By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Wrestling practice begins two weeks from Monday. But planning for a special military appreciation event at Coopersville is well underway and promises to be memorable.
The Broncos host an annual six-team tournament, which will take place this season Dec. 28. For this winter’s event, the school’s wrestling program has raised money to buy six uniforms – honoring the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and MIA/POW(s) – one set of 16 shirts and shorts for each competing team.
None of the uniforms will bear a school name or symbol, only those of the armed service branch or troops the shirts support. Organizers are planning to begin the event with a grand march with veterans leading each team. All veterans and active military will be admitted free of charge, and Coopersville will be inviting residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Hastings, Kent City, Grand Rapids Northview, Ravenna and Zeeland West also will be competing and taking part. The shirts are designed by Addix, a sponsor of the MHSAA.
Rivals Team Up to Support Military Families
Neighboring volleyball programs Birch Run and Frankenmuth came together Oct. 10 to give their match as a fundraiser for the I Support the 1% Food Pantry for Veterans of Michigan, which serves local military families.
The teams wore shirts supporting the cause with names on the back of family members who had served or are currently serving in the military.
The match alone was worth the price of admission, as the Panthers won in five sets. The previous week, Birch Run’s football team also supported the pantry as part of Homecoming against Bridgeport.
The Panthers’ volleyball match with the Eagles was just the latest effort between the two schools from the Tri-Valley Conference. The cross country teams also continued their annual joint “fun run” maze competition during a practice this month.
(Photos courtesy of the Birch Run athletic department.)
Sarah Bradley ♦ Clarkston Everest Collegiate
Junior ♦ Volleyball
The 6-0 outside hitter had 31 kills – tied for sixth-most in an MHSAA Final – with a .419 hitting percentage and 18 digs as Everest Collegiate came back from a two-set deficit to defeat No. 4-ranked Leland in five in Saturday’s Division 4 championship match at Kellogg Arena. The first Finals title in program history capped a tournament run that saw the Mountaineers also win their first Regional title. Everest entered the postseason ranked No. 10 in Division 4 and finished 32-4-2.
Bradley finished the season with 420 kills, adding 15 in a Quarterfinal win over No. 6 Marlette and 25 in a five-set Semifinal victory over top-ranked Adrian Lenawee Christian during which Everest also came back after losing the first two sets. Bradley was named to the Division 4 all-state first team after earning an honorable mention as a sophomore. She also plays basketball, softball and soccer for the Mountaineers and is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field as she begins contemplating her college possibilities.
Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.
MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
Past 2023-24 Honorees
Nov. 17: Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10: Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27: Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20: Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13: Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5: Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29: MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22: Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15: Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8: Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1: Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report
(Photos courtesy of the Clarkston Everest Collegiate athletic department.)