By John Raffel The 11U division had a unique run in the Meijer State games over the weekend at Art Van Sports Complex. Sterling Heights National appeared to be in an excellent position to win the tournament after a 2-0 start. The team posted 15-0 win over West Michigan Outlaws and 4-2 win over another opponent later in the tournament. “We had good defense,” a team spokesperson said, adding that on the hitting, “it’s been a collection of players. Everyone has been coming through.” Matt Bellcrest was leading the team in hitting. The Nationals were making their first trip to Art Van. “It’s a great complex,” the spokesperson said. It was a closer game on Sunday but the Sterling Heights Nationals came back with a 6-5 edging over the West Michigan Outlaws. The Sterling Heights Nationals lost later on Sunday 11-10 to sustain their first loss at the tournament. A Sterling Heights Nationals 12U team won on Sunday against the Canton Cardinals 3-0. The tournament also featured a Detroit Metro Stars Red teams in the 10U division, which enjoyed an 11-3 win over Northeastern.
Sports news from Rockford Public Schools
By John Raffel The 15U division produced some unique results at the Meijer State games for baseball teams over the weekend at Art Van Sports Complex. On Saturday, the Northern Indiana Whitecaps had a 16-4 win over the Eastside Eagles, who also lost 10-0 to the Starz. The Grand Rapids Flames defeated the Starz 3-l. The Whitecaps had a 12-1 win Friday over the Grand Rapids Flames. The Northern Indiana Whitecaps won again over the Shamrock Baseball squad 9-3 on Sunday. But in the Whitecaps next game, the team lost to the Michigan Storm 8-2. “The kids are playing well,” Whitecaps coach Dave Shinn said, referring especially to Jake Harmon as a pitcher and Colin Buchan as a hitter. The Whitecaps were enjoying their trip to Art Van. “It’s a beautiful place,” Shinn said. Also on Sunday, Peak Performance beat the Eastside Eagles in a 15U game. Motor City River Sharks downed Arlington Cardinals Red 15-4 in the 14U division and Peak Performance topped Flame O’Dette 19-5 in 15U. Northern Indiana also had a 9-3 15U win over Shamrock Baseball. The Arlington Cardinals Reds beat the Saline Hornets 10-5. USSSA will have its Elite Select/Great Lakes College Showcase at the Complex July 2-5
Celebrating fifty years of golf at L.E. Kaufma“No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind.” ~ Tom Watson If you live in West Michigan, chances are you are just a few minutes from a golf course. But few have been able to survive the changes in this competitive industry for five decades! L.E. Kaufman Golf Course, located on Clyde Park Avenue SW, south of 44th Street in Wyoming,celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Thursday, June 18, 2015. The course was named for former Secretary of the Kent County Road Commission, Leonard E. Kaufman, and designed by golf course architect Bruce Matthews. The total cost for development was $163,000, and it was mostly constructed by Parks Department staff. “Being the host course for the Kent County Amateur Golf Tournament for the past 50 years, Kaufman is well-known in our community,” said Roger Sabine, Director of the Kent County Parks Department. “We are proud of the course’s history and reputation.” Golfers will be treated to special food prices and giveaways during the day, and rates will be the same as they were in 1965: $2.00 for 18 holes (walking – cart is extra). “When we announced the anniversary event, we filled every tee time available,” said Mike Leavitt, Course Superintendent. “Our staff is dedicated to making our customers happy and preserving this course for decades to come. We are very fortunate to have such a great course just minutes from Downtown Grand Rapids.” L.E. Kaufman Golf Course has an outstanding reputation as a challenging golf facility. Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest, the course features rolling fairways, perfect greens and picturesque scenery. The Kent County Parks Department’s efforts in recent years include renovating the clubhouse, updating equipment used to maintain the course, and improving drainage. Kaufman is home course for golf teams at Aquinas College, Grandville High School, and Godwin Heights High School. Learn more about season packages and booking tee times at L.E. Kaufman at www.accesskent.com/Parks/LEKaufman/.
By John Raffel Compuware and Lakeshore Storm were the champions in the 14U and 16U divisions over the weekend of the Rockford Blue Chip Classic at Art Van Sports Complex. Compuware was 2-2 after pool play of the 14U division. Sabercats were first at 4-0. On Sunday in championship round play, Compuware blanked the Sabercats 8-0 and advanced to the semifinals where it defeated the Rebels 8-1. In the title game, Compuware blanked the Bat Busters 8-0. The Lakeshore Storm, a Holland team, edged the Grand Rapids Elite 4-3 in the title game for 16U. In pool play, Elite and Lakeshore were both 3-0. In the championship round on Sunday, Lakeshore defeated the Diamonds 6-5 and the Dexter Hurricanes 7-2 to advance to the finals. Elite defeated the other Elite team 8-7 and another Elite squad 6-3 to advance to the finals. “We had a lot of good players from a variety of places in Michigan,” Tournament manager Brad Koch said. “We had an outstanding crew here.” Blue Chip, based out of Grand Rapids and Muskegon, has an upcoming event at Art Van, Koch said “We have a fall tournament coming up in September,” he said. “We have one fall, one summer event.” The June tournament was a four-day event. The September tournament will draw a lot of teams, but Koch said it will be on Saturday and Sunday, and will still include teams from out of state. “We’ll have some of the better teams in the state and out-of-state as well,” he said.
By John Raffel The Sparks fast-pitch softball team from Racine, Wis., showed that it’s usually more important on how you finish a tournament than how you start it. The Sparks were 2-2 in pool play but went on in bracket action to take first place in the 18U portion of the Rockford Rumble Blue Chip Classic over the weekend at Art Van Sports Complex. Batbusters had a 4-0 record in pool play to lead the 18-team division. Sparks was only 2-2 in pool play but 4-0 in the championship round. The Sparks blanked the Starz 16-0, shut out Elite 2-0 and won 5-2 over Morgans in the semifinals. The Sparks won 3-0 over AA Gold in Sunday’s title game. The top pitcher for the Sparks was Brittany Moore Sparks coaches said the entire team hit well throughout the tournament. Moore had 19 strikeouts in one game. Sparks had lost to AA Gold during pool play. It’s the first time the Wisconsin team played at the Art Van Facility. “It’s beautiful, we had been at Byron Center about two years ago and that was nice, but this is incredible,” one of the Sparks coaches said. “This is great for the community.” Tournament manager Brad Koch said there were 57 teams at the weekend event, which started Thursday. “It was mostly Michigan teams,” he said. “We had a couple of Wisconsin teams, a couple from Indiana and a couple from Illinois. There’s a lot of good players from a variety of places in Michigan.” Blue Chip is based out of Grand Rapids and Muskegon.