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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.

Bucks hang on to take down Manton

Bucks hang on to take down Manton

Pine River rebounds from tough loss to Evart with win over Rangers on homecoming LEROY – The best way to come back from a disappointing loss in high school football one week is with a big victory the next. That’s what the Pine River Bucks did Friday night in a 27-21 victory in Highland Conference […]

Pheasant season on the horizon

Pheasant season on the horizon

BIG RAPIDS — Mark Sochocki was on his way to North Dakota on Thursday with one thing in mind: Pheasant hunting. “It’s opening weekend Saturday in North Dakota,” said Sochocki, a member of the Big Rapids Housing Commission, adding that he also hunts locally. “I do a lot of bird hunting, a little bit of […]

Coyotes serve Warriors first league loss

Coyotes serve Warriors first league loss

Reed City moves into tie for second in CSAA with win over Chippewa Hills REED CITY — Two of the Central State Activities Association top volleyball teams tested their talents against each other on Tuesday with Reed City sneaking past Chippewa Hills 28-26, 25-18, 25-19. Both teams are now 5-1 in the Central State Activities […]

Wildcats shock Bucks in comeback

Wildcats shock Bucks in comeback

Evart rallies from 27-0 deficit in unlikely 33-27 win EVART — Evart coach Pat Craven said he’s never been a part of a comeback in his career like the one his Wildcats enjoyed on Saturday. Anyone watching Saturday’s 33-27 Wildcat homecoming win over the Pine River Bucks are likely to talk about this Highland Conference […]

Coyotes stay grounded in win

Coyotes stay grounded in win

Reed City uses running game to clinch playoff berth in win over Warriors REMUS — The big plays went mainly Reed City’s way Friday night and the Coyotes are two-third’s of the way to their third straight undefeated regular season and another Central State Activities Association (CSAA) title. Chad Samuels ran for two touchdowns and […]

Visser helps grouse society

Visser helps grouse society

Former DNR biologist stays busy helping Ruffed Grouse Society LEROY — Larry Visser has had an interest in ruffed grouse for a long time. It’s as high now as it ever was. Visser worked 35 years with the Department of Natural Resources, starting out as a research biologist. He was involved in black bear research […]

Childress goes to the air in win

Childress goes to the air in win

Baldwin quarterback goes for 314 yards passing in 40-14 win over Brethren BALDWIN — A week ago, Brandon Childress let his legs do the talking in a 39-13 win for Baldwin’s football team over Manistee Catholic Central. On Friday night against Brethren, it was Childress’s arm that paved the way in a 40-14 West Michigan […]

Panthers blow past Sabers

Panthers blow past Sabers

Childress has big night for Baldwin in 39-13 win over Manistee Catholic Central BALDWIN — It was all Brandon Childress Friday night in a 39-13 Baldwin victory over Manistee Catholic Central Friday night.The Sabers couldn’t contain the talented Panther quarterback who gained 284 yards on nine carries and had scoring runs of 43, 70, 55 […]