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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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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Chelsea Lacrosse Shines On Senior Night

 

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Chelsea’s Nic Brough gets air trying to defend a pass 

 

On a beautiful, sunny evening at Jack Niehaus Football Stadium, the Chelsea Bulldog Lacrosse team donned their golden warrior helmets and prepared to face off against the Grosse Ile Red Devils. Scoring came early and often for the Bulldogs as they battled to a huge 17-1 victory.

Barely a minute in it was Senior Mikal Nelson who got the scoring started for the Bulldogs. A minute and a half later Sophomore Cam Breining took advantage of a miscue by the Devils goalie and easily blasted the ball into the net. The devil’s goalie had tried to play the body on Breining and when he did, he fell awkwardly to the ground injuring himself and had to leave the game. He had torn an acl earlier in the season and sat the rest of the game out with an ice bag on his leg.

Breining would go on to score the next 3 goals for Chelsea and would finish with 4 on the night with 1 assist. Nelson scored two more giving him the hat trick on the night while Senior Nate Bero picked up a hat trick also, giving props to his dad Jeff who was up in the press box on his third goal.

The Bulldogs cruised to a 10-0 halftime lead and at the half, they honored the 7 senior players who have helped make the team a success over the years. Nate Bero, Ryan Berry, Nick Childress, Josh Ciaccio, Aidan Kurth, Mikal Nelson, and Nick Whitesall were all honored as the walked down the 50-yard line with their parents and received gifts from the team in recognition of all they do and have done for the team. It was a very nice yet emotional ceremony for many of the parents and the players as they realize the end of their High School career is almost over but each player will move on to other things, many attending college while Whitesall has already committed to his country as he will be joining one of the finest fighting forces America has to offer, the United States Marine Corps.

After the ceremony, the players got right back down to business never losing focus as they wanted to defend their field and give netminder Josh Ciaccio another shot at a shutout. Spencer Gobba scored two quick goals off excellent cross field Doug Zarinnia passes to separate the score even more. Zarinnia would finish with 6 helpers on the night.

Sophomore Riley Sumner would chip in two late goals along with fellow sophomore Zach Cooley who picked up a goal late unassisted. Ryan Berry finished the scoring on the night for the Bulldogs off an Evan Kucera assist.

The lone bright spot for the Devils was when they broke up the shutout with about two minutes left to go on the night.

“It’s ok, it happens,” a very happy netminder Josh Ciaccio said after the game. “I’m just glad we won and I’m very happy, I’ve had two shutouts before so it’s all good.”

Chelsea will return home Friday night to take on Ann Arbor Pioneer in the last home game of the season.

 

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Senior Ryan Berry

 

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Busy Week For Chelsea Softball

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The Chelsea Bulldogs were kept busy the past week playing a total of 7 games in less than 5 games and came away with 4 wins.

On Tuesday they traveled to Ann Arbor Huron where they took out the River Rats in a series sweep, with 12-2 and 15-5 victories. Peighton Root won on the mound in the first game helping her own cause out with a grand slam homerun in the 4th inning. Sydney Hines had 3 hits for Chelsea, while Olivia Leonard, Sydnee Liedel, and Hannah Kahler each had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs.

In Game 2 it was Maddie Kemp pitching a 7 strikeout game while Hines led her team in offense with 4 hits, while Root, Alise Hale, Madison Adkins, and Kahler each chipped in with 2 big hits of their own.

Less than 24 hours later the Bulldogs hit the bus and took the road again to face a very tough Monroe team at Vince Rossi field. Hits were hard to come by as Olivia Leonard got the only one of the first game, a single in the third inning, to break up Monroe’s no-hitter as the Bulldogs fell 10-0.

Monroe took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning of game 1 but the Bulldogs rallied strongly in the top of the third with hits by Hines, Kahler, and Sara Stribe to build a 4-2 lead. Stribe scored again in the 4th inning after reaching base on an error and the Bulldogs looked to have the game in hand until the bottom of the 6th inning when the Trojans roared back for 5 big runs to take an 8-5 lead and that’s how the game would finish.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs hosted a round robin 3 team tournament for the third time this season and opened up against Plymouth Salem. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind back to back doubles by Root and Hale. Salem came back and tied it up in the fourth inning but the Bulldogs regained the lead in the 6th behind hits by Stribe, Hale, and Hines and a perfectly executed bunt by Kahler. But Salem would regain the lead and not relinquish it as they jumped all over the Bulldogs in the 7th inning for 7 runs and came out with an 11-6 victory.

In game 2 on the day, the Bulldogs took down Gibraltar Carlson 13-3 behind Root coming up just a home run short of hitting for the cycle and taking advantage of several walks and errors committed by the Marauders.

In the final game of the day, the Bulldogs squared off against Olivet. Olivet started out strong as their first batter put one out of the park to stake the Eagles to a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs were able to fight back and take a 4-1 lead behind some solid pitching by Root who kept the Eagles off the scoreboard again until the 5th inning but the Bulldogs were able to extend their lead and build on it finishing with a well deserved and hard fought 7-2 victory. Hines, Root, and Hale all had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs.

Chelsea has 14 wins against 6 losses this season and will travel to Lincoln Monday to play a doubleheader with the Railsplitters.

 

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Chelsea Lacrosse Stomps Huron River Rats 19-2

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Chelsea’s Nick Childress (no. 26) scores for his Bulldogs

Temperatures were brisk on Friday night at Jerry Niehaus football field in Chelsea as the Bulldog lacrosse team looked to snap a 4 game losing streak against the Ann Arbor River Rats. In the 4 game losing streak, Chelsea was up against some state-ranked competition and it was a rough stretch of their schedule and goals were hard to come by.

Looking to get back on track, it looked a bit grim in the beginning as Huron jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. But Chelsea Head Coach Joe Koengeter called his boys over and gave them a pep talk and whatever he said worked because the Bulldogs caught fire quick as Doug Zarinnia got the Bulldogs on the board. Two quick goals by Cam Breining And Mikal Nelson put the Bulldogs ahead for good.

The Bulldogs opened it up and took a big 10-2 lead at the half. In the second half, it was more of the same as Senior netminder Josh Ciaccio stopped everything that was thrown his way with the help of his stingy defense. In the 4th quarter, a midi stayed back as Ciaccio took the ball all the way down the field and was able to get a shot off on goal, just slightly missing the net.

“It was the first time I’ve ever been able to do that,” said a thrilled Ciaccio. “It was exciting, I really wanted to get a goal. But I’m happy with the big win for the team and I hope I get to do that again someday.”

The Bulldogs were led in scoring by senior Nate Bero with a hat trick. Breining, Nelson, and Aidan Boote each chipped in 2 goals apiece. The Bulldogs will look for another goal fest in their favor Monday night as they play host to the Lincoln.

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Chelsea Lacrosse Falls To Dewitt

 

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Chelsea’s Nick Whitesall drives for a shot against Dewitt

On a very warm night with a slight breeze coasting over the field the Chelsea Lacrosse team played host to the Dewitt Panthers and were looking to get back on the winning track. Dewitt came in at .500 and were fighting for a victory themselves.

The Bulldogs started out strong with Max Gervais striking with a quick goal. But Dewitt came back and both teams swapped goals but in the end Dewitt hung in there for the 9-5 victory.

The Bulldogs were led by Gervais & Cameron Breining with 2 goals each. Mikal Nelson had a goal also with an assist. Breining had an assist and led the team with 14 shots on net. The Bulldogs host Ann Arbor Huron Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

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Chelsea Softball Splits Series With Dexter

 

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Alise Hale makes the tag on a Dreadnaught trying to steal second base

 

On a beautiful sunny afternoon, the Chelsea Bulldogs played host to their arch-rivals Dexter from just down the road in a doubleheader. Game 1 was a pitchers duel between Chelsea’s Peighton Root and Dexter’s Katelyn Niswonger. Dexter came out victorious 1-0. In game 2 Dexter’s strategy was to keep Niswonger in but it backfired big time as Chelsea stomped the Dreadnaughts 13-2!

Dexter took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and it would hold up for the entire game as Niswonger gave up only 3 hits while striking out 11. Chelsea’s young sophomore pitcher Root gave up only 3 hits also while fanning 6. Chelsea just couldn’t get the bats going and Root was backed up by her outstanding fielders including senior second baseman Olivia Leonard who made a great diving catch in the 4th inning and Sydney Hines who ran all the way to the wall in right field and made a spectacular catch. But the Bulldogs till came up short in only their third loss on the year and second in conference play.

Dexter thought since Niswonger kept the Bulldogs bats mostly silent in game one that they would let her pitch game two. But the strategy backfired as Chelsea jumped out fast in the first inning scoring 5 quick runs behind big hits by Hines, Grace Bush, and Alise Hale. Maddie Vasquez cleared the bases as the young sophomore multi-sport star turned a single into a triple through good heads up base running, good coaching,  and a Dexter error.

In the second inning, the Bulldogs tacked on another run as Hines singled and Root drove her to third with a single of her own. Then as Root stole second base beating the throw Hines took off for home and dove head first safely at the plate to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 6-0 lead thanks to a perfectly executed double steal.

Young sophomore pitcher Maddie Kemp kept the Dreadnaught bats silent until the fourth inning when Niswonger was able to score from first on a double hit by her teammate. The Bulldogs came back with a run of their own as Sara Stribe scored off a Hannah Kahler single.

Dexter would tack on another run in the sixth only to have the Bulldogs explode in the bottom of the inning for 5 more runs behind big hits by Kahler, Root, Vasquez, and Allie Heinen giving the Bulldogs a huge victory and running their record to 10-3 on the season.

Kemp went the distance for the Bulldogs going 6 innings and only allowing 2 runs on four hits and 6 strikeouts. Vasquez, Hines, Kahler, and Root all had 2 hits apiece for the Bulldogs who had 12 hits on the nights.

Chelsea will travel to Ann Arbor Huron on Tuesday the 25th for a makeup doubleheader against the River Rats. Gametime is at 4 p.m.

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