College Showcase: VanHeest off to strong start at Wheaton

Grand Haven graduate Sam VanHeest is putting up solid numbers at outside linebacker for a strong Wheaton College football team.
Nate Thompson
Oct 25, 2011


VanHeest, a junior, has 22 tackles, including one tackle for loss, for the Thunder. He also has a pair of pass break-ups.

Following Saturday’s 31-7 win over Carthage College, the Thunder improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the College Conf-erence of Illinois and Wisconsin. Wheaton is currently ranked No. 16 in the weekly national poll released by

VanHeest’s best statistical effort came during the Thunder’s Homecoming game on Oct. 8 against Elmhurst College. He collected seven tackles and a quarterback sack in the 49-21 victory.


Fruitport graduate Jon Erny recently completed an outstanding junior season for the Taylor University men’s tennis team.

Erny tallied an 8-3 record in singles play for the Trojans and was 1-0 in doubles action with teammate John Cecil.

Taylor had an 11-match winning streak during its season, but saw its luck run out in the semifinals of the Mid-Central College Conference tournament, as the

Trojans suffered a 5-3 setback to Grace College on Oct. 6.


Alec Smith, a 2011 Grand Haven graduate, has earned the starting punting position at Saginaw Valley State University and has appeared in all seven games for the Cardinals this season.

Smith has punted 21 times for 695 yards, an average of 33.1 per kick. He has placed five punts inside the 20 yard line and had returners fair catch seven of his kicks.

SVSU is currently tied with Indianapolis for first place in the North Division of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 5-2 record.

The Cardinals travel to Wayne State for a pivotal battle for between first place teams on Saturday.


Spring Lake graduate Alec Howe, a sophomore running back at Lake Forest College, scored his first touchdown of the season on Saturday in the Foresters’ 56-38 victory over Lawrence University.

Howe had his best game on the ground during the win, totaling 81 yards on 14 carries. This season, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound Howe has accumulated 34 carries for 140 yards.

Lake Forest stands at 2-4 overall this season. The Foresters’ roster also features 2011 Spring Lake graduate Bob Pennell, an offensive lineman.


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