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CatchMark Catch-Up

CatchMark Catch-Up highlights West Michigan Conference fall sports (Oct. 30-Nov. 4, 2023)

Coaches: Please help us by reporting your scores and recaps, but also give us details and photos of notable moments.

The CatchMark Catch-Up is a weekly recap of highlights from the West Michigan Conference.

It’s Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, and we’re hitting some of the highlights from last week.


No. 1 Whitehall stunned by Big Rapids in district finals

Big Rapids blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game to preserve a 28-27 upset of top-ranked Whitehall in a Division 4 district football final Friday at Holton’s Red Devil Stadium.

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No. 1 North Muskegon rallies past Lawton for big district title win

North Muskegon rallied from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and posted a 27-24 victory over big and strong Lawton in a Division 7 district football final Saturday at Oakridge.

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Oakridge, Hart, Manistee fall in district football finals games on the road

Oakridge lost at Grand Rapids West Catholic (45-0) in Division 5, Hart fell at Reed City (50-18) in Division 6, and Manistee lost at Kingsley (37-18) in Division 6 as it was a tough night Friday for West Michigan Conference teams.

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Hart’s Jessica Jazwinski wins second straight cross country state title

Hart junior Jessica Jazwinski cruised to a second straight MHSAA Division 3 cross country state title and broke the Division 3 state finals record with a time of 17:08.8.

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Six West Michigan Conference runners earn all-state accolades

Six cross country runners from the West Michigan Conference finished in the top 30 of their respective divisions at the MHSAA state finals Saturday en route to earning all-state honors.

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Three WMC teams bound for regionals

Ludington, Fremont, and Shelby all won district volleyball titles last week and have advanced to regional play.

CLICK HERE to see the matchups and brackets for their respective regions.

In this file photo, Ludington and Fremont compete in a volleyball match for first place in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in Fremont, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Fremont rallies past Oakridge in five-set thriller for district title

Fremont’s volleyball team lost the first two games to an inspired Oakridge squad, but the Packers rallied for a five-set victory in a Division 2 district finals thriller last Thursday at Whitehall.

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Ludington sweeps Big Rapids for first district title in 19 years

Ludington’s volleyball team swept Big Rapids in a Division 2 district final last Thursday at Hart. It’s the Orioles’ first district volleyball title since 2004.

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Ludington’s volleyball team poses with the trophy after sweeping Big Rapids for a Division 2 district title Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Hart High School in Hart, Mich. It’s Ludington’s first district volleyball title since 2004. (Courtesy of Ludington volleyball)

Shelby captures third straight district championship

Shelby beat Morley Stanwood in four sets in winning a Division 3 district title last Thursday at Hesperia. This is the Tigers’ third straight district championship.

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Shelby’s volleyball team poses with the trophy after defeating Morley Stanwood for a Division 3 district title Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at Hesperia High School in Hesperia, Mich. (Courtesy of Shelby volleyball)


State qualifiers highlight Ludington’s runner-up finish at conference meet

Friday’s and Saturday’s Coastal Conference girls swimming and diving meet at Manistee was very productive for Ludington.

The Orioles finished runner-up to Traverse City West in the event, but they had much to celebrate:

Ludington boasted 27 lifetime bests on Friday and 24 more on Saturday.

On Friday, Reese Willis qualified for state in the 50 freestyle.  She went on to win the event on Saturday with a faster time of 26.07.   

The 200 medley relay team of Izzie Lundberg, Madison Bearup, Cora Mahler, and Reese Willis finished first, breaking the varsity record from 2008 with a time of 1:54.30, bettering their state qualifying time from earlier in the season.  

Cora Mahler broke her own 100 butterfly varsity record from last season with a time of 1:00.82, winning the event against Gaylord’s Rowen Dobzelewski.  

The 200 freestyle relay team of Cora Mahler, Izzle Lundberg, Madison Bearup, and Reese Willis placed first with a state qualifying time of 1:45.86.  

All three breaststrokers placed top eight (Madison Bearup, Kylie Sailor, and Kylie Hatch). This was a close and exciting race for first between Gaylord’s Rowen Dobrzelewski, Traverse City’s Kira Adams, and Ludington’s Madison Bearup.  

Swimmers who placed even better on Saturday than on Friday include Cora Mahler and Grace Higley in the 200 freestyle, Carley Sova in the 200 IM, Cora Mahler in the 100 butterfly, Ava Carlson in the 100 freestyle, Madison Bearup and Kylie Hatch in the 100 breaststroke.

“Seniors Grace Higley, Kylie Sailor, Ayiana Rangel, Izzie Lundberg, and Maddie Reed had an impressive finish to their four years of swimming for LHS. Their dedication, work ethic, and leadership have contributed to the team’s success over the years, and they will be greatly missed,” Ludington coach Kelley Hatch said.

“Six swimmers will continue training for the MHSAA D3 state meet in two weeks at Oakland University.  The team will travel to Holland on Tuesday to try to qualify a third relay for state. Ludington currently has state cuts in seven events, which has not happened in a long time. The bar was set pretty high this season, and each member of the team has worked hard to reach it.”

Ludington junior Reese Willis reacts after seeing her state-qualifying time in the 50 freestyle during the Coastal Conference meet Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, at Manistee. This is Reese’s first time qualifying in an individual event. (Courtesy of Amy Wojcicki)

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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