Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor
Kudos to the Harrison Girl’s Softball Team. For the very first time, they have been crowned Jack Pine Conference Champions with an excellent 22-3 overall record as they prepare to do damage in the State playoffs.
If I were writing about Clare, this news would be a yawner. Clare dominates the Jack Pine Conference, winning more titles than all the other conference schools combined. They win football , basketball, track and baseball titles year after year. Just a couple of months ago their girls basketball team came very close to winning it all.
That’s not the case in Harrison. They are the opposite of the athletic juggernaut, Clare is. Their boys basketball team finished 0-21 this year. That’s right- they lost every one of their games. The girls basketball team didn’t do a whole lot better. Unfortunately it’s that way year after year. Harrison, for whatever reason, doesn’t breed the athletes their neighbor to the south does.
It kinda reminds me of my high school days. The school I graduated from was not known for producing good athletic teams either. I can remember my sophomore year, as the school’s starting quarterback, getting sacked time after time. By the end of the season I had been sacked over 60 times, and I spent most of the winter on crutches. To add insult to injury, we didn’t win a single game.
But that changed by the time I became a senior. By practicing hard, and gaining all that experience, I was more capable of eluding defenders hell bent on breaking my body like it was a twig, and our team went on to the best football record the school had experienced as well as winning the league title.
Harrison is following the same path. It has started with their female athletes, who have been slowly putting together a string of good softball teams, culminating in this year’s league champions. This team has that rare combination- they’ve got great pitching led by hard throwing Alison Lipovsky, and good hitters that are exceptional in the field.
Surprisingly the Harrison Junior Varsity football team had an amazing year as well. Under Coach In-Sung Oaks Lee, the JV team ran through the JPC, winning the season undefeated. This should mean this year’s version of the Football Hornets will be very competitive against the big boys, ala Clare and Sanford-Meridian.
But back to the girls. They have had their share of close games. To win the title they narrowly escaped a 4-2 win over Farwell. Ironically they entered the final day of the regular season tied with Sanford-Meridian, and it was Clare that beat Meridian, twice to give Harrison sole possession of the title.
Coach Matthew Cooper had this to say. “They put in a lot of hard work over the past couple of seasons, from playing summer ball to hitting all winter, to lifting weights. No one deserves this title more than they do.”
“Each player executed their role and did all they could do to help the team win each game we played and that is what it takes to have a successful season,” emphasized and elated Cooper.