Tribune Top 5 Male Athletes 2016-17: Honorable Mention

Josh VanDyke • Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 10:46 PM

With so many talented prep athletes in the area, it’s difficult to narrow a list down to just five athletes when many more deserve recognition for their accomplishments. Joey Zelenka of Grand Haven, Cam Ball of Spring Lake and Levi Six of Fruitport have all helped add hardware to their respective school’s trophy cases during their four years at the school, and have achieved a multitude of individual accolades, as well.

Here’s a look at what they’ve been able to accomplish in their varsity careers and how their career numbers stack up against the best of the best.

Joey Zelenka, Grand Haven

Zelenka was a three-sport standout for the Buccaneers in football, hockey and baseball. Unfortunately, an ACL injury at the end of this fall’s football season ended his prep hockey career prematurely and limited his senior baseball season to just one month of action.


As a two-year starter at running back, Zelenka was a dual-threat as both a rusher and receiver out of the backfield. In his eight games as a senior, Zelenka recorded 923 total yards, including 730 rushing with five rushing touchdowns. He also added two receiving touchdowns on 13 receptions.

Zelenka was a two-way starter for the Bucs, registering 46 solo tackles, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries as a defensive back. He was a voted to the O-K Red All-Conference team for his performance on the football field.


The Grand Haven hockey team lost a key piece to its 2016-17 season when Zelenka went down with a knee injury in Week 8 of the football season. As a junior, the talented forward led the Buccaneers with 52 points in 25 games. He was named second team All-State as well as All-Conference.


Zelenka was able to return to the Grand Haven baseball squad for 27 of the team’s 36 games, and solidified the team’s defensive efforts at third base. He finished his senior season with 23 hits, 14 runs scored, 14 RBIs, and a .288 batting average. He also showcased his patience and vision at the plate by only striking out three times in 84 at bats.

Zelenka will attend Michigan State University in the fall.

Cam Ball, Spring Lake

Using his quickness, agility and athleticism, Cam Ball has been a pivotal member of the Spring Lake football and basketball programs in recent years. His leadership was on full display in his senior year as he helped lead the Lakers on the gridiron from his quarterback position, and helped run the Spring Lake boys basketball team to a quarterfinals appearance as the team’s starting point guard.


Ball was a two-year starter at quarterback and cornerback for the Lakers. In his senior season with the team, Ball passed for 400 yards (27-of-63) with six touchdown passes and five interceptions. He also added 94 rushes for 483 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. He was named to the O-K Blue All-Conference team for his senior campaign.


Ball was a three-year varsity player for the Lakers, compiling a 53-20 record in that time. He helped the team to one conference championship in his junior season, two district titles, and one regional championship and was named All-Conference in both his junior and senior seasons.

He elevated his game as a senior, averaging 10.2 points per game, 3.9 assists and shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line.

Ball will be continuing his football career at Kalamazoo College this fall.

Levi Six, Fruitport

Levi Six has been a relentless competitor on the gridiron, the wrestling mat and the track during his time at Fruitport High School. Despite not being the biggest player on the field, Six constantly drew high praise from opposing coaches and players for his effort and determination.


Six was the workhorse for the Trojans football program during his three years as a starting running back. He amassed 1,646 yards rushing during his varsity career with 17 touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 152 yards and one score.

Six was also a hard-nosed defensive back for the Trojans, recording 266 career tackles, five forced fumbles, three interceptions, five sacks, three passes defended and one defensive touchdown. He was named All-Conference, All-Area and All-State Honorable Mention in his junior and senior seasons.


An arm injury cost Six his junior year wrestling season, but he came back with a vengeance in his senior season. He finished 36-7 with 20 pinfall victories in 2016-17, and qualified for the Division 2 state championships at his 152-pound division.

For his career, Six finished 94-36 with 39 pinfall victories and only nine pinfall losses. He registered 983 team points for the Trojans in his three seasons on the mat.


Six tried his hand at track this past spring, after not competing in the sport since middle school. He recorded personal best times in the 100-meter dash (12.23 seconds), 200 dash (24.94 seconds), long jump (16’10) and was also a member of one of the Trojans’ 400 and 800 relay teams.

Six will continue his wrestling career at Davenport University next winter.

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