The Alma Boys Basketball Program is excited to announce that Cade Sutherland has been selected to compete in the 11th Annual Capital Area All-Star Game on the campus of Lansing Community College on Monday, June 17th at 7:00 pm.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – June 17 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association is accepting registrations online or by mail for game officials for the 2024-25 school year.

The MHSAA registered approximately 8,700 officials for the 2023-24 school year, an increase of nearly five percent over 2022-23 as the ranks continue to build back toward pre-COVID totals.

All officials who register may sign up for up to two sports as part of their registration. Officials also will receive membership in the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), which comes with a variety of educational and training resources and the NASO’s Shield liability insurance that will provide $6 million in coverage for officials while they are working both MHSAA and non-MHSAA events.

For new and returning officials, a $70 fee covers registration for up to two sports. Officials may register for additional sports at $16 per sport.

To avoid a $30 late fee, all fall sport registration applications must be received by Aug. 19, 2024. Winter sports registrations must be received by Nov. 18 to avoid the late fee, and spring sports registrations must be received by March 24, 2025.

Online registration can be accessed by clicking “Officials” on the home page of the MHSAA Website at https://www.mhsaa.com. More information about officials registration may be obtained by contacting the MHSAA by phone at (517) 332-5046 or by e-mail at register@mhsaa.com.

There is an officials’ registration test for first-time officials and officials who were not registered during the past school year, derived from the MHSAA Officials Guidebook. New officials and those who didn’t officiate during 2023-24 also must complete the online MHSAA Principles of Officiating course. Additional exams must be taken by those registering for football or basketball for the first time or those who were not registered for those sports during the previous school year. Links to the Officials Guidebook, Principles of Officiating presentation and the football and basketball mechanics manuals can be found by following the “New Officials” link on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website.

There also are opportunities to officiate for students at least 14 years old and in grades 9-12 through the MHSAA Legacy Program. Juniors and seniors may officiate subvarsity contests, while freshmen and sophomores may officiate contests at the middle school/junior high levels. Mentor officials will work events with Legacy participants to provide guidance and support. Find information on the Legacy Program by clicking “Officials Registration” on the Officials page of the MHSAA Website and following the “Legacy Program” link.MSAA

Last week Ithaca faced St. Louis, Hemlock, and Holly

St. Louis

Game 1: W- 8-4
Kennedi Ryan pitched and had 7 strikeouts and 1 walk. Offense was led by Faith Fisher with 2 hits. Also adding to the offense were Alyssa McPherson, Hayden Whitmore and Emma Janes.

Game 2: L 0-10
Maeli Akin pitched 4 innings with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks. Kennedi came in to finish the game with 1 strikeout.
Leading the offense were Fisher, Whitmore and Janes.

Hemlock:

Game 1: Loss 6-12
Kennedi Ryan pitched and had 6 strikeouts. Leading the offense was Ryan, Alyssa McPherson, Hayden Whitmore. Also adding hits were Faith Fisher, Emmalee Shankel, Emma Janes, Maeli Akin and Estes Purvis.

Game 2: Loss 10-11
Kennedi Ryan started the game pitching 3 innings and Akin came in for the relief pitching 5.1 innings and had 10 strikeouts.
Offense was led by Emmalee Shankel with 3 hits, Ryan, Fisher, Janes and Akin all with 2.

Holly:

Game 1: Loss 6-8
Kennedi Ryan pitched allowing 2 walks, but had 6 strikeouts. Offense was lead by Faith Fisher, Maeli Akin and Kennedi Ryan all hitting HRs. Also adding to the offense was Hayden Whitmore with 2 hits.

Game 2: Win 10-0
Maeli Akin pitched all 7 innings with 7 strikeouts. Leading the offense was Emmalee Shankel with 3 hits, including a HR. Also adding was Kennedi Ryan and Faith Fisher each with 2 hits.

Ithaca Varsity softball opened up conference play with a bang this week over Michigan Lutheran Seminary. Here are the stats:

Game 1: Score 4-0 Win
Ivy Davenport hit an MHSAA record with 20 strikeouts in a 7 inning game and took the win.
The offense was led by Kennedi Ryan with 2 hits. Also adding to the offense were Davenport, Emmalee Shankel, Alyssa McPherson, Maeli Akin and Quinne McMurphy. The Jackets totaled 7 hits on the game.

Game 2: Score 16-0 Win
Pitching was a team effort. Davenport pitched 2 innings striking out another 4 batters, and Kennedi Ryan came in for 2 striking out 2.
Offense was led by Emmalee Shankel with back-to-back homeruns going 3/3 at bat and driving in 5 runs. Also adding to the offense was Faith Fisher with 3 hits and Davenport, Maeli Akin, each with 2 hits. The Jackets collected 14 hits on the game.

MHSAA Representative Council Approves Sponsorship of New Sports, Adjusts Winter Finals Schedule Among Several Actions at Spring Meeting

EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 9 – The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association took several actions during its Spring Meeting, May 5-6 in Gaylord, including approving the addition of boys volleyball and girls field hockey to the lineup of MHSAA-sponsored tournament sports beginning in 2025-26 and reorganizing the winter championship calendar to end one week earlier.

The Spring Meeting of the 19-member legislative body of the Association’s more than 1,500 member schools is generally the busiest of its sessions each year. The Council considered 28 committee proposals and dealt with a variety of eligibility rule, postseason tournament and operational issues.

After a yearlong conversation about emerging sports at MHSAA member schools, the Council approved a Volleyball Committee recommendation to begin sponsorship of boys volleyball with the 2025-26 school year. The Council also voted to begin sponsorship of girls field hockey beginning with 2025-26. Girls field hockey will be played during the Fall season, and boys volleyball during the Spring season, with the 2024-25 school year to serve as a development period as the MHSAA works with the current governing organizations for those sports. These will be the first sports added to the MHSAA’s tournament offerings since girls and boys lacrosse joined the lineup during the 2004-05 school year.

Changes to the MHSAA Winter Calendar will take effect in 2025-26 and include several adjustments to Finals schedules and practice starts that overall will lead to the winter sports season ending one week earlier – reflecting a fall survey that showed nearly 80 percent of MHSAA member schools felt the winter should be shortened. The reshaped winter sports calendar also completes competition before schools begin their spring breaks – which are being scheduled earlier than in the past – and places championships on dates that avoid potential facility conflicts.

Beginning with 2025-26, the last weekend in February will include the Team Wrestling, Bowling and Competitive Cheer Finals (with Skiing Finals remaining on the Monday of that week). The first weekend in March will include the Individual Wrestling, Boys Ice Hockey and Girls Gymnastics Finals. The Boys Basketball Finals will move to the second weekend of March with the Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals, and the Girls Basketball Finals will permanently conclude the winter season during the third weekend of March. The Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Swimming & Diving Finals will remain in mid-February. With basketball seasons ending earlier, basketball practices will be able to begin five days earlier (on a Wednesday) to keep tryouts/first practice dates from falling during Thanksgiving week.

More changes to MHSAA Tournament competition will begin in 2024-25. The Council voted to add a team championship for girls wrestling to be awarded to the school with the most success in the girls bracket of the Individual Finals. A girls individual bracket was added for the 2021-22 season, and the team championship will be awarded based on individual finishes similarly to how boys team championships were awarded before the dual format Finals were created with the 1987-88 season. Also for 2024-25, the Council approved Basketball and Soccer Committee recommendations to seed the entire District tournaments in those sports using Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) data, which previously was used to seed only the top two teams in each bracket for girls and boys basketball and girls and boys soccer.

The Council also approved a classification change in football intended to protect the state’s smallest schools sponsoring the 11-player format. Continuing a conversation from its Winter Meeting in March, the Council approved a Football Committee recommendation to cap the enrollment of Division 8 schools at 250 students, and then divide the rest of the 11-player schools evenly to determine the enrollment lines for the other seven divisions. As more small schools have switched to 8-player, larger schools have shifted into Division 8 for 11-player – and this change guarantees Division 8 schools will play only similarly-small schools during the postseason, taking effect with the 2025-26 school year.

To continue supporting schools providing teams at multiple levels despite low participation, the Council voted to allow athletes in two more sports to compete on teams at two levels on the same day. The Council approved a Bowling Committee recommendation allowing bowlers to participate in subvarsity and varsity competition on the same day, provided the events are separate – bowlers may still be listed on only one match roster and bowl for one team during each event – and also approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee recommendation to allow athletes to play in no more than five quarters in one day, with overtime an extension of the fourth quarter. At multi-team girls lacrosse tournaments where both school teams are playing, an athlete would be allowed to play in as many halves or quarters as what the school’s highest team level that day is playing.

The Council bolstered the penalty for inappropriate behavior toward game officials, approving an Officials Review Committee recommendation modifying the penalty for any coach or athlete who is ejected for spitting at, hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing or intentionally and/or aggressively physically contacting a game official at any time during that competition or after being ejected. The offending coach or athlete shall be suspended from competition for the next 14 calendar days and must complete an online sportsmanship course. The offending coach also will not be eligible to coach in the MHSAA Tournament for that sport during that season, nor be allowed to be present at the site or within sight, sound or communication of a tournament event for that team.

Here is a summary of other notable actions taken by the Representative Council at the Spring Meeting, which will take effect during the 2024-25 school year unless noted:

Regulations

• The Council approved a change to the athletic-related transfer (link) rule stating that an athlete is ineligible in all sports participated in during the current or previous school year if that student has transferred to a school where a coach is employed who previously was a school employee or third-party contractor at the athlete’s former school. This change of language bolsters the regulation to include links to a coach at the new school who previously was employed in any way by the previous school.

• The Council approved a change to the football practice and competition rule to state that a school may not take part in an interscholastic scrimmage with another school until the Wednesday of the second week of practice and only if the team has conducted football practice on at least seven separate previous days. A joint practice with another school is considered a scrimmage and may not take place until those seven days of practice have been completed.

Sports Medicine

• The Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to require high schools to attest by each season’s established deadline that their high school sports coaches have emergency action plans specific to location which are posted, dispersed, rehearsed, discussed and documented within their practice plans.

• The Council also approved a Committee recommendation requiring MHSAA Tournament host sites to have an AED (automated external defibrillator) within visible distance of the event.

Officials

• The Council approved an Officials Review Committee recommendation requiring a set minimum number of officials required to work an event, designated by sport and level (varsity or subvarsity).

Sport Matters

• BASEBALL: The Council approved a Baseball Committee recommendation requiring varsity teams to submit their pitch count information electronically by noon the day following every game(s).

• BOWLING: The Council approved a Bowling Committee recommendation allowing for Regionals – Team and Singles – to be competed on consecutive days between Wednesday and Saturday of that week to increase the possibility of more bowling centers being able to host. Previously Regionals could be bowled only on Fridays and Saturdays.

• COMPETITIVE CHEER: The Council approved three Competitive Cheer Committee recommendations related to stunting while also prioritizing safety. In a braced suspended forward roll pyramid, the flyer and at least one bracer will be required to have a hand-to-hand/arm connection, with one or both hands/arms of the bracer connected to one hand/arm/foot of the flyer, and with this maneuver performed only to a cradle position or in a forward suspended role without twists.

Another change will allow a backward suspended roll when it originates from the cheering surface as long as both hands of the flyer maintain continuous hand-to-hand or hand-to-arm contact with the original bases or back spot.

A third change allows during an inversion the temporary loss of contact with the flyer while transitioning to a double-based sponge with both feet of the flyer in the hands of the bases, or to a cradle or shoulder-level or below stunt.

• GOLF: The Council approved a Golf Committee recommendation to form a Golf Site Selection Committee to review Regional tournament groupings and determine host schools and courses.

• SOCCER: The Council approved another Soccer Committee proposal to institute a running clock during the first half of matches when the goal differential is eight or more.

• SWIMMING & DIVING: The Council approved a Swimming & Diving Committee recommendation requiring all times entered for MHSAA Finals for both individual and relay swim events to be the times that are the fastest achieved in varsity competition during the current season and electronically verifiable on SwimCloud.com.

• TENNIS: The Council approved a Tennis Committee recommendation requiring the MHSAA to reduce the number of Regional tournaments for a season from eight to six if the number of teams participating that season is fewer than 288.

• TRACK & FIELD: The Council approved a Cross Country/Track & Field Committee recommendation allowing for athletes to qualify for MHSAA Finals by reaching predetermined standards during a window beginning April 1 of that season and extending until that athlete’s Regional meet.

• WRESTLING: The Council approved a Wrestling Committee recommendation to amend the penalty for a team when a wrestler competes at an ineligible weight class during a dual event. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered during the involved match, that wrestler forfeits that match and the opposing team will be awarded six team points, plus the head coach of the team with the ineligible wrestler will be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty resulting in a one-point team score deduction. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered after the involved match, any points earned by the offending wrestler are removed from the team score, along with the point for unsportsmanlike conduct, and six points are added to the offended team’s total. In both instances, neither wrestler involved in the match in question may compete again in that dual. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered after the dual is completed, the teams have left the mat area and the scorebook has been signed by the official, the results and team score will stand.

The Council also reviewed reports on membership, with 754 senior high schools and 774 junior high/middle schools in 2023-24 plus 60 elementary schools with 6th-grader participation; cooperative programs, with 392 high school programs for 720 teams during 2023-24; eligibility advancement applications, which totaled one; the use of Educational Transfer Forms, of which there were 128; school violations, attendance at athletic director in-service workshops and Coaches Advancement Program sessions; officials’ registrations (which were up 4.8 percent from 2022-23), rules meetings attendance, and officials reports submitted for the past three sports seasons. The Association’s $14.8 million budget for the 2024-25 school year also was approved.

The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

MHSAA Representative Council Approves Sponsorship of New Sports, Adjusts Winter Finals Schedule Among Several Actions at Spring Meeting

EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 9 – The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association took several actions during its Spring Meeting, May 5-6 in Gaylord, including approving the addition of boys volleyball and girls field hockey to the lineup of MHSAA-sponsored tournament sports beginning in 2025-26 and reorganizing the winter championship calendar to end one week earlier.

The Spring Meeting of the 19-member legislative body of the Association’s more than 1,500 member schools is generally the busiest of its sessions each year. The Council considered 28 committee proposals and dealt with a variety of eligibility rule, postseason tournament and operational issues.

After a yearlong conversation about emerging sports at MHSAA member schools, the Council approved a Volleyball Committee recommendation to begin sponsorship of boys volleyball with the 2025-26 school year. The Council also voted to begin sponsorship of girls field hockey beginning with 2025-26. Girls field hockey will be played during the Fall season, and boys volleyball during the Spring season, with the 2024-25 school year to serve as a development period as the MHSAA works with the current governing organizations for those sports. These will be the first sports added to the MHSAA’s tournament offerings since girls and boys lacrosse joined the lineup during the 2004-05 school year.

Changes to the MHSAA Winter Calendar will take effect in 2025-26 and include several adjustments to Finals schedules and practice starts that overall will lead to the winter sports season ending one week earlier – reflecting a fall survey that showed nearly 80 percent of MHSAA member schools felt the winter should be shortened. The reshaped winter sports calendar also completes competition before schools begin their spring breaks – which are being scheduled earlier than in the past – and places championships on dates that avoid potential facility conflicts.

Beginning with 2025-26, the last weekend in February will include the Team Wrestling, Bowling and Competitive Cheer Finals (with Skiing Finals remaining on the Monday of that week). The first weekend in March will include the Individual Wrestling, Boys Ice Hockey and Girls Gymnastics Finals. The Boys Basketball Finals will move to the second weekend of March with the Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals, and the Girls Basketball Finals will permanently conclude the winter season during the third weekend of March. The Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Swimming & Diving Finals will remain in mid-February. With basketball seasons ending earlier, basketball practices will be able to begin five days earlier (on a Wednesday) to keep tryouts/first practice dates from falling during Thanksgiving week.

More changes to MHSAA Tournament competition will begin in 2024-25. The Council voted to add a team championship for girls wrestling to be awarded to the school with the most success in the girls bracket of the Individual Finals. A girls individual bracket was added for the 2021-22 season, and the team championship will be awarded based on individual finishes similarly to how boys team championships were awarded before the dual format Finals were created with the 1987-88 season. Also for 2024-25, the Council approved Basketball and Soccer Committee recommendations to seed the entire District tournaments in those sports using Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) data, which previously was used to seed only the top two teams in each bracket for girls and boys basketball and girls and boys soccer.

The Council also approved a classification change in football intended to protect the state’s smallest schools sponsoring the 11-player format. Continuing a conversation from its Winter Meeting in March, the Council approved a Football Committee recommendation to cap the enrollment of Division 8 schools at 250 students, and then divide the rest of the 11-player schools evenly to determine the enrollment lines for the other seven divisions. As more small schools have switched to 8-player, larger schools have shifted into Division 8 for 11-player – and this change guarantees Division 8 schools will play only similarly-small schools during the postseason, taking effect with the 2025-26 school year.

To continue supporting schools providing teams at multiple levels despite low participation, the Council voted to allow athletes in two more sports to compete on teams at two levels on the same day. The Council approved a Bowling Committee recommendation allowing bowlers to participate in subvarsity and varsity competition on the same day, provided the events are separate – bowlers may still be listed on only one match roster and bowl for one team during each event – and also approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee recommendation to allow athletes to play in no more than five quarters in one day, with overtime an extension of the fourth quarter. At multi-team girls lacrosse tournaments where both school teams are playing, an athlete would be allowed to play in as many halves or quarters as what the school’s highest team level that day is playing.

The Council bolstered the penalty for inappropriate behavior toward game officials, approving an Officials Review Committee recommendation modifying the penalty for any coach or athlete who is ejected for spitting at, hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing or intentionally and/or aggressively physically contacting a game official at any time during that competition or after being ejected. The offending coach or athlete shall be suspended from competition for the next 14 calendar days and must complete an online sportsmanship course. The offending coach also will not be eligible to coach in the MHSAA Tournament for that sport during that season, nor be allowed to be present at the site or within sight, sound or communication of a tournament event for that team.

Here is a summary of other notable actions taken by the Representative Council at the Spring Meeting, which will take effect during the 2024-25 school year unless noted:

Regulations

• The Council approved a change to the athletic-related transfer (link) rule stating that an athlete is ineligible in all sports participated in during the current or previous school year if that student has transferred to a school where a coach is employed who previously was a school employee or third-party contractor at the athlete’s former school. This change of language bolsters the regulation to include links to a coach at the new school who previously was employed in any way by the previous school.

• The Council approved a change to the football practice and competition rule to state that a school may not take part in an interscholastic scrimmage with another school until the Wednesday of the second week of practice and only if the team has conducted football practice on at least seven separate previous days. A joint practice with another school is considered a scrimmage and may not take place until those seven days of practice have been completed.

Sports Medicine

• The Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to require high schools to attest by each season’s established deadline that their high school sports coaches have emergency action plans specific to location which are posted, dispersed, rehearsed, discussed and documented within their practice plans.

• The Council also approved a Committee recommendation requiring MHSAA Tournament host sites to have an AED (automated external defibrillator) within visible distance of the event.

Officials

• The Council approved an Officials Review Committee recommendation requiring a set minimum number of officials required to work an event, designated by sport and level (varsity or subvarsity).

Sport Matters

• BASEBALL: The Council approved a Baseball Committee recommendation requiring varsity teams to submit their pitch count information electronically by noon the day following every game(s).

• BOWLING: The Council approved a Bowling Committee recommendation allowing for Regionals – Team and Singles – to be competed on consecutive days between Wednesday and Saturday of that week to increase the possibility of more bowling centers being able to host. Previously Regionals could be bowled only on Fridays and Saturdays.

• COMPETITIVE CHEER: The Council approved three Competitive Cheer Committee recommendations related to stunting while also prioritizing safety. In a braced suspended forward roll pyramid, the flyer and at least one bracer will be required to have a hand-to-hand/arm connection, with one or both hands/arms of the bracer connected to one hand/arm/foot of the flyer, and with this maneuver performed only to a cradle position or in a forward suspended role without twists.

Another change will allow a backward suspended roll when it originates from the cheering surface as long as both hands of the flyer maintain continuous hand-to-hand or hand-to-arm contact with the original bases or back spot.

A third change allows during an inversion the temporary loss of contact with the flyer while transitioning to a double-based sponge with both feet of the flyer in the hands of the bases, or to a cradle or shoulder-level or below stunt.

• GOLF: The Council approved a Golf Committee recommendation to form a Golf Site Selection Committee to review Regional tournament groupings and determine host schools and courses.

• SOCCER: The Council approved another Soccer Committee proposal to institute a running clock during the first half of matches when the goal differential is eight or more.

• SWIMMING & DIVING: The Council approved a Swimming & Diving Committee recommendation requiring all times entered for MHSAA Finals for both individual and relay swim events to be the times that are the fastest achieved in varsity competition during the current season and electronically verifiable on SwimCloud.com.

• TENNIS: The Council approved a Tennis Committee recommendation requiring the MHSAA to reduce the number of Regional tournaments for a season from eight to six if the number of teams participating that season is fewer than 288.

• TRACK & FIELD: The Council approved a Cross Country/Track & Field Committee recommendation allowing for athletes to qualify for MHSAA Finals by reaching predetermined standards during a window beginning April 1 of that season and extending until that athlete’s Regional meet.

• WRESTLING: The Council approved a Wrestling Committee recommendation to amend the penalty for a team when a wrestler competes at an ineligible weight class during a dual event. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered during the involved match, that wrestler forfeits that match and the opposing team will be awarded six team points, plus the head coach of the team with the ineligible wrestler will be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty resulting in a one-point team score deduction. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered after the involved match, any points earned by the offending wrestler are removed from the team score, along with the point for unsportsmanlike conduct, and six points are added to the offended team’s total. In both instances, neither wrestler involved in the match in question may compete again in that dual. If the ineligible wrestler is discovered after the dual is completed, the teams have left the mat area and the scorebook has been signed by the official, the results and team score will stand.

The Council also reviewed reports on membership, with 754 senior high schools and 774 junior high/middle schools in 2023-24 plus 60 elementary schools with 6th-grader participation; cooperative programs, with 392 high school programs for 720 teams during 2023-24; eligibility advancement applications, which totaled one; the use of Educational Transfer Forms, of which there were 128; school violations, attendance at athletic director in-service workshops and Coaches Advancement Program sessions; officials’ registrations (which were up 4.8 percent from 2022-23), rules meetings attendance, and officials reports submitted for the past three sports seasons. The Association’s $14.8 million budget for the 2024-25 school year also was approved.

The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

David Cook
Sports Scene
Ranked in the top 15 in the state in Division 3, the Freeland soccer team has started the season strong and is looking to carry that momentum on to the state tournament at the end of the season.
Freeland has fashioned a 6-1-2 overall record as the calendar turns into May. The two ties came against state-ranked teams Frankenmuth and Essexville-Garber with the loss coming against Linden.
“The season is looking great so far,” said Freeland coach Autumn Kloha. “The effort, drive, commitment and attitude the girls have is amazing. They all work very well together. I believe we have a well-bonded team this year with determination and drive from each individual to do our best as a team. There is still so much work to do and always room for improvement. This team has so much potential to be even better than they already are. I am also proud to say that I have a deep bench with lots of talent.”
Freeland is paced by a talented mix of seniors and sophomores this season. Senior center midfielder Paige Kloha is off to a strong start with three goals and three assists through the first six games. Senior outside back Haille Martinez-Hines has added one goal.
A talented group of sophomores are also making an impact. Center midfielder Cessaly Fichtner has totaled five goals. Center back Mia Nietzke has one goal and an assist while center midfielder Reese Conlee has one goal. Sophomore keeper Adelyn Senkowski is providing strong play in goal.
A commitment to teamwork is a key to success for the squad so far this season.
“The strong points that I have noticed from this year’s team is that they all work very well together,” Kloha said. “It is hard to have a group of girls who do not always play together and expect them to bond and adapt to each other’s playing styles. We have worked a ton on communication and positioning this year and I believe that is one of our top strengths. I would also have to say that our defensive line and defense all around is very solid. We are also blessed to have multiple athletes who are fast and can anticipate play.”
Kloha is in her first year as head coach of the team and having a squad that values teamwork and pulling together has been a huge benefit.
“I would like to say that with this being my first-ever year as a varsity soccer coach, I am grateful for the way the girls have adjusted,” Kloha said. “It is not always easy for players to adjust to a new coach. This group is truly special and the work ethic and potential they hold not just as athletes but young adults is astonishing. They all have very bright futures ahead of them if they continue to put in the work.”

A pair of Alma basketball players were selected to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) all-state team.
Gracie Mellinger of the Alma girl’s basketball team was named to the Division 2 BCAM Best team.
Mellinger was also named a first-team, all-conference player in the Tri-Valley Conference Red division. Kendall Town and Bailey Walkington were both named to the all-conference second team.
The Alma girl’s basketball team was also honored as a whole as they were named a BCAM Academic All-State team with a weighted team grade-point average of 3.4184.
In boy’s basketball, Cade Sutherland was named BCAM honorable-mention in Division 2. Sutherland was also a first-team, all-conference player in the Tri-Valley Conference Red division. Jacoby Dunlap was named second-team, all-conference while Owen Seeley was named honorable-mention, all-conference.
Collin Helinski also won a BCAM Outstanding Senior Student Athlete Award as he had a 3.8-plus grade-point average and played four years of basketball.

Last week Ithaca faced Standish-Sterling.

Game 1: Score 12-0 win
Ivy Davenport pitched. She had 12 strikeouts and 2 walks. Only allowing 2 hits.
Offense was led by Kennedi Ryan with 3 hits. Also adding to the offense were Faith Fisher, Hayden Whitmore, Emma Janes and Quinne McMurphy all with 2 hits each. Ryan knocked another HR out, bringing her total to 3 on the year. In 6 innings the yellowjackets raked in 15 hits on the game.

Game 2: Score 15-0 win
Davenport pitched 1 inning getting 2 strikeouts and then Ryan came in to pitch 2 innings with 4 strikeouts.
Leading the offense in this game were: Ivy Davenport, Alyssa McPherson, Maeli Akin, and Emma Janes (Janes with a double and Davenport with a triple). In 3 innings the jackets racked up 12 hits.

Earlier this week, Ithaca went up against Breckenridge:

Game 1: score 9-1 win
Ivy Davenport pitched the game for the win. She struck out 19/23 hitters, had zero walks and allowed 1 hit.
Offense was led by Kennedi Ryan, Faith Fisher and Maeli Akin all with 2 hits. Quinne McMurphy, Emma Janes and Alyssa McPherson each added a hit. Ryan and McPherson both doubled.

Game 2: Score 11-3
Kennedi Ryan pitched. She had 10 strikeouts and only 2 walks.
Offense was led by Emmalee Shankel with 4 hits…Ryan and Akin followed with 3 each. The Jacket racked up 17 hits in that game.

Alma vs Swan Valley
4/23/24
Game 1 Alma Loses 4-5
Game 2 Suspended by lightning/thunder in 4th inning.

Alma vs Chesaning
4/25/24
Game 1 Alma wins 6-5
Game 2 Alma wins 11-10