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About John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

Bearing witness

Bearing witness

Baldwin resident Myers discovers mother bear and cubs on trail camera BALDWIN — Bob Myers lives five miles outside of Baldwin in a secluded spot that’s tucked away from populated areas. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get occasional visitors to the bird feeder in his backyard. It’s not just birds doing the visiting. With […]

Hunter success down this turkey season

LANSING — It was by all counts not a bad turkey hunting season locally and across the state. “It went well,” said Al Stewart, the Upland Game Bird specialist for the Department of Natural Resources. “People were seeing birds and a fair number of people were able to harvest one. The national average for hunter […]

Bucks’ season comes to an end

Bucks’ season comes to an end

Early inning struggles end Pine River’s season in 9-4 loss to Calvin Christian in state quarterfinal EAST LANSING – Calvin Christian’s three-run first inning was too much for Pine River to overcome in a 9-4 victory for the Squires over the Bucks Tuesday in a Division 3 quarterfinal at Michigan State University. Calvin Christian plays […]

A one-two punch on the mound

A one-two punch on the mound

Bucks’ Erickson, Ruppert help team reach quarters LEROY — Erickson and Ruppert. That might sound like a good name for an attorneys’ firm or a doctor’s office. At Pine River, it’s a good name for the one-two pitching punch of Lincoln Erickson and Devin Ruppert. The two senior righthanders remain a formidable mound combination in […]

Buck claim regional title

Buck claim regional title

Pine River pitches pair of shutouts to move on to quarters HOLTON — Pitching did the trick for Pine River again on Saturday. Lincoln Erickson pitched a full seven innings in the opener over Kent City while Devin Ruppert went the first 4 2/3 innings and Erickson finished up for the save in the Divison […]

Mohawks fall in  regional semifinal

Mohawks fall in regional semifinal

Morley Stanwood can’t get offense going in loss to Montague HOLTON — The regional tournament was too short on Saturday for the Morley Stanwood baseball team and Pine River softball squad. Both teams were eliminated in the semifinals and ended their seasons. The Mohawks lost 4-0 to Montague and Chayce Lohman, who pitched a no-hitter, […]

Area anglers celebrate free fishing weekend

BIG RAPIDS — This weekend marks the free fishing weekend, but area fishermen are basically concerned right now that any type of fishing becomes very successful. The Department of Natural Resources points out that Michigan’s annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend will be observed Saturday and Sunday. Both residents and non-residents can fish without a license […]

Once in a lifetime

Once in a lifetime

Sami Michell breaks career state title record with four more titles COMSTOCK PARK — Just when it didn’t seem possible that Sami Michell could top what she had already accomplished, she did it again. The remarkable Reed City senior athlete ended a four-year career in track and field Saturday at the Division 3 track and […]

McCuaig defends state title in high jump

McCuaig defends state title in high jump

Mohawks’ senior picks up three medals at state meet; Pine River’s Powell second in the 400 COMSTOCK PARK — It’s two straight state titles for Travis McCuaig who also picked up three medals for Morley Stanwood and scored 15 points in Saturday’s Division 3 track and field meet at Comstock Park. McCuaig won the high […]