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Chelsea’s Ronnie Buford Announces College Commitment

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Chelsea Bulldog Ronnie Buford picks off a pass in his junior season

The Chelsea High School football team has produced yet another great young athlete to commit to a Division 1 college as Junior Ronnie Buford announced that he has officially committed to Western Michigan University (WMU) to continue his football career.

Ronnie has committed to the Broncos as a defensive end, where he excelled for the 11-1 Bulldogs team in 2016. The 6 foot 4 inch Buford also excels on the basketball court where he and his Bulldog teammates won the Districts in their division last season.  Buford moved recently to Chelsea from Ann Arbor where he was the starting quarterback for Skyline, but he was moved to defensive end for the Bulldogs where they could take advantage of his size and speed.

“The adjustment from offense to defense wasn’t a real big deal to me,” Ronnie stated. “It was a smooth transition because I understood both offensive and defensive schemes and learned quickly what my coaches were teaching me.”

Many colleges noticed Ronnie’s play in his first year on defense and were interested in him and he and his family visited many of them to get a feel for the community and check out the academics to see if the fit was right for him. Ronnie took his time and with the help of his loving family, friends, and coaches finally decided on his gridiron home for the 2018 season.

“The decision was hard, yet easy. We went to many places but when we went to WMU I just knew I wanted to be a Bronco after the first unofficial visit,” Ronnie stated. “As soon as I stepped foot on the Bronco’s football field,  I just had this feeling that I had at no other visit! It was a confirmation feeling like I belonged there.”

Ronnie also gives much credit to the WMU coaches for making him and his family feel comfortable on their visit.

“They treated me and my family so nice,” Ronnie said. “They were extremely good to my little brother and I could tell this was a great, solid family organization like Chelsea football is. And that’s what I’m all about, family.”

Ronnie plans to major in Business and get a minor in civil engineering while enjoying all the community of Kalamazoo and WMU have to offer. Ronnie is the son of Willie Buford, and Shallis and Laura Mask.

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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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Chelsea Lacrosse Shuts Out Lincoln

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2017 Chelsea Bulldogs celebrate a huge 15-0 victory

Last Friday Chelsea’s Senior goaltender Josh Ciaccio took off on offense and almost scored a goal against Ann Arbor. Tonight against Lincoln, he achieved a rarity in lacrosse, he shut out the rail splitters as Chelsea destroyed Lincoln 15-0.

In the sport of lacrosse achieving a shutout is almost unheard of as it is a fast, physical sport and it only takes one second or one mistake to miss the ball. But Ciaccio was on fire in spite of the unseasonably cold, blustery night. Ciaccio was not tested much but when he was he came up big for the Bulldogs. It helped to have a very stingy defense in front of him as well as some offensive firepower.

“This is actually my second shutout,” an elated Ciaccio said after the game. “I’m so happy right now, it feels good. I was getting worried there near the end but the team played hard to keep it going.”

The Bulldogs were hot on the other end of the field as they blasted 26 shots on the Lincoln netminder. With a big 12-0 lead at the half Chelsea head coach Joe Koengeter rested his varsity starters and played much of his junior varsity players in the second half. (Because of rain earlier there was no junior varsity game so they all played together in the varsity game).

The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Senior Mikal Nelson who had 4 goals on 6 shots. Nelson has been playing exceptionally well as of late, helping his team by making great plays and scoring lots of goals and playing tough defense when the occasion arises.

Sophomore Cam Breining had the hat trick with an assist to go with it while Nick Whitesall, Nate Bero, and Spencer Gobba had 2 goals apiece.  Max Gervais netted a goal and had 4 assists while Aidan Boote also scored for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs head out Wednesday to play at Green Hills then travel on Friday to take on their arch rivals Dexter.

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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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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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