VARSITY HOCKEY Bay Reps start the season with back to back wins
Elk Rapids Scott Crawford (3), of the Bay Reps, notched his first goal of the season against Portage on Friday night.
The first snowfall is a sign of winter, along with the Bay Reps hockey team lacing up their skates.
The Reps opened season play last Thursday at Centre Ice with a 5-2 win over visiting Cadillac. RJ Denewith (SF) scored four goals, Thomas Barnes (GRY) added the other. Jay Jones (SF) manned the net for the Reps.
Skating Friday night against visiting Portage Northern, the Reps earned victory number two with a 2-1 win. Denewith put the Reps on the board early in the first period with a goal. Elk Rapids junior Scott Crawford hit the back of the net with an assist from fellow Elk Zach Van Compernolle for a 2-0 lead after one. Portage scored early in the third, but were blanked the rest of the night. Jones was in goal for the night.
The Reps (2-0) travel to Big Rapids to play in the annual Thanksgiving Tournament held Friday and Saturday. A full preview of the Bay Reps co-op hockey team will be in next week’s edition of the Elk Rapids News.
Elk Rapids Zach Van Compernolle tallied three assists in the first two Rep games this season. Courtesy photos
CROSS COUNTRY Luckett commits to run at Virginia Military Institute
Logan Luckett, fresh from earning her second straight All-State honor in cross country, has signed a letter of commitment to run cross country and track at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia. VMI is the oldest state supported military college in the United States, founded in 1839. Nicknamed Keydets, VMI sports participate in the NCAA Division I Southern Conference. Luckett was looking at Central Michigan, Saginaw Valley, Bowling Green and University of Detroit Mercy for post high school opportunities. A recent weekend visit to the VMI campus convinced the Elk Rapids senior that Lexington was where she wanted to go.
“VMI was the most academically rigorous school I looked at and the opportunities after college would be enormous,” Luckett said. “I also would be able to run cross country and track. The structured atmosphere was also something that appealed to me.”
The Keydet women’s cross country team is a young squad, with no seniors this past season. Dr. Drew Ludtke, the distance coach for VMI track and field and cross country, is excited to have Luckett at the school. “I have been following Logan’s progress over the last few years. I saw her run well at the beginning of the season and reached out to her. I was happy to find she is an excellent student. She was excited about Virginia Military Institute and the challenges of our education. I like that Logan is a student looking to challenge herself mentally and physically in our disciplined environment. I see Logan making an immediate impact. She is joining a team that is on the rise and showing improvements. We are looking forward to the exciting times at Virginia Military Institute.”
Elk Rapids cross country coach Gary Carter first noticed Luckett as a freshman, when she and a fellow student practiced without a coach or team, due to cross country not being offered that season. Carter stepped up to volunteer as a coach, and since has been the full time cross country coach, as well as an assistant to Elk track coach Ed Schindler.
“Only time will tell just how far she can go in her running career, I think she has a real chance to challenge four of the Elk Rapids track records this Spring and with the NCAA out in front of her she can go as far as she chooses,” remarked Carter. “Logan has the proper base training and with a little fine tuning (speed work) she should be a monster on the track, It really was quite the gratifying experience being her coach and seeing her win all the cross country events in this, her senior year.”
Luckett plans on majoring in biology to eventually get a physical therapy degree. She received a combination academic and athletic scholarship package from VMI.
“The visit to VMI made me realize that I wasn›t going to school just for running. I had to get a good education as well, and VMI really had that,” Luckett explained.
Congratulations Logan on becoming a Keydet!
FOOTBALL Former Elks finish college football careers
Former Elk teammates Reece Isenhart (74) and Conor Cocking (57) faced each other as college seniors this season. Courtesy photo
It was six seasons ago that the Elk Rapids varsity football team went undefeated in the regular season, before losing at home in the first game of the playoffs. Some of the players from that season went on to college ball, but most hung up their pads, holding onto memories from a great team and the end of their playing days. Two key pieces of the 2010 team, Reece Isenhart and Conor Cocking extended their football careers into the college level, and both finished out four-year gridiron careers this November. Cocking went north to play football for the Division II Michigan Tech Huskies in Houghton. Redshirted as a freshman, Cocking played the next four seasons, finishing his career in the Huskie season finale on November 14.
“College football was incredibly fast paced compared to high school. More was expected out of you as an individual early on and you learn to mature at a raster rate than normal,” Cocking explained. “You learn to deal with adversities on the fly and making high speed decisions at the next level. It takes a lot of effort to balance school and football especially being in engineering. I can›t complain however, being able to play football and get a great degree from an outstanding university is more than I could ever ask for. I couldn›t have done any of this without the support of my family and friends.”
Cocking majored in materials science and engineering and will graduate in April with a job lined up with a pipeline repair company. Cocking still has Elk Rapids football in his veins, and keeps up with the team. “I know they struggled this year, but I have all the confidence that they will be able to come back even better next year. It›s a great program and a great coaching staff.”
Isenhart went south after high school, committing to play football for the Division II Northwood University Timberwolves in Midland. After a redshirt freshman year, Isenhart played four years, ending his career on November 14 in Northwood’s final season game.
“The college game was honestly so much different from high school. I went from being one of the biggest kids on the team in high school to the bottom of the depth chart,” Isenhart said. “Instead of playing in a very good high school division six conference, I was playing with all-state kids, many of whom were state champions. Everybody was competitive who got to the college level and I didn›t thrive immediately.”
In his third season, Isenhart was approached by the special teams coach about switching to long snapping, with the position open due to a graduating player. Isenhart took the job, and through hard work and dedication was named the 2015 Special Teams Most Valuable Player.
“In 14 years of football and I never scored a touchdown, but the MVP award was a great honor to be voted on by my teammates,” summed up Isenhart. Graduating in December with a finance major, Isenhart is now going through the job interviewing process. “I keep up with Elks sports closely and have had opportunities to make it to a few basketball games. I still keep up with Coach Schindler and Coach Johnson regularly and am very thankful for their lessons in leadership in my life.”
Elk head football coach Ed Schindler has had many players go on to the college level, and feels a great sense of pride. “Many of our players go on to play college ball, I am always proud to see guys go. Many players don’t stick with it for one reason or another, it is a big commitment, but I am always proud and excited to see our players have the opportunity move on. To have guys play all four years is great to see,” Schindler said.
Elk Rapids News 212 River Street P.O. Box 176 Elk Rapids, Michigan 49629 231-264-6670 Phone 231-264-6685 Fax