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5 Things to Watch This Week

Josh VanDyke • Sep 26, 2016 at 12:18 AM

The end of September marks the beginning of the postseason for the girls golf and boys tennis teams. With the regional championship only a week away, this week’s prep sports schedule is filled with plenty of conference meets that could help provide a spark for a postseason run for some teams or could spell the end of any playoff hopes for others.

Here’s just a few events going on this week that you won’t want to miss.

O-K Red Conference Girls Golf jamboree

When: Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

Where: West Ottawa

Teams: Grand Haven, Rockford, Hudsonville, East Kentwood, Caledonia, Grandville, West Ottawa

The Grand Haven girls golf team hopes separate itself from the middle of the pack in the O-K Red Conference standings. The Bucs currently stand in fourth place, just in behind Caledonia and right in front of Rockford.

Hudsonville is appears to be the team to beat in the conference, followed by East Kentwood. If Grand Haven has a strong showing at Thursday’s jamboree, they could make up some ground on Caledonia and cement themselves as league title contenders.

Bekah Schrader, Ashley Vorac, Ally Kingma and Audrey Reus have been the top scorers for the Bucs so far this season.

O-K Blue Conference Girls Golf Meet

When: Thursday, 9 a.m.

Where: Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Teams: Spring Lake, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Coopersville, Sparta, Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, Allendale, Comstock Park

The Spring Lake girls golf team has already put itself in position to cruise to the O-K Blue Conference title, winning every single jamboree by 30-plus strokes so far this fall. While the Lakers don’t have much pressure at the conference level, they don’t want to rest on their laurels heading into the postseason.

As the two-time defending Division 3 state champions, Spring Lake will likely be the team to beat at both the regional and state final fields. An impressive showing at Thursday’s jamboree help prepare the team for what lies ahead in postseason play.

The Lakers carded 156 last Wednesday, well ahead of challengers Grand Rapids NorthPointe (180) and Coopersville (193).

Senior Anna Kramer continues to be a front runner for the Miss Golf Award, adding medalist honors with a 36 last Wednesday, while senior Jaedyn Shelton added a 39, freshman Phoebe Saunders carded a 40 and junior Madelyn Nelson took home a 41 to round out the team scoring.

Spring Lake Football vs. Coopersville

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Grabinski Field

The Spring Lake football team has struggled so far this season, dropping two heartbreaking losses in Weeks 1 and 2 to Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (28-27) and Fruitport (14-13). The Lakers then ran into O-K Blue powerhouses Sparta (34-7), Grand Rapids West Catholic (45-7) and Grand Rapids Catholic Central (35-7).

At 0-5, the Lakers won’t be qualifying for postseason play this fall, but the team has plenty to play for. This Friday will be the school’s homecoming game, with the dance to be held on Saturday. The team would love nothing more than to capture its first win of the season against a Coopersville team (1-4) that has also had its fair share of struggles.

The Broncos have lost four straight games since defeated Fruitport in Week 1. The Lakers will need to lean on its defense to keep the Lakers in the game long enough for senior quarterback Cam Ball and senior tailback Isaiah Pierce to hit on some big plays and put the team in position to put a W in the win column in front of its home crowd.

Region B Equestrian tournament

When: Saturday-Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m.

Where: Shiawassee County Fairgrounds in Corunna

The Grand Haven equestrian team is coming off a state championship in 2015. The team lost two riders from last fall’s championship squad, but gained three new riders in 2016.

Junior Cassidy Ryder and seniors Lily Atkinson and Rya Greene are the Bucs primetime performers. The trio all contributed more than 40 points in their 366-345 state title win over Howell — the team’s only close call of the postseason in 2015.

Sophomore Ashlynne McKee is also a key returner for Grand Haven, while grooms Alli Ruble (senior) and Sara Sokoly (sophomore) and freshman Paige Beland are new to the team.

Grand Haven has won two of the last three state titles and made the top two in four of the past five years. A win at the Region B tournament would put them in great position to go back-to-back at the state championships.

O-K Blue Conference Boys Tennis Tournament

When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Grand Rapids West Catholic High School

Teams: Spring Lake, Grand Rapid Catholic Central, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Coopersville, Sparta, Allendale, Comstock Park

The Spring Lake boys tennis team will compete at the O-K Blue Conference tournament on Saturday at Grand Rapids West Catholic High School.

The Lakers have an uphill climb to make as far as conference standings are concerned, with powerhouses such as Grand Rapids Catholic Central (No. 6 in Division 4) and Grand Rapids West Catholic (No. 9 in Division 4) in the conference field.

Collin Layson leads the way for the Lakers at No. 1 singles, while Jack VanWingen is the team’s No. 2 singles performer.

Other key contributors so far this season have been: the No. 3 doubles team of Ryan Bovid and Joseph Van Linn and Garrett Henning at No. 3 singles.

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