Basketball, bowling highlighted sports scene for Lake County in 2021

BALDWIN – If 2020 was a difficult year for high school sports because of COVID, 2021 wasn’t too much better. although lockdowns ended in February when the winter sports seasons could finally resume.

Here’s the top six sports stories in Lake County for 2021:

1-Baldwin boys basketball

The season didn’t start until February but the Panthers were able to get a share of the West Michigan League title and were runners-up in the Division 4 district to McBain Northern Michigan Christian.

Standouts included All-state honorable mention performer Carmelo Lindsey, who averaged 18 points, six rebounds, 2.4 assists, and four steals per game, with a season-high of 28 points against Crossroads. Dylan Hibma and Karlito McKinney also had standout seasons for Baldwin.

2-Baldwin bowling team

Duane Roberts was in his first year as bowling coach for Baldwin which won the league title and qualified for the state meet.

Junior Jesse Pancio bowled in the individual state finals and made the cut for the final eight, barely missing the semifinal round.

Senior Derek Mock also qualified for the state individual finals and led the team to the league title and state qualification. Junior Adam McClure was all-conference and led the team to a league title and state qualification. Junior Remington Owens also had an impressive season.

3.-Lack of numbers

Not having enough numbers for various reasons forced teams to again cancel their seasons.

For the fourth straight year, there was not a girls varsity basketball team. Baseball and softball seasons were canceled for not having enough numbers.

There were track and cross country teams but they were all very small in numbers.

4-Football season

Baldwin was able to put together an 8-man football season but the numbers made it a challenge.

Baldwin had seven games on the schedule and was 2-5, which included one forfeit. The Panthers had impressive wins over Onekama (46-7) and Manistee Catholic Central (50-40).

Lindsey led the way at quarterback for the Panthers.

5-Volleyball season

Baldwin had a competitive volleyball season, led by all-league performer Cierra Pieske.

6-New athletic director

Baldwin was able to fill the athletic director’s position with Callistus Eziukwu earlier this year.

“We’ll try to build off the momentum the boys basketball team is creating right now.” Eziukwu said during the winter season.

He lives in Walkerville. Eziukwu played basketball at Grand Valley and professionally overseas.

7. Baldwin bowling center

The bowling center was working at trying to increase business after COVID disrupted the facility's operation.