfortunate events run deep.

Former Port Huron Northern athletic stand-out and Raiders redshirt freshman Kenny Sanders has been affected both athletically and educationally. Instead of remaining at the school, the disappointed football player has left GRCC and enrolled at SC4 for the current semester.

Sanders said he was unhappy about the decision.

The freshman athlete said there was a sense of failure or let down within the GRCC program, amongst the players. Sanders further elaborated on the issue by saying, “Everyone doesn’t know the whole story. The school could have a whole new program. The talk within the program among players and coaches is that there were possible sanctions coming. Between that and the money, they decide to give up on the team.”

Personally motivated by the setback, Sanders intends to further his education at SC4 for now and eventually transfer to another college to play spring football somewhere. However, he didn’t dismiss the possibility of going out for the SC4 basketball team next fall.

Annese, the former GRCC and current Ferris State University head football coach, was unable to be reached for his take on the recent events.

Individuals connected with SC4 and the Skippers athletic department feel very fortunate their programs are intact. Current athletic director and longtime men’s basketball coach, Dale Vos, said that he would be personally devastated if the college’s program fell by the wayside.

“I’ve been here since I was 25 years old. In a lot of ways from an employment standpoint, this has been my life’s work. Without question we are fortunate. The support we receive from the administration, faculty and the board of trustees is incredible. We are aware of the tough economic times and must be more efficient financially. The budget has decreased four years in a row and sacrifices have been made,” said Vos.

For now, GRCC is transitioning into a new era of athletics and adapting to the changes. Meanwhile SC4 strives to remain steady and successful in both the areas of athletics and academics. The Raiders program has been sacked. However, the Skippers are driving towards their goals.

Skippers fall into losing streak

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor

“We just need to become a better basketball team,” St. Clair County Community College basketball coach Dale Vos said after his team lost 68 – 65 to Delta College last Saturday.

Once again, SC4’s basketball team is struck with another lose on the season. With the loss to Delta College on Saturday, the Skippers are now in a three game losing streak.

At the end of the first half of Saturday’s home game, the Skippers were losing 37 – 27. With many led changes in the final five minutes of the game and couple clutch three’s from Lionel Hicks, the Skippers still fell short.

It seemed St. Clair County Community College tried to come back, but it was too little too late. Vos said, “We didn’t play well enough for the first thirty minutes.”

Johnnie Mills (#2) gets blocked by Jody Hill (#3) in Skippers versus Delta College game. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Johnnie Mills (#2) gets blocked by Jody Hill (#3) in Skippers versus Delta College game. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

Skippers overall record now is 10 – 9 after Saturday.

“We are really down…None of us believe that we are a 10 – 9 basketball team,” said Vos also said, “At one point you are what your record says you are and if you don’t believe that then you have to do something to fix that.”

The Skippers fell to their ninth loss of the season by the way of turnovers, missed opportunities and giving up offensive rebounds for second chance points. When asked about what the team will be focusing on in practice next week, Vos  remarked, “ We are going to be focusing playing as a team and playing for each other. I think we are a very talented group and we gotta figure out a way to get all that talent in the same direction.”

Hopefully with some good practices next week, the team will be able set the direction for a “W.”

Next home games for the St. Clair County Community College Skippers will be on Jan. 25 against Schoolcraft College, and on Feb. 4 against Kirkland Community College.

Basketball update

Christian McGeachy

Dreidel Elf

Thanksgiving was a perfect time to give thanks, watch football with family and friends, and for the basketball teams of St. Clair County Community College, a well deserved break from the court.

Going into Thanksgiving break, both teams were off to a good start to the season. The men’s basketball team has a record of 4-2 with their only loss coming from Muskegon Community College 82-62 and Owens Community College 73-62.

SC4 Skippers Lionel Hicks goes for a lay up. Photo By Christian McGeachy
SC4 Skippers Lionel Hicks goes for a lay up. Photo By Christian McGeachy

Up to this point, the Skippers have been doing really well on the offensive side of the court. The Skippers have four players that average double digits in points per game. Those players are: Johnnie Mills with 14.6, Jesse Schienke with 13.8, Latwann Wesley with 12.6 and Deion Stegall with an even 10.

Defensively, the skippers have not stopped their opponents from scoring and have been very close games so far this season. The opponents have been able to score over 70 points in all of their games this year, but have held them under triple digits so far this season. Only one player on the team is averaging over 10 rebounds a game and that is Jesse Schienke with 11.2.

On the other side of the court, the Lady Skippers had a good start to the season. Winning their first three games of the season, but fell short the last three games against Muskegon Community College, Kalamazoo Community College, Lansing Community College, and Owens Community College. Making the Lady Skippers 3-4 to start off the season.

So far this season, the Lady Skippers have struggled on the court offensively by only having two girls score over 50 points in the first six games. Through the last three games, the Lady Skippers have been outscored 273 – 192, showing that the ladies have to find a better way to stop the opposition from scoring the ball.

So, both teams are off to a decent direction in the season, but both need improvement. Defense creates offense and both teams could use more defense in stopping the opponents from scoring.

Hopefully, now that the turkey and mashed potatoes are gobbled up, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will go from dinner time to prime time.

Sports in the movies

Christian McGeachy

Dreidel Elf

Everyone loves a good movie, and it seems like every guy loves a good sporting event to watch.

Over many years, the cinema world has come up with some of the best movies that sport fans have come to love.

In the basketball world, the movie that comes first in a lot of peoples’ minds would be the 1986 film “Hoosiers.” This movie is about the true story of a coach with a checkered past who leads the 1954 Milan Basketball team to a state title. This film had a great cast with Gene Hackman and Dennis Hooper, and was nominated for two Academy Awards.

In the boxing world, many people think of “Rocky” and the whole series after that. The first of the series received three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1977.

But, most people forget about another movie called “Raging Bull.” Starring Rober De Niro and Joe Pesci, this movie tells the story about Jake LaMotta, a prizefighter from the Bronx, and shows the many issues he has outside of the boxing ring. “Raging Bull” is considered one of the best sports movies ever made and received two Academy Awards in 1980.

“If you build, they will come.” This quote comes from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams.” This film stars Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones in one of the most recognizable baseball movies of all time. “Field of Dreams” tells the story of an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball field to reconnect with his deceased father through baseball. By building the field, baseball players throughout history come back from the dead to play one last game. This movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Many other movies have been made as well, featuring many different sports throughout the years for the sport fans in all of us. Other movies include: “Slapshot,” “Miracle,” “Major League,” “Bull Durham,” “Rudy,” “Remember the Titans,” “Bad News Bears,” “A League of Their Own,” “Caddyshack” and so many more.

So the sport fan in you and watch a good sports movie today.

Home court, slam dunk, and a whole lot of points

On Nov. 10, the temperature was dropping, the snow was coming and the SC4 men’s basketball team was winning.

The Skippers held their first home stand against Rochester College and ended on the right foot with a victory of 111-99.

After the game, Coach Dale Vos said that the key to their first win was their offense. On the same note Vos said, “We shared the ball pretty well…I thought for the most part we made good decisions.”

Sharing was a big thing to their success with six Skippers scoring in double digits. Leading the way was Johnnie Mills scoring 20 points, Antwan Willis with 19 points, Latwann Wesley with 18, Deion Stegall with 15, Nate Russell with 13 and Jesse Schienke with 12.

Latwann Wesley (#4) slam dunks towards 18 points and SC4’s first win of the season. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Latwann Wesley (#4) slam dunks towards 18 points and SC4’s first win of the season. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

The Skippers came out with some great offense and scored a lot of points, but Rochester College still scored 99 points on their defense. And every great team needs to have defense to win.

“I thought the defense [SC4’s] was just awful,” Vos said. “The reason it was a tight game was, because we didn’t defend well at all.”

Even though the Skippers had players in double digits, the highest scorer in the game came from Rochester College. Matt Mullins was the games highest scorer with 29 points. Showing that the Skippers had a hard time defending against Rochester’s high scorer.

Even though the Skippers came out with a victory in their first regular season game, their defense could’ve been their downfall. In fact, Vos added “That’s the worst defense in individual game we’ve played in at least four years.”

SC4’s next home game will be on Tuesday, Nov. at 7:30 p.m. against Owens Community College.

Looks like the SC4 men’s basketball team will be working on defense before their next game.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor


Expanding horizons

To a lot of dedicated SC4 sports fans, it’s hard to go to every sporting event that one desires. Jobs to work, children to take care or just overwhelmed with classes and homework. Especially when the Skippers are on the road, many students and fans could be wondering, “Who won the game? What’s the team’s record? And who’s leading the team in assists, turnovers or points?”

Let me provide all the sports fans of St. Clair County Community College with a couple suggestions to succeed in keeping up with the sports.

In my discoveries on the internet, I stumbled upon a very useful web site. At www.njcaa .org, anyone can follow all sports at the junior college level.

NJCAA is the abbreviation for the National Junior College Athletic Association. At their website, anyone can access bundles of information on many sports at the junior college level.

Sports for St. Clair County Community College are available, among hundreds of other junior colleges in the United States.

At the NJCAA website, you can search by region, sport, division and also access the player stats on the sports teams. So if you missed any of the volleyball season at SC4 and wanted to know what happened this year, by using the NJCAA website, a sports fan can figure out the volleyball teams overall standings, stats and more.

Another way to find out where the next game is, or the scores from previous games can also be found on SC4’s website. Simply by going to the homepage, selecting “Current Student” and going to Student Connection newsletter, you can see the scores of the games and who the Skippers versed. Just go to www.sc4 .edu.

Last, but not least, anyone can access the Erie Square Gazette on the internet by going to www. esgonline. org and going to the sports tab, to read all the articles and columns you have missed or liked from previous issues.

So, anyone at anytime can access that stats they need to keep informed on the SC4 athletics even when life catches up with you.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor


Set sail for victory

The smell of popcorn filled the gym, the rustling of the bags sounding like a light rain storm falling on the roof. Until the basketball game between Rochester and the SC4 lady skippers began.

Then there was only cheering.

The game started with Rochester coming out of the gate strong, scoring first with a strong offence. But the lady skippers fought back and lead in scoring for the rest of the game.

The passing was strong on both sides of the court, and the both teams fought hard to win.

The next half started off with the skippers scoring right out of the gate. They had a solid lead and kept it throughout the rest of game.

Lady skippers went on to win the game, 64-51.

Zack Penzien

Production Editor


One for the road

On Oct. 27, the Lady Skippers Volleyball team were not just smelling the roses on the court, but they smelled the scent of something sweeter. Victory.

The last home game of the season for the Lady Skippers Volleyball team was also sophomore night. Roses were given to the eight sophomores on the team including: Kelly David, Michelle Arnett, Andrea Henry, Amanda Curley, Ann Bogie, Cassie Cobb, Jillian Verbeke and Lindsay Thams.

The sophomores and the rest of the Lady Skippers played a very well fought game against Mott Community College in a three to one set victory. Sets were 25 – 14, 25 – 23, 15 – 25 and 25 – 22.

Martha Veihl (#9) crushes ball over the net towards a win over Mott Community College for SC4. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Martha Veihl (#9) crushes ball over the net towards a win over Mott Community College for SC4. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

Coach Chuck Weisner said, “After game one we took them too lightly.”

Mott Community College almost winning set two and winning set three made spectators wonder if it would go to five sets. But the Lady Skippers and the sophomores didn’t want their last home game to end in defeat.

In the words of Weisner, “In the end, they sucked it up and we stuck together and they pulled each other up by the boot straps. They played fired up volleyball for the last two points, which is the way we wanna play.”

The St. Clair County Community College Lady Skippers played two more games after their last home against Jackson Community College and Grand Rapids Community College. They got three sets to one victory over Jackson Community, and a three set loss to Grand Rapids Community.

This gives the overall standing for the Lady Skippers 30 wins and 14 losses on the season going into their final tournament of the year.

The volleyball team still has the NJCAA District Tournament at Grand Rapids Community College, and if the girls get through that, the National Tournament at Owens Community College.

Tournaments will be held Nov. 4-6 and Nov.18-20.

So, the Lady Skippers have no time to stop and smell the flowers. They have to prepare to go against the best in the weeks to come.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor


Battle of the sexes

Fighting like lions and tigers, only this time for a good cause. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams played against each other to raise fund for both teams. Altogether, $221 were raised and split between the two teams to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel funds.

At the end of the first half, the lady skippers were down 30-16. Even though they fought hard to gain a lead, the game ended with a Men’s close win at 42-31. Though some players were disappointed by the close ending, they were reminded that the game was for fundraising, not competition.

Coach LaKita Gantz commented that even though not a large amount of money was made, she plans to have the Women’s Basketball team participate in more fundraisers, such as a fashion show or assorted parties. She also hopes that more people will be aware of the teams because of this event and will come out to more of the events to help the teams.

Gantz believes that the game showed her what members of the team played more competitively, played harder, and played better against their male counterparts, what she believes to be a good indication of how well they’ll play against other women’s teams. It showed her what the team needs to work on at practice, as well.

Clay Kimball

Webmaster

Battle of the sexes

Fighting like lions and tigers, only this time for a good cause. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams played against each other to raise fund for both teams. Altogether, $221 were raised and split between the two teams to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel funds.

At the end of the first half, the lady skippers were down 30-16. Even though they fought hard to gain a lead, the game ended with a Men’s close win at 42-31. Though some players were disappointed by the close ending, they were reminded that the game was for fundraising, not competition.

Coach LaKita Gantz commented that even though not a large amount of money was made, she plans to have the Women’s Basketball team participate in more fundraisers, such as a fashion show or assorted parties. She also hopes that more people will be aware of the teams because of this event and will come out to more of the events to help the teams.

Gantz believes that the game showed her what members of the team played more competitively, played harder, and played better against their male counterparts, what she believes to be a good indication of how well they’ll play against other women’s teams. It showed her what the team needs to work on at practice, as well.

Clay Kimball

Webmaster