Athlete of the Week

Rachael Traver, 17, represented Clarkston last weekend at the Miss Cheerleader of America Competition in Lansing.
Traver, who is now a senior at Clarkston High School, started cheerleading nine years ago because her friends were doing it. Now she is one of only 53 girls who represented Michigan at the competition.
Miss Cheerleader of America is not a regular cheerleading competition. In fact, there is no cheerleading involved at all. Finalists were chosen by an essay and an application they submitted.
The event was open to female high school cheerleaders who were chosen by their coaches and counselors for outstanding qualities. Coach Price, the varsity cheerleading coach at Clarkston High School, selected Traver.
? I think she chose me because I was a senior, so I was kind of a role model and leader of the team,? Traver said.
Next year Traver will be heading off to Michigan State University. She was unable to try out for the cheerleading team this year because of an injury, but is hoping to try out next year.

Clarkston High School senior Caine Watlinton’s personal achievement for his last track season was taking first place at the Bay City Western Invitational in the long jump.
‘I have done it for four years,? he said about the annual meet. ‘This was the first time I had gotten first.?
He added what helped this year was getting stronger and getting a little bit faster.
‘I was better equipped to beat my opponents,? Watlington noted.
He finished as regional champ last year in the long jump, qualifying for states. This year he finished in sixth place and didn’t qualify for states.
‘I didn’t do as good as I could but I did better all around this year in all of the races,? he explained.
Watlington also competed in 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdle, the 400-meter relay and other relay events when they need him.
He has participated in track off and on during his elementary and middle school years. He picked it up again in his sophomore year.
When it came to choosing events his coaches gave him a few ideas of what would be best for him and he chose from there.
‘The hurdles are very challenging races,? he explained about choosing his events. ‘It doesn’t just take speed, it takes skill to do. I figured to step up and do it. I like long jump because I have done it since in middle school and I have been good at it.
He will play football in the fall when he heads to the Air Force Academy, where he will study finance.
His advice to aspiring athletes is to keep working hard and fighting for your goals.
‘Don’t let something deter you from doing what you want,? Watlington added.

Senior Jake Hendricks made 28 saves during the weekend to help the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team score two wins in Ohio.
Hendricks has played the goalie position for six years after his coach asked him to try it.
‘Out of all of the kids I was the most experienced and played every position,? he remembered. ‘I tried it out and I liked it.?
He admitted being in the net can be nerve-wracking but it also has bonuses to it as well.
‘You feel responsible,? Hendricks said. ‘You can see everything going on. You are the eyes and the ears of the team – letting defense know where to go, where to slide, who to hit and when the shot is coming.?
He began playing the sport eight years ago while at a summer camp at Oakland Yard. The camp had a little bit of everything and he decided to try lacrosse since he had seen other kids play it.
‘I got hooked,? Hendricks said. ‘It is fast-paced. It is hard hitting and full contact.?
Over the few years the team has claimed the OAA Red title and last year won the MHSAA Regionals for the first time. Hendricks said the big season finishes have helped him during the off season.
‘It has given me a lot of confidence – not just in myself but in my team,? he added. ‘Each year we are progressing to higher levels and hopefully we can keep that streak up and win a state championship.?
Hendricks noted the finishes have helped as he and his teammates prepare the lower classmen.
‘It sets the bar for us,? he said. ‘A lot of the younger kids look up to the older players. I train a bunch of younger goalies and they aspire to win huge championships. It sets the level of what they want to be.?
Hendricks also has his individual goals he is working on, as the team set their eyes on the state crown this season. He hopes to be named All-American and would like to get his save percentage as high as he can.
After graduation in June, he plans to study engineering and has received an ROTC scholarship with Michigan State University. His career goal is to join the Army and be an engineer for them.
‘I like knowing how things work,? he added. ‘If I can’t fix it myself then I feel kind of useless. I don’t like having other people do things for me if I can do it myself.?
As the future awaits for him, the Clarkston Lacrosse program has helped him.
‘It has given me a lot of confidence in myself,? he said. ‘Playing my position is quite a bit of leadership and that has given me skills to help me in the future. Plus, working with my teammates we have become a family.?
His advice to aspiring players is to keep their eyes on their goals.
‘If you really want to become very good you have to non-stop train – rain or shine,? Hendricks added. ‘It’s how you get the really excellent players. It is that motivation that will make you a champion.?

Clarkstonites had mixed feelings about all the snow this winter but not skier Derek Van Itallie.
All the snow meant the Clarkston High School junior could hit the slopes and help his fellow skiers on the Wolves? Boys Varsity Ski team quality for state finals.
Van Itallie finished his season on Schuss Mountain as state champion in the Giant Slalom and named All-State.
‘It was pretty cool,? he said. ‘I have finished All-State every year but it is always an honor to be part of the small group to receive such a high honor. It is such a cool experience. It lets you know how lucky you are to have the opportunity to get there.?
His dad, Tom, added, the family is extremely proud of Derek’s accomplishments throughout the season.
‘He works really hard,? he said. ‘He trains in the off season.?
‘He put a lot of hard work into the season,? said Mike Foyteck, head coach. ‘All of these kids are getting outside training and racing during the weekends. He made a commitment this year and went up another level.?
Derek even stepped away from playing football to concentrate more on training on his overall techniques and into racing.
He explained since he is getting older he wanted to put more focus into racing.
‘I am racing against a bigger division of kids from all across the country,? he added. ‘When I go out to meet and see how much focus they put into it and how it paid off for them I really wanted to compete with them. I know it will take a lot of time and concentration in a single sport to get to where I am shooting towards.?
Derek finished his racing season on March 29 at the USSA Central Division race at Boyne Mountain with CUSSA, a national ski racing program. He finished with a total time of 57.77.
He finished first place for his age group in the U18, and second place overall.
‘It was fun,? he said. ‘There were a lot of people I hadn’t seen all year and it is the race event I started off racing in.?
Derek began skiing when he was 3-years-old and racing four years later. His older brother, Brent, began at the same time.
‘We moved to Michigan when he was one,? said Tom, adding they had received a flier in the mail about joining the Thunderbolts, a program for young skiers. ‘It is a great program offered at Pine Knob Ski Resort for kids who want to get involved. It’s how we got hooked.?
‘We really fell in love with it and stuck with it,? Derek added.
As both Derek and Brent got better they became part of the first Pinnacle Racing team, which was created by Joe Kosik, owner of Pine Knob.
‘I skied my whole life but never raced,? said Tom. ‘I was pleasantly surprised they took to it so well.?
Both brothers were part of the team in 2012 when the Wolves won the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Ski State Championship.
‘He was motivated by his older brother,? Tom added. ‘You are motivated to be as good as your older brother and Brent was a great racer as well.
Derek added skiing is one of his favorite past times.
‘I love competing in sports so it was the perfect combination for me,? he said. ‘It taught me a lot of life lessons and it really builds character. You have to learn to get over a bad run. There is a lot of mental game in skiing and that is what I like about it.?
Derek also enjoys participating in a lot of outdoor activities like mountain biking, traveling, hiking and water sports.
‘I like to be moving a lot,? he added. ‘I like to be active.?
Part of his accomplishments during his junior year was maintaining a grade point average of 3.6 as he had a courseload include Advanced Placement Psychology and AP Language and Composition.
‘He is a smart kid as well,? Tom said. ‘He works hard in school and works hard in skiing.?
Derek admitted it wasn’t easy to balance his time between school, homework, practices and races but he made it work.
‘If I gave myself room and it was flexible in my schedule I could get it all done,? he added. ‘There was a lot going on but I really enjoy my classes which helped me keep my grades up.?
As of right now his goal for his final winter season in 2015 is to be the best skier he can be.
‘I have some technical things in my skiing I need to work on but it will just take practice,? Derek added. ‘I want to be faster next year. Making it to nationals would be awesome.?
He is also looking at colleges and would like to continue skiing.
‘It is hard to get on a really good Division 1 college team,? he admitted. ‘I hope I can make it to that level.?
His advice to aspiring athletes is to set goals high and never stop working for them.

Senior point guard Kacy Robinson finished her final season with the Lady Wolves Varsity Basketball team but she is far from finished with playing.
She signed her letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Madonna University, March 25.
“I am very excited,” she said, between the congratulations from friends, family and teammates.
She met the team a few times as well as attended a few games. She found the players to be open and the coaching staff was nice and welcoming.
“It is a great day for Kacy, but it is an even better day for Madonna University,” smiled Carl Graves, head coach for the Lady Crusaders. “We are getting a quality athlete and a quality student. I think she could come in and contribute right away. We are really excited.”
He added he, as well as other members for his staff, visit a lot of Clarkston games.
“Kacy is a dynamite player,” he said. “She has a high basketball IQ and a great court sense so she is ready to take the ball and the pressure. She has a really good size for a guard. I think she will be able to spread us out a little bit. She will give us an opportunity to be very good defensively as well.”
Graves added Robinson will see minutes as a freshman if she doing what she needs to do and comes ready.
“She has a lot of things to learn and work for, but she will have that opportunity,” he said, adding the Women’s Basketball team will go against teams in different divisions.
“It excites me to play against the different levels of competition and different types of players,” Robinson said.
She added playing with the varsity team the last four years will help her as she moves on to the college level.
“Playing in the OAA Red we always face the best competition so I feel like I will be prepared going in playing for Madonna University,” she added.
Robinson ended her season being named All-League and also named co-Most Valuable Player for the Lady Wolves.
“I am really excited for Kacy,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach for the Lady Wolves. “She had a great four year career for us. She is surely going to be missed on the floor. She is a good kid, pleasure to be around, and has a great personality. She will be a great fit for Madonna.”
He added Robinson has a strong presence on the floor in the point guard position.
“She played almost the entire game and when she was in the game our offense flowed better,” Wasilk continued. “She was able to break presses. She brought a lot of energy to our team.”
Robinson will be a premedical student and plans to become a pediatrician.
“Ever since I was really young I would always go to my family doctor. I just fell in love with the job,” she said, earlier this year.
Robinson began playing basketball eight years ago.
“My dad coached my sister when she was younger,” she explained. “I would go to her practices and just mess around with her team. Then, I started playing.”
Her parents are Antonio and Toni.
Graves added the entire Robinson family will be an asset to Madonna University.
“They are a nice family and we are excited about it,” he smiled. “When you recruit kids, you recruit the whole family and she has a nice family. They will fit well into the group of parents we have. It’s always nice to have people who are positive.”

Clarkston resident Jeremy Schupbach received a surprise when he found out he was recognized by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
He was one out of 26 scholar athletes to be named to the 2013 Football Academic All-State First team for his senior season with Everest Collegiate High School.
‘I definitely didn’t see it coming but I felt happy about it,? Schupbach said.
It looks good for the school and the football program. I feel blessed.?
‘We are extremely proud,? added parents, Kathleen and Brian. ‘I had to read the letter three times. We feel very blessed. He is a great son. We are proud of him in every way.?
It was not only the first year Jeremy played football but the inaugural year for the football program.
‘It was really a cool unique experience,? Jeremy added. ‘It’s why I wanted to play football because it was such a unique thing. We accomplished a lot – we never lost at home, and we are the only first year team in Michigan to make it to the playoffs which was exciting. It is cool because not only did we set the standards but also set the standard with the personality of the team who found it.?
Jeremy joined this year to play on the defensive and offensive line because he would have an opportunity to play since it was the first year for the team. Before he joined he had only played backyard football.
‘I knew I would play and they needed me,? he said. ‘Also, I was going out with friends, we would set the tradition and create the football team.?
He added Coach Michael Pruchnicki did a great job leading the team, especially since most of the team had never played before.
‘He was a huge part of why we won so many games,? Jeremy said. ‘He was patient with us because we didn’t know how to do things, simplifying things down.?
Jeremy didn’t know what to expect as the Mountaineers headed into the first game of the season against Auburn Hills Oakland Christian.
‘We were untested,? he said. ‘I had no idea how we would perform especially during practice when we never did our plays because we only had seven people and seven guys on defense who knew which side the ball was going to go to.?
Everest finished the game with a 31-0 win.
‘It was a great feeling. We had a lot of hidden talent,? Jeremy smiled.
The team finished the regular season 7-2 and lost in the playoffs against Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, 34-7.
As a scholar with a 4.21 GPA, Jeremy attributes his success to his mom, who home schooled him until he was in fourth grade, and his teachers at Everest.
‘They do a great job with us and helping us to get the information.? he added. ‘They are very personable and accessible. I would love to credit my mom. She got me into reading and advanced math. It helped especially with reading.?
Jeremy is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Drama Club.
He is currently deciding on a college to attend in the fall and is leaning towards going to Grand Valley State University where he will study either chemistry or philosophy.
‘Some kind of mix, chemistry because I would like to go into medicine, and philosophy just because I like it,? he said. ‘We left a great legacy and impression with the program.?

A boost from junior Erika Davenport in the second overtime against Rochester Adams in the first round of MHSAA Girls Basketball Districts helped the Lady Wolves win the game 67-65, Feb. 24.
With less than three seconds remaining in the second overtime Davenport caught the Highlanders’ rebound and ran down the court. She shot the ball and put it away to break the tie.
“I pushed it,” Davenport said. “I saw two defenders and I didn’t think for a moment. It was just and instinct and I did it. I am glad I did it and glad it went in.”
She finished the night with a game high of 48 points and 23 rebounds.
Davenport joined the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team in her freshman year and each year her skills continue to grow especially from her sophomore year to this season.
‘She has grown basketball wise with just being more rounded offensively, being able to go inside and out,? said Tim Wasilk, head coach. ‘She handles the ball and has become a much better passer. It has been good to see her not only work at the post but all around the floor.?
It was the game against Rochester Adams Davenport added she grew as a player.
‘We have been working hard,? she said about the Lady Wolves this season. ‘From this game I feel like I learned a lot about myself and my team. It has made a better basketball player. I am always going to push it. I am never going to settle.?
Davenport has been playing basketball since she was a little girl bouncing the ball in her backyard.
“I just picked it up,” she said as she explained everyone in her family was playing basketball. “I have been playing with older people all of my life which has really helped me for where I am now.”
The Lady Wolves finished their season 18-5.

Before the any offensive plays were made during the Clarkston Varsity Football 2013 state championship season – the ball had to be snapped back to the quarterback.
The snap came from senior center Griffin Barta,who had a completion rate of 100 percent and named the Unsung Hero during the Wolves? football banquet, Jan. 12.
‘I was very grateful,? he said about receiving the award. ‘Throughout the season a lot of us don’t get that much recognition and winning the award just shows my hard work and dedication showed. I was acknowledged for it which was very nice.?
‘Griff has a great duality about him,? said Brian Zezula, offensive/defensive line coach, who also coached Barta when he was in elementary school.
‘He is a technician and wants to do everything perfect as a player to step the right way, uses his hands the right way, snap the perfect spirals back to the quarterback,? Zezula contined. ‘But he is also very good because he does not want to let his friends down, his team down. He is a great friend and teammate to have. He would do everything he could to make sure he does his job to make sure his friends and his teammates can count on him and benefit from it. That’s how he leads his life and that’s how he plays the game. He has a lot of passion for the game.?
He added Barta also did a lot of little things as well.
‘After the first touchdown in the finals game he was the first one all the way from the center to celebrate in the endzone with Shane Holler,? Zezula recalled. ‘He just sprinted there because he was so excited. He did like a little fist pump but in the air kind of like a wave.?
Barta began playing football eight years ago when his parents signed him up when he was old enough. His older brother, Alex, was already playing the sport.
‘He did help me out with the aspect of the football part,? Griffin added. ‘He helped me with motivation to get up, do something and go work out.?
Griffin added he became a center because he would be able to touch the football.
‘I knew I wasn’t going to be a running back or quarterback but I wanted to touch the ball and be part of the play every time,? he said. ‘It pushed me to try to play that position.?
He added playing center came natural to him because he has played the position since he was a child and due to the preparation during the season and in the pre-season.
‘I like playing center because it was a lot of pressure and knowing everyone’s assignment not only mine,? Griffin said.
‘Also, I like being able to touch the ball before every play started because most plays and most players don’t get to touch the ball a whole lot let alone every play.?
Griffin almost didn’t play his final year in high school.
‘He had a decision to make in the off season,? Zezula said, sharing what most players think about going into their senior season – will they play a lot, should they get ready for college, and do they want to spend more time with their friends. ‘Or did he want to put everything he had into it and maybe win a state title, which has never happened before. He did that and it was a major reason for our success.?
Griffin added one of the reasons he decided to continue was because he didn’t want to stop in his senior year.
Another reason was he knew there was going to be something special with the 2013 varsity football team.
‘We have been playing together since we were little kids,? he said. ‘I didn’t want to end it in the last year we could possibly be together.?
He was right – the team finished the season defeating Detroit Catholic Central for the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship, 32-14.
‘It feels good,? he laughed when asked how it felt being right there was something special about this group of guys.
‘It is a great sense of accomplishment because of how big the DCC situation was and how we handled it. It’s very cool.?
He will not be playing football in college. He plans on going to Central Michigan University where he will take courses focusing on pre-med as he focuses on a career as a physician’s assistant.
He is currently taking Business Law, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry,Psychology, Forensics Science and Weightlifting in his second trimester and ended last trimester with a 3.2 grade point average.
When Griffin and his friends weren’t playing football or studying they would go fishing a few times a week when the weather was nicer.
Griffin’s advice for aspiring athletes is to play as hard as they can.
‘Don’t leave anything behind because you don’t want to regret it,? he added. ‘Honestly I didn’t regret much because how we did. Don’t regret anything, put everything out there and try harder for everything you do.?
His parents are Donna and Guido.

Junior Drake Gentile scored his hat trick before the Clarkston Hockey team hit the halfway point in their game against Birmingham United last Thursday.
He scored within the first four minutes of the first period then twice in the next period with his third goal with 10:20 remaining.
‘I am glad he showed up,? said Bryan Krygier, head coach. ‘He got those goals and pushed us ahead to get some distance between us and the other team. Someone always has to step up and get those goals and I am glad he did.?
The Wolves finished with 9-4 win and Gentile finished with his three goals, putting his tally at 11 for the season.
‘It is going great so far,? Gentile said about the season. ‘I have been playing a lot and have scored some goals. I am glad I can help the team.?
It helps out with his goals this season which include improving offensively and helping out the team by becoming a leader on and off of the ice.
Gentile can remember playing hockey since he was fairly young because it was in the blood with his brother and dad playing.
He began playing organized hockey when he was around five-years-old.
He added it has helped him to have his brother and dad play the sport.
‘It is really nice because they are able to give me pointers and video tape all the games,? Gentile said. ‘They can help to teach me and coach me along just like Coach Krygier does. It is really nice. Plus my brother, Brandon, is an assistant coach which is really nice, too.?
He would like to continue playing hockey after he graduates next year. He is already thinking about going to Michigan State University to study accounting.
‘I like math, numbers, and money,? he smiled. ‘I figured it would be useful one day.?
He is currently balancing hockey and his studies with three Advanced Placement courses in Biology, Language Arts and History and is on the honor roll.
Gentile’s advice for aspiring athletes is to keep working hard.
‘You will achieve your goals as long as you keep working and never give up,? he added.

Before the any offensive plays were made during the Clarkston Varsity Football 2013 state championship season – the ball had to be snapped back to the quarterback.
The snap came from senior center Griffin Barta,who had a completion rate of 100 percent and named the Unsung Hero during the Wolves? football banquet, Jan. 12.
‘I was very grateful,? he said about receiving the award. ‘Throughout the season a lot of us don’t get that much recognition and winning the award just shows my hard work and dedication showed. I was acknowledged for it which was very nice.?
‘Griff has a great duality about him,? said Brian Zezula, offensive/defensive line coach, who also coached Barta when he was in elementary school.
‘He is a technician and wants to do everything perfect as a player to step the right way, uses his hands the right way, snap the perfect spirals back to the quarterback,? Zezula contined. ‘But he is also very good because he does not want to let his friends down, his team down. He is a great friend and teammate to have. He would do everything he could to make sure he does his job to make sure his friends and his teammates can count on him and benefit from it. That’s how he leads his life and that’s how he plays the game. He has a lot of passion for the game.?
He added Barta also did a lot of little things as well.
‘After the first touchdown in the finals game he was the first one all the way from the center to celebrate in the endzone with Shane Holler,? Zezula recalled. ‘He just sprinted there because he was so excited. He did like a little fist pump but in the air kind of like a wave.?
Barta began playing football eight years ago when his parents signed him up when he was old enough. His older brother, Alex, was already playing the sport.
‘He did help me out with the aspect of the football part,? Griffin added. ‘He helped me with motivation to get up, do something and go work out.?
Griffin added he became a center because he would be able to touch the football.
‘I knew I wasn’t going to be a running back or quarterback but I wanted to touch the ball and be part of the play every time,? he said. ‘It pushed me to try to play that position.?
He added playing center came natural to him because he has played the position since he was a child and due to the preparation during the season and in the pre-season.
‘I like playing center because it was a lot of pressure and knowing everyone’s assignment not only mine,? Griffin said.
‘Also, I like being able to touch the ball before every play started because most plays and most players don’t get to touch the ball a whole lot let alone every play.?
Griffin almost didn’t play his final year in high school.
‘He had a decision to make in the off season,? Zezula said, sharing what most players think about going into their senior season – will they play a lot, should they get ready for college, and do they want to spend more time with their friends. ‘Or did he want to put everything he had into it and maybe win a state title, which has never happened before. He did that and it was a major reason for our success.?
Griffin added one of the reasons he decided to continue was because he didn’t want to stop in his senior year.
Another reason was he knew there was going to be something special with the 2013 varsity football team.
‘We have been playing together since we were little kids,? he said. ‘I didn’t want to end it in the last year we could possibly be together.?
He was right – the team finished the season defeating Detroit Catholic Central for the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship, 32-14.
‘It feels good,? he laughed when asked how it felt being right there was something special about this group of guys.
‘It is a great sense of accomplishment because of how big the DCC situation was and how we handled it. It’s very cool.?
He will not be playing football in college. He plans on going to Central Michigan University where he will take courses focusing on pre-med as he focuses on a career as a physician’s assistant.
He is currently taking Business Law, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry,Psychology, Forensics Science and Weightligting in his second trimester and ended last trimester with a 3.2 grade point average.
When Griffin and his friends weren’t playing football or studying they would go fishing a few times a week when the weather was nicer.
Griffin’s advice for aspiring athletes is to play as hard as they can.
‘Don’t leave anything behind because you don’t want to regret it,? he added. ‘Honestly I didn’t regret much because how we did. Don’t regret anything, put everything out there and try harder for everything you do.?
His parents are Donna and Guido.

Senior Kacy Robinson took her shot quickly with seven seconds left in the third quarter against Stoney Creek last Friday.
The basketball swished through the net for three points, giving the Lady Wolves the lead, 25-23.
Robinson finished the game with 15 points as the girls defeated the Cougars, 41-31.
‘Kacy is doing a really excellent job handling point guard responsibilities,? said Tim Wasilk, head coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team. ‘She is doing a good job distributing the basketball and has become much more of a scorer for us this year. She has been a really good leader for us and is really solid defensively for us.?
Robinson began playing basketball eight years ago.
‘My dad coached my sister when she was younger,? she explained. ‘I would go to her practices and just mess around with her team. Then, I started playing.?
Robinson added having family members with knowledge and experience of the game helped her.
She also played with Lady Wolves Varsity Volleyball team during the fall and added the agility helped as she transitioned into the winter season for basketball.
‘They have different conditioning and work different muscles but coming into the basketball season I was already warm,? she said.
Robinson would like to continue playing basketball in college after she graduates this June. She plans to become a pre-med student and focus on becoming a pediatrician.
‘Ever since I was really young I would always go to my family doctor,? she explained. ‘I just fell in love with the job. I also job shadowed her when I was younger, too.?
Robinson currently has a 3.0 grade point average and is currently taking Anatomy, Human Relations, Statistics, Child Development 2 and Civics in her second trimester.
Her advice to aspiring Lady Wolves is to always work hard.
‘Know that good isn’t good enough,? she added.

Before Wolves? junior quarterback D.J. Zezula stepped onto Ford Field on Saturday he was reflecting on the football season.
‘It’s everything I could hope for,? he said. ‘It’s everything I set out for in the spring and in the summer. I was looking for a blow out junior year and to lead my team to state finals. That is exactly what happened. I couldn’t be more happier.?
The feeling continued as Clarkston beat Detroit Catholic Central for the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship, 32-14.
Zezula finished the day completing 10 of 15 passes for 154 yards including two touchdown passes. He also received Honorable Mention for the All-State team.
Along with his teammates, they assisted their long-time head coach Kurt Richardson reach 203 wins and make it to Ford Field.
‘It is one of the things none of us can wrap our heads around,? he added. ‘It is an unbelievable thing to say we are the Clarkston team to help Coach Richardson reach his 200th win and help him step on Ford Field, to help the community it is just great. There are no words to describe how awesome it is.?
The state championship game was the 13th consecutive win for the boys after opening the season with a loss to Rochester Adams it gave the team a boost.
‘The loss was, I think, was well needed because all the publicity came out in August about how good we were going to be and what our rankings were in the state,? he said. ‘It went straight to our heads. We saw in week one the OAA is a tough division and you have to produce every week.?
He added every week following the boys headed into practice with the mindset it wasn’t going to happen again.
Another boost in the year was his teammates helping him.
‘They really helped me to become a leader,? Zezula said. ‘We have a lot of individual talents and it helps me to become a better leader and the glue to bring all of these guys together so we could accomplish something great.?
Zezula began playing football in third grade beginning with Clarkston Chiefs, explaining he took a liking to it as a child and his dad and family played the sport.
‘I thought I would try it out and I ended up to be pretty good,? he said, adding having family who played helped as he learned about football and found his position.
Plus, he always has them cheering for him at games with 15-20 family and friends cheering from the stands. He had 17 family member in attendance when he pitched for the varsity baseball team against Lake Orion last spring.
It was also with the Clarkston Chiefs he met his current teammates and formed a tight bond with them.
Being in football has helped in other sports he participates in through the year with the competition.
‘Knowing I am not the best nor will ever be the best on any field I play I have to compete to be the best,? he said. ‘That competitiveness in my personal attribute comes out in sports because I strive to be the best.?
During the spring he pitches for the varsity baseball team and joined the team in his freshman year. During his sophomore year he threw 87 miles per hour and is one of the best hitters with his summer team.
His advice to aspiring athletes is to keep reaching.
‘Reach places you have never been you have to do things you have never done,? Zezula added.
He currently has a grade point averaged of 3.3 while taking advanced placement classes.
When he isn’t studying or playing football he enjoys hunting, fishing and playing video games with his teammates.
‘I love to play video games with all of the guys from the football team,? he said. ‘It is one other thing that brings us closer together.?
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Mackenzie Proper finished her senior season with Clarkston Girls Cross Country team with a smile.
‘I really enjoyed it,? she said about her final season. ‘It was my favorite year by far. I got a lot more confident as an athlete and it was my fastest season. Being an upperclassmen was really nice because I got to use all my experience.?
Proper began running in middle school track and was a sprinter when one of the coaches asked her to run the 400-meter.
‘I had stride of a distance runner,? she explained. ‘Then, I went out for the team for the next fall.?
She decided to pursue cross country because she is a competitive person and it was a blend of a individual sport and a team sport.
‘I had the support of teammates but at the same time I was able to compete against myself,? Proper said. ‘It is a very rewarding sport.?
She hit her fastest time 20:56 at the OAA Red Jamboree on Oct. 17.
Proper will be running in the spring with the girls track and field team and will be focusing on the half mile and mile distance events.
After graduation she is aiming to head to Michigan State University, explaining she has spent a lot of time on the campus with her sister.
‘I like the campus and their programs are really beneficial for the degree I am going into,? Proper said. She added she is considering secondary education for mathematics.
‘I really enjoy math,? she said. ‘I enjoy the challenge. I want to use my love for math to help other people.?
She currently has a 4.1 grade point average and explained she is taking a lot of advanced placement classes.
Her advice to aspiring athletes is to believe in themselves.
‘Last year I had a rough year and it really deals with confidence,? she admitted. ‘This year I made sure I believed I could do better. I believed in my training and it made a difference to help me go far this year.?

Senior forward Brad Schultz crossed the soccer ball to teammate Alex Trim during the first round of MHSAA Soccer District playoffs against Carman Ainsworth, Oct. 14.
Trim scored off the pass and it was the first of six goals for the Wolves as they defeated the Cavs, 6-0. It was also the first assist for Schultz as he finished the night with three assists. He added his own goal a few nights later in the boys? win over Swartz Creeek.
‘He is very unselfish and willing to set up other players,? said Curtis Payment, head coach. ‘He has almost 16 assists this season which is huge?
Schultz added it has been a good season for the Wolves.
‘The team has come together for the really hard games,? he said. ‘We have come together on the field and off the field. It has been my most memorable season for my senior year.?
He began playing in Kiddy Kickers when he was 4-years-old.
‘I played baseball, too,? he added. ‘But I loved soccer more than any other sport. I just picked it up. It was something I was always good at.?
Schultz started playing competitively at 8-years-old with Clarkston Impact then played for Strikers. He came back to Impact when the Strikers merged with the program to create Michigan Impact.
He added playing with Impact helped because he grew up with most of his teammates and they are now on the varsity team with him.
Schultz currently has a 3.4 grade point average and is taking a range of classes including Engineering and Design, AP Stats and Forensics Science.
He hopes to continue to play soccer in college and has not chosen a college at this time.
‘I have a couple of options,? he said, adding he is leaning towards studying engineering. ‘Science and math are my strong points.?
His advice for aspiring athletes is to keep working hard.
‘The hard work will pay off if you put the effort into it,? he added. ‘Don’t take anything for granted because the season will be gone before you know it.?

The cheering from the jungle was loud and catching as wide receiver Caine Watlington scored on a 86-yard touchdown pass from DJ Zezula with eight minutes left in the Wolves? home opener against Troy Athens.
It was his second touchdown for the game after he opened the game on a 14-yard pass from Zezula.
He finished the game as leading receiver on 111 yards on four catches as the team won the game, 51-0.
‘My senior season has gone pretty good,? he said. ‘I didn’t expect to play wide receiver but I have been getting it in and helping my team the best way I can. It is my favorite part about this season so far.?
As his season continues with the Clarkston Varsity Football team his goal is to help the team win the state championship.
‘So far we are looking pretty good,? Watlington said after the boys? most recent win over Stoney Creek last Friday.
His focus going into every practice is to get better and learn something new. When he hits the field on Friday nights the focus is to come out physical and have the mentality they will win the game.
He began playing football when he was eight-years-old with the Clarkston Chiefs. He added going through the Clarkston program his entire career has helped.
‘I know the coaches still in the program,? he added. ‘Coach Chewins coaches JV. He has coached me since I was 11-years-old.?
Watlington plans to continue playing football in college and is still looking at universities. He will study accounting.
His advice for the young athletes looking up to the varsity players is to keep working.
‘Have a goal and try to reach that goal,? Watlington smiled.
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Sophomore Ian Stuart was the last to step onto the court against Rochester with the score 4-4, Sept. 13.
Stuart admitted he began the match against Falcons? Collin Perozich for Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis team really slow. As his teammates cheered him on he felt more confident.
‘Last year I beat that kid twice so I knew I could beat him,? he said. ‘I ended up beating him.?
Stuart lost the first set 4-6. Then, rain began pouring and the match was moved inside to Lifetime Fitness.
‘It actually helped me,? he added. ‘I play better inside than I do outside.?
He finished the next two sets with wins – 6-3 and 6-2.
‘I was very pleased with Ian,? said Coach Chas Claus. ‘He knew the pressure was on him. He really stepped up with everyone from both teams watching and screaming.?
Stuart joined the team last year and so far his second year with the team is what he thought it would be – winning the majority of his matches.
During the off season he plays in the United States Tennis Association tournament and is 20th in the state in his grade level. He began playing tennis because his parents wanted him to play the sport along with golf because they lived in a country club. He also played football and basketball.
‘Once I figured out I wasn’t the right size for them my mom said I could be really good with tennis,? Stuart said. ‘I kept up with this.?
His goal for the season is to help his team get to the state finals at Midland Tennis Center, Oct. 18-19.
‘I will do my part by doing the best I can by winning especially matches that are close because that’s when it matters,? Stuart added.
While at the finals he would like to reach his individual goal of winning the state championship in No. 3 Singles.
His advice for aspiring athletes is to keep going and do what they can to reach their best.

Seventh-grader Alex Siegfried had a goal as he trained for the Lifetime Fitness Kid’s Tri – he was going to win.
His determination paid off as he finished in 34:02, taking first place out of 40 kids in the 11-12 age group.
‘He trains hard,? said dad, Ken, adding Alex was already participating in biathlons and was biking and running. ‘We are very proud of his motivation and determination to compete.?
Alex went to the pool to practice his swimming and went bike riding for five weeks to prepare for the triathlon.
He explained he began participating in triathlons because it was a challenge and wanted to win.
‘I like challenges because I have to push myself,? he added. ‘The triathlon did push me.?
Alex noted it the training for triathlons also helps with preparing for football and basketball.
‘I get more athletic,? he said. ‘It helps with my endurance. I also have more energy at the end of the game while other people don’t.?
‘Competing gives him confidence,? Ken added.
Alex has played basketball and football since he was 7-years-old. He recently finished a basketball camp at Michigan State University and dreams to play for the Spartans.
‘He has always been a good athlete,? said Ken. ‘He does it to keep in shape. He is always out doing something. He doesn’t sit around.?
Alex began his fall season with the Sashabaw Middle School seventh grade football teams as quarterback and will be a point guard when basketball starts in the winter.
‘I am excited for the season,? he said. ‘I am looking forward to playing for my school team.?
His next triathlon is in Grand Rapids as and he plans to take first place again.

Blake Sutherland is ready to run on the college track after a successful spring and summer.
The 2013 Clarkston High School graduate recently ran for the Elite Performance Track & Field Club in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.
His speed aided his 4×400-meter relay team. Along with Ian Eriksen, Daquarius Hollis and Ty Thronson, Sutherland finished at 3:22.20.
Sutherland joined Elite this year after a college coach made a recommendation for him to join summer track.
He began running his junior year for the Clarkston Boys Track and Field team to try something new.
‘I wanted a break from AAU basketball,? he explained. ‘I ended up being good at it. The high school team introduced me to track and I got a lot of work out. Coach (John) Bennink was a really good coach to me. I learned a lot.?
As a senior, he aided his 1,600-meter relay team during the MHSAA Track and Field Regionals when he finished .54 seconds ahead of Rochester Adams. The finish put the relay team in first place at 3:21.87 while breaking the school record.
He also finished in fourth at the regionals in the 400-meter dash. He set his personal best at the OAA Red League meet in the event in 50.44.
Sutherland is running track with Michigan State University as a preferred walk on. He added running for Elite will help for the next level.
‘It was eye opening for how fast and what level I will be running,? he said. ‘I just need to keep working hard.?
He will study kinesiology and plans to either become a sports chiropractor, personal trainer or something else in the athletic field.
He explained athletics has been a big part of his life adding, ‘athletics taught me and made me who I am today.?
His advice to aspiring athletes is not to limit themselves.
‘The only limitations you have are the ones you set for yourself,? he added.

Nick Vandermeer is using his summer preparing for college by taking on more competition.
The 2013 Clarkston High School graduate recently competed in the America’s Cup in Los Angeles, California with the Michigan Dream team. He also wrestled with Team USA against the California Dream team. He finished with a record 5-3, with two of his losses from the same opponent from the California Dream team.
‘It was a very showing for Michigan and Nick,? said his dad, Pete.
‘It was fun,? Nick added. ‘It was a big team tournament. I did pretty well. California wrestlers are usually good.?
Nick also competed in the AAU Scholastic Duals at the Disney World/ESPN Sportscenter in Florida. He went 8-5 in the tournament wrestling with Team MYWAY Blue in the 157-pound weight class, in which he lost 12 pounds to wrestle in the weight class.
Michigan had five teams in the All-Star Division and MYWAY Blue wrestled 13 duals in four days, losing only once to the eventual champion from Johnston, Penn. .
‘It was really fun,? Nick said. ‘I went against a lot of nationally ranked kids. We did pretty good – our team took third out of 51 teams.?
Nick recently finished the Grand River Rumble competing against opponents from Michigan teams and a few out of state teams.
heads to the Nuway East Coast Nationals in New Jersey, Aug. 2-4 with Team Michigan.
‘I just need to wrestle smart and win,? he said preparing for the tournament.
He heads to Lake Erie College where he will join his brother, Matt, on their wrestling team.
‘The summer tournaments have helped to give me more mat time and experience,? he said.

Patrice Matthews took the next step in her athletic and academic career as she signed her letter of intent in May.
She selected Kellogg Community College to continue playing basketball and become a Bruin.
‘I like the school, coach and the whole atmosphere,? said the 2013 Clarkston High School graduate about her decision.
‘She’ll do a great job for us coming in,? said Kyle Klingaman, head coach for the women’s basketball team. ‘She’s a really solid young lady who will help us on the inside and outside game, especially outside. She does a nice job on the perimeter shot and defends very well.?
Matthews will study Early Childhood and plans to become a preschool teacher after finishing her degree.
‘I like interacting with the kids,? she added.
Matthews has had practice by being one of the coaches during the Dare to Dream basketball camp the Lady Wolves hold every summer for girls in third through ninth grade.
She added playing for the Lady Wolves Basketball program has prepared her for the next step with their leadership and team bonding.
Matthews began playing basketball when she was five-years-old.
‘When I was younger I always had a basketball in my hand,? she explained. ‘I just continued playing.?
She was named Most Improved Player during her senior year. She scored her game high of 16 points during the season and averaged six assists.
Matthews finished the season helping the Lady Wolves to a 22-2 overall record, winning their third consecutive district championship and winning their second consecutive OAA Red title.
Her advice for aspiring athletes is to keep playing.
‘Practice makes perfect,? Matthews said.
Kellogg Community College is part of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association – Western Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) – Region 12.

Erin Billette finished her running career for the Clarkston High School Girls Track & Field team hitting her personal best and making milestones.
She claimed the OAA Red championship in the 1,600-meter run, crossing the finish line at 5:01.
Billette followed it with a visit to the MHSAA Regionals where she shaved a few more seconds off her time. This time she finished second in the 1,600-meter run, setting her personal best at 5:00.12.
‘I was really excited,? she added. ‘It has been a lot of hard work.?
During the same event she lent her quickness in the 1,600-meter relay event. The relay team finished in second place and set a new school record at 4:00.55.
Billette began running when she was in sixth grade cross country explaining her parents ran in school.
‘My mom ran mostly distance and wanted me to get into it,? she said, adding it has helped her through the seasons. ‘She is a big influence for me. It has been awesome. It’s like she is another coach. She is really helpful and very supportive in every way, shape and form possible. She always gets me ready for races.?
Billette also played soccer, volleyball and softball and participated in Irish dance. She stuck with running when she thought about her future and decided she would have more success in running.
She hasn’t decided on college but has chosen her field or study. She plans on focusing her concentration in the medical field.
‘I like nursing,? she said, adding her mom works in the medical field. ‘I have always enjoyed my anatomy and biology classes. They are my favorites.?
Billette plans to spend the summer going to the beach, visiting her family’s cottage and spending time with family.
Her advice for aspiring athletes is to be confident and it is the key for success.
‘Believe in yourself,? Billette added. ‘If you believe in yourself you can do it. Work hard.?

Junior Ian Eriksen has a quickness which cannot be stopped on the track.
He finished his spring season with the Clarkston Boys Track & Field team taking sixth place in the 200-meter dash in 22.96 while competing in the MHSAA State Finals.
Eriksen started the season as a short distance runner in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash but moved up to longer distances and joined the 1,600-meter relay team.
‘I am always comfortable with sprinting and I wanted to do as much as I could this year for the team,? he added. ‘So I ran those events. I wanted to keep working on sprints and keep improving.?
He finished as regional champion in the 200-meter dash and broke the school record at 21.81.
It met one of his goals for the season to keep getting faster.
Eriksen also finished as a regional champion lending his speed to his teammates Scott Cousino, Joe Definis and Blake Sutherland in the 1,600-meter relay team.
He also finished the season as league champion in three events in the OAA Red in 1,600-meter relay, 200-meter dash and the 100-meter dash.
‘I have run my fastest 200-meter time this year and our 4×400-meter team is doing great, too,? he said. ‘We had a lot of fun.?
Eriksen is also a running back with the Clarkston Varsity Wolves Football team and noted both sports compliment each other.
‘Track is really good for speed, endurance, running and getting comfortable in your stride? he added. ‘After track season, it’s getting ready for football. I am always ready when football comes because I am in shape from track.?
His advice for athletes is to work their hardest.
‘There is no substitution for hard work,? Eriksen added. ‘If you put in the time and strive to be the best, believe you are the best, and train like you are the best – you will have success.?
He can be seen on the football field when the Wolves host their fifth annual Football for a Cure on Aug. 17.

The spring season has ended for the Lady Wolves Varsity Lacrosse team but after graduating Lauren Sharkey is packing up her lacrosse sticks and heading to University of Detroit Mercy in the fall.
Sharkey, a senior captain, is the first player from the Clarkston Girls Lacrosse program to sign to a Division 1 college.
‘It makes me so happy,? Sharkey smiled after signing her letter of intent. ‘Everything I have worked for has finally paid off. I am so happy to be a role model to the girls and to be called a role model means so much when hearing it from other girls.?
She has had her eye on attending the college since she was in fifth grade. It was also in fifth grade when she received her first taste of lacrosse after seeing the sport advertised.
‘It looked like a cool sport,? Sharkey said adding she wanted to try it and once she had the lacrosse stick in her hands there was no stopping her. ‘I just fell in love with the sport. The people were so nice. I loved the contact, too.?
Sharkey played in the game until an injury with a few weeks left in the season put her on the sidelines. But it didn’t slow her down as she helped her teammates with encouragement.
‘I push my team to have a good finish because I can’t be out there but they can,? she smiled.
‘She enjoys helping her teammates become better players,? Coach Daneen Kincaid added. ‘Lauren is very passionate about the game of lacrosse. We will greatly miss her energy, enthusiasm and skills. She is an incredible athlete and great example both on and off the field.?
Sharkey added her teammates have also helped her by encouraging her through the season.
‘They knew what I was capable of,? she said. ‘They were always pushing me and I love them for it.?
Her advice to aspiring athletes is a quote from Steve Prefontaine she shares with everyone – ‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.?
‘I live by that because it is so true,? she said. ‘Always push yourself. If you put your mind to it you really can do anything.?

Fourth grader Sean Cooper takes his time when he is up to bat – and it pays off.
Cooper batted 1000 percent with the Michigan Red Sox during the 19th Annual Clarkston Classic, April 26-28.
‘I didn’t believe,? said dad, Scott, when the scorekeeper told him. ‘The average Detroit Tiger will be out 80 percent of the time. I think that is why it was so phenomenal. He never got out. He got to first base every time with singles, doubles and walks. He did amazing.?
He added Sean has a lot of experience and a great baseball IQ.
Sean played three games during the classic and added his first game was his favorite.
‘We played really well,? he added. ‘I batted really well. I had a single and a double. It went over the pitcher’s head.?
Sean began playing ball when he was 5-years-old with tee ball. He said it was a family tradition with his brother and dad both playing the game.
‘My brother was inspired by my dad to play and I was inspired because I went to a lot of his games,? Sean said.
‘His brother plays so that is a big advantage to know when to swing and to be patient as the plate,? Scott added. ‘Some kids go up there and swing away.?
He enjoys everything about baseball and also takes over positions as pitcher, catcher and first base during games.
He joined the Michigan Expos in August and has enjoyed playing with his teammates and taking his pitching and hitting skills to the next level.
When Sean isn’t playing he is watching his favorite team, the Tigers, and his favorite baseball player, Miguel Cabrera.
He is a fourth grader at Paint Creek Elementary.
‘He is doing great in school,? Scott added, ‘which is more important. He has had a lot of success for a nine-year-old.?

Senior Ryan Slaughter has his eye on the ball and helping the Clarkston Boys Varsity Baseball team finish strong as they aim to make a long run in the playoff season.
‘We have been doing the little things, coming out and swinging the bat,? he said as the boys prepare for playoffs. ‘Our defense and pitching has been doing really well.?
Slaughter not only uses his talent and skill but experience when he is out on the field.
He explained he began playing baseball early and it is a family tradition.
‘My brother played and my dad played,? Slaughter added. ‘They brought me into it.?
He kept with it because of the people but most importantly the game.
‘I have always loved playing it,? he smiled.
‘He has done an awesome job at shortstop,? said Phil Price, head coach. ‘He has really solidified the whole infield. He has been playing really good baseball for us.?
In addition to playing shortstop, Slaughter has also pitched and is batting in the number five spot.
His last day of classes at Clarkston High School is next Tuesday and he is still deciding on a college to not only play baseball but will help him academically. He is planning to study business.
When Slaughter decides, he will take lessons from Clarkston Baseball with him.
‘They have taught me the fundamentals,? he said. ‘They taught me doing the little things will make me a better player at the ends.?
His advice for aspiring athletes is to make sure to have fun.
‘It’s a game,? Slaughter smiled. ‘So just go out there and play your hardest.?
The Wolves host Waterford Kettering this Thursday, 4 p.m.

Senior Erin Davenport took the next step in her basketball career as she signed her letter of intent to attend Macomb Community College last Friday.
‘It feels good to sign because I am taking the next step,? she smiled.
‘We are really excited by having Erin,? said Jay Ritchie, head coach for the Monarchs Women’s Basketball team. ‘She comes from a great program here in Clarkston. She knows how to do things the right way. So it will be an easy transition for her on the college level.?
Ritchie first saw Davenport at a summer camp a few years ago and it was her defense presence which made her standout. He watched her a few times including when Davenport took on Southfield Lathrup.
‘She held more than her own,? Ritchie said. ‘She has tremendous quickness and toughness despite being small in stature. We are looking forward to getting her on as point guard for us, putting a lot of pressure on the other team’s point guard and continuing with the success she has had here in Clarkston.?
Davenport plans to put her academic focus on becoming a physical education teacher while at Macomb Community College. Her hope is to one day coach a high school basketball team.
‘It is something I wanted to do from my high school experience,? she added.
She has been playing since she was six years old and playing in the backyard with teenagers. Along the way she learned techniques to help her improve her game.
Davenport finished the season named as Team Co-Most Valuable Player, OAA Red All-League Team, All-County Honorable Mention team and All-North Honorable Mention team.
‘I am really excited for Erin,? said Tim Wasilk, head coach for the Lady Wolves. ‘She has put in a lot of hard work and loves basketball. She is a great kid.?

Sophomore Katie Hubregsen fought in the Lady Wolves? first home dual meet of the season against Seaholm.
With a tied score, it came down to her court, Singles #4, to determine the winner. Hubregsen ended up beating her opponent, Rachel Fenberg, 6-1, 6-4, to put the Clarkston Girls Varsity Tennis team 5-4 for the ending score.
‘She won it handedly. She did a great job,? said head coach Becky Freeman. ‘She was in control and very confident. I knew we had the win based on the way she was playing. If she had not been as tough it would have been a different outcome.?
Hubregsen added she thought it was a great way to start the spring season. She admitted a challenge she faced going into the match was playing singles since she was part of a doubles team last year.
‘It was also a mind challenge,? she said. ‘Instead of being with a partner always telling you good job I had to rely on myself and figure out how I could stay mentally stable.?
She is accustomed to playing on the singles court. During the summer with her Oakhurst team and in the winter with the Deer Lake 18U team.
Her personal goals for her sophomore season include making it far into the MHSAA Regional play as well as winning as many matches as she can.
‘I want to be proud of the outcome no matter what it is,? she added. ‘I want to be proud of what I accomplished even if I lose.?
She began playing around three-years-old when her older sister, Abbey, began playing.
‘When I watched her play I got really excited about it,? Katie recalled. ‘I wanted to try it. I started to play with her and it went from there. I love the game and the feeling I get when I play it. I am always excited when I get out there and play. I love being out there with my friends and meeting new people.?
Abbey played the Singles #4 court last year as a senior and has helped Katie.
‘She is always watching out for me,? said Katie. ‘She wants the best for me. She is always there.?
Katie added it is going to be a great year for the team since they all want the same goal to make it to state finals and are determined to achieve it.
During the fall, Katie is on the sidelines cheering on the varsity football team. She also tumbles at GOB in Ortonville.

Senior co-captain Anna Gray shared one of the reasons the Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse team is 5-0 going into this week.
‘It has a lot to do with the positivity and the team being well-rounded,? she said. ‘We are a really good team and we focus on everyone’s strengths. Coach (Daneen) Kincaid does a lot to make sure everyone is happy and doing well in school, out of school, as well as on and off of the field.?
Gray helped her team in the first week of competition with scoring six goals. She scored four against Notre Dame Prep.
‘Anna was crucial in the draw control,? added Kincaid. ‘She had a winning percentage of 73 percent in our opening game versus Waterford United.?
Gray began playing lacrosse in ninth grade – explaining it was an experimental sport for her.
‘I wanted to see if I liked it,? she added. ‘I ended up loving it. Now I am going into my fourth year, working as one of three captains with Lauren Sharkey and Maddie McGuire and seeing all the new players come in and being able to help them.?
‘Anna works hard to maintain a balance between her academic and athletic pursuits, and recently was accepted to Princeton and Yale,? Kincaid added.
Gray currently had a 4.0 grade point average and in her last trimester is taking French 5, AP Computer Science, AP Biology, Laboratory Technician and Dual Enrollment in Physics at Oakland Community College.
She is still looking at colleges and leaning towards studying chemical or electrical engineering. She is also looking for a campus where she can continue playing lacrosse and golf.
‘It’s really important to me to have a sport,? Gray added. ‘Not only a sport but other activities to be involved in to stay well-rounded and to stay active. Golf and lacrosse have provided me with a really fun way to get to know other people and have fun. I really enjoy them.?

Haley VanBuskirk finished her swim season the top eighth in the state for 10 and under girls division in state championship at Kentwood.
‘I was really excited,? she smiled. ‘I felt like crying from happiness. It was an exciting moment and it was my first time being up there.?
She qualified for 12 events in the meet – but was only allowed to swim in up to six events.
During the championship meet, VanBuskirk placed second in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:54.41; third in the 100-yard Individual Medley, 1.11:60; fifth in the 200-yard Individual Medley, 2:33.51; sixth in the 50-yard freestyle, 28.44; sixth in the 200-yard freestyle, 2:13.78, and ninth in the 100-yard freestyle, 1:02.86.
Her times in the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle events were also sectional times, the highest National Time Standard for 10 and Under.
She has seven events she has a Central Zone time which is the second highest national time standard.
VanBuskirk added the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard IM because those are her favorite events because she enjoys swimming in the distance events.
‘I can keep my pace for a long time,? she said. ‘Also, in the 200-yard IM I am good at all the strokes and I can keep my momentum. I dropped a lot of time. I think it’s because there was more pressure on me and I was working harder.?
Her favorite event when she began swimming was the 50-yard freestyle because the distance was shorter.
‘It is only two laps,? she smiled. ‘I have grown to enjoy distance.?
This was the second state championship she has competed in. Her first was last year. She swam for the Clarkston Sea Wolves for five years and just joined Liquid Lightning.
For aspiring athletes, she said never to give up. One of the obstacles she faced during the season was change of coaches.
‘I really was attached to one of the coaches,? she said. ‘It was a little emotional. It got in my head and I wasn’t doing well.?
Her parents, Rick and Valerie, helped to pull her out of it.
‘Just talking about it really helped me,? Haley added. ‘Plus they say, practice doesn’t make perfect it’s how much effort you put into practice will make you perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.?

When Sydney VanBuskirk of Clarkston was told by longtime instructors she was at the end of the line in gymnastics, she believed it.
“I believed them because I was with them for so long,? she frowned. ‘I believed what they had to say about me and to me. I just wanted to give up.?
But her parents, Rick and Valerie, wouldn’t let her.
‘My wife was telling me this and she was struggling on the beam,? said Rick, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army at the time. ‘I said she has two state championships in the beam ? that’s not Sydney. We were bound and determined. Sydney was not done with gymnastics.?
Sydney tried out for a nwe gymnastics team, at AGA Gymnastics in Grand Blanc. That’s where Coach Julie Fair noticed she was favoring one arm. Fair suggested Sydney to go to an orthopedic surgeon to check it out.
They found out her growth plate was separated about half an inch causing pain and difficulties she was having.
‘They called it little leaguers arm,? said Sydney. ‘If I would have done a ton more hand springs, which is a ton more hard pressure on your arms, and no one else would have noticed, my whole arm could have shattered. I’m happy they caught it.?
Sydney was in physical therapy and gave it eight weeks to heal and connect. She was cleared and excited to get back to practicing.
‘I can do this now,? she smiled, after receiving the news she was cleared. ‘No one was going to stop me.?
She noticed the change in her arm and performance immediately.
‘It was easier to perform and give my best without pain,? she said. ‘It made a difference to my gymnastics overall because I was healed.?
She finished her gymnast season with two state titles for Level 7 in the 2013 Michigan Level 7-10 State Meet, March 24. She won the All-Around state title with a 37.850 score and the floor exercise with a score of 9.725.
‘I knew I nailed it because the moment I heard my music I said this floor routine is going to be mine,? she admitted. ‘I just put more power into it.?
She also placed second on the bars with a 9.50, second on the vault with a 9.475, and eighth on the beam 9.150.
‘I was happy,? VanBuskirk smiled. ‘I was happy I got to share the moment with my new team because they were so supportive of me. I knew they were proud. I was really happy my parents and my grandparents were there. I looked out and saw them all crying with joy.?
‘She worked really hard through a year and was able to perfect everything she was told she wouldn’t be able to do,? Rick added.
Sydney added the support from her parents really helped her out and inspired her to keep going.
‘I was happy my parents didn’t let me quit,? she said. ‘They were such great motivations. They knew this was something I loved to do and I knew it was something they loved watching me do. I took their advice and thought wait a minute this is something I love to do. I can’t be told I can’t do this. I made my attitude really just go for it. With great coaches and support I was able to prove them wrong.?
Her mom put her in gymnastics when she was 3 years old as a way to learn discipline.
‘I was little and my dad is in the army and he was deployed overseas at the time,? Sydney added. ‘She thought, let’s put her in gymnastics because she is always bouncing around. Hopefully she likes it ? since then I have loved it. I can’t imagine not doing it.?
Sydney is currently a seventh-grader at Sashabaw Middle School and is training on her new skills for Level 8, the next level. She would like to continue gymnastics in college.
Her advice for aspiring athletes is if told you can’t do it, not to listen.
‘You need to think of another way,? she added. ‘You can – no matter what.?

Bo Anderson proudly held up his most recent additions of medals to his athletic accomplishments.
Anderson, a fourth grader at Springfield Plains Elementary, finished as state champion in the 1,600-meter run in the Michigan AAU Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10 with the Waza Track Club.
He finished the event with a time of 6:04.84 in the bantam boys division.
‘I thought it was neat,? Anderson said about winning.
‘He set it as his goal,? said parents, Mike and Kathy.
‘He ran a great race,? Kathy continued, adding Bo has worked hard during the indoor season and trained twice a week. ‘It was really awesome to see his traning and hard work pay off. He was so proud of himself.?
Bo also finished in second place in the 800-meter run, with a time of 2:54.72.
Kathy explained the indoor track is a smaller track at 200 meters and it was a new experience. It also gave Bo the advantage of having a better view of his competition.
‘I felt really fast,? said Bo. ‘There is a boy from Motor City Track Club who has always beaten me in the outdoor 1,500-meter races by 10 or 15 seconds. I knew I wanted to chase him at the indoor championships and try to beat him. I passed him early in the race and I just kept pulling away after that. I was glad to finally beat him in the mile, but he beat me in the 800 meters.?
Bo started with the Waza Track Club a year ago and competed during the outdoor track and field summer season and cross country fall season as well. He is the only member of the club from Clarkston.
He has been running for awhile and in the past has qualified to compete at the national level in the 2011 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Junior Olympics and the 2012 AAU Outdoor Track and Field Junior Olympics.

For senior Danielle Hopkins, her last season with the Clarkston Girls Varsity Bowling team was filled with memories and close bonds with her teammates.
‘Our team had a lot of good chemistry,? she said. ‘It was nice to see everyone transition and grow because we had a lot of new people who started this year. We stayed close as a team and we had a lot of fun this year.?
Hopkins was the only senior on the team with two other returners from last year. The three were joined by five new bowlers.
‘She was truly a leader,? added Coach Elanor Hallman. ‘She was willing to help others when needed and had a positive attitude. She is a hard worker and will go far with her talents in the future. She will be missed next year.?
Hopkins added she helped the new bowlers with tournaments, how to move and when they need to and which bowling ball to used.
‘Just knowing how it works helps a little more because it keeps everyone in the same line and in the same spot,? she said.
Hopkins added her experience stems from all the years she has participated in the sport. She began bowling when she could walk.
‘My dad is a big bowler and had me in it for awhile,? she said.
She joined the bowling team in her sophomore year after being on the cheer team in her freshman year. She added she made more connections with her teammates and coaches after the switch.
Hopkins will attend Western Michigan University in the fall where she will major in occupational therapy.
She explained she became interested in the field because her cousin is an occupational therapist. She added after graduating with her degree there are a lot of job options she could pursue.
Besides bowling in Saturday morning leagues and during the summer, she enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings and outdoor activies, particularly camping and fishing.
Her advice for aspiring bowlers is to keep going.
‘There are going to be struggles,? she said. ‘Usually you can get past them if you play as a team and play with a passion.?

Out of the top 15 wrestlers in the 152-pound weight class in Michigan, Clarkston High School senior Nick Vandermeer is holding onto the top position at number one.
“It feels good to say it,” he smiled. “But at the same time it’s a huge target. I just have to wrestle good all of the time now. I have to win no matter what. It doesn’t matter if I pin or not I just have to win.”
He added his team has helped him get to the top spot, especially wrestling teammate senior Chris Calvano.
“I just keep going all of the time not putting my head down,” said Vandermeer.
His two most recent wins came from last Wednesday’s home meet against Rochester and Oxford – both ranked in the Power 15 in the state.
He defeated Wesley Maskill from Oxford, 16-2, and Aaron Morgan from Rochester with a pin three minutes into the match, both in the 160-pound weight class.
He continues to aim for more wins as the boys head into the MHSAA Wrestling District matches next week.
His goal is to make his third visit to the MHSAA Wrestling Individual Finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills at the end of February.
During his previous two visits he was named All-State with a seventh place finish last year and eighth place his sophomore year. For his senior year he would like to win the state championship.
He began wrestling when he was 4-years-old.
“I was forced into it by my parents,” Vandermeer grinned. “My dad ran the Clarkston Wrestling Club so I was pretty much put into it. I wrestled with everybody. It’s really cool because if you look up at the wall I have wrestled with most of them. It feels proud to be part of that.”
Wrestling became funner as he became older and found himself the kid who enjoyed going onto the mat.
“I was the kid who went out there with a smile, got pinned and came off of the mat with a smile on his face,” he said. “Then as soon as I started becoming aware of winning and losing I won more. When I lost I got really upset. The driving factor was winning.”
He added his older brother, Matt, has helped him out by wrestling with him when he is home from college. Plus, through Matt he has gotten to know the wrestling coach at Lake Erie College and will be wrestling with his brother next fall. Nick said he is undecided about what he will study because a lot of topics interest him.
Vandermeer wrestles year round and took first place in the 155-pound weight class at the MYWAY State Wrestling Championships last March and competed with the Michigan USA Junior National Wrestling team.
His advice for aspiring grapplers is to go year round and go to a lot of camps.

Abbey Barta was scared when her ICE Silver 10U teammate Abbey Tolmie was injured during the Holiday Classic Softball Tournament in the semi-final game.
She was scared for Tolmie because it was her teammate. Tolmie was also scheduled to be the pitcher in the championship game against Team Michigan.
Abbey knew she would step in to pitch in the championship game after already pitching in two games.
“I thought I would mess up because I was tired and sore,” she said.
Barta pushed it aside as she and her teammates went into the championship game with the same thought – they were going to play for Tolmie.
“We wanted to win it for her to make her feel better,” Barta added.
“She was all business,” added dad, Guido, as Abbey went into the final game. “She was focused and in the zone. She really carried the team on her back, especially on the Sunday when the other pitcher was injured.”
ICE Silver finished the tournament with a 7-2 win over Team Michigan in the championship and took their second tournament win this season.
During the championship game, Abbey pitched a two hitter and hit a homerun for the team.
“I think it was the farthest I have seen her hit a ball ever,” Guido added, describing it went as far as to the fence at the Clarkston High School varsity softball field. “She did a very good job offensively. I would say that it was good all around as I have seen her pitch, bat and play.”
She started the second day of the tournament by striking out seven batters in the semi-finals game against the L.C. Bandits and batting two RBIs on offense.
Abbey opened the tournament on the first day against Southeast Storm and struck out 12 batters for a no-hitter to help ICE win the game, 7-0.
“She was quite a busy softball player,” Guido said. “She did a really good job. I told her she should be very proud. She did much more than you normally expect. She pitched 14 innings in less than 24 hours which is a lot of pitching for a 10-year-old girl. She stepped right in and it didn’t faze her.”
“She held her own,” added mom, Donna. “She played strong. We are really proud of the way she performed.”
Abbey began playing softball with ICE Silver three years ago when the team was formed.
She enjoys the excitement and playing with her teammates.
“I love my team,” she smiled. “They are amazing. For pitching, I like striking people out.”
ICE Silver 10U currently plays inside until the snow clears and has their next tournament in February.
“We hope to win it,” Abbey said as the team gets ready. She added having two tournament wins under their belts will help as they prepare.

Junior Nick Matich was sitting in Clarkston Varsity Football Head Coach Kurt Richardson’s office when Richardson handed him a letter.
“He was like ‘I have some pretty good news for you,'” Matich remembered before he read the letter with Richardson.
Matich, starting outside linebacker for the Wolves since he was a freshman, was named to The Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team.
“It was a really huge surprise to me,” Matich said. “I was not expecting it at all.I was just shocked more than anything. There were only a couple of juniors there.”
“He had a great year,” added dad, Kurt Matich. “He played both ways. They went deep into the playoffs and the line was amazing. It was a team effort.”
Nick added he thought his 2012 fall season was good. He went to a lot of college camps during the summer and was in the weight room a lot.
“It wasn’t my best season yet,” he added. “I am going to improve more.”
The Matich family was also impressed by the banquet held on Dec. 12. The top 22 players in the state were there as well as head football coach from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University and other colleges.
“It was amazing,” Kurt said. “It was a nice tribute they had. Mark Dantonio, from Michigan State, was the key note speaker.”
Nick began playing football with the Clarkston Chiefs when he was nine-years-old. Kurt had asked him if he wanted to play since Nick’s friends were playing.
“I said sure,” said Nick. “Why not since I was a pretty big kid. I started and there was a weight limit.”
Because of the weight limit he started out with the 14-year-olds on the varsity team – giving him experience and knowledge to build off of in the future.
He added the experience has helped him as he continued playing and started in the Wolves’ varsity team as a freshman.
While Nick is in between football seasons, he is holding tight in what he calls “the big waiting game.”
He explained it is when colleges and coaches take a look at players and their film and contact players.
For his upcoming football season he would like to improve as much as he can and get ready for college football.
“Plus live it up,” he added. “It is my last season of high school football.”
Nick was also named Associated Press Division 1-2 All-State, All-Metro North, All-Oakland County and All-League for his junior year.

Troy had tied the score against the Lady Wolves last Friday but Clarkston sophomore Erika Davenport changed the tune of the game quickly.
She scored six consecutive points to bring the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team back into the lead.
The Lady Wolves finished with their second win for last week and Davenport finished as leading scorer with 18 points. She also began the week as leading scorer against Avondale with 24 points.
“She has a lot of energy around the basket,” said head coach Tim Wasilk. “She rebounds well and finishes inside. The good thing about her is she is really unselfish. When we give it to her inside she passes it to the cutters or passes it outside for a jump shot.”
As the team heads into their sixth game of the season this Thursday, Davenport said the team has been working hard together and also on their defense.
“We are trying to get better,” she said.
Davenport joined the team in her freshman year and has been playing basketball since she was a little girl bouncing the ball in her backyard.
“I just picked it up,” she said as she explained everyone in her family was playing basketball.
“I have been playing with older people all of my life which has really helped me. for where I am now.”
She added watching them play, running some of their moves and playing with them has helped her.
Having her sister, senior Erin Davenport, on the team also helps Erika on the court.
“We have a really good connection,” said Erika. “We know where we want the ball to go. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It is a big factor. She knows what I am good at and what I am not. We try to help each other.”
Her personal goals for this season are to work more on outside defense and be more of a team player.
When Erika is not playing basketball she is hanging out with friends and her sister. She also plays softball on occasion.
Her advice to aspiring players is to work hard, play tough and never give up.
“Listen to your coaches,” she added. “They know what they are talking about.”

olves into the lead against Salem last Thursday with his shot into the top right of the net.
The power play goal put the Clarkston Hockey team into the lead less than five minutes into the game.
He added one more goal and two assists during the game putting his total to six goals and four assists so far this season.
“Garrett is an excellent player,” said assistant coach Roman Krygier. “He works hard. He is a very strong player on our power plays. He has one of the hardest shots on the team.”
He added Polish is also a leader on the team and never quits.
Polish was very young when he first learned how to skate and remembers being 3-years-old the first time he put on skates.
It eventually led to playing ice hockey.
“My husband’s best friend’s son was going so they decided they would grow up and play hockey together,” said mom, Sheri Drumm. “They still do. He is now a senior on Waterford Mott’s team.”
She smiled as she remembered her son and his teammates chasing the puck for the first time.
“I thought it was the cutest darn thing,” Drumm said. “Little bumblebees when they were following a puck.”
They still have the puck from his first game when he scored the only five goals.
She also remembers Polish being a good player from the moment he began playing hockey.
Another hockey playing highlight for Drumm was when he was in middle school. His team won the Belle Capital Cup in Ottawa.
“It was an amazing ride,” she said. “The games and playing other countries. It was the whole thing of life lessons. It was an awesome experience.”
She added he is knowledgable about the game.
“It is more than I can shoot a puck really hard and score,” Drumm said. “If you watch him play he is always watching around where his players are and where he needs to fill in if someone is out of position. He is smart about the game and plays smart hockey.”
Fans in the stands agreed and family members pointed out to watch him – he already knows what he will do with the puck before he gets it.
Polish said what he loves about hockey is hanging out with his teammates and having a bond.
His mom added she has enjoyed him playing hockey because it has taught him a lot of life lessons along the way.
“Hockey is more than just a sport to play for him,” Drumm said. “It has a lot of life lessons and a lot of mentoring from the coaches and traveling coaches he had along way. It’s been such a good thing for him. It’s his life, and he loves it.”
“It is also going out there and playing a hard and physical game,” he added saying scoring goals is also why he loves hockey.
His personal goals for his junior season is to lead the team and be a leader on and off of the ice, score goals, set up his teammates and be an all around good hockey player.
He explained a good hockey player to him is “someone who back checks and fore checks, isn’t afraid to take a hit to make a play, and a real team player doesn’t hog the puck and passes it.”
Polish said his role models are former Detroit Red Wing Steve Yzerman and current Red Wing Pavil Datsuk.
“They are great leaders on their teams they played for,” he added.
For aspiring athletes looking up to Polish and his teammates he advised to not give up and keep following their dreams.
“Work through adversity,” he added. “Don’t ever take a day off.”
He also plays golf in the spring and said hockey and golf are similar.
“Taking a golf swing is like taking a shot,” Polish said, adding a difference is golf is less physical.
When he is not playing hockey he is still dedicated to the sport and practicing to get better and weightlifting. He has not decided about college but still has time. He is contemplating going to Michigan State University or Ferris State University. Polish and the Wolves host their Holiday Classic Tournament this Friday and Saturday at Detroit Skating Club.

Jesse Chadwell was a force to be reckoned with on the football field as an outside linebacker for the Clarkston Wolves Football team.
As a senior it was a special season, not only because it was his last with the team but they finished with a 11-1 record with their only loss in the regional finals.
“Everyone will remember their senior season,” he added. “I will remember my senior season forever because of the team we had – all of us got along. We all worked hard together and we made it far.”
Chadwell began playing football when he was fifth grade. He described himself as a “big little kid” when he tried the sport. He loved it.
“Football came really easy to me,” he smiled. “I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the team aspect. It is a team effort.”
Chadwell will continue playing football after he graduates. He recently signed his letter of intent for University of Illinois, Nov. 16.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “I can’t wait to start and get things going.”
He also looked at Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University and Kent State but didn’t quite find what he was needed.
He was drawn to Illinois because of the coaching staff.
“They are very family orientated guys,” Chadwell said. “I also like Illinois better because of the family aspect and the campus was nice.”
As he moves on to the next level, he said the Wolves’ football coaching staff helped him get ready.
“It is the way my coaches have kept on me and didn’t let me slack off,” he added. “They were up in my face all the time in practice. I appreciate it because they got me ready for coaching in college.”
He plans to study business because he has a lot of options when he finishes college with his degree in business.
Chadwell thanked his fans for their support and nominations for Athlete of the Week.
“It feels good,” he said about being nominated. “It is nice to get some recognition because the position I play in football doesn’t get much recognition.”
He enjoys hanging out with friends when he is not playing football or building his strength with visits to the weight room.
His advice for aspiring gridiron heroes is to work hard.
“No matter what people say to you, maybe you are smaller, maybe you are bigger, or you are out of shape or uncoordinated it is all about working hard,” he said. “You will get what you deserve in the end.”

The end of the fall season came too early for senior defensive back and running back Alex Dicea and his teammates.
“It didn’t end up how I wanted it to,” he said about his last season with the Clarkston Wolves Varsity Football team. “I had a lot of fun and got a lot of time so it was good. It was a great season.”
Dicea began playing football 10 years ago when his friends were playing and talking about it.
“I decided I would try it,” he said. “I like it.”
He added he enjoyed everything about it pointing out the competitiveness and making friends while playing the sport.
“Alex is one of the most coachable kids I have ever coached,” said Kurt Richardson, head coach for the Wolves. “He is a no nonsense kid. He just wants to learn. He is just focused and works to get the job done. He is the ultimate team player. He is a phenomenal kid.”
During his senior year, the coaches had him play more on the defensive line so he would get less hits because he had two concussions during the prior season.
“There was a question either he would be able to play this year,” said Richardson. “He came back. He wasn’t shy and handled it well. He had a special pad on his helmet he wore during practice and we didn’t let him do some of the drills. We tried to protect him.”
He also stepped onto the field for the offensive line and scored touchdowns against Rockford, Davison and West Bloomfield.
“He would have been a great running back if we had not had Ian Eriksen,” said Richardson. “I don’t think people realize that. He caught key passes for us. He could play college football if he wants.
Dicea said he is looking at a few colleges to play college football and added nothing is planned for sure. He has determined his plans to study business when he goes to college.
Dicea enjoys all sports but football ranks the highest as his favorite. Clarkston football through the years had taught him hard work, discipline and responsibililty.
Outside of football he enjoys fishing and can’t wait for the snow to accumulate for his snowboard.
His advice to aspiring gridiron heroes is to keep working hard and never give up.
“In the end all the hard work will be worth it,” he added. “It will pay off.”

Anna Gray packed up her golf clubs after finishing her senior season for the Lady Wolves Varsity Golf team last Thursday.
“She is one of a kind,” said Coach Steve Hoffman. “She truly is a leader in every sense and every fashion. Not only does she have the skills but she has the work ethic.”
“It was a good finish,” Gray added. “It was a good team to be a part of. We got along really well. We worked well as a team. Out of the four years I have been on varsity it was one of my favorite teams I have worked with.”
Gray began playing golf when she was little when her grandfather introduced her to the sport.
“He has golfed with me every summer,” she added. “It’s really fun. He’s a nice person to golf with. He basically taught me everything I know about the game.”
When she was nine-years-old she started to get more serious about golf and joined the varsity team in her freshman year.
“It has a lot of key life lessons you learn,” Gray said about playing golf. “It taught me to be pushing of challenges. It has helped shape my character over the years. You stick with it the whole time through the mental aspect of it even if you have a bad shot, bad hole or a bad day.”
Hoffman nominated Gray for not only All-League but for the Academic All-State team because of her 4.0 grade point average and scores on the green.
She is currently taking AP Biology, AP Computer Science, Japanese 5, French 5, band and dual enrolled in Differential Equations during her first trimester.
Gray is currently looking for a college based on their academics and understands it might be difficult to get a spot on a Division 1 golf team.
“The good thing about golf is I can play it for the rest of my life even if I am not on a team,” she said. “It is one of the things I like about golf.”
She plans to blend her two favorite subjects math and science in her field of study. She is thinking about something in the engineering field.
“I like problem solving. I think it would be a good fit for me and I think it would be fun,” she said. I might do something else and expand on the engineering like study abroad or get a business degree so I can get the engineering be more beneficial in the work force.”
She also plays with the Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosse team in the spring. She added the two sports tie in together because of their team building.
“It’s working with the team and keeping the team motivated,” Gray said.
She participates at clubs at school including Mock Trial and Business Professionals of America. She enjoys wakeboarding, waterskiing and reading in her free time.

Eight-year-old Ava Hernandez grabbed the handoff from Josh Buchmann and she ran a few yards into the endzone to score her first touchdown, Sept. 22.
“I got down and blasted through the hole,” she smiled.
“I was speechless for awhile,” said mom, Amy. “I cried. We are proud of her.”
Not only did Ava boost the Clarkston Chiefs Freshman Gold team in their 30-7 win against Almont but it was the first touchdown for a girl in the Chiefs program.
Freshman Gold Head Coach Jeff Buchmann added the team loved it when Ava scored her touchdown.
“They did a great job of getting her there and helping her do it,” he said. “It was a hard run right up the middle.”
Ava grew up playing football in the backyard with her two older brothers. She played flag football for two years. Ava said she wanted to play touch football when the family went to pick up her brothers’ equipment, uniform and gear for their Chiefs’ season.
“Her dad was against it,” said Amy. “It took some coercing to get on board. I told him we have never been hesistant with any of the kids. Her desire and drive to do this was so strong we had to let her do it. Lo and behold she is scoring a touchdown.”
“It’s fun,” Ava said, adding her teammates are great.
“They are phenomenal,” Amy said. “They support her. At one point she came to practice and she was teeter tottering about being in the program. It is a lot of hard work. The boys were like ‘come on Ava, you can do this. We need you on the team.'”
Buchmann noticed the hesitation at the beginning of the season but Ava slowly grew out of it.
“It was confidence,” he said. “Over the last couple of weeks she has really started to bring her athletic ability out here. She is just as fast or the fastest kid on the team and as athletic.?
Ava is a second grader at Pine Knob Elementary and also played soccer.
She said she likes football more than soccer and it was more fun. She plays as a running back, is part of the kickoff team and is on the defensive line.
Her brothers help her with how to throw the ball better and how to tackle. They also cheer her on with their teammates.
The Chiefs Freshman Gold team takes on the Waterford Corsairs Green team this Saturday at Waterford Pierce Middle School, 11 a.m.

Freshman Alexis Haselwanter stepped off of the Wolves’ tennis court last Thursday after a defeat over Ananth Ramaseshan from Rochester, 6-0, 6-1.
It brought his record up to 16-0.
“I don’t think we have ever had anyone have that long of a winning streak at singles,” said Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis Coach Chas Claus. “Much less starting their career as a freshman.”
Haselwanter contributes his undefeated record to a mixture of working hard, not missing practices and a love for the game.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I think that is the biggest reason.”
He began playing tennis when he was around 3-years-old when he was looking for a sport to play.
“I chose tennis. I had a lot of fun,” he smiled.
When the high school team isn’t in session, Haselwanter plays with the United States Tennis Association.
“I play against some of the older kids,” he said.
“At first I was worried. I thought I would get out there and get destroyed. It turns out I compete pretty well with them.”
Adding on to his dual matches he has won a gold medal in each of his tournaments with the Wolves starting with the Grand Blanc Invitational on Aug. 25. He beat Holly, Northville and Troy for first place.
Next came the Northville Quad on Aug. 29 where he beat Northville again as well as Plymouth and Lakeland. Then his most recent was Sept. 15 at the Grand Blanc/Holly Invitational where he beat Grand Blanc, Stoney Creek and Traverse City for another first place finish.
“It has been really fun,” Haselwanter said about his first year with the varsity team. “I have really enjoyed it. It is a great team to be on.”
His advice for athletes thinking about joining tennis or another sport is to do it.
“You have friends, and it teaches you a lot of life lessons,” he said, adding it taught him about working with others.
His goal for his tennis career is to keep going and play until he goes to college.
Haselwanter also skis in the winter. He used to play basketball and also played it since he was a kid.
“I found I like tennis more,” he said.

Senior Rachel Dickerson dove to the gym floor and hit the volleyball towards the net.
She looked up just in time to see it go over to the net and into Birmingham Seaholm’s side. The ball was unreturned to earn a point for Clarkston in their home opener and OAA Red league match.
The Lady Wolves finished the game, 3-1. Dickerson has become used to tough competition during her time playing volleyball especially after finishing in the Final Four at the state finals last year.
This year is no different as the team is now 25-3-1 and they still have six weeks to go until playoffs begin.
Dickerson’s goal is to help keep the team going strong as they get deeper into the season.
“I want to bring the same intensity that we did last year and never get down,” she said. “We can be just as successful as last year as long as we have the same team chemistry. I think we can get just as far.”
Dickerson began playing volleyball in seventh grade after friends introduced her to it through Clarkston Volleyball Camp.
“I tried it and I ended up quitting tennis to play volleyball,” she said, explaining she liked the team aspect of the sport. “I loved being on a team and have everyone pick each other up. It’s the one thing I didn’t like about tennis. I didn’t like feeling it was only on me. In volleyball, you have everyone around you to support you.”
She plans on continuing playing volleyball after graduation and has already verbally committed to Grand Valley State University.
“I loved the campus and the area when I met the team,” she smiled. “I just love the atmosphere in the gym.”
Dickerston is undecided about her course of study but is leaning towards veterinary school.
“I have always love animals,” she smiled.
For the young Lady Wolves aspiring to continue the volleyball tradition she said keep practicing and getting out there.
“Even if you think you can’t – you can,” Dickerson added. “You can do anything you want as long as you work hard at it.”

Fans are familiar with junior running back Ian Eriksen since he opened the Wolves’ football season with a 99-yard kickoff return.
It led to Clarkston’s first touchdown against Rochester Adams only 13 seconds into the game, Aug. 24.
“It was awesome,” said Kurt Richards, head coach for the Clarkston Varsity Football team. “I don’t think people had sat down yet.”
He would go on to score five more touchdowns as the boys won 42-28.
“In my head I was thinking run,” Eriksen said after the first game.”I just kept running hard. The guys did a great job blocking.”
He rushed the ball for 242 yards on 27 carries.
Eriksen carried the momentum into the next game, Aug. 31, against West Bloomfield as the boys added a second win for the season.
This time he added three touchdowns during the 47-7 victory. He carried the ball 22 times for 183 yards.
“He is a great example of why kids should run track,” said Richardson. “He got faster because he ran track. He worked hard and got that extra step. He didn’t get caught from behind. It is a great example of why kids should play every sport they can.”
Eriksen scored three touchdowns in the Wolves’ most recent victory against Rochester last Friday. He scored three touchdowns and had 32 carries for 151 yards.
Eriksen joined the varsity team at the end of last season, moving up from JV. Rochester Adams was his first full game for the varsity team.
He said he took his cue from his experienced offensive line.
The Wolves head to Troy Athens this Friday for their next game, 4333 John R Road in Troy.
They are back with home advantage on Sept. 28 when they host Pontiac for their Homecoming game.

Junior Sami Stelpflug made a splash into the new season after finishing last year as All-American on the Clarkston Girls Swim team.
She qualified for the state meet on Aug. 23 in two events – the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard medley relay with teammates Amber Hallman, Natalie Vela and Kathryn Culver; and qualified on Aug. 28 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“It’s nice to get it out of the way,” Stelpflug said. “I am really concentrating on my stroke and technique right now. Really perfecting it so it makes my time faster that way the time states comes I can give my competition a run for their money.”
Her favorite events to swim in are the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard IM.
“I like the breaststroke it is one of my best events,” she added. “The 200 IM you get to swim everything. It is a really tough race but I like the challenge.”
She is excited about her season with the Lady Wolves because of the new swimmers and talent already on the team.
“Last year at the county meet we ended up third which was amazing for everyone,” Stelpflug said. “We have a lot of people stepping up this year. I really want the team to prove itself. I want to get a lot of people up to the state level. Also, get a relay team to be All-State and All-American. We have been good the last couple of years and it should be really fun.”
Stelpflug began swimming when she was 7-years-old. She was hanging out with friends and they had to go to their Seawolves swim practice. Stelpflug’s parents weren’t home yet so she tagged along.
“They showed me around the pool,” she said. “I stayed on the side and watched. The coaches talked to me and they were really nice. I joined a few weeks later. I have been swimming ever since.”
The swim bug was contagious as her younger sister, Megan, and her older brother, Kenny joined.
“I came home one day and said Kenny I am better than you at something. He said, ‘that is not okay,'” she laughed. “Then he joined.”
Sami added it is nice to have her siblings there for mental and moral support.
“If I am having a rough practice, you will always have friends there but it isn’t the same as having family there,” she said. “If something is going wrong I can talk to them 24/7 because they are always with me. It is really nice.”
She would like to continue swimming in college. When she is not swimming or doing homework she is hanging out with her friends or photographing nature or her dog.
“He is my little model,” Sami said. “I always take pictures with him.”

Adam Gohl was surprised when he received a phone call from Lawrence Technological University.
They called in June and offered him a scholarship to be their goalie on the lacrosse team.
“I didn’t know the smaller schools could give scholarships,” he said. “I am pretty excited to keep playing lacrosse.”
“It came from nowhere,” said mom, Laura. “We were flabbergasted and we couldn’t believe when he got off the phone with the coach. ‘He just offered me a free ride.’ We thought he couldn’t be right.”
A trip to the campus and meeting with the coach confirmed it was true.
“We tease because that day we heard the offer, he was planning to go to Oakland Community College and live at home to save on money,” said Laura. “He went from living at home to getting a phone call that changed all of our lives. It was a wonderful day.”
Adam started playing lacrosse in ninth grade as a second sport since he was playing football in the fall.
“He went right out and said I want to be a goalie,” Laura added. “Most people don’t want to be goalies. He was already an athlete and he had great hand-eye coordination and passion. He always showed up and did what the coach told him.”
He finished his senior year with the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team named to the All-State third team.
“It’s really neat,” he said. “I didn’t know that was going to happen.We had five players with All-State honors. When my name I was called, I was really surprised.”
He played in the Michigan Hall of Fame game for lacrosse.
“It was a lot of fun,” he added. “At that point I didn’t know I was going to Lawrence Tech so I figured it was my last game playing lacrosse.”
During his senior year, he had help from a coach specifically brought in to help the goalies.
“It really had an impact,” Adam added. “Goalies aren’t lucky enough to have a specific coach, especially one that played college lacrosse. It is very special because goalie is an important position. “
Adam plans to go into the biomedical engineering program when he starts classes on Aug. 29.
“There are a number of things I can do with the degree,” he said. “I want to enter the medical field and it allows me to do it. It also leaves my options open.”
“The lacrosse program in Clarkston is really awesome and really good,” Adam added. “I was lucky I got to play with Clarkston.”

Travis Smith will be bringing the thunder as he suits up for Trine University football in the fall.
“I feel very lucky to continue,” he said about continuing his football career as a member of Thunder. “So many people dream about doing it and I get to do it. I feel lucky and blessed.”
He decided in early spring it was where he wanted to go after his visit at Trine in Angola, Ind.
“I really liked Trine better,” he said, adding the biggest draw for him was the football players and the coaches.
“It was how friendly they were,” Smith said. “They wanted me to go there and I would be going somewhere I was liked.”
He was looking at two other schools. He visited Trine University a few times and each time his decision stayed the same – it was the place for him.
Smith was a three year varsity player for the football, basketball and track teams. It wasn’t a hard decision for him which to continue to play in college.
“I knew if I was going to play any sport in college it would be football,” he said. “It was an easy decision because I made it a while ago.
He began playing football in fourth grade but was watching it on the weekends long before he started.
“It was something I wanted to go out and try,” Smith added. “Once I tried it – I loved it and continued to play.”
He joined the Clarkston Varsity football team his sophomore year as a defensive back and wide receiver. Some of his fondest memories include his sophomore year when he was part of the 2009 to finish in the MHSAA Division 1 Semifinal.
Other fond memories are hanging out with his friends and being with teammates as well as finishing his senior year with a close to undefeated season.
Smith added Clarkston football also taught him life lessons as he steps into the future.
“Giving back to the community is one of the big things we try to do,” he said. “Also, discipline and respect. You always have respect for your fellow man.”
Smith will major in general business.
The Thunder opens their 2012 season Aug. 30 when they host Manchester at 7 p.m.

Kicker Jimmy Todd is heading to Shanghai, China, this week to compete in the Manchester United Soccer Club World Cup U-15 Finals.
Todd and his 14 teammates from the Nike Premier Vardar Soccer Club will represent the United States at the event. They will compete with teams from 20 different countries from Europe, Latin America, South America, Asia and Africa.
They earned the trip to compete in the World Cup after winning the Manchester United Premier Cup U.S. Final tournament on Memorial Day in Oregon. It was hosted by Manchester United Soccer Club and sponsored by Nike.
Todd aided his team by scoring the lone goal to beat against Real So Cal, from Los Angeles, Calif., during the championship game. Todd assisted with one goal against St. Louis Scott Gallagher as the Vardar shut down St. Louis, 3-0.
They opened the event winning six games and tying one games.
The team won the tournament trophy and earned all-expenses paid trip to China for the World Cup.
“Before the tournament even started I had a good feeling with this core of kids,” said Morris Lupenec, Vardar director of coaching who led the team. “They have great team chemistry and worked hard throughout. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The World Cup begins on Friday and will continue until Monday. While in Shanghai, Todd and his teammates will participate in training sessions provided by Manchester United First Team professionals and watch the match between Manchester United and Shanghai.
When Todd comes back to the United States, he will land in Chicago and head back to the soccer field. The team will play in the National Premier League National Championship, July 27-31. His team earned the opportunity after their showing in the regional playoffs. They beat the current Ohio State Cup Champions, the Columbus Crew, 5-0.
Todd will come back in time to prepare to play for the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Soccer team as practices begin on Aug. 8.
He will also start his sophomore year at the high school in September.

Abbey Tolmie was on fire during the Michigan Cats Gold Ball Challenge tournament, June 23.
The ICE Silver 10U team defeated SF Wildcards, 16-0, and Tolmie threw a perfect game helping her team win the game on offense.
Tolmie str uck out seven out of nine batters and caught one hit sending it to first base for one out. Second baseman Madison Raley caught a pop-up to send another batter out.
“I was really excited,” she smiled. “I have never done that before. But it wasn’t all me. My whole team helped.?
She admitted during the game she knew she was close to a perfect game. She didn’t focus on it in case she jinxed it.
“I was surprised because we are new to pitching,” added mom, Stacey. “It was very exciting. Her dad was pretty excited since he is one of her coaches.”
Abbey started playing with ICE three years ago and began pitching a year and a half ago.
“Mark Pingston helped me along the way for my pitching,” she said, adding what has helped her pitching and being coached by Pingston is speed and different pitches.”
Abbey pitched in four of the six games ICE Silver 10U played in the tournament. She posted a 3-0 record and struck out a total of 23 batters and only walked two.
Stacey added Madeline Maday is one of Abbey’s inspirations. Maday is a pitcher on the Clarkston Girls Varsity Softball team who also pitched a perfect game this year as a freshman.
“Being here in Clarkston is awesome for softball,” Stacey smiled. “We have all these kids helping with the younger ones. We are fortunate to be living in Clarkston.”
The team finished in second place during the tournament with a 5-1 record.
She is also a first baseman.
“Thanks to my coaches,” Abbey added. “Including my dad, he is an assistant coach. He also helps me with pitching at my house. He also learned from Coach Pingston.”
Abbey will spend the rest of the summer playing softball and hanging out with her teammates.

Fast is one way to describe Natalie Smith. Her speed not only placed her in the MHSAA Track & Field State Finals but helped place her relay team as well.
Smith finished in 11th in her 1,600-meter run during the state finals, June 2, and finished 13th with teammates Erin Billette, Jill Harris and Molly Jeffers in the 3200-meter relay.
“It was definitely a really good season for me,” she said about her final year with the team – she graduated on June 4.
She set a personal record in each of her events going 3:18 in the 800-meter dash; 5:09 in the 1,600-meter run; and 11:09 in the 3,200-meter run.
“It was really good for me,” Smith added. “It helped a lot for when I go to college. With the PR I know I can PR even more. I was happy with how I finished.”
She said she was glad she finished with setting her personal best during her senior year because she hadn’t ran the 3,200-meter run in awhile.
“I know that I will be able to run even faster if I had had more races,” she commented.
Smith admitted she had a few bad seasons during her sophomore and junior years.
“I was in a mental slump so I didn’t run that fast,” she said, adding she had three different coaches during her cross country season. “I think getting a stable coach and trusting him helped me a lot.”
But her slump not only helped her but other athletes as she shared her words of inspiration for others.
“Just keep going with it,” she said. “Everyone goes through it. Just keep going and it will get better.”
Smith will attend Michigan State University in the fall where she will continue her running on the cross country and track teams.
“I really liked the coach and my sister, Kristen, ran at State her first year in college,” Natalie said. “Visiting there felt like home to me so I picked Michigan State and I really wanted to go to a Division I school.”
She plans to study pre-medicine with her dream becoming a surgeon. She admitted she may be a physical therapist.
“I like the medical field and liked learning about it in school,” Natalie added. “I figured I would like going into medical. I also like helping people.”

Senior Stephanie Dellinger stood poised and ready for the referee’s signal to go as the ball sat on her lacrosse stick and her opponents.
Once Dellinger got the signal she battled for draw possession and won before passing the ball to a teammates.
“We have yet to have a girl draw the possession like Stephy,” said coach and mom, Stephanie Dellinger. “She has helped carry the team. She is a leader out there. She tells the girls where to go. Other teams know Steph because they put four girls on her. Stephy only received All-State mention but she is under rated. Both her and Lauren Sharkey.”
She started playing lacrosse in second grade when she was living in Maryland.
“It was just what everyone was doing,” Stephanie explained. “I started with a recreation team and kept going.”
She kept with it and joined the Lady Wolves’ team when her family moved to Clarkston five years ago.
Stephanie admitted the transition was difficult because lacrosse was new to the area. But she put to use the knowledge and experience she had to lend her teammates.
“It was a lot of fun,” she smiled. “I liked helping everyone. I liked playing with them and also coaching them along the way.”
She is unsure if she will continue playing lacrosse but she is sure of her next step after graduation. Stephanie plans to study psychology at University of Alabama when her family moves to Alabama.
“I want to go into intelligence like my dad does and work for the government,” she added. “Psychology is a good major for it.”
Stephanie also played basketball most of her life but stopped in tenth grade. It allowed her more time to play for her All-American lacrosse team which she has been playing for five years.
For young ladies aspiring to play in the growing sport of lacrosse, Stephanie said not to give up.
“Keep going with it,” she added. “The more girls we get the bigger the program will be.”

Lady Wolf Sydney Hasselbach knows about hitting.
During the Clarkston Girls Varsity Softball regular season she has sent the ball over the fence for 11 home runs. Four of them were during the University of Michigan Tournament the Lady Wolves won, May 18-19.
“This season has been really great,” she smiled. “I have a lot of support from my teammates. I have gotten so far because of my teammates and my coaches. They are awesome. They work with me and are hard on me. My coaches get tough on me when I need it. They get me mentally strong which is a big part of the game.”
Hasselbach added she has worked during the off-season on her weaknesses and techniques she wanted to improve.
“I have really been trying to push outside pitching, slowing it down and changeups,” she said. “Not going through slopes but trying to be an all the time hitter instead of just going through peaks.”
She started playing softball six years ago but admits she has been around it since her older sister, Taylor, was in tee ball.
“My dad wanted me to have fun and go to an open gym with my sister,” she said. “I fell in love with it.”
Before joining softball, Sydney was active in gymnastics and dance. She noticed the difference right away.
“It’s different going from solo to a team. I like it a lot better. I love my team. We work hard every day.”
During the off season she has played the last three years with Finesse Fastpitch and continues to work on her hitting and building her skills.
For aspiring players looking to play, Sydney advised to work hard all the time especially when coaches aren’t looking.
“Keep doing the extra things and you will go far,” she smiled. “My sister and I would be outside for hours with our dad just throwing and hitting.”
Sydney plans to continue playing softball in college.

Senior CJ Gozdor is heading to the state finals after placing first in the high jump at the MHSAA Boys Track & Field Regional meet last Friday.
“It is exciting,” he said. “It has been someting I wanted to do for a long time. Last year I took second place and barely got to go to state. It was fun.”
Gozdor took first place with his 6’3″ jump during the meet and will now focus on gearing up for states on June 2. But first he has the Oakland County Meet this Friday.
“I will probably make sure I practice and make sure at my top condition for states,” he added. “Also, get all the little stuff in my technique right.”
During the season he set his personal best with 6’7″ in the high jump at the OAA Red league meet, May 11. He also took first place. It was the second consecutive year he was the OAA Red Champion in the high jump.
“It is always a goal to set to be first in the league,” Gozdor said.”It helps out the team as much as it helps out myself.”
He joined track in eighth grade after playing lacrosse in seventh grade.
“I broke both my shinbones right in half,” Gozdor explained. “I was just getting better by springtime. I thought I would have a higher chance to reinjure myself in lacrosse.”
He joined track to stay in shape. He was successful in the high jump and kept with it. Gozdor said, for him, it was a priority to jump higher as he finished his high school career.
“I haven’t had a good season since my freshman year,” he explained.
His sophomore year he had knee surgery and couldn’t jump. Last year he was weak at the beginning of the season after just recovering from mono.
“I didn’t have a lot of time to gear up for the season,” Gozdor added.
He plans to continue his track career in college. He is currently talking to coaches from nine different universities in Michigan.
Gozdor finished his classes on Tuesday and had a 3.5 GPA going into finals for his third trimester classes – AP Statistics, 20th Century Literature, Forensic Science, Creative Writing and Personal Economics.
For aspiring athletes he advised to stay involved.
“After senior year things aren’t going to be the same again,” he reflected. “You have to live it up while you are here. Most athletes don’t go on to the next level. The more you stay involved the less you are at home doing nothing or getting into trouble.”
His parents are Gary and Suzanne.

When Stephanie Lavely, now a senior at Clarkston High School, opened her varsity career for the girls varsity bowling team she left a big impression.
She took a step towards the lane in her first meet as the team went against Farmington Hills in 2008. She went through the steps and released the ball sending it down the wooden lane, speeding towards the pins. The ball hit the pins and caused a domino effect as all went down for a strike – her first in many more to come.
She finished her career this year at the MHSAA Singles Bowling Finals in 39th place, March 3. She bowled a total of 997 and had a high game of 202.
Lavely joined the Lady Wolves? varsity team as a freshman. Soon her commitment was obvious the commitment as she began bowling five days a week, practicing after school, after practice, even practicing after meets.
Her parents remember one day in particular. The team just finished bowling at the regionals meet. On the way home, Stephanie had to stop and practice because she wanted to work some more before the singles regionals.
During her four years with the varsity team she only lost four matches and was undefeated her junior year. In the same year, Lavely and her teammates won the OAA Tournament and the MHSAA Region 3 Championships.
She qualified for states during her freshman, junior, and senior years.
In her final year she won the OAA Singles Tournaments and received Clarkston’s Four Year Varsity Award. Lavely was also named to the All-Conference and All-County teams this year and last year.
Lavely continues to compete during the off season and bowls regularly in the Michigan Junior Masters Association and the Junior Tournament Bowlers Association of Ohio. She bowls as a Junior Gold Member and qualified for the 2012 Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis this upcoming July. She qualified to bowl in Las Vegas last year and Indianapolis in 2010.
Her parents are Jamie and Deb and a sister, Samantha.

Senior Michael VanderWeel saw his first lacrosse game when he was in sixth grade and ever since he was hooked.
“I liked how you have to use both hands,” he added. ‘It’s not a single hand dominant sport like hockey or football. You have to be good both hands and be ambidextrous.”
For the last three years he has aided the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team including last year’s regional run against Brother Rice where they ended the season.
“It was a really hard loss,” he added. “We worked really hard all season and we came up short in regionals. It was really emotional because it was the last time I got to play with my senior friends. But it gave me something to work for this season. Our goal is to beat Brother Rice. It gives us a desire to work and have a better work ethic.”
He said the team is strong this year.
“We just need to play a full game of Clarkston lacrosse,” VanderWeel said. “If we keep working like we are and keep having the hard practices we will have a great shot of winning the state championship and beating Brother Rice.”
To prepare the boys are taking on tougher teams to prepare – including St. Michael’s College – Toronto.
“He had a helluva game against them,” said Brian Kaminskas, head coach. “He started the season on the second line and we moved him up. He has been playing hard and had a great game against Bloomfield. He has come into his own.”
VanderWeel also played football before devoting all of his attention to lacrosse. He said the training in football helped.
“Football is a really physical sport and there is a lot of hard hitting,” he added. “It toughened me up for lacrosse because you have a lot of slashes. When you get a slash you just keep going.”
VanderWeel has had offers to play college lacrosse after high school but decided to focus on his studies. He plans to attend Oakland Community College for a few years before he transfers to Miami, Florida as he pursues his dream of being a marine biologist.
“We went snorkeling one time in Key West, Florida and since then I have been interested in marine life,” he explained. “I always wanted to go snorkeling and be with the animals in the water.”
His parents are Joy and Larry.

Senior Lindsey Adams boosted her team with three goals last week.
The three goals came as a result of scoring one goal per game as the Clarkston Girls Varsity Soccer team beat Andover, 3-0, and Oxford, 2-0, and lost to Waterford Mott, 5-1.
During the Lady Wolves home game against Oxford last Thursday, both teams remained at zero on the board.
Junior Pearl Brochu passed the ball to Adams. Adams took the chance and made a shot on goal with 14:44 left in the first half. Her shot went past Oxford’s goalie and put Clarkston on the board.
Adams kept Mott from scoring a shutout with her goal in the first half on Friday night.
Adams signed her letter of intent on Feb. 7 to continue her soccer career at University of Indianapolis after she graduates in June.
“I am really excited,” Adams said. “I have played soccer my entire life. To move on to the college level is really exciting.”
She verbally committed to the college last August after talking to the coaches and attending one of their camps.
“They were all really nice and welcoming,” she said. “I felt like I would fit in really well down there.”
“We are excited,” said mom, Kelly. “She has worked all her life playing soccer. She always wanted to play while she was in college. It is exciting to see her dream come true.”
Adams was split between secondary education and a history major or study health to become a nutritionist or dietitian.
Catch the team April 26 as they host Soccer Youth Night, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Free entry for kids wearing soccer jerseys, plus half-time Soccer Shootout.

Clarkston High School senior Gabriella Spindler will receive the United States Tennis Association/Midwest Section’s Helen Shockley’s Award on April 21.
She was recently honored as the 2011 Hoxie Memorial Award Junior Player of the Year from the Southeastern Michigan Tennis Association.
Spindler finished 2011 ranked No. 5 in Southeastern Michigan and No. 33 in the USTA/Midwest Section. She competes in USTA and USTA/Midwest Section tournaments.
Spindler has played high school varsity tennis the past three years and has an overall 60-6 record.
During her high school career she has won All-League, All-Region, All-County and All-State tennis honors.
During the past two years Spindler has competed as part of the Southeastern Michigan Tennis Association squad at the prestigious USTA/Midwest Section Marian Wood Baird Cup. Each year she finishes in the top tier of the Southeastern Michigan Tennis Association Junior District Qualifier.
Spindler is also a member of the National Honor Society and is a volunteer tutor and mentor at her high school. She also volunteers at two local tennis clubs.
After Spindler graduates in June, she will continue her academics and tennis at United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I am really excited,” she said after signing her letter of intent, Nov. 18. “It is an honor to be chosen to not only go to the best school, but go into the military and serve my country after high school.
“The bonds you make at West Point, you make for life,” Spindler added. “I could see it as soon as I was there. Your life depends on them – you are a unit. They are all super friendly and super nice.”
Over 25,000 apply to West Point with 1,000-1,200 being accepted. Only 20 percent are female.
The Helen Shockley Award recognizes the outstanding 16 or 18-and-under age division female player from the USTA/Midwest Section for the highest standards of tennis accomplishments, character, conduct, sportsmanship and amateurism.
The USTA/Midwest Section is composed of 14 Districts in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin as well as designated counties in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Bettina Winkler, a 12-year-old Clarkston resident, is putting her drive and determination on the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Her speed and drive has already paid off as she recently finished in first place in the 50- and 200-meter dash at the Junior Olympics AAU Nationals for indoor track.
“It is exciting to watch because she is so young and she has so much ambition and drive,” said mom, Helga. “When she started this about two years ago we thought it was just going to be a phase. But each year she continues and gets better.”
Bettina and her dad, Marvin, were watching footage of the 2008 Summer Olympics on cable when an idea struck.
“She said ‘I can do that,'” Marvin remembered the seriousness in her voice. “Then it was ‘I am serious, dad. I can do that.? With the determination she has now I know she can do it. When you have a kid dedicating six days a week to it – you know she is serious.”
Marvin added Bettina reads the Olympics packet before she goes to bed and is thoughtful over decisions asking herself how it will affect her and her training.
She spends every day focused on running and her training. When she is not going to Ann Arbor for training she is at home stretching and keeping in shape.
Bettina also has the option to try-out for either her first choice United States of America or the Germany team, since she has dual citizenship.
She began running two years ago after she was approached by her athletic director when he noticed her speed even though she was in fourth grade.
“Him and my brother tried to convince me to convince me to try cross country,” Bettina said. “It only took a day or two.”
She decided to give it a chance and see if she enjoyed it as much as playing basketball.
“It’s fun,” Bettina said. “I get a good feeling after I run.”
“It is something we never expected. No one in the family runs,” Helga explained.
We are kind of blown away when we watch her. She was naturally fast.
Bettina also runs with her 9-year-old sister, Anna.
“She is a long-distance runner,” she said. “It’s good because during cross country she can help me and during track I can help her. I usually have fun when I am with my sister.”
Running comes first but Bettina also enjoys playing basketball and watching sports.

After celebrating the win for the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Ski State Championship, Lance Holsbeke took to the snow again.
He skied at the Dave C Memorial Race at Mount Holly over the weekend. He finished with five Platinum medals and three Gold medals after four rounds and eight races.
Holsbeke, a junior at Clarkston High School, can still remember when he started his first ski lessons when he was two-years-old.
“My dad taught me how to ski,” he said. “It was on little plastic skis in our backyard when we lived in Troy.”
Having years of experience helped, especially this year as Holsbeke and his teammates hit the slopes during an odd, unpredictable winter.
“We had to do a lot of things differently,” he said. “You changed the way you skiied or change your wax a lot. Pine Knob is my home hill. It is fun to go out there and have a different race every week and not know what to expect.”
He said this season was incredible after returning from last year’s finish as runner up for the state.
“It has been exciting and very scary,” Holsbeked added as the boys worked during the season for the championship.
Holsbeke is currently look at a few colleges to study business and is considering continuing skiing with a club team.
“Skiing is an incredible sport,” he added. “The people you meet are the best people you will evern meet. It is a lot of fun.”
Holsbeke does have outside interests including fishing and playing baseball but said nothing compares to skiing.
“Every race I get an adrenaline rush,” he added. “Every race is different and you don’t know what is going to happen.”
The excitement starts as the trip on the lift up the slope begins and as he prepares at the top for his trip back down.
For younger athletes looking to continue bringing more state titles to Clarkston, he said to keep practicing.
“They say practice makes perfect and it is true,” Holsbeke added. “They say practice makes perfect and it is true. It takes a lot to do it especially dry land training.”

Senior Mitch Baenziger caught the pass from teammate Zach Collins and made his shot to continue the Wolves’ lead in the last quarter on Friday night.
With the basket and five points prior, the lead was cut to 52-36 before the game finished as a 61-43 win for Clarkston.
He ended the game with nine points and scored 16 against Rochester Adams on Feb. 21.
Baenziger began playing basketball in third grade after finishing playing hockey. He decided it was time to try something different.
From the moment he stepped onto the wooden court and held the basketball in his hands, Baenziger enjoyed it.
“It has been my favorite sport since,” he added. “I liked it and had a lot of fun.”
Baenziger spent his fall seasons on the football field at quarterback for the Clarkston Varsity Football team. He said the two sports help each other out.
“You have to be tough to play football,” he added. “The toughness of football translates on the basketball court. You also have to be strong with the ball.”
The high pressure atmosphere on the field also helps when he plays basketball.
After his last year at Clarkston he would like to continue playing basketball in college.
“I would play for any college that will give me a chance,” he said.
Baenziger currently has a 3.6 grade point average as he ends his second trimester this Friday. He is currently taking Advanced Placement Calculus, Physics, Civics, a computer class. He also spends time helping autistic students with their school work.
His plan for college is to study Kinesiology, focusing his attention on sports medicine.
“I have a passion for sports,” Baenziger explained. “It is something I want to continue. I am pretty good at math and science. It mixes sports with my math and science ability.”
When he is playing sports, he is spending time with his family, hanging out with his friends, or enjoying the outdoors.
His advice to the young cagers and fans watching the Wolves every game is to work hard.
“Working hard in basketball can translate to working hard anywhere in life,” Baenziger said.
“You can be talented in something but if you work harder you will be more successful.”
Baenziger and his senior teammates play their last home game this Thursday against West Bloomfield, 7 p.m.

Freshman Luke Brandel put a halt on his wrestling season after going to a heart screening held by Clarkston High School and Beaumont Health System, Jan. 21.
He was diagnosted with Wolff-Parkingson-White syndrome, called WDW.
“Usually you have one path for your electrical currents for your heart beating,” Brandel explained. “I have an extra one so it sometimes gets caught up in this path and start beating really fast.”
His cardiologist said he would have been one of the few athletes who collapse on the field from a cardio arrest even though he is a healthy young teenager.
“The cardiologist said he was a walking time bomb,” mom, Jacque added. “If he was hit or dropped just right it would put him in cardio arrest.”
It was a twist of fate Brandel went to the screening since he wasn’t going to go at first.
“I didn’t want to send him because it would just be one more thing,” Jacque explained. “He is a wrestler and football player. The event supported the teams and we support the teams so we went. We did and all this came about. It has been cool to see what came about.”
Luke said the screening took ten minutes after sticky pads were put on both sides of his chest and on his stomach.
They sent him home information and for his mom to call the cardiologist.
Jacque added they made it easy and organized with everything she had to do and the cardiologist spent time .
She said she had an inclination something was going on.
“He was doing his homework and said ‘feel my heart.’ It was beating rapidly,” Jacque remembered. “I thought it was a prescription he was on. His pediatrician said to stop taking it. It didn’t register it was his heart.”
“Sometimes I would have an episode and my beat was 212 beats per minute,” Luke added. “It just starts going. Then, it would stop.”
Luke had a non-evasive surgery and everything is done with robotics, Feb. 10.
“It is a simple procedure and they expect he will have full physical contact within a week,” Jacque said before the surgery.
“It is great because I won’t have to waste the whole season,” Luke said ready to get back to the mat.
The Brandel family and friends are thankful to Clarkston Community Schools and Beaumont for the heart screening.
“If we can get one more kid to participate and be saved from something critical like he was, we have done our job,” said Jacque. “Puberty is the age to catch these things. It is a lot to swallow and take in. I am a paramedic but I am a mom first and I don’t want anything to be wrong with my kid.”
“Go get it done,” Luke added. “It will help you out.”
Acccording to Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock, 563 students were screened during the event. Thirty students could continue playing sports and needed to follow up with their doctor. Four students wer told to stop exercising until they had an additional evaluation from their doctor.
“The doctors don’t think he will be fatigued,” Jacque smiled. “We expect good things from this and positive energy from him and a little more endurance.”

Kyle Inch hit the pool before his winter season on the Clarkston Boys Swim team, wanting to be in shape and ready when it began.
The preparation has worked – he qualified for the MHSAA State Finals, March 9-10, in 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay with teammates Steven Nelson, Zach Rabideau and Eric Misteravich.
He competed in the finals last year and he said the experience helped him.
“It was one of the biggest meets I have every swam at so I got to see how the competition was,” said Inch.
Inch is in his fourth season with the Wolves and is leading and guiding his teammates as one of the co-captains.
He began swimming eight years ago because his brothers swam and he wanted to try it. Plus, his dad swam in college and his mom also swims.
He participated in cross country and football for a while but found he enjoyed swimming more.
“I was always a swimmer,” Inch said, adding other sports did help him with conditioning.
Inch currently holds a 3.95 grade point average and will be named Academic All-American.
He admitted it is pretty tough to balance school and athletics because of the schedule. He is currently taking Advanced Accounting, Advanced Placement Statistics and computer classes for his second trimester.
“I want to become an engineer or computer science engineer,” he said about his array of math and computer courses.
Adding to his extracurricular activities, Inch is a member of the National Honor Society and Business Professionals of America. He qualified for the state level for advanced accounting and will take his test for the event scheduled in March after the MHSAA Swim Finals.
He is also an Eagle Scout and completed his project which was creating and building 20 wooden fish habitats for the Clinton Rivershed project.
“With the Michigan run off and erosion, it ruins the shelters the fish create,” Inch said. “It will promote the ecology. I wasn’t sure what to do for my project but then received an email. I talked to someone and asked what he needed help with.”
His advice for aspiring swimmers and athletes is to give 100 percent in every practice.
“If you train consistently you will see results,” Inch added.
He is currently undecided about swimming in college but is looking at attending Michigan State University.
“I have already been accepted,” Inch added. “I am 99.99 percent sure I am going there.”

All high school athletes dream about playing in an All-American game for their respective sport.
Dylan Peck, a senior at Clarkston High School, lived the dream as he was elected to play in the 2011-2012 Under Armour Preseason All-American Showcase.
Peck, well-known prep baseball player in the metro area, was first invited to attend a regional tryout at Adrian College for the showcase at the end of last summer.
Regional tryouts were scheduled all over the country, and the top players were invited to attend the national showcase, Jan. 12-15, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona.
‘I was confident going into the regional tryout but I really had no idea if I was going to be chosen. I just thought I would give it a shot,? said Peck.
Out of the 100 participants who attended the regional tryout, Peck was the only one chosen to go to Tucson.
‘I was pretty amazed at first. I thought to myself, ‘really? I was the only one?’ It was a great honor but an even better opportunity. The best baseball players in the country were all going to play together for a weekend and I was chosen as one of them. It was pretty exciting for me,? he said.
According to Peck, the showcase not only featured the top players in the country, but also some of the top players in the world.
The roster included players from Costa Rica, Venezuela, and several other Latin American countries. The weekend itinerary included training sessions where players could showcase their skills to scouts, games between different teams, and to top the weekend off an All-American, East vs. West All-star game.
‘It was probably the best experience of my baseball career. I faced the toughest competition I’ve ever seen, played with players I will probably see in the majors in the next couple of years. I got to participate in an ‘All-American? game, which is something pretty rare,? said Peck.
Peck claimed the best part about attending the Under Armour All-American showcase was the presence of professional scouts from almost every major league.
The fact Peck is in the category as a possible future major leaguer is incredible, and places him in a special category among local high school baseball players.
‘I spoke to several scouts but I was approached by scouts from the Philadelphia Phillies and the Detroit Tigers, who sat down and talked to me for awhile,? stated Peck.
Peck is a four-year varsity starter at the catcher position and plans to play college baseball for a Division 1 school but has not decided where yet.

Junior Jordan Dasuqi has grown since he was a ninth-grader on the Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball and owed it all to defense.
“The big thing for me is I didn’t play a lot last year because I didn’t play defense,” he admitted. “Now they have me start as point guard and it has helped me relax a lot more and let offense come to me instead of being worried about offense. That is the biggest thing – I am not worried about my shots anymore. I know they are going to come.”
They did come – Dasuqi opened the first quarter against OAA Red rivals Pontiac with 13 points, boosting the team to a 21-14 lead going into the second quarter.
“He was very good,” said Dan Fife, head coach. “He got us started.”
He attributed the boost in skills from playing off season with a AAU league team and practicing shots with assistant coach, Eric Chambers.
Playing basketball has been a dream for Dasuqi since he was just a toddler shooting hoops with a Little Tikes basketball hoop in his living room.
He moved to Clarkston from Arizona when he was in first grade and grew up in the Clarkston basketball culture. He participated in the McGrath league and went to Fife Camp for a few summers.
“I learned a lot about Clarkston and what it means to play Clarkston Basketball,” he said.
He also knows he and his teammates are an inspiration to the players they coach at McGrath.
“I try to work hard at McGrath and make sure the kids have a fun time and enjoy basketball,” he smiled, adding he can pass on what he has learned especially to watch defense.
Dasuqi currently has a 3.5 GPA and is taking AP Psychology and Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry in addition to his required classes. He has also taken AP Biology.
“My dad is big on school so I try to make it my first priority,” he added.
Dasuqi has another dream – to play for a Divison 1 college basketball team, particularly Michigan State University.
“I have been a big Michigan State fan since I was in first grade,” he added.
He plans to become a nurse or an anesthesiology assistant.

Junior Erin Davenport has a plan every time she steps onto the court – play her hardest every minute and do what is best for the team.
“She has really stepped up as a leader,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team. “She has had a lot of good games for us and is scoring well. She has defensively been really good and offensively she has created a lot for us.”
The passion for basketball began when she would go to her older brother’s basketball games. After the first game – she was hooked.
“I loved the tempo,” she said.
She began in the backyard and found herself in the midst of playing with teenagers and learning from them not only techniques but what to do in any situation.
“My brother, my dad and a lot of people helped me out,” Davenport added.
It helped her as the Lady Wolves made their path to the playoffs last season – conquering the districts championship and playing for the MHSAA Regional title.
“It was something I didn’t expect,” she admitted. “I am glad we went that far. No one expected us to go that far and we showed them.”
Davenport works on her goals every day as the team continues their path on their successful season.
“My goals are to get better each game and treat every practice like it is a game,” she said. “Just because we are winning does not mean we are good. We want to be great so we keep pushing ourselves harder and harder.”
When she is not playing basketball or doing homework, she is going to the mall, going to the movies or hanging out with her teammate and little sister, Erika.
“She is my best friend,” Erin said. ” We do everything together. It is fun to have her on the team. We play so good together. It is fun to have her there and I get to play with her again next year in my senior year.”
Erin has set her goal to continue playing basketball in college and at the professional level.
For aspiring athletes she gives the advice to never settle for less.
“Keep pushing yourself to be the best player you can be,” she added. “Nothing is given to you. You have to work for everything – that goes for basketball and life.”

Senior Ethan Frick had left a lingering impression on one of his coach during the Clarkston Boys Varsity Football season.
“Ethan was a pleasure to coach,” said Tony Miller, Wolves’ defensive coordinator. “He is one of the reasons coaches want to coach for so long. He is a great and exceptional person.”
Frick filled the positions as defensive tackle and fullback for the team and began the fall season as one of the 25 players receiving the Commitment to Excellence award for working the hardest in the off season.
“He is an outstanding person and a great player,” Miller added.
Frick began playing football in seventh grade because someone told him to give it a try.
“I kept playing because I liked how close the team was and how it was a team effort,” he said. “You didn’t win by being a solo player – you worked as team.”
He also joined wrestling and lacrosse when he was in seventh grade.
He opens his winter wrestling season on Wednesday against Goodrich.
Following his junior year and qualifying for the MHSAA Individual State Finals, he would like to finish in the top eight for All-State.
Frick would like to carry on the same success he had with the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team last season when they went all the way to the MHSAA Regional finals. But he would like to help the Wolves with a boost past regionals.
Frick currently has a 3.98 GPA and is in dual enrollment at Oakland University for calculus while taking AP Physics and AP Biology at Clarkston High School.
“I plan to go into engineering,” he explained. “I would like to go to either Albion College or University of Michigan.?
The football team ended the season with a 7-4 record and with it Frick passed on the a lesson to aspiring athletes.
“Never get too confident,” he said.

Josilyn Roberts smiled as she accepted the Annual Sportsmanship Award from the Michigan Hunter Jumper Association on Nov. 12.
“It was a huge honor,” she said. “I remember every year they gave it out I really looked up to that person. It was really awesome because you don’t know until you get there.”
The board picks the recipient based on letter of recommendations sent in from anyone in the circuit.
“One of the cool parts was someone came up to me and said they were really glad I got it because they nominated me,” said Roberts.
Though she doesn’t call it an accomplishment she does view it as one of her biggest accomplishment.
Roberts began riding when she was three years old and remembers always having horses in the stable and training with her two trainers, Don and Lauren Caston.
“I have been training since physically able to ride,” she said. “My mom would take me riding with her and showed me how to ride.”
She started training with her mom’s trainers the Castons and her interest grew.
“It is a great partnership with the horses,” she said, adding she has raised her horse Monty since he was born. “He is one of my closest friends. It is all the great things of having a partner and having an animal, a pet and a best friend. It is a huge accomplishment to see how far he has come. He has taught me as a rider as well.”
Roberts and Monty won the 2011 Junior Hunter Champion and were the 2011 reserve champion in other divisions.
Roberts graduated from Clarkston High School in 2011 and is currently a freshman at Michigan State University. She is in the Nursing Scholar program.
“I was already accepted into the program which is nice,” she said.
She is not in the equestrian program because she didn’t want Monty to leave the barn he is at right now. Her mom and trainer are still keeping him in shape to ride in the summer while Roberts is in East Lansing.

With a signature and a smile senior Katie Brozovich became a Lady Falcon on Nov. 9 after signing her letter of intent to play tennis at Bowling Green State University.
“This is an exciting day for our family,” said mom, Missy. “We are so proud of Katie.”
“I am really excited,” Katie added. “I am really excited to go to Bowling Green. Clarkston has been so supportive during my tennis and academic career. I am ready to move on to the next step.”
Katie plans to study psychology and become a psychiatrist while she plays for Coach Penny Dean.
“The Bowling Green team is very dedicated as students as well as athletes,” Missy said. “The team was recently given an award for having the best GPA of any sports team at the school. They appreciate the balance that they are students first and athletes second.?
Katie was five years old when she had her first group lesson in tennis at Deer Lake Athletic Club but backed away from the sport after she was accidentally hit by a tennis racket.
“Since then I had been turned off from it,” she explained. “I was always scared of getting hit by the other kids.”
Katie began playing again when she was ten and had gotten over being hit. Plus one of her good friends had taken lessons and family members were really good at the sport. The lessons led to tournaments and the urge to be better.
“I learned more about how much opportunity it leads to if I play hard and do great at tournaments, work up the rankings and do well in high school,” she added.
“Katie is an extremely hard worker,” said Joe Stafford, privately coaching Katie for five years. “She loves tennis. She will play with anyone at anytime. Bowling Green is going to be happy with her because she is going to bring 100 percent every day in practice and every match.”
Katie finished her junior year as state champion in Singles #3 and helped the Lady Wolves win the title of state champions in Division 1.
Her goal for her fourth and final year on the varsity team is to keep up the momentum and bring home another state title.
“Some people play tennis and some people are tennis players,” said Stafford. “Katie is a tennis player. She will play her whole life.”

Joey Goss caught Oxford’s kickoff and booked it running past incoming defense players and edging into the empty field.
The senior running back finished in the end zone after his 90-yard run, scoring Clarkston’s final touchdown and his second for the game in their loss last Friday, 42-35.
No matter who the competition has been during the season Goss stepped onto the field every Friday with the same mindset.
“I try to view every opponent as they are one of the best teams we are going to play,” he said. “Every defense is a really good defense in my mindset. I am pretty clear on what I need to do.”
With the Wolves’ last game of the regular season set for this Friday, Goss made one of his goals this year to help lead the team to places they haven’t been before.
“I really want to have a better year than last year,” he added. “I worked hard in the off season and wanted to do well borth running balls and catching balls.”
Goss began playing football in sixth grade while he was attending Everest Academy where he played the sport with his current teammate, Travis Smith.
He continued playing moving on to Clarkston Chiefs in seventh grade then joining the eighth grade team.
He kept with it because he said he was good at it and he enjoyed the team aspect.
“I really like that part of the game,” he added, “getting together as a team and a group of guys you wouldn’t know unless you played football.”
He plans to continue playing football in college and is currently talking to schools. He plans to study business and focus in marketing, hospitality or advertising.
He currently maintains a 3.3 grade point average. When he isn’t studying or practicing, he watches sports, hangs out with his friends and plays video games.
Goss added for the younger aspiring athletes watching the Wolves every game to make the most of it.
“A lot of kids I know have had their season shortened because of injuries or other problems,” he said. “When you are a Chief you think you will play football forever but there will be a time when you get older all the years flew by and you don’t know where they went. If you make the most of your time, the rest of your life you can goof around and have fun with your friends.”
Watch Goss and the Wolves this Friday when they take on Lake Orion at Clarkston High School stadium, 7 p.m. Join the “Gold Out” and wear your gold clothing attire.

Senior Angela Niezgoda is counting on her experience and leadership to help her teammates make it to Battle Creek for the MHSAA Volleyball State Finals.
“I think confidence is really key for us,” she said, reflecting back to the Clarkston High School Girls Varsity Volleyball team’s trip to quarterfinals last year. “We need to know we are good and we can back it up with the talent we have. Hopefully we go really far in the playoffs and I know we can as long as we play together.”
Niezgoda aided the team in their two wins against Farmington and North Farmington. She had seven aces against Farmington and two aces and 21 digs against North Farmington.
“She has been playing great for us,” said Coach Kelly Avenall. “It is her second year on varsity and she didn’t play much last year.”
Niezgoda began playing volleyball seven years ago when she participated in a clinic.
“I ended up really liking it,” she said. “I ended up going into travel volleyball then school volleyball.”
A part of volleyball she enjoys is how it is a team sport but can still add her personal touch, especially in her position as defensive specialist.
“I am shorter so I can jump,” she added. “But I am better at digging and bringing the balls up.”
Besides playing volleyball, Niezgoda snowboards in the winter and volunteers at a hospital.
“During the summer I job shadowed,” she said. “I experienced different parts of the medical field because I really want to be an anesthesiologist.”
Niezgoda has always had an interest to work in to medical field but admitted the interest heightened after she was able to experience it.
“I also have been stronger in math and science,” she added. “It just seemed to be a perfect fit.”
She currently has a 3.95 grade point average and is in the International Baccalaureate program at the high school.
“It has really prepped me for college because of the research and figuring stuff out on your own,” Niezgoda added.”You really have to dive in and be able to explore and learn on your own which I really like.”
Niezgoda and fellow teammates Maddie Lightfoot and Stephanie Marani will be honored next Tuesday during senior night when they host Rochester. JV begins at 5:30 p.m.

Junior Drew Canada is prepping for another season in the Wheelchair Hockey League, starting next month.
The last season was a great success. The Clarkston High School student helped his team the Michigan Mustangs to become first official U.S. Powerhockey Championships.
The tournament was held August 5-7 at Nuemann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. Canada and his teammates competed against teams from Minnesota, North Carolina and Philedelphia for the crown.
The team beat rival Minnesota Selects, 9-5, Philadelphia Powerplay, 8-4, and Carolina Fury, 5-1 and 5-0. They beat Minnesota Selects one more time in the finals, 8-4.
PowerHockey is the sport of floor hockey, in which the athletes compete in electric powered wheelchairs and have a wide range of disabilities. Michigan has had a travel PowerHockey team since 2000 and the Mustangs have competed in six previous tournaments; two in Toronto and Minnesota, North Carolina and Calgary.
The Mustangs won Gold at the North Carolina Invitational in 2009. They followed it up with winning Silver at the 2010 North American PowerHockey Cup in Toronto.
Canada has assisted in the Michigan Mustangs record of 16-2-0 in national tournaments. The record is from the last two years.
Canada joined the Wheelchair Hockey League in 2006 and was already interested in the sport
He began by learning how to play defense and the game before learning the forward position.
The Powerhockey location for next year is yet to be determined but the options include Calgary or the Mustangs hosting the event.
Canada enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings and can be found at the Clarkston Wolves Varsity Football and varsity basketball games or the freshman football team’s games cheering on his brother, Merrick.

Nick Vandermeer took his wrestling skills on the road during the summer.
The Clarkston High School junior joined Team Michigan as they battle in the Junior Olympics in New Orleans.
The team finished in seventh place overall during the four day event. Vandermeer finished with a 8-5 record in the 145-pound weight class.
Vandermeer battled for three matches against Lucas Stater from Ohio Blue to claim the win. Both scored a point against each other in the first match for a tie, 1-1. Vandermeer claimed the win by winning the next two matches with a three point lead, 5-3 and 3-0.
He beat Guillermo Sqares from Lousiana White with a fall, earning five points for Team Michigan.
He also beat Danny Pushpak from Breckersville with a fall 1:55 into the match. He also beat South Dakota’s Dylan Cotton in two rounds, 5-0 and 7-0.
He claimed a win against Team Texas when the opposing team forfeited.
Vandermeer had a loss and a win against Minnesota’s Cody Skug. He lost to Skug with a fall in the first match. During the second match Nick won with a score 1-0 and 2-0.
He lost to Zach Ross from Phoenix, Robert Stack from Ohio Scarlet, Patrick Fennell from MAWA Red, and Jonathan Wideman from Delaware Blue.
Vandermeer finished as All-State in his sophomore year in the 135-pound weight class with a 41-21 overall record.
He begins his junior wrestling season on December 7. The varsity team heads to Goodrich in the season opener.
The team, along with the Clarkston High School Wrestling program is hosting their golf outing on Oct. 9 at The Fountains Golf Course, 6060 Maybee Road.
For more information, call Coach Derek Moscovic, 248-866-3706.

Junior Conor Bright lend a boost to his team scoring five goals in the first three soccer games of the fall season.
During the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Soccer game against Traverse City Central in the Traverse City Invite, Aug. 20, Bright scored two goals. The team finished with a 3-2 win in the first game of the tournament.
He kept going in the next game against Petoskey scoring both goals in the 2-0 shut out.
“He played outstanding,” said Chuck Lawhorn, Wolves’ soccer coach.
Bright scored one goal in the boys 3-1 loss against Traverse City West, keeping them from a scoreless game.
“He is an excellent player,” said Lawhorn. “Whatever job we need him to do, he can perform that job. He controls the ball really well. He retains possession of the ball really well. He distributes really well.”
Bright is in his third year on the varsity team and is in the role of captain. Also, his soccer experience has helped not only him but his teammates.
“He definitely creates a lot of opportunities, not just for himself but for the other guys on the team,” said Lawhorn. “He brings the experience and passion to the game with him. It definitely rubs off on the other guys.
Bright also scored a goal against Waterford Kettering, Aug. 28, putting his total at six.
“I expect him to score more goals by the end of the season,” said Lawhorn.
The boys next home game is Thursday, Sept 22.

Hitters from the Players Edge Sluggers U14 team ruled their league and their district.
They finished first place in the North Oakland Baseball Federation with a 14-3 record. They finished their last game of the regular season against JTB Tigers with 11-7 win, July 7.
They advanced to district play, July 14-15. During the games in Flint they went 3-0 to not only take the crown but to advance to regionals in Rockford, Illnois, July 20-23.
They played in a two game elimination tournament where they won their first game against Sangamon County Chaos during the regional playoffs.
They lost their second game against the Rockford Olympic Blazers. The Sluggers continued on to win their third game against the Rockford Riverhawks.
During the semi-finals they had a two run loss to the Blazers, who ended up advancing to the nationals in Arizone.
The players attend schools in Clarkston, Waterford and Notre Dame Prep.
The players are Jacob Armstrong, Griffin Barta, Shane Hynes, Adam Klebba, Adam Matich, Nick Matich, Kevin Miller, Keron Payne Brandon Rodriguez, Danatus Smith, Mitchell Smith, Alex Stegmeyer and Jack Zahoury. They are coached by Kirk Matich, Chris Newell and Kirk Stegmeyer.

Slugger Chase Toth is ready for the next step after graduating from Clarkston High School in June and is heading to Michigan State University to play baseball.
He made an oral commitment to the school before he signed his letter-of-intent earlier in the school year.
To get ready for college ball he helped set the way for the Wolves with a 23-8 overall record and their second consecutive district crown.
The win over Avondale for the title came after three extra innings. Toth ran to home plate as Dylan Peck’s single hit went past the Yellowjacket’s defense. The run closed the game with a 7-6 win for the Wolves.
The boys concluded the season in a 3-1 loss to Hartland in the MHSAA Regional final, where Toth hit 1-for-3 and had one RBI.
His single hit in the second inning brought in teammate Jake Forsten for the lone run.
Toth finished the season with a .435 batting average and had 35 stolen bases and is ready to lend his batting and outfielder skills to the Spartan team in the spring.
Toth joined 11 other players as they finished their senior year.
“Our seniors have been phenomenal and they have led us on the right path,” said Phil Price, head varsity baseball coach.
“The legacy they have left is they have Clarkston baseball playing the right way again. They play hard and they did things the right way.”

Eight-year-old Bo Anderson is preparing for a trip to Wichita, Kansas where he will compete in the 45th USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.
Anderson recently competed at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Junior Olympic Region 5 Competition at the GaREAT/SPIRE Sports Complex in Geneva, Ohio against athletes from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Lake Erie, July 9.
He placed second in the 1,500-meter run, beating his previous time by 20 seconds and finishing in 6:17.34. The finish qualified him for the Junior Olympic National Championships.
“Bo ran an amazing race,” said mom, Kathy. “We couldn’t believe the improvement in his time and he was extremely excited to receive a second place medal in the 1500 and advance to the nationals.”
He also placed seventh in the 400-meter dash, setting his personal best time of 1:28.84.
Bo qualified for the regional competition when he placed in the top five in his age group in three events at the USATF Michigan Association meet in Livonia, June 18. He competed in the 1,500-meter run, 400-meter dash and 800-meter run.
“When Bo competed in his first outdoor track in June we really had no idea what he was capable of and whether he’d enjoy the track and field competition,” said Kathy. “It is an incredible accomplishment for Bo to have competed at the Junior Olympic level and to have performed so well.”
He chose to compete in only two of the events for the regional competition, Kathy said.
The national championships are held July-26-31 at Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University in Kansas.
“Our family is still trying to see if we can get to Wichita on July 15 for the 1,500-meter run,” said Kathy.
The 45th USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships is the most visible youth athletic development program in the world. Many of today’s Olympic stars began their track and field careers at the event.
“We are very proud of him,” said Kathy. “He really has developed a passion for the sport.”
Bo enters third grade at Springfield Plains Elementary in the September. His parents are Mike and Kathy.

Before the Wolves closed their spring season, Clarkston High School 2011 graduate Matt Rodgers helped lead the way to victory.
During the district playoffs he brought in two runs with his homerun hit over the fence to tie the score in the first inning, 2-2.
It led the way as the boys beat Avondale, 12-9 for the district crown on June 4.
“Matt was a helluva player,” said Phil Price, Clarkston Boys Varsity Baseball head coach. “He started the game. Avondale hit a two-run home and Matt answered and went ‘we are here to play, we aren’t going to roll over.’ It really set the tone of the game.”
Against Utica Eisenhower in the first round of MHSAA Regional playoffs, the boys won 6-2, June 11.
Rodgers also started the game off for the boys with a two-run homer in the first inning and ended the game hitting 2-for-3 with three RBIs and was the winning pitcher with no walks and six strikeouts.
“Matt pitched and played really outstanding,” said Price.
The team finished with an overall record 23-8 and Rodgers joins 11 players as they left their last year on the team.
“Our seniors have been phenomenal and they have led us on the right path,” said Price.

Adam Bruderick reflected back to the track in Rockford as the Wolves finished their spring season for track and field.
The 3,200-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams qualified for the last round at the MHSAA State Finals on June 4, but didn’t finish in the top eight.
“We didn’t do our best but we did pretty good for the weather and the day we had,” he said.
Bruderick added one of the highlights was beating Troy 72-56 early in the season.
“It was our first meet of the year,” he explained, adding it was also the first time since he was on the team they beat the Colts.
“Getting more people out there and we had a lot of new people and new blood on the team, I think that really helped the team,” he said.
Bruderick has his goals set for his senior season and wants to finish All-State in the 800-meter run and take more athletes to the state finals.
“He is our best athlete,” said John Bennink, head coach for the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Track and Field team.
“He is the anchor and the legs for the 4×800 relay league championship team and for the 4×400 relay team. He was two time league champion and second in the 800-meter run.”
Bruderick began track in seventh grade when his mom told him it was a good sport to try.
Following his mom’s advice he did try it, not only did he like it but discovered he was good at it – especially distance running. He joined cross country in the fall to continue running and also plans to help get the team to state finals and finish all-state.
He spends the winter season on the ice with the Clarkston Varsity Hockey team and all three work compliment each other, he added.
“Cross country really helps because it builds my endurance,” Bruderick said. “It builds a base for the beginning of the year then that helps with hockey. Hockey strengthens my muscles and quickens my speed and that really helps with track.”
Until school starts in September he will spend time getting ready for his senior year and playing in a summer hockey league.
He finished the school year with a 3.2 GPA and adding to his class requirements was involved in CSMTech.
Bruderick has not decided if he will continue running or playing hockey in college but knows he wants to study medicine.
“I am definitely looking at a medical career,” he explained. “I like to help people and science is my favorite subject.”

Caitlyn Post is grabbing her hockey gear and heading to Missouri in the fall.
The Clarkston High School senior, who graduated on June 6, received an athletic scholarship to play women’s hockey at Lindenwood University in St. Charles.
“We are very happy to have Caitlyn attend Lindenwood University,” said Vince O’Mara, head coach. “As we transition into our first year of NCAA Division 1 status we felt Caitlyn was just the type of student athlete that would be a big part of our initial campaign for years to come.”
Post has played hockey for the past ten years. It was a year after her brother, Vinny, began playing at Lakeland. Her mom, Lynette, asked her if she wanted to play and Caitlyn said no.
As she watched her brother the sport called out to her and she decided she would try it.
“I have loved it ever since,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do without it.”
During her senior year, Post and her teammates from the Little Caesars AAA U-19 Girls Hockey team won the 2011 State Championship for Michigan. They also finished as runner-up in the 2011 USA Hockey Nationals.
“She is a very smart tough power forward that will work hard in the corners and in front of the net,” said O’Mara.
“Her willingness to mix it up in the slot in the offensive zone creates a bunch of great scoring chances. Caitlyn will add some good depth and speed at the forward position for us.?
The team finished last season with a 33-3-2 overall record and plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Division.
Caitlyn is the first female to receive a hockey scholarship in the entire history of Clarkston High School.

Paul Klemme is looking forward to sunny days this week as he heads to the MHSAA Division 4 Boys Golf Regionals at Westwynd Golf Course.
The Clarkston resident’s team, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, took first place at the district tournament last week and Klemme had the third best score with a par of 78.
But the sophomore’s best score so far this season was during the Oakland County Tournament where he shot a 76, tying for 14th place with ten other golfers.
“I did really well,” he said. “The tournaments were pretty much three in roll and I was having a good stretch. I was feeling good about my swing.”
Oakland Christian finished first with a score of 296, three ahead of North Farmington.
“They all had a good day, but they are all talented,” added parents, Mary and Paul.
For his other two tournaments he shot a 79 at a showcase in Gaylord and 78 at a Michigan Independent Athletic Conference tournament.
His team finished in first in Division 4 in the regular season despite the wet season and Paul’s scores have been consistent.
“Sometimes the rain made it easier,” he admitted. “The greens become more moist and everything sticks better so you can aim and shoot. Sometimes it doesn’t help because it can get too wet.”
Paul joined the varsity team at Oakland Christian during his freshman year.
“Last year I really got into it and took some lessons,” he added. “It was my first year to play and get competitive. I played once in a great while before that it was a fun thing to do. I really like it, it’s my favorite sport and favorite thing to do.”
He added playing travel hockey and soccer helped to build him up to golf and helped him with being athletic and with competition.
“He has always been good at athletics,” added Mary.
As Paul heads into playoffs he is planning to stay focused.
“I know no matter how good your team is or how bad the opposing team is, you always play like they are good,” he said. “If you go in thinking it will be a easy win ? you will lose.”
Besides playing golf in his spare time, Paul also enjoys playing guitar, singing and writing songs.

Junior Jordan Kincaid has learned first hand the benefits of working hard.
As one of the leading scorers for the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse team, he has helped the team get to their current 17-1 record.
“It has been a really big season for us,” he said. “We are really excited we have been able to step it up this year.”
He contributes the winning season to having a lot of experienced players and the mindset of the team.
“We have a lot more of a competitive spirit this year,” said Kincaid. “We are really out there to get it. We have a little more of a killer instinct.”
Another contributing factor he said to the season and scoring is the training.
“You really have to just stick with it,” he explained. “Get on the wall with your wall balls and in the off season when you workout make sure you do it hard. You have to take every chance you get to improve yourself. That is one thing I really try to do. Everytime I have an opportunity I take it for what it is and get better.”
Out of the last five games, he has led twice, scoring six in the 16-8 win over Troy on May 17 and five in the 13-6 win over South Lyon, May 14.
“He’s a great player, a smart player,” said Brian Kaminskas, head coach for the team. “He knows exactly what he is doing. He really controls the offense. He is a Clarkston player. He is a good guy.”
Kincaid began playing lacrosse in sixth grade, practicing with the 7/8 grade team.
“I loved it,” he added. “I knew I wanted to stick with it. It was an interesting sport. It looked fun, looked cool and it was fast pace.”
He also plays tennis for the Clarkston Boys Varsity team during the fall season. He said both help him work on his hand-eye coordination.
“In lacrosse it’s a stick and in tennis it’s a racket, but you have to be comfortable with either one of those being an extension of your arm,” he added.
He also works hard off the field and works to maintain his GPA between 3.75-3.8.
Kincaid currently has no plans to play in college but is hopeful it will change when he plays at recruiting camps during summer vacation.

While Allie Reeves is preparing for finals in her classes and the end of the softball season, she is looking forward to the fall.
The Clarkston High School senior signed to play for the Macomb Community College Monarchs on May 11.
“I am so excited,” said Reeves. “It is a big relief to be signed and ready to go to college.”
Reeves began talking with Macomb’s Head Coach Joe Cavataio since last summer. Once she found the school she knew where she wanted to go for college and didn’t look at any other colleges.
“They have a good softball team and it is close to home,” Reeves noted on how they stood out to her.
“It is a really good opportunity for her,” said Don Peters, head coach for the Lady Wolves Varsity Softball team. “I like Joe and it is going to be a lot of fun for her and get her started on her education.”
Peters added Reeves will add her positive attitude and ability to play multiple positions to her new team.
“We are so excited to have a person like she is,” said Cavatio. “She is a great student, a great softball play and a great person. When I went to watch her it was her determination and giving it all the effort she could. It was really fun to watch. I told Dan Fife, Clarkston’s athletic director, we want 18 more just like her.”
Reeves has been playing softball since she was four-years-old when her parents, Annette and Mark, signed her up to play. Annette had also played softball.
“I loved it from the first day I started playing,” said Allie. “I couldn’t imagine playing anything else.”
“I am proud of her,” Annette added. “She has worked really hard and deserves it. It is amazing to see how much she has grown, how strong she has become. The sport taught her how to be a strong person.”
Allie currently plays in the third base and catcher positions for Clarkston but added she can play where she is needed.
She has a 3.79 GPA and is undecided about her major. Allie said she is leaning towards the health field, particularly physical therapy.
“I have always been interested in the health field,” she said.

How does one compare sports as diverse as softball and basketball? Just ask junior Megan Hastings, who actively participates in both varsity teams.
‘In basketball you rely on your teammates more on the court, but in softball a lot has to do with off-the-field activities and how well we support each other,” explained Hastings.
“Softball is much more of an individual based sport,” she continued. “Although, if you don’t have the help of your teammates then you won’t get anywhere on the field.?
The off-the-field activity the girls on the Clarkston Girls Varsity Softball team participated in included going to Spring Hill this past March.
‘It was a great bonding experience held right after tryouts to get the team together and the new girls introduced to the rest of the team,? said Hastings.
The girls most recent victory was winning the Alma tournament during the weekend.
‘I like both sports equally as much, but I usually prefer the one I’m playing at the time,? said Hastings. ‘Although I do love being outside for softball.?
Megan has had a few colleges contact her about both sports but hasn’t made any decisions on whether she wants to play in college yet.
‘Even though these two sports take up a lot of my time during the school year, my school work always comes first to me,? said Hastings, who is in the CSMtech program.

At Clarkston High School, state champion bowler senior Nick Cooper proved you don’t have to be an above average student, take AP classes or do tons of extra curricular activities in order to be recognized by colleges.
With a 3.0 GPA, Cooper emphasizes there are other scholarships than the ones given out for academics.
‘I’ve basically gotten all of the credits I need to graduate high school,? said Cooper. ‘Now, I’m just trying to decide what to do from here. I’ve gotten an offer from Davenport University and I’ve set up meetings with Webber International in Florida and Robert Morris in Chicago. At this point, I’m waiting for the best offer before I decide where to go.?
Cooper’s dedication to bowling was seen when he won the Division I Singles state championship as a junior and qualified for the finals from his regional finish in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. His Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Bowling team has qualified twice for the state finals while Cooper was on the team.
Even in the off-season, Cooper is working tremendously hard to stay on top of his game.
‘I’m bowling six days a week during the off-season, whether it’s practice or individual scholarship tournaments where scouts come to watch me bowl,? said Cooper.
In the off-season he has finished fifth in the nation in the Teen Masters National Tournament in 2009.
He has competed in the National Junior Gold Tournament for two years in a row. Last year he placed 27th out of 1,000 boys. This year he qualified for the Junior Gold Nation Finals Tournament.
Cooper travels going to Las Vegas, Nevada in July where he will compete against other amateur bowlers and has a chance to win $10,000 in the tournament.
If Cooper performs well enough, he has the opportunity to bowl on TV for scouts around the nation to watch.
He has the highest bowling average in the OAA conference and in Division 1. His high game for his senior year was 299.
Cooper was also one of five bowlers to be chosen for the Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team.
‘Everything I have accomplished so far in my life I have to credit to my dad,? said Cooper. ‘I’ve grown up watching him bowl and he got me started with the sport. He got me this far and hopefully I can go somewhere with it.”

Over spring break most students enjoy themselves by traveling somewhere warm and relaxing on the beach with their friends.
However, Clarkston High School junior Gabe Comos did something completely different. In April, he traveled to Reston, Va., just outside Washington D.C., where his Summit Plastics Midget A travel hockey team captured the USA Hockey Tier 2 Boys 16U National Championship, with a 2-1 win over the Texas Tornado.
‘It was an unbelievable feeling winning a national championship. It’s something I’d always dreamed of, but only a few players ever get to experience,? said Comos, who scored four goals and had five assists throughout the 5-day national tournament.
During their national championship run, the Summit team finished 7-0 and outscored opponents 35-6.
Based out of Fraser, Mich., the team played in the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League and ended the regular season with a 63-8-5 overall record.
Most of the kids Comos played with on the Summit team live in the Metro Detroit area and have been playing hockey with him for years.
‘I chose to play travel hockey rather than for Clarkston because, in high school, the farthest the team can reach is states, while in travel hockey we can win National Championships,? said Comos, adding who wouldn’t want to be nationally recognized for the sport they grew up playing?
‘I’ve been playing hockey since I was three years old and I’ve played with a bunch of these guys for a long time,? said Comos. ‘This was a special group and we’ll always have this championship to remember the rest of our lives.?

Kenneth Stelpflug finished his high school swim career with a bang.
He was the first Clarkston swimmer to medal in four events at the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Swimming and Diving Finals on March 11-12.
He received All-State honors and lead Clarkston to their 19th place finish.
Stelpflug finished in the top ten for his two individual events, taking eighth place in the 200-yard freestyle with time of 1:44.96 and ninth in 500-yard freestyle with time of 4:41:08.
Joined by Steven Nelson, Zachary Rabideau and Eric Misteravich in the 200-yard medley relay, the boys finished in 15th place.
Stelpflug, Nelson, Rabideau and Kramer Kamp topped another relay event. They finished in 16th in the 400-yard freestyle relay with the time of 3:19.42.
During his senior year he won the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle events at the Oakland County Championships in February and won the 200-yard IM and 500-yard freestyle at the OAA Red league meet.
He also set records in ten of the 11 events during his career and made four appearances at the state finals.
Stelpflug began his swimming career because of his younger sister.
“She came home and said ‘I am better than you in something,'” he said.
The next day he started in Sea Wolves – changing his life and boosting the Clarkston program for years to come.
Stelpflug continues his swim career at University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the fall where he will continue working on breaking records.

Nick McInally is set to trade in his Wolf for a Bulldog, signing to play football with Butler University of Indianapolis, Ind.
‘I was really impressed with Butler,? McInally said. ‘They have a great campus and the coaches are really good guys.?
‘We are so excited,? said his mother, Jennifer McInally, at his signing ceremony, Feb. 23. ‘This is a big day. Nick worked really hard, academically and athletically to get to this point.?
One challenge Nick overcame: he skipped fourth grade, so he’s always been a bit younger than his teammates.
‘He’s competed against kids two years older than him his entire life,? said his father, Matt McInally. ‘I’m impressed he has been able to achieve what he has, how he’s managed to come through. I’m happy for him.?
Nick also earned a four-year academic scholarship to Butler, Matt said.
‘Football is nice, but academics are most important,? he said.
Nick was named a team captain his senior year at Clarkston High School, playing offensive tackle and defensive tackle.
‘It hasn’t been too different size wise, but at college, it will be a whole other ball game,? Nick said. ‘I’ll push through it, overcome it with my work ethic. I give credit to the (Clarkston High School) coaching staff. They made me the person and player I am today.?
Credit’s especially due to Head Coach Kurt Richardson, said Dan Fife, Clarkston athletic director.
‘Coach Richardson makes sure players are grounded and focused as a team all the time, not as individuals,? Fife said.
Nick enrolled at Clarkston High School as a 10th grader and fit right in.
‘It says a lot about the community and the kids that he made such a successful adjustment,? Fife said. ‘It’s not easy to move into a new school and make new friends. I’m proud of him.?

Ashleigh Allen swam her way to first place in January.
The fifth-grader from Independence Elementary finished in 1:17.42 in the 100-yard breaststroke for the finish during the Mid-States 14 and Under All Star Championships at Indiana University against the top swimmers in the nation.
“She did great,” said mom, Lynn. “She was very pleased on how she turned out. It was a great experience for her.”
Ashleigh was one of the chosen swimmers to represent Team Michigan for the 10 and under age group. She is one of the top four in the state for her age group for each of her chosen events.
“It was fun traveling to a different state to swim,” said Ashleigh. “I made a lot of new friends that I now see and swim against at local meets. I would love to do it again next year.”
She competed in eight events at the championship including two relays. She finished third in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual relay; seventh in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle and 13th in the 100-yard butterfly.
Ashleigh was a natural in the pool beginning as a baby and began swimming competitively for fun when she was 4-years-old. At the age of age she started competitive USA swimming.
She also plays tennis, dances and is in gymnastics.
“Swimming is her favorite,” said Lynn. “First or last place it doesn’t matter. She just loves it.”
“We are very proud of Ashleigh,” said Lynn, dad, Michael, and little sister, Meghan. “Her hard work, dedication, great attitude and good coaching are showing great results in the pool.”
The Mid-States Quad meet is an All-Star meet with Team Michigan, Team Indiana, Team Kentucky and Team Lake Erie/Ohio.
This was the first year for Team Michigan.

Every Saturday during basketball season, young aspiring basketball players ranging from 7- to 14-years-old attend the McGrath Basketball Camp run by the varsity boy’s basketball team head coach, Dan Fife.
Junior point guard Mitch Baenziger was once of them – dreaming of playing on the varsity team when they got into high school.
Baenziger began his love for basketball at 10- years-old and has cherished it ever since.
‘I began playing for fun at Basketball America and McGrath but as I got better I moved on to the Clarkston Scrappers (an AAU program), then of course to middle school basketball and so on,? said Baenziger.
Baenziger said he is proud to be placed in such an important role for Clarkston as the starting point guard for the Wolves.
‘There’s a lot of tradition behind Clarkston Basketball, a lot of people in the community attend our games and support the team, I feel honored to be the starting point guard and I hope to have a great year,? said Baenziger.
‘There are a ton of expectations that go along with playing for Clarkston Basketball. Thus far, this season we have not lived up to those expectations and this is disappointing to me and my team. Hopefully in the next few games we can turn things around and get back on track,? Baenziger stated.
Baenziger’s older brother, Jon (a 2009 Clarkston grad), played under Fife for two years on the varsity team.
‘It’s nice having a role model that knows what I go through. My older brother gives me advice and support along with the rest of my family,? said Baenziger.
When the winter season ends, Baenziger will play AAU basketball for R.E.A.C.H., a team based out of Detroit.
Baenziger said that AAU basketball brings a different atmosphere to the game than high school does.
Baenziger is also a quarterback on the varsity football team, a tough task in itself.
‘I had a lot of expectations prior to this football season, but due to an unfortunate injury, I wasn’t able to play much except for three games. Hopefully I can stay healthy next year,? he said.
Not only does Baenziger excel in athletics, he is also very strong in the classroom. He is enrolled in the CSM Tech program, a rigorous 4-year curriculum focusing mainly on math and science.
‘I get a lot of homework and it ends up being a long night after practice, but for the most part I can keep up with my studies,? said Baenziger.
Baenziger hopes to play basketball in college, another goal he’s had for a long time, and has received letters from Division 1 schools.

Junior Megan Hastings sunk her highest score in the Lady Wolves loss to Southfield-Lathrup on Jan. 28, scoring 23 points on the undefeated team.
‘I am really proud of it,? said the 5?5? varsity player. ‘I was really happy about it. I felt confident in my shooting. I had four 3-pointers in the first half which really helped a lot, too.?
‘It was by far the best game she has played since she has been with us,? said Tim Wasilk, head coach of the Girls Varsity team. ‘She played with a lot of mental toughness throughout the entire game.?
Practice doesn’t end for the three-year starter when the rest of the players go home. She spends 60-90 minutes working on the fundamentals and getting better on the skills she doesn’t excel in.
Hastings admitted her junior season didn’t begin as well as she had planned.
‘My dad and I started working after each practice,? she said. ‘Working on the fundamentals and getting my confidence back up. It has been much better.?
Hastings also watches the game videos with her dad to see what could have gone different, what she and her teammates could have done and what they did well.
‘It helps,? she added. ‘I get to see what I did wrong and what I can fix for the next game. We watch it in slow motion so I can see it better.?
Basketball is a family tradition for Hastings – her parents, Stu and Kaye, and her older sister play.
‘I would play during my sister’s high school games,? she said, adding she also was coached by her dad.
She is open to the possibility of playing basketball in college.
‘It’s an option,? Megan added. ‘Academics come first. But it would be a small college. You can only be so smart against 6?2? guards.?
She admitted it would be a tough choice between basketball and softball – because she has passion and excels in both.
‘Everyone always asks but I don’t know,? she continued. ‘I am open to any.?
She currently has a 3.9 GPA. Megan balances her school schedule of OSMTech, AP Language Arts, history and economics with practice and hanging out with friends.
For the younger athletes she added advice to work hard and to listen to their elders.
‘I remember when I was a little girl I did not want to listen to my dad or my coaches,? Megan continued.
‘Being older they know what they are talking about. Listen to them and take their advice. They are trying to help you and they have been playing longer. Work hard and practice if you love it and want to keep playing it.?
Fans can see the girls varsity basketball team in action this week when they host Stoney Creek on Friday at 7 p.m.

Junior Nick Tatu has taken over the role of Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Basketball’s traditional sharpshooter.
He is averaging 17 points per game and is shooting a superior 88% from the free throw line this season.
Not only has Tatu been a terrific scorer for the Wolves but he has been a shut-down defender and excellent rebounder. Tatu’s success should not have shocked anyone who knew his passion and love for basketball.
He started playing basketball in first grade when his older brother, Tom, got him interested.
‘My brother started playing basketball in third grade. He used to take me to his practices where I would shoot around and occasionally scrimmage with his team. It became a routine and I went to every one of his practices, shooting and trying to become as good as my brother,? said Nick.
It is this drive and motivation making Nick into the player he is today. By third grade he was on his own basketball team but not with kids from his own school.
‘From first to eighth grade I went to Holly schools, basketball is not very big in Holly and when a family friend from Clarkston asked me to join their basketball team. I loved the idea,? said Nick.
Nick not only played with Clarkston kids but he became very close friends with them. They would take him to the high school games and eventually got him to play in McGrath.
‘I became attached to Clarkston basketball and wanted to play for Coach (Dan) Fife. So before my freshman year I transferred to Clarkston,? said Nick.
Nick, now an official Clarkston Wolf, shined immediately when he made the varsity team his freshman year. He received very little play time but gained experience and saw firsthand what it took to be a great shooter from former Clarkston standout, Brandon Pokley.
‘Pokley was one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen,” said Nick. “I try to follow his lead and work just as hard. I took 500 shots every day during the summer along with ball handling drills and weightlifting.?
Nick he works just as hard off the court – he has two class periods of CSM-Tech.
Then, has psychology and economics, followed by racquet sports “to make the day more fun,? said Nick, who has a 3.0 GPA.
Nick hopes to take his basketball skills to the next level and play in college. He is currently talking to three universities.
‘Right now I’m just focusing on being the best player I can and helping the team win,? said Nick.
Tatu is also a role model for many young kids who have dreams of growing up and playing for the high school.
‘When I was kid my biggest heroes were the varsity basketball players, it’s weird to think that now they look up to me,” said Nick.
“The best advice I could give to them is to work as hard as you can. Time goes by fast. You want to make the most out of the time given to you and not look back wondering what could have happened.?

Clarkston High School Senior Lindsey Reppuhn stands 5’5″ with a strong presence on the basketball court.
Coming back from break she led the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball against Mount Clemens Chippewa Valley and Pontiac in their first games in the new year and the two wins.
Against Chippewa Valley, Reppuhn posted 14 points, scoring one 3-pointer and 8-of-11 free throws in the 51-41 win.
“She had some big free throw along the stretch,” said Tim Wasilk, head coach.
During the game at Pontiac on Jan. 6, she scored the last ten points in the game, including a field goal in the last minute as well as 4-of-4 free throws in the 48-46 win. Reppuhn finished with 15 points.
“She is playing with a lot of confidence and playing like a senior should,” said Wasilk. “She is giving us leadership. Lindsey comes to practice every day focused, ready to play and ready to work. She is definitely a good influence on the newcomers on the team.”
During the next two games she scored three points each against Troy and Lake Orion.
“When she plays with confidence she shoots the ball well and definitely makes us better,” said Wasilk. “She worked pretty hard during holiday break. Once she started hitting a few shots and started having a good game it snowballed for her. She has had a good streak of four games and I hope it continues for her.”
She plans to continue playing basketball

Senior Jeff Sloney is continuing to leave his mark on Clarkston Wrestling for his final season.
He placed second in his 130-pound weight class during two tournaments, Tournament of Champs on Dec. 30 and Oakland County Meet, Dec. 22.
“He has wrestled great all year,” said Wolves’ Varsity Wrestling Coach Andy Auten. “He struggled when going up a weight class but has wrestled very well and pinned the guy from Logan Marcicki from Detroit Catholic Central two times this year.”
He lost to Joe Rendina of Dundee, ranked 17th in the nation, for second place in the Tournament of Champs, 15-2. On his way to the final round he beat returning state champ Jordan Bosma of Hesperia, ranked first in 135-pound in Division 4. He won the the semifinal round 9-3 and beat Marcicki in the quarterfinals.
“He may drop down to 125 pounds and that could help him out even more,” said Auten.
Besides aiding his team with wins, Sloney is working on making his third appearance at the MHSAA Individual Wrestling final, his previous visits he made All-State finishing in the top eight. Sloney is currently ranked third in Division.

Trevor Gilman swung his hockey stick connecting it to the puck, scoring the first goal.
“He was very excited because his team has a habit of winning tournaments,” said dad, Mark.
It was the lead the 2K Birmingham Rangers Squirt AA Hockey team needed in their game against the Plymouth Stingrays on Dec. 12.
Another goal from the Rangers early in overtime gave them the win in the Detroit Region Silver Sticks Championship in Saint Clair Shores, 2-1.
The Rangers also beat the Rochester Rattlers, the St. Clair Shores Saints and the Farmington Hills Fire to reach the finals against the Stingrays. The Rangers remained undefeated in tournament play.
The win sealed the Rangers trip to Sarnia for International Silver Sticks Finals in Ontario, Jan. 21-23. His team will play some of the best teams from around North America at the tournament.
The ten-year-old Springfield Township resident is the only player from the Clarkston area on the team. Trevor is right wing for the Rangers and is in his fifth year in travel hockey.
Trevor is also a shortstop and catcher for the Oakland Diamondbacks 10U travel baseball team. He goes to Oakland Christian in Auburn Hills and his parents are Mark and Patti.

Senior Austin Morse took a chance with two and a half minutes left in the game.
He hit the puck and it snuck behind Farmington’s goalie and tied the score in the OAA league game on Thursday night, 3-3.
“He is playing well,” said Clarkston Boys Ice Hockey Coach Bryan Krygier. “He has been pretty strong for us. He has had some pretty big goals.”
Morse scored a hat trick against South Lyon on Nov. 26 in the boys 6-5 win in their first game of the Thanksgiving Tournament.
“He has been playing stronger and physical for us,” said Krygier. “He has been putting numbers up on the scoreboard. That’s his job to be physical and score some goals for us.”
Morse has been on varsity for four years.

Clarkston lacrosse players surrounded senior Matt Burtnett as he signed his letter of intent on Dec. 1 to join the men’s team at Rollins College.
The university was Burtnett’s second choice and when he visited the campus in Winter Park, Florida Burtnett knew where he would play after he graduated from Clarkston High School.
“The campus is beautiful,” he said. “All of the guys, all of my teammates are really great. The coaches are awesome so I couldn’t resist.”
Burtnett will play Division II lacrosse in the Deep South Conference
He began playing lacrosse seven years ago when one day one of his cousins threw him a lacrosse stick when he was living in Virginia.
When he moved to Clarkston four years ago he was playing with a short lacrosse stick. When he joined the varsity team as a freshman, assistant coach Doug Monforton saw talent for a defense position and Burtnett began using the long lacrosse stick.
“I have been playing depo ever since,” he said, adding he wasn’t very good before the change.
“Playing depo I can use my size, my physical ability, my agility more to my advantage,” he said.
Burtnett also played football his entire life and held positions as a tight end and outside linebacker for the Clarkston Varsity Boys Football team, until Fall 2010 when he stopped playing.
He admitted there are quite a few skills he learned from football he uses for lacrosse including pursuit angles, using his mental toughness, learning how to compete and being part of a team. His goal for his last season for the Wolves is to help the team bring home the state championship.
Burtnett currently has a 3.0 GPA and is taking his core classes. He is undecided for what he will study in the fall but has narrowed down to English, business or political science.
His parents are mom, Maryanne, dad, Rick, and stepmom, Dawn.
“Thank you coaches and teammates,” he added.

Standing just over six feet, junior Stephanie Marani has a presence on the volleyball court.
Her quick reactions led to her breaking a 17-year-old blocking record for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball team of 132 blocks.
She ended her season with 174 blocks, seven were from the team’s last game in the quarterfinals against Farmington Hills Mercy.
Marani divided her time during the fall season with the volleyball team and with the Clarkston High School Marching Band.
She joins 54 of her fellow band members when they leave on Dec. 27 for England.
They will play in the 25th Anniversary New Year’s Day Parade in London.

Ty Gallagher is heading to Ford Field in Detroit for the NFL’s Pass, Punt & Kick State Championship on Dec. 5.
The second-grader from Independence Elementary started in September competing in the 6-7 year-old division.
He won the first round at the regional competition in West Bloomfield sending him to the sectional competition in Dearborn.
The top four winners from the sectionals were chosen to continue to the championship round. Gallagher finished third out of eight with a total of 153 feet for passing, punting and kicking.
“We were excited,” said parents Pete and Anita.
“We didn’t have any expectations going in and we didn’t know what to expect at all,” Pete added.
It was the first year Ty has competed in the program and the first year for the 6-7 year-old division.
Ty was also excited to place in the top four and get the chance to go to Ford Field.
“He is looking forward to getting a NFL Detroit Lions jersey for competing,” Pete added.
Ty will compete against other Michigan contenders during the halftime portion of the Lions game on Dec. 5 – Will Baker, from Byron Center, Conner McVoy, from Wyoming, and Lucas Millmine, from Waterford.
“It was great for him to go out and compete,” said Pete.
Ty plays flag football, travel hockey and is in the McGrath Basketball league.
“He likes to play and he likes to compete,” said Pete. I like to get him in competitive situations and he enjoys it.”
Ty also picks up a few tricks from the Clarkston Varsity Boys Football team when he watches them from the sidelines during their fall seasons. He has also learned a few tips from his dad, who is the offensive backs coach for the Wolves.
Detroit plays the Chicago Bears at 1 p.m.

Steve Carpenter finished his senior football season named All-League for his performance at defense linebacker.
He has seen his Clarkston Varsity Football team go through their highs and lows during his three years with the team.
What he has learned will stay with him for the rest of his life.
“You have to keep working hard,” he said. “During sophomore year we didn’t have a great season, then everyone worked hard and we became a great team. We had a great year (going to semi-finals). Never give up on yourself and try your best.”
Carpenter began playing football in the seventh grade. During his freshman year he was boosted up to the JV team and joined the varsity team his sophomore year and was part of the starting lineup since.
“Steve is a true competitor,” said Tony Miller, the Wolves’ defense coordinator. “He has played hurt all three years. He has had some shoulder issues but he has persevered. He is a tough kid.”
He had a surgery on his shoulder after his junior season and missed out on off season training.
“He still showed up though,” said Miller. “He could not start until August. He came to everything and encouraged the kids to keep working hard.”
He offered advice to the younger classmen to work as hard as they can.
“Put in the time now it will be worth it in the end,” he added. “Try to be the best you can because everything happens so fast.”
He finished the season with 26 total tackles, 13 assists and one fumble recovery. He was the sixth leading tackle on the team.
“Steve is going to be missed greatly,” said Miller. “He is a great leader. He is what Clarkston football is all about.”
Carpenter currently has a 3.2 grade point average and has a mix of classes including marketing, statistics, ASD Link and media.
When he is not studying he likes to venture outside where he enjoys dirt biking, camping, hunting, skiing and snowmobiling.
He plans to continue his education at Central Michigan University where he will study medical sales.
“My mom always wanted to do it and I know some people that do it,” he said.
His parents are Jim and Valerie. He has two siblings, David and Kellyn.

Senior Alex Wilson was introduced to the game of soccer when he was five-years-old.
It was his older brother who got him onto the field and kicking the ball.
“He eventually stopped playing and I continued,” said Wilson.
His dedication has led him to the playing on the Clarkston High School Varsity Boys Soccer team for the last three years.
“He has been working really hard up front,” said Coach Chuck Lawhorn
Wilson has aided the team as they have gained momentum in the season. He scored a goal in the Rochester game, and another one from Connor Hall gave the boys a 2-0 win on Oct. 7.
Earlier the same week, he scored the lone goal against Holly, tying the game 1-1.
He said the advice he received as an underclassmen helped him with his game today.
“I took advice from the older guys,” he added. “They will guide you on the path you want to be on.”
His path is leading right into college. He is currently talking to Oakland University and Western Michigan University in hopes to play soccer after high school.
“If I can’t I would like to go someplace and get a business degree,” he said.
Wilson has seen the good and the bad in his soccer years and offered aspiring athletes the advice to keep trying.
“Throughout all the hardship you have to keep working through it. Keep mentally strong throughout the whole process,” he said.
His parents are Gerry and Jo-ean.

Clarkston High School senior Danny Moloney began riding horses early in his life when his family lived overseas in Germany and Switzerland.
“He enjoyed it,” said mom, Elaine.
When he came back he learned he could continue riding after reading about O.A.T.S., Offering Alternative Therapy and Smiles, in Independence Elementary’s student newspaper.
He has ridden there for the last six years and most recently participated in the O.A.T.S.’s Mane Event at the Oakland County Fairgrounds, Sept. 19.
Danny has also competed the last two year in the United Professional Horsemen’s Association Exceptional Challenge Cup with other O.A.T.S. riders, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Danny also volunteers his time at O.A.T.S every Saturday morning.
“He does anything a typical volunteer will out there,” said Elaine. “He cleans stalls, puts out hay and helps with other classes. It has helped him learn responsibility and helped to make decisions because he is in charge of his horse.”
In addition to horseback riding, Danny also swims, a sport he has enjoyed his entire life. He was on the high school’s Varsity Boys Swim team during his sophomore and junior years.
He is contemplating continuing on the swim team or doing something else during the winter season.
“He would like to manage the basketball team for Coach Dan Fife during his senior year,” said Elaine.
Danny is currently manager for the Clarkston Varsity football team and has been the last two seasons.
“Nothing will take him from his football game,” said Elaine about his devotion to the team.
Even while O.A.T.s is hosting their annual fundraiser on Oct. 22, Danny will be on the sidelines helping the football team during their last game of the regular season against Lake Orion. Elaine and his dad, Jim, will represent him at the fundraiser.

Senior Allison Reis struck her arm out and hit the volleyball back over the net during the second match Thursday night.
It sailed past North Farmington players and was unreturned to Clarkston, giving them another point. Another hit from Reis put the girls added a point to the board. The girls finished the night with a OAA league win.
Reis has added more heighth to the team, not just her 5’9″height, but with skills she has perfected since she started playing volleyball in seventh grade.
“She has put her heart and soul into the program,” said Coach Kelly Avenall. “She has been steady for us. She doesn’t make a lot of errors. For our two tournaments (in Grand Blanc and in Flushing), she had outstanding days.”
Reis has found the perfect balance of volleyball and school during her four years on the Clarkston Varsity Volleyball team.
“It’s always important to me to work hard and play hard,” she said.
Reis has verbally committed to Niagara University, a Division 1 college in Lewiston, New York. It stood out because of the area and other important factors.
“They are really focused on academics,” she said. “The team is really close and small. The coach is nice.”
Reis plays volleyball all year and is on the Legacy travel team.
She currently holds a 3.9 grade point average in her first trimester. Her schedule is a mix of media, business and math classes.
“I always have math classes,” she said. “It’s one of my strong subjects. I am in AP Stats right now. It’s my life – school and volleyball. “
Her advice to aspiring athletes is to work hard and keep a positive attitude.
“You can’t be hard on yourself because it definitely won’t help,” she added.
Her parents are Kevin and Lynn.

Freshman Ian Eriksen picked up his speed as he got closer to the other side of the field, leaving Troy-Athens defenders in his wake.
He finished in the endzone after his 85-yard run for his second touchdown in the Freshman Football team’s home opener on Sept. 9.
He made his first touchdown after receiving a handoff from quarterback Caine Watlington with 2:44 left in the third quarter.
“We have a pretty good one-two punch with Ian and Caine as far as our rushing yards go,” said Dave Whitehead, freshman boys head football coach. “We are having a really good season with our ground games with those two.”
Eriksen was voted captain of the week leading up to the Troy-Athens game.
“Ian is a great kid,” said Whitehead. “He comes to practice every day with a great work ethic. He gives it everything he’s got.”
The boys finished the game with a tie, 14-14, putting their record to 2-0-1. The Wolves are on the road this week as they head to Troy on Thursday. They are back home on Sept. 23 to host Pontiac, 4:30 p.m.

Samantha Toth and her horse, Eddie, left the compeition in the dust during the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club Child/Adult Jumper Competition.
During the competition on August 15, Toth finished first three events including High Children’s Adult Jumper against seven other riders, with 20 points and High Children’s Adult Jumper Gamblers Choice against eight other entries, with 20 points.
Toth is a member of the Michigan Hunter/Jumper Association. She competes in various shows sponsored by MHJA.
Toth trains at Times Square Riding Academy in Ortonville under the direction of Paula Crampton.

Eight-year-old Katie Koczak was surprised when her name was called for the winner of Petite Miss Encore Dance on June 27.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Koczak, a fourth-grader at Bailey Lake Elementary.
“I thought they mixed it up. I didn’t think I did that well. I thought, are you sure?”
Koczak had finished in third place overall during the Encore Talent Productions National Dance Competition. Then, she participated in a dance-off to determine who would take home the top prize.
“We are so proud of her,” said mom, Pamela. “She was on fire for the dance off.”
She received a crown, a sash, a banner, and money for her dance studio – Center Stage Dance Company in Oxford and won four trophies throughout the weekend.
“I am proud of myself and really happy,” Katie said.
One of the four trophies was ‘Most Entertaining? for her performance to “I Love You” – a special award. The judges explained Katie not only danced for them, but for the audience as well.
“When she dances her personality shines through,” said Pamela. “When she dances she goes from a little kid to a ball of personality.”
Katie doesn’t wait until she is on the stage to dance – she is consistently moving.
“Katie dances everywhere even in the aisles at grocery stores,” Pamela smiled. “She dances in her sleep. She will be in her bed – kicking and moving.”
“I never stop moving,” Katie added.
Katie dances at CSDC three days a week and practices her group and solo dances up to six hours a week. She is going into her fifth season with the studio.
She moved from Juniors to Intermediate this season. She performs tap, jazz, ballet and musical theater but likes tap the best.
“I have a lot of rhythm and it’s really fun,” she said.
She has also danced with Automotion, the Detroit Pistons Dance team, during half-time at a game because she was part of their dance clinic.
“It was fun but I was a little nervous,” said Katie.
She also plays soccer, baseball, floor hockey, tennis and participates in cheerleading. She is part of the Recycling Club and Ski Club at school. Katie aspires to be a Rockette – if she can grow tall enough or perform on Broadway.

Franziska Loetzner flew over each hurdle inching closer to her goal.
When she reached the end of the 200-meter event at the Oakland County Meet she finished at 30.25, tying for the eighth grade record at Clarkston Junior High School.
Loetzner started in hurdles last year during seventh grade and began running in first grade.
‘I wanted to focus on hurdling this year because I know I have a good future in the event,? she said. ‘I know because when I run hurdles I feel good. I know this is what I want to do.?
Loetzner set her sight on setting a new school record. She admitted it made the season hard. But not even falling in her first meet slowed her down.
‘My motivation was to get up and I just wanted to win,? she admitted.
‘She won the race. She was very determined to win and improve,? said mom, Lisa. ‘She was so focused on the race she took step by step and looked at the next hurdle.?
Throughout the season she had help from teammates and coaches as she focused on cutting down her time second by second.
‘I took my time and really worked on it,? she said going into the last meet.
She also helped her 4×400 meter relay team – Kelly Fitzpatrick, Kacey Robinson and Amanda Wakefield – to take fifth place. They were two seconds off from setting a new school record.
Franziska will continue running and training during the summer. She is also getting ready for the volleyball season and is focused on making the freshman or JV team. She currently plays for Oakland Elite Volleyball.
Her plans for the summer also include visiting friends and family in Germany and going camping.

Just call Taylor Hasselbach Miss Softball because she was selected from players throughout Michigan for the award.
‘I was really happy,? she said, hearing the news on Saturday. ‘I feel excited all of my hard work in high school paid off.?
The Clarkston High School 2010 graduate was named Miss Softball by Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.
‘It’s well-deserved,? said Don Peters, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Girls Softball. ‘She is one of the best softball players I have seen in the last four years.?
Hasselbach played short stop and third base for the Lady Wolves. But she is mostly known for tearing up the diamond as the leading hitter throughout the season.
During her high school career she maintained a .569 batting average and had 241 hits which included 58 doubles, 23 triples and 35 homeruns. She also accumulated 206 RBIs throughout her four years on the varsity team. She had a .950 fielding average.
Other honors include All-State during her last three years, and All-County and All-League every season during her four years at Clarkton High School.
‘My dedication, help from my teammates and coaches helped a lot,? she admitted.
She will join other seniors All-State players in the MHSSCA’s All-Star game on July 21 in Lansing.
Hasselbach plays travel softball during the summer. She leaves for University of Michigan in August, where she has accepted a scholarship to play.
Each of the four softball divisions nominates one senior player as a Position player and a Pitcher for Miss Softball. The nominations go to the Miss Softball Committee.
Hasselbach represented Division 1 and the three divisions were represented by Mount Pleasant, Allen Park and Petersburg Summerfield. The winner for Pitcher was Chelsea Sundberg from Olivet.
Her parents are Lisa and Todd.

A goal was etched in Kristina Lucas? mind while she prepared and headed to the state finals.
She was going to bring home the championship in Singles #3 like her sister Alyssa. She battled throughout the two days in Midland and came back fulfilling her goal.
‘It felt really good,? said Lucas. ‘I was really scared and nervous but excited to win like my sister.?
She faced tough opponents including Jennifer Liu from Ann Arbor Pioneer, who she hadn’t beat before, and Sara Carlson from Novi, her best friend.
Going against Liu was a long match lasting three and a half hours when both tied with winning one set each.
‘Kristina won the last match and it was a good match,? said mom, Lisa.
‘I always knew I could beat her,? Kristina admitted. ‘I lost to her last year but they were really close matches. When we split sets I was so tired but I had to push myself for another half hour.?
Another push were the cheers coming from the sidelines.
‘She had really great support from her teammates and parents from Clarkston,? said Lisa.
‘When I came off I was kind of upset. I was so tired,? said Kristina between her sets against Liu. ‘Mr.(Marc) Spindler came up to me during break and told me to go have fun while I was out there, to try my best and I did. It wasn’t easier, but better.?
Her sister was also on the sidelines rooting for Kristina.
‘She was cheering her on big time,? said Lisa. ‘She told me ‘I don’t know how you have done this all these years. I feel like I am going to be sick right now. I am so nervous because I want her to win so bad.??
Kristina also beat her best friend, Carlson. When they intially saw the draw both thought it would be neat if they met in the finals.
‘We both wanted each other to win. It was hard to finish it out because I didn’t want her to lose but I wanted me to win,? said Kristina.
She is now playing for United States Tennis Association before her senior season for Clarkston begins. She is trying to get her Midwest ranking back up.
‘I had it really high when I was 14, but then I let it drop because I wasn’t playing a lot of tournaments,? she said.
She is researching colleges to go to in 2011. Though her grades are already good, she plans to raise them a little higher.
Kristina is also looking for colleges with an art program.
‘I like art a lot,? she said. ‘I started late in art but always like it. I would like to go to art school but they don’t have tennis.
Kristina has played tennis since she was a little girl. Her dad already played and got her and Alyssa started in it.
‘Then my sister started playing tournaments and I started playing tournaments,? Kristina admitted. ‘My sister is now playing in college so I am kind of following in her footprints.?
After college she plans to play for fun and not professional.
‘It’s a cool life, but not for me,? she shared.
She also enjoys swimming and hanging out with friends.
‘Kristina loves a lot of things,? said Lisa. ‘She has a lot of fun with everything she is doing. She works hard, but she plays hard.?

Thirteen-year-old Nick Matich stood inside the circle at the OAA Mascot Invite on May 24.
He rested the shot put close to his neck then went through the motions as he threw the heavy metal ball as far as he could.
His longest distance of 42.7 feet broke the previous record for eighth grade at Clarkston Junior High School.
‘It was really exciting,? he said.
Matich added it was emotional for him as well.
‘My grandfather, Tom Bullen, did shot put when he was at Clarkston high school,? Matich explained. ‘He kept going through the motions with me and I finally got them down.?
Parents, Kirk and Sandy, were at the event when the announcement was made.
‘He has had a good couple of weeks,? said Sandy, explaining Nick also received Male Athlete of the Year for the eighth grade class.
Nick hadn’t initially planned to be on the track team but the coach approached him to try it out. When he found out one of his events was shot put he went to his grandfather for advice. Bullen also broke the shot put record – in high school.
He also runs in the 100 meter and 70 meter events for the track team. His season ends Thursday, June 3 at the 7/8th Grade Oakland County meet at Clarkston High School, 3:15 p.m.
He also plays basketball, baseball and golf. But he said most of his concentration is on football and for his freshman year he will be on the Clarkston High School varsity team.
‘I am unsure about what position, but probably left tackle,? he said.
‘He’s going to be a great athlete. It’s fun to see it happen,? said Sandy.

Junior Liz Zezula is a well-known face on the Girls Varsity Softball team – she has started since her freshman year at Clarkston High School.
Through the last few weeks Don Peters, head coach,has watched her continue to shine and help the team as they work on the OAA league title.
‘She is driven and passionate about softball,? said dad, Brian.
She currently has a .392 batting average, the second highest on the team and has stolen 30 bases. In her freshman season she had an average .346 and her sophomore year .353.
‘Her success comes from wanting to help her team win so her teammates can enjoy the rewards from all of their hard work and sacrifice.?
The 16-year-old has played baseball and softball since she was seven. She has played travel softball for six years splitting her time with Michigan Stars and Oakland Cobras. She currently plays with the Lady A’s.
But her favorite team is Clarkston High School – of course.
‘She is excited for how hard the team works every day to become the best team possible,? said dad, Brian. ‘She respects all three of her coaches and thinks the team leaders are moving the team to a higher level.?
She also started in center field, catcher and left field positions during her high school career. During last summer she alternated games at left field and short stop.
Liz has been awarded All-District and All-Region honors while on the varsity team.
‘She works hard in the off-season doing speed training and hitting instruction,? said Brian. ‘She plays summer ball.?
Brian added she works just as hard in the classroom. Her GPA for the trimester was a 3.94 and she scored a 26 on her ACT test.
‘She wanted to increase her academics and just came off a year with two advanced classes,? he said.
Liz was on seven sport teams before she entered high school. Including wrestling where she was undefeated in eighth grade and had only one loss in seventh grade. She was also on the eighth grade track team, where she was the fastest runner in the 70-meter and threw the fathest for shot put.
She also plays for the girls varsity basketball team in the winter.
She is looking forward to continuing her softball career when she goes to college and has Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 schools interested in her to play for their team.

Senior Shelby Hutchinson found a new asset for her skills she learned on the basketball court when she joined this year’s girls lacrosse team.
‘It helped me out a lot,? she said. ‘I brought a lot of my defense skills from basketball to use for lacrosse. Both defenses are pretty much the same. I already knew what to do without them to teach me everything.?
Girls Varsity Lacrosse Coach Renee Turner said Hutchinson’s knowledge has given her the edge to predict an offensive attack from opponents.
Turner noticed Hutchinson before the season began as she proved herself during winter’s pre-season conditioning. She has watched her skills continue to improve everyday.
‘She has become one of the best defensive lacrosse players I have ever coached,? Turner added. ‘One of her most valuable skills is accentuated by her height as she leads in passing interceptions.?
Hutchinson is good friends with one of the players who played last year and left after graduation.
‘I knew they lost a lot of players last year and she talked me into playing this year,? she said.
‘It’s really fun,? she added. ‘I have never played an outdoor sport before so it was a nice try it out. I like it and I like the girls on the team. I have a lot of fun with them.?
She also found a difference on the field after playing basketball and volleyball inside in a climate controlled gym.
‘The rain and wind has been pretty bad, but it hasn’t been as bad as I expected.? Hutchinson said.
She hasn’t let the weather affect the way she plays during practice and games.
‘What helps is keeping your mind on the fact we really want to do well this season,? she said. ‘You have to keep your mind on the game and not on the weather.?
Hutchinson is committed to going to Northern Michigan University in the fall and will study nursing.
She plans to pick up the lacrosse stick again and play on the club team since they don’t have an official girls team. Her advice to athletes going into any sport is to stay committed.

For Katie Vondette, senior midfielder for the girl’s soccer team, two seasons with less than desirable results have made the undefeated start to this season that much better.
‘It’s exciting to have a winning season,? Vondette said, ‘We have been working hard on and off the field this season, and playing as a team a lot more. That’s made all the difference.?
Playing soccer since age four, Vondette has spent the last three seasons on varsity, enduring two seasons with very few wins.
It was those previous seasons, according to Vondette, that pushed the seniors to work harder this year. ?(The seniors) all played with the boys a lot this past summer, they’re really good so it makes us all better,? said Vondette. ‘We played lots of soccer in the offseason, 3-on-3s and stuff, and it keeps us focused and in shape.?
With the team’s successes this year, Vondette had her fair share of personal successes. She scored three goals and two assists through the first eight games, and directs much of the game through her midfield position.
Yet she stays focused on the team mentality, and aims for team successes in her senior year.
‘We play our best when we play as a team. This year we set our goal to win the league championship, and have been doing everything we can to achieve it.?
With her accomplishments on the soccer field, Vondette still finds time to be active in the school. She carries a 3.4 GPA and is involved in CHS LEAD, the leadership program at the high school. She is also involved in the Girls in Engineering Club and the Blue and Gold Club, and is attending Michigan State University next year.

Senior Chapin White adds it all when he is on – as well as off – the field.
‘He is an absolute workhorse,? said Boys Varsity Lacrosse Coach Brian Kaminskas, nominating White.
‘He is nonstop and never gets off the field. He is always moving the ball on offense and he is a defense middie. He has a great competitive spirit and is a leader on the field and off the field.?
White was honored with the nomination.
‘It feels pretty good,? he said. ‘But if we can’t pull off these wins then it doesn’t mean anything.?
The team lost their game to Detroit Country Day by one point on Saturday – in which White made quick attacks as defense. He pushed the ball forward to offense and helped getting it to teammates as well as taking shots on the goal.
His leadership also helps when the team is behind or after they have lost a game.
‘I help to get the team revved up,? he said.
He began playing lacrosse when he was in eighth grade. He was playing football at the time when he was approached with the option to play lacrosse, as well.
He decided to check it out and after going to a meeting signed on. He continued to play football as well until his junior year – when he chose to commit to lacrosse all year.
For his last season, White is working towards going for All-State honors as a middie and improving his skills for next year – when he plays lacrosse in college.
He offered advice to younger lacrosse players to not take anything for granted and work hard.
‘Last year I didn’t work as hard and this year I realized it could be my last year,? he added. ‘Keep pushing at what you can do to make yourself a better player.?
His parents are Charles and Nicole.

The beginning of each game is the same – Matt Kamieniecki stretches and stands in the center of the court ready for the referee to throw the basketball.
The 6?7? senior jumps and stretches his long arms knocking the ball to a teammate.
Besides being the leading player on the scoreboard he has also led the team.
His experiences from the last four years on the varsity team wins, losses and going to the Breslin Center for finals last year have helped him to pass on lessons to his teammates and kids throughout the community.
A bonus to this season was playing with his brother, Alan, on the varsity team and sharing experiences with him.
Facing tough opponents will help him as he suits up for Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He signed his letter of intent in November.
Kamieniecki began his love of the game when he began playing basketball when he was five.
His parents are Rita and Scott.

Senior Zac Roberson stood with his feet firmly on the mat and went in for the attack at the referee’s signal.
The wrestler knew each battle was one closer to his desired destination – The Palace of Auburn Hills for the MHSAA Individual Finals to become champion in the 112-weight class.
Last year he took third place after being diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease before the season had begun.
‘He was so sick and in so much pain,? remembered Tiffany, his mom. ‘He doesn’t complain a lot about pain so I knew something was wrong. He also didn’t have a lot of energy. He is an active kid.
Zac would even have trouble walking up the staircase to get to his bedroom and would have to take a break to catch his breath.
He had two surgeries but he didn’t get any better until he saw a specialist.
The specialist knew what was wrong and did additional tests to make sure Zac had Crohn’s disease.
‘It was almost a relief for Zac because once he found out he was focused,? said Tiffany.
It affected him at the beginning of the season because he didn’t feel well, but he came back from it and has a record 41-8 as of Feb. 15.
Through the last year Zac has followed a diet regime and knows what foods to avoid. He also takes a supplement and drinks a gallon of yogurt milk a week, which Tiffany said has helped.
Zac helps out his teammates by cheering them on at meets and makes up practices the team and him can try.
‘He wants to try the best work all the time,? said Tiffany.
He plans to continue wrestling in college and is talking with coaches at Eastern Michigan University.
The draw to Eastern was their nursing program because he wants to go into pediatric nursing, specializing in working with special needs children.
‘He has always wanted to work with special needs children, but didn’t think about the nursing aspect until he was in the hospital,? said Tiffany.
He realized a large shortage of male nurses when he was there and as a teenager was uncomfortable with it. He wanted children to be comfortable when they had to be in the hospital and he looked into nursing.
Zac works with special needs students at Clarkston High School through the ASD Link program.
‘He loves it,? said Tiffany. ‘His teachers say he is pretty good at it and he is destined to work with special needs children.?

Hannah Siegfried was excited to hear was chosen to play soccer for the Michigan Olympic Development Program.
‘I felt really happy, but nervous because there is still one more round,? the 13-year-old Sashabaw Middle School student shared.
The final round is the first weekend in March at Michigan state – five players will be cut.
‘We play for an hour and a half,? she explained. ‘Once they do the cuts that is the team and we start playing tournaments.?
Siegfried hasevery intention on being one of 30 players chosen for the team and is getting prepared to show off her talent.
Proud parents Ken and Valerie are excited to see her chosen to continue to the next round.
‘All of her hard work and dedication has paid off,? said Ken.
The Michigan ODP started their initial tryouts during the summer where Siegfried joined over 100 of the top players in the state. During the first cut only 50 remained.
More tryouts and training sessions were held in the fall and January until they made the cut to 35 players.
‘It is a great program,? said Hannah. ‘You meet a lot of different people from around Michigan and play with the best of the best players in the state.?
Though Hannah is a veteran to playing soccer, playing since she was four, she said she playing with the Michigan ODP.
‘I have become a better player all around after being exposed to better competition from all around the state – Grand Rapids, the upper peninsula and from southern Michigan,? she explained.’The ODP staff of coaches are really good. They are great teachers and do great with the team.?
Hannah started soccer in Kiddy Kickers.
‘My wife and I are sports people,? said Ken. ‘We had her try different sports.?
But it was soccer and basketball that held her interests. Hannah also plays for WAZA. She plays basketball for the middle school team and Clarkston Wolfpack, a AAU team.
‘I really like soccer,? she said. ‘I have gotten really good at it. I still have a long way to go.?
Hannah plays as a center midfielder and has set her goal to play college and professional.

For Clarkston senior hockey player Adam Frank, ten years of hard work both on and off the ice have led to numerous opportunities for the future.
Frank, who leads the Wolves with 12 goals after 16 games this year, is looking at opportunities to continue his playing career by joining a Junior League team in the fall.
‘Hopefully I’ll make a junior team next year and after a year or two of that I’ll get picked up by a college hockey program,? Frank said.
Frank credits these opportunities to years of hard work and preparation. He added playing well in games is only the beginning.
‘I’ve always been working out on and off the ice, going to camps, working hard in practice – all that goes into success on the ice.?
As for when he moves on, Frank says he will miss playing high school hockey for Clarkston.
‘Our team camaraderie is great.? said Frank. ‘We’re a tight knit group of guys; we have a lot of fun in the locker room before and after practice.?
And while the Wolves are struggling this year, currently sitting at 6-8-2, nothing beats playing for Clarkston.
‘It’s great to be playing for your school, having friends there to support you. You don’t get that at other places.?
Off the ice, Frank is just as successful as on it. He currently carries a 3.6 GPA, and is a member of the National Honor Society at Clarkston High. When he’s not working hard at hockey or on academics, Adam enjoys golfing and hanging out with friends.
In the hockey world, Adam is a sort of ironman of sorts, having never missed a game or practice in his four years on the varsity, a feat he attributes to healthy habits.
‘It’s important to always get good sleep and eat right, so you can stay fresh on the ice,? he said.
When high school is not in season, Frank stays busy with summer leagues and select teams. One such experience he’s had over the last two years was playing on Michigan Elite, a highly selective travel team.
‘Playing in them really helps get me ready for the season,? he said, ‘the higher competition in the preseason keeps you at the top of your game.?

Anna Manilla reached out her long arms to her sides and kept her watch on the Pontiac player steadily bouncing the ball towards Clarkston’s basket.
The opposition moved forward and Manilla and teammate Megan Hastings quickly reacted. They reached their hands up, blocking the player from making a shot and causing her to lose possession.
Mostly known for her defensive moves, Manilla was the high-scorer in the varsity team’s game against Davison on Jan. 19, posting 10 points and 11 rebounds.
‘She had a very good week,? said Tim Wasilk, head coach. ‘She played extremely hard and she competed.?
He also noted the sophomore has continued to show improvement throughout the season.
‘She is a focused player, a hard worker in practice, and a good leader for us.?
Manilla joined the varsity team last year and began playing basketball when she was little.
‘For a long time,? she laughed. ‘I have been playing basketball with my family for a long time. I love the sport and it ran in the family, that’s what got me started. I just kept going on my own because I like it.?
Manilla plays volleyball and runs track in the spring season but she is more drawn to basketball.
‘I like the team aspect, how we work hard and work together for our common goal,? she explained.
She has a few more years until she goes to college and is keeping basketball open as an option for the future.
She plans to study medicine or science when she goes to college and is going to take a biology class next year.
‘I love biology,? she said.
Manilla currently holds a grade point average and spends her time with family and friends when she is not studying, playing sports, or coaching future players at Horizon Hoops.
Her advice for younger Lady Wolves is, ‘always work your hardest no matter what.?

Senior Matt Deitz doesn’t let anything interfere with his thinking – not even being ranked in first place in the 140-pound weight class in Division 1.
‘It’s pretty good,? he said about the accomplishment.
He admitted it’s not something he thinks about as he prepares for a meet or steps onto the mat.
‘It doesn’t matter,? he admitted. ‘I just go in each meet and wrestle the guy.?
Each win has inched him closer to a goal he has for the team – to make it to the state finals. Deitz went to states last year for the individual finals and placed in seventh, while the team won districts and lost the first round in regionals.
‘This year we have a really good team and I hope we can do well,? he said as the days get closer to the finals. Individuals set for the second week in February.
He began wrestling only a few years ago and the interest just sparked in him to try it out.
‘It was probably my dad,? he admitted. ‘He used to wrestle.?
He admitted he would like to continue wrestling after he graduates and is currently deciding between University of Michigan and Michigan State for his next step.
Before making the final decision he wants to see how he does for the season, to look at the coaches and learn more about each campus.
‘I am seeing what happens,? he added.
He is planning so study medicine and explained he would like to work with medicine and create medicine.
Deitz currently has a 3.9 GPA and is taking Advanced Placement courses in Chemistry, Calculus and Computer Science.
Deitz plays in various sports for fun with his friends and is in weightlifting.
When not studying or wrestling he is reading science fiction and adventure stories or playing Call of Duty, War of Warcraft or other role-playing or popular video games.
For aspiring wrestlers and other athletes going into different sports he said to have fun.
‘Relax and do your best,? he said. ‘Never give up.?

Bowler Paul Anderson looked up during the boys varsity team’s league match against Troy and noticed the score ? he was on a roll with strikes.
‘I started thinking I might actually get my 300,? the senior said. ‘I started getting excited.?
Anderson stayed focused and scored his first 300, Dec. 8.
‘It was amazing,? he said. ‘Doing it in the first league meet of the year was pretty cool, too. Also, knowing I was the first kid from Michigan to do it in a high school meet this year felt special.?
Anderson bowled 299 twice before. Hitting the perfect game has helped him in league meets and tournaments.
‘The block is out of the way,? he said. ‘If I ever start to get a few strikes in a roll or start getting close to 300, I am not as nervous as I was before. It helped me focus on each shot more, knowing I can do it.?
His score can also help his teammates.
‘I know all of them respect me as a bowler, but they have seen me throw my bad games,? he pointed out. ‘If I can do it, they can do it.?
His goals this season is to rank in the state. He is also working towards qualifying for individual finals, where he aims to finish as a champion.
He also thinks the boys team can qualify for states this year.
‘We have a couple of new guys coming up from JV,? he said. ‘They have a lot of potential. If we focus and buckle down we can qualify.?
Anderson began bowling 11 years ago and played at Cherry Hill Lanes in his first league.
‘My neighbor had been bowling and got us into bowling and my dad got me bowling in the league,? he said.
He will continue bowling in college but only for fun, as he focuses most of his attention on majoring in Spanish and minoring in Chemistry. His goal is to become a teacher.
Anderson likes to read. He also enjoys taking advantage of living on a lake and during the summer splits his time between relaxing on the boat, jet-skiing and tubing.
He also plans to play lacrosse for the varsity team in the spring.

Seven-year-old Madison Mitchell took home seven awards from the Michigan Hunter-Jumper Association for her 2009 season.
‘She competes against kids older than herself so it’s neat she won,? said mom, Jill.
Madison was excited and happy as she accepted her awards for Champion Short Stirrup Equitation Flat, Champion Short Stirrup Pony Hunter, Champion Novice Pony Hunter, Reserve Champion in Short Stirrup Equitation Over Fences and Reserve Champion Novice Ridden Pony Equitation.
‘She surprised us this year by winning all her awards,? said Jill. ‘We were surprised because of her age. Her trainer, Tara Golaszewski, put her in the novice level for riders 11 and under and bumped her up to another class. It’s a lot of riding to do in one day for her age.?
Madison practices riding a few days a week and takes very good care of her pony, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by putting his vitamins in separate bags and cleaning up after him. She began riding before she turned four after a visit to a doctor.
Her parents noticed she wasn’t walking right and took her to see what was happening. As she was growing her hips weren’t going to the angle they needed to be at for her to walk .
Her doctor suggested sports to help her thigh muscles pull her hips back, one was horsebacking and the other was ballet.
Madison tried ballet, but after a year she didn’t want to do it again.
So she tried horseback riding and steadily went from going once a week to a few times a week. She showed for the first time last year with Lunar and won a few awards with him before he retired.
‘It was a nice way for him to end his career,? said Jill.
Madison is a second-grader at Cedar Crest Academy.
She keeps busy with her interests.
‘She loves to sing and loves being in the choir at school,? said Jill.
She also loves French, loves karate and enjoys taking violin lessons.
All of which sparked an interest in her and she asked her parents she could pursue them.
‘She has a lot of interests which is good,? said Jill. ‘She has had a lot of success for being so young.?

Senior Dakota Bender left Troy-Athens football field on Nov. 21 knowing he could look back at one day and say he helped Clarkston make it to their third semi-final playoff appearance.
The Wolves Varsity football team lost the game to Sterling Heights Stevenson, 37-35.
The running back assisted the team during the winning season by scoring 21 touchdowns. He had 1,250 yards rushing and 322 yards receiving on 26 receptions.
Bender admitted all of the hard work the team put into the 12-1 season started right after the 2008 season ended.
‘The motivation was knowing we didn’t have a good season,? he said.
Another motivator was cross-town rival – the Dragons.
‘We watched Lake Orion get to the state finals and we knew we could, too,? he added.
After putting in all the hard work and getting past the playoffs in districts, regionals, and quarterfinals, he said it felt great to be at the final game before states.
‘It was awesome to be in there,? he said.
Bender began playing football when he was seven. He started because his family has always played football and after he watched his uncle play.
He has held the running back position throughout his entire football career.
‘I fit in there and I stayed with it,? he said.
He said he will probably continue playing football in college. Bender admitted he hasn’t chosen a college but is looking at Saginaw Valley State University, Ferris State University and University of Albany.
No matter what school he decides on, he has already chosen to study sports management after he graduates.
Though his high school football days are done, he is currently thinking about trying out for the lacrosse team in the spring.
‘I played it a few years ago,? he explained. ‘I might want to play again.?
Bender also plays basketball for fun and enjoys hanging out with his friends.
For the aspiring athletes looking to play Clarkston football, Bender shared a few pointers.
‘Enjoy every bit of it because it goes by really fast and get to the weight room.?

Max Lightfoot won the Punt, Pass and Kick state competition for the Boys 10-11 division at Ford Field on November 22.
At the end of all three events he finished a total distance of 253 feet and two inches.
‘I was very proud of him,? said mom, Kristie. ‘His scores continued to improve through all the different levels of competition.?
Max competed first at the local level in the Independence Township Parks and Recreation Punt, Pass and Kick contest. He won it and went on to the sectionals in Troy. He qualified for states and his total distance improved.
‘At the state competition he was able to hold his composure and ended up finishing first and improved his distance again,? said Kristie.
He finished punting 85 feet and 10 inches, passing 95 feet and 7 inches and kicking 71 feet and 9 inches. The top three placers move on to nationals and Max was the fifth placer for the boys.
Max admitted he had help from Clarkston High School graduate Andrew Breen to get ready for the state competition.
‘He helped me improve on my punts and kicks,? said Max. ‘He helped by showing me the techniques on how to punt and kick, where to kick it and what not to do.?
Kristie listened to what Breen taught Max and had him practice what he learned.
‘He provided a lot of guidance,? she said.
Max said he will continue using the tips when he goes into his fourth year playing for the Clarkston Chiefs next fall.
‘Hopefully next year we can win the Superbowl,? he exclaimed.
He played for the JV Blue team during the past season and his mom was one of his football coaches. He plays a variety of positions but his primary position is quarterback.
Max is a fifth grader at Bailey Lake Elementary and plays a wide range of sports including football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse.
He just finished his third year playing for the Clarkston Chiefs and was on the JV Blue team.
He will work on his basketball skills every Saturday at the McGrath league held at Clarkston High School by Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Dan Fife.
He begins his winter season with the Clarkston Grizzlies in January and enjoys playing outside with his friends, shooting baskets and playing catch.
‘It has been such a joy to share all of these wonderful experiences with Max,? said Kristie.

The sun shined as the Clarkston Chiefs Blue team finished the season against Brandon on November 7.
They lost against the junior Blackhawks, 13-0, in the NYFL Super Bowl V.
The team hoisted their Division Title/Super Bowl Runner Up trophy in excitement of finishing a spectacular season.
It was the first year playing for a majority of the 8- to 9-year-olds on the team – time for them to grow and develop their talent.
Head Coach Tom Nicklin worked with the boys and they started their winning streak – defeating seven teams – including the undefeated Pontiac Panthers.
They only allowed the Panthers to score seven points during the game while the Chiefs put 29 on the board. The win qualified them to play in the Super Bowl.
‘The coaching staff has been amazing,? said parent, Deanna Sera.’What a great life lesson for our kids and what great role models all of the coaches have been.?
The Clarkston Chiefs Youth Football programs had all their Varsity, JV, and Freshman teams qualify for the playsoffs.
Chiefs Freshman Blue was the only one of the eight teams to continue on to the finals. The boys finished with an overall record 7-2.

The Clarkston Select Soccer Club’s Shadows ?96 ended their season in a stellar fashion.
The began by earning a second place finish in the Petoskey Autumn Blast Tournament, September 11-13.
They scored ten goals during the tournament and held their opponents to zero, until the championship when their opponents scored two goals.
The girls dedicated the tournament to Coach Damian Huffer, who was unable to attend because his daughter, Alivia, was born Saturday.
The U14 team took the momentum and played to a first place finish in their Classic 3 Division in the Michigan State Premier Soccer Program. A bonus for the girls – it was the first year they played in the league and they had seven wins and two ties.
They played their last league game against GPSA Breakers White on Oct. 17 and shut them out, 7-0.
The girls scored 28 goals and only allowed two goals to be scored against them in the league.

Sophomore Chris Dickey gears up for another week of football for the second week in a row after concluding his JV season.
He was one of the handful from the JV team invited by Varsity Head Coach Kurt Richardson to be on the team as they prepare for each playoff game.
‘I feel great and excited to play next year,? said Dickey.
‘Chris had an outstanding year,? said JV Coach Jeff Long.
Dickey started the season playing as a wide receiver and changed roles. He was put in as a quarterback whe the two first string quarterbacks were hurt.
‘It took me awhile to get it going,? he admitted. ‘I got the hang of it and did well. I threw ten touchdown passes and ran four touchdowns.?
The boys ended the season 7-2, winning the OAA Red JV title after beating Lake Orion 28-13 on October 22.
‘We did well,? said Dickey. ‘No one quit and we kept going. I felt I helped.?
It was the wide receiver position to draw Dickey into playing football.
‘I always loved catching the football,? he explained.
He put his love to the test and joined the Sashabaw Middle School’s seventh grade football team.
Dickey also plays basketball and began the game when he was four.
‘My brother, Sean Eluy, hooked me onto it,? he said. ‘He played basketball for Clarkston back in 2001-2002 and for Coach Dan Fife. Sean taught me all the fundamentals.?
He was on the JV team last year and would like to make the varsity team this season.
While dividing his time out of school between practices, games and hanging out with friends, Dickey keeps his head in the books and school as a top priority.
He said his most recent report card was lined with A’s and B’s.
‘I try to do my best,? he admitted when it comes to on and off of the field.
He said he gets a lot of support from his parents, Pat and Roxanne, and his brother.
‘Thanks to my family for hanging in there for me and doing all they have done for me. Thanks for my brother,? he said.

Freshman Chris Calvano was called into the office after last Thursday’s freshman football game against Lake Orion – and told the news.
He was invited up to the varsity football team by the varsity’s head coach, Kurt Richardson for the season’s playoff run.
‘It’s cool,? said Calvano. ‘It’s going to be pretty tough practicing. My older brother, Sean, is on the team and I am going against him.?
He explained he and players invited from the JV team will play as a demo team.
‘We dress, follow them around and help them with whatever they need help with,? he continued. ‘If am playing demo quarterback and my brother is playing linebacker – he is the one coming after me.?
Chris is the first in his family to be invited onto the varsity explaining Sean was injured when he was a freshman and his other older brother, Matt, didn’t play at Clarkston when he was a freshman.
He started playing football in fourth grade because his brothers played and his dad, Conrad, played in high school and at Michigan State.
Chris picked up tips from his family including how to tackle, as his main position is defense.
Though he has played on offense, he experienced playing in the quarterback position for the first time this season.
‘The coaches asked me to play quarterback at camp because I was playing on the 6-on-6 team,? he said. ‘My coach asked me to try out and half way through the season I started playing quarterback. Being a quarterback is a big commitment and it’s hard. You have to know all the plays on offense and defense.?
Chris was voted captain by his team and nominated for Athlete of the Week by his coaches.
‘He is a two-way starter,? said Dave Whitehead, head coach of the freshman team. ‘He leads by example with hard work and hustle in practice.?
Chris began practicing with the varsity team on Monday.
‘It’s a huge compliment for a freshman in Clarkston football,? said Whitehead.
Chris also wrestles and enjoys playing catch and hanging out with his friends.

Runner Lindsey Fantin’s injuries may have slowed her down in the past few years but now she is ready to take on the state finals.
Now a junior, Fantin dealt with a hip flexor injury in her freshman year and had shin problems last year in her cross country and track seasons.
‘It made me stronger,? she said, ‘and want to work harder.?
Her cross country coaches noticed Fantin’s extra effort and the improvement she has made throughout the season.
‘She has made some really great strides this year,? said Matt Klaver, assistant coach.
‘She ran a heck of a race at the Oakland County meet and she has really stepped up for the team this year. It was a nice surprise.?
She finished the county meet on Oct. 10 in 21:05, one second later than teammate Mende Gleiss.
Fantin ran track in middle school and began running cross country in her freshman year.
‘The coach recommended if I wanted to do better in track I should also run cross country to help stay in shape,? she said.
As it turned out she ended up liking cross country more than track, she added.
Her goal is to qualify for states during the regional meet on at Springfield Oaks County Park on October 31.
She will use this Thursday’s OAA League Meet at Bloomer Park to prepare.
‘She has had a really great year,? said Klaver. ‘We are really proud of her.?
Her goal for her spring season on track is to qualify for the regional meet.
Besides her required courses, she is also taking German IV and classes in business and child development.
She explained she is taking classes in both business and child development because she hasn’t decided which field she would like to pursue.
Fantin hangs out with her friends when she is not studying or preparing for a meet.
For aspiring athletes she advised to stay with their sport no matter what happens.
‘There will betimes you just want to quit but sticking with it makes you stronger,? she said.

For Clarkston senior swimmer Julia Vela, years of hard work and punishing workouts in the pool are finally paying off.
Vela holds three school records, in 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter medley relay, and 200 meter free relay, and hopes to acomplish more this year.
It hasn’t been an easy road. She says even in an individual sport such as swimming, support and encouragement of others are imperative to success. While being a good teammate doesn’t get put into the record book, it has certainly helped her achieve what she has.
‘Spending time with my teammates is the best part of swimming,? Vela said. ‘The girls on the team help me to get through even the toughest practices and workouts.?
During her junior year, Vela qualified for the State finals in the 100 meter butterfly, her self-described best event, and finished 14th overall in the state. She hopes to use the experience to propel her to even better results in her senior year.
She already qualified for the state finals in two events, 100 fly with a time of 1:00.06, and 200 individual medley with a time of 2:16.23. However, Vela doesn’t plan to rest on those successes.
‘Right now I am hoping to break one minute in the 100 fly,? she said. ‘I have been aiming at getting that time for a while.?
In the classroom, she holds a 3.5 grade point average, and is involved in numerous extracurricular activities both in the school and in the community. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and is on the Clarkston High School Mock Trial team and Youth in Government.
Vela, who has been swimming for 10 years, hopes to carry on the family tradition by swimming in college. Her older sister, Alyssa, is on the swim team at Oakland University.
Julia is considering attending Oakland as well, but is also looking at Michigan State University, Grand Valley State, and Hillsdale College.

Senior Jeff Dean is seen on Friday nights playing on both sides of the football for Clarkston.
It was his effort and work as a defense tackle one of his coaches took notice to.
‘He is an outstanding student athlete and has really become a great leader on and off the field,? said Wolves? Defense Coordinator Tony Miller.
Dean started playing football in seventh grade.
‘My parents asked me if I wanted to play for the Clarkston Chiefs and I passed it off,? he said. ‘I never played football before and I didn’t feel like I wanted to.?
He didn’t have any experience playing football but chose to give it a try after hearing more about the seventh and eighth great teams.
‘I loved it so I kept on playing,? he said. ‘I played offense, I played defense, and I played special teams. I did whatever the coaches told me to do.?
During his sophomore year on the Wolves? varsity team he became more of a defense player.
‘I had more practice at it and more time at it when I filled in for an injured defense lineman,? he explained. ‘Because of the experience I got better at it.?
Dean and his teammates spent the last months preparing for the fall and have seen it pay off by the Wolves winning six games and clinching a spot in the district playoffs.
‘We definitely put a lot of time into the off season,? he explained. ‘That’s one of the things the coaches have been stressing – we haven’t been putting enough work in during the pre-season. What has been happening so far is just a notion to them – hard work pays off.
Dean would like to continue playing football in college if the opportunity presents itself.
He hasn’t decided on a college or on what he plans to study, but said he is open every option.
‘I am taking engineering classes at OTC to see if I like the field,? he said. ‘I am trying to narrow it down a little bit.?
When Dean isn’t playing football or studying he is with his friends, playing video games or drawing.
‘I am laid back,? he said. ‘I enjoy spending time with my friends and my family.?
For aspiring players he said to don’t give up or quit.
‘You are going to find some days that you just don’t think you can go on any longer,? he said. ‘You can’t do what the coaches want, but you have to fight through it.?
‘He is a young adult that I would want my sons to look up to,? said Miller.

The Clarkston Equestrian Team secured the District Championship in Armada.
During the two day event, September 19-20, they competed against eight teams – Armada, Goodrich, Imlay City, Lake Orion, Lapeer West, Marion, Notre Dame Prep and Stoney Creek.
They competed in Showmanship, English riding, Western riding, Saddleseat and Speed and ended with 463 points.
Imlay City took second with 393 and Lapeer West with 200.
‘The girls were awesome,? said Coach Jill Hawkins. ‘Every last one of them.?
The girls travel to Shiawassee this weekend to compete in the regional meet. The meet will determine what teams continues on to the state meet, October 15-18.

Clarkston Impact 99 White team started their fall season winning their first tournament.
They played at the Midland Fusion Invitational held in Midland during the last weekend in August.
The boys were off to a rough start after losing their first game against the host team Midland Fusion, 3-2.
They turned things around and beat two teams, GPSA Salvo, 2-1, and Allianc FC, 4-1, leading them to the championship game where they faced Fusion again.
Using their skills and talent, Impact shut Fusion out, 2-0.
The boys next game is Sunday at Clintonwood Park at noon against FC Nova Academy.

Senior Jenna Coates moves closer to the floor to make contact with the volleyball. She sends the ball over the net and out of the opposing team’s reach.
Coates can be found behind her teammates in the back row playing her role as libero – defensive specialist for Clarkston Varsity Volleyball.
For her last year she set her goal to have a strong finish and help her team to win every game.
But as captain, she has other goals – to be a role model and bring more fans in.
‘I have always tried to lead the team,? the three-year starter said. ‘Hopefully the younger girls can learn from me and look up to me.?
Most of the players are new to the team, but Coates and a few other teammates have played with them before.
‘There is a solid group of them that played club together,? she explained. ‘We mesh pretty well because most of the girls are the girls that are in the club.?
Coates would like to get more people to come out and watch a game.
‘I want to try to get the sport more out there,? she said.
Marketing is the key and is one of the focuses Coates is considering to study when she goes to Central Michigan University next year.
Another subject she is thinking about is kinesiology – sports medicine.
‘Anything around the sports field,? she added.
She is verbally committed to play volleyball for Central
‘I love the coaches,? she said about why she decided to be a Chippewa. ‘They are really friendly and the program has grown so much. When I visit the girls on the team are so nice and welcoming.?
A few more reasons include the beautiful facilities, academic programs, and how the athletic department treats the athletes. A bonus is she will be close to her older sister, Katelyn.
‘It will be nice to have her there,? she said.
Jenna can be found in the stands enjoying different sporting events from Clarkston football and basketball to Michigan football games.
‘I have been going since were little with my dad,? she said.
She also enjoys hanging out with her friends, being with her family including the newest member, Reggie – a black labradoodle puppy, and is getting ready for the Second Annual Sweet Potato Shuffle in November.
For aspiring athletes she added, ‘give it your best because it will pay off. It goes by so fast so cherish every moment as a team because it will be gone before you know it.?

Junior Jarrett Kersten vividly remembers the first time he was approached to play soccer.
He was six-years-old and playing basketball in his driveway when his neighbor asked him to play. His first reaction was no – he liked basketball better. Eventually Kersten decided to give it a try.
‘I really liked it,? he said and started playing for the Waterford Warriors.
Now he is captain and team leader for Clarkston’s varsity soccer team.
‘I really rely on him to get things settled on the field,? said Wolves Varsity Soccer Coach Adam Bican. ‘He is a great kid on and off the field. He represents Clarkston well.?
Kersten has played for the team since his freshman year as a starter and assisted the team to play in the state finals.
‘It was nerve wrecking,? he remembered. ‘Obviously players are so much older and bigger than you. You don’t want to mess up. I think it was a great opportunity, too. It was really fun and it was a great time.?
Kersten also plays for the Vardar Michigan Soccer Club U16 team and began playing for the club four years ago.
‘We travel a lot,? he said about his trips to California, Florida and Colorado.
He noted playing against competition from throughout the country has helped him with his game.
‘We play amazing teams. Playing against the best players really helps you to step up your game,? he said. ‘I play better because of it.?
His goal going into the school year is to get his grades higher because he knows colleges are looking at them especially since he has heard from coaches from Michigan, Michigan State and Oakland University.
He plans to have a great season for soccer and has his sights on getting back to the state finals.
He shared a few words of advice for Clarkston youth.
‘Do whatever you love and keep doing it,? he said. ‘Have fun with it!?

Senior quarterback Tyler Scarlett began his football career early.
He joined the Clarkston Chiefs when he was in fourth grade and started out as a running back.
It was a few years later he was drawn to the position he plays today for the Clarkston varsity football team.
“I became a quarterback when someone got hurt,” Scarlett explained.
“I like everything is in my hands. I get to make a difference in every play,? he said about the position. ‘I am a leader on the field.”
Scarlett said playing as a running back when he was younger has helped during games.
“If things break down, I can scramble here and there and make a play to get some momentum on our side,” he said. “Anything to get things going our way.
Scarlett is preparing for the first game against Rochester Adams by getting all his reps in and getting more practice in with extra passing and pitches.
He offered a few pointers to aspiring athletes dreaming about being on the varsity football team.
“Get in the weight room and put some weight on,” he said.. “Weight is a big thing.”
He added to work hard on speed and agility – a skill for other sports. He also said to eat well and healthy.
Besides playing football, Scarlett plays basketball and baseball.
He had a pivotal role on the Wolves varsity basketball team last winter when the team made it over their quarterfinal hump and into the Breslin Center in Lansing for the state playoffs.
Scarlett has made a goal during his final high school year to win a state championship.
After graduation he would like to play college football somewhere and is still deciding what he will study when he is in college.
In his down time from sports he prefers to lay back and watch some television.
“Honestly I like watching UFC Fighting on SpikeTV,” he said.

Varsity Cheerleaders greeted football fans with big smiles on Saturday.
While the girls are normally found close to the field during the season cheering the team and getting the crowd pumped – they were in the stadium during the boys? scrimmage.
They could be found selling pink and light blue bracelets, saying ‘Clarkston Football Cure for a Cause,? selling T-shirts, and walking through the stands with a football helmet accepting donations to go to Karmanos Cancer Institute.

* * *
Nominations for Athlete of the Week are always being accepted.
Three ways to nominate – Call us at 248-625-3370. Email us at Drop it off to us at 5 S Main in downtown Clarkston.
Please include a number to reach you and the nominated athlete and why you are nominating them.
Thank you!

Clarkston Soccer Club’s Impact ’97 Blue won first place in Michigan Youth Soccer League’s U12 Boys Red Division, with a record of eight wins, one loss and a tie.
The team scored 58 goals, while allowing 10 goals against them. They also won first place in their age group at the Rochester Classic Soccer Tournament this past spring.

Bob Walters of Clarkston joined about 700 bicyclists last month in a ride across the state.
“It’s a great way to stay in shape,” said Walters, 74. “I made it ? my only goal is to make it.”
In his fifth year with Pedal Across Lower Michigan, Walters spent six days in June riding 255 miles ride from Whitehall on Lake Michigan across the Lower Peninsula to Lexington on Lake Huron.
“My wife’s Canadian cousin came for a visit, and said he was doing the PALM ? I said I’d think about it,” Walters said. “Then a friend said he would do it, so then I had to do it.”
The riders, from 6-90 years old, slept in tent cities set up by volunteers and finished the ride with a parade and ceremonial tire dip in the lake.
“There were a couple days I wasn’t sure I would make it, from Frankenmuth to Vassar. It was really hot, 95-degree heat,” he said. “Heat is the worst enemy of all.”
? Phil Custodio

For Franziska Loetzner, individual achievment on the track is a big attraction.
‘If you mess up, it’s not the team’s fault. It’s your fault,? said Loetzner, eighth-grader at Clarkston Junior High School this fall. ‘It’s all on you, so you push yourself.?
She was the only seventh-grader to place at the Oakland County Championship track meet, May 28, at Clarkston High School. Running against eighth-graders, she placed eighth in the 400 meters.
‘That gives me great expectations for next year,? she said. ‘It made me feel good, and want to be a better runner.?
Running runs in her family ? her father, Peter, competes in Iron Man contests, and Lisa, her mother, runs marathons. Her brother, Roland, is set to join track as a sixth-grader at Sashabaw Middle School.
‘Running is a very healthy sport,? Lisa said. ‘It’s something she can do the rest of her life.?
Franziska, who also plays soccer, volleyball, and other sports, started running when she was 8 years old, earning six cross-country medals so far. This year, she also qualified for the Hershey Track State Finals in 200 and 800 meters, and earned second place in the Pumpkin Invitational in Lake Orion.
She plans to compete in junior and senior high school track and field, learning pole vault, high-jump, hurdles, and other events. She already trains with high school athletes.
‘They push me a lot and show me a lot of things,? she said. ‘It helps me get better, running with people faster than me.?
She hopes to earn a track scholarship to Oakland University or Michigan State.
‘I think it’s great,? Lisa said. ‘Running teaches her focus and work on her goals.?
Franziska moved to Clarkston with her family from Germany in 1997, and spent a year in New Jersey in 2002, moving back in 2003.
‘We like Michigan better, with the parks, skiing, the environment ? it’s just beautiful,? Lisa said. ‘We like Clarkston’s schools and the lakes.?

Clarkston High School graduate Shantel Uballe has played softball for 10 years and barely recalls life without the sport.
As a 2009 All-League, All-District, and All-Region Softball Team honoree, it would only make sense for Uballe to put her skills to use at the collegiate level. This past spring, Uballe made the decision to sign her letter of intent with Oakland Community College.
‘The coach really had my attention and I have nothing but good things to say about the program,? she said.
Uballe was a three-year varsity player at Clarkston High School and led her team to win districts this past spring. She also played for the Michigan Dream Softball Team during her off season.
She specializes as first basemen, but believes she will play other positions at OCC.
‘I’m not so much scared or nervous to play at the college level, but rather very excited,? she said. ‘I am putting myself in a postion to gain new experiences and become a better player.?
Uballe has a program she will follow over the summer to condition and personally prepare herself for next year.
The transition into college level sports is a difficult process and athletes often need time to adjust, but she is ready to take on any challenge.
‘Softball is a game in which the ball doesn’t bounce your way every time, but by knowing this you will be better prepared for the next situation? she commented.

Nicholas Cowan, Clarkston Varsity outfielder, earned baseball and academic scholarships at Concordia University in Ann Arbor
“Nicholas is a speedy outfielder who possesses two main things that can’t be taught, speed and heart,? said Concordia baseball coach Karl Kling. ‘He uses his speed, which has been timed at sub 7.0 in the 60 yard dash to cover a lot of ground in the outfield and get excellent jumps on the bases, making him a threat on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game.?
Cowan signed his letter of intent to play at Concordia, May 19.
“Nick is going to be a spark plug for us and he is going to make things happen,” Kling said.

Smart, funny, president of the National Honor Society, simple, and a perfect gentleman, but the list isn’t complete without mention of his athleticism. Kevin Giaier is known not only for being a genuinely good person, but also for his achievements on the lacrosse field.
Freshmen year, Giaier played on the junior varsity team where his speed and obvious stick handling expertise gave him the chance to move from defense, a spot that was very familiar to him, to long stick mid-field.
Giaier played this spot for three years on Clarkston’s varsity squad, where he was able to excel at the position and win such awards as groundball leader and All-Region as a junior.
Finally, as a senior, he was named team captain, along with teammates Adam Zak, Forbes Dever and Luke Osborn, though he was not what he called a ‘traditional? captain.
‘I got yelled at a lot from coaches for goofing around and I was never into giving team speeches.? says Giaier.
Despite breaking the norm of what a captain typically does, he knew that he had the respect of his teammates and high expectations from his coaches.
‘During lacrosse season, it’s all about lacrosse.? He said.
No one could question Giaier’s dedication during the season, as he put things like National Honor Society and other hobbies on hold in order to give his entire focus to the sport and his team.
All the hard work paid off, as Kevin was the all-time leader in a few different categories, including groundballs, takeaways, and most long stick goals in Clarkston’s history, though long stick players don’t typically score.
‘All the awards I received were cool to get, but they didn’t mean that much to me. I do it all for the success of the team as a whole.? says Giaier humbly.
With lacrosse season over, coaches look forward to the lacrosse banquet on Monday, June 8, where they expect Giaier to be named All-State and walk away with the first ever Frank Kaminskas Spirit Award, which is given to the ultimate player as voted on by the team.
‘I’m not used to all this positive attention.? says Giaier.
Playing defense, Kevin never gets a lot of press, but he doesn’t need a spotlight on him to show his passion for the game of lacrosse. It’s more about working hard so the team can do well.
The season may be over, but a priority for Kevin now, is practicing his lacrosse skills before going to the University of Dayton in Ohio next year, where he plans on trying-out for their team.
‘I received a couple offers to come play at some small east coast schools, but no one offered a scholarship. I might be good for Clarkston, but I realize that competition is much more intense in college.? says Giaier.
With a good aeronautical engineering program and a lacrosse team that Kevin feels confident he can make, Dayton seemed to be the perfect fit for him. However, lacrosse won’t consume Kevin’s entire summer.
‘I’m going to focus on enjoying the summer as much as possible by fishing and working on cars’I also enjoy some occasional knitting,? Giaier added jokingly.

The Clarkston Soccer Club’s Shadows ’96 team, U13 age group, was undefeated in the Westlake Invitational Soccer Tournament, Memorial Day weekend, winning the championship.
‘The game was everything youth sports should be,? said tournament co-director John Stroh. ‘Both teams played very well and the sportsmanship and enthusiasm from the players, coaches and spectators ? outstanding. We look forward to seeing everyone next Memorial day. Clarkston has a great group of coaches and managers. ?
The Shadows won their three preliminary matches, two on May 9 and one, May 10, before advancing to win the Championship game Sunday afternoon. During their four tournament games, the kickers earned the distinction of scoring the highest number of goals, 13, in their entire age bracket, while also being the only team in their bracket to give up zero goals.
Annual tryouts for Clarkston Soccer Club, all age groups, will be June 15-16 at Clintonwood Park. Call 248-625-1090.

Standing 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 110 pounds, Carlin Delisi lives up to her name ? the Gaelic translation of ‘Carlin? is ‘Little Champion.?
She trains at Oakland Gymnastics Training Center in Walled Lake. During the USA Gymnastic Level 8-10 State Competition this past March in Lansing, the Clarkston High School sophomore scored first place in her floor exercise competition, with score of 9.4, and became the First Place State Champion in this event.?
She also placed second in her vault competition. Overall, she finished in Third Place statewide for her age group.’Delisi qualified as a member of the 2009 USAG Michigan Level 8 Regional Team competing in Findlay, Ohio in late April.?
Carlin, daughter of Robert and Sandra Delisi of Independence Township, is a sophore at Clarkston High, with a 3.92 grade point average.
In January, 2008, she was diagnosed with multiple fractures to her L-5 vertebrae after competing in a national gymnastic meet in Florida, where she finished first in the vault competition,
Following a slow recovery, she returned to the gym only to sustain a second major injury in which she suffered a grade II-III muscle tear to her right forearm.?
‘True to her name, Carlin worked hard and returned from her injuries to become a state champion,? Sandra said.?’We salute her and her determination to succeed despite all obstacles.?

As Audrey Batchik finishes up her senior year at Clarkston High School, she looks forward to the adventures that await her ? specifically playing Varsity Soccer at Trinity Christian College in Illinois.
Batchik played club ball for both Michigan Gators and Vardar, in conjunction with high school varsity for four years.
She will continue her career under the direction of Coach Josh Lenarz, on a soccer scholarship. While at school, Batchik plans to major in art, pursuing advertising or photography.
‘Soccer drew me to Trinity,? she said. ‘I love the congenial environment the school and soccer team offered.?
Besides being able to play college ball, she is most looking forward to the new friendships that she will make.
According to Lenarz, it is all about relationships. Soccer is secondary to the bond that players and coaches form.
Coach Lenarz says that when recruiting players he begins by looking for kickers who are not only athletically talented, but will also be a good addition to the school. Lenarz believes Batchik will be a strong asset to his team. 
‘Audrey is joining the team at a great time,?he said. ‘We need more depth on defense right now and she could easily satisfy the position. Of course, she still needs to prove herself, but I anticipate her to do well.?
Batchik is most nervous about competing at the college level. It will be a new experience for her, but she is anxious for the season to start.
She is especially excited about the training, which she will receive from Coach Lenarz and the Trinity Soccer Program.

Taylor Kanigowski has nine years of dance experience, and she’s only 12.
‘When she was about 2 years old, she made up a whole routine to go along with the final Jeopardy song,? said her mother, Kelly Kanigowski.
‘I remember running around like crazy. I thought I was a beautiful ballerina,? said Taylor, student at Sashabaw Middle School.
‘That was all she would do, make up dances,? Kelly said. ‘I said, OK, I’ll put her in a dance class.?
Taylor practices 14 hours a week at the Dance Shoppe in Waterford, studying ballet, tap, jazz, Turns, Cecchetti, and other routines.
‘I’m so passionate about it,? Kelly said. ‘I love to be on stage. It’s a blast up there.?
She competes with the studio’s Classy Dancers team, and earned Junior Dancer of the Year at preliminary American Dance Awards competition.
‘I was very excited,? she said. ‘I wasn’t expecting it at all. It’s really cool.?
She earned a spot at nationals in Florida, set for July. She’ll be judged in technique, musicality, expression, choreography, and other factors.
‘She’ll compete against the best in the country,? Kelly said. ‘It will be a good experience.?
‘This year, it’s looking really good,? she said.
Taylor lives in Independence Township with her parents, Kelly and Brian Kanigowski, and her sister, Morgan.
She plans to continue dancing at Dance Shoppe through high school, and dance professionally as a choreographer and teacher.
‘I like jazz and tap the best,? she said. ‘I have a lot of fun. I really groove to it.?
‘I’m very proud of her, Kelly said. ‘She’s so dedicated to this. It can be hard for parents, seeing her give up a lot of things. She always does it without complaint and is always positive.?
‘I love to do it. I try my best to get better,? Taylor said.

Mikayla Ferer and Lisa Lyon hugged each other after teammate Sydney Dicea scored the lone goal for the night on North Farmington’s net.
‘The goal gave the JV team their seven straight win for the season on April 16.
The game against North Farmington was a little tougher for the girls then the teams they had previously faced.
‘Communication and working together,? said Taylor Stokes on what helped the team on the field. ‘We were nervous.?
‘This team was tougher,? continued Ferer.
Three of their wins were mercy wins, as they scored eight goals and blocked their competition from scoring zero on them.
‘We put in a lot of teamwork,? said Ferer. ‘It’s all coming together.?
The game helped the girls to get ready for future games by making them stronger and tougher.
The JV team has six freshmen, nine sophomores and one junior.
‘We have great players,? said Coach Kendall Aliber. ‘The talent we have on the team has really helped. They work really well together and work really hard.?
The girls lost their first game to Royal Oak on April 20, 2-0, but they showed no slow down during the defeat.
‘They played extremely well and I was very proud of how hard my girls worked,? said Aliber. ‘They made great passes.?
This is Aliber’s first year as a coach and teaches at Andersonville Elementary. She has used her past experiences playing soccer at Hope College and Marian High School to help the girls out in a situation.
‘You can expect more wins and work the best they can,? said Aliber as the girls continue their season.
The next game for the girls is Thursday night as they host Youth Soccer Night.
They are set to play at 5:30 p.m. against Farmington Hills Harrison. The varsity game will follow.

Clarkston resident Emily Gray passes her passion and dedication for soccer on to the next generation.
The Notre Dame Prep senior created a soccer camp at SCAMP.
Gray has been running a soccer camp at SCAMP for the past three summers and is planning to run it again this year.
She began the program during her first year volunteering at SCAMP.
‘There was a girl who wanted to play,? she began. ‘I wanted to do something and give my teaching skills and knowledge to those who wanted to learn.?
Gray coordinates everything and an extra bonus comes from her Notre Dame teammates and friends when they help her at the camp.
Gray began playing soccer when she was four and enrolled in Independence Township’s Kiddie Kickers program.
As Gray continued to pick up more skills and excel, she went on to play club soccer at age 10. She joined Vardar two years later and finished her club career this past winter.
‘Soccer is something I have a passion for. I do it every year and have learned a lot, like teamwork,? she said.
Gray has been on the varsity team for four years. Last year she was one of the top scorers as an attacking center mid.
Her position changed this season to a center mid defender and helps to control the ball.
‘I am the playmaker,? said Gray.
She scored one goal this season against Birmingham Marian and kept her team from being shut-out.
She has lent her quick footwork in many assists on the team’s record, 6-1.
Gray is verbally committed to playing soccer for Kalamazoo College in the fall.
‘It is a great academic school,? she said explaining her choice.
‘They have a great biology department and it’s a beautiful area.?
The coach and teammates also helped when she decided to become a Hornet.
She plans to get her masters in physician assistant.
Her advice to young athletes as they continue onto the next level is to stick with the sport no matter what and continue playing.
‘Don’t give up,? she said. ‘You learn to cooperate with other people in the long run. For me, it’s been a good experience.?
Her teammates are there for her on the field and in life because of the friendship the girls have formed over the years.

Senior Adam Zak led his team towards their first two wins before heading into the week off for Spring Break.
He credits the win to advice his coaches gave during the games.
‘Our coaches helped us out a lot,? he said. ‘They gave us a lot of good pointers and really helped me out with the way I have been playing. I think it helped out the entire team.?
The pointers he received will help as the boys get deeper into the season. The team hopes to get further in playoffs than they did last season when it ended at regionals and they will use the pointers for the goal.
Zak joined the varsity lacrosse team at the end of his sophomore year during the playoffs.
‘He came alive as junior,? said Coach Brian Kaminskas. ‘He earned and kept the spot as a senior. He is a anchor on our offense and can really lead offense. He is focused and prepared.?
He began playing in seventh grade with friend, Kevin Giaier.
‘I had played hockey for a little while before that and thought it would be fun,? said Zak. ‘We decided to start playing.?
Playing hockey helped to play lacrosse on the grassy field, both have the same concepts and both concentrate on hand-eye coordination.
‘It’s a good honor to be Athlete of the Week,? he said. ‘I have never been one before so I am pretty excited.?
For Wolf Cubs looking to be on the varsity team in the future Zak offers the advice to keep working and listening to what the coaches are saying.
‘The things that they teach us here are skills we can use against any team,? he said.
Zak is hoping to play lacrosse at Grand Valley State University after he graduates.
He has a GPA of 3.4 and is taking an AP Calculus class to help him in his future studies. He hasn’t decided what he will focus his studies on in college but is looking for something with math in it.

Kristian Johnson, senior at Clarkston High, set his personal best as he became champion at the Michigan High School Powerlifting Association state meet on March 21.
After three events in squat, bench press and deadlift in his 194 weight class, he lifted a total of 1280 pounds.
‘He improved his total by 80 pounds, which was significant,? said Coach Chad Looper.
Johnson led the boys varsity team to second place against 48 teams from all-over the state. Lake Orion took first place with 59 points as the Wolves scored 54 points.
‘It was a good win for us. The team did a great job,? said Looper. ‘They came prepared and did their personal best. Lake Orion brought extra guys, but our team battled to the end.?
Senior Evan Lessenthien took second place in the 114-weight class, lifting a total of 650 pounds for the meet.
‘Evan had a chance to win,? said Looper.
Also placing in the top ten were:
Mike Clark 181-weight class and John Schumacher 275-weight class finished in fourth;
Both Aaron Elson and Mike Nacy placed in the 132-weight class. Elson finished in sixth with 845 pounds lifted and Nacy had 825 for his seventh place finish;
Jordan Betts placed in seventh in his 145-weight class;
Dan Davis (207) finished in tenth place and in the super heavy weight division, Eric Matthews placed in sixth.
Kortni Chrisman took fourth place in the women’s division and lifted 610 pounds.
The Wolves qualified during the regional meet. They had to reach the pounds set or finish in the top three to go on to states.
Clarkston took second place last year and will have seven lifters returning for next year – including two finishers who came close to the top ten, Jack Durkan and JV team member Nick McInallay.

As Clarkston traveled down its path to the state semifinals, three players stood out and led the team – Brandon Pokley, Matt Kamieniecki, and Tom Staton.
Senior Pokley, not only was called one of the best shooters in the area but proved it during each game.
Once he was passed the ball, he positioned himself outside of the 3-point line. He cradled the basketball before making letting go to and sending the ball into a perfect arc and through the rim.
Pokley received a Special Mention for the Class A boys All-State team.
Junior Kamieniecki received an Honorable Mention.
Kamieniecki positioned himself during games to catch rebounds and blocked offense from scoring a basket.
The 6?7? starter made his own baskets look easy as he lifted his hands up and sunk the ball numerous times in games.
Staton added more versatile to the starting lineup with his own skills.
He was quick on his feet and kept a close eye on his opponent before he stole the ball away for Clarkston to take control.
The quickness helped when he moved through defense to score his own points during the season.

Starters Brandon Verlinden and Matt Kamieniecki anxiously awaited with smiles and high fives as their teammates received their Regional medals.
The boys had just finished a close game against rivals Pontiac Northern. As any other game against the Huskies it was nail-biting, heart-racing, at the edge of the seat action – not only for the fans, but for the players as well.
This game was different than the previous two games of the season against the boys in red, it was the MHSAA Class A Regional Finals and the last time the Wolves would face Northern again, as Northern and Pontiac Central merge into one school next fall.
During the season the Wolves won 23 games and lost only one during a double overtime against West Bloomfield on March 3.
Despite the wins, the boys spent the last month of the regular season in a slump.
‘We had been struggling, but I think all of that keeps our kids where they should be,? said Coach Dan Fife.
For Senior Tom Staton the last few games, ending in overtime periods, helped to prepare for the battle in the regional finals.
‘You have to play close games so you can be ready for these kind of situations,? he said.
The Wolves finished first in the OAA Red with a league record, 13-1.
The boys defeated Waterford Kettering and Lake Orion to take home their 16th consecutive District title. The wins over Flint Southwestern and Pontiac Northern led to their seventh consecutive Regional title.
The Wolves are seniors, Jonathan Baenziger, Jared Lawrence, Shane Kouri, Brandon Pokley, Luke Prudhomme, Tommy Ronk, Staton, Verlinden; juniors, Jordan Clark, Tyler Scarlett, Kamieniecki; sophomore, Max Collins; freshmen, Matt Dellinger and Nick Tatu.

Sophomore Nick Cooper had spent all summer and up to six days a week perfecting his bowling technique and working to get better.
His work paid off at the Boys Bowling Singles State Finals in Muskegon on March 7 as he took on the top bowlers in the state and finished in first place.
‘It was a great feeling,? said Cooper. ‘I was expecting to do well, but not to win. I was hoping to win.?
For parents, Tami and Larry, it was exciting to see their son become the state champion.
‘It was unbelievable for his dad and I,? said Tami. ‘The focus on his face I have never seen before. I was so proud. He is very modest and humble by it.?
Nick went into the tournament 14th seeded and defeated three opponents before going into the finals against John DiLaura from Warren DeLaSalle.
He won 226-213 and 215-193.
Nick joined the varsity team last season.
‘He struggled during the second half of the season and didn’t get a lot of playing time,? said Coach Bill George on his progression to champion. ‘His love of the game and his desire to do whatever it take to improve are rare.?
Nick has been bowling for almost six years. He began playing because his dad was a bowler and he enjoyed the sport. He participated in youth leagues.
While he is on break from the high school winter season he will continue honing his skill in bowling leagues. He is also working with the JV team to get them ready for varsity next year.
‘Nick is the most talented bowler on the team and should keep improving throughout his bowling career,? said George.
Nick was nominated for Athlete of the Week by Jamie Lavely, mother of Stephanie on the varsity girls team, from watching him play.
‘I am truly amazed at the way he had won the matches,? said Jamie. ‘Every game Nick played was near perfect.?
‘Thanks to my coach and teammates for helping me to get this far,? Nick said.

Clarkston resident Justin Semmes signed his name to the sheets in front of him on Feb. 4, finalizing his choice for college in the fall.
After looking at Iowa and Michigan and receiving an offer from Westpointe University, he chose Miami University in Ohio.
‘When I went on my official visit they made me feel at home,? explained Semmes. ‘I liked the way they were going to run their program.?
Semmes began playing football for the Clarkston Chiefs when he was in fourth grade.
‘My brother (Jason) played for them the year before, so I started playing it,? he said.
As a member of the Chiefs, he gained a lot of knowledge on how to play the game and gained a lot of experience during his three years with the organization.
‘His coach Dennis Nault gave him his first opportunity to carry the ball,? said mom, Merleen Jones Semmes.
While he attended Clarkston Middle School in eighth grade, he was coached by Steve Himberg and played as a fullback.
He continued playing the position when he enrolled at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and began playing for the Catholic Central League. During his junior year, he scored five touchdowns during the state playoff game. The Eaglets lost the game in five overtimes. In that year he rushed 900 yards, scored ten touchdowns, and had 163 rushing attempts.
He played other sports, but just for fun.
‘I stayed with football because I knew I would have an opportunity to get a scholarship to continue playing,? he said.
Merleen and his dad James, credit Justin’s football success to Clarkston.
‘If it had not been for the Clarkston program and the fine coaches from this community, it would not have happened,? said Merleen.
He will be coached by Mike Haywood at Miami University.
Justin plans to study finance and go into business after graduating.

Senior Connor Daugherty had a choice to make before the basketball season began, she could have surgery on both of her ankles and spend the season recovering, or wait until the season was over.
She chose to wait and the choice paid off.
Daugherty was able to pass on the Clarkston basketball tradition she learned through the years to the new players.
‘She has done a lot of little things for us,? said Girls Basketball Coach Tim Wasilk. ‘She has been a really good leader and a really great captain. She is the calming influence on the team.?
Her performance on the court and with her teammates led to her nomination for Athlete of the Week.
‘She has done a great job for us,? said Wasilk. ‘We ask her to defend, rebound, set screen, and get loose balls – and she does. She has played through the pain and shown her character. I am proud she made it through the season.?
For Daugherty it was an honor to be recognized for her hard work.
During the years she has picked up on tricks to help future Lady Cagers.
‘Keep your head in it. Listen to the coach,? she advised.
‘Also, have an open mind when it comes to communicating with others.?
Daugherty began playing basketball when she was in third grade. Her parents Theresa and Steven both played and coached her and older sister, Taylor, until they were in middle school.
Connor currently has a GPA of 3.61.
She is planning to study medicine in the fall at Alma College.
She has not decided if she will play for Alma. It will depend on how her ankles heal and if she is physically up for it.
When she isn’t practicing or working, she is helping her younger brother and sister with their homework.
She also keeps the family basketball tradition alive by showing her sister defense and hustling on the court.

Kenny Stelpflug was inspired as he watched swimming records being broken at the MHSAA state finals last March.
When the winter season ended for the boys swim team, Stelpflug set his goals high and went to work in the pool to conquer.
The sophomore will return to the state finals again this year after qualifying earlier in the season in the 200 freestyle (with the time 1:48.6) and 500 freestyle (with the time 4:55.56) events.
‘He will place at states,? said Coach Kenwyn Chock. ‘He is talented, but not only is he talented but he is a hard worker. In the past I have had talented swimmers, but they wouldn’t put in the time. He absolutely works hard at this sport. That’s why I am excited for him, too. Because of all the hard work he has put into it.?
His goal is to place in the top eight at finals.
‘Top six would be great,? he admitted. ‘But I am going for eight.?
Stelpflug began swimming five years ago because of his sister.
‘She came home and said ‘I am better than you in something.? I started the next day in Sea Wolves,? he said.
He spends at least five hours a day practicing in each event, but focuses on the 200 and 500 freestyle. He plans to go under 1:40 in the 200 freestyle by the time he is a senior.
‘I have high goals, but I know I can do it.?
He focuses the rest of his attention on his studies and maintains a 3.7 GPA and is a Boy Scout and has recently finished his project and application to be an Eagle Scout.
Next for Stelpflug and his teammates is the OAA league meet this week at Lake Orion High School. He will swim in all of the events but will focus on helping his relay teams in 200 medley and 400 freestyle to make the cut for states.
His advice for aspiring swimmers is to swim during the summer and not just during the season. He adds a bonus is being part of a great team.
‘You couldn’t ask for a better group of people. They are so much fun,? he said.

During the last few weeks, Cole Schaffer has helped the Wolves hockey team with three goals and two assists.
Besides helping his teammates, he lends a hand in the community.
He has worked with his church group in building a house and lending a hand to Lighthouse Emergency Services and Clarkston’s ‘Tree of Dreams? for Toys for Tots. He has provided his time to Spring Hill to work in the inner city and is currently helping with his church youth group.
‘I was active with my church,? said Schaffer on how he started his community work. He explained some of the projects were part of National Honor Society for school.
‘It keeps me active,? he said.
The senior is currently keeping busy finishing his last few weeks of the regular hockey season.
His goal for the season is to get to the semi-finals.
‘If not farther,? he added.
Schaffer is driven to hockey because he likes that it is a fast-paced sport.
‘You have to act quick on your feet,? he explained. ‘It brings you up when you are feeling down and it is fun to watch and funner to play.?
Schaffer has played for the varsity team for three years. Before that he played on travel teams with Flint Ice Mountain and Lakeland.
Schaffer scored the lone goal against Rochester. He scored a goal and had an assist against Farmington, and scored a goal against West Bloomfield.
He has been attending OSM Tech for three years and is in AP classes in Calculus BC and Biology.
He balances his studies and playing hockey while maintaining a GPA of 3.85.
He is currently focused on colleges and looking at four, University of Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College, and the University of Pennsylvania.
He would like to continue playing hockey in college and has on his mind Michigan’s varsity team. If not, he will play on a club team.
‘I will continue playing as long as I can,? he said.

Clarkston graduate Robbie Clark is finishing his last season on the Albion College Men’s Basketball team with an impact.
He scored a career high of 17 points against rival, Adrian College to help the team win, 84-70. He led during the first half putting 12 points on the board.
‘It was nice to beat them,? said Clark. ‘It felt pretty good. One of best players was down and I stepped up.?
For Head Coach Jody May it has been great to see Clark play because he has not been able to play in the past seasons because of injuries.
‘His last three games he has put in his best performances,? said May. ‘Our team needed a boost and he has been a big part of our success.?
He has played in every game since the beginning of the season, and added ten points and two steals in last Saturday’s victory over Olivet College, 82-66.
Albion has a record of 12-8 overall. The Britons are in third place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 7-3 record in their league. Four games remain until the first round of MIAA tournaments.
‘I hope to finish the season pretty strong,? said Clark. He will be going to law school at Wayne State University next year.

The boys freshman team walked onto the basketball court after their half-time break refreshed and ready to break the tied score with West Bloomfield.
Tanner Schulte and CJ Gozdor brought the Wolves into the lead adding a basket each.
The Lakers added a 3-pointer to close the score. Nicholas Dahl answered with his own 3-pointer to keep the boys in charge of the board.
The Wolves? defense blocked shots and turned the ball over to control most of the action. They ended the game with a win, 58-48.
It was the sixth consecutive win for the boys as they improved their record, 7-3, with one of their losses was because they had to forfeit the game when the bus didn’t show.
Mike Schwartz was the high scorer for the game with 19 points, followed by Schulte with 18.
Earlier in the week, the boys beat Flint Northern, 70-44.
‘We are really starting to come together as a team,? said Coach Justin Pintar. ‘They are a great group of kids to work with. They play hard all the time and their effort is phenomenal. I enjoy coaching them because they are such a hard working group.?
During the last year’s summer camps, the freshman class proved to coaches they had the talent and would put in the hard work to make themselves a strong asset for the Clarkston program.
‘There is no question there is a lot of talent in this class,? said Pintar. ‘Six freshmen are playing JV and two are playing varsity. Most teams that lost eight kids are going to struggle, but we are still managing to put together a pretty good season.?
Their next home game will be on Friday against North Farmington beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Clarkston Junior High.
They played Pontiac Northern on Tuesday and will finish the season March 5.
The freshman team is Alexander Barta, Nicholas Dahl, Jacob DePierre, Christopher Dickey, Connor Giroux, CJ Gozdor, Lucas Hershey, Andrew Heuerman, Jacob Forsten, Jaren Jones, Spenser Pawlik, Mackenzie Pearce, Tanner Schulte, Michael Schwartz, and Marquis Tynan.

Smiles on their faces and hard-working spirits have led the Liberty Cheer teams, from Stars and Stripes Kids Activity Center, to first places.
The Sparkler and Firestorm teams most recent win for their divisions was at the Xtreme Spirit Northern National Championship Dance and Cheer Competitions in Battle Creek on January 10.
‘They had a great time in Battle Creek,? said Nancy Walters, Cheer Director and Firestorm Coach. ‘They did a great job. They are very excited (to win first place.)?
Walters and Sparkler Coach Becky Foster received many compliments from other coaches and spectators on how well the girls performed and how clean they performed their stunts.
Along with the appraising comments, the girls received a banner, a trophy and matching jackets for winning.
Walters prints off the scores and the judges? comments for the girls to see after every competition. The girls see how much they have improved over the season.
Walters said the girls were thrilled on hearing they would be Athletes of the Week.
‘They are very deserving of the honor,? said Walters. ‘It is nice to be recognized for their hard work. The nice thing about cheer is it’s a team sport. It takes everyone and everyone gives 100%. There are great lessons in cheer and they get that.?
The girls are only half way through the season and have already conquered goals they made as a team and some of their individual goals they set for themselves.
The teams head to the GLCC State Championship in Novi this Saturday. They will compete against 100 teams.
‘They are very excited and pumped for this weekend,? said Walters.
They will have a few weeks to prepare for the Jamfest Nationals in Chicago, Ill. on February 14 and 15 and then will get ready for the Jam Live at Cobo Hall. The season ends at the GLCC Motor City Showdown Grand Nationals in March.

Brandon Pokley’s interest in basketball started when he was five and watching his favorite players, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, on television.
The years have passed and Pokley now stands at 6?4? and has scored 131 points in the first six games of his senior season. His game high of 27 points came during the boys home game against Pontiac Central.
‘He has really made himself an outstanding player,? said long-time Clarkston Coach Dan Fife.
‘He is probably a better person than he is a basketball player. He is a great young man and a tremendous man to coach.?
Pokley’s goal for the season is the same at his teammates – to go undefeated for the season and make an appearance at the state final in March.
‘We have the people,? he said.
Pokley will continue to play ball in college, where he plays will depend on how the season goes and which college offers him a scholarship.
He currently has a 3.6 GPA and is studying AP Stats, Spanish, Forensics, along with a few history classes and required classes.
Pokley’s advice for future Varsity cagers is to work hard and set their mind to it.
‘Clarkston basketball is based on working hard. If you can do that, you can do anything.?

Grappler Alex Popp steps onto the mat, ready for his competition and ready for the six minute match ? that is, if he doesn’t take down his opponent in the first round.
During the weekend, he beat Brent Winecoff from Plymouth Canton to win the 145 weight class. Winecoff was ranked second in the state, with Popp ranked third.
Popp won the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the Detroit Catholic Central tournament.
‘I nominated him not only because of his exceptional performances as an athlete, but because he performs in a gentleman-like fashion,? said Clarkston Head Coach Joe DeGain.
‘It’s pretty cool,? said Popp on being Athlete of the Week. ‘I am having a good season, working hard and it has paid off.?
He has won 22 of his 24 matches. Each win has brought him closer to his biggest goal for his senior year ? to win the state finals in March.
‘He wins in the same manner he loses, and he puts his guts on the line for every wrestling match,? said DeGain. ‘He is a true total package athlete, between his hard work and character. He represents himself, his family’s name, the wrestling team, and Clarkston High School with class and integrity.?
Popp has been wrestling for the last 12 years. His parents, Jim and Janet, and family got him into the sport when he was 5.
‘My older brother wrestled and my dad was president at the time for Clarkston Wrestling Club,? he said.
Alex and his teammates now help the next set of wrestlers coming through Clarkston by coaching during some of the wrestling club’s practices.
‘Keep it up,? he advised young athletes. ‘It can be hard and it won’t always go your way, but keep at it and things will happen.?
Alex also played football and was the starting defensive back for the Wolves.
‘They compliment each other,? Alex said about the two sports. ‘Football toughens you up and with wrestling, you have to be tough.?

As a volleyball libero, Jenna Coates was on top of her game, helping her team become OAA League and District champs.
For her efforts she was named to Class A third team.
‘I feel really honored,? said Coates. ‘I feel good, all of the coaches put me in and saw my hard work on the court. It’s a team sport so for them to recognize me is great.?
Coates ended her second season on the varsity team setting a new school record with 1,165 digs and 83 aces.
Coates started her club season for her team, Legacy 17 National in November. She is getting ready for her first tournament next month.
It is her third year playing for the club and she enjoys being a part of it.
‘It is much more competitive and the pace is faster,? she said. ‘We go everywhere and get to see how different parts of the country play.?
The junior is already set for college and is verbally committed to play volleyball for Central Michigan University.
She is going to study sports management so she can stay in the athletic atmosphere.
Coates has thought about coaching after she is done with college.
‘It is more productive for the kids if the coach can do it and has real life experience,? she said.
She has experienced some coaching by helping young spikers during the summer volleyball clinics and has advice for future varsity players.
‘Keep working hard, keep learning,? Coates said. ‘The more you want to push yourself to learn, the better you will be. There is always room for improvement.?
Besides playing volleyball and studying to maintain her 3.4 GPA, she likes to hang out with her friends and has a goal to snowboard sometime this winter.
Her teammates Alexis Egler, Lauren Gardner, and Allison Reis received Honorable Mentions for the season.

Jordan Zendejas listened for his combined score for his six dives to be announced last Thursday at the Wolves first swim meet. It was announced ? 238.5. He had just broken the school record set at 220.35.
‘It felt pretty good because everyone has been waiting for me to break it since last year,? said Zendejas.
While this is only the beginning of the season for the junior, Zendejas and Diving Coach Daniel McGinty know he will break the record a few more times.
‘I felt like I didn’t do as good as I could have,? said Zendejas. ‘I am supposed to do 250 and I missed it by 15 points.?
‘Jordan has a ton of potential and talent,? said McGinty. ‘He did really well and he is starting to show a lot of what his ability is.?
Last year, Zendejas broke the record for 11 dives during the OAA league meet held at Clarkston.
Zendejas has set his goal to make it to the Olympic trials in the next four years and be able to compete.
‘That would be amazing,? he said. ‘I feel like I need a lot more practice, but in the end I think I can make it.?
For right now he is concentrating to be one of the top divers in the state and to set new diving records at other schools.
He has found his earlier training in gymnastics has helped with his diving.
His parents, Kelly and Marco, enrolled Jordan in gymnastics when he was four.
‘I kept falling off of my bike. My parents thought I should be better balanced,? he said. ‘I liked it and I was good so I kept doing it for seven years.?
His dad got him started in diving because he thought it would be a good idea to get Jordan diving for high school.
‘It is different from gymnastics, but in the end it helps. It has helped me with my positions and my spins,? Jordan said.
Jordan is taking psychology and law classes with his required courses and has a 3.0 GPA. He plans to dive in college and dive professionally after that.

Junior Julia Vela finished in 14th place during her third visit to the MHSAA State Finals on Nov. 22.
‘It was my first time placing individually,? said Vela on her swim in the 100 yard butterfly event. ‘I didn’t do as well as I had wanted to.?
She set a new school record in the butterfly during the state preliminaries when she swam 1:00.06 to qualify to go into the final round.
‘I felt really good,? she said. ‘It was my first individual record.?
Placing was one of the reasons why Girls Swim Coach Kenwyn Chock nominated her for Athlete of the Week.
‘She has great swimming genes,? said Chock. ‘The whole family is goal-orientated and disciplined.?
‘It is my first time as Athlete of the Week,? said Vela. ‘I am excited.?
Reaching the state finals was one of the goals she set for herself when the fall season began. Her other goal was to break a minute in the butterfly.
She won Most Improved Swimmer for the season at the Dec. 2 banquet awards.
Vela began swimming because she had watched her sister, Alyssa, at her swim meets and wanted to try it.
Julia joined the Seawolves program when her family moved to Clarkston. Last year Julia was part of the two relay teams that placed in the finals ? sixth in 200 yard medley and 12th in 400 yard freestyle.
Julia has a 3.5 GPA and is taking two AP classes in English and History. Her course schedule also includes drawing, economics and Spanish 3.
She advice for aspiring swimmers is to stick with it.
‘Sometimes it gets really hard – work through it,? Julia said. ‘In the end all of the hard work pays off.?
During the off season she continue training with her goal to beat a minute in butterfly still on her mind and a new goal ? to break the school record in the 200 yard IM. She plans to break 2:15.38 ? the record set in 2005 by Kandice Keen.
‘I am really looking forward to her swimming in her senior year,? said Chock.
Julia plans to continue her swim career in college while she studies pre-law.

Luke Prudhomme was versatile on both sides of the football as well as off of the field and was awarded Scholar Athlete for his work.
‘It’s a great accomplishment for myself because it shows I have been able to balance my sports and my academics,? said Prudhomme.
His parents would tell him school come first and sports come second. They would make sure when he got home from practice he would get his homework done.
Prudhomme current grade point average is 3.96 and is taking two AP classes in Biology and Calculus BC along with his required classes in history and the language arts.
He also plays baseball and is getting ready for the basketball team’s first game next Wednesday.
‘He is what a student athlete is about,? said Wolves Head Basketball Coach Dan Fife. ‘He’s just as good a kid off the field as he is on the field. He’s well-rounded and comes from a great family. He will give it his best whether he is on the court for 30 seconds or 32 minutes.?
His goal for the season is to get back to quarter finals and advance to the championship game.
‘Other than that to take one game at a time and take everything slowly,? said Prudhomme. ‘We have to get better every single day and come in with the mentality we have to dominate every single game.?
Beginning this Saturday he will be coaching boys on how to hone their basketball skills and help them get better at the game during the 27th McGrath Basketball League.
His advice for aspiring athletes is to pay attention in class and know what is going on.
‘Make sure you do all of your homework,? he added.

Alicia Curry and Andrea Dean took to the field during the Lion’s game on Sunday.
They were representing Clarkston in the state finals of the annual Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick Competition.
Curry competed in the 10-11 age group and was the State Champ. Dean took fourth place in her 12-13 age group.
Curry had participated in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition a few years ago and made it to the state finals.
When the two friends found out it was coming they decided they would do it.
‘We thought it would be fun for both of us to give it a try,? said Curry.
The girls started practicing everywhere they could.
‘It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it,? said Curry.
The two won the local competition in Clarkston last September. Then, they continued on to the sectional competition in Troy.
They took first place in Troy. They found out they qualified for the finals after their scores were compared to the top finishers from other sectional competitions around the state.
Both had finished in the top five for their age groups. The girls jumped up and down with excitement when they heard the news.
Curry was ready, going into the finals.
‘I’m feeling pretty confident. I’m not nervous,? she said. ‘We are great individually, but better together.?
The Sashabaw Middle School students met while they were playing soccer and became friends..
They just recently finished their fall soccer season on the Clarkston Shadows ?96 team.
‘Andrea and Alicia are exceptional athletes and great kids,? said mom, Anne Curry.
‘We thought it was really amazing to have two girls from Clarkston who happen to play for the same soccer team and be good friends both make the state finals.
Only 20 girls in all age groups made it to finals.

Kickers from Shadows ?92 team had set a goal to play well and win their league during the fall season.
The girls succeeded and took first place in the Michigan Youth Soccer League in the U17 Girls division with an undefeated record, 10-0.
‘We didn’t anticipate going undefeated,? said Coach Adam Heinemann. ‘I think that’s a testament to all the hard work and showing up and playing. We did it in style.?
Another accomplishment for the team was scoring 38 goals while only giving up five.
The team began started the season with a tournament.
‘It was a rocky start of the season,? said Heinemann.
The girls lost the tournament but were ready to work past it and towards the future and reaching their goals.
They also planned to beat the teams they had lost in earlier seasons.
‘The girls had other commitments and when they came to soccer – it was soccer time,? said Heinemann.
A majority of the girls have been together since they were young.
The team has faced one of its biggest challenges over the last couple years. They lost some players to volleyball when the Athletic Equinox switched the sport to the fall season.
‘We had to retool a little,? said Heinemann.
They added few new faces throughout the last few years.
‘The personalities meshed well and it adds to the play when they were a cohesive unit,? said Heinemann.
Most of the girls are from Clarkston, but a few come from Lake Orion, Waterford and Holly.
‘Our team bonded well. We came from six different area schools. Every member gave 110% every game and every practice,? said Jackie Gipe.
‘Much thanks goes to a fantastic coach and the wonderful, supportive parents this team has,? said Manager Pam Zawadzki.
The girls finished their season on Oct. 26 and scored their sixth shut-out for the season.

Alexis Haselwanter was top seeded going into the Oktoberfest Championship at Bloomfield Tennis Club in the Boys 10 and under level. He was ready for anything but more ready to win his first tournament.
He had to win four matches during the weekend tournament to become the champion. On the final day, Haselwanter took on Birmingham’s Zaven Dadian. He won, scoring 6-3, 6-3.
‘I felt great,? he said. ‘I was thinking I had a good chance of winning.?
‘It was outstanding,? said Eric Bracciano, his coach of two years. ‘He looked really confident. It’s not easy to win. It was a pleasure to be there and see his face when he won.?
Haselwanter started competing in tournaments last year and began playing tennis when he was 5 years old.
His parents, Connie and Eugen Haselwanter, didn’t play tennis, but Alexis had a lot of energy and they wanted to direct the energy into something constructive. They felt out what sports he was interested in and asked Alexis if he would be interested in playing tennis.
‘He ended up showing skills early,? said Connie. ‘He loves it. He has fun with it and enjoys the competition.?
Alexis made it to finals a few times in the last six months before finally winning his first tournament.
‘He was chomping at the bit to get that win,? said Connie. ‘He has been working for it and we were ecstatic for him.?
Alexis practices 2-3 times a week at Deer Lake Athletic Club where he is known as ‘Mr. 256.? The nickname came from him hitting the ball back and forth with his coach for a non-stop 256 times.
‘He has come a long way and has worked hard on his own,? said Bracciano. ‘He’s a very nice kid and coachable ? you don’t always see that. I would tell him something and go out on the court and would o it. He listens and does the work.?
Alexis is ranked seventh in Southeast Michigan in the Boys 10 and under age group.
Alexis doesn’t limit himself to playing tennis. He also plays basketball and soccer. During the winter, he can be found skiing on the slopes.
The fifth grader from Independence Elementary also plays the piano and is on the robotics team. Right now his favorite subject is math.

Senior Lauren Gardner was caught off-guard when she heard she was nominated for Athlete of the Week by her varsity volleyball coach, Kelly Avenall.
‘I am actually really proud someone would think of me as that,? said Gardner. ‘Obviously there are a lot of great athletes around Clarkston so it’s a big honor for me.?
The outside hitter has been a starter on the varsity team for three years.
As one of the captains, she kept team morale up when a match wasn’t going the way they thought it would.
‘I call her our glue,? said Avenall. ‘If we have adversity or a bad match, she’s good at getting the team together and talking to them, saying ‘we’re doing alright. We’re not done. We can pull together.??
Volleyball is a family tradition for Gardner ? her mom, Robin is a coach and her sister, Colby is a player and is the JV team’s coach.
Lauren began playing volleyball in fourth grade on a recreation team. She played other sports but eventually quit so she could be more involved in volleyball.
‘She’s a real smart player,? said Avenall. ‘She’s a passionate player. She loves the game.?
Lauren is considering different colleges to attend next fall and deciding which college will fulfill her needs as a student and an athlete.
‘I am looking for the best overall package,? said Lauren.
As she finishes her last high school season, she offers advice for future players to not let any outside influences take them away from playing.
‘Don’t let anything take your love of the game away,? she said. ‘At the end of the day, you play for yourself.?
She began playing the guitar last year and enjoys hanging out with her family.
‘I am really going to miss her. Every day at practice, she’s energetic, she runs the hardest. She’s an all out player,? said Avenall. ‘She has been such a joy to coach.?

Clarkston Junior High School student Drew Canada was already interested in hockey when he joined the Wheelchair Hockey League two years ago.
His love for hockey and keeping a keen eye on the puck helped his team, Wolf Pack, win the Wheelers Cup Championship.
‘It was so exciting for him,? said mom, Penny. ‘It was great timing for early in his career. He has big aspirations to play for the Michigan Mustangs. I am so happy to have him have that experience.?
‘He was an instrumental part on us winning the championship this year,? said Chris Lemieux, WCHL Commissioner and Drew’s Assistant Captain. ‘He is great on positioning. He knows where he needs to be.?
Drew began by learning how to play defense and the game before being taught the forward position.
‘Drew is a smart player,? said Lemieux. ‘The thing about Drew ? he picks up quick. He goes right after the ball and he is playing against older and bigger players. His attitude is phenomenal.?
He loves sports, especially hockey.
‘He is a die-hard fan of the Wings,? said Penny.
Drew has gone to a Wings game and has watched them practice. During the practice his favorite player, Kris Draper knocked on the Plexiglas while skating by.
Drew also enjoys watching basketball and football and goes to Clarkston’s home games to see his brother, Chris, play.
Drew began his third year of hockey in September as a player for the Hornets. He has already scored two goals in previous games and one assist.
His next game is Saturday at Ward Church in Northville Township as the Hornets play Wolf Pack.
Drew plans to have fun playing in the next game and said he would do whatever he can to help his team do well.

Chad Cummings picked up speed on his Jet Ski and circled around a few times to create the perfect waves.
The Clarkston resident came back around and hit one of the waves just right to perform a barrel roll nose stab.
The late arrival of fall in early October provided Cummings the perfect weather to continue practicing his Jet Ski tricks for the upcoming International Jet Sports Boating Association World Final.
He traveled to Lake Havasu, Ariz., early for the competition to practice on the new Jet Ski his sponsors provided for him.
Cummings finished sixth in amateur freestyle after competing against champions from different countries, during the finals, Oct. 10-12.
He qualified for the world finals after winning the National Freestyle Jet Ski competition in Tennessee during Labor Day weekend.
‘I was pretty excited,? said Cummings. ‘I had a clean run. I had two minutes to do as many tricks as possible.?
During the time, he completed 14 different tricks while five judges watched to see how he filled his time and how well he executed his tricks.
Cummings began riding seven years ago when he was 14. He has participated in shows for the last couple of years, including Detroit River Days.
He said he decided to start competing this year because he was confident enough to do it.
‘I always wanted to do it since I got a Jet Ski,? said Cummings.
He participated in smaller competitions and took first place before heading off to nationals and the world finals.
Cummings will travel during the winter months to warmer climates to continue riding his Jet Ski.
Riders use stand-up personal watercrafts and perform different tricks. The riders are judged on the quality and skill shown in the routines.

Junior Darci Molina and her horse, Rebel, faced a problem during the Michigan Interscholastic Horsemanship Association State Finals.
The timers malfunctioned during both of their flag races. Molina had an option of taking first place because of the technical difficulty or riding one more time.
‘Let’s go for a third,? she said.
Molina and Rebel rode faster than their previous runs and took first place in both of their heats.
‘She had an outstanding meet,? said Equestrian Head Coach Don Miller. ‘She is an inspiration to everyone.?
Before going to the state finals, she was excited to go for her second time.
‘The first time I kind of had high hopes,? said Molina. ‘This time I know to have fun and make the best of it.?
Molina was nominated by her coach for her performance during the season.
‘I was really excited. Normally equestrian team people don’t get nominated for anything athletic because it gets overlooked,? she said.
For anyone thinking about riding she encourages them to try it but also said it is very time consuming.
‘It’s not something you can pick up and put down. The horses have needs and you’ve got to keep them in shape, and they have personalities.?
Molina has been riding for the last eight years when she and friend Kasey McKay signed up to take horseback lessons through the parks and recreation program.
‘I was little so I didn’t know what I was doing,? she remembered. ‘I was excited to be around the horses. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and that it was going to be this long term.?
She has been jumping for the Michigan Hunter Jumper Association for the past five years, which goes all year long with the exception of December, January and February.
She plans to continue riding after high school and is looking at colleges that have an equestrian team or a riding center.
Another criteria the college has to meet is having a program she can study to be a veterinarian or a vet technician.
‘We are really proud of her,? said her parents, Janet and Gary.

Freshman Natalie Smith began her cross country season with a bang, placing sixth in her first 5K race.
She ran a time of 19:31 at the team’s first OAA Jamboree in Bloomer Park, Sept. 9.
‘It was an extraordinary finish for a freshman,? said Girls Cross Country coach Mike Franko. ‘She had a solid run.?
Smith has found a lot of support from her teammates and her sister, Kristen.
‘My team is really helpful to me,? said Natalie. ‘My sister helps me a lot. She’s my hero.?
Smith began running in middle school as a way to keep in shape for soccer.
‘Kristen and I encouraged her very strongly since she was small. We felt she needed to have an edge over some of the bigger girls,? said mom, Linda.
On defense, she played against forwards standing at least a head taller than her.
‘After the sixth grade season was over, she told me she wasn’t going to run cross country again,? said Linda.

But Linda kept encouraging her to run to stay in shape for the next season of soccer. She ended up quitting soccer because she kept getting injured.
Success in seventh grade kept her running in cross country and track and field events. She placed 11th place in the Pumpkin Invitational and 16th place in the 7th/8th grade Oakland County Meet.
Last year, she beat her previous placement and took third in the Pumpkin Invitational and first in the 7th/8th Oakland County Meet.
Smith already has her sights on helping her team win a state championship within the next three years.
‘I just want to make sure my team wins.?
As for right now, Natalie and her teammates have set a goal to place first in their Regional Meet, Oct. 25, at Springfield Oaks.
‘We are all excited,? she said.
Natalie has plans to continue to run in college.
‘Running is my passion,? she said.
When Natalie isn’t running or studying, she hangs out with friends or reads.
‘I like to read,? she said.
She just finished the ‘Twilight? saga and is reading assigned books for her classes, as well as books that spark her interest.

Christine Seiple didn’t have to wait very long to qualify for her fourth trip to states.
She qualified to compete in three events during her first meet of the season against Grand Blanc on Sept. 2. Seiple qualified in three events; 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle and 200 yard medley relay with teammates Julia Vela, Amber Fullmer, and Molli Simpson.
‘It felt good,? Seiple said about qualifying.
During last week’s meet against Troy, she broke District 1 records in 50 yard freestyle (25.72) and100 yard backstroke (1:03.28).
This Saturday she will be swimming at the Oakland County meet at Lake Orion High School.
‘County is a pre-game. I can see how all the girls are swimming,? she said.
Coach Kenwyn Chock has watched Seiple grow in the last four years.
‘She’s a strong swimmer,? said Chock. ‘She cheers on the rest of her team.?
As a captain, she has been helping her teammates as they have helped her.
‘The girls on the team are a big inspiration in my swimming because they help me and they cheer me on,? Seiple said. ‘It’s really fun this year because we are really close.?
Christine began swimming at a young age with her dad, Sam.
‘They (dad and mom, Jolinda) always wanted me to swim,? she said.
It wasn’t until she was in fifth grade when she really got into swimming. Within the next few years she began competing and joined Clarkston’s Seawolves program.
Christine competes in the same events her dad did when he attended Florida State ? he swam in the 100 freestyle and swam in the 100 butterfly at the Olympic trials.
Christine said she doesn’t know if she will try for the Olympics like her dad, right now she looking for a college to attend where she can swim and study athletic training.
‘It’s a good goal, a high goal to have,? she said.
During the spring and summer she hits the green and plays golf. She played on the girls? varsity golf team for one year, but she stayed with swimming after the MHSAA changed the season for golf.
‘It’s hard work,? she said but advises aspiring athletes to keep working.
‘If you pass the hard work stage you will have so much fun.?

Senior Scott Messer focuses his attention as the soccer ball travels down the field into Clarkston’s territory.
His net provides the perfect view of the entire field. As goalkeeper and captain, he can see what opponents are doing and give his teammates some direction.
His quick saves and keen eye have led the team to five shutouts in the OAA Red, including two against Lake Orion.
Messer began playing soccer when he was in kindergarten. He wasn’t a goalie until a twist of fate in eighth grade.
‘Basically it was at last resort,? said Messer. ‘During a game, we didn’t have a goalie and our coach put me in. It worked out.?
The momentum from there only continued to grow, in his sophomore year the Wolves made it to the district finals and last year to the state finals against East Kentwood.
Messer shares the same ultimate goal as his teammates ? to repeat a visit to state finals.
As of last Thursday night, Messer had saved 85 shots made against Clarkston.
‘He hasn’t let any goals in,? said Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Adam Bican. ‘Anytime you play against teams of cavalier like Lake Orion, shots are hard to come by. The thing is he stays focused. He supports the team in a positive manner. It’s very easy to have an ego when you are that good and he doesn’t.?
Messer has been named the top goalie of Oakland County and in the league. He graced the cover of the September issue of ESPN’s Rise, a magazine about high school sports and athletes.
‘At first it was a shock,? he said. ‘It was a great honor. Not a lot of people get a chance to do something like that. It boosts my motivation and makes me work harder.?
He has verbally committed himself to be a Grizzly for Oakland University next fall.
His advice to younger athletes is to set goals and work to accomplish them.
‘You aren’t given the talent. You have to work for it,? said Messer. ‘Most importantly, have fun with it.?
When he isn’t studying or playing soccer he is hanging out with his friends.
‘I think he is a very special player,? said Bican. ‘He is all about the team and not personal accolades. He is a captain and acts like one on and off the field. He wants everyone to be the best that they can. All and all he’s just a great kid.?

Hurricane Ike may have soaked Texas, but won’t dampen the spirits of three local gymnasts as they prepare to visit.
During the summer, Madelyn Bagley, Emma McLean, and Jacquelyn Yates qualified for the USA Gymnastics National TOP test set for October in Houston.
The gymnasts from Stars & Stripes Gymnastics Academy in Clarkston participated in the annual Talent Opportunity Program regional testing, with around 3,000 gymnasts from all over the United States.
Three-hundred participants ages 7-11 were invited to the national testing, Oct. 3-5.
Bagley, 10, McLean, 11, and Yates, 11, are considered to be three of the top 100 gymnasts in their age group, in the entire country.
They have been competing in gymnastics for a few years, but began their training six years ago when Stars & Stripes opened.
They train 20 hours a week during the school year and added additional training during summer to prepare for the regional test.
Now they are preparing themselves for the series of tests set for them at the National TOP test.
They will be evaluated on their physical abilities – cast handstands on the bars, leg lifts, flexibility, sprint, rope climb, vertical jump, handstand hold, and press handstands as well as basic gymnastic skills including vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
The test will be held at Bela Karoyli’s ranch, which is also the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center, in Houston, Texas.
USA Gymnastics, the national governing body of the sport of gymnastics in the United States, conducts the annual TOP tests to identify young gymnasts who have the ability to excel in the sport.
The highest ranking gymnasts are invited to participate in the National TOPs Training camp which takes place at the end of each year.

The boys from Impact ?97 White team kicked off their season by winning their age group at the Bloomfield Force FC Invitational soccer tournament over Labor Day weekend.
‘They were excellent,? said Coach Damian Huffer. ‘The way they played and their passing and movement. They are a talented little group, really talented. Clarkston has a lot of good athletes.?
The team began the tournament Friday with a tie against Waza, both teams made two goals on each other.
The boys continued the next morning and shut-out the host team, Bloomfield Force, 4-0.
The sun got hotter but the boys had other things on their mind, like defeating the Michigan Strikers in the next game.
Impact scored five goals against the Strikers. Only one shot from the Strikers made it pass defense and into the net.
They were awarded the championship after defeating the Clawson Strikers, 9-1.
During the game, the boys showed that they work together as a team as nine different players contributed to each goal made.
They finished the tournament 3-0-1. The Michigan Strikers finished in second place after receiving their only loss from Impact ?97. The team will begin league play in a few weeks in the Michigan Youth Soccer League Premier Division.
‘It was a great start of the season and everyday they are getting stronger,? said Huffer. ‘Our goal for the season is to go undefeated in our ten league games and in one more tournament.?
During the season the team will continue to work on their skills and develop their talent.
‘Clarkston High School has a core group coming through,? said Huffer. ‘Clarkston Soccer Select Club is one of the strongest soccer clubs in the area for youth 13 and under, and it keeps getting stronger.?
The boys have been together since they began at a U9 team a few years ago.
The team is also coached by Curtis Payment.

The Riverdawgs 12U baseball team had a lot of accomplishments over their summer season.
They ended their season by winning the 21st Annual Grand Blanc Baseball Tournament in July.
‘We went 5-0 against very good teams,? said Head Coach Rich Hynes.
The boys began the tournament against the Hawks from Howell. Eric Suran scored a home run, lending a hand to the victory, 9-8.
They continued on and defeated Linden Lightning (8-3) and Grand Ledge Gold (8-1).
They took on Davison in the semi-finals. A home run from Alex ‘A.J.? Johnson along with a three point lead kept the ‘Dawgs going into the championship round.
The ‘Dawgs took home top honors after defeating Grand Ledge Blue, 4-3.
‘It’s always good to have a successful outing at the end of the season,? said Hynes.
The boys? season ended with a 28-21 record and they took sixth place out of the 16 teams in their North Oakland Baseball Federation league.
‘We played a vigorous season and the best in the league,? said Hynes. ‘The boys had fun. It was a fun season.?
Another highlight to the team’s summer was going to Dreams Park in Cooperstown, New York.
‘Dawgs finished in Cooperstown with a record, 5-4. They placed 45th out of 98 teams from across the country.
‘That’s a good record for most games won by any Riverdawgs team,? said Hynes.
Brent Smiles hit five home runs at Cooperstown and Kyle Savoie and David Steward each added two home runs.
The ‘Dawgs began their season at the end of May with the Annual Clarkston Classic Tournament. They lost one game during the tournament and took runner-up position.
‘I am very happy with their progress during the season,? said Hynes.
Hynes said the boys have a goal to play high school baseball.
‘We are getting them ready,? said Hynes.

Lexi Baylis took the top spot in United States Tennis Association’s Supernational Hardcourt tournament in Georgia.
The three part tournament began in May. Baylis finished in the top three at USTA’s Southwest Michigan Girls 12s qualifier.
The top finishers continued on and competed in the Midwest Junior Closed tournament in Kalamazoo in June.
Baylis finished in the top six in the tournament with a record 7-1. The Midwest section endorsed eight players to compete in the girls 12 Supernational Hardcourt tournament in Alpharetta, Georgia.
‘I went in mentally prepared for the level of competiveness and play at that level,? she said.
She began the tournament in the main draw and lost to Jane Awad (6-3, 6-2).
In the West draw she split her two matches by beating McKenzie Barco (6-1, 6-0) and losing to Kyra Wojcik (7-5, 6-4).
The final draw of the tournament was the Southwest draw where she faced five opponents and beat all of them to take first place.
She defeated Jasmine Simon from Louisiana (6-3, 6-3) in round one.
Baylis went on to the quarterfinals and played three sets against Olivia Large from Virginia, losing the first set 3-6, but won the last two, both 6-3.
She continued strong, beating Katie Marvin from Maryland in the semi-finals (6-2, 6-4) and Megumi Chen from Virginia in the final (6-2, 6-0).
The tournament attracts the best 12 and under girls in the country and Baylis ended the tournament, 5-2.
‘Lexi had a strong performance at the tournament,? said mom, Liza
Lexi will be a seventh grader at Sashabaw Middle School next week.
She practices five to six days a week and up to two hours a day.

Jimmy Haven ended his summer season swinging.
One of Haven’s accomplishments was taking second for boys 10 and under, in the 34th Annual Oakland County Parks Junior Golf Tournament. Last year marked his first time playing in the tournament. He took second place last year as well.
‘I felt like I did the best that I could do,? said Haven.
Another accomplishment was placing in the tenth place for Player of the Year in his age group, boys 9-10, for the Meijer’s G.O.L.F tour.
‘I thought it was awesome,? said mom, Debbi.
He played seven tournaments during his first year on the Meijer’s tour and competed against 34 golfers in his group.
For his tournaments, he placed within the top ten and came close to first a few times. He took second place in event 5 at Timber Trace Golf Club with par 60.
In his season finale, he placed second at Event 22 at The Pohl Cat in Mount Pleasant on July 31. He scored a 56 par.
Jimmy began playing golf seven years ago.
His interest began when his dad, Willem, and Debbi bought him plastic golf clubs.
Tiger Woods is his favorite golfer, but he also enjoys watching a few others.
Charles Howell III, Tom Lehman, Billy Mayfair signed his baseball hat on the last day of this year’s Buick Open.
‘We have always taken him to the Buick Open since he was little. He always thought Tiger Woods was the only golfer,? said Debbi.
Jimmy doesn’t limit his athletic talents to just the golf course. He also plays football for the Clarkston Chiefs, basketball, and baseball.
The difference between the sports for him is while playing golf he has been able to meet players from different areas and played on courses he hasn’t played on before.
Jimmy begins his last year at Bailey Lake Elementary in a few short weeks. As for high school, he has already thought about it.
‘I would like to play some sport in high school,? he said and added he would like to play them all.

Michigan Stars members walked into the Assembly Hall at Indiana University carrying their team banner and the Michigan state flag at the opening ceremony at the USA Amateur Softball Association Girls? Class A 10-under Fastpitch National.
The Clarkston girls were the only team representing Michigan at the nationals in Bloomington, Indiana.
‘They represented the state very well. We competed very well,? said Coach Mark Pingston.
Thirty-five teams were at the tournament. The Stars competed against more experienced teams with records of 85-13 and 120-12.
Candace Kitchen and Madelyn Maday threw pitches clocked at 50-52 miles per hour.
‘Catching was outstanding and hitting we managed to score runs,? said Pingston.
The team lost four games at the tournament, but left ready to go return next year.
‘It made a big impression on them. They saw the top of the mountain. It isn’t out of reach for them. It’s right there,? said Pingston.
The players came home from the tournament and went right back to practicing.
‘The kids really raised the bar,? said Pingston about the entire season. ‘The coaches helped them, but they are the ones that set the level.?
The girls just finished their second year in travel. Some moved up to the Stars 12U team this season and some were picked up. They ended the season with an overall record 32-15.
‘The year started out with a bang, and got better and better. We peaked at state. That’s what we were shooting for,? said Pingston.
They competed against five teams at the state tournament and took second place, qualifying them for the nationals.
The team worked Fish Fry’s, sold flowers, hosted gold parties, had a car wash and held a bottle drive to raise money to go to nationals. The girls received donations of money and items like water and food gift certificates from families and local businesses to help support their trip to the tournament.
Pingston sends special thanks to the people that supported and helped the Michigan Stars through the season and helped families get down to Bloomington for the nationals.
‘We all want to go back and I think they can,? said Pingston. ‘They know what they need to do.?

The Clarkston Cubs ended their season with a treat from the Detroit Tigers and an improved record from last year.
The team was selected as the ‘Aquafina Detroit Tigers Team of the Day? on May 23.
The players and their families arrived at Comerica Park and watched the Tigers get ready for their game against the Minnesota Twins.
The boys stood at a railing and watched the players? batting practice and warm-up for the game.
Then, the Cubs took to the field for a tour and had their picture taken on the field.
‘The players were beyond excited to be on the field,? said Cubs? manager Scott Steward.
‘The Tigers didn’t win that day, but we had a good day.?
The Tigers lost 9-4 in their first game of the series against the Twins.
Steward nominated the team at the beginning of the year. The Cubs found out in February they had been chosen for the honor.
Most of the boys have played for the Cubs for the last two years. Two players joined the team this year.
They began their season in April with tournament games continued until the beginning of July.
The 11U travel team played 20 games against teams in their North Oakland Baseball Federation league, and came out with an 8-12 record.
‘After a slow start, we picked up,? said Steward. ‘In the last 18 games, they significantly improved.?
They improved upon last year’s record and will continue to improve next season.
They begin their training in January and will start the season in April with tournaments
They will be going into their third season next year and are hosting open tryouts for the 2009 season. The tryouts are Sunday, August 17 and Saturday, August 23 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Clintonwood Park. Players cannot turn 13 years old before May 1, 2009. For more information, please contact Stewart at

Tommy Ronk has spent his summer playing to the top of the Meijer’s G.O.L.F Adams golf tour, currently placed second for Player of the Year.
His most recent tournament was last week in Tullymore.
Ronk was one hole away from winning the two day tournament. On the last hole he hit a quadruple bogey on the last hole and ended the tournament tied for sixth place.
‘It was kind of a bad ending,? said Ronk. ‘But it’s alright. I tied. Everything else went alright.?
He had eight birdies during the tournament. The most birdies of the 77 players.
Ronk walked away knowing what he needed to work on for the future.
‘I just need to learn how to finish better,? he said.
‘I’m getting to point staying in the 70s, so I’m happy.?
He plays on three tours; Adams, Michigan Junior PGA, and Top 50.
‘He spends most of the rest of his days practicing golf, taking lessons with Marc White and taking care of his Grandma (Mary) Ronk,? said mom, Anne.
Anne said Tommy has been looking after his grandma since his grandpa, Frank ‘Tink? Ronk, passed away last year.
‘Golf has lifted her spirits,? said Tommy. He updates her on how he has been doing on the green.
Ronk has been playing golf since he was seven and started playing competitively when he was in eighth grade.
‘My dad (Alan VanLoon) works at a golf course and started the boys out golfing and has played endless rounds with them both. His Grandpa Ronk always encouraged him,? said Anne.
Tommy has received his professional help from his varsity coach Mark Wiegand, his swing coach White, and Ed Opie.
‘He has become an unlikely friend to Tommy,? said Anne. ‘He has made him many a club over the last few years but has also been a wonderful supporter.?
He looks up to his dad, Steve, and Tiger Woods as his role models.
He made second team for All County at the end of his spring season on Clarkston’s varsity team.
Tommy plans to continue playing golf in college and is looking at schools to attend. He has decided how he plays in college will determine if Tommy will continue to pursue the sport.
‘The PGA is tough to get into. I would love to pursue it,? said Tommy. ‘It’s a tough challenge, but I can do it.
The highlights of his summer tournaments are as follows:
In the four Michigan Junior PGA events he has played in he has finished in the top five for each tournament.
He finished first in the Fortress Adams tour event in Frankenmuth in the first weekend of July.
He also finished third with a par 76, in the Adams tournament at Boulder Pointe in Oxford in June.
He made the cut to play in the Michigan Junior Amateur at Plum Brook Golf Course in Sterling Heights shooting two over 74.
Ronk competes with 201 golfers in the 16-18 year old boys group on the Meijer’s G.O.L.F. tour has is in the second place position for having the most points.

Nathan Cowan took third place at the Oakland County Parks Annual Junior Golf Tournament at Springfield Oaks on June 19.
He was tied for third place with two other golfers from the boys 15-16 group.
The boys were taken back to the tenth hole were a shootout would determine a winner.
Cowan won the shootout on the first hole and ended the tournament with a par 85.
‘He was very excited,? said dad, John Cowan. ‘He felt good he dealt with the pressure.?
He followed the victory by working as a Standard Bearer at the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc.
From June 23-29, he followed a different group each day and carried a sign on a post that listed the players in the group, the players? current score in relation to par on both sides of the sign.
During the event he had the opportunity to meet Fredrick Jacobson.
He works at Warwick Hills during the summer as a caddy.
The two golf courses he normally practices at are Warwick Hills and his home golf course, Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club.
Nathan began playing golf when he was 7 years old.
John said he exposed Nathan and his older brother, Nicholas, to different sports as they were growing up.
‘It ended up golf was Nathan’s passion, like baseball was for his brother.?
Nathan took lessons at Treetops Resort in Gaylord while Nicholas, John, and his mom, April visited their cottage up north.
Four years ago, he began taking lessons under the wing of five time long drive champion Evan ‘Big Cat? Williams and Mulligan’s Golf Center in Auburn Hills.
Then, he started playing golf on the Meijers Junior Players Tour.
Nathan wrapped up his ninth grade year on Clarkston High School’s freshman team.
‘He is looking forward to play on the JV team next spring,? said John.
Nathan plans to continue playing golf in college.

Minjoo Lee had one goal going into the 30th Annual Girls Junior Amateur Tournament last month: she wanted to place in the top eight.
She did well ? Lee won the tournament.
She played 89 holes at the three-day tournament.
‘I thought, ‘just one more hole, I can do it,?? said Lee.
It was the motivation she needed as her final 35 holes would make her the winner.
She played 20 holes against Melissa Beurmann from Jackson Lumen Christi high school to go on to the championship match.
Lee won the first three holes against Elizabeth Ecker from Niles during the title match and won on the 15th hole.
She accepted her championship trophy on June 25 at Mount Pleasant Country Club.
Lee graduated last month from Clarkston High School, Summa Cum Laude with a GPA of 4.0.
She will attend Bucknell University in Pennsylvania in the fall.
Bucknell fulfilled all the requirements she was looking for in a college, including an engineering and golf programs.
‘I was looking for a school with academics first and golf second,? Lee said.
She sent out emails to possible schools, found Division 1 school Bucknell and met with head coach Kevin Jameson.
Lee will study mechanical engineering and has thought about going for her masters before finding a job.
She was named ‘outstanding female athlete? during the Senior Honors Assembly in May.
‘It was a shocker,? said Lee. ‘I don’t consider myself an athlete. I was really grateful to Larry Sherrill (girls varsity golf coach).?
Her aunt and uncle, Misook and Billy Dodds, got her started in the sport during her eighth-grade year.
Sherrill put her on the varsity team in her freshmen year.
‘He really stuck out his neck for me, putting me in the top,? said Lee.
She didn’t play very well at first, but the placement helped her improve, she said.
‘I played with the best girls in the country. It motivated me,? said Lee.

Right-fielder Katie Smith, who taught softball campers a few tricks of the trade at last week’s camp, finished her high-school career by being honored for her athletic endeavors.
She was named as an All-State Division 1 outfield player and All-League for the second season in a row.
Two more honors she received were All-Region and All-District, an honor she has received since she was a sophomore.
She was the team’s most valuable player for the season.
‘I was very excited all my hard work paid off,? said Smith. ‘It’s great to get recognized.?
She has been a starter on the varsity team for the last four years and captain for the last two.
‘She improved every year,? said Coach Don Peters. ‘Some players go on cruise control, she continued to improve.
Katie was always happy and had a smile on her face, and enjoyed the game. She had great feel for where ball was going and knew what she had to do with the ball.?
Smith had 60 hits and had hit .433 at the leadoff spot during her senior year.
She helped Clarkston become league champs by scoring a total of 49 runs, stole 17 bases, and had 23 RBIs.
‘I give a special thanks to Coach Peters for everything he has done and letting me become the player I have become. It has allowed me to get the awards I got,? said Katie.
‘Katie has done an amazing job under the direction of Coach Peters,? said mom, Kathy Smith. ‘Don’s commitment to the softball program reflects on how he helped Katie become the player she is today.?
Smith began playing softball when she was eight, her mom had played when she was in high school.
Katie played other sports but stayed with softball.
‘I liked it the best and stuck with it,? she said.
She has played for the Clarkston Riverdawgs, Oakland Sidewinders, and Michigan Stars.
Katie will continue her softball career at Saginaw Valley State University, a division two college, and play for Coach Everett Roper.
She will walk on the team for her first year.
She plans to be a teacher after college and is going to major in Secondary Education.
After college, she will play softball for fun.
Katie graduated Magna Cum Laude and received several academic scholarships from the PTA, Clarkston Area Optimist Club, Clarkston Women’s Club as well as the Cynthia K. Pidd Memorial Scholarship and Renee Przybylski secondary scholarship.
She received the Steve Howe Memorial Scholarship and Susan Stefanski Female Athlete Memorial Scholarship for her athletic endeavors.
She will be playing in the All-State All-Star game at Michigan State on July 19th at 2:30pm.

John Timm is ready to take on teams in this weekend’s Midwest regional meet in Illinois.
His team, Bloomfield Force Select Soccer U18, secured their place by capturing the Michigan State Cup last month.
They defeated the Michigan Wolves B team in Lansing, 2-0.
Both teams were unable to score by the end of the regulated game and played two overtime periods.
During the second overtime, the Force scored two goals to advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II meet in Rockford, Ill.
‘It’s very rewarding after all the hard work me and my teammates have done throughout the season,? said Timm.
The Force played two tournaments in November before their indoor season began in December.
Their outdoor season started in April.
He normally plays as a center defenseman.
Normally plays center defense. A position he fell into more or less.
Timm started playing soccer at 6-years-old. His parents signed him up for Kiddy Kickers at Independence Township Parks and Recreation.
‘I have been playing ever since,? said Timm.
He joined Clarkston Select Soccer Club when he was nine and played until he was 15.
After he finished playing on the JV team his freshman year, he wanted a more competitive level to play on.
He found the Force and has been playing on the team for the past three aspiring athletes. ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.?

Junior Dana Johns became a pole-vaulter for the girls varsity track team by a twist of fate.
Her best friend was going to do it freshman year, but choose not to. Johns, who was taught by her how to pole vault, stepped up and said she would do it.
‘I went for support and ended up doing it,? said Johns.
That led her to placing eighth place in her event with 10-feet and 6-inches in the state meet, May 31.
She came home as the first All-State pole-vaulter for Clarkston.
‘It’s been very exciting,? said Johns. ‘I’m very happy.?
‘She really did some impressive things in pole vaulting towards the end of the year,? said Clarkston girls varsity track coach John Yorke. ‘She worked really hard for three years.?
She was the regional champion last year. She took first place with nine feet ? four inches lower than her competition from Holly.
Prior to being a pole vaulter, she ran track.
She began running in seventh grade and got involved in track in middle school.
‘I like to run really fast. It’s fun,? said John. ? Pole vault is more fun.?
Her training includes drills, weight-lifting, and sprint workouts.
Johns does not see a lot of competition in her event at Oakland Athletic Association league meets, because the OAA doesn’t include the event.
She saw competitors in Oakland County and state meets. It gave her a chance to see what other pole vaulters are doing.
Johns advises aspiring athletes to never give up.
Her original pole vault coach moved and Johns wanted to give up because of it.
‘But I didn’t,? she said.
Her goal is to continue to pole vault in college as she studies to be an elementary teacher.

Determination and hustle are two words that come to mind for Angie Balis when describing her son, John Williams.
Williams received an All-Conference Award from the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association for his performance on the lacrosse field.
‘I felt honored,? said Williams on winning the award.
He just finished his junior year at Michigan State University where he was on the third team as defensive midfielder.
He has been playing lacrosse since his high school junior year. A friend was playing lacrosse and told Williams to try out. He did and made the team.
He had played basketball and golf for a while, but once he picked up the lacrosse stick he stuck with lacrosse.
He was voted the most improved player in his first year on the team. In his senior year he was the most valuable player.
‘It was exciting to watch him play at any sport on the college level. I am very proud of him,? said Baylis.
He had already planned to go to MSU and thought he would give lacrosse a shot on the collegiate level.
Williams and his team made it to the CCLA Playoff Championship on May 7. They were stopped by University of Michigan, 21-5.
‘Hard work and hustle can make up for talent and skill,? Williams advised young athletes going into sports.
Williams knows first hand that work and hustle can help a player. Most players of any sport have played it since they were young, Williams started late and had to hustle on the field and work harder to make up for the difference.
‘I’m really proud of how hard he works and his determination,? said Baylis.
Williams will start his senior year at MSU in the fall where he is studying business and pre-law. He plans to continue his education he graduates and go to a law school.
He graduated from Clarkston High School in 2005.

Brook Chadwell hasn’t let anything slow her down on the softball field.
‘She has done a lot of special things behind the scenes,? said Clarkston varsity softball coach Don Peters. ‘She had key hits against Lake Orion, Troy and in the St. Clair Tournament.?
When she was younger, she played softball on a Parks and Recreation team, but didn’t play again until her freshman year.
Chadwell tried out for softball because she wanted to do something fun. She made the JV team and was on the varsity team by the end of the season.
‘Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing,? said Chadwell. ‘I learned fast.?
When she stopped growing around eighth grade, she and her parents, Jaime and Kimberly Chadwell, noticed her hips weren’t formed right.
She had some pain and visited a specialist, and needed surgery on each hip. She had the surgery in a span of two years.
‘It was a pretty big surgery. I was out for 6-9 months for both of them,? said Chadwell.
‘They were fine. Then about a year later, they started hurting again, I went back. I had to have major hip surgeries. It took a long time to come back. They detached muscles and it took a long time for bones to heal.?
Her hips have been good so far this season, though she admits they’re always sore. She keeps her hips iced and takes Motrin or Tylenol to keep the pain down.
Chadwell also plays basketball. Between the two sports, softball is easier on her hips because it is a slower paced sport.
She maintains a grade point average of 3.4. While taking her required general education classes, she is concentrating on classes to prepare her for a college nursing program.
She plays as a left-fielder and once in a while at first base. Her goal is to continue playing softball in college.
‘Once you start, stick with it. Don’t take for granted being able to play,? Chadwell said. ‘Once you stop, it’s hard to get back up.?

Clarkston Cavaliers took time the past few weekends to win a tournament and help Special Olympics.
They took Lansing by storm April 27. They beat five teams and won first place at the Aim High Lansing Tournament.
They out shot Cereal City, 61-49; Michigan Magic, 60-37; Aztecs, 36-34; Triple Threat, 99-88; and Detroit Stars, 54-47.
‘They have been doing a great job,? said assistant coach, Jerry Tatu.
On May 3, the team gave back to the community and worked at the Special Olympics track and field competition at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights.
Head coach Tom Risi and Tatu wanted to get the team involved. Volunteering at the Special Olympics allowed the team an opportunity to meet new people and see how athletes at the Olympics were happy just to compete.
‘It was a great pleasure getting to know and work with the athletes,? said Tatu. ‘Anyone who gets the chance to attend the Special Olympics should take time to do so. It will change your life.?
The team is made of eighth-grade boys from Clarkston, Lake Orion and Holly. Most of the boys have been together the last four years when Risi and Tatu started the team.
Some teammates have joined through the years and some have left, but the dynamic of working hard and learning has stayed the same.
They play at a high level of competitive basketball in the Joe Dumas 9-10 grade league.
Risi and Tatu have taught the boys, not only how to play basketball but how to show good sportsmanship and teamwork on and off of the court.
‘A special thanks to Tom Risi,? said Tatu. ‘He has put his heart into it, teaching them basketball and turning them into young men.?

Carly Giroux? emotions were mixed with excitement and sadness when she found out she won the Stacy Giroux Memorial Award.
The award is given in memory of her aunt, Stacy Giroux. The Waterford Parks and Recreation Department presents the award to a sixth grader who displayed strong sportsmanship in her athletic endeavors.
The Sashabaw Middle School student was nominated by her Waterford Waves basketball coach.
The nomination went to a committee and out of all of the girls, Carly won and accepted the honor at the 25th Annual Saint Pats Classic in Waterford.
‘So many good girls could have won that,? said dad, Mark Giroux. ‘It is an outstanding honor to our family and Carly.
‘My sister would be extremely proud of her. She reminds me of my sister, athleticism and sportsmanship. Positive. Driven, but positive.?
Since she was 5, she has played in Clarkston’s Dare to Dream summer basketball camp and Horizon Hoops.
Being a part of Horizon Hoops motivated her to continue playing basketball.
Carly just ended her season for AAU travel basketball. She was on the 11U Waterford Waves team. During the weekend, the Waves took fourth place in division two during the AAU state championship.
‘Carly is a true, blue basketball player,? said Mark.
She continues to play basketball to fulfill her plan to be on the seventh grade basketball team.
Carly has set her dream and goal to play varsity basketball at Clarkston.
During the winter season, she would go to the varsity games to watch the Lady Wolves on the court.
Carly enjoys all of her classes, but likes math the most. She studies hard and is a straight-A student.
She enjoys hanging out with friends when she is not playing basketball or studying.
The award has been given out in memory of Carly’s aunt, Stacy, for the last 24 years. Stacy, who was active in basketball, softball, and volleyball, died in a car accident in 1983.
Carly honors her aunt on the court by sporting number 10 on her jersey. It was Stacy’s number.

Andrew Schram had a goal in mind when he went into Tuesday’s first home game against North Farmington.
‘I was thinking ‘we need a win,?? said Schram. ‘I went out and wanted to play really hard.?
Wolves lacrosse team won the game, 10-3.
Schram helped his team by scoring five goals and assisting on two more.
Schram is a sophomore at Clarkston High School and in his second year on the varsity team.
He used to play as a midfielder before going varsity. He moved into an attack position in his freshman year.
‘It’s like being a quarterback,? said Schram. ‘You control the field and set up the plays.?
Schram also plays football. He was on the junior varsity football team last fall.
Schram began both sports in third grade. He started lacrosse when his friend, Jon Avery, got him interested.
While playing both sports, he could use the moves and speed he learned in one sport for the other.
Schram enjoys playing lacrosse because it is a contact sport.
‘Not that many people play it, and more people are wanting to learn about it,? he said were other reasons he like the sport.
As lacrosse continues to grow, he encourages younger athletes to give it a try.
‘Just get a stick in your hands,? he said.
His advice for young lacrosse players is to watch college games and attend high school games.
Schram has watched college games to see what the players were doing. From watching, he learned offensive tips and different techniques to try on the field.
When Schram is not playing lacrosse, he is hanging out with his friends, riding dirt bikes, hunting or fishing.

Eighth grader Faith Lieder competed with wrestlers around the country, taking fifth place.
She participated in the United States Girls Wrestling Association’s National Girls Wrestling Tournament. The event took place March 29-30 in Livonia. At the tournament, Lieder joined girls ranging from 5-25 years old.
She ended the tournament with a 3-2 record, giving her the fifth place medal.
‘It was awesome. She was great,? said dad, Rick Lieder. ‘I am very proud of her.?
‘It felt really good,? said Faith. ‘I wrestled my best and I am satisfied with that.?
Faith began wrestling four years ago after her brother started wrestling. She would attend and watch some of the practices.
‘There were a couple girls in it and I thought maybe I could try it,? said Faith.
Since then, she has been part of the Clarkston Wrestling Club and Sashabaw Middle School’s team.
She wrestles for Team Michigan Elite Girls Wrestling and was on the junior high school’s team during the winter season.
‘It’s really fun, I enjoy doing it,? she said. ‘It’s just you trying to win something. You are the one that gets the glory, not other people helping you like a team would be. It’s really good conditioning, and keeps you in shape.?
She has thought about wrestling for high school but a few factors will help her decide what path to follow. She is part of a traveling soccer team that plays year round and she is also on the track team.
Another factor would be wrestling boys, she said.
‘Their muscles are going to grow more with their body and mine aren’t,? said Faith. ‘That’s the only thing that would hold me back from doing it. There is no other reason for me to stop. It’s fun and I know I am good.?

Jessie Lambouris has allowed herself to sleep in since the end of fall season.
As a member of the girls Varsity swim team, she would wake up almost every day at 4 a.m. to be at the school for swim practice.
She began her road to Varsity with swimming lessons. Then, she became a part of the Sea Wolves program.
The program prepared her for the big leagues by allowing her to learn, practice and grow into a better swimmer.
‘I wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t the worst,? said Lambouris. ‘I was in-between.?
When Lambouris swam, she worked on improving her own times and records.
Also, she showed spirit by supporting her teammates and cheering for the team.
During the winter season, Lambouris was on the Varsity bowling team. She recently bowled her first 278.
‘I never shot something like that before,? she said.
Lambouris is ready for college and has worked hard to maintain her place on the honor roll with a grade point average of 3.4. She is taking her required college preparation classes, and additionally classes in forensics and statistics.
Lambouris would like to continue the family tradition and go to Michigan State University.
For her, Michigan State is ideal because she loves the campus and they have the program she wants to study.
She will study criminal justice this fall.
‘I like it. It sounds interesting.?
When Lambouris isn’t studying or bowling for the school team, she likes to read mystery books, listen to music, hang out with friends and bowl for fun with friends.
‘Work hard,? Lambouris advises young athletes.
‘Love what you do, and don’t get frustrated. Relax and go with the flow.?

Alexandra Perrino is ready for her fourth season on Oakland University’s varsity softball team.
During her time with the Grizzlies, she has played 141 games. Her positions have included third base, first base and designated hitter. During her last season, Perrino led the infielders with a fielding percentage of .995. Currently, she starts at first base.
Perrino has been captain since September, which brought a larger role and responsibility to lead her teammates and be a team player.
She started playing softball at age eight, when her dad, Tony Perrino started her in sports.
Playing ball is a family tradition as her dad played for Albion College and her uncle played at Eastern Kentucky and for the Toronto Blue Jays.
While attending Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, she played basketball and soccer, but focused more on softball because that’s where her biggest strengths.
‘I had a lot of offers, but Oakland University was close to home,? said Perrino. ‘I love the atmosphere. It worked out academically and athletically.?
Perrino is a three-time academic all-conference athlete. She is currently working on her bachelor degree in wellness health promotion and injury prevention with a minor in training and development.
She keeps a busy schedule with playing softball, studying and interning at a non-profit organization.
After she graduates, she has been invited by USA Athletes International to play softball in Prague. The group only chooses 15 players from around the U.S.
‘It will be exciting. It is a very once in a lifetime chance for me,? said Perrino.
Perrino knows scouts will be there and she is ready if they notice her or not.
If they ask her to continue her softball career, she will say yes. If they don’t, she will continue on to graduate school.
Before she travels to Prague, she will finish her last season at Oakland University.
Her team will have their first game this Saturday at Georgia Southern University
She offers advice to young athletes.
‘Follow your dream,? said Perrino. ‘People who say that you won’t make it, you will prove them wrong. Academics is first. If you start out on a travel team, you can’t play if your grades aren’t up to par. Academics is also important for women. There aren’t a lot of pro teams for women.?
Most of them don’t pay well, she added.
‘What are you going to do after softball? You have your education.?

Jake Rush marked the swim team’s last home meet as a day of victory.
During the meet against Berkley, he swam the 100 yard backstroke event in 56.61 seconds. He shaved four seconds off of his time and set the pool record.
Rush said he felt very good about his accomplishment.
‘It was surprising. But good. I have been working on it for a few years.?
‘We were very proud and excited for him,? said mom, Pam Rush. ‘He was a good back stroker from the start.?
Pam knew it was going to happen because he had been working on it throughout the season.
When he started swimming, Pam thought it was a good sport for him. ‘He had always liked the water. It’s a good team sport and able to work on your personal best.?
Jake started swimming in middle school.
‘It was for something to do. I wanted to participate in a different sport.?
When he was in seventh grade, one of the lifeguards suggested Jake join the Sea wolves.
Over the summer before his sophomore year, he improved and got better.
As a junior, he is ready for college and plans to go into the engineering field. Jake wants to improve his skills and become an engineer, with hopes of helping the economy.
He grew up with cars and working on them with his dad. When he is not swimming, his job involves working with cars.
His continuation of swimming in college will depend on the school.
‘If it’s a good college, with a good swim program then yes,? he said. ‘If it’s a smaller college then probably not.?
While swimming takes a lot of time with practice before and after school, he maintains a 3.4 average in his required classes.
He spends the most amount of his free time with friends or working.
Jake and his teammates still have one more meet before their OAA league meet on Feb. 22.
The snow last Thursday postponed their last meet with Lake Orion to Tuesday.
‘They’re a good team,? said Jake. ‘I am excited to swim them.?

Zak Martens, who joined Clarkston Wrestling Club last year when one of his friends joined, took second place in Clarkston’s MYWAY tournament.
In the tournament, he lost his first match of the day to the eventual champion of the 46/49 pound 7-8 year-old weight class. Not letting the defeat bring him down, he continued.
He won four matches to claim a silver medal.
‘We were very proud of him,? said mom Linda Martens.
‘He went against a lot of good kids. He did pretty good.?
The tournament was the first competition his grandparents were able to come and see him wrestle in.
‘They were proud, but grandma was concerned because kids were so aggressive,? said Linda.
Since the tournament, Zak has moved up to 52 pounds.
While his friend dropped out of the club this year, Zak continued and wrestles with his twin brother Dominick, who wrestles in the same class.
Zak has two sisters who are also athletic and participate in gymnastics, as his mom is one of the coaches at Star & Stripes Gymnastics Academy.
Gymnastics is another sports Zak participates in. It has helped him in wrestling to do a lot more physical work and has helped with arm stretching.
For fun, Zak enjoys building, playing T-ball, and wrestling with his twin.
Zak and his brother go to the wrestling club every Monday and Wednesday.
One day, they got to watch the older wrestlers and got to practice with them.
Right now, Zak wrestles for fun but would eventually like to try football and baseball.

On the last day of Horizon Hoops, fifth-grader Kate Doty walked away knowing the value of a basketball.
‘The ball is $2 million and you want it,? Doty said, repeating a training analogy taught her by her coach, Taylor Daugherty.
Doty joined other young athletes in the Horizon Hoops league. Before joining in November, she did not know anything about the sport.
She learned terms, plays and techniques used in the game from Daugherty, captain of the girls? Varsity basketball team, and other coaches.
‘She was nice,? Doty said. ‘She helped me when I needed help.?
While teaching players how to play the game, Daugherty gave the girls analogies on why it was important to get the ball back from the opposing team.
‘The coaches make analogies fifth graders can understand,? said Kate’s mom, Amy Doty.
With the million-dollar technique, Kate saw the ball in a new light and went after it. One of her favorite parts about being part of the league was meeting a new friend and learning about the game.
Amy signed Kate up for Horizon Hoops as something to do with friends.
‘Everything about the experience has been fun for her – the coaches, friends, and atmosphere,? said Amy.
Before, the only sport in which Kate participated for fun was gymnastics.
‘It was fun. I would like to participate next year,? she said.

Last year, Wendell Berry watched his stepbrother wrestle.
He had enough with watching this past November and joined the Clarkston Wresting Club when the club resumed for the season.
While at the club he has help from family, his stepbrother and stepfather, Novice Assistant Coach Jim Hayward.
At the club, Berry wrestles in the 9-10 age group, 67 pound weight class.
He participated in the club’s Hardcore Christmas Classic, but lost. However, Hayward knew something was on the horizon.
‘He bounced back,? said Hayward.
Berry continued onward and in his third tournament, took first place at the Clarkston’s MYWAY tournament. The win was from scoring the most points in his three matches.
In his first match, he won by having the most points. In the following match, he pinned his competition.
In his last match, he was ahead by four points. His opponent reversed the positions and put Berry on his back. With five seconds remaining, he reversed the positions again and scored two points he needed to win the match.
‘I don’t know how he did it,? Hayward said.
‘It was excellent. He put in a lot of hard work.?
Last weekend, he went to Brighton to compete in an open tournament, where everyone can compete no matter what their experience is. He took first place by winning two matches.
With the win, Berry will be participating in open tournaments with his stepbrother.
‘I was really pleased,? said Hayward.
Away from the mat, Wendell is a talented athlete in other ways.
He enjoys playing baseball and football.
In his first year of competitive sports, he played flag football and helped the team for their undefeated season.
While his position was as a running back, he wants to be a wide receiver.
‘He has a presence about him. It seems like he does it so easy,? said Hayward.
Wendell goes on to the wrestling club on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, Coach Joe DeGain and the Varsity wrestlers, like Adam Lauzen and Eric Butterfield help the youth wrestlers.
On Mondays, Tony Ryan coaches and teaches the kids.
‘He is good with the kids and wrestled for Clarkston,? said Hayward.

Senior Taylor Daugherty has a way of being in the right spot to make a rebound basket.
In her freshman year, she moved from Waterford to Clarkston, becoming a Lady Wolf.
She noticed the differences between the schools? basketball programs immediately.
One of the differences she noticed was not a lot of people attended the girls? basketball games. She understood that was because Clarkston had a successful boys? football and basketball program.
‘It was a good transition. I miss some of the scrappiness of Waterford, but here it’s more organized, more solid basketball. We focus on the things I personally love to do, defense and we do the right things. I am much happier to be here. Waterford is a great place, but I found a better fit here.?
As she is halfway through her senior year, she is debating whether or not to play basketball next year in college.
‘I love the game,? said Daugherty, ‘but I know it’s going to going to come to the end.?
She has her eye on a couple of good schools that will give her what she is looking for in a college.
Being an athlete in school has helped her to keep focused and mentally tough, which is one of the reasons she would never want to give up basketball.
When she is not spending time practicing and playing basketball games, she helps out coaching the future Varsity players at the Horizon Hoops league every Saturday morning.
‘I love coaching my little kids,? said Daugherty. ‘I have some great kids. I love coaching them. It’s really enjoyable to watch them every week.?
While thinking of what she wants to study in college, she has thought about a future in coaching and has talked to Coach Tim Wasilk about it.
‘I would love to, don’t know what age but if I can help girls. I am the captain here and I enjoy helping the girls and watching them improve.?
Daugherty began playing basketball when she was in third grade.
‘My parents ended up coaching. They got me involved in the program and started coaching my team.
Both of her parents played basketball and wanted her to get involved in something. It just happened to be basketball.
‘I played softball before, but basketball wound up being my sport. I found a love for it, earlier than I did softball. I enjoyed softball, but I didn’t have the same passion for it. I just found a better love with basketball, with the girls that I play with. I have a great coach here. It’s just a different playing field.?
While Taylor chose to stay with one sport, she encourages athletes not to limit themselves to one sport.
She spends her time off of the court working and reading.

Senior David Morin has defended against some of the toughest hockey teams, but none of them could be as tough as the fight for his life he had a few years ago when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Two weeks before his freshman year began, Morin had stomach pains.
‘When I laid down, you could see a bump on my stomach,? described Morin.
His brother was going to play on Team USA for hockey and his mom wanted to get him checked out before they went. The tests came back and he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
‘Devasted,? said mom, Judy Morin on hearing the news. ‘It was a shock. It’s not happening to us. Someone made a mistake.?
David felt nervous and scared.
‘First thing I said was I didn’t want to die,? said David.
Then, he asked the doctor what his chances of survival were and learned it was a 20 percent chance of survival.
From there, he had four months of chemotherapy, four surgeries, and seven blood transfusions.
His teammates from the hockey team and their parents came out and donated blood. It was the biggest blood banks Red Cross had seen.
The last took place in Nov. 2004 and lasted seven and a half hours.
After all the tests came back, the news came back David was cleared of cancer.
A few months later, the Morins threw a party for the hockey players, parents, neighbors and classmates who had supported them during David’s fight. Attendees included 265 people.
He worked hard to get back onto the ice. From his medication he had gained weight. He joined Weight Watchers, walked a lot with his mom, and got back into the swimming pool.
His hard work paid off, and he lost 70 pounds.
Judy told David he could take a year off from school since he missed playing hockey for a few years. David chose to graduate with his classmates.
Also, he had to have physical therapy because he had blood clots in his legs. The blood clots made it hard to walk, and he had to use a wheelchair.
‘I didn’t really start playing until my sophomore year. When Coach (Krygier) picked me up and took me to get me back in shape to play hockey. I didn’t play a game my sophomore year.?
But he did dress for the last game. His goal was to get on the ice before the seniors graduated because they had been part of his support group while he was going through treatments.
At first getting back on the ice was hard, he could only on the ice 15-30 minutes at a time. As the year went by, he kept getting better.
Getting back into hockey was something his mom didn’t want him to do, but he did it anyway.
‘Because I love the sport that much and wanted to be with the guys that supported me before I graduated and follow up on my brothers because they played, and I wanted to keep going with it.?
Last year, he played in thirteen games.
This year, he was nominated by his teammates to be one of the captains. He has started a majority of the games so far this year. Also, he has continued to be dedicated to his studies and holds his place on the honor roll.
‘It’s amazing,? said Judy seeing her son on the ice after everything he has been through.
Currently, his health is good. The best chance of the cancer coming back was in the first year. As the years go by, the chances decrease.
After graduation, David will attend either Oakland University or Michigan State. Then, he would like to study either pediatrics or oncology at a medical school.
Both are professions he hadn’t wanted to do until after he was diagnosed. ‘All the people who helped me out made me want to help other people.?
David shared the same doctor as Lance Armstrong, Dr. Craig Nichols. He prescribed all of his prescriptions from Indiana and did two of his major surgeries.
David offered his thoughts to anyone fighting any battles
‘Keep fighting through it, because you never know how things will turn out, they might turn out good if you do.?
Each year about 8,000 to 9,000 diagnoses of testicular cancer are just in the United States. In a man’s lifetime, his risk of testicular cancer is roughly 1 in 250. It is most common among males aged 15-40 years. There is hope, out of all of the cancers, testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates.

Clarkston graduate Jonathan Moehlig is one of five athletes nominated for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup.
The award is presented by Athletes for a Better World to athletes who best display character, teamwork, and citizenship. The award honors athletes who excel both on and off the field and serve as role models to the community.
‘It’s kind of an awesome feeling,? said Moehlig.
‘I didn’t think it was real until I got something physical,? he said after getting the plane ticket last week.
Since Moehlig was young, he has found balance in playing baseball, studying in school, and helping in his community. He began playing baseball when he was 3.
His first volunteer work was for Children’s Miracle Network with his mom.
During his years at Clarkston High School, Moehlig participated in football, basketball, and baseball.
He played baseball all four years of high school.
‘It was the best sport I was good at,? said Moehlig. ‘I couldn’t get enough of it.?
When he graduated in 2005, he wanted to continue to play baseball. He chose a college where he would be able to major in his desired field and still play.
‘I was floored when I could play at Bloomfield,? he said. ‘I have really enjoyed it and made it my home.?
At Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey, he is a religion major, and catcher and designated hitter for Bloomfield College Deacon’s Baseball Team.
He has always look for opportunities to help in the community.
‘I brought that attitude with me,? he said.
Moehlig has led his baseball team to help. They have completed repairs at the local Ronald McDonald house, cooked for dinners for the families and worked on a food drive.
After the holidays, the baseball team will start their next food drive. They will go house to house, dropping off bags with note that they will pick up the bags later on. Then, residents can fill the bags with what they can and give back to the community.
He has helped with the community in other ways by talking to children about the importance of sports and staying in school, participating in fundraising walks for breast cancer research, and coaching children in the Bl