girls, high school, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, soccer, sports

Jackson Christian Soccer Devastates Hillsdale 9-3


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.

basketball, high school, high school basketball, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, sports

Jackson Christian Pulls Off Big Victory On Senior Night


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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basketball, high school, high school basketball, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, sports

Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove Breaks Points Per Game Record


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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basketball, defense, high school basketball, high school football, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, sports

Jackson Christian’s Thomas Miller Sets New Rebound Record


Jackson Christian’s Thomas Miller outjumps everyone for a rebound

It was a big night For Jackson Christian’s big man Thomas Miller. He achieved something he had dreamed of since he started to play roundball at JCS. And he knew it was coming. He could feel it. And with time running out on the road against North Adams Jerome, Thomas leaped above the other players and dragged down the ball breaking the Royals rebound record in a game with 27, breaking Max Walz’s old record.

“The last time out against North Adams I was close to breaking the record,” an elated Miller stated. “So tonight I had a feeling I could do it and was going to try as hard as I could. That was my goal and it feels good to do it.”

Miller, who stands 6 feet 5inches tall, not only rebounds but blocks shots and can score. Against North Adams he put up 18 points to go with his 27 boards. The former record holder Walz gave a shout out to Thomas on twitter for breaking his record. The state all time record is 49 by Jerry Stuart of Perry set in 1970. Miller’s record puts him in the top 30 of the state all time with some good company including former NBA stars Jesse Campbell & Spencer Haywood.

“I was really hoping and trying to break the school record this year, my senior year. I can’t even explain how excited I was to break it,” Miller happily said. “But it’s also weird knowing I broke a school record. I thank my teammates and especially my dad and my girlfriend Katie. They really encouraged me to work hard and to go for it.”

Miller and the Royals  season isn’t even close to being over yet so there is a chance he can get out on the court and break his own record.

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basketball, girls, high school, high school basketball, Jackson Christian, mhsaa, sports, Uncategorized

Jackson Christian Falls to St. Philip Tigers



 Royal Alexis Hannewald 


The Jackson Christian girls basketball team hosted the St. Philip Fighting Tigers on Friday night and were looking to pick up another victory on the season. But the Fighting Tigers had other plans for the Royals as they dominated early and took a 13-0 lead en route to a 76-42 victory.

The Royals couldn’t get any offense going early on as it took them almost four minutes to erase the zero on the scoreboard. The Fighting Tigers cruised to a big 36-14 halftime lead.

After adjustments at the half, the Royals came out on fire to try to erase a 31 point deficit. Junior Alexis Hannewald kept driving hard to the basket and when she didn’t score, she got trips to the charity stripe. But in the fourth quarter, the Royals started to tire as the Fighting Tigers kept them at bay on their way to their 8th victory of the season against 4 losses.

The royals were led by Hannewald with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Senior Sierra Chevalier finished the night with 10 points while Cassidy McNeil, who turned 18 on gameday, finished with 8 points. One of the bright spots for the Royals on the evening was a surprise party for McNeil after the game in the school cafeteria attended by her family and friends.

The Royals look to get on the winning track at East Jackson at 7 p.m.

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basketball, commit, girls, high school, high school basketball, intent, Jackson Christian, letter, mhsaa, sports, Uncategorized

Jackson High’s Taylor Johnson Commits To College


Taylor Johnson goes up for a shot against Chelsea

The first thing you notice when you see Taylor Johnson on the basketball court is her height, as she towers over most of the other competitors. The other thing you notice right away about  Johnson, who stands 6 feet tall, is her positive energy and constant hustle on the court. And she’s bringing that energy to Jackson College as she has committed to play basketball there for Head Coach Heather Brown.

“I’m really excited to play at Jackson college,” said Johnson. “I had several other offers but I love the coach and I feel she will be able to prepare me for my last two years of college.”

And after talking to Johnson, who graduated from Jackson High School after attending Jackson Christian for her first two years of High School, you will see that her faith is very important to her. She credits God for putting her on the path she is on.

“I feel God is leading me to Jackson College and that is part of his grand plan,” Johnson proudly proclaimed. “God is a big part of my life and if it weren’t for him I’m not sure where I’d be.”

Johnson, who has been playing basketball since as long as she remembers, can’t wait to play center for her new coach.She has met and got to play with a few of her new teammates  and is looking forward to entering this season with some new good friends.

Johnson, who enjoys cleaning, watching netflix, singing, and obviously playing hoops, plans to study something along the lines of psychology and social work. “I want to work with at-risk kids in a type of mentoring program,” Johnson said.”I really want to be able to make a difference in kids lives, showing them that they are special and loved, not only by me but by God as well.”

Johnson will miss playing travel ball and for Jackson High and will miss the people she met and friendships she made there but she now enters a new chapter in her life as she will be enrolled for Fall classes.

“I’m really optimistic about my new team and school,” said Johnson. ” I know it’s going to be a big change from what I am used to but I have the grace of God leading me as well as a strong support system of my family and friends.”

Johnson is the daughter of Brent and Kim Johnson. She has an older sister Brittany and a younger brother Ben who plays basketball for Jackson Christian School.


Awards, basketball, high school, high school basketball, mhsaa, Uncategorized

Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove Getting His Due

Readers vote Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove as Jackson-area MVP of 2015-16 boys basketball season

Readers vote Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove as Jackson-area MVP of 2015-16 boys basketball season

Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove (Photo courtesy of Al Wright)
JACKSON – We asked readers to select the Jackson-area MVP of the 2015-16 boys basketball season and, after more than 7,000 votes, Jackson Christian’s Drew Blackgrove was selected.

Blackgrove finished in first place with 2,383 votes when the poll closed at 10 a.m. on Friday. Concord’s Kamron McDonald was second with 1,843 votes and Concord’s Montez Brewer finished with 372 votes to round out the top three.

Blackgrove, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, averaged 16.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Royals.

Keep in mind that the results of this poll will have no bearing on the Citizen Patriot Player of the Year or Dream Team honors.

Who is the Jackson-area boys basketball MVP for 2015-16? (Poll Closed)
Drew Blackgrove, Jackson Christian 33.78%  (2,383 votes) 


Kamron McDonald, Concord 26.13%  (1,843 votes) 


Montez Brewer, Concord 5.27%  (372 votes) 


Preston Laketa, Hanover-Horton 4.58%  (323 votes) 


Charlie Young, Stockbridge 4.54%  (320 votes) 


Zac Latter, Leslie 3.7%  (261 votes) 


Jay McMiller, Hanover-Horton 3.59%  (253 votes) 


Dylan Patton, Leslie 2.95%  (208 votes) 


Shonte’ Suddeth, Jackson 2.89%  (204 votes) 


Caleb Drumm, Homer 2.79%  (197 votes) 


Daniel Poole, East Jackson 2.45%  (173 votes) 


Martin Petersen, Hillsdale 1.86%  (131 votes) 


Brock Ridgeway, Homer 1.6%  (113 votes) 


Kylen Brown, Michigan Center 1.53%  (108 votes) 


Tavian Gaddy, Michigan Center 0.84%  (59 votes) 


Jake Wilson, Jonesville 0.64%  (45 votes) 


Paul Zysk, Addison 0.61%  (43 votes) 


R’Mand Brown, Jackson 0.25%  (18 votes) 



Total Votes: 7,054