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Chelsea To Promote 1991 Championship Baseball Team With Heart For The Game Movie

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Chelsea’s 1991 Championship Baseball Team (Photo by Brian Hamilton)

According to fans around the state, Chelsea’s 1991 baseball team is the greatest team in Michigan prep sports history! Earlier this year Mlive had a fan vote and the Bulldogs team came in first overwhelmingly with 40,500 votes, almost 37% of all votes. And now they are being honored with a locally produced feature film called “Heart for the Game”.

Their feature premiere will be a red carpet gala event at the Chelsea High School Auditorium (740 North Freer Road) on Saturday, August 19th from 7-9 P.M. The family friendly event is free and is intended to bring the community together to celebrate the events of athletics, past and present. Donations will be accepted at the door with 100% of the proceeds going to the Chelsea Athletic Boosters and will be earmarked for their project to construct new athletic display cases near the gymnasium.

The movie is a Video Farm documentary directed by Robert Coelius and produced by Kerry and Theresa Plank. It is a ’30 for 30’ style full-length feature documenting the 1991 State Championship baseball team. Key participants and witnesses recall the events of a unique and historic baseball team 25 years later. The team overcame adversity on and off the field and won 11 of 33 games when tied or losing in the final at-bat. The team beat the #1, #4, and #2 teams in succession and won the championship game in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.

Appearing in the film are local Chelsea icons, Craig Common (Owner and Chef of the Common Grill), Jeff Daniels (Actor who has appeared in many movies including Blood Work with Clint Eastwood and Pleasantville and also the founder of the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea), Howdy Holmes (President and CEO of Jiffy Mix in Chelsea and former Indy driver), and Chelsea Mayor Jason Lindauer to name a few. 

The Bulldogs a had a knack for making late-game comebacks in that miraculous season. Of the team’s 33 victories in 1991, 13 were in the Bulldogs’ last at-bat, including the Class B state championship game.

Midland Bullock Creek scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead, but Chelsea rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning. It was the team’s 20th-straight win after beginning the season 13-3.

The Bulldogs had several players move on to play at the next level, led by catcher Adam Taylor, who played at the University of New Mexico before playing three years in the minor leagues, reaching the double-A level.

Pitcher Jake Rindle played at Michigan State and Central Michigan, while Rob Clem moved on to play at Hillsdale College. The pitching duo combined to go 22-1 for the Bulldogs in 1991.

“It was such a great group of guys,” Chelsea coach Wayne Welton said. “We had a 25-year anniversary get-together at my house last summer, and we probably could have gone out and played somebody and won in our last at-bat that day, too. It was such a fun group. I love those guys.”

Key Participants in the film are Welton (former Chelsea baseball coach and former athletic Director), Todd Starkey (1988 CHS Graduate and former coach), and 1991 CHS Graduates Kerry Plank, Tucker Steele, Jude Quilter, Jeremy Stephens, Rick Westcott, Rob Clem, and Craig Ferry. Also featured are 1990 Chelsea graduates Adam Taylor (current Chelsea coach), Ben Hurst, Jake Rindle, Rob Jaques, Jason Adams, and 2001 graduate Molly Welton-Boyle.

The documentary trailer can be found at Chelsea Heart For The Game Movie Trailer

Also for information or to RSVP you can go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/444311302593205?__mref=mb

As of this writing, there are approximately 300 RSVP’s thus far.

 

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The 1991 State Champions at their 25th reunion

 

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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 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 Softball Takes All 3 Games Again

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Win, repeat, sweep. That’s what the Chelsea Bulldogs seem to be doing in their round robin tournament play this year and the players and their fans couldn’t be happier with the results. In today’s games, the Bulldogs defeated Grass Lake 2-1, run-ruled Holt 11-0, and finished the day off with a well-earned victory over Livonia Churchill 6-3.

In the first game against the Warriors, Grass Lake took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and then it became a pitchers duel with Chelsea’s Peighton Root coming out on top thanks to a walk-off hit by Hannah Kahler in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bulldogs the exciting victory. Root went the distance for the Bulldogs only allowing 3 hits with her solid defense behind her.

In game 2, it seemed to flow a lot easier for the Bulldogs and their big bats as they mercied Holt in 5 innings. The Bulldogs scored 10 runs in the first 2 innings of the game led by a 3 run home run by Alise Hale. Almost every Bulldog reached base in the first inning alone.

The second inning went just as well for the Bulldogs as they piled up another 5 runs with senior third baseman Autumn Johnson starting things off with a double, her second hit on the night. Root brought her around with a big blast over the outfield fence for a two-run homer. 2 batters later it was sophomore catcher Maddie Vasquez getting her second home run of the year, as she went yard for a two-run shot.  Sophomore Maddie Kemp picked up the shutout victory with a 6 strikeout performance while only allowing 3 hits.

The sun was bright and the air just a bit crisp as the Bulldogs started their third game against a very tough Livonia Churchill team.  Root got the ball again on the mound for the Bulldogs and runs were a bit tougher to come by, like in the Grass Lake game. But Sydney Hines was able to clear the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning with a 2 rbi double and then would score herself off a single by Hale giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

The Chargers tacked on a run in the top of the 5th but the bulldogs established a bigger lead and more breathing room in the 6th inning by adding 3 runs, behind the bats of Root, Hale, and Sydnee Liedel, who went 3 for 4 in the game.

The Chargers had a brief rally in the 7th adding two more runs but it wasn’t enough as Root got the Charger to ground out to third to Maddie Kemp who made the throw to first baseman Grace Bush for the out and the victory and the sweep on the day. Root gave up only 7 hits to go with her 7 strikeouts.

The Bulldogs are now 9-2 on the season and will be hosting their arch rivals Dexter on Monday at 4. p.m.

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Chelsea Softball Splits Doubleheader Against Tecumseh

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Chelsea Sophomore Maddie Vasquez slides safely into second base against Tecumseh

On a warm, beautiful afternoon there wasn’t a hint of gray in the sky but there was a big splash of gray on the Chelsea softball field as the Bulldogs unveiled their new gray uniforms. The Bulldogs were looking sharp in their new threads with sparkling gold batting helmets as they opened up conference play and played host to the Tecumseh Indians. The Bulldogs split the doubleheader losing the first game in a heartbreaker in extra innings 10-9 but destroyed the Indians in the nite cap 10-2.

In the first game of the afternoon, Tecumseh jumped out to early 5-0 lead after a big 2nd inning but the Bulldogs struck back with 6 of their own in the bottom of the 4th to take a 1 run lead as they batted through the whole order. The Indians took a 2 run lead in the 6th but the Bulldogs tied it up and took the game into extra innings. In the top of the 8th inning, the Indians scored two runs and Chelsea just got within one run and almost had the tie as the third out was called on a close play at home plate, giving the Indians the victory. Autumn Johnson led the Bulldogs with 3 hits while Hannah Kahler had 2 and Maddie Vazquez had a big pair of rbi doubles.

In the nite cap game, the Indians struck first and fast taking an early 1-0 lead. But the Bulldogs bounced back quickly as Sydnee Liedel led off with a double, followed by a Johnson walk, and then a big 3 run home run blast by Peighton Root. The Bulldogs would score runs in almost every inning giving them a big 10-2 victory behind Johnsons 3 hit performance. Vasquez, Liedel, and winning pitcher Maddie Kemp all had 2 hits apiece.

The Bulldogs are 6-2 on the season and will travel to Ann Arbor Huron on Wednesday for a pair of games starting at 4 o’clock.

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Chelsea Softball Suffers Tough Loss

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Autumn Howard rips a double for Chelsea

On another brisk and windy afternoon, the Chelsea Bulldogs softball team played host to the Milan Big Reds. Chelsea started strong scoring in the first off a Sydney Hines double that scored Grace Bush. But after that, the bats just couldn’t get going the rest of the way in a tough 7-2 loss.

Milan came back and took a 2-1 lead and kept slowly building on their lead, keeping Chelsea’s hitters off base. In the bottom of the 6th Autumn Howard blasted a double in right-center to score her teammate Sydnee Liedel. But the that would be the only comeback Chelsea would get as they were held to only 4 hits on the night. Chelsea goes to 2-1 on the year and will be in action again this Saturday at home starting at 10 a.m.

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