sports

MHSAA Accepting Registrations For Officials

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registrations by mail and online for game officials for the 2017-18 school year.

The MHSAA annually receives registration by more than 9,500 officials and had 9,834 during the 2016-17 school year. The highest total of officials registered for basketball, 4,137, with football and baseball both with more than 2,000 registered officials during this past school year.

For all new and returning officials, those who register online again will receive a $5 discount off their processing fees. A $15 fee is charged for each sport in which an official wishes to register, and the online processing fee is $35. Officials submitting registration forms by mail or on a walk-up basis will incur a $40 processing fee. Officials registered in 2016-17 will be assessed a late fee of $30 for registration after July 31. The processing fee includes liability insurance coverage up to $1 million for officials while working contests involving MHSAA schools.

Online registration can be accessed by clicking “Officials” on the home page of the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com. Forms also are available online that can be printed and submitted by traditional mail or hand delivery to the MHSAA Office. More information about officials registration may be obtained by contacting the MHSAA at 1661 Ramblewood Drive, East Lansing, MI, 48823, by phone at (517) 332-5046 or by e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials’ registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year. The test consists of 45 questions derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook, which also is available on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website. Additional 50-question exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Manuals for both sports also are available on the Officials page. New officials and those who didn’t officiate during 2016-17 also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course, also available on the MHSAA Website.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exist to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year. 

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bulldogs, chelsea, chelsea high school, college, commit, football, high school football, mhsaa championship football, sports

Chelsea’s Ronnie Buford Announces College Commitment

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Chelsea Bulldog Ronnie Buford picks off a pass in his junior season

The Chelsea High School football team has produced yet another great young athlete to commit to a Division 1 college as Junior Ronnie Buford announced that he has officially committed to Western Michigan University (WMU) to continue his football career.

Ronnie has committed to the Broncos as a defensive end, where he excelled for the 11-1 Bulldogs team in 2016. The 6 foot 4 inch Buford also excels on the basketball court where he and his Bulldog teammates won the Districts in their division last season.  Buford moved recently to Chelsea from Ann Arbor where he was the starting quarterback for Skyline, but he was moved to defensive end for the Bulldogs where they could take advantage of his size and speed.

“The adjustment from offense to defense wasn’t a real big deal to me,” Ronnie stated. “It was a smooth transition because I understood both offensive and defensive schemes and learned quickly what my coaches were teaching me.”

Many colleges noticed Ronnie’s play in his first year on defense and were interested in him and he and his family visited many of them to get a feel for the community and check out the academics to see if the fit was right for him. Ronnie took his time and with the help of his loving family, friends, and coaches finally decided on his gridiron home for the 2018 season.

“The decision was hard, yet easy. We went to many places but when we went to WMU I just knew I wanted to be a Bronco after the first unofficial visit,” Ronnie stated. “As soon as I stepped foot on the Bronco’s football field,  I just had this feeling that I had at no other visit! It was a confirmation feeling like I belonged there.”

Ronnie also gives much credit to the WMU coaches for making him and his family feel comfortable on their visit.

“They treated me and my family so nice,” Ronnie said. “They were extremely good to my little brother and I could tell this was a great, solid family organization like Chelsea football is. And that’s what I’m all about, family.”

Ronnie plans to major in Business and get a minor in civil engineering while enjoying all the community of Kalamazoo and WMU have to offer. Ronnie is the son of Willie Buford, and Shallis and Laura Mask.

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Awards, baseball, basketball, bulldogs, chelsea, chelsea high school, football, high school, high school basketball, high school football, mhsaa, mhsaa championship football, sports

Chelsea Student-Athletes Make History

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Senior Jack Bush poses with the Chelsea basketball district championship trophy

Chelsea High School is known for its academics. It was recently listed by the U.S. News as the 7th ranked school in the state of Michigan, the only public school to crack the top 10. That’s an excellent ranking since there are over 1,500 high schools in Michigan. Nationally it was listed number 554 out of almost 40,000 high schools! The student body of Chelsea have a 56% ranking in Advanced Placement classes and have very high test scores. Not too shabby for a town of just over 5,000 people.

But academics isn’t all Chelsea is about. They put a good focus on athletics and encourage all students to participate and many of the students will play more than 1 sport. The athletic department is strong and solid and many students go on to earn sports scholarships for Division 1 schools,  and some even have gone on to play professional sports.

This year, a few students have done something that hasn’t been done in quite a while and is very rare for most student athletes. Jack Bush, Hunter Neff, Quinn Starkey, Thomas Steele, and Alex Vasquez have all etched their names in the Chelsea record books as they are among the few student-athletes in the long history of Chelsea sports that have won 3 district championships in one year!

Bush was the starting quarterback for Chelsea the past couple seasons and was a key element of leading the Bulldogs to the MHSAA Class B state championship in 2015. He also started for the basketball team and this year’s baseball team which just clinched a district title last Saturday. Bush will attend Hope College in the fall where he will look to carry on his illustrious football career.

Neff was a part of this years football, and baseball team, and was called up for the districts in basketball.

Starkey played on the basketball team, the baseball team, and was called up for the Districts in football.

Steele was the Bulldogs leading rusher in football last season as well as winning a district championship with the Bulldogs hockey team. He also will be on the field looking for a regional title in baseball, after sealing up a district championship last weekend.

Vasquez starred at end for the Bulldogs football team this past season and was also a part of the state championship runner-ups in 2015. He used his size and strength to help the Bulldogs win districts not only on the gridiron, but on the basketball court, and for this year’s baseball team. Vasquez will be taking his talents to Michigan State University in the fall.

The Bulldogs baseball team will head to Carleton-Airport on June 10th where they will be taking on the South Lyon East Cougars and will be looking to win the regional playoff and help bring more hardware to Chelsea, the city of champions.

 

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sports

Chelsea Softball Geared up For Districts

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The Southeast Conference White Champion Chelsea Bulldog softball team is ready for the district playoffs Saturday. They will be traveling to take on Tecumseh at 10 in the morning. If they defeat the Indians they will take on Milan in the afternoon at 2. The Bulldogs have been practicing hard since their last game of the season against Howell.

The Bulldogs have 29 wins on the season and are eager to get more. They are led by their duo of sensational sophomore pitchers, Maddie Kemp & Peighton Root. Their pitchers are backed up by a solid defensive infield consisting of Grace Bush, Alise Hale, Autumn Johnson, and Olivia Leonard. The outfield is very solid also. On offense, The Bulldogs are solid all the way through the lineup and have a great coaching staff. The Bulldogs are looking to make their way back to districts and beyond again.

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girls, high school, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, soccer, sports

Jackson Christian Soccer Devastates Hillsdale 9-3

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Jackson Christian Junior Audrey McCollum moves the ball upfield against Hillsdale

On the last night of the season, the Jackson Christian Royals went out in style as they scored early and often guiding themselves to a big 9-3 victory over Hillsdale to end the season on a winning note. It was a great way to send the 6 senior players on the team out.

Senior Mary Hawthorne got the scoring started 12 minutes into the first half. Senior Sierra Chevalier put the ball into the back of the net and then Junior Audrey McCollum to give the Royals a big 3-1 lead going into halftime.

At the halftime, the Royals honored those seniors playing in their last High School soccer game ever. Also honored were two boys for their dedication in their spring sports.

After the brief, but beautiful ceremony, the girls got back to the scoring again as only 2 minutes into the second half Hawthorne scored her second on the night. 20 seconds later Hillsdale cut the Royals lead in half as Emily Wright got one by the Royals goalkeeper. Chevalier took over after that scoring 2 more goals in just 16 seconds for the hat trick and a Jackson Christian record for fastest 2 goals ever scored in a game!

Haley Hands then scored for the Royals and McCollum netted her second of the evening to build a huge 8-2 lead. Hillsdale never gave up and kept on battling as Kathy Tempa was able to score. Sam Hershberger put the icing on the cake to give the Royals a 9-3 lead with 4 minutes left with her first goal of the season.

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Buckeyes, OSU, sports

BUCKEYES EARN AT-LARGE BID TO 2017 NCAA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 35-win season and Big Ten Tournament finals appearance has earned the Ohio State softball team an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes were one of 32 teams to secure an at-large selection when the 64-team field was announced live on ESPN2 Sunday night.

Ohio State (35-16) is headed to the Knoxville Regional where it is the No. 2 seed and will face No. 3 seed USC Upstate (44-11) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. live on ESPN3. The other two teams in the regional are No. 1 seeded and host Tennessee (44-10) and fourth-seeded Big South champion Longwood (28-27). The Vols and Lancers face each other on Friday at 7 p.m.

This will mark Ohio State’s ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and second in a row. For Kelly Kovach Schoenly, it will be her fourth as a head coach – she took Miami to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2012 as well as the Buckeyes in 2016.

“We’re thrilled to be headed back to the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Kovach Schoenly. “We tested this team against a very difficult schedule and they’ve always found a way to rise to the occasion. It’s gratifying to be able to continue our season, especially for the seniors and leaders who have pushed us the entire year.”

The Buckeyes earned their at-large bid of the strength of a regular season that saw them win 13 games against RPI Top 100 teams and finish 15-8 overall in Big Ten play, good for a third-place finish. At this past weekend’s Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State knocked off Wisconsin and Michigan State in making its first championship game appearance since 2007. Other highlights of the 2017 campaign include:
• The Buckeyes played 18 games against teams that earned a spot in the 2017 tournament.
• Ohio State was ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Softball Top 25 poll for every week during the regular season.
• The Buckeyes were 18-7 against a non-conference schedule that featured 11 games against teams from Power 5 conferences.
• Ohio State’s non-conference RPI was ranked No. 24 nationally, third highest in the Big Ten, and included 11 games against programs that were in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
• The Buckeyes compiled 12 true road win and a total of 25 victories at either road or neutral sites.
• Ohio State played its first 25 games away from home, going 18-7 in that stretch.
• The Buckeyes’ 35 wins to this point in the season are the most since 2010.

Statistically, the Scarlet and Gray are led by sophomore Lilli Piper, who is batting .424 this year with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, 46 runs scored and a .785 slugging percentage. The first team All-Big Ten selection was a member of the Big Ten’s All-Tournament Team after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of Saturday’s semifinal versus Michigan State. Classmate Emily Clark was also an all-tournament selection and is hitting .338 this year with nine home runs, 44 RBI, and 29 runs scored.

In the circle, the Buckeyes boasted the Big Ten’s best overall ERA in 2017 at 2.46. Senior Shelby Hursh leads the way at 15-5 with a 2.33 ERA over 129.0 innings and 115 strikeouts. All four pitchers who have seen at least 60 innings of action have an ERA of under 2.80.

KNOXVILLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 19
Game 1: Ohio State vs. USC Upstate | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3/WatchESPN
Game 2: Tennessee vs. Longwood | 7 p.m. | ESPN2

Saturday, May 20
Game 3: G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner | 12 p.m.
Game 4: G1 Loser vs. G2 Loser | 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: G3 Loser vs. G4 Winner | 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 21
Game 6: G3 Winner vs. G5 Winner | 12 p.m.
Game 7: G6 Winner vs. G6 Loser (If necessary) | 2:30 p.m.

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sports

OHIO STATE PLACES FIVE ON NFCA ALL-REGION TEAMS

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State placed a program-record tying five players on the NFCA All-Midwest Region teams that were announced on Thursday morning. Shortstop Lilli Piper and pitcher Shelby Hursh garnered first team selections while second baseman Emily Clark, catcher Becca Gavin and outfielder Alex Bayne earned spots on the second team.

The five all-region choices are tied for the most in a single season, marking the mark set in both 1994 and 2002. The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees are now eligible for selection to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first, second or third teams. Over the past two seasons, Ohio State has had nine all-region choices, including four first-teamers.

Piper emerged this season as one of the most dangerous hitters in the Big Ten. During the regular season, she was third in the league in hitting (.420) with 49 RBI, 44 runs scored, 16 home runs and a .784 slugging percentage. She was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection. At last weekend’s Big Ten Tournament, she hit a two-run blast in the first inning of the semifinal contest versus Michigan State to push her over the 50-RBI mark for the year.

A transfer from Akron, Piper set a program record for home runs by a newcomer and is currently ranked fourth in single-season batting average, third in home runs and tied for eighth in RBI. She has a team-high 24 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI games.

Against RPI Top-75 teams (21 regular season games), she hit .429 with 23 RBI, eight home runs and 17 runs scored. Among the highlights was a career-high six RBI effort against Central Florida and a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to clinch a series win at Illinois.

Hursh led Ohio State’s five-person pitching staff in nearly every statistical category, including wins (15), ERA (2.33), innings (129.0) and strikeouts (115). A member of the Big Ten All-Tournament team, she pitched a four-hitter and allowed just two runs with a season-high 10 strikeouts in a quarterfinal win over Wisconsin. Other notable performances came when she fanned 10 in a 4-0 shutout of Mercer, gave up just two hits to Indiana in a 2-0 series-opening win and shut out LIU Brooklyn at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs. It’s Hursh’s second All-Region honor in as many years.

Clark, also a first-team All-Big Ten choice, hit .338 during the regular season and drove in 42 runs, tied for second most on the team. Against conference opponents, she upped her numbers to .371 with 21 runs scored, 18 RBI, five home runs, and two doubles. This is her second all-region honor (she was a first-team choice last season).

During the week of March 29-April 2, Clark has one of the most prolific stretches of any player this season in the country. She hit .875 with 11 RBI, a .917 on-base percentage and 1.750 slugging percentage in four wins over Wright State and Rutgers. Perhaps most impressively, she reached base in 10 straight plate appearances. A Big Ten All-Tournament team selection, Clark hit a two-run home run to give the Buckeyes a 4-0 lead in their semifinal win over Michigan State. She also had a 1.000 fielding percentage in three games at second base.

Gavin, a junior catcher from Gahanna, had her most productive season this spring, improving her batting average by over 100 points from 2016 while hitting .303 overall in the regular season with 18 RBI and 14 runs scored. She also made a big impact behind the plate, throwing out runners at a 50 percent rate for much of the regular season. In Big Ten-only games, Gavin hit .348 – including a key go-ahead double in the series finale at Michigan State – to go along with her 1.000 fielding percentage and eight caught stealings. Her throw-out rate both in conference games and overall contests was the best in the Big Ten.

On the most prolific home run hitters in school history, Bayne has 14 round-trippers this year after tying a school record with 19 last season. In a 4-3 win against Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge last February, she drove in three of Ohio State’s four runs with two home runs. She also had a pair of solo blasts in an 8-2 series-clinching win over Indiana and hit a grand slam to break a scoreless tie at Stetson in March. Overall, Bayne ranks fifth in school history with 37 home runs. The Buckeyes are 8-3 this year when she hits a home run. Bayne is now a two-time all-region choice after earning first team honors in 2016.

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