Wrestlers get their moment in the sun in the latest edition of the CatchMark SportsNet West Michigan Conference Player of the Week fan poll.
Six winter sports athletes from the conference who stood out in competitions Feb. 27-March 4, 2023, have been nominated. Now it’s time for you to vote for Player of the Week.
The poll can be found at the bottom of this story after brief capsules on the nominees. Voting is open and will continue until noon on Friday, March 10.
If an athlete has already won Player of the Week honors this season — Whitehall’s Camden Thompson and Hart’s Hovey siblings come to mind — then he or she is not eligible to be nominated.
Athletes are listed alphabetically:
SHANE COOK, Whitehall wrestling
The Vikings senior capped a dream wrestling season by winning a Division 3 state championship in the 285-pound weight class. In Saturday’s finals, he decisioned Birch Run’s Landen Roe, 9-5. Cook, who finished with a 62-0 season record, is the fourth Whitehall wrestler in school history to finish as an unbeaten state champion. He led five Vikings wrestlers who finished as all-staters.
ONNYKA DEMPSEY, Whitehall basketball
The 5-foot-6 senior guard was quite the sparkplug for the Vikings, who last week captured the program’s first district title since 2005. Dempsey scored a team-high 11 points in Wednesday’s 33-32 victory over Grant in a Division 2 district semifinal. She scored 14 points and made three third-quarter triples, including a half-courter, to lead Whitehall to a 36-31 district finals win over host and rival Montague.
ALEX GLEASON, Hesperia wrestling
The Panthers senior placed third in the 150-pound weight class of the Division 4 state finals over the weekend at Ford Field. Gleason, who led a contingent of four all-staters from Hesperia, decisioned Hudson’s Jacob Pickford in third-place match Saturday. On the season, he finished with a 42-10 record.
JORDON MCDONALD, Fremont basketball
The 6-foot-3 senior forward had an unforgettable week for the Packers. He reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career with a 26-point, 10-rebound effort in Thursday’s 55-40 win at Manistee. In Saturday’s 59-35 home victory over Orchard View, McDonald finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. In Tuesday’s 68-50 home loss to Whitehall, he had 29 points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
EMMA PENDELL, Montague wrestling
Last year, Pendell became the first Montague wrestler since 1989 to capture a state title, winning in the 140-pound division. The Wildcats junior returned to the state finals at Ford Field over the weekend and finished all-state again with a fifth-place finish at 140 pounds. Pendell posted a 21-10 record this season.
KIRA TWINING, Oakridge bowling
The Eagles junior placed fourth in the singles qualifying block during the individual portion of the Division 3 bowling state finals Saturday at JAX60 in Jackson. Twining shot a five-game total of 1138. That qualified her for bracket competition, in which she lost a tough first-round match to Kent City’s Madi Brake, 339-335. Twining was West Michigan Conference and GMAA champion this season.
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