Three pivotal members of the Grand Haven varsity football team were given All-Conference Honorable Mention nods for their performance in O-K Red play this season.
Senior quarterback Adam Nelson, tailback Malic Love and guard Carter Williams led the Bucs to a 1-8 overall record and 0-6, last place effort in the O-K Red, but were able to rack up some impressive stats over the course of the season.
Nelson led the Bucs’ offense with season totals of 43 completions on 108 attempts for a 40 percent completion percentage and seven touchdowns to go with 75 yards rushing on 51 carries.
As a primary contributor on both sides of the ball, Nelson racked up 30 tackles on the season, with one for a loss, grabbed one pick and forced one fumble.
Love served as Grand Haven’s primary outside rushing threat and developed a knack for pass catching as the season progressed. He totaled 294 rushing yards on 77 carries for an average of 3.8 yards per carry. As a receiver, Love used his speed to generate tremendous yards after the catch. He hauled in 16 targets for 201 yards receiving.
On defense, Love was stellar at finding the ball and making plays in the backfield; he totaled 42 tackles while nabbing one interception as a cornerback.
Williams made his living anchoring the offensive and defensive lines. As a guard, he helped open space for the Grand Haven running game, which generated 1,092 yards over the course of the season.
As a defensive lineman, Williams recorded 27 tackles.
The first-team All-Conference selections amounted to seven picks from first-place West Ottawa, four from second-place Rockford, five from third-place Grandville, six from fourth-place East Kentwood, four from Hudsonville, who tied East Kentwood and Caledonia for fourth-place, and three from Caledonia.
The honorable mention team featured one player from East Kentwood, three from Grand Haven, three from Grandville, two from Hudsonville, three from Rockford and three from West Ottawa.
GH volleyball wraps conference season
The Grand Haven volleyball team took on their final O-K Red Conference double-dual Wednesday night, matching up with Grandville and West Ottawa.
The Bucs fell to the Panthers in straight sets, 23-25, 21-25 and 22-25, before defeating the Bulldogs in five, 26-24, 25-14, 13-25, 23-25 and 18-16.
“I felt like tonight was a lackluster performance for our last night of conference play,” Grand Haven head coach Aaron Smaka said. “I don’t think it is how we envisioned ending the conference season.
“It felt really good to come out with the win against Grandville. It was a great win in a close game, but we didn’t play our best. Coming out against West Ottawa we felt lackluster, like we were just finishing out the season.
“As we transition into the postseason, we have to work on playing with a much greater sense of urgency.”
Olivia Boeve led Grand Haven in kills with 36 Wednesday, followed by Avolyn Lepo at 14. Ashlyn Hall topped the assist column with 57, followed by Samantha Boove with 31. Baby Hang got things started with 49 digs, ahead of Boeve with 19 and Rachel Hillburger at 18.
Avery Strohmeyer dominated net play with six total blocks, followed by Lauren Jonker with five.
Boove and Boeve led from the service line as well, racking up six and five aces, respectively.
The split decision Wednesday leaves the Bucs’ final conference record at 4-8, and their overall mark at 31-20. They will take on the first round of the district tournament at Reeths-Puffer against the hosts on Monday.
“We always try to be playing our best volleyball in November,” Smaka said. “We aren’t doing that right now, so we have some things to work on, most of all, consistency. We are giving away way too many free points to our opponents.
“We have played Reeths-Puffer twice so we know them well. They are good outside. They will try to serve us tough and get us out of system. We have to play more consistent volleyball than we are right now to make the run we want to make.
Should the Bucs make it past Reeths-Puffer, the rest of the district tournament will be played at Northview High School.
Spring Lake diver qualifies for regionals
The Spring Lake diving team took on Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Tuesday, taking the top-two finishes.
Senior Audra Bialik recorded a personal best score of 238.95 for first place, while fellow senior Veronica Russell posted a season-best score of 181.2 for second place.
The win awarded Bialik her final regional point needed to qualify for the Division 3 regional championship meet, putting a sweet twist to the end of the regular season.
“It was a super end to our dual meet season for these two divers,” Spring Lake head diving coach Tom Knight said. “They worked very hard all season long. Bialik serves as a team captain and is a great example of leadership and determination for the girls.”
Bialik will compete at the regional meet on Nov. 9 at Hamilton High School for a chance to dive at the Division 3 state finals.