basketball, chelsea, chelsea high school, high school, high school basketball, sports, Uncategorized

Chelsea JV Girls topple Skyline

Chelsea JV Girls topples Skyline

Freshman Caroline Hirth Lays it up for 2
By Al Wright
on February 06, 2016 7:35 PM
The Chelsea Junior Varsity team has been on a roll lately. And tonight was no different. The Bulldogs came out on fire right away led by Freshman Jenna Fosdick and a tough Chelsea defense forcing Skyline to call a timeout to regroup after the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 13-1 lead. Fosdick started the game with 6 quick points. But the relentless Bulldogs didn’t let up, forcing turnovers and dominating the boards, led by Freshman Madeline Vasquez.

Skyline struggled throughout the game and could only muster 7 points at half. They started to hit a few shots later in the game but it was way too little, way too late, as Chelsea cruised to a 62-27 victory. Fosdick led all the Bulldogs with 16 points, followed by Vasquez with 14, Anna Regis with 8, and Helena Schultz with 7.

The Bulldogs will be back in action again Monday against Jackson at home.

Rachel Bell gets ready to shoot(Al Wright)

Helena Schultz lays it up for 2 of her 7 points on the night(Al Wright)

Paige Stacy lines up at the free throw line(Al Wright)

Maddy Vasquez gets inside for a shot. She had 14 points on the night(Al Wright)

 

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Awards, chelsea, chelsea field hockey, chelsea high school, field hockey, high school, sports, Uncategorized

Chelsea Field Hockey’s Freshman Phenom Goalkeeper Payton Doan

Chelsea Field Hockey's Freshman Phenom Goalkeeper Payton Doan

All-State Freshman Goalkeeper Payton Doan smiles and poses for a picture before a game
By Al Wright
on February 05, 2016 6:54 AM

On a crisp, fall afternoon at the Jerry Niehaus Field in Chelsea, the Chelsea Field Hockey team is up against the state champions, Ann Arbor Pioneer. It’s a 0-0 game late in the first half and a Pioneer player has somehow got open and is on a one on one with the Chelsea goalie. The 14-year-old freshman Chelsea goalkeeper in her lime green jersey knows how big this game is. She knows Chelsea, formerly the Washtenaw Whippets, has never beaten Pioneer let alone even scored a goal on them. She has to react with split-second timing to keep her team in the game. Without hesitation, she instantly challenges and uses her pads to stop the shooter and then deflects the ball away to her defense who then turns it up field in the other direction. She confidently returns to her position and would stop 10 shots that day, allowing only one to get past her, as she backstopped her team to the historic 2-1 victory over Pioneer.

Although only in her third year in competitive field hockey, and 2 as goalkeeper, Payton Doan has made a name for herself. Payton, or Moosk as her family calls her, was one of the youngest players on the Chelsea team that won the Division 1 Regular Season Championship and went to the State Finals. She was only one of two freshman on the team, the other being Georgie Reynolds. Being so young and on such a great team with lots of experience could cause most people to crack under the pressure. But not Payton.

“I think my position added a lot of pressure, and I’m naturally hard on myself, so I felt stressed throughout the season, and the amount tripled around playoffs,” said Doan. “But my team, my coaches, and especially my amazing defense, all helped eliminate that feeling completely so we could focus on the main goal, which was having fun playing the game we love.”

Although only a freshman on a senior-laden team, she felt like she belonged right away. ” I sound like a typical freshman, but it was an amazing feeling having upperclassmen I didn’t even know telling me great job, or “hey you’re a pretty good goalie” in the hallways,” said Doan. “My goal for the past 2 years was to make it on varsity as a freshman, so it really was a dream come true.”

Chelsea went on a tear after that Pioneer game and went on to defeat their rivals Dexter on the Dreadnaughts home turf and giving them their first defeat of the season in a thrilling 1-0 game. “I think that beating Dexter was the start of our winning streak. During pre-season, we all knew we would be successful, but we never knew how good we were as a team until we beat Dexter,” stated Doan. “And beating Pioneer in the regular season was the icing on the cake. We made history so we were all happy with what we had achieved.”

Chelsea did their part taking care of foes but needed other schools to do there’s. To win the Division Title it would take a victory from rivals Dexter over Skyline. Some of the team went to the game to see if they would win the division but Payton just couldn’t do it.
“I remember Sarah Mesko went to the Skyline/Dexter game. I didn’t want to go, I was afraid I’d jinx it, but she kept us updated the entire game and I was completely glued to my phone and jumping at every notification,” Doan said. “When Sarah texted “Congrats we are number 1!!!” I broke down crying. I can’t express how proud I was of our team at that moment, and I still am. It totally was worth all of our long practices and 6 am lifting’s.”

Chelsea made it to the Division 1 State Championship game where they lost 1-0 in a hard fought battle against defending State Champions Ann Arbor Pioneer. In that game, Doan played hard making great stops and stepping up big to keep her team within chance of a victory. But a bad break, in what Doan calls her worst moment ever, put Chelsea behind and they couldn’t get the chance they needed to score that tying goal.
“I watched the 2 on 1 develop before me in the Championship game and then having the Pioneer player slip the ball past me, was just horrible,” said Doan reflecting on that moment. “I can still remember my heart dropping. Sarah Mesko came up to me, grabbed the cage of my helmet and screamed, “it’s not over”. I knew it wasn’t, but it was so heartbreaking hearing the panic in her voice and knowing that it was in all my teammates voices at that moment too. And I have been in many of those situations at practices and other games and stopped it before, but this was much different, I was really disappointed in myself for not stopping that shot when it counted.”

“To lose that championship game was utterly depressing. To know what was at stake, and to lose the biggest title in the state was such a terrible feeling,” Doan continued. “We all did realize however that we should be proud of all we had achieved because it’s a big amount of success. To be a part of the Regular Season Championship though, it was really an honor. I was proud of myself and of my team, and it was great being a major part of spreading the sport throughout Chelsea and Michigan. At times it was extremely nerve racking, I remember sitting in school before some of the big games like Pioneer or Skyline, playoffs or not, and just that’s all I would think about. It was a healthy nervousness but sometimes it was overwhelming. But it was all worth it.”

And indeed, it was well worth it as Chelsea had 4 players receive First Team All-State honors, more than any other team. Payton was one of those selected as she led the team and league with 15 wins, 11 shutouts, and a .60 goals against average.

” I remember when (Chelsea Head Coach) Leslie (Fry) called my name at the awards banquet, and walking up there and standing next to so many of my teammates that I look up to so much, it was an honor to be among them,” Doan reflects on being chosen First Team All-State. “Coach Leslie said  it’s rare for a Freshman and a goalkeeper to make that, and so I was really happy with what I had achieved. I remember first hearing about the First Team Award and just setting that as my goal for the rest of the season.”

Chelsea Field Hockey will graduate 11 seniors this year so it will be a new looking team next year. Many underclassmen gained valuable playing time and playoff experience, including Doan. But it will be a very young team. Doan feels it will be a year focused on advertising the sport, and overall just being as positive throughout the team as possible.

“I do feel that honestly though, it won’t be the same without all the seniors,” Doan states. “They all have extremely diverse personalities and I will miss all of them for different reasons. I have never been so excited going to practice than I have with this team because I always knew they’d make it fun and especially interesting. I’m proud of every one of them and excited to see them go far with their talents, I’ll just miss them immensely.”

Doan will be her same old self though, wearing her bright lime green jersey and shouting out directions to her teammates and not being afraid to get out there and challenge when she has to. And when she’s not on the field she’ll be reading, shopping, hanging out with friends, and thinking and talking about field hockey.
Payton is the daughter of Matt and Miki Doan. Her older brother Parker is a Sophomore at Chelsea High School and helps to manage the Boys Varsity Golf Team where he helped cheer the team on during their championship run this last season.

Payton Doan assesses the situation in a game(Al Wright)

Payton makes a big stop against Ann Arbor Pioneer(Al Wright)

Payton takes a minute pre-game to pose for a picture(Al Wright)

First Team All-State Goalkeeper Payton Doan makes a huge save in the State Championship game versus Pioneer(Al Wright)

Doan makes a huge save to help Chelsea defeat Pioneer(Al Wright)

Doan comes out to make a big stop under the lights in Chelsea(Al Wright)
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bowling, Grass Lake, Uncategorized

Grass Lake’s Chase Elkins Bowls Perfect Game

 

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Grass Lake High School’s Chase Ryan Elkins Rolled a Perfect 300 game 

 

It’s not very often you can be in a crowded bowling alley and not hear a sound. But that was the scene Thursday night at the Chelsea Lanes as the Grass Lake High School Bowling Team played host to Vandercook Lake. Junior Chase Elkins stood with his ball in hand, shaking out of nervousness and excitement both, as he needed this strike to achieve a perfect game. A hush grew over the crowd as all eyes were on him taking in what could be a historic moment. As the ball left his hands and flowed down the alley Elkins and everyone just watched. As the ball hit the pins and they all fell the 16-year old and the whole place screamed in excitement and congratulations. Elkins had just bowled his first ever perfect 300 game, what every bowler dreams of doing.

Elkins couldn’t believe it as everyone was congratulating him. The young man was so excited and so were his teammates and supporters. “I can’t even explain how this feels, I’ve never been so excited in my life,” Elkins stated.  “It’s my first 300 and hopefully not my last. I’ve never even seen anyone roll a 300 before!”

Elkins highest game to this point ever was a 299 in tryouts. After he made his first 5 strikes, he had a good feeling going into the 6th frame that he could do this. But he wasn’t going to get overconfident but he just knew it felt right to him. Going into the final frame, he started to sweat and get shaky. As he took his first step towards the pins though the shakiness and nervousness wore away. “Everything stopped and it all just seemed to flow well for me,” Elkins said. “As soon as the ball left my hands I knew I had it.”

“It’s the best feeling in the world and it takes lots of practice, but it’s all worth,” an excited Elkins said. “I’m very proud of my team that we have. We are a very young team and we have great coaching and each week we are improving and I’m so proud of their achievements and improvements. I’m just so excited right now.”

Chase is the son of his very proud mother Christine Powell.

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Chase focuses

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2016 Grass Lake Bowling Team

 

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basketball, chelsea, chelsea high school, high school, high school basketball, Uncategorized

Chelsea Downs Adrian Lenawee Christian

 

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Ethan French drives in the first for 2. He finished the game with 17 points

 

Chelsea was looking to get back on a winning streak after their second loss of the season against highly ranked Ann Arbor Huron. But to do that they would face off against a very tough Adrian Lenawee Christian team. The Cougars, who play much better than their record reflects, were looking to get back on the winning track too after a tough loss to  Consortium College Prep.

The Cougars struck first with Sophomore Trey Helinski hitting a trey. But Bulldog Senior Trevor Kingsley struck back with a 3 of his own. After that scoring was limited as both teams played a very physical, tight game. The Cougars took a 9-7 lead in the second period. The Cougars at one point were pulling away but Chelsea Head Coach Josh Tropea  made great use of his substitutes as he kept fresh players rotating in and out to match up against the much taller Cougars. And his strategy worked as Junor Guard Ryan Mitchell had a great second period as he had three steals, one he took the length of the court. But it was Junior Forward Brady Friss who hit a big three to put Chelsea up 20-17 at the half.

After the half it was more of the same, tough defense and points were hard to come by for either team. The Cougars Senior Nigerian duo of Collins & Maxwell, (their only names given) standing at 6’7″ and 6’6″ respectively, kept the Cougars in the game with their big underneath game, forcing the Bulldogs at many times to foul.

But the Bulldogs were not intimidated at all and would not give up forcing the Cougars to try to cover their outside shots as Senior Ethan French hit a huge three-point basket to put the Bulldogs up by 4 going into the final frame.

The Cougars took advantage at the start of the 4th of a big three by Helinski and some big shots by Maxwell to take the lead early on. But Chelsea’s Coach  Tropea took advantage of his deeper bench and rested players and made wise use of his timeouts. With the game tied at the 3:55 mark Mitchell hit a huge 30 foot three pointer and then off a Noah Cooper steal and assist it was Mitchell again sinking another big three to put the Bulldogs up by 1 and it was from that point on the Bulldogs never trailed in the game again. In the closing minutes of the game Kingsley and French hit several clutch free throws to secure the Bulldogs victory, 54-44.

Mitchell finished with 15 points and 3 steals on the night, Kingsley had 10 and led all Bulldogs with 5 rebounds. Lenawee Christian was led by Maxwell with 24 points and Helinski with 12. The Bulldogs are 10-2 on the season and travel to Ann Arbor Skyline Friday.

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