September 29, 2022

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Sports Really Satisfies

All-Area 2022 Winter Sports Awards

BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Trevor Zamarron

Trevor Zamarron

Greenville sophomore

Opening eyes with his raw basketball talent as a freshman starting point guard for the Jackets last season, Trevor Zamarron stepped into his sophomore year as the young leader of a young Greenville boys basketball team. While the Jackets dealt with a gauntlet of a schedule in the O-K White, going 3-18 overall, Zamarron constantly provided key production for his team against some of the best competition West Michigan has to offer. Zamarron led the area in scoring with 19.2 points per game while also averaging 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.6 rebounds per game. “Trevor had a great year and makes the game easier for his teammates,” said Greenville head coach Corey Kohler.

Runner-up: JT Smith, Montabella

Ty Warczinsky

BOYS BASKETBALL COACH OF THE YEAR

Ty Warczinsky

Vestaburg

The Vestaburg Wolverines may have finished fourth in a stacked MSAC conference this season but they did what their rivals, Montabella and Carson City-Crystal, were unable to do — win a district title. The feat is about as unlikely as it gets — first-year head coach Ty Warczinsky inherited a team coming off a 3-15 record last season with many returning players and transformed the team into a group of winners, winning the program’s first district title in 20 years.

Runners-up: Jared Simon, Montabella; Cory Schneider, Carson City-Crystal

BOYS BASKETBALL SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Lane Thomas

Lane Thomas

Ionia senior

Ionia senior Lane Thomas provided a great spark for the Bulldogs coming off the bench. Thomas was among the best three-point shooters in the area and let it fly from deep anytime he got open, averaging six points and three rebounds per game. “He gave a lift at both ends coming off the bench,” said Ionia head coach Scott Swinehart. “Solid and versatile defensively, was aggressive at the offensive end.”

Other sixth man nominees: Dakota Dykhuis, Montabella; Gavin Rykse, Tri County

Lance Atkinson

BOYS BASKETBALL TOP NEWCOMER

Lance Atkinson

Ionia junior

Standing at 6-feet, 6-inches, Ionia junior Lance Atkinson was the tallest player in the area and used his large frame to average 11.5 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game in his first year on varsity. “He was our go-to player inside but also had the versatility to step away from the basket,” said head coach Scott Swinehart. “At the defensive end, his length caused other teams problems and he was willing to step in and take charges.”

Other top newcomer nominees: Gavin Rykse, Tri County

GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Brook Simpson

Brook Simpson

Belding sophomore

The familiar face of Brook Simpson was back at it again this year for the Belding Black Knights for an encore of her tremendous freshman season. The top player in the area averaged 24.4 points per game, 6.6 rebounds and 4.3 steals while shooting 53% from the field and 80% from the free throw line. This marks the second year in a row in which Simpson has won the Daily News All-Area Player of the Year award. “She puts in hundreds of hours to perfect her craft,” said Belding head coach Shad Breimayer. “She can score at all levels and defend with the best of them. Brook has not been given anything — she has earned it with her hard work and determination.”

Runner-up: Megan Leslie, Greenville

Shad Breimayer

GIRLS BASKETBALL COACH OF THE YEAR

Shad Breimayer

Belding

The fourth-year head coach of the Black Knights led Belding to its best season in seven years, winning the program’s first district title since 2015. The Knights went 19-4 under Breimayer, losing twice to O-K Silver Conference champion Sparta, a two-point loss to Greenville early in the season and a 10 point loss to Saginaw Swan Valley in the regional semifinals. With the team returning nearly all of their key players next season, the future remains bright in Belding.

Runner-up: Jack Cribb, Lakeview

GIRLS BASKETBALL SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Raj Esquivel

Rajalyai Esquivel

Ionia junior

Ionia junior Rajalyai Esquivel was a defensive specialist for the Bulldogs and provided key minutes for the short-handed Ionia varsity team, averaging 5.4 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 assists.

Other sixth woman nominees: Kali VandenToorn, Belding; Kelsie Zinn, Vestaburg; Molly Willison, Lakeview; Lauren Alexander, Central Montcalm

Alison Rockburn

GIRLS BASKETBALL TOP NEWCOMER

Alison Rockburn

Belding freshman

Belding freshman Alison Rockburn came into the Black Knights varsity team and provided an immediate impact as a key secondary scorer for the team outside of team leader Brook Simpson. Rockburn averaged 8.3 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and had scoring outings of 20, 19, 17 and 14 throughout the season. “Alison played a huge part of our success this year,” said head coach Shad Breimayer. “She was asked to always guard one of the other teams best players. She is relentless on the defensive end of the floor and will be the first player on the court to dive for the ball without hesitation.”

Other top newcomer nominees: Aubree White, Ionia; Baylor Syrjala, Lakeview; Alli Johnson, Tri County; Zoey Bacon, Central Montcalm

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

Jake Nelson

Jake Nelson

Tri County senior

Tri County senior Jake Nelson entered the MHSAA individual state wrestling finals with a strong head and determination — zero fear. It led him to three dominant wins over his first three opponents and took him to the pinnacle of high school wrestling — the state championship match. Though he’d come up short and finish second in the state at the 171-pound weight class in Division 3, it was an impressive run after cutting weight, as Nelson finished eighth in the state at 189 a year prior.

Runner-up: Zach McMillan, Greenville

Corey Renner

WRESTLING COACH OF THE YEAR

Corey Renner

Tri County

It took 15 years as head coach but Tri County’s Corey Renner led his Vikings team to their first conference championship since 2003 this season, going undefeated in the CSAA-Gold. The Vikings were the most dominant team in the regular-season in the area, came one point away from winning a district championship and sent three wrestlers to the individual state finals, with all three placing All-State.

Runner-up: Todd Barton, Lakeview

MR. CLUTCH

Ethan Schmid

Ethan Schmid

Belding senior

Belding senior Ethan Schmid went 51-5 this year and his versatility to wrestle both at the 215-pound and heavyweight class led to many dual victories for the Black Knights this season. “Ethan’s role on our team usually had him bumping up a weight to secure team victories,” said Belding head coach Art Ward. “The guys he would bump up against at times were 50 pounds heavier than he was and he would still walk away with bonus points.”

Other Mr. Clutch nominees: Bryce Jacobs, Lakeview; Logan Rozewski, Ionia; Tyler Willemstein, Montabella

Case Johnson

TOP NEWCOMER

Case Johnson

Greenville freshman

Wrestling as a freshman is no easy task. Wrestling at the 189-pound weight class as a freshman is asking for trouble — few wrestlers are able to achieve success under the circumstances. Greenville freshman Case Johnson was able to accumulate a 46-12 record while wrestling at 189, making the Division 2 state finals, even winning a match down at Ford Field. “Case is one of the hardest-working athletes,” said head coach Brett Peterman. “He is always trying to better himself, whether it’s lifting, attending additional training events, leadership opportunities, competing in other sports … He’s an amazing all-around athlete that I believe will be competing at the highest level of whatever sport he chooses.”

Other top newcomer nominees: Braydon Grimes, Tri County; CJ Copeland, Lakeview; Zach Schenden, Lakeview; Gavin Craner, Belding; Sarah Schafer, Ionia; Andy Fuller, Montabella

BOYS BOWLER OF THE YEAR

Trenton Altman

Trenton Altman

Belding senior

With a pair of fellow talented area seniors coming for his throne, Belding senior Trenton Altman held them off for his second Daily News All-Area Boys Bowler of the Year award this season. Altman led the Black Knights to its third regional championship in a row and qualified for the individual state finals for the third year in a row by winning the individual regional championship — all while holding a 217 average throughout his senior season. “He’s handled being a leader with class and more than exceeded any expectations that come with being one of the top ranked bowlers in the state,” said assistant coach Mark Altman. “Whatever Trenton decides in the future, I’m sure we’re not done hearing about his bowling career.”

Genesys Noble

GIRLS BOWLER OF THE YEAR

Genesys Noble

Greenville junior

Greenville junior Genesys Noble held the highest bowling average of any girls bowler in the area at 171. She was named O-K White All-Conference, qualified for the individual state finals and placed 39th in Division 2. Noble is the first Greenville bowler to win the Daily News All-Area Girls Bowler of the Year award. “Genesys is a confident, strong and consistent bowler,” said Greenville head coach Nikki Parris. “She was a great anchor bowler for our team and held that spot all season. I’m excited to have her back next year to see what she can do.”

 

ALL AREA CONFERENCE AWARDS

BOYS BASKETBALL

Capital Area Activities Conference — White

Trevor Tooker, Ionia; Lance Atkinson, Ionia

HONORABLE MENTION: Travis Tucker Jr., Ionia; Lane Thomas, Ionia; Clay Currigan, Ionia; Gauge McQueen, Ionia

Central State Activities Association — Gold

FIRST-TEAM: Kaleb Crooks, Central Montcalm; Adan Plotts, Tri County

HONORABLE MENTION: Brett Flintoff, Tri County; Mitchell Herald, Central Montcalm

Central State Activities Association — Silver

FIRST-TEAM: Dylan Veenema, Lakeview

HONORABLE MENTION: Peyton Krantz, Lakeview

Mid State Activities Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Mason Smith, Carson City-Crystal; Mitchell Wing, Carson City-Crystal; Drew Kelsey, Montabella; JT Smith, Montabella; Cole Dailey, Vestaburg; Hayden Palmer, Vestaburg

SECOND-TEAM: Brayden Clark, Carson City-Crystal; Evan Judge, Montabella; Levi Halliwill, Vestaburg

HONORABLE MENTION: Max Heleski, Carson City-Crystal; Oisin O’Grady, Carson City-Crystal; Jacob Stevens, Carson City-Crystal; Chase Burggren, Montabella; Rayce Sackett, Montabella; Caleb Theisen, Montabella; Jaylin Maddox, Vestaburg

O-K White Conference

Trevor Zamarron, Greenville

BOYS BOWLING

Capital Area Activities Conference — White

Brett Petersen, Ionia

Central State Activities Association — Gold

FIRST-TEAM: Andrew Bogart, Tri County; Jordan Groce, Central Montcalm

HONORABLE MENTION: Riley Ketelaar, Tri County

Central State Activities Association — Silver

FIRST-TEAM: Riley Devereaux, Lakeview

HONORABLE MENTION: Parker Wheaton, Lakeview

O-K Silver Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Trenton Altman, Belding; Jesse Benedict, Belding

O-K White Conference

Devin Knickerbocker, Greenville; Tate Boyce, Greenville

BOYS SWIMMING

Capital Area Activities Conference

Kenny Felice, Ionia; Carl Goeckel, Ionia

HONORABLE MENTION: Andrew Gerdes, Ionia; Xander Lange, Ionia; Brendin Bushee, Ionia; Isaiah McElhaney, Ionia; Nick Richey, Ionia

COMPETITIVE CHEER

Central State Activities Association — Bronze

FIRST-TEAM: Madalynn Laskey, Tri County; Tamya Johnson, Tri County; Vegas Hojnacki, Tri County; Ayden Travis, Tri County; MaLeea Neely, Tri County

HONORABLE MENTION: Nikkita Coar, Tri County

O-K Silver Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Eliot Ross, Belding; Alexia Tamez, Belding

HONORABLE MENTION: Emma Springer, Belding

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Capital Area Activities Conference — White

Brynn Reams, Ionia

HONORABLE MENTION: Jessa Swinehart, Ionia

Central State Activities Association — Gold

FIRST-TEAM: Mary Siple, Tri County; Maia Sexton, Central Montcalm

HONORABLE MENTION: Emily Putnam, Central Montcalm; Emmie McNees, Tri County

Central State Activities Association — Silver

FIRST-TEAM: Courtney Grant, Lakeview

HONORABLE MENTION: Natalie Parsons, Lakeview

Mid State Activities Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Kennedi Stout, Carson City-Crystal; Natalie Skowron, Vestaburg

SECOND-TEAM: Aubrey Hessbrook, Carson City-Crystal; BraLynn Clark, Montabella

HONORABLE MENTION: Arija Adkins, Carson City-Crystal; Paige Ewalt, Carson City-Crystal; Felina Gondek, Vestaburg; Allison Wichert, Vestaburg; Sara Courser, Montabella; Kylei Shaner, Montabella

O-K Silver Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Brook Simpson, Belding; Hope Kanouse, Belding

HONORABLE MENTION: Alison Rockburn, Belding

O-K White Conference

Megan Leslie, Greenville

GIRLS BOWLING

Capital Area Activities Conference — White

Chloe Witter, Ionia; Zoey Guernsey, Ionia

HONORABLE MENTION: Oliveah Miller, Ionia

Central State Activities Association — Gold

FIRST-TEAM: Carmen Lynch, Central Montcalm; Arabella Huntoon, Central Montcalm; Hailee Braam, Central Montcalm; Sophia Stressman, Tri County; Madison Babbitt, Central Montcalm

Central State Activities Association — Silver

FIRST-TEAM: Kayleigh Feutz, Lakeview

HONORABLE MENTION: Madelyn Hopkins, Lakeview; Angelina Cole, Lakeview

O-K Silver Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Summer Thomas, Belding; Baylee Altman, Belding

O-K White Conference

Genesys Noble, Greenville; Sierra Merlington, Greenville

WRESTLING

Capital Area Activities Conference — White

Killian Campbell, Ionia; Nathan Clute, Ionia; Demetri Davis, Ionia; Chase Holford, Ionia; Ethan Bowen, Ionia; Logan Rozewski, Ionia

HONORABLE MENTION: Paige Campbell, Ionia; Jon Anderson, Ionia; Victor Santiago-Ledesma, Ionia

Central State Activities Association

FIRST-TEAM: Ian Boden, Tri County; Trent Behrenwald, Tri County; CJ Copeland, Lakeview; Waylon Lingeman, Central Montcalm

HONORABLE MENTION: Joe Perez, Lakeview; Hayden Figley, Tri County; Jaykob Downer, Tri County; Hadden McGuire, Central Montcalm; Coy Hall, Tri County; Gordon Kenney, Lakeview

Mid State Activities Conference

FIRST TEAM: Cole Halfman, Carson City-Crystal; Ryan Cook, Montabella; Bryce Stanley, Carson City-Crystal; Andy Fuller, Montabella; Tristin Almanza, Montabella; Jakob Perkins, Montabella

SECOND-TEAM: Liam Jensen, Carson City-Crystal; Tyler Willemstein, Montabella; Sebastian Devereaux, Carson City-Crystal; Ethan Mills, Carson City-Crystal; Kameron Peterson, Montabella

HONORABLE MENTION: Jaiden Powers, Carson City-Crystal; Logan Perry, Montabella

O-K Silver Conference

FIRST-TEAM: Blake Peasley, Belding; Anthony Szubinski, Belding; Gavin Craner, Belding; Matthew Massman, Belding; Jack Ward, Belding; Ethan Schmid, Belding

O-K White Conference

Zach McMillan, Greenville