Reed City, Pine River hit the books hard

Coyotes girls, Pine River boys ranked No. 1 in state for team GPA

REED CITY — It was quite a season in girls basketball for Reed City with a 17-4 record.

But it was also quite a season in the classroom.

The Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan recently recognized the Coyotes for academic all-state. In fact, Reed City was on top of the list with a team GPA of 3.893. Spring Lake was second at 3.82.

Chippewa HiIls was ninth at 3.76.

The GPAs are determined from all players on the team and their GPAs at the end of the first semester.

“It shows that No. 1 on this team, it’s academics,“ said Reed City coach Brian Koopman. “We take a lot of pride in our academics.”

Players on the team include Kayla Davis, Alex Donley, Kalee Hensel, Karah Hensel, Tia Lintemuth, Emma Lockhart, Kendra Repo, Jaqueline Mullins, Makenzie Switzer, Natalie Westhoff and Alaina Woodard.

Reed City was seventh at 3.75 last year on the all-state list.

The Coyotes weren’t the only ones making the grade, however. Pine River’s boys basketball team also earned academic all-state honors finishing first in Class C with a GPA of 3.664. The Bucks also were honorable mention at 3.47 for 2011-2012 and sixth in Class C at 3.44 for 2010-11.

Pine River boys coach Brian Goodenow said the award typifies a team in which the players worked hard in out of the classroom.

“My assistant coach, Carl Johnson, was pivotal in tracking our athlete’s academic progress. He is very committed to making sure our student-athletes stay focused on the classroom as well as the basketball court,” Goodenow said.

Members of the boys team were Joey Bowman, Lincoln Erickson, Lucas Harris, Brandon Hoaglund, Tyler Lewis, Mitchell McDonald, Devin Ruppert, Skyler Nelson, Devin Ruppert, Dylan Sieting, Garrett Traynor and Schroeder Vanderhoof.

This year’s honor was a highlight for Reed City captains Kalee Hensel and Emma Lockhart.

“We’ve worked so hard not only on the court but also in the classroom,” Hensel said. “It’s pretty tough. You have to spend a lot of time at it.”

Both Lockhart and Hensel acknowledged that playing sports and keeping up on academics is a challenge.

“It’s probably more important than any other honors we’ve received,” Lockhart said.

Pine River’s girls finished sixth in the academic all-state standings to take home academic all-state honors in Class C, as well.

Ironically, the Pine River girls had a higher GPA than the boys with a 3.813.

“It’s the highest I’ve ever had,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said of the team GPA. “There were five other teams above that (3.813), which was surprising.”

Members of the Pine River girls team were Erica Buchner, Paige Esiline, Cayman Gatt, Valerie Holmes, Jamie Justin, Erin Koetje, Jandney Mattson, Kassy Nelson, Jenna Peterson, Devyn Powell and Haley Raymond.

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Posted by 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.

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