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CatchMark Catch-Up

CatchMark Catch-Up highlights West Michigan Conference fall sports (Sept. 11, 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 and it has returned for the 2023-24 school year.

It’s Monday, Sept. 11, and we’re hitting some of the highlights from last week.

Before we get into them, these notes bear repeating from the 2023 spring season of Catch-Up:

  • Coaches: It’s very important that you submit your game scores and recaps/details/stats to us. We use that info in a variety of content at CatchMark SportsNet, including but not limited to our Scoreboard, Player of the Week fan polls, and the Catch-Up that you’re reading now. Please help us out, which in turn will help your athletes get exposure. Those who submit results, doing so in great detail, have a better chance of their teams and athletes getting better coverage. We’re asking that coaches report their info to CatchMark by emailing the day/night of an event.


Whitehall, Montague post comfortable wins ahead of ‘Battle for the Bell’

Whitehall improved to 3-0 with a nonleague blowout of Hastings on Friday, 56-28, on “Community Night” at Whitehall.

CLICK HERE for details, photos, videos, and TikToks from the evening.

Meanwhile, Montague won its second straight game to move to 2-1 with a 33-8 victory at Orchard View in a West Michigan Conference Lakes Division opener.

CLICK HERE for details and photos from that game.

Montague defeated Orchard View, 33-8, in a West Michigan Conference Lakes Division football opener Friday, Sept, 8, 2023, in Muskegon, Mich. (Photo by Emma Pendell for CatchMark)

The Vikings and Wildcats will clash this Friday (Sept. 15) in the latest “Battle for the Bell” installment. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Townsend Athletic Complex in Montague.

Members of both teams will be featured on the first CatchMark Sports Podcast of the 2023 fall season tonight, a live showing running 7-8 p.m. on the CatchMark SportsNet YouTube channel. Viewers are encouraged to engage in the comments section during the live podcast.

Manistee posts big win at Oakridge

Manistee’s football team earned a “money win,” in the words of head coach Troy Bytwork, in Friday’s 20-15 thriller on the road at Oakridge.

The victory avenged Manistee’s 46-19 home loss to Oakridge last season and kept the Mariners unbeaten in the early season at 3-0.

Manistee visits Orchard View this Friday in another WMC Lakes Division matchup, then the Mariners host Whitehall next week in a big divisional matchup.

CLICK HERE for more details from the Manistee-Oakridge game as well as other games involving WMC football teams Friday.

Hart retains ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ jug with shutout of Shelby

Hart’s football team retained the “Blood, Sweat & Tears” jug with a 44-0 victory over hosting rival Shelby on Friday. The Pirates keep the jug for the seventh time in eight years.

CLICK HERE for coverage of the game.

In winning the WMC Rivers Division opener, Hart stays unbeaten in the early season at 3-0. Next up for the Pirates is a neutral-site game against Stockbridge (1-2) at Olivet College, the old stomping grounds of Hart head coach Joe Tanis.

Hart defeated Shelby, 44-0, in a West Michigan Conference Rivers Division football opener Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Shelby, Mich. Hart retained the “Blood, Sweat & Tears” jug for the seventh time in eight years. (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)


Fremont hosts several WMC teams in Hill and Bale Invitational

Fremont Middle School was the site of the annual Hill and Bale Invitational cross country competition on Saturday.

Fremont’s Sean Pettis was the overall top finisher on the boys side, turning in a time of 16:35.51.

CLICK HERE for details and dozens of photos from the event.

Runners compete in the Hill and Bale Invitational cross country event Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Fremont Middle School. (Brent Raeth | CatchMark)


Ludington goes unbeaten on the week

Ludington’s volleyball team appears to be hitting its stride. The Orioles went unbeaten last week as they competed in a WMC Lakes Division play and a couple of quads.

On Tuesday, Ludington swept visiting Manistee, 25-13, 25-14, 25-9. Thursday in the Big Rapids Quad, the Orioles beat Big Rapids (25-11, 25-19), Whitehall (25-17, 25-17), and Fremont (26-24, 25-23). In the Spring Lake Quad Saturday, Ludington defeated Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (25-9, 25-17), Ravenna (25-8, 25-10), and Spring Lake (25-22, 25-15).

On the season, Ludington is 22-6-1 overall.


WMC golfers get regional preview, big test at St. Ives

Remus Chippewa Hills will host a Division 3 girls golf regional Oct. 10 on the tough St. Ives Golf Course in Stanwood. Last Tuesday, several West Michigan Conference golf teams that will be competing in the regional got a good look at St. Ives.

Ludington senior Emma McKinley earned medalist honors in last week’s meet at St. Ives with a 4-over 76. Whitehall senior Ava Garcia placed eighth at 97.

Chippewa Hills finished first in the team standings at 382. Among WMC teams, Ludington was third (412), Whitehall fourth (437), Montague fifth (440), Fremont sixth (441), and North Muskegon seventh (470).

Fremont, Ludington, Montague, Oakridge, North Muskegon, and Whitehall are the WMC teams that will return for the regional meet.

Ludington’s Emma McKinley hits a tee shot during the Whitehall Invitational girls golf event Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, at White Lake Golf Club in Whitehall, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)


Ludington’s 200 medley relay posts state-qualifying time

Ludington’s girls swimming and diving team competed in Allegan’s “Swim Your Year” Invitational on Saturday. The timed finals meet featured five divisions: Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and relays. Overall, the Orioles placed seventh. They were fourth among sophomores, sixth for juniors, and seventh for seniors.

Ludington’s 200 medley relay team of Izzie Lundberg, Madison Bearup, Cora Mahler, and Reese Willis posted a runner-up finish with a state finals-qualifying time of 1:58.16. Bearup won both of her individual events as well, the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke in the sophomore meet. Mahler took first in the 500 free and second overall in the 100 butterfly in the junior meet.

Ludington’s 200 medley relay team of Izzie Lundberg, Madison Bearup, Cora Mahler, and Reese Willis posted a runner-up finish with a state finals-qualifying time of 1:58.16 during Allegan’s “Swim Your Year” Invitational Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Allegan, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Kelley Hatch)


North Muskegon’s Luke Hall wins Portland Memorial Quad

North Muskegon’s boys tennis team may not have gotten the finish it wanted in Saturday’s Portland Memorial Quad, but the Norsemen did have a champion at the No. 1 singles flight.

North Muskegon’s Luke Hall was the top player at No. 1 singles. Teammate Luke Toebe was runner-up at No. 4 singles.

Team scoring went as follows: Grand Rapids Catholic Central 21, Essexville Garber 11, Portland 10, and North Muskegon 6.

North Muskegon’s Luke Hall holds his medal after finishing as No. 1 singles flight champion in the Portland Memorial Quad Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Portland, Mich. (Photo courtesy of Cody Liverance)

Whitehall splits on Saturday

Whitehall’s boys tennis split in a tri-meet it hosted Saturday with Grand Haven and Harbor Springs. The Vikings lost to Grand Haven, 7-1, but defeated Harbor Springs, 6-2.

Winners for Whitehall against Harbor Springs were Owen Bass (No. 2) and Ryne Nicholas (No. 3) in singles, plus all four doubles tandems: Isaac VanAmberg and Ian Sampson at No. 1, Patrick Cole and Jones McDowell at No. 2, Adam Sikkenga and Myles Welch at No. 3, and Elijah Roberge and Remington Whelpley at No. 4.

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

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