5 Things to Watch This Week

Josh VanDyke • Oct 10, 2016 at 12:45 AM

The fall prep sports season is winding down, and that means conference title races, playoff pushes and postseason tournaments. This week is no exception with two state final competitions, two critical conference soccer matches and a special event at the Grand Haven Aquatic Center.

Here are a few events happening this week that you won’t want to miss.

Fruitport boys soccer at Reeths-Puffer

When: Tuesday, 6:45 p.m.

Where: Reeths-Puffer High School

The Fruitport soccer team travels down the road to take on rival Reeths-Puffer on Tuesday night in a game that has big O-K Black Conference title implications. Reeths-Puffer currently sits at No. 3, one spot ahead of the Trojans in the conference standings, but a road win for Fruitport would help put the team back into the thick of things with only one week left in the regular season.

The Trojans are coming off a 3-3 tie with Grand Rapids Union on Thursday. Zack Shane, Logan Fielding and Caleb Yager have been impressive on the attack as of late, while keeper Connor Werschem has continued to make big save after big save on the defensive end.

The first meeting between these two teams resulted in an entertaining comeback win for the Trojans. This matchup should be just as entertaining as both teams prepare for a postseason run.

Grand Haven boys soccer vs. East Kentwood

When: Wednesday, 7:15 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven boys soccer team will host O-K Red Conference rival East Kentwood on Wednesday. The Buccaneers (8-2-1) and Falcons (6-3-2) currently sit at No. 2 and No. 3 in the conference standings, respectively. A win for the Bucs at home would allow them to keep pace with Rockford (9-1 O-K Red).

Grand Haven defeated East Kentwood, 2-0, on Sept. 20 at East Kentwood High School. In that matchup, seniors Ethan King and Conner Lund each tallied goals for the Buccaneers. Grand Haven is coming off a 6-2 blowout win over Grandville on Thursday and will be looking to continue that positive momentum into the postseason.

Grand Haven swimming vs. Hudsonville

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven Aquatic Center

The Grand Haven girls swimming and diving team will host a conference match with Hudsonville on Thursday, but that won’t be the most important event of the night.

The team will be hosting its Bucs Pride Night for the season on Thursday night. Each swimmer and diver will be wearing a purple cap in memory of someone who has either lost a battle with cancer or in honor of someone that is battling cancer right now.

Parents and volunteers will be selling Bucs Pride t-shirts at the event to help raise funds for three different projects: the Bluebird cancer retreat, the Community Cares baskets and the food pantry at the Johnson Cancer Center in Muskegon.

Division B equestrian state finals

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: Midland County Fairgrounds

Teams: Grand Haven, Traverse City St. Francis, South Lyon, Oxford, Midland, Mason, Gull Lake, Caro, Bullock Creek, Berrien Springs

The Grand Haven equestrian team prepares to defend its state championship this weekend at the Division B state finals at the Midland County Fairgrounds in Midland.

At the regional, the Grand Haven squad set a team record with a score of 570 points over the two-day competition. Conditions were less than perfect with wet and sloppy arena footing and rain on and off the entire weekend. Still, the Bucs riders bested the next closest opponent, Traverse City St. Francis, by 182 points.

Senior Rya Greene participated in 18 classes and had three class wins and 137 points, while senior Lily Atkinson competed in 14 classes, capturing eight class wins and compiling 124 points. Junior Cassidy Ryder participated in 14 classes, had four class wins and 126 points, while sophomore Ashlynne McKee competed in 12 classes with two class wins and 79 points.

Senior Alli Ruble took part in 12 classes, had one class win with 50 points, while freshman Paige Beland participated in 10 classes and chipped in another 52 points for her team. Grand Haven had class sweeps in Western Fitting and Showing, Hunt Seat Fitting and Showing, Hunt Seat Equitation, and Reining and Trail.

Division 3 girls golf state final

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Bedford Valley Golf Course, Battle Creek

Teams: Spring Lake, Whitehall, Big Rapids, Hastings, GR South Christian, Forest Hills Eastern, Stevensville Lakeshore, Marshall, Three Rivers, Chelsea, Jackson Northwest, Adrian, Cranbrook Kingswood, Detroit Country Day, Dearborn Divine Child, Flint Powers Catholic, Notre Dame Prep and Goodrich.

Spring Lake, the two-time defending Division 3 state champions, captured their third-consecutive regional championship last Wednesday at the White Lake Golf Club in Whitehall, carding a 348.

Senior Anna Kramer took individual medalist honors with a 6-over 80 on the day to lead the Lakers, while junior Madelyn Nelson (87) and senior Jaedyn Shelton (87) tied for second place overall.

The team now prepares for a two-day tournament at Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek. Its top competition appears to be Cranbrook Kingswood (340 at regional), Flint Powers Catholic (334) and Notre Dame Prep (349).

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