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CatchMark Catch-Up highlights West Michigan Conference winter sports (Jan. 16, 2023)

Week of Jan. 9-14, 2023, recapped here.

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the CatchMark Catch-Up, a weekly recap of winter sports highlights in the West Michigan Conference.

This is obviously the video component of the Catch-Up, which we began publishing live in the winter sports season. You may have also found the written roundup on our website.

This is Episode 2 of the Catch-Up, where we take a trip around the league and its happenings.


CatchMark SportsNet hosted another successful Player of the Year banquet. Saturday night at The VAC in Whitehall, about 60 people attended the 2022 West Michigan Conference Fall Sports Player of the Year awards ceremony. Thanks to VanDyk Mortgage for being title sponsor of the event and to Whitehall District Schools for use of The VAC, which is a great venue for it.

Player of the Year award winners included the following: Ludington’s Robby Killips in boys tennis, Ludington’s Emma McKinley in girls golf, Hart’s Seth Ackley in boys cross country, Hart’s Jessica Jazwinski in girls cross country, Manistee’s Ben Schlaff in boys soccer, Ludington’s Maddy Vaara in volleyball and Ravenna’s Hunter Hogan in football.

You may watch a video replay of the awards ceremony here:


Saturday was a big day for some WMC wrestling teams.

Hart, which is enjoying another fine season, breezed through the competition with a 5-0 record Saturday at the LeRoy Pine River Fallen Bucks Memorial Tournament. One of the Pirates’ victories on the day was against WMC Rivers Division foe Mason County Central (63-15).

Elsewhere, Whitehall fared well again in a big test at the Rockford Duals. The Vikings went 4-1 on the day with the lone loss coming against host Rockford, a Division 1 opponent.

Also, Montague’s girls repped the Wildcats program well with four wrestlers advancing to championship matches.

Check out the WMC wrestling roundup on our website for more details. Also, look for the Profile of the Week on Whitehall senior wrestling twins Jackson and Shane Cook next Sunday (Jan. 22). And don’t miss last Friday’s “Ice Breaker” with our Tate Stine and Hesperia senior wrestling standout Alex Sayer.


Hart won the first West Michigan Conference meet since the league expanded this school year. The Pirates totaled 661.88 points in the meet Wednesday at Whitehall. Mason County Central was runner-up with 658.10 points in the event, which featured nine varsity teams and two JV squads.

If that weren’t enough, the Pirates put on an absolute show at Ludington on Saturday. They posted 730.28 points, which is a program high. It ranks second in the state for Division 4 this season behind perennial power Hudson’s 774.94.

Also on Saturday, Mason County Central was runner-up at the Beal City Invite. Speaking of the Spartans, don’t miss the Profile of the Week from Sunday on junior Emily Adams. The video and accompanying feature story appear on our website.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark


It was a notable week in WMC boys basketball. At the top, let’s start with Hart’s 71-50 victory at Mason County Central in a battle of unbeatens and Rivers Division title hopefuls last Thursday. The Pirates’ 1-2 punch of junior Blake Weirich and senior Parker Hovey did some serious damage. Weirich had a game-high 27 points (19 in the first half) to go with 11 rebounds. Hovey packed the stat sheet again with 24 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks. Hart stays unbeaten on the season at 9-0. The Pirates host MCC in the rematch on Feb. 23.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Speaking of Mason County Central, here’s a shout-out to Spartans senior Will Chye. The 6-foot-2 guard reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career in a 66-50 nonleague home win over White Cloud last Tuesday.

As for unbeatens, Ludington also remains one. In a back-and-forth game against a solid Petoskey team Saturday afternoon, the Orioles used a 22-5 fourth-quarter explosion for a 56-48 nonleague win at Hawley Gym. Ludington, which is now 11-0, was led by junior David Shillinger’s 16 points in a balanced team effort. Senior Levi Laman scored seven of his 11 points in the pivotal fourth quarter.

Speaking of teams that are hot: How about those Shelby Tigers? They earned a fifth straight win in Friday’s 62-56 victory over visiting Oakridge. Senior Bishop Lee posted 16 points and 10 rebounds in a big week for him.


Switching to girls basketball: Oakridge and Montague were in the spotlight Friday night. CatchMark SportsNet livestreamed Oakridge’s 45-25 victory over host Montague. It was the Eagles’ sixth straight win as they moved to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Lakes Division, two games behind first-place Ludington. Anna Lundquist, a 6-foot-2 junior power forward and double-double machine, dominated with 17 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

This Thursday, Montague hosts recent rival and Rivers Division-leading Hart in the CatchMark SportsNet West Michigan Conference Game of the Week. If you can’t make the game, be sure to check out our free livestream.


We apologize for no bowling in this episode, but we’re going to need more participation from WMC coaches in reporting their results. A few coaches have been good about this, but we need everybody on board.

That goes for all WMC coaches. Many have been good about reporting scores, stats and such, but we do need everybody’s cooperation in order to make our coverage of the West Michigan Conference the best it can be.

We want to highlight your schools and your athletes.

Have a great week, everyone!

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

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