Report and photos by Frank Solle
Island girls shoot down the Eagles
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
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
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
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 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.
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.
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
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
First up and dancing to holiday songs were Signé Thomas' tap
students followed by Signé doing a solo dance.
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
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.
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.
With Judi Meister on piano, Danielle Cary sang O Holy Night
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.
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.
ARGH! It's THAT Time of Year Again!
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.
Page Two of the News on the 'Net