Category Archives: Schoolcraft Eagles

PREVIEW: Schoolcraft (5-3) Hosts Kalamazoo United (6-2) in Regular Season Finale

10-20 football
Listen live online Friday night on the Slocum Sports Network as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Kalamazoo United Titans for the final week of the high school football regular season.  At 5-3, Schoolcraft must win to guarantee their ninth consecutive postseason appearance.  With a loss, their only hope would be taking one of the final spots at 5-4 based on playoff points.

At 6-2, United will be a playoff team for the second time in the co-op’s four-year history.   However, a win over Schoolcraft could be the difference between hosting or traveling for their first round game.   The last three United games were decided by a combined six points, with wins over Constantine (32-30) and Coloma (28-27), along with a loss to Delton Kellogg (35-32).

Schoolcraft dropped their last two games, 36-14 to Watervliet and 32-7 at Coloma.   Despite strong rivalries with Hackett Catholic and Kalamazoo Christian in other sports, this will be the first football meeting between Schoolcraft and the United co-op as members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC).    They last met in United’s first season as Kalamazoo Valley Association members in 2014, a 28-7 Schoolcraft win.    Historically, Schoolcraft is a perfect 11-0 against Hackett and 5-1 against Kalamazoo Christian, the lone defeat in 2008.

Listen live online to Friday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff set for 7 p.m. from Schoolcraft High School.

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RECAP: Watervliet Secures SAC Lakeshore with 36-14 Win at Schoolcraft

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Bryant Kieft (#5) and Zack Pickens (#1) warmup prior to Friday’s game.

The Watervliet Panthers used big pass plays and strong defense to win at Schoolcraft Friday, improving to 8-0 with a 36-14 victory over the Eagles.  The win also puts them at 4-0 in the SAC Lakeshore division and clinches the top spot, thanks to Coloma falling to Delton Kellogg.

Watervliet (ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division 6 poll) began with the ball and faced a third and long on their first set of downs following a sack.  Quarterback Zack Pickens connected with Trent Boone on a 70-yard pass to get them into the red zone.    The Eagle defense forced a fourth and seven from the 19-yard line, but Pickens found Garrett Matthews in the end zone, followed by a two-point pass to Bryant Kieft, for a 8-0 Watervliet lead.

Schoolcraft had a three and out, but was able to force a turnover on downs on the second Panther drive.   The Eagle offense stalled again and Watervliet scored on their third drive with 10:56 in the second quarter with a 41-yard TD pass from Pickens to Kieft.  The two-point try ended in a sack for a 14-0 score.

Schoolcraft’s third drive finally saw progress, chipping away on 13 plays for 58 yards.   Fullback Jack Hunt’s 27-yard rushing score put the Eagles back within seven, 14-7.   Schoolcraft then forced a very rare Watervliet punt because of multiple tackles for a loss, starting their next drive 31 yards from the end zone.   A 15-yard Kobe Clark rushing score evened the game at 14-14 with 1:20 remaining.

However, Watervliet reclaimed the lead on a wild 62-yard passing touchdown to Boone with only three seconds remaining.  A two-point run from Kieft gave the Panthers a 22-14 lead into intermission.

Schoolcraft started with the ball in the third, but were denied for a turnover on downs near midfield.   Watervliet responded with their longest drive in terms of plays (nine) and punched into the end zone with a 5-yard Kieft rush.  He would catch the two-point toss as well to push the Panthers to a 30-14 score.

The Eagles made it past midfield, but squandered an opportunity with a dropped pass that likely would’ve put them into the end zone.  Their drive ended in another turnover on downs.   Watervliet needed one play to add to their lead, as Kieft turned a screen pass into a 72-yard score late in the third.  The two-point pass failed, putting the score at its final mark of 36-14.

The Eagles punted to start the fourth quarter and were able to force a quick turnover on downs only 25 yards from the end zone with 8:32 remaining.   However, the Panthers sealed the win with the game’s lone takeaway, a Pickens interception in the end zone, and drained the clock from there.

Unofficially, Pickens was 11-17 for 348 yards and four touchdowns.   The Eagle defense did get multiple sacks and stifled Pickens on the ground, holding him to 14 rushing yards on 24 attempts.   Kieft had four catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns, along with 49 yards and a score on the ground.   Boone had four catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.   The 36-point effort was actually Watervliet’s lowest of the year, as they had scored 50 or more in the first seven weeks.

For Schoolcraft, Jack Hunt had a workhorse effort at 96 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.  The rest of the run game had 55 yards with only 32 pass yards.  Starting quarterback Dylan Straley was 0-3 and Brady Flynn, who replaced Straley due to injury, was 3-9 for 32 yards and one interception.

Watervliet moves to 8-0 and secures the SAC Lakeshore division at 4-0.  They end their regular season at home next Friday against Coloma (5-3).   Meanwhile, Schoolcraft falls to 5-3, 2-2 in the Valley, and must win week nine to guarantee a playoff spot.   They host Kalamazoo United (6-2) in a game that can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.

Listen back to week eight’s game below:

PREVIEW: Schoolcraft (5-2) Hosts Watervliet (7-0)

10-13 football

Listen live online Friday evening on the Slocum Sports Network as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Watervliet Panthers for week eight of the high school football season.  This is their first ever meeting as division rivals, with both being placed in the realigned SAC Valley for 2017.   It will also be the fifth consecutive year playing each other, meeting in the regular season of 2016 and 2015, along with the district finals of 2014 and 2013.

Watervliet enters at 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the Valley division, defeating Constantine (68-24), Delton Kellogg (58-44), and Kalamazoo United (52-34).   The Panthers have scored 406 points this season (58 per game), currently the most of any 11-man team in Michigan.   Their lowest output was 50 in their opener against Lawton and they’ve won each game by two touchdowns or more.

Schoolcraft is 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Valley division, suffering the Valley loss last week to Coloma, 32-7.    Their division wins are over Constantine (35-8) and Delton Kellogg (42-14).   They need to defeat Watervliet or week nine foe Kalamazoo United to guarantee their ninth consecutive playoff berth.

Last season, Schoolcraft defeated Watervliet 51-30.   The Eagles edged the Panthers in 2015 as well, 34-33.  Watervliet took their 2014 district final meeting 28-21, with Schoolcraft taking the district crown 28-26 in 2013.   They’ve met only one other time in football, a 34-12 Schoolcraft district victory in 1999.

Listen live to Friday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. from Schoolcraft High School.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Christian Smacks Schoolcraft 8-0

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The Kalamazoo Christian Comets crushed the Schoolcraft Eagles at home Monday with an 8-0 victory, which concluded after about 68 minutes of play.  The Comets built up a 6-0 lead by halftime with the scoring started by Dawit Scheffers after four and seven minutes of play.

Garrett Buckhout scored in the 13th minute, followed by goals in the 18th and 19th minute by Andy VanDongen, the first of which came via penalty kick.  Kyle Nash struck in the 31st to give the Comets the 6-0 halftime edge.  The game stayed at 6-0 until Buckhout’s second goal in the 64th minute.  Four minutes later, Scheffers earned a hat-trick to seal the victory.

Kalamazoo Christian improves to 6-5-1 overall and 4-1-0 in SAC play.  Schoolcraft falls to 2-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the SAC.  The Comets head to Fennville Wednesday, then host Heritage Christian Thursday.  The Eagles travel to Lawton Wednesday and host Brandywine Thursday.

Listen back to Monday’s game below:

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Christian Welcomes Schoolcraft for Soccer

9-25 soccer
Listen live online Monday around 5 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Kalamazoo Christian Comets host the Schoolcraft Eagles in boys soccer.  It is the midway point in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, with the Comets at 3-1-0 in the SAC and Schoolcraft at 1-1-1.

Overall, the Comets are 5-5-1 and were ranked 19th in last week’s Division 4 Coaches Association poll.   They went 1-2-0 last week, flattening Coloma, but falling to #4 Hackett Catholic and #11 Hartford.   Schoolcraft is 2-4-1 and also went 1-2-0 last week, defeating Saugatuck, but losing to Comstock and Fennville.   K-Christian won both meetings over Schoolcraft in 2016, 4-1 in the regular season and 3-0 in the district tournament.

Listen live online to Monday’s match on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff set for 5 p.m.

RECAP: #4 Schoolcraft Sweeps Hackett

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The Schoolcraft Eagles downed the Hackett Catholic Irish Tuesday at Hackett, 25-11, 25-9, 25-12.   Despite the lopsided final, the first set was back-and-forth for the first 10 points on both sides.  An injury to Hackett senior Carolyn Brown, followed by numerous aces from Andelyn Simkins and Paige Gebben, allowed Schoolcraft to dominate the rest of the first.

Schoolcraft controlled the entire second set.   The Irish had a brief 7-6 lead in the third set, but again, the fourth-ranked Eagles found their rhythm.   Unofficially, Simkins and Gebben each had nine kills.  Delaney Hewitt topped Hackett with five.

Schoolcraft moves to 13-7-2 overall and 2-0 in SAC Valley play.   They face another Valley foe, Constantine, at home next Tuesday.   Hackett falls to 0-2 in the Valley and 5-12 overall.   They return to action Wednesday for a triangular with Bridgman and Comstock.

Listen back to Tuesday’s match below:

PREVIEW: #6 Schoolcraft Heads to Hackett

9-19 volleyball
Listen live online Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to high school volleyball between the Schoolcraft Eagles and Hackett Catholic Irish.   When these schools met last season at Hackett, the Eagles survived a five-set thriller.

Schoolcraft began SAC Valley Division play with a 3-1 victory last week over defending division champion Kalamazoo Christian.     The Eagles were ranked sixth-best in Class C in last week’s Coaches Association poll.   Meanwhile, Hackett started Valley play with a three-set defeat from Galesburg-Augusta.

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

RECAP: Schoolcraft Downs Kalamazoo Christian 3-1

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The Schoolcraft Eagles defended their home court Tuesday with a four-set win over Kalamazoo Christian, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-21.   Sophomore outside hitter Andelyn Simkins led the way for Schoolcraft, unofficially racking up 21 kills.

The Comets took the first set 25-21, at one point leading by eight.  Schoolcraft battled back, going from down 17-9 to down 21-20, but Kalamazoo Christian held firm.   The Eagles found their rhythm midway through the second, ending on a 9-3 run for a 25-15 final.

Schoolcraft controlled the third throughout, 25-18.   Kalamazoo Christian jumped out to an 11-7 initial lead in the fourth, then Schoolcraft evened the score at 17-17 and finished the fourth set 8-4 to claim the overall win.

In addition to Simkins’ 21 kills, Paige Gebben added nine for Schoolcraft.  Brooke Crissman scored six aces.  Kalamazoo Christian’s Carley Broekhuizen nabbed seven kills, followed by six from Sarah Wenke.

Schoolcraft avenges the five-set loss to K-Christian from last season, which ultimately gave the Comets the SAC Valley division crown.   The sixth-ranked Eagles start Valley play at 1-0 and move to 11-4-2 overall, while the Comets start Valley play at 0-1 with an overall mark of 9-6-1.

Kalamazoo Christian returns to league play next Tuesday at home against Constantine.  Schoolcraft plays in the Portage Central Invite Saturday, then travels to Hackett Catholic Tuesday in a match that can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.    Listen back to Tuesday’s match below:

PREVIEW: Schoolcraft Hosts Kalamazoo Christian in SAC Valley Duel

9-12 volleyball

Listen live online Tuesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Kalamazoo Christian Comets in the first SAC Valley Division contest of 2017 for both teams.   Last season’s five-set winner for the Comets ultimately sealed the Valley title for Kalamazoo Christian, who went 6-0 to Schoolcraft’s 5-1 within the division.

Kalamazoo Christian enters this contest at 9-5-1 overall, staying solid despite having to replace three All-State selections from last year.  They do bring back honorable mention SAC Valley pick Carley Broekhuizen.   The Comets were ranked 17th in Class C by Michigan High School Volleyball Insider last week.

Schoolcraft was placed 11th in the same poll and 8th in the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association poll.  The Eagles sit at 10-4-2 overall*, going 3-3 over the weekend in a tough Lakeview Invitational against many larger schools.   Schoolcraft returns second-team All-State selection Andelyn Simkins, who earned that honor as a freshman last season.

Listen live to Tuesday’s match online on the Slocum Sports Network with a scheduled first serve at 7 p.m. from Schoolcraft.   The start time may vary due to the prior JV contest.

*Schoolcraft’s record has not been confirmed 100%, but I believe this is correct.

RECAP: Schoolcraft Rolls Galesburg-Augusta 42-0

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Kobe Clark (#4) and Reilly Puhalski (#3) both found the endzone Friday night.

For the tenth consecutive season, the Schoolcraft Eagles downed the Galesburg-Augusta Rams in football.   Schoolcraft won Friday’s week three contest 42-0 at home, getting six touchdowns between five different players.

The scoring started on Schoolcraft’s opening drive, going 71 yards on eight plays with four first downs.  Reilly Puhalski punched it in from 18 yards out.   After forcing a quick punt, the Eagles scored again, this time on a 34-yard scamper from Kobe Clark.    A two-point conversion from quarterback Brady Flynn to Puhalski made it 15-0, which held through the first quarter break.

G-A’s second drive showed promise, getting just outside the red zone on 11 plays, but ended in a turnover on downs early in the second quarter.   Both teams then punted, with Puhalski taking his return 80 yards to the end zone.   The Rams got near the red zone once again, but a deflected pass led to a Mark Phelps interception.   Schoolcraft pushed to the red zone but were denied on a turnover on downs, keeping the score at 22-0 into halftime.

Galesburg-Augusta began with the ball in the third, but were forced to punt after five plays.   Jack Hunt picked up a 30-yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing Schoolcraft drive for a 29-0 advantage.   Reserves entered the field in the fourth quarter with additional rushing touchdowns from Mark Melching (21 yards) and Trenton Lomason (17 yards).   A missed extra point on the final touchdown put the final tally at a more conventional 42-0.

Despite not coming in until late, Lomason led the Eagles with 103 rushing yards on 9 attempts.   Hunt tallied 102 on 13 runs.    Both teams only had four pass attempts with both completing just one, giving Flynn 35 yards for Schoolcraft and Max Landers 16 for the Rams.   G-A’s Abner Snyder had a solid effort, rushing for 84 yards on 15 tries.

Schoolcraft improves to 2-1 and travels to Saugatuck next Friday.  Saugatuck also sits at 2-1 and went 10-1 last season.   Galesburg-Augusta drops to 1-2 and travels to Delton Kellogg in week four.  D-K is 1-2 and had a 4-5 mark in 2016.   In both cases, it will the first matchup of the year against a SAC divisional foe (Valley for Schoolcraft, Lakeshore for Galesburg-Augusta).

Listen back to Friday’s game below: