Putting a bow on the J-L Cardinals fall seasons
The results of the 2022 fall season for the trio of Johannesburg-Lewiston teams showed the wide range of results sports programs can experience.
For one team, they looked to find any positive note for their young, injury-riddled team to hang their hat on. Another dominated all season, yet fell short of some of their overall goals at the end of the year. The final team, however, finished as well as any team can finish in high school sports; atop the podium after state championship victory.
Here is how the fall went for the J-L Cardinals programs.
A historically dominant program under head coach Joe Smokevitch, the J-L football team has hit some rough patches in the past couple of seasons. A combination of young rosters combined with untimely injuries has left the Cardinals searching for answers in the tough Northern Michigan Football League for two straight seasons.
The highlight of the season came in Week Eight as they snapped their 16-game losing streak against Harbor Springs, defeating the Rams 36-18 despite missing two of their starting backs.
After wrapping the season at 1-8 overall, four Cardinals players were named to the all-Northern Michigan Football Conference Legacy teams, including Jacob Chartrand (offensive line, first team), Thomas Fox (defensive back, first team), Colin Basinski (quarterback, honorable mention) and Nate Hummel (running-back, honorable mention).
The team was also honored as an MHSFCA Academic All-State selection, with seniors Colin Basinski and Rily McVannel being recognized individually.
The J-L volleyball team was arguably the most dominant of any area team, rattling off 40+ wins while running through most of their opponents.
However, it was a season that left some boxes unchecked as one slip-up led to a runner-up finish in the conference and a stunning defeat to Charlevoix in the district championship left them without the deep playoff run some had envisioned.
Still, it was a successful season filled with many accomplishments for head coach Kristine Peppin's squad, and one to build off of as they head into 2023 with unfinished business.
And, it wasn't a season lacking hardware; JoBurg brought home multiple tournament championships throughout the season, including a second-straight victory in their own tournament early in the season.
Four Cardinals were listed among the All-Ski Valley teams, including Jayden Marlatt (first team), Grace Baragrey (first team), Jocelyn Tobias (second team) and Serena Hogle (second team).
Those four were also honored on the MIVCA All-Region list, with Marlatt making the Region 3 Dream Team and Baragrey, Tobias and Hogle receiving honorable mentions.
Even with all the success the volleyball team had this fall, its hard to argue anyone had a better season than the J-L cross country team.
Especially with a state championship under their belt.
Head coach Brendam Marcum's team had the state finals on their mind all season, and they showed it at MIS back in early November as the girls won the school's first-ever state championship while the boys captured the school's first runner-up finish.