The varsity football team went 6-2 this year, and Jonah had a huge impact on that outcome. Jonah was a captain for the second year in a row and had a leading role on the team once again. He plays both wide receiver and safety, helping his team on the offensive side as well as the defensive side. This year, Jonah had 19 receptions, 321 yards, and two touchdowns. Jonah always gave his all on every snap and played especially well games against Grand Rapids Christian and Byron Center, making great stops as safety and helping his team to advance offensively. In practice, he would always bring a more serious attitude and made sure his fellow teammates worked hard and prepared for the games each week. With this year being out of the ordinary, Jonah made sure to stay focused on the games and practices, the things that they could control, and to not get distracted by the surrounding uncertainties.
“On the field, Jonah was not afraid to hit and always made big time plays in big time moments,” senior teammate Sawyer Bosch said. “He was a really great, supportive teammate and always helped those around him to excel in their respective positions. He was a great leader and mentor.”
Matt was one of the captains on the boys varsity soccer team for the second year in a row now, being a key leader for the large number of underclassmen that joined the group this year. With this season looking so different due to the changes of COVID-19, Matt had to keep a positive attitude and make sure he and the team were ready to play when they were given the go-ahead. Matt plays as one of the center backs for the Rangers and holds the role of being the backbone of the team, playing in every minute of the season this year. In 2020, the boys took on a grueling schedule, facing many of the top teams in the area. With the team being made up of predominantly underclassmen, Matt had to take the lead. Matt showed exceptionally well in their game against Holt, holding the offense to very few chances. The game ended up going into two overtimes, and Matt had the tying header goal with seven minutes left to send the game to PKs.
“I would say that Matt is what you want all of your teammates to be: someone that always shows up ready to give their all,” senior teammate and fellow captain Mason Corcoran said. “He was always a positive thinker on the field. Even in some of our worst games, he was just constantly trying to get us to play as well as we all knew we could.”
Julia was one of the captains on the varsity volleyball team this year and played as the libero. As an experienced volleyball player, Julia fit the role of a captain very well and was able to be a mentor to the younger players on the team. She helped her team to end the season with a record of 17-6, winning many great games. This year, she had a serving percentage of 94.4 and she had 252 digs. Julia is a great player for the team to rely on, and she showed her abilities very well in the games against Grand Rapids Christian, Byron Center, and Lowell during Districts. Julia had a huge impact on her teammates on and off the court, making sure to pump them up and prepare them for their games. She was a great person for her team to look to during this difficult season, battling their opponents and the changes of COVID-19.
“This season definitely felt different because we were never guaranteed a ‘tomorrow’ due to COVID, and every time we got into the gym we played like it was our last,” Julia said. “We really persevered as a team by always staying positive and being grateful for the time we had together in the gym.”
Whitney has been a very important part of the cross country team since her freshman year. She has always been a very strong competitor, and this year as a captain, she was fully capable of leading and motivating her teammates to do the best that they could. The younger runners saw her as a mentor and were able to have a fun season with her as captain despite the limitations of COVID-19. Whitney, along with the entire girls team, made it to States this year, which was a huge accomplishment. At Regionals, Whitney placed sixth with a time of 18:29, qualifying her for the State meet; at States, she finished in 17th place with a time of 18:40, earning All-State honors.
“To make it to states as a team and as a senior captain was so incredible. I could not be more proud of how the girls chose hard work and dedication all season, and it showed when it needed to,” Whitney said. “I am so proud of everyone on the team, and I am so grateful for the season we had.”
This year Chris and his partner, junior Cully Herbert, finished the season with an outstanding record of 27-3. Chris was one of two captains this year, and he and Cully played an important role in the tennis team’s success, helping them to end the season with a record of 13-3. Some of their best matches were during the state semifinals against Matawan when they beat Midland Dow in three straight sets. During the season, Chris was always there to show the underclassmen the mentality they needed to bring into each match, and he was always determined to get the best out of his team. Chris pushed through the restrictions of COVID-19 and did not let the limitations get him down. He made sure to work hard and push his teammates along with him.
“Chris, both on and off the court, plays a string leader role. He is very determined to do the best he can and to bring the best out in his team,” senior teammate Ben Koning said.