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Chelsea Wins District Championship

 

Chelsea Boys Districts 2017 403

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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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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Chelsea Girls Looking To Make Big Run In Playoffs

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Sophomore Helena Schultz scores earlier in the season

Throw all the stats out the window, the records too. It’s the beginning of the girls basketball district tournament and the 15-5 Chelsea Bulldogs are looking to keep their 8 game win streak going strong. They will tip off against Tecumseh in the first round at Columbia Central High in Brooklyn Monday night at 7:00 P.M.

At the beginning of the season,  many so-called pundits didn’t expect the young Bulldogs to do very well this season. After graduating 6 girls from last year’s district runner-up, many thought it would be a rebuild season but the Bulldogs have proved everyone wrong.

Although they only have 4 seniors, the Bulldogs have gelled together very well. Senior starters Jesse Jacobusse and Nicole Bareis have really stepped up to lead the way. Jacobusse is a feisty competitor who will do anything it takes to help her team win. And Bareis is the top rebounder on the team and is a strong battler.The team has plenty of depth going in the playoffs and for the first time in many years has plenty of size and height. Sophomore Maddie Vasquez and Freshman sensation Riley Davis both stand nearly 6 feet tall and have seen much playing time throughout the season. The Bulldogs are deep off the bench also and with 18 year veteran Head Coach Todd Blomquist making substitutions at the right time and matching up against the other teams  they have faced, it appears Chelsea could go far.

The only downfall to this confident, well balanced team might be it’s youth and inexperience. The playoffs are a whole other level, just like playing on varsity. The Bulldogs have 5 underclassmen on the team but all can perform above the average level and have seen much playing time. If the Bulldogs play up to their talent level, then this could be their year!

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Big Things In Chelsea Basketball’s Riley Davis Future

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Chelsea Freshman Riley Davis at the free throw line (photo by Tressie Davis Photography)

It’s not very often that a freshman player gets the opportunity to show their talent on the Chelsea Girls Varsity basketball team, especially since the team is usually in contention for the SEC Conference championship every year. But Chelsea Head  Coach Todd Blomquist believes in her talent enough to where he called the 14-year-old Riley Davis up at the beginning of the season. 

“Riley has a tremendous skill set,” Coach Blomquist stated. “She can handle the ball well, shoots it well, and is learning to defend at the varsity level. She has progressed nicely at this level and has the potential to have a  very bright future.”

Riley has been playing sports as long as she remembers and she played other sports such as soccer and softball. She also plans on competing in track this spring and looks forward to trying track and competing in the high jump. But her first love always has been basketball.

“I have grown up in a basketball family, but I feel even if I didn’t I would still have a passion for basketball,” Riley stated. “I had a lot of sports choices growing up, and fortunately my parents encouraged me in all ways and let me find my own way. When it comes to basketball, I really like the practices and the game itself, where other sports I didn’t like the practice. In basketball, I enjoy anything that helps me grow as a player whether it’s conditioning, doing drills, or just going to to the gym to shoot.”

The all A 4.0 student still recalls that day when Coach Blomquist approached her to make the big move to the varsity team.

“Coach Blomquist called me out to the track from my freshman fitness class and asked me “You ready to make the jump?”, Riley said explaining that fateful day. “I was very honored but nervous. It was hard to feel anything but nerves at that point. I went back to class and was shaking with energy and adrenaline. I couldn’t keep my mind off it. But I know I would have been more scared if I wasn’t in Chelsea because I knew all the varsity girls.”

Riley is hard not to notice on or off the court with her big smile and her 5 foot 11-inch, and still growing, frame. Riley is a true competitor and has been placed in several clutch situations this season for the Bulldogs and has handled the pressure quite well. Since she is the youngest girl on the team, she wants to work hard and learn. She works hard in practices and she hopes to help the team in any way she can. 

“My main goals right now are to work as hard as I can and improve as much as possible,” Riley stated. “I know I have a lot of things to work on so growing as a player is my main focus. I hope to make our team better and someday play basketball in college.”

On many teams in other cities, a freshman wouldn’t be accepted by seniors or varsity players because of egos and attitudes but that isn’t the case at all in Chelsea. The school encourages multiple athletics as well as academics and above all good sportsmanship.

 “I feel more accepted than I ever thought I could,” Riley explains. “This group of girls has been incredibly nice and has treated me amazingly. I feel so blessed to be in Chelsea because I know it’s not like this everywhere. I was very nervous coming into the first practice but the team has made me feel right at home from the beginning. Everyone supports everyone and it’s a fun environment to be in.” 

 

 

Between sports, practices, and keeping up with academics, when Riley does get some free time she likes to spend it being creative and making things. She has always loved art and being active in any way. She really enjoys the outdoors and hiking and spending time with her dogs Lucy, Maizie, and Sophie.

Riley is the daughter of Robert and Tressie Davis. She has an older brother Dom, and younger brother Robby, and younger sister Alex.

(Note: thank you to Tressie Davis Photography for the pictures enclosed in story)

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Chelsea Girls JV Team Takes Down Dexter

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Chelsea’s Jordan Holton drives the lane against Dexter. She would finish as the team’s top scorer

Dexter hosted their arch rivals Chelsea on Thursday night and started off strong but the Bulldogs were able to come back and finish strong for the big 31-26  victory bringing them to 12-6 on the season.

Dexter took control early on in the defensive battle but Chelsea Head Coach Andrea Hollandsworth made good use of her timeouts and substitutions in the “chess match” against Dexter’s head coach Fred Ligrow. Chelsea’s defense really tightened up in the second period and both teams went to halftime tied at 13.

Dexter came out strong early on in the third period scoring six quick points but Chelsea battled back and then Chelsea’s Kyle Bragg stole the ball and spotted her best friend and teammate Jordan Holton at the other end of the court hitting her with a perfect fast break pass which Holton finished with 2 to tie the game up at 19. The Bulldogs then clamped down defensively and never trailed again as their inside game took over with Jenna Fosdick making some big shots.

Chelsea took advantage of several fouls down the stretch to seal the victory and secure a hard fought battle. Holton almost had a double-double and finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Fosdick finished with 6 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 huge blocked shots. Gabby Udell finished with 6 points, while Caitlin Dusenbury put up 5.

The Bulldogs are off until Tuesday when they will host Bedford at 7 P.M. at the Washington Street Education Center (WSEC).

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Chelsea’s Jesse Jacobusse Leads With Actions, Not Words

 

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Chelsea Senior Jesse Jacobusse Jumps for a shot against Ypsilanti

Jesse Jacobusse’s Chelsea Bulldogs are falling behind against a Class A school. Time is winding down and the momentum has shifted. Jesse knows time is short and something needs to be done. So the petite 5 foot 4-inch senior guard dribbles coast to coast, cutting a lane through several defenders much larger than her, hits the basket and falls to the floor as she gets fouled hard. Jesse gets up unfazed and hits the free throw. She gets back on defense and is able to steal a pass and take the ball to the hole again giving her team the lead. Her Bulldogs end up winning the game and it’s just another night on the court as she is used to this. Because Jesse Jacobusse does not give up and she does not like to lose!

Jesse is a true competitor in everything she does. She credits that for being in competition with her twin brother Jake, who is older than her by only 3 minutes. Jake just won his 103-pound weight class in wrestling at districts for Chelsea.

“I’ve grown up with a twin brother which has given me the competitive edge that I have,” Jesse explains. “Other twins understand the competition of being twins and I think that helped us both to accomplish more than what we would have without each other. I don’t just not like losing, I hate it so much and that’s the kind of attitude that helps me get extra aggressive and scrappy in games. It’s not just the game I’m working to win. Every possession I want to win; be better than the opponent.”

Jesse has been playing sports since as long as she can remember. Up until high school, her favorite sport has always been soccer but now it’s definitely basketball for her. Jesse plays much larger on the court than most girls that stand a foot taller than her and she is not afraid to do anything for the team to help them out. Jesse still plays soccer once scoring 5 goals in a game last season. She also excels at cross country and track where she has gone to states to represent Chelsea in both sports. She has made her name known as she is in the Chelsea record books.

 

In all 4 of the sports Jesse plays yearly she excels at every one of them yet she is very humble and down to Earth, and a bit quiet and shy. When she’s not playing sports she is hitting the books where she excels also, being a member of the National Honor Society and she is on student council.

Jesse is definitely not your average teenager as when she does get some free time she enjoys spending it, well, playing sports and working out.

“For me sports are everything,” Jesse stated.  “I don’t have much spare time but this summer I found myself with a lot of time so my best friend, Briana Hay, and I practiced all of our sports every day. We ran, lifted, shot basketballs, and went out to the soccer field and practiced. It’s something we love to do so it’s not just the sports that we play, it’s our hobby, and what we fill our spare time with.”

Jesse is one of 4 seniors on a very young Chelsea basketball team this season. But she feels as a senior she doesn’t need to be a leader with her words, she leads with her actions.

“As a senior, I don’t necessarily feel the need to lead but I find that just working hard and setting a positive example is all I need to do to be a leader,” says Jesse

Jesse has the respect of all her teammates and classmates and also the respect of many of the teams she faces. In basketball, they always try to double team her and try to take her off her game. But it seldom works.

She also has the respect of her head coach Todd Blomquist who has been coaching Chelsea girls basketball for 18 years.

“Jesse is one of the better on-ball defenders that I’ve ever coached,” Blomquist proudly stated.

Jesse will be taking her 17 letters in sports and academics and will be leaving in the fall for Houghton where she will be attending Michigan Technological University where she will study Biomedical Engineering as well as playing on their soccer team and running track for the Huskies.

“Because I’ll be playing my other two sports, one thing I will miss the most after high school is basketball and the other thing is all the friends I’ll be leaving when I am so far away,” Jesse sadly stated.

But before she goes she has business to attend to with her Chelsea basketball team as they try to make a big run in the districts. And then in the spring, she will be leading her track team with her running skills and her exceptional soccer abilities on the field to help lead her Chelsea team.

Jesse is the daughter of Robb and Betsy Jacobusse, and besides her twin brother Jake, she has two older brothers, Tom and Mason, and younger sister Grace who plays on the Chelsea freshman team.

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Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove Breaks Points Per Game Record

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JCS Royals Senior Drew Blacgroves drives for 2 against his former school, Grass Lake

It’s been a week of records this past week for the small school of Jackson Christian. First, senior Thomas Miller broke the school rebounding record in a single game with 27. Then, just a few day later, his teammate and close friend Drew Blackgrove broke the school record for most points in a game with 40!

The all around athletic forward achieved his feat on the road in Litchfield. It was something he had wanted to do to leave his lasting legacy behind to the Royals, but Drew has a team first mentality.

“It felt great to finally break the record,” an excited Blackgrove exclaimed. “It’s something I’ve had my goal set on throughout my High School career. I’ve had about 6 or 7 opportunities to do it before, but it just never worked out. I knew I was close, I had 19 at the half and I was going to go for it and my teammates really helped me out.”

The record of 37 in a game stood for many years, scored by Joel Maybee and Darren Hooley. Jackson Christian may be a small school but it not only produces great scholars, it has a great athletic program also.

“I had 37 points and then I got fouled shooting a 3,” Blackgrove stated. “I went to the line for 3 free throws and I was really nervous. But I sank all 3 free throws and set the record. I can’t explain how great it feels!”

Drew gives credit to God and the number 1 influence in his life that drives him and encourages him most, his dad Mark Blackgrove. Mark played basketball at Jackson Christian and was a great player also.

“My dad always pushes me, helps me and encourages me to try harder and do better,” Drew explained. “He’s always pushed me in a positive way and I’ve always looked up to him. I also think it’s cool that I scored 40 and that was his number when he played here.”

Drew is the son of Mark and Amy Blackgrove. His older brother Drayton is the entertaining announcer of the Royals basketball games and he has a younger brother Reece who is on the Royals junior varsity team. He also has a  student from Seoul, South Korea that lives with the family throughout the school year attending Jackson Christian, Jae Hoon Pyon, who Drew considers his brother. Rounding out the family is the family dog Wrigley.

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