Islander Sports

Report and photos by Frank Solle

Island girls shoot down the Eagles

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The Islander volleyball team took dead aim at the Soaring Eagles of Hannahville Friday night, bringing the visiting Eagles to earth in a solid performance that featured good serves, good passes, good serve receives and all around good play. The result was a 15-4, 15-6 sweep that keeps the Islanders' league record perfect at 2-0.
"I'm very happy with our performance tonight," said coach Connie Boyle. "We didn't have too many errors and everyone did their job."
While the first game stayed close at the outset, the outcome was soon decided as the Islanders went from a slim 4-2 lead to a commanding 10-2 margin behind the serves of Melissa Bailey and Rachel McDonough.
A young and inexperienced Hannahville squad had trouble all night with returning serve. Their coach Mark McNabb pointed to the fact his team made the trip shorthanded, starting two seventh-graders and one eighth-grader. "We didn't have any subs," he said, "but we played pretty well."
The second game was more of a rout as the Islanders claimed the first 13 points before the Eagles got on the board. Kerrie Gillespie served up an eight-point run in which only one serve was returned in play.
Coach Boyle used the night to substitute her younger players into the lineup and was pleased with their performance as well. "Our young girls pulled their weight tonight. We like to try to blend our young players in with the experienced players," Boyle said. The coach pointed out that playing the young girls when she can has been a big part of the team's success over the years.
The teams played a third game although the match had been decided. Using rally scoring where each serve results in a point, Hannahville eked out a 16-14 win.


Boys rally, but fall short

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In an exciting basketball battle, the Islander boys stayed close to the Soaring Eagles Friday night before falling 52-42. The turning point in the game came in the third quarter after the Islanders had rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to pull even at 30-30. The Eagles scored the final 11 points of the period, giving them a margin they never really relinquished.
"We played better than we did against Mackinac," said Islander coach Mike Myers. "We handled the ball better."
A good start gave the Islanders an early 10-7 lead, but three three-pointers by Hannahville put the visitors up 17-14 after one quarter of play. The Eagles then stretched their lead to 28-20 by the end of the second quarter.
The Islanders opened the third quarter on fire, scoring the first seven points on their way to a 10-2 run that pulled them even with the Eagles at the midway point of the period. Jimmy Gillespie knocked down a pair of triples during the run while Jared Wojan and John Albin each added a bucket. Unfortunately, Gillespies' second trey was the last score of the quarter for the Green and White and the Islanders found themselves trailing 41-30 heading into the final quarter.
A 6-2 run to start the fourth period kept the Islander hopes alive. Gillespie and Wojan each scored baskets and Barry McDonough scored on another patented drive as the Islanders closed within 43-35. Wojan added a three-pointer after a pair of Hannahville scores, but the Islanders couldn't close the gap.
McDonough paced the Islanders with 12 points. Albin added 10 with Wojan scoring nine and Gillespie seven.
The sophomore Gillespie took a pounding throughout the night, finding himself on the floor numerous times. "He really played with a lot of heart," Myers said.
Myers also had praise for senior Keith Szpanski who was on the court for his first varsity contest. "He did a good job on the boards and gives us some more to work with inside," Myers said. Szpanski also scored four points for the Islanders who are now 0-2 in Northern Lights League play.
Hannahville improved to 3-1 in NLL games and 4-2 overall. Their only losses have come to Mackinac Island.

Saturday Sports
The Islanders entertained the Hannahville Soaring Eagles on Saturday morning, wrapping up the weekend series between the Northern Lights League opponents.  In the morning’s opening action the Eagles did indeed soar against the Islander boys basketball team, claiming both a 72-48 win as well as a sweep of the weekend’s two games.
In volleyball it was a sweep as well, but this time it was the local girls doing the cleaning as the Islander girls easily surpassed the Eagles in straight games, winning 15-0 and 15-6.  These games wrap up the 2003 portion of the schedule. The Islander teams will not be back in action until January 16 and 17 when the Munising Baptist Bobcats make the trip here.

Eagles fly away early
In what their coach termed “a better played game than the night before,” the Eagles opened a tight game with a 6-0 run to close the first quarter of Saturday’s basketball game then began the second stanza with an 8-0 run. Combined, those two spurts turned an 8-8 knot into a 22-8 frazzle. The Eagles closed the first half of play with a commanding 35-18 lead.  The Islanders closed the gap somewhat in the early going of the third quarter as Keith Szpanski scored three straight Islander baskets, but after the Green and White closed to within 39-26, the Eagles went
on a 16-point tear to finish the quarter with a 59-28 lead.  Although the Islanders managed to put up 20 points in the fourth period compared to just 13 by Hannahville, it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the Eagles’ big lead.
Barry McDonough continues to lead the Islanders in scoring, pumping in a team-high 20 points. Szpanski again showed his value as an addition to the team by adding 10 while continuing to be a presence in
the middle. Jimmy Gillespie and Jared Wojan each finished with five points, while John Albin and John Runberg scored four apiece.  The Eagles had three players in double figures, led by Shawn Paul with 22.

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Islanders impressive in sweep
After Friday night’s performance it was doubtful the Islander volleyball team could play much better. But then came Saturday morning and play better they did.  It just doesn’t get much better than 15-0. And in a show of balance
that reflects the strength of this team, three girls served up five-point runs from the line. Krystle Timsak got the team rolling with her run. Danielle Cary pushed the lead to 10-0 and Kerrie Gillespie continued her solid service game from the night before by sending over the final five points, including three aces. “Our girls were all more relaxed this morning. Even the younger girls weren’t as nervous today,” said a pleased coach Connie Boyle. Once again in the second game the younger crowd showed its stuff as Leah Cary, Brenna Green, Brittany Crandall and Melissa Peters all played pivotal roles in the 15-6 win. The young Eagles improved their play in the second game as well, keeping the score close through a 4-4 tie before the Island girls ran off 10 straight points to put the game on ice.  The Islanders are now 2-0 in league play and 4-0 overall.

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School Christmas Program

On the evening of December 18th, the school children presented the community with their annual Christmas program.  Emcee for the event was Melissa Bailey.

First up and dancing to holiday songs were Signé Thomas' tap students followed by Signé doing a solo dance.

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Tappers include: Jenna Butler, Olivia Cary, Levi Connor, Jewell Gillespie-Cushman, Dave Schwartzfisher, Olivia Schwartzfisher, Hannah Robert, Meg Works, Jenna Battle, Kristy Bousquet, Deven Cook, Desire Duhamel, Brighid Gillespie-Cushman, Clairessa Kenwabikise, Briana Maudrie, Brogan Maudrie and Melissa Peters.

Mrs. Croswhite's kindergarten class in simple costume sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Left to right: Emily Wiggers-Burton, Erin Dixon-Myers, Liam Hodgson, Truman Left, Trace Butler and Zach Bousquet.

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Mrs. Stambaugh's 5th and 6th graders told us holiday wishes of famous Americans.  The children had researched and written their own possibility of what might have been said.  These students were: Levi Connor, Clairessa Kenwabikise, Doug Campbell, Brontae Lemmink, Kristy Bousquet, Jenna Butler, Lindsey Kenwabikise, Alex Kuligoshi, Cameron LaVasseur, Briana Maudrie, Dereck McDonough, and Bryan Timsak.  The students rounded off their segment of the program by singing Don't Laugh at Me.

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With Judi Meister on piano, Danielle Cary sang O Holy Night

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Gathering the first to fourth graders together, Mike Myers directed them in singing and reciting poetry.  At the end of their segment, four members of the Student Council joined them for two more songs.

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This group consisted of Jordan Marsh, Hannah Robert, Willow Rasch, Jewell Gillespie-Cushman, Olivia Cary, Ronnie Marsh, Meg Works, McKenzie Connaghan-McPherson, McCauley Connaghan, Marissa Crandall, Dylan Left, Jenna Battle, Brighid Gillespie-Cushman, Matthew Cull, Augustus Connaghan, Desire Duhamel, Danny LaFreniere, Brogan Maudrie, Michael Myers, Olivia Schwartzfisher, Jamie Campbell, William Lemmink joined by Emma Adams, Brenna Green, Leaha Cary and Cory Sowa.

Of course no Christmas program would be complete without a visit from the jolly, round elf.  Mr. and Mrs. Santa arrived just at the end of the program with bags of candy for all the good boys and girls.

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ARGH! It's THAT Time of Year Again!

Man, it hardly seems possible that a whole year has gone past.  It seems like just last week I had to go brave the mainland elements and do my most dreaded thing... Christmas Shopping.  Frankly, I'd rather have to eat worms on "Fear Factor" than venture into stores, especially at this time of year.  Yeah, I know, I know, there actually are folks who love to shop.  My comment to them is, "You are sick puppies!"  What is fun about hoping the weather is clear so that you can hop on the plane in the morning, fight for parking spaces, run up and down aisles looking for some item that you know will either be the wrong size, wrong color or, as my luck usually has it.. the wrong everything.  Despite all this, my spouse again nominated me to be the one to have the adventure... be still my heart.  So, I'm heading off sometime this week for that annual mad dash through Petoskey and Charlevoix trying to find everything that everyone wants.  If I'm not back by next Monday you'll know I am either still waiting for a parking space or, and this is my hope, picked up by aliens who don't like shoppers.  In the meantime, Beaver Island is gearing up for the holidays.. homes are being decorated, kids are making lists left and right, Mr. and Mrs. Santa have been seen at a few locations taking Christmas orders while the U.S. Post Office, Island Airways and the Beaver Island Boat Company are hauling package after package.  It's the holiday season.


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