Category Archives: Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Central Girls Host St. Joseph in Potential District Preview

12-12 basketball
PROGRAMMING NOTE:  This game has been moved to Wednesday due to snow.   Unfortunately, we will not be able to broadcast it due to prior commitments. 

Listen live online Tuesday around 7 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as Kalamazoo Central hosts St. Joseph in girls basketball.   These teams are district foes once again and have met in the district tournament three consecutive seasons.  All three were won by Kalamazoo Central, including a 61-51 final last season at Portage Northern.

In their regular season meeting last December, St. Joseph was a 63-60 winner on their home court.  The Bears also won the regular season meeting two years ago at K-Central 63-44.

So far this season, the Maroon Giants have played once, a 63-26 win over Loy Norrix Saturday.   The Bears dropped their opener 40-38 at Harper Creek, but sit at 3-1 after wins against Portage Northern (45-13), Edwardsburg (40-37), and Lakeshore (53-29).

Listen live to Tuesday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off around 7 p.m., from Kalamazoo Central, pending the JV result.

RECAP: Mattawan Rolls to District Title Over Kalamazoo Central

Digital Camera
The Mattawan Wildcats earned their second district championship in three years with a sweep at Kalamazoo Central Thursday, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17.  The Maroon Giants started hot, using energy from their large home crowd to begin the match 4-0.   Down 8-4, the Wildcats got the serve to sophomore Natalie Foster and used numerous aces to go on a 10-0 run.   Mattawan dominated the rest of the first set and remained in control through the second and third sets.

Unofficially, Taylor Rutgers tallied 13 kills for Mattawan, including the final kill.   Foster had six kills and four aces.   For Kalamazoo Central, Kennedy Livers had eight kills, followed by seven from Peri Herder.

The Maroon Giants finish at 34-16-1 and will graduate six seniors; Kennedy Kubiak, Herder, Livers, Josephine Fonger, Julia Naranjo, and Talia Edmonds.  Meanwhile Mattawan, which has zero seniors on the squad, improves to 39-7 overall.  The Wildcats head to the Regional semifinal Tuesday at St. Johns to face DeWitt, ranked fourth in the final Class A Coaches Poll.

Listen back to the district final below:

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Central Hosts Mattawan For District #1 Final

11-2 Volleyball

Listen live online Thursday at 6 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to the MHSAA District #1 championship with the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants hosting the Mattawan Wildcats.  K-Central defeated Portage Central Monday and St. Joseph Wednesday to advance, with Mattawan downing Portage Northern Monday and Lakeshore Wednesday.

These teams met two weeks earlier in Kalamazoo with Mattawan earning a four-set victory, 25-23, 25-21, 26-28, 25-21.  Natalie Foster led the Wildcats that night with 20 kills, followed by Kathryn Puzevic’s 17 kills and 25 digs from Allie Wiese.  The Maroon Giants got 11 kills from both Kennedy Livers and Josephine Fonger, along with 34 digs by Julia Naranjo.

The Wildcats enter the match at 38-7 on the season with Kalamazoo Central at 34-15-1.   Mattawan is looking for their second district title in three seasons, hoping to best their first-ever state quarterfinal appearance in 2015.     The Maroon Giants last claimed a district crown in 2002.

Listen live to Thursday’s district final live online on the Slocum Sports Network with first serve set for 6 p.m. from Kalamazoo Central.   The winner moves to the Regional semifinal Tuesday at St. Johns against either St. Johns or DeWitt.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Central Defeats Portage Central, Mattawan Drops Portage Northern

Digital Camera

The Kalamazoo Central players and students celebrate their first volleyball postseason victory since 2013.

Kalamazoo Central and Mattawan were the victors in Monday’s District 1 first round volleyball matches at K-Central, advancing to semifinal matches Wednesday.   The Maroon Giants grabbed their first postseason victory since 2013, beating Portage Central 25-23, 25-23, 27-25.   The Wildcats bested Portage Northern 25-22, 25-21, 25-11.

KC and PC was tight throughout, with all three sets ending up tied at 23-23.   The Maroon Giants didn’t lead by two in the first set until the 25th point.  Kalamazoo Central got up by five early in the second, but found themselves down 20-18 before rallying back.   The Mustangs started up four in the third, followed by a three-point Giant lead midway through, before turning into a back-and-forth affair to the end.

Unofficially, Peri Herder topped Kalamazoo Central with nine kills, including the final one.  Regina Wolf added eight kills and five blocks, getting her team to 33-15-1 on the season.   Ryann Jaqua had 16 kills for PC, followed by 14 from Mackenzie Lundin.   Portage Central finishes 28-16 and graduates seniors Maddie Wojcik, Emma Kite, Jessie Zesiger, Kenzie Zook, and Allison Sturgeon.

Mattawan and Portage Northern stayed very even in the first set with neither team taking a multi-point lead until the Wildcats did at the end.  The Huskies led for the first part of the second set, but a 7-0 run off the service of Alli Wiese pushed Mattawan ahead and the Wildcats remained in control the rest of the way.

Unofficially, Madison Dorff tallied seven kills and three aces for Mattawan with Kathryn Puzevic also getting seven kills, moving them to 37-7 overall.   Emily Lewis led Portage Northern in her final match with 13 kills, followed by 9 from fellow senior Hannah Biddlecome.   The Huskies finish 28-23 and also graduate Kaylee Peterson, Ella Lewis, Corinne McCarthy and Cecilia Pirchio.

Mattawan will meet Lakeshore (6-25-1) in Wednesday’s semifinal at 5:30 p.m., followed Kalamazoo Central against St. Joseph (16-26-0) around 7.   The winners Wednesday play for the District 1 championship Thursday at 6 p.m. and you can hear the District final on the Slocum Sports Network.   All matches are at Kalamazoo Central.

Listen back to Monday’s contests below:



PREVIEW: SMAC Volleyball Rivals Collide to Start District Tournament

10-30 volleyball

Listen live online Monday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to the first round District #1 volleyball matches from Kalamazoo Central High School.   The first match, set for 5:30 p.m., features the Mattawan Wildcats against the Portage Northern Huskies.   The match to follow has the hosting Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants and Portage Central Mustangs.   All four SMAC members enter with winning records and strong programs.

Mattawan enters as the favorite coming off Saturday’s SMAC tournament championship, defeating Portage Central in the final match.   At 33-7 according to Maxpreps, the Wildcats received a honorable mention in last week’s Class A Coaches Association poll and have been in the top ten at other points in the season.    Mattawan was eliminated by Portage Central in last season’s district tournament.  Two seasons ago, the Wildcats made it to the quarterfinal for the first time in program history.

Portage Northern entered last weekend at 26-21 and has significantly improved from their recent down seasons.   The Huskies are looking for their first postseason victory since 2010.   They were knocked out in last year’s district tournament by Portage Central.   The last Portage Northern district championship came in 2007, with a trip to the quarterfinal that season.   The Huskies were once a Class A powerhouse, winning 10 state championships in the 1980s and 90s.

Portage Central entered last weekend at 26-14 and is the defending district champion, getting as far the quarterfinal last season where they fell to Class A runner-up Rockford in five sets.   The Mustang senior class is looking to claim their third district title in their four seasons.  The school’s deepest run was a runner-up finish in 2009.

Kalamazoo Central took a 30-13-1 mark into the weekend and were knocked out by Niles in last season’s district tournament.   Their last postseason victory came in 2013 with their most recent district championship in 2002.   The Maroon Giants’ deepest run was a state title in 1996.

Monday’s winners move to Wednesday’s district semifinals.   The Mattawan/Portage Northern winner plays Lakeshore (4-23-1) at 5:30 p.m. with the Portage Central/Kalamazoo Central winner meeting St. Joseph (15-23-0) in the following match.   The district championship is Thursday at 6 p.m. with all of the matches at Kalamazoo Central.

You can listen to Monday’s first round matches, as well as Thursday’s district championship, live online via the Slocum Sports Network.   The action begins Monday at 5:30 p.m. between Mattawan and Portage Northern with the Portage Central and Kalamazoo Central match to follow.   The bracket can be found here via MHSAA.

RECAP: Portage Central Tops P-Northern for Third Time, Okemos Downs Kalamazoo Central

Digital Camera
The Portage Central Mustangs and Okemos Chiefs advanced to the District 3 boys soccer championship game Saturday with victories Thursday evening at Lakeview High School.  The Mustangs defeated crosstown rival Portage Northern 2-0, giving them three wins this season over the Huskies.   The Chiefs used a big first half to grab a 5-3 victory over Kalamazoo Central.

The Mustangs and Huskies stayed even early in a rematch of last week’s 1-0 SMAC Championship game.  In the 28th minute, Nolan Jaros sent it ahead from midfield and Minh Le put it in the net for a 1-0 Mustang lead at half.

Although PC had the edge in possession time, the Huskies had their chances, forcing Mustang goalkeeper Nick Kuppler to unofficially tally nine saves.  With 7:01 left in the match, Michael Ketteman broke away and delivered the final blow.   The fourth-ranked Mustangs move to 16-2-3 with the Huskies finishing the year at 12-8-3.

In the other semifinal, Okemos took a 5-0 lead into halftime against Kalamazoo Central.  A penalty kick goal in the fifth minute by John-Luca Migaldi started the scoring.  Alejandro Arana scored in the 14th minute, Ty Usiak in the 30th, Ben Derby in the 36th, and Jacob Mead in the 38th.

The Maroon Giants tried to rally late, with Paulo Alcala scoring thrice, the first coming in the 61st minute.  He scored again with 2:47 remaining, followed by one more 33 seconds later, but the hole was too deep to get out of.  Kalamazoo Central finishes at 10-7-3 with Okemos improving to 12-3-4.

Portage Central and Okemos play for the District 3 championship Saturday at noon from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek.   They met in last year’s district semifinal, won by Okemos 3-0, who went on to claim the district over Portage Northern.

Listen back to Thursday’s games below:



PREVIEW: District 3 Semifinals at Lakeview

10-19 soccer

Listen live online Thursday on the Slocum Sports Network to the District 3 boys soccer semifinals from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek.   Up first at 5 p.m., the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants face the Okemos Chiefs.  Following around 7 p.m. is a rematch of the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC) championship between Portage Central and Portage Northern.

Kalamazoo Central sits at 10-6-3 following their 3-0 first round victory over Loy Norrix.   The Maroon Giants finished third in the SMAC regular season standings and has a win over Portage Central, although they fell twice to Portage Northern.   K-Central was eliminated by Portage Central in last season’s district tournament.  The last time the Maroon Giants made it to the regional round was 2001.

Okemos (record currently unavailable) is the defending district champion, defeating Loy Norrix, Portage Central, and Portage Northern last season.   They fell in the Regional semifinal to eventual state champion East Kentwood.   The Chiefs shocked Jackson Monday, winning 2-0 on the road against a Viking team that was ranked 11th and had 17 wins on the season.

Portage Central is ranked fourth in the final Division 1 Coaches Association poll at 15-2-3.  The Mustangs were taken to the brink in their opener at Holt, winning 5-4 in penalty kicks following 100 minutes of scoreless soccer.  Portage Central earned the SMAC Championship last week 1-0 over Portage Northern, their second victory this season against the Huskies.   Their earlier meeting in the Portage Derby game was a 3-1 Mustang victory.  PC’s last district crown came in 2012.

Portage Northern sits at 12-7-3, having defeated district host Lakeview 3-1 in their first round match.  They won the District 3 final over Okemos in 2015 and made it as far the Regional final that season.  The Huskies took second in the SMAC standings this year behind their crosstown rival.

Listen live to both matches online Thursday via the Slocum Sports Network.   Kalamazoo Central and Okemos is set for 5 p.m. with Portage Central and Portage Northern to follow from Lakeview High School.

RECAP: Lakeview Survives Late Charge, Earns Road Win Over Kalamazoo Central

Digital Camera
The Lakeview Spartans grabbed a key road victory Wednesday over SMAC East rival Kalamazoo Central, 25-18, 25-19, 18-25, 26-24.   Lakeview was dominant early, leading the entire first set and all but the start of the second set.   The Maroon Giants flipped the script in the third set and led nearly the entire way.

The decisive fourth set was one of swings.  Kalamazoo Central started with an 8-3 lead, but Lakeview regained control midway through and led 20-16 at a timeout.   The Maroon Giants evened it back up at 22-22 and had a set point chance at 24-23.   The Spartans tied it back up on a kill, then got the final two points from a double-hit and attack error.

Unofficially, Sidney Schiller led Lakeview with 16 kills, followed by 11 from Karlie Kucharczyk.  Kennedy Livers topped K-Central with 11.   The Spartans improve to 25-7 overall with the Maroon Giants falling to 22-6-1.   Both teams are now 2-1 within the SMAC East.   Lakeview returns to action at home next Wednesday with Loy Norrix, while the Giants travel to the Mona Shores invite Saturday.

Listen back to Wednesday’s match below:

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Central and Lakeview Set for SMAC East Showdown

10-4 volleyball

Listen live online Wednesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to high school volleyball between the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants and Lakeview Spartans.   It’s the third match for both squads within a stacked SMAC East division, which also features ranked squads from Mattawan and Gull Lake.

The Maroon Giants are 2-0 in divisional play thus far with wins over Battle Creek Central and Loy Norrix.   Kalamazoo Central enters the week with an overall record of 19-5-1, with the Otsego quad Tuesday ahead of their meeting with the Spartans.    Meanwhile, Lakeview is 1-1 in divisional play with a win over BC Central and a loss to Mattawan.   They’re 24-7 overall and went 4-1 over the weekend in the Richmond invite, falling in the gold bracket final to Class B #1 Notre Dame Prep.

Both meetings last season between the Maroon Giants and Spartans were incredibly tight.   Last October, Lakeview won a five-set match with the first four sets decided by either three or four points.    Earlier in 2016, K-Central won a best of three tournament match over Lakeview with the first two sets both finishing 25-23.

Listen live to Wednesday’s match online on the Slocum Sports Network with first serve scheduled for around 6:30 p.m., pending the earlier JV matches.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Central Rolls By Lakeview 6-1

Digital Camera

Kalamazoo Central huddles prior to the second half.

The Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants flattened the Lakeview Spartans in Battle Creek  Monday, 6-1.  K-Central needed only 3:03 to score the game’s opening goal, as Paulo Alcala put it in off a Nickolai Vargas corner.

Midway through the first, Breven Brill pushed the lead to 2-0.   The Spartans had four corner kicks in the final ten minutes of the first half, but couldn’t convert.   With 2:53 before halftime, freshman Ben Stafford took off and scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season for a 3-0 advantage at the break.

Lakeview found some hope on a Skyler Sebring score just over two minutes into the second.   However, the Maroon Giants held them from there and added three more goals for good measure.  Midway through the second, Vargas scored.   In the 75th minute, Brill added his second of the game and less than a minute later, Terry Neuchterlein capped off the evening with the team’s sixth goal.

The win pushes Kalamazoo Central to 3-2 on the young season and gives them a win in their first match against a SMAC foe.   They host another SMAC opponent, Lakeshore, on Wednesday.   Lakeview drops to 1-2 and gets right back at it Tuesday at St. Joseph.

Listen back to Monday’s game below: