Top 5 Breakout Seasons
Girls Freshman Basketball
The girls freshman basketball team had an outstanding season this year, dominating its conference with a 12-0 record. The girls went undefeated in conference play, which was a great achievement for the Lady Rangers. This season, the team started off the year losing four of its first five games, but this rough start was only used as motivation for the rest of the season. When conference play rolled around, the Lady Rangers were well prepared. After winning the Cornerstone Holiday Hoops tournament with wins over Grand Rapids Christian and Forest Hills Eastern, the girls seemed to have had a change in tempo. This momentum led to a big win over arch-rival Forest Hills Northern. FHC then lost a tough one to a very good East Grand Rapids team. This loss did not hold back the Lady Rangers though, as it propelled them to finish the year on a five-game win streak. The girls came into their freshman year and dominated the local schools in their first season as Rangers. This season, the girls proved that they will be a team to watch in the future.
“After a tough start to the season, I am very happy with how we were able to improve the rest of the year,” freshman Anna Hale said.
Boys Swim & Dive
The boys varsity swim and dive team had a great season this year, posting a fourth-place finish in the conference meet that gave them a second-place standing in the conference season. This year was a first for the Rangers because only FHC students were on the team. In previous years, the Forest Hills swim and dive team included members from all three Forest Hills schools. Behind senior CJ Hier and junior Avery LeTourneau, the swim team was able to pull out a close win over Jenison 94-91 and a comeback to tie with Grand Rapids Christian 93-93. The 200-yard medley relay team was dynamite for the Rangers this season. CJ, Avery, sophomore Benji Zorn, and senior Dani Ahmetovic came in first place in the 200-yard medley relay in the Forest Hills Invitational to help boost FHC to a second-place finish. Avery really excelled in the 500-yard freestyle event, winning the Forest Hills Invitational by about 18 seconds.
“It was really fun being able to start our own program, traditions, and figuring out how it would work with just our school on the team,” junior Josh Stevenson said. “We came together as a team, bonded and put in the work needed in order to finish second in the conference.”
The bowling team had a breakout year this season. The Rangers posted one of their best seasons in the past few years. The bowling team started off the year rough with losses to Northview, Cedar Springs, and Greenville. FHC was able to get big wins over Ottawa, Cedar Springs, and Lowell. Later in the season, the Rangers faced a heartbreaking loss to rival Forest Hills Northern by one pin. This year was huge for FHC because it set up a future for success in Ranger bowling. Seniors Ben Kastner and Alex Souza led the Rangers throughout the season and have helped mentor upcoming leaders such as junior Tommy Payne and freshman Peyton Price. Tommy and Peyton were two key bowlers for FHC this season and will lead the way for the team next season. Tommy had a great season, posting dynamite scores of 171 and 209 against Cedar Springs. Alex was a very consistent bowler for the Rangers, scoring a high of 221 against Lowell. The Rangers are in the rebuilding stages of this program, and this season proved that Ranger Bowling is heading in the right direction.
“I think we improved a lot this season despite our record,” freshman Peyton Price said. “We really played together as a team.”
The varsity dance team had a fantastic season this year. However, it did not get off to the best start. This team was full of first-year varsity dancers and many underclassmen. The girls knew that they could do better than their results in the first couple of regional events. FHC participated in the Davenport tournament where they performed much better, placing first in the Pom category, second in Hip-Hop, and fourth in jazz. As the year started to progress, bonds were formed. The girls were becoming very close to one another, and it helped their scores. This was a great confidence booster for the girls coming after the Davenport tournament. The Rangers’ goal for this season was to place well in the national tournament in Orlando, Florida. The girls practiced their routines for countless hours in preparation for nationals. The hard work certainly paid off; FHC placed 15th in jazz, 11th in pom, and 9th in hip-hop in nationals. For the Rangers to score in the top-15 in every category, out of over 30 teams, was spectacular.
“We were happy with how we had done, but given the talent of our team, our coaches knew we were better and pushed us to our limits leading up to nationals,” sophomore Abby Drueke said. “Our team not only placed much higher than we had expected but grew tighter and closer than ever before.”
Boys JV Basketball
The boys JV basketball team had a great season this year, finishing with a 17-3 record. The Rangers took down rival Forest Hills Northern in both games by 20 points. The only losses for FHC were to Wyoming, East Kentwood, and a tough 4OT loss to Ottawa Hills. Besides those three games, the Rangers took care of business. Sophomores Jacob Bonnett, Conner Milton, and Ben Scholler all had spectacular seasons alone. These players often lead the team in every category. Sophmore Pierson Van Gorp also did his job for the Rangers, knocking down key three-pointers in tight situations. This team grew closer together as the season progressed. Behind first-year coaches and former Rangerball stars Jordan George and Chad Bauchan, the boys learned a lot about the game. This team has been conference champs two years in a row and with varsity basketball coming up next year, they hope to continue the tradition.
“This year was a lot of fun, going 17-3 is awesome,” Jacob said. “Coach George and Bauchan really pushed us in practice and found a way to make it very enjoyable.”