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 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 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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Chelsea Opens Softball Season With Sweep Of Western

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The Bulldogs celebrate Autumn Johnson’s walk-off home run in the second game of their sweep

On a very brisk afternoon with a rapidly swirling wind chilling to the bone, the Chelsea Bulldogs hosted Parma Western to open their Softball season in front of many loyal fans that braved the elements. But it was well worth the climate battle as the Bulldogs fought back in game 1 to take an 8-6 victory and shutout Western in the second game 11-0 to complete the sweep.

The Bulldogs first inning did not go as planned as Western was able to rack up a big 4-0 lead after their first at-bat, fueled by Western’s starting pitcher Taylor Nichols 2 run home run.  But the Bulldogs came right back and scored two runs of their own behind solid hitting and alert base running by Sydnee Liedel and Hannah Kahler.

Western added two more runs in the second and although down by 4 runs the Bulldogs did not give up, whittling away, hit by hit, to try to take the lead and achieve victory.  In the fifth inning they scored two runs to pull within one but in the 6th they exploded for 3 runs, led by Liedel, Kahler, and Sydney Hines who all scored for the Bulldogs.

With an 8-6 lead, Bulldogs pitcher Peighton Root retired the side for the huge come from behind victory.  The sophomore Root started out a bit slow but after two shaky innings went on to keep Western from scoring anymore, along with a solid defense behind her. Root finished with the win and 7 strikeouts of Western.

After a brief intermission and warming up period for many of the players and fans, it was sophomore pitcher Maddie Kemp getting the call to start in her very first varsity game also. The cold didn’t stand a chance and neither did Western as the red hot pitcher found her mark and came away with a complete game shutout, only giving up 2 hits and getting 11 strikeouts!

“I’m just happy I was able to help my team sweep the double header”, an elated Kemp said.

Kemp helped her own cause out with a big bat, getting a big double and then scoring on hits by Phoebe Kahler and Liedel. An inning later it Was Grace Bush blasting a triple to the opposite field and then Kemp singling her home to increase the Bulldog lead. Up 9-0 going into the 6th and hoping for the mercy rule, Kahler was walked making her way on to base for the 4th time in the nightcap. Then it was Autumn Johnson taking her turn at the plate. Her bat had been unstoppable in game two and she didn’t let up at all as she blasted a huge walk-off home run over the left centerfield fence to mercy Western and take the series.

“I’m so proud of our team,” Head Coach Jeff Connelly said with a big smile on his face. “They never gave up in the first game. They kept their spirits up and kept battling back. ”

Chelsea will play host Thursday to Milan at 5 o’clock.

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Awards, basketball, commit, Grass Lake, high school, high school basketball, intent, mhsaa, sports

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’s Joey Mangner Outstanding Swimmer

Chelsea’s standout senior Joey Mangner has capped a career that’s seen him win two MHSAA championship. s Mangner swam the fastest 50-yard freestyle time in Michigan this winter (20.78 seconds) to win the race at Saturday’s Southeastern Conference White championship meet and was part of three more victories and four school records total to earn the Michigan Army National Guard’s “Performance of the Week.”

Mangner also won the 100 freestyle (46.50) and swam on winning 200 medley (1:35.59) and 400 freestyle (3:12.10) relays as Chelsea finished second to Dexter, the reigning MHSAA champion in Lower Peninsula Division 2. Chelsea is ranked No. 3 in LPD3 and finished third last season, and Mangner has played a significant part in helping the program rise over his four seasons. He’s an eight-time conference champion and as a freshman helped the Bulldogs to their first league title since 1995. He’s an 11-time all-stater, with individual titles in the 50 as a sophomore and as anchor of the medley relay last season. He’s also earned All-America status in both of those events and is part of five Chelsea pool records in addition to the four school bests.

 

“Joey is an extremely gifted young man,” Chelsea Head Coach Dave Jolly said. ” He has the ability to do some of the most amazing things in the water. What is even more special is how humble he has stayed throughout all his acclaim. He is all about his team and watching them all be successful. It has been a true honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him over these past four years.”

“Out biggest rival was Dexter, in conference at least, and we knew they had a lot more depth than us, a lot more people, and we knew it would be hard to compete team-wise and scoring wise,” Mangner said of the league meet. “Going especially into my senior year, with all the other seniors, we wanted to do the best we could. It’s probably one of my favorite meets. At the state meet level, it’s more about being super serious, super on. This (league meet), being at home, knowing the teams close to us, it’s more of a fun meet, for me at least. I was trying to have as much fun as I could have with it and finish off the league as best I could.”

“When I think about last year, there was a lot of pressure on me,” Mangner stated. “I had won the 50 as a sophomore, and coming back my junior year as the defending champ, I had all the pressure. Going into this year, I can’t do anything that isn’t better than last year, and that takes a little weight off my shoulders.”

“It just shows if you just try hard, try your best at something, you can do whatever you want to achieve,” Mangner said on the Chelsea swim team rise in performance. “In the offseason, I didn’t swim as much as other guys did – I still practiced, but I didn’t go to every single meet – so it’s just exciting to be one of the better swimmers to come out of Chelsea.”

“I did water polo all four years as well, and I tried track my sophomore year but I didn’t like that too much, Mangner  stated discussing his Chelsea sports career. “But I like to play pretty much any sport. If basketball season wasn’t the same as swim season, I definitely would’ve given basketball a try, and I also think baseball is fun.”

“It definitely would be fun to win the medley again,” Mangner said discussing his dream finals finish. “Coming back from last year, I’d hopefully love to be the champion in the 50 free. I’m looking at the 100 (free) more so for getting the varsity record; I’m not too worried what place I get in the 100. One of our relays, the 200 or 400 free, we’re going to stack on them and go for a state (LP Division 3) record. For the 50 I’ve tied the D3 record so I would love to get that.”

Mangner intends to swim collegiately next season and likely will choose between Oakland University and University at Buffalo, with a course of study to be determined.

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