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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Class D All-State

Drew Janer of BCAS and Calvin Amey of CPS named to first team All-State by the AP.
Janer also was Class C Co-Player of the Year.

Jordan Chartier, Eben Superior Central, 6-3, Sr. (Co-Player of the Year)
Garrison Glowniak, Marine City Cardinal Mooney, 6-0, Sr. 
Joe Larson, Chassell, 6-3, Sr.
Drew Janer, Bay City All Saints, 6-3, Sr. (Co-Player of the Year)
Randy Moore, Marcellus Howardsville Christian, 6-0, Sr.
Durant Vega, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian, 5-10, Sr.
Calvin Amey, Carsonville-Port Sanilac, 6-3, Jr.
Christopher Hass, Pellston, 6-4, Jr.
Lucas Landis, Mason County Eastern, 6-3, Jr.
Tyler Walden, Fulton, 5-11, Jr.
Coach of the Year:
Cary Chartier, Eben Superior Central
SPECIAL MENTION (nominees receiving two or more votes from the 10-member panel):
Austin Karbowski, Waterford Our Lady; Connor McLeod, Cedarville; Drew Perrin, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian; Sami Shalabi, Ann Arbor Central Academy; Ryan Watz, Morrice 
HONORABLE MENTION (nominees receiving one or no votes from the 10-member panel):
Stone Beckwith, Beal City; Joey Blauwkamp, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian; Brett Bovee, Morenci; Travis Byard, Au Gres-Sims; Justin Denney, Genesee Christian; Nick Doyle, Manistee Catholic Central; Tim Dunstan, Dollar Bay; Shane Hentkowski, Posen; Collin Hewitt, Harbor Light Christian; Blake Hohlbein, Adrian Lenawee Christian; Corey Hungerford, Fulton; Kevin Kraatz, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist; Christian Novak, Bear Lake; Derek Pistulka, Rapid River; Josh Puroll, Boyne Falls; Jason Ribecky, Muskegon Catholic Central; Malachi Satterlee, Climax-Scotts; Tyren Sheppard, Kalamazoo Phoenix; Peter Sullivan, Hillsdale Academy; Stephen Sykes, Litchfield; Joe Wall, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary
Steve Hentkowski, Posen; Mark Keeler, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian; Mike Showalter, Bay City All Saints

Class C All-State list

Ubly's Marshall Leipprandt earned Special Mention All-State honors.
Marlette's Alex Storm earned Honorable Mention.

Dwaun Anderson, Suttons Bay, 6-3, Sr. (Player of the Year)
London Burris, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, 5-9, Sr.
Kody Chandler, Schoolcraft, 6-0, Sr.
Gabe Eppert, Ishpeming, 6-3, Sr. 
George Goodman, Saginaw Buena Vista, 5-9, Sr.
Dylan Schuette, Hanover-Horton, 6-5, Sr. 
Edmond Shinevarre, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 5-9, Sr.
Marcel Smith, Melvindale Academy for Business and Tech, 5-9, Sr. 
Travon Baker, Detroit Consortium Prep, 5-11, Jr.
Wes Leonard, Fennville, 6-2, Jr.
Monte Morris, Flint Beecher, 5-10, So.
Co-Coaches of the Year:
Ryan Klingler, Fennville
Randy Small, Schoolcraft
SPECIAL MENTION (nominees receiving two or more votes from the 10-member panel):
Marshall Leipprandt, Ubly; Taron Ramsey, Melvindale Academy for Business and Tech; Sean Sheldon, Traverse City St. Francis
Seth Coffing, Lincoln-Alcona
HONORABLE MENTION (nominees receiving one or no votes from the 10-member panel):
Donnovan Aleman, Genesee; Alex Beeler, L’Anse; Daniel Bolster, Dundee; Taylor Borst, Mancelona; Brandon Crawford, Montabella; Brendan Green, Burton Bentley; Nic Greenwood, Clinton; Charley Helmer, Montabella; Malik Houston, Saginaw Buena Vista; Vincent Hunter, Detroit Consortium Prep; Michael Kamp, Bridgman; Austin Marine, LeRoy Pine River; Brandon Moore, Montague; Jon Moore, Jackson Vandercook Lake; Luke Morrison, Elk Rapids; Tanner Nichols, White Pigeon; Spencer Nielsen, Jonesville; Matt O’Brien, Maple City Glen Lake; Luke Ryskamp, Schoolcraft; Scott Smith, Sand Creek; Carl Snyder, Fife Lake Forest Area; Sam Spink, Hanover-Horton; Landon Spitzley, Pewamo-Westphalia; Alex Storm, Marlette; Jimmy Van Nortwick, Meridian; Dan Vear, Hillsdale; Jordan Walker, Madison Heights Bishop Foley; Derrick Washington, Saginaw Buena Vista; Janis Zicans, Holton
Cam Gatrell, Montabella; Mike Miller, Bridgman; Dave Osborne, Montague; Paul Varner, Jackson Vandercook Lake

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweeney steps down from Ubly football post

Paul Adams wrote a story about the resignation of Ubly football coach Bill Sweeney for Tuesday's paper.
Here is his report.

UBLY — Ubly football coach Bill Sweeney had a saying he asked his players to believe in.
“We have a saying, ‘It’s all about want,’” he said. “We put the time in — this has been a 365-day venture for me for a long time. It’s all about want... But how can I tell kids that when my priorities are changing?”
When the rigors of coaching became too much for him, Sweeney knew it was his time to step away.
After months of consideration, Sweeney, who for eight seasons guided the Bearcats’ football program, has resigned.
“After the first game (this past season), I really started thinking about this. I wasn’t really with it mentally. By the first game, I talked to (athletic director) Dan (Delamarter) and I talked to a couple of my close friends and told them I couldn’t do this anymore.
“I spent nine months working to get ready for the season, and I was wondering if I had enough to get through it.”
Sweeney did make it through the season, finishing 11-1, with a loss to Ravenna in the Division 7 regional championship.
Following that game, he waited to make his decision.
In fact, he began his normal pre-season routine of opening the weight room for players, but quickly discovered the passion wasn’t there.
“Come January, I decided to give it one last try, but I felt like the horse had been ridden,” Sweeney said. “I don’t want to short-change the kids. They work hard and I’m just spent.”
Although Sweeney has coached eight seasons, it’s more like 11, when taking into account all of the playoff appearances.
Since 2003, when he took over, the Bearcats were in the playoffs each year, competing in 26 games, winning 18 of them.
“It just wears on you,” Sweeney said.
While personally disappointed with Sweeney’s decision, Delamarter completely supports it.
“When you do the things he’s done, you don’t do that as a part-time guy,” said Delamarter. “You’re (at school) in the winter with guys lifting weights, you’re in early lifting weights. You’re going to clinics. To have the success, it’s not because you treat it as a part-time deal.
“I would love to have Bill continue to coach, but it would be selfish on my part to want that. I want what’s best for Bill Sweeney, his family and his profession as a teacher.
“Bill is going to be missed greatly. You don’t really replace Bill and what he brings with his passion. All we can do is our best to carry on with what he has taught everyone.
“It’s difficult because I know how tough of a decision it was for him. It wasn’t an easy decision, but he’s doing the right thing.” 

The Ubly Way
The recent success of the football program isn’t hard to understand. 
Sweeney, who learned under the late Hall of Fame coach Jerry Herp, subscribed to the idea of keeping things as simple as he could.
He joked all the time that his Wing-T offense only ran three plays.
“The best thing I ever heard was that (Legendary Dallas Cowboys coach) Tom Landry could run 1,000 things one way,” Sweeney said. “(Legendary Green Bay Packers coach) Vince Lombardi could run one thing 1,000 ways.
“I subscribe to that type of mentality. 
“Out of our basic blocking, we would run 120 plays, from 60 different formations. That’s what we did. Defensively, Jim (Becker) did the same things.”
Delamarter admired that philosophy.
“To me, what is the most impressive thing about what he and his staff have done is they did it with simple principles,” he said. “But he stuck to those simple principles that he established and never wavered. 
“He kept things very simple for a reason. It’s not some fancy spread offense with people flashing cards on the sideline. He just taught fundamentals and he made kids believe in themselves.”
Sweeney always had an uncanny ability to get the most out of his players.
Whether it was a superstar, or a player on the practice squad, nearly every athlete Sweeney had the privilege to coach got the most out of themselves.

“One of the reasons I think I was a successful coach is that I was the average kid,” he said. “I can relate, I wasn’t a superstar. I was a kid searching for something and football gave that to me.
“You’re always going to remember and respect all the great players. But my affinity is for the guys that didn’t have the greatest ability, but got the most out of their talent. 
“I wasn’t the easiest guy to get along with because there was only one way for us to do this — the hard way. You can’t imagine the pride I have for those guys, they’ve touched my life. The same thing goes for the guys I coached with.”
Delamarter believes Sweeney used football to shape the lives of many of the young men he coached, and set others down the right path.
“We’ve had some kids that have come through that without football they would have had a difficult time,” he said. “He means more to me than just running that football program. He’s important to a lot of people that have graduated here.
“He loves his former players because they’re an important part of his life.”

Making Memories
Sweeney’s overall coaching record is 78-19 (.864). He averaged nearly 10 wins per season.
Currently, Ubly is riding a 32-game regular season winning streak, the longest in Thumb history. 
No other team in the Thumb has made more semifinal appearances than the Bearcats’ four in the last eight seasons.
But none of that really matters to Sweeney. In fact, he said he hasn’t really thought about the record or the streak. Those aren’t the kind of things that matter to him.
What matters is the memories made along the way.
“I don’t think much about going to Ford Field, or the semifinals. I think about all those moments,” Sweeney said. “Maybe some day I will look back (at the records).”
Among the many memories is Sweeney’s first year as varsity coach in 2003. Ubly went up against New Lothrop in the Division 7 regional championship. The Hornets were heavily favored, unbeaten and No. 3 rated.
The Bearcats rolled to a 52-22 blowout on their way to their first-ever semifinal appearance.
“That 2003 game against New Lothrop, they got so much press,” Sweeney said. “For us to go down there and have a running clock on them in the third quarter, that’s something I will never forget.”
Another more recent memory came in Sweeney’s second to last game, a 34-21 victory over Saginaw Nouvel.
“The most satisfying thing was coming up with game plans and executing them,” he said.

The Future
Along with the players, Sweeney will miss his coaching staff. 
Defensive coordinator Jim Becker and Sweeney have been linked to the success of Ubly.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better dude to coach with,” Sweeney said of Becker. “That goes for all the guys. I had a special group of guys. That was the hardest part of this, feeling like I let them down.”
Delamarter doesn’t know what direction he will go in his search for a new coach, but would like it to come off Sweeney’s existing staff.
“Right now, we’re going to let the dust settle and post the job,” he said. “I’m going to sit down with all of those guys to see if we can come up with a workable solution.
“We’re all on the same page. We want what’s best for the kids and we want to continue to be successful. Bill has instilled not only in the kids how to go about this the right way, but he’s also influenced his coaching staff. 
“When you come to a football game next season, Bill’s not going to be there, and we’re going to miss him terribly. But it’s still going to be Ubly football. The kids are going to play hard, they’re going to be well-coached, they’re going to be motivated and we’re going to do things the right way — the way Bill would want us to do it.”
Sweeney has full confidence that his staff is ready to move on without him.
“I think we have an excellent program. I just happen to be the head coach of that program,” he said. “We’ve charted a course, the kids know the program, the guys I coached with know it. I couldn’t have coached with a better group of guys. They know inside-out and backward what we’ve done.”
He didn’t close the door on a return to coaching in the future, but for now Sweeney is content with his decision. He said he is going to take an entire year away to enjoy his three sons playing their respective sports.
“I hope I can remove myself from it and just be there for my boys,” he said. “With that perspective, I don’t think it will be that hard. I’ve never been afforded the opportunity to watch my kids play.”

Year Record Playoffs
2003 10-3 3-1*
2004 8-3 1-1 
2005 6-4 1-1
2006 10-3 3-1*
2007 8-3 1-1
2008 13-1 4-1**
2009 12-1 3-1*
2010 11-1 2-1 
78-19 (.804) 18-8 (.692)
*State semifinals
**State runner-up

Ubly football coach Bill Sweeney holds the Division 7 runner-up trophy in 2008. Sweeney, who helped shape the Bearcats into one of the model programs in the Thumb, resigned recently. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

All-GTC hoop teams

2010-11 All-Greater Thumb West 
Boys Basketball Teams
First Team 
Jake Holland, USA Sr.
Caleb Gnatkowski, Reese Sr.
Nathan Greaves, Vassar So.
Alex Varney, Cass City Sr.
Garrett Bowker, BCAS Sr.
Drew Janer, BCAS Sr.

Second Team
Jared Bender, Reese Sr.
Adam Lefler, Reese Jr.
Madison Harper, Vassar Sr.
Jesse Quinn, Bad Axe Jr.
Justin Ketterer, Cass City Sr.
Cameron Dunnuck, Cass City Sr.
Kevin Swiercz, BCAS Sr.
Nate Sobczak, BCAS Sr.
Chase Voelker, EPBP Sr.

Honorable Mention
Andrew Botello, USA Sr.
Dakota Gangler, USA Sr.
Jeremy Pawlowski, Bad Axe Jr.
Tim Warack, EPBP Sr.
Brody Lawrence, EPBP Sr.
Nick Dorion, BCAS Sr. 
Adam Fuerst, Reese So.
Josh Peplinski, Vassar Jr. 

2010-11 All-Greater Thumb East 
Boys Basketball Teams
First Team
Alex Storm, Marlette Sr.
Kolby Lange, Marlette Jr.
Kyle Hall, Marlette Sr.
Marshall Leipprandt, Ubly Jr.
Jordan Coats, Sandusky Sr.
Trenton Wood, Brown City Sr.

Second Team
Scott Grekowicz, Harbor Beach Sr.
Sean Sorenson, Harbor Beach Sr.
Andrew Siemen, Harbor Beach So.
Eric Booms, Ubly Sr.
Chase Baysdell, Sandusky So.
Andrew Knox, Brown City Jr.

Honorable Mention
Brad Schaub, Marlette Fr.
Eli Kraft, Harbor Beach Fr.
Lenny Nowicki, Ubly Sr.
Josh White, Ubly Jr.
Brad Ball, Sandusky Sr. 
Corey Kursinsky, Sandusky Sr.
Kory McGuire, Sandusky Sr.
Jonathan Maddocks, Mayville Sr.
Tim McComas, Mayville Sr.
Charles Baird, Brown City Jr.