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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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Local Girls, Coach, Make Class C All-State Basketball Team

Southeast Michigan Sports would like to congratulate Grass Lake Head Coach Andrea Cabana for receiving second team coach of the year award. Her 17-7 Warriors team made it to the regional championship game where they were defeated in double overtime by a very tough Blissfield team who made it to the state quarterfinals.

Also named as an All-State Honorable Mention was Warrior Gracia Cabana, a 4-year starting varsity guard.  Gracie averaged 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game this year while shooting 73 percent from the free-throw line. She also etched her name in the record books scoring her 1,000th point. Gracie carries a 3.9 GPA and will be attending Spring Arbor University next year.

Also earning All-State Honorable Mention honors was Riley Collins of Manchester. Riley averaged over 18 points a game and shot about 80% from the free throw line. Riley helped the Lady Dutch to two Cascades titles, two district titles, and two state regional appearances during her excellent playing career at Manchester. Riley will be taking her great basketball skills and strong work ethic to Lake Superior State in the fall.

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Chelsea Wins District Championship

 

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Chelsea Bulldogs, 2017 Class B District Champs 

 

Just like their girl counterparts did a week to the day, the Chelsea boys basketball team entered hostile territory and were able to fight and scrap to a come from behind victory over Onsted, 57-45. Unlike the girls who played near Onsted, this game was on Onsted’s home court in front of a mostly purple and white laden crowd.

Both teams were evenly matched and came out strong and matched each other basket to basket. Just as the buzzer sounded before the half ended, Onsted hit a long 2 point shot to take a 29-27 lead going into the break.

The Bulldogs were not fazed as first-year Head Coach Mark Moundros gave his team a good talk at the half and made some great adjustments. Moundros was very strategic in his substitutions all night long, knowing who to match up with and when.

Chelsea came out strong in the third and took an early lead forcing lots of turnovers and crashing the boards at both ends of the court. Chelsea’s Ronnie Buford came through with some big offense and Chelsea never looked back as they kept increasing their lead. Chelsea held Onsted’s team to only two points in the third as they took a 5 point lead into the fourth.

With 4 minutes left to go Onsted’s star player and top scorer Skyler Lipinski picked up his 5th foul on the night and had to watch from the bench as Chelsea skillfully increased its lead. With his last shot of the night, it was Buford putting the exclamation point on the game with a huge slam dunk in front of the huge,  loyal Bulldog student section.

As the clock wound down to zero the Chelsea players cleared the bench and hugged one another & celebrated their district championship, their first in ten years.

“I’m proud of our seniors, they led us all year and they worked hard for this and I’m proud of them,” Chelsea’s coach Moundros stated as he watched his players celebrate and pose for pictures with the trophy.

“This is a great group of players and we worked incredibly hard this last year,” Matt Klink stated. “As a group, we have faced a lot of adversity but like tonight, we always managed to fight and win. This truly is a family.”

All SEC selection Ryan Mitchel who finished the night with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and several steals was just speechless after the game. “I don’t know what to say, I’ve wanted this since I started playing, it’s a heck of a team.”

“All the way back to last year, I remember our first tournament, I thought nothing could top that, but this honestly has me speechless, coming back from last year, to this, we wanted this more than ever and I’m glad I got to get this w with my boys,” Bryce Jubenville said.

“5 of us got pulled up our sophomore year,” said Al Vazquez. “It’s a great group of guys, this feels pretty good, we worked together and it paid off.”

“This was a great team win, we were down 10 early and we knew that we had to wear them out because their bench was a lot thinner than ours,” Jack Bush stated. “We have 10 guys that we rotate and we did just a great job sticking together and not giving up to compete and finish that game.”

“I’d like to thank the community for all its support,” Ben Kaemming, who hit a couple big 3 point shots, said. “As the senior class, the program was not where we wanted it to be as freshman, but we’ve really turned it around, getting our first district championship in ten years.”

“We came into this team our first year 3-17 but we worked it out and trusted the system year in and year out,” a happy Brady Friss stated. “10 years but we got the district title.”

“It’s so great to be on this team,” an elated Ronnie Buford exclaimed. “To come back and beat Adrian who beat us last year, and this, Onsted is a tough team, we started a bit slow but came back strong in the second half. When Ben (Kaemming) hit the 3 to tie the game up, that was the turning point to me, that was a great 3 in the corner, great leadership by Ben.”  Buford led the Bulldogs with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Chelsea gets the weekend to rest up then travels to Milan to take on River Rouge Monday at 5:30 P.M.

 

 

 

 

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Chelsea Fights Back Valiantly, Loses Heartbreaker In Regionals

 

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Chelsea Sophomore Helena Schultz goes up for a late basket

 

The  Chelsea Bulldogs played host to the Dearborn Henry Ford Academy Navigators tonight and it was apparent from the opening tip-off that the Bulldogs would be behind the 8 ball all night. In what was a very poorly, one sided officiated game, the Bulldogs were able to try to overcome it and came back and fought until the very end but came up just short in a heart wrenching 40-35 defeat.

The Bulldogs fell behind early and every time they had a chance to get back in the game a whistle would come out of nowhere. Girls were getting slammed to the floor and no calls were being made.

“I’ve been watching basketball all my life & this is the worst reffing I’ve ever seen,” an older gentleman stated. “If you lose fine, get beat by a better team, fine. But to get beat by the refs? I’m disgusted!”

In spite of being down, but never out, the young Bulldog team did what it has done all year and overcome adversity. Down by as many as 15 points at one time, the Bulldogs fought and clawed their way back into it, playing a tight defense and forcing many turnovers.  Brianna Hay hit a big 3 pointer in the game to pull the gap closer, and Jesse Jacobusse helped out with 6 steals on the night. With time running out the Bulldogs went on a run causing Dearborn and their fans to get a bit nervous as the raucous Chelsea crowd and student section roared with approval.

Helena Schultz hit a shot at the buzzer but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs came up just a bit short. Senior Nicole Bareis played another great game as she almost double-doubled again this season, finishing with 7 points and 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Helena Schultz led all Bulldog scorers with 10 points. Madeleine Kennedy played a strong defensive game with 4 steals and 6 rebounds to go along her her 2 points.

Chelsea Head Coach Todd Blomquist credited his four seniors (Bareis, Jacobusse, Kylie Kuebler, and Sara Stribe) helping to guide his sophomores for a successful season. The team is very young (5 sophomores & a freshman) but still managed a 10-game winning streak entering tonight’s game.

“It was a fantastic season,” Blomquist said. “Our mantra was to grow, and we did that.”

“And I can’t say enough about our seniors, who really bridged the gap between two groups. They had a really good group the last couple of years, and a young group this year. There is no question that they were a big reason why we were successful.”

The Bulldogs finished the season with an  18-6 record and will definitely reload for next season as they bring back plenty of players who now have valuable playoff experience.

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Chelsea Girls Advance to District Finals

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Chelsea’s Katelyn McKinley splits the Eagles defense for a shot

After a tough outing Monday night, the Chelsea Bulldogs came out strong tonight against the Columbia Central Eagles starting the game with a 13-1 run en route to a big 41-24 victory advancing them to the Class B District Finals.

Chelsea’s Jesse Jacobusse celebrated her 18th birthday by leading her team in scoring with 14. She also had 3 assist, 2 steals, and 5 rebounds.

“I’m very excited,” the birthday girl Jacobusse said happily. “Monday’s game, we were very nervous, but tonight we played with more confidence. Our defense was very solid. That was the major difference in the games.”

The Bulldogs came out on fire, rolling to an early lead the Eagles could never come back from. The Bulldogs were solid all over the court and played a very stifling defense forcing errant passes and turnovers.”

“I thought our defense was definitely the big factor in tonight’s game,” Chelsea head coach Todd Blomquist stated. “We played much better tonight and I’m real happy for the girls.”

Blomquist is trying to win his 10th district final in his 18th year of coaching. If Chelsea wins Friday evening then they head to their home court to host regionals. In a very classy move near the end of the game, he emptied the bench and gave everyone a chance to play.

“I’ve been a part of a district final but I was just a sophomore so I didn’t get a chance to play,” Jacobusse said. “I feel really good to be a part of this and am hoping we can do it, it will be a great thing for us and for me to be a part of it.”

The Eagles came close to getting back in the game in the second half but too many turnovers and Chelsea’s speed was hard to contend with. Nicole Bareis finished the night in a great defensive effort for the Bulldogs with 8 rebounds and 3 steals while Madeleine Kennedy had a steal and had two big blocked shots. Helena Schultz finished with 8 while freshman Riley Davis earned lots of playing time by sinking 2 big 3 point shots finishing with 8 total on the night and 6 rebounds.

Chelsea will face Onsted in Brooklyn at 7:00 p.m. in the finals.

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Chelsea comes From Behind To Defeat Tecumseh

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Chelsea’s Jesse Jacobusse drives the lane in the first quarter

The drive began in the girls district tournament for Chelsea tonight, as they took on the Tecumseh Indians at Columbia Central High School in Brooklyn. Chelsea came from behind and battled back strong in the fourth quarter scoring the last 9 points of the game to defeat the Indians 32-29.

Both teams started slow, possibly nervous it seemed as in the first quarter there was not much scoring at all. Tecumseh played a stifling defense not allowing Chelsea to get their inside game rolling. At the half, it was a very low scoring 13-11 lead for the Bulldogs. In the third, the Indians exploded right away to take the lead on several inside shots. While Chelsea was getting good reads and shots, they just couldn’t get them to fall.

Bulldog senior Jesse Jacobusse hit a big three point shot to keep the Bulldogs close but then the Indians built their lead back up as they hit a shot at the buzzer to take a 6 point lead into the final stanza.

But the Bulldogs played their normal style of strong defense and forced several turnovers and bad shots and they took advantage of them. With 25 seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs sophomore Helena Schultz scored inside and was fouled to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game since the very beginning. After she hit her free throw Chelsea forced another turnover and Tecumseh had no choice but to foul to send the Bulldogs to the line in hopes of getting a missed free throw and rebound.

And that happened as with 5 seconds left the Indians quickly moved the ball upcourt but the long distance 3 was short giving the Bulldogs the hard fought for victory.

Jacobusse led the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points while Schultz finished the night with 8. Nicole Bareis played a solid defensive game forcing errant passes and shots and finished the night with 8 rebounds.

The Bulldogs will play Columbia Central in round 2 Wednesday at 5:30 in Brooklyn.

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Jackson Christian Pulls Off Big Victory On Senior Night

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JCS Mitchell McNeil drives the lane for 2

At Jackson Christian High School on Friday, the Royals honored 7 seniors before their game against Hillsdale Academy. That’s over half of Head Coach Rick Blumenstock’s team. Drew Blackgrove, Luke Carpenter, Kyle Cochrane, Mitchell McNeil, Thomas Miller, Nathan Ross, and Caleb Thomas were all honored before the game as they and their parents were presented with gifts and goodwill from their school and classmates. Nathaniel Reynolds was also honored as the team manager.

After the ceremony, the Royals didn’t waste any time getting down to the game they all love, as senior center Thomas Miller won the tip off. Both teams matched up evenly as the Colts tried to avenge the one-point loss they suffered on their home court earlier this season.  But it was not to be as the Royals fought valiantly for a huge 41-35 victory.

It was a very close game before two evenly matched teams. The Colts took a 23-20 lead into the halftime and it was obvious from the team’s matchups they wanted to keep the ball out of Miller, Blackgrove, and McNeil’s hands.

But in the 3rd quarter, the Royals exploded right away when hard playing McNeil drove between 3 Colts defenders for the basket. Blackgrove came back to help by hitting a big 3 and the Royals never trailed again. Cochrane drained two 3 pointers to put the Royals way out front and the solid Royal defense and Miller’s exceptional rebounding ability kept the victory in the Royals clasp.

McNeil led all scorers with 14 points, Miller had 8 to go along with his team-leading 13 rebounds, Blackgrove finished with 7 along with 8 rebounds, 3 assist, a steal, and a block.

After the game, many of the kids went ice skating for their annual snowcoming event that the school puts on every year. The Royals play their final home game of the year Tuesday.

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