Players compete in all-star game

BIG RAPIDS — The stars came out to play on Tuesday (June 26) as the area’s best baseball players competed in the inaugural Pioneer Newsgroup Senior All Star Game at Big Rapids High.

Team North defeated Team South 7-4 in seven innings.

“It was a good, clean game,” Team North coach Marty Shaffer said. “Everybody hit the ball and there weren’t many errors.  It’s just something new to recognize these athletes by playing on a bigger stage.”

Team North consisted of Josh Dorn (Evart), Jericho Vanscoyoc (Evart), Jeffery Phenix (Reed City), Hunter Morrison (Reed City), Bryce Grannis (Reed City), Simon Moreno (Reed City), Michael Thorne (CCA), and Garrett Sprague (Chippewa Hills).

Team South consisted of Johnny Yonker (Big Rapids), Jackson Lund (Big Rapids), Aaron Repke (Big Rapids), Connor Vennix (Big Rapids), Tyler Dard (Morley Stanwood), Jacob Polasek (Newaygo), Brett Ward (Holton), and Dalton Giddings (Holton).

Lund had two hits for Team South while Dorn had two hits (one triple) and Thorne had an RBI single for Team North. Morrison picked up the win on the mound and was named Team North MVP. Yonker was named Team South MVP.

“It was a good game with good competition,” Morrison said. “It was nice to have fun with everybody for the last time in a high school game.”

“It was nice,” Yonker said. “We had fun doing it. It was nice playing against these guys. I’ve competed against them all four years, so it was nice getting one more chance to play them.”

Many of the participants have competed with and against one another for years. Even so, players enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the game.

“It’s a lot more laid back,” Yonker said. “It’s a lot different than playing against them in a regular season, especially the Reed City guys. It’s nice to play a fun game of baseball.”

Now that the first game is in the books, Shaffer hopes to build off the experience and make next year’s event even better.

“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going every year and get more people involved. I think it was a good start for this year and I think it went well.”



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with Herald Review as well as the Pioneer and The Lake County Star. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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