To raise money for the organization, the Howell Michigan Chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters recently put on a fundraiser Sunday, March 10 at Striking Lanes bowling alley in Hartland.
“The nationwide organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a charity faithfully dedicated to helping children who are experiencing extra struggles at home,” says HHS junior, Roz Duma.
Through mentoring from high school students, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been very effective for many years. The kids who look up to the high school students have opportunity to benefit from their role models. Applications were available in the HHS main office in hopes of prompting as many students as possible to join in and participate.
“Generally every year the [HHS] football team solely does this fundraiser, but this year it has been opened up to everyone,” says Duma, who is one of the organizers in charge of this fundraiser through her Leadership class.
There were multiple teams of exactly five people per group that were simply just bowling. Each player had to raise $30 in order to join. This was accomplished multiple ways, whether the player decided to put in the money on their own, raise it in the community, or ask for donations from family members or local businesses.
Although there were many different teams bowling, there was not a formal competition going on. All teams that were bowling only played separately from other teams, as an individual group. Overall the end results were pleasing. A good amount of money was raised to go towards Big Brothers Big Sisters, and this contribution will benefit all the kids in their own way, making the fundraiser a vast success.
It was a very exciting year for the Howell bowling team. All levels achieved success and some new records were even set. The boys varsity team clinched first place in the KLAA West division with a record of 11-1. Three of the bowlers, Jack Herndel, Spencer Lademan, and Steven Golm, were selected to the all KLAA Conference Team. “I feel overall the season was a good one. We won the conference for the second year in a row, and we had to do it in the last match against South Lyon East (who we were tied with for first). We ended up only winning that meet by one match and it was probably the most important meet,” says Lademan, a senior. A junior, Herndel qualified 6th at regionals, which allowed him to move onto the state tournament in Muskegon where he finished in eighth place. Leading up to regionals and states, Herndel worked with his private coach and along with the girls team to get ready. “Placing 8th felt great. I felt really good from being 24th last year to moving up to 8th,” says Herndel. The varsity girls bowling team tied for 3rd place in the KLAA West Division. This accomplishment came after they won the Regional Tournament and were awarded a spot to compete at the State Tournament. This is the first time this has ever happened in history for the team. Junior Victoria Clawson was selected for the Girls All Conference KLAA team. Clawson finished 3rd at the Regional tournament, earning a trip to the state tournament, placing in the top 20. “It felt really good. It was my first time competing in singles so I was nervous as well but the outcome ended up good,” says Clawson. Both the JV girls and boys finished first in the KLAA West Division. At the JV Invitational Championships, the boys team placed 4th while the girls team placed 8th. Both teams had bowlers qualify for the JV Singles Invitational Tournament. The boys had seven out of eight bowlers place in the top 50 out of 169 bowlers, three receiving medals: Michael Oatman, Jeremy Johnson, and Nick Schroeder. The girls had five out of six bowlers place in the top 50% of JV Singles Division. Both Alex Sanford, and Kayla Diesler medaled. “We have a variety of players with a ton of talent and the teams should continue on a winning path as they all practice hard and have a desire to succeed,” says coach Dave LaFollette.
With the 2012 bowling season at an end, the Howell Highlanders finished with a dominating record, only losing two matches throughout the entire campaign. While the team did not win at the state competition, the Howell bowlers look to capitalize on a successful season and become even stronger this offseason.
Led by sophomore bowler Jack Herndel, who had the highest average this season, the boys team continues to succeed. With their only two losses happening to Brighton and Pinckney, the Highlanders won the division and stood their ground in the conference.
Once past in-season competition, the Highlanders sped past regionals and made it to the first round in the state tournament. Starting off strong, Howell unfortunately lost their grip and failed to qualify for the second round of states by a mere nine pins.
“We were so close to qualifying but couldn’t capitalize,” senior bowler Justin Halstead said. “On the other hand, we have strong leadership coming up from younger classes, so I’m not worried.”
Although the boys bowling team did not bring home the trophy, the strong underclassmen returning will hopefully pave the way for another successful season next year.
Coming in March, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Livingston County is hosting their annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake Fundraiser. Their goal is to raise over 100,000 dollars for their budget in order to keep the Big Brothers Big Sisters program running for present and future kids.
The first day of the fundraiser is Saturday, March 10 and is from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The high school challenge will be held Sunday, March 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Striking Lanes in Hartland will be the bowling alley for the event.
Each individual person has to have a minimum pledge of thirty dollars. With the pledge money everyone will get one game of bowling, a T-shirt, shoe rental, and pizza.
“Bowl for Kids is a great way for high school kids to get involved and have some fun along the way,” Kimberly Roberts says. She is a social worker and case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Livingston County.
The Howell High School football teams lend their hand every year and will continue this proud tradition again this year. The team is split up into groups of five and each group tries to raise as much money as possible. Each team of five has to pledge at least 150 dollars.
Jason Wisby, a junior on the HHS football team, is going on his fourth year participating in the Bowl for Kids. “I like going every year because it’s fun, the whole team is there, and we always compete against each other,” Wisby says. Not only does Wisby help Big Brothers Big Sisters through the Bowl for Kids, but his family has been involved with the program for years. “I’m happy to support a good cause. It’s rewarding to help little kids that are having a hard time,” Wisby says.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has over 100 years in history starting in 1904. This organization help kids to change their perspective and help them reach their full potential by bringing caring role models into their lives every day. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, kids are less likely to act out, partake in illegal activity, and are more likely to do better in school.
Holly Lawson, a senior at HHS is a big sister of Livingston County. “It’s my first year and I didn’t know what to expect. I found that the kids are excellent and I love that I’m helping the community,” Lawson says.
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds. “Bowl for Kids is our largest fundraising campaign of the year. We hope to raise 65 percent of our budget at this event,” Sheri Davis-Schoech says. She is the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Livingston County.
“The organization depends on donations to help recruit volunteers and reach more children,” Davis-Schoech says.
As the balls start rolling and the pins start dropping, it’s easy to tell that bowling season has finally come around the corner. The Howell varsity girls are looking to take the division title again this year. They return four out of five girls from last season’s team, which had a perfect 14-0 record. The team will rely on the senior leadership of Danielle Robson, Cheylyn Wilson, and Maribeth Golm.
Coach Josh Collopy is setting the bar high for his team after last season’s success. “I expect us to once again win at least 12 or 13 games this season. We are fully capable of winning the division title once again and should also finish in the top three at regionals to advance us to the state finals,” coach Collopy said.
The girls bowling team rivalry games are both against the Brighton Bulldogs on January 1 and February 11.
Senior Maribeth Golm expects big things out of her team this year as well. “Everyone has worked hard on their games in preparation for the season. Our goals are to win districts, make it to states, and just have fun.”
For the varsity boys, they will also come into the season with very high expectations. They return six out of the seven members from last year’s team, which had a solid season.
The top upperclassmen that will lead the squad are seniors Brad Pfohl and Justin Halstead, and junior Spencer Lademan.
“I expect us to win the division, nothing more than that. We have an outstanding team this year and we will make it the best year Howell bowling has had yet,” Halstead said.
Their key matchups will be against Brighton on January 11, South Lyon East on January 24, and Brighton again on February 11.
“I expect us to win 10 games out of our 15 this season and compete for a division title. I expect us to compete at regionals and hopefully finish in the top three so we can make the state championship tournament,” Mr. Collopy said.
The sounds are heard from the first step in: the screeching of the shoes, the ball hitting the slicked up lane, and the crash of ten pins hopefully falling down for a strike. While some people need bumpers, or some go just to have a good time, these bowlers are serious, and it shows. The Highlander girls and boys bowling teams are quickly becoming one of Howell’s top programs.
After a 12-3 season last year, the girls team went 14-0 this year (while also missing a match), winning the KLAA West division for a second year in a row. The boys team also improved, finishing third in the division with a 9-5 overall record.
The teams practice at the Howell Bowl-E-Drome on Mondays and Wednesdays and are coached by Mr. Josh Collopy.
Both teams have improved year after year, especially the girls team, which went undefeated and missed qualifying for states by 22 pins.
The secret? “Team chemistry,” according to Mr. Collopy.
“The biggest reason for our success was that the girls have all bowled on varsity together for the past three years,” he said. “Bowling and practicing together since they were freshmen really helped build team chemistry.”
Junior Cheylyn Wilson, who raised her average by 13 pins to 171, agreed with Mr. Collopy.
“The main reason why our team did so well was definitely because of the teamwork,” Wilson said. ”It took the whole team to get us as far as we did in this undefeated season.”
Junior Danielle Robson, who led the team with a 183 average, said the team built upon last year’s success.
“I think the team did so well because we knew we had the potential to be good last year, and we really stepped up and showed it this year,” Robson, who finished in the top four at the state individual tournament, said.
Although the improvements this year weren’t as dramatic as year’s past, there was one aspect Wilson felt the team improved upon during the season.
“This year we all improved significantly on making our spares,” Wilson, who missed qualifying for states by 22 pins, noted. “Practice definitely played an important role with staying consistant on hitting our marks and throwing good shots.”
While the girls didn’t qualify for the state tournament, the team still finished second at the KLAA tournament and sixth at regionals, also picking up a 20-10 win during the regular season over rival Brighton.
“They really learned what it takes to win every match,” Mr. Collopy said. “They stayed focused, even when they were losing, and gave their natural ability a chance to come through when it was needed.”
The boys team went 8-4 in division play, a respectable record for a squad that had only one senior, Austin LaCarter, who led the team with a 204 average.
“This year featured six boys who were bowling on varsity for the first time, and there is a big difference between junior varsity and varsity,” Mr. Collopy said.
Sophomore Spencer Lademan, who carried a 203 average throughout the year, had this to say about the team’s year: ”I would say the season went fairly well. We had a great team and did great throughout conference play, but we were a little disappointed with our postseason performance.”
Lademan also commented on the team’s chemistry, saying, “I feel that we became a team during the year. As the season progressed, we learned what it meant to be a team and we had a lot more fun.”
After finishing third in a competitive KLAA West, the bar is set high for what the team can do next season.
“We had some struggles over the course of the year, but we learned a lot and that should help us next year as six of [the varsity bowlers] will be back,” Mr. Collopy added.
Key players: Kenny Miloser (senior, defense), Dakota Olvin (senior, defense), Jordan Simmonds (senior, forward), Branden Burton (senior, forward), Jake Henrikson (senior, forward), Gabe Daavettila (senior, forward), Andrew Brownlee (junior, goalie)
Season Outlook: Howell Varsity Hockey looks forward to another successful season after reaching the state finals the past two seasons. Team chemistry and leadership will be the key factors that will determine how far they go this season. Howell is very experienced this season with six seniors who will play significant roles on the team. The Highlanders aspire to advance deep in the post season and make it to their third consecutive state championship game.
Coach Comment: “This team has a lot of players that have played in one or both of the State Final games and have experienced the success over the past two seasons. Hopefully these players will be the catalyst to start the fire burning again and spread to the entire team by late February.” – Coach Montrose
Player Comment: “We hope to win states after two years of losing in the finals. We have several returning veterans that should help us reach our goal.” – Jordan Hawkins (Junior)
Rivalry: Brighton, Hartland
Key players: Jordan Phifer (Junior), Amanda Pompilius (Junior), Katelyn Beno (Senior), Courtney Schippers (Senior), Samantha Leventis (Freshman), Emily Laupp (Freshman)
Season Outlook: Howell Varsity Gymnastics plan to be very competitive for this season. Senior leadership will be key for the team’s success. All the girls have and continue working extremely hard to upgrade their routines. The two freshmen are learning fast and should improve quickly throughout the season as they gain experience. The girls are determined to all qualify individually for the State Finals.
Coach Comment: “The team should easily qualify for Regionals and could potentially be very competitive for a spot at the Team Finals. The team goal is to have all team members qualify for Regionals to give them a chance to qualify for State Individual Finals.” – Coach Gregory
Player Comment: “This year I feel that our main goal is to do the best that we can and have fun.” – Jordan Phifer (Junior)
Rivalry: Brighton, Walled Lake, Plymouth
Key players: Alex Calandrino (Junior), Troy Root (Senior), Taylor Moore (Senior), Mitch Faulkner (Senior), Jimmy Dobson (Senior), Kyle Barjon (Senior), Jimmy Walsh (Senior), Trevor Loge (Senior), Joe Brancheau (Junior), Marcus Wendel (Junior), Josh Spisak (Junior), Hayden Hughes (Sophomore), Chad Czerneski (Sophomore), Cam Englund (Sophomore), Ben Calandrino (Freshman)
Season Outlook: Howell Wrestling is ready to start another successful season in the KLAA West division. They have several upperclassmen that should make a very strong impact this season. They return one wrestler who made it to the state wrestling meet. They want to improve upon last season, hoping to earn the league championship and get to states as a team.
Coach Comment: “Our goals are always the same, win the league and go to team states.” – Coach Minock
Player Comment: “We are hoping to improve this season and have more guys make it to states.” – Junior Alex Calandrino
Rivalry: Brighton and Hartland
Key players: Aleksander Antic (Senior), Torey Williams (Senior), Brandon Nazione (Junior), William Ainsworth (Senior),
Season Outlook: Howell Varsity Basketball aspires to do great things this season. After a losing record last year, they strive to improve and surpass expectations. The boys want to make a serious run into playoffs with their main goal of winning a state championship. They have several returning players from last year who they will look to for leadership and experience.
Player Comment: “Our ultimate goal is to win our league, make it far in the playoffs, and win the state championship. The whole team has worked really hard in the offseason and we’ve tremendously improved.” – Aleksander Antic, senior
Rivalry: Brighton, Hartland
Key players: Kaytlin Stroinski (12), Bre’Ana Strong (12), Katie Kubiak (12), Emily Lorkowski (12), Mackenzie Cleary (12), Kathryn Wright (12), Shelby Demeuse (12), and Ashlyn Samples (12)
Season Outlook: The Lady Highlanders are excited to improve upon a very successful season last year. The girls have worked very hard in the off season to prepare themselves. Howell will have great post play this season. The key to their success will be for the guards to step up and make big plays despite their inexperience. Howell wants to repeat as West Division champions and as the KLAA conference champions. They also strive to make a deep run into the state tournament.
Coach Comment: “It should be a great season for this group. I as a coach love coaching them, and they always are willing to go the extra effort for the team which says a lot about these young ladies.” – Coach Clark
Player Comment: “I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do as a team. All the girls on the team are unselfish and will do whatever it takes to win.”- Bre’Ana Strong (Senior)
Key players: Joe Brosnan (Senior), Zac Cain (Junior), Christoph Hohenfeld (Senior), Garrett Murphy (Freshman), Bryan Stroinski (Sophomore)
Season Outlook: Howell Swimming has high expectations coming into the winter sports season. They have a mix of great talent and potential from the upperclassmen as well from the underclassmen. The team has a great turnout this season with over 35 swimmers. Howell lost seven seniors of their top ten swimmers from last year’s team that went to states. However, many people on the team have stepped up, and two foreign exchange students are expected to make a great impact this season.
Coach Comment: “We want to win the KLAA west division, win the KLAA Lakes conference, and place top 10 at the state championship meet.” – Coach Kasprzak
Player Comment: “Our goals are simple. We want to score top ten in the state meet, and we want to defend our title as returning champs. Initially, I didn’t think it was possible but now, looking at these brave boys who walked on deck the first day, well, maybe we might just be able to do that.” – Joe Brosnan (Senior)
Key players: Kelly Frazier (Senior), Megan Salas (Senior), Melanie Eastman (Senior), Michelle Michailuk (Senior)
Season Outlook: Howell Competitive Cheer is excited to show that they can compete among the best in the conference as well in the state this season. However, every meet will be battle in the tough KLAA West division for the girls. The team’s goals are to advance as far as possible in states, win the KLAA, and come closer in the standings to Brighton and Hartland. They have made great improvement since last season and have several seniors that will provide leadership.
Coach Comment: “The team has worked very hard and has improved incredibly. We are trying to prove that Howell is a solid program and a force to reckon with.” – Coach Rossman
Rivalry: Hartland and Brighton
Key players: Boys – Austin LaCarter (Senior), Justin Halstead (Junior); Girls- Danielle Robson (Junior), Heidi Maxwell (Senior)
Season Outlook: Boys – Boys Varsity Bowling will be dealing with a great amount of inexperience this season. Austin LaCarter is the only returning member from last year’s team. However, the team has great talent since the junior varsity took first in the JV State Championship tournament last year. The boys expect to compete in the middle of the pack or better in the KLAA West Division.
Girls – Girls Varsity Bowling expects to have an outstanding season. They are returning all five starters from last year’s team which won the first KLAA Division bowling title in school history. The girls have good experience and they will strive to win the KLAA West division for the second consecutive season.
Coach Comment: Boys: “Even with the boys being young they have a lot of potential after finishing 1st in the JV State Championship tournament last season.” – Coach Collopy
Girls: “With another year’s experience under their belts the girls team this year will look to win the KLAA West once again. Not only does this team have the potential to win the division they have the potential to compete for a Regional and State title.” – Coach Collopy
Player Comment: “Going from winning the JV state championship to varsity was a big step up and I’m expecting our team this year to have huge accomplishments.” – Justin Halstead (Junior)
Rivalry: 1-18-2011 vs. Brighton @ Pinz Bowling Center; 2-12-2011 vs. Brighton @ Whitmore Lanes
Key players: Girls – Erika Vichcales (Junior), Amanda Depuydt (Senior); Boys – Nick Borchardt (Sophomore), Lames Maize (Sophomore), Lee Mersch (Sophomore), Keegan Zemper (Sophomore)
Season Outlook: Howell Skiing is determined to have a strong season this winter. They will again compete in the Mt. Brighton Ski league. This league consists of 11 teams from Ann Arbor to Okemos. Howell Varsity Ski Team will again compete in the Mt. Brighton Ski league. The girls’ team is led by two upperclassmen that have a large amount of experience and who are capable of winning any race. All the girls will be pushing each other to get better. The boys’ team is dealing with a lot of inexperience with no upperclassmen on the team. However, they all have great talent and will be working hard to improve every day.
Coach Comment: Girls – “Our girls’ team is strong this year with eight members. Six girls returned from last year lead by Amanda Depuydt (Senior) and Erika Vichcales (Junior).” – Coach Gorton
Boys – “The boys’ team is very young this year. We have four sophomores and two freshmen. We look for Nick Borchardt to be the fastest of the boys. Lames Maize, Lee Mersch, and Keegan Zemper will be working hard to catch him.” – Coach Gorton
Player Comment: “We’ve put in a lot of hard work and are hoping to go far as a team this year. We all get along very well and push each other to do better every day.”- Erika Vichcales (Junior)
Rivalry: League races are held at Mt Brighton on Tuesdays and Thursdays in January and February. First race will be January 6th.