Members of the 2013-14 Lady Tiger basketball team got together for the first time as a group this weekend to play some basketball and start the process of developing into a team. Eleven members of the team were able to participate in all or part of the weekend activities that included a cookout, movies, lots of food, and of course basketball.
Returning players Marissa Pelletier and Brittany Summerfield were able to hoop it up with newcomers Molly Holtrop, Hannah Wight, Megan Scholtens, Samantha Raak, Debbie Pekel, and Jenna Jamieson. Returning players Anna Iwaniw, Sydney Wildeboer and Kim Kamp were present, but unable to play to due to recovery from various injuries.
Members of the 2013-14 team pose for a quick picture after playing some hoops at the Aldrich Athletic Center.
Head Coach Rich Renzema is pleased to announce the signing of Julia Wilson to the Lady Tiger basketball program starting with the 2013-14 season. Julia, a 5-10 wing player from Hart, Michigan, comes in with a reputation as a tremendous shooter, having lead the entire state in the regular season with 53 made 3-point shots during the 2011-2012 season.
Julia was an All Conference selection for the West Michigan Conference in 2012 when she averaged just under 11 points per game. Julia was invited to play in the Muskegon Area All Star Game, where she finished runner-up in the 3-point shooting contest. Julia is also an accompished golfer, having played with her high school boys team.
Julia is the daughter of John and Kathy Wilson. She has a younger sister, Annika.
Julia Wilson with Coach Renzema
“We are thrilled to have Julia as a part of the Grace family”, Coach Renzema said after Julia’s signing. “She is going to fit in really well with this team. She has the ability to consistently make shots from beyond the arc with a nice quick release. We are excited to see what she can do as her game develops and we think she has a very bright future.”
Coach Rich Renzema is pleased to announce that Megan Scholtens, a 5-5 guard from Grant, has signed to play basketball at Grace Bible College. Megan is a high-energy player that can play either guard position, but will likely play more of the 2-guard position for the Lady Tigers.
Megan with Coach Renzema.
Megan, who started playing in 7th grade, was home schooled and played basketball for the Quad Cities Mustangs program that was able to finish as the runner-up in Michigan a year ago. Megan has been the Team MVP for three consecutive years and was the #1 pick for All Conference her senior year. Over the last two seasons, Megan averaged 18 points and four assists per game on offense and really showed her ball-hawking abilities with six steals per game.
Megan is the daughter of Cal and Angie Scholtens and she has two younger siblings. She had this to say about coming to Grace: “I am very excited to attend Grace and play basketball. I can’t wait to be a part of such a united and close team.”
“Megan is a perfect fit for us at Grace”, Coach Renzema commented. “She was able to go on one of our road trips with us last season and she got along extremely well with the other girls so we knew she would fit right in. ”
“We love the energy Megan plays with. She never takes a play off and is an excellent on-ball defender. She has a very well-rounded game and will only get better. We love to get kids that are passionate about their faith and about the game of basketball and she fits both categories.”
Megan with her dad Cal Scholtens.
The 2012-13 Lady Tiger squad did a lot of things well, especially on the defensive end of the court where they ranked in the top five of several categories. The main issues with the young squad were on the offensive end of the court where they only managed to shoot only 29% from beyond the 3-point arc and 39% overall.
The Tiger coaching staff has issued a challenge to the nine returning players and the incoming recruits to make significant improvements to those pedestrian shooting numbers. The challenge is for each player to make a minimum of 5000 jump shots over the course of the summer. Those players that can document that they have completed the goal before school starts in the fall will receive a special shirt to commemorate their accomplishment.
The Lady Tigers will come into the 2013-14 season with high expectations and the hard work the players put in during the off season will be necessary to help achieve the team goals.
Hannah Wight, a 5-6 guard from Cedar Springs High School, has signed to play basketball at Grace Bible College. Hannah was a three year starter for the Red Hawks and averaged four points per game her senior season. Scoring doesn’t tell the whole story of Hannah’s game as she generally drew the opponent’s best scorer on defense every night and did a lot of the little things on the court to help her team win.
Coach Renzema and Hannah.
Hannah is a leader on and off the court. She has been a team captain for basketball and soccer and has been a captain of the Student Athletic Leadership Council and has been a member of the National Honor Society.
Hannah is the daughter of Chad and Shannon Wight and has three younger sisters; Sayge, Sienna, and Jade.
“Hannah is a great addition to our program”, Coach Renzema commented about his latest signee. “She plays with a lot of grit and does a lot of little things to help teams win. I also believe she has the ability to score, because she finishes well around the basket and she can hit mid-range jumpers. She is going to be a huge asset to the team going forward.”
Hannah with Shannon and Chad Wight [mom and dad]; and sisters: Sayge, Sienna and Jade.
Coach Rich Renzema is pleased to announce the signing of Molly Holtrop, a 5-4 point guard from Cedar Springs High School. Molly was a three-year starter for the Red Hawks and was a team captain and voted All-Conference her senior season where she averaged 10 points, 3.5 assists and 3 steals per game for the Red Hawks. Molly earned Honorable Mention for the Detroit Free Press All-State Team. She is also a standout on the soccer field where she has been an All-Conference performer.
Coach Renzema and Molly.
Molly is also an excellent student in the classroom, having been an honor roll student all four years of high school and a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Terry and Sarah Holtrop and has two older brothers, Luke and Jake.
“Molly is a true point guard and is a very exciting player to watch”, Coach Renzema commented at her signing. “She is really quick and can get past a defender and is a threat to make the three point shot as well. Probably her best asset is her ability to see the floor and find the open person. We are very excited to see what she can do and are thrilled to have her as a part of the Grace Athletics family.”
Molly with Sarah and Terry Holtrop [mom and dad].
Coach Rich Renzema is pleased to announce the signing of multi-sport athlete Debbie Pekel to play basketball with the Lady Tigers starting with the 2013-14 season. Debbie, a 5-5 guard, is a fine all-around athlete and will also be playing soccer at Grace.
Coach Renzema and Debbie.
Debbie was a three-year Varsity basketball player at Fruitport High School and was Honorable Mention All Conference her senior season for the Trojans. Debbie is a leader on and off the court, having been a team captain and member of the Student Athletic Leadership Team. Debbie is also a standout in the classroom where she is in the top 10% of her class and has been a member of the National Honor Society for two years.
Debbie is the daughter of Jessica Pekel and has the distinction of being a quadruplet, along with her sister Brianna and brothers Cody and Alan. Debbie also has an older brother, Matt.
Coach Renzema had this to say about Debbie: “Debbie is a great young lady that is passionate about everything she does; from her relationship with God, her academics, and her athletics. She is going to be a great fit for us and a real asset on the court with her quickness and play making ability.”
Debbie [seated] with: Coach Renzema; Jessica Pekel [mom] on left; Brianna Pekel [sister] standing and Grandmother on right.
The Lady Tiger coaching staff hosted a signing ceremony on campus where five players signed their Letters of Intent to play basketball at Grace Bible College for the 2013-14 season.
Coach Rich Renzema is pleased to announce that Molly Holtrop of Cedar Springs High School, Jenna Jamieson of Wayland High School via Spring Arbor University, Debbie Pekel of Fruitport High School, Megan Scholtens of the Quad City Mustangs Home School, and Hannah Wight of Cedar Springs High School will be joining the Lady Tiger Squad.
“We are very pleased with the new players we have coming in for next year”, Coach Renzema had to say about the new signees. “All of these girls are gifted athletes and players and bring something special to this team. Even more, they are all great kids that will represent Grace Bible College very well on and off the court.
“We are thrilled with the event we held today with the only down side being a couple of the kids could not be here. We will get them signed in the coming weeks.”
Several of the returning Lady Tiger players were also on hand to welcome their new teammates. The group took some time to lace up their shoes for a while and played some pick-up games in the Aldrich Center to close out the evening.
Individual profiles for each of the players will be posted in the coming days and weeks.
Front row: Debbie Pekel; Molly Holtrop; Hannah Wight. Back: Jenna Jamieson; Megan Scholtens
The Lady Tigers finished the 2012-13 season with a loss in the regionals to eventual NCCAA National Champion, Maranatha. The young Tiger squad won 14 games on the season and lost several contests by very close margins and those involved with the program are already anticipating a very competitive team for 2013-14.
The team will lose Kerie Rudd, the team’s lone senior, but everyone else on the team has committed to returning. No longer will this be a young and inexperienced team as those nine returners all logged quality minutes and gained valuable experience last season.
While the defense was solid for most of the campaign, having ranked in the top five nationally in most categories, it was no secret that the Tigers struggled with consistency on the offensive side of the ball. The return of Kim Kamp, who was leading the team in nearly every scoring and shooting category when she went down with a knee injury, will certainly help the offense.
The coaches have received committments from five players so far that will help with depth and add competition and motivation for everyone to improve in the off season. The coaching staff has been looking to improve overall team speed and athleticism. The 2012-13 team saw definite improvement in those areas, and this year’s recruits will definitely be another step in that direction.
Stay tuned as some of the new Lady Tigers will be introduced in the near future.
The NCCAA Division 2 National Tournament was held last week with Grace’s Midwest Regional rival Maranatha Baptist earning the National Championship Trophy. Grace Head Coach Rich Renzema was in attendance for the basketball activities in Circleville, Ohio and saw a large dose of the 2013-2014 opponents his Lady Tigers will be facing.
The Lady Tigers will be playing against the reigning champions from Maranatha on the road in February and will face runner-up Manhattan Christian on the road in November. To add to the schedule, Grace will face the winner of the previous six championships, Kentucky Christian, in two different tournaments, one at home and one in Grayson, Kentucky. Throw in a game against Ohio Christian, who finished fifth in this year’s tournament, and you have yourself a very challenging schedule and one that will put the Lady Tigers to the test early and often.