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Player of the Year

Readers decide West Michigan Conference 2023 spring sports Players of the Year

The banquet is set for 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Viking Athletic Center in Whitehall.

A CatchMark panel selected three finalists from each 2023 spring sport for the West Michigan Conference Player of the Year awards.

It was up to readers to determine the winners. For the past two weeks, readers have weighed in through fan polls to the tune of just under 45,000 total votes.

Now the results are final.

The CatchMark SportsNet West Michigan Conference spring sports Players of the Year have been determined:

  • Ravenna’s Emma Herremans in softball
  • North Muskegon’s Ben Meyers in baseball
  • North Muskegon’s Natalie Pannucci in girls soccer
  • Whitehall’s Malcolm Earvin in boys track and field
  • Hart’s Jessica Jazwinski in girls track and field
  • Fremont’s Killian Prewitt in boys golf
  • North Muskegon’s Fia Lindsay in girls tennis

The polls opened at 8 a.m. June 5, and closed at 8 a.m. today (June 16). Readers were allowed to vote once per hour in each poll.

CatchMark is inviting all Player of the Year award winners and finalists to a presentation banquet 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24, 2023, at the Viking Athletic Center, 541 E. Slocum St., in Whitehall. Dinner will be served. Dress code is business casual. The awards presentation portion of the banquet will be livestreamed on the CatchMark SportsNet YouTube channel.

Each Player of the Year award winner will be presented a plaque, while all finalists will receive laminated certificates. A trophy with award winners’ names engraved on it will stay in the CatchMark office.

Below are details about each Player of the Year award winner, along with how voting turned out in each sport.

SOFTBALL: Emma Herremans, Ravenna

This sophomore third baseman and left-handed-hitting No. 3 batter for the Bulldogs was a first-team all-state selection and CatchMark Player of the Year finalist as a freshman, when she batted .622. This season, Herremans is hitting .661 (74-of-112) with eight home runs, 22 doubles, eight triples and a 1.214 slugging percentage. She’s totaled a team-high 73 RBIs, 66 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. Ravenna (36-5) went unbeaten in the WMC Rivers Division, cruised to the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association Tier 1 tournament title, and collected district and regional crowns. The Bulldogs play Standish-Sterling in the Division 3 state semifinals today.

BASEBALL: Ben Meyers, North Muskegon

This junior was a quiet leader behind the plate as the Norse catcher and a patient, dangerous hitter in the batter’s box. A Division 3 second-team all-stater last season, Meyers was batting .529 (64-for-121) at the time the Player of the Year polls opened with five home runs, eight triples, 11 doubles, 47 RBIs, 62 runs and 33 stolen bases. A college prospect with a very high baseball IQ, Meyers was the heart and soul for a North Muskegon team that finished with a 35-6-1 record, which is a program-best for wins in a season. The Division 3 fifth-ranked Norsemen ran away with WMC Rivers Division title and advanced to the regional finals.

GIRLS SOCCER: Natalie Pannucci, North Muskegon

This senior left wing was the CatchMark SportsNet WMC Player of the Year last spring as well. Pannucci, who was a key member of North Muskegon’s dominant, Division 4 state championship-winning team her sophomore year in 2021, was a dangerous goal-scorer for the Norse. This season, she has 13 goals and six assists at the time the Player of the Year polls opened. Entering the state tournament, she had registered a goal or an assist in nine straight games. Pannucci will take her talents to Hope College, where she intends on playing volleyball. She helped lead second-ranked North Muskegon back to the Division 4 state semifinals and a 17-4-1 overall record.

BOYS TRACK AND FIELD: Malcolm Earvin, Whitehall

Between Earvin and fellow junior Trannon Aylor — the 2022 CatchMark SportsNet WMC Track Athlete of the Year — the Vikings were in great shape in the sprints. Earvin was seeded second in the 200-meter dash at the MHSAA Division 2 state finals and competed in four events. He was part of the 4×400 relay team that placed third. In the 200, his personal-best time recorded this season was 22.30 in the regional meet at Allendale. In the 100, his PR was 11.03, also established in the Allendale regional. He also ran on the state finals-qualifying 4×200 relay. Whitehall was a dominant team this season, although the Vikings fell just short of a title at the MITCA Division 2 state finals.

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD: Jessica Jazwinski, Hart

This sophomore seems to perform her best in the biggest events. The distance phenom is an All-American and she continues to show why, helping to lead Hart to a second-straight Division 3 state title. Jazwinski took first in the 3200 (10:57.99), second in the 1600 (4:58.86) and third in the 800 (2:16.22), while anchoring the fourth-place 4×800 relay. She won regional titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200. Her personal-record in the 800 is 2:15.02 at the West Michigan All-Star Invitational, her best in the 1600 is 4:50.45 at the Distance Under the Lights event at Houseman Field, and her top time in the 3200 is 10:24.61. Jazwinski won the MHSAA Division 3 individual state title during cross country season in the fall and she was voted CatchMark SportsNet WMC Runner of the Year.

BOYS GOLF: Killian Prewitt, Fremont

This junior finished second place overall in scoring in West Michigan Conference Lakes Division nine-hole jamborees on the season (38.1 average over six events). Prewitt took first place in one jamboree, second in another and tied for second in a third. Fremont took second in the WMC Lakes behind Manistee. In 18-hole events, he was medalist of the Newaygo County Championship (76), third in the Lakeview Invitational (78) and tied for 13th in the Kent City Eagle Invitational (86). Prewitt tied for 47th at the MHSAA Division 2 regional at Katke Golf Course with a 90.

GIRLS TENNIS: Fia Lindsay, North Muskegon

This junior enjoyed an outstanding season for the Norse, who made it back to the Division 4 state championships. North Muskegon’s No. 2 singles player was 25-4 on the season and advanced to the semifinals in her flight at the state championships. She earned titles in the Coastal Conference, Greater Muskegon Athletic Association tournament and regional. North Muskegon finished runner-up in the Coastal Conference behind Ludington and second in the GMAA tourney behind Mona Shores. Lindsay also was named all-state honorable mention for Division 4.

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

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