Observer November 19, 2010 : Page 3

November 19, 2010 The Observer Page 3 Saugatuck Indians Have A Date With Destiny Saturday The 9-3 Indians Face Tough Fulton Team In State Semifinal Game On Road To Division 8 Championship Mike Gallagher Editor It took the power and speed of senior Ethan Colton and the mas-terful coaching of Bill Dunn to lead the 9-3 Saugatuck Indians into this Saturday’s final four game in Division Eight along with a write-up in the local record books. And it will take Dunn, Colton and an outstanding team effort to propel the Indians into the state championship game at Ford Field Nov. 26 if they can muster the grit and determination that has become a hallmark of this year’s tough Saugatuck squad and beat the deter-mined Fulton Pirates. The game kicks off this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Grand Rapids Christian High School and a large contingent of Indian supporters are expected to be on hand to cheer on their team. The Indian’s 34-15 victory last week over North Adams-Jerome set a new standard for the tough and battle-hardened team. It marked the first time in Saugatuck school history that its football team has advanced to the state high school football semifinals and a chance at an MHSAA champi-onship trophy. Saugatuck earned its berth in the state semifinals by whipping on North Adams-Jerome in last week’s regional championship game. Colton rushed for over 200 yards for a seventh straight game, tal-lying 209 yards on the ground on 19 carries and crossed the goal line three times for the Indians on runs of 10, 48 and 43 yards. He wracked up 72 yards after only three quarters of play. The game wasn’t without its problems as Saugatuck had to over-come five fumbles before breaking the game open with a succession of three touchdowns in the second half, estab-lishing an insurmountable 27-7 lead with just over 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Indians stumbled at the start when Quarterback Bradley Speet fumbled the snap and the Rams recovered. It took the Rams three plays to cross the goal line with a 46-yard touchdown pass and it looked like the start of a long night for Saugatuck. But the Indians would quickly get that score back with Speet handing off to Colton for a 10-yard run and a touchdown and the Indians never looked back. Saugatuck topped the stats sheet rushing for 403 yards on 44 car-ries and put a defensive blanket over North Adams-Jerome, keeping them to a paltry 84 yards rushing on 47 car-ries. Another sterling perform-ance was turned in by Lance Kleino who rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Quarterback Logan Bush contributed another touchdown on the way to the unprecedented victory. After the game -the third straight playoff road battle -Saugatuck Coach Dunn was full of praise for his players. “It’s just a tremendous feel-ing,” said a thrilled Dunn. “The kids have worked so hard and put in so much time. To come out regional champions is just phenomenal.” “We made some mistakes in the first half that kind of hurt us offensively. Defensively, we hung in there,” noted Dunn. “We just keep grinding and keep working hard. “We made some adjust-ments to get Ethan (Colton) loose. Saugatuck Indians are ready for Saturday’s semifinal game He responded.” The 2010 season is a marked improvement over past Indian efforts, including enduring a gut-wrenching 42 consecutive game losing streak that stretched four years from 2000-2003. Earning credit for the incredible turnaround is Coach Dunn who brought a regimen of respect, hard work and talent to the school, demanding excellence from each and every player week in and week out. Football experts around the state say they are stunned by the vic-torious Indians this year, saying a team with no history of winning and with only two seniors should have fallen by the wayside weeks ago. For now, the next battle awaits this Saturday as the Tribe will have to get past Fulton, as the Pirates won at Deckerville last Saturday, 20-13, to clinch their semifinal spot against Saugatuck. Dunn and his gridiron greats are hoping this Thanksgiving will be filled with turkey, dressing and a pre-state championship day game workout before they head off to Detroit and into the history books with a final season win at Detroit’s Ford Field. SPS Parade, Pep Rally For Football & X-Country Teams This Friday A parade to celebrate the SPS state regional cross-country champions and their individual all-state winners and to cheer on the SPS football team in its upcoming state semifinal contest will be held Friday at 6 p.m. starting at the high school parking lot. A pep rally and tailgate party at the school’s Jarvis Memorial Field will begin after the parade winds its way through downtown Saugatuck. The team members will be riding on the Dune Schooners and the high school band will be marching and leading the way for this exciting event. Organizers are asking everyone to decorate their cars, Gators, golf carts, etc., and partici-pate in the celebratory parade. The tailgate party – fol-lowing the pep rally – will be held in the school’s Dan Wilson Plaza. A large grill will be on hand so every-one is invited to bring their own meat to grill and bring a dish to pass. Everyone is invited to come on out and celebrate the vic-torious SPS Cross-Country Team and cheer the Indian gridiron greats onto victory this weekend as they take on the Fulton Pirates at Grand Rapids Christian High School. Kick-off time is 1 p.m. for those planning to attend. SPS Board, Teachers Approve New Two-Year Labor Agreement Efrain Sandoval Correspondent A new two-year teacher labor agreement switching health care insurance will yield a savings of $3,800 per teacher for the Saugatuck Public Schools (SPS) district, the SPS board announced Monday evening. The deal became official when the Board of Education ratified the teachers’ contract. The board said the cost sav-ings brought about by changing health care providers -from MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) to Priority Health -means the 53 full-time SPS teachers will retain the same level of benefits even while providing for a 2.75% salary increase the first year and 2.25% increase the second year. “This has been a significant step forward for our district, staff, stu-dents and community,” said SPS Board President Mike Van Loon. “It is truly a collaborative effort to keep highly qualified teachers in front of our students and contain health cost during these difficult times.” SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman said, “We were able to effectively maintain the same level of benefits, but through the competitive bid process lower our costs.” That process of settling on Priority Health has been an extensive and exhaustive one, entailing a full-blown bid process where the district looked at 70 different health care pro-grams, according to SPS Business Director Elizabeth Broderick. SPS is the first district in West Michigan to drop MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) as its health care provider, said the SPS board. A mid-year change will result in about half of the savings during the fist year of implementation. Teachers are expect-ed to convert to the Priority Plan on January 1, 2011. In other business, the school board approved a public hear-ing concerning a proposal to change the district’s election date, resulting in the term of office of current school board members being extended to fit the November election cycle. By holding board elections in November instead of May, SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman said the district could save up to $9,000. The public hearing was set for December 13 at the Saugatuck High School Media Center, 401 Elizabeth Street, at 6 p.m. Additionally, school board officials called out to all of the local community to come and celebrate and honor the successes of the Saugatuck football and cross-country teams this season. This Friday, SPS will hold a parade, pep rally and tailgate party for the whole community to honor the Regional Cross-Country Champs and get the football team ready for its state semifinal game against Grand Rapids Rolfe Timmerman Christian High School which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Friday parade organi-zation will start at 6 p.m. at the stu-dent parking lot at the high school. Local Consolidated Government Committee Retains Law Firm, Engineering Co. Special To The Observer A law firm specializing in local government and a long-standing local engineering firm have been retained by the Consolidated Government Committee (CGC) to prepare the petition and maps needed to start the consolidation process among the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck and Saugatuck Township. The Cunningham Dalman law firm and Holland Engineering have been contracted by the CGC to develop the specific language and mapping descriptions required under Michigan law for the State Boundary Commission to consider the consoli-dation of the three adjacent govern-ments. “Since February, the CGC has been digging into the specifics of the consolidation process and the sav-ings identified by two independent studies if the three governments became one,” said CGC chairman Travis Randolph. The studies and CGC’s val-idation of the studies determined consolidation will offer significant reductions in property taxes in the two cities and no increase in Saugatuck Township. “We have concluded the direct tax savings are real, at least $1 million every year,” said Randolph. “Those plus the improved service and efficiencies make it imper-ative that the voters of these three governmental units have their say as soon possible,” he added. The CGC was formed earli-er this year by citizen-volunteers of the three governmental units to vali-date studies completed by the accounting firm Plante & Moran and the MSU Extension Service for the Douglas-Saugatuck Chamber of Commerce. The committee concluded the savings were indisputable and required pursuit in a consolidation process. (Cont. Page 5)

Saugatuck Indians Have A Date With Destiny Saturday

<b>The 9-3 Indians Face Tough Fulton Team In State Semifinal Game On Road To Division 8 Championship<br /> <br /> Mike Gallagher<br /> Editor</b><br /> <br /> It took the power and speed of senior Ethan Colton and the masterful coaching of Bill Dunn to lead the 9-3 Saugatuck Indians into this Saturday’s final four game in Division Eight along with a write-up in the local record books.<br /> <br /> And it will take Dunn, Colton and an outstanding team effort to propel the Indians into the state championship game at Ford Field Nov. 26 if they can muster the grit and determination that has become a hallmark of this year’s tough Saugatuck squad and beat the determined Fulton Pirates.<br /> <br /> The game kicks off this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Grand Rapids Christian High School and a large contingent of Indian supporters are expected to be on hand to cheer on their team.<br /> <br /> The Indian’s 34-15 victory last week over North Adams-Jerome set a new standard for the tough and battle-hardened team.<br /> <br /> It marked the first time in Saugatuck school history that its football team has advanced to the state high school football semifinals and a chance at an MHSAA championship trophy.<br /> <br /> Saugatuck earned its berth in the state semifinals by whipping on North Adams-Jerome in last week’s regional championship game.<br /> <br /> Colton rushed for over 200 yards for a seventh straight game, tallying 209 yards on the ground on 19 carries and crossed the goal line three times for the Indians on runs of 10, 48 and 43 yards. He wracked up 72 yards after only three quarters of play.<br /> <br /> The game wasn’t without its problems as Saugatuck had to overcome five fumbles before breaking the game open with a succession of three touchdowns in the second half, establishing an insurmountable 27-7 lead with just over 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.<br /> <br /> The Indians stumbled at the start when Quarterback Bradley Speet fumbled the snap and the Rams recovered.<br /> <br /> It took the Rams three plays to cross the goal line with a 46-yard touchdown pass and it looked like the start of a long night for Saugatuck.<br /> <br /> But the Indians would quickly get that score back with Speet handing off to Colton for a 10-yard run and a touchdown and the Indians never looked back.<br /> <br /> Saugatuck topped the stats sheet rushing for 403 yards on 44 carries and put a defensive blanket over North Adams-Jerome, keeping them to a paltry 84 yards rushing on 47 carries.<br /> <br /> Another sterling performance was turned in by Lance Kleino who rushed for 131 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Quarterback Logan Bush contributed another touchdown on the way to the unprecedented victory.<br /> <br /> After the game - the third straight playoff road battle - Saugatuck Coach Dunn was full of praise for his players.<br /> <br /> “It’s just a tremendous feeling,” said a thrilled Dunn. “The kids have worked so hard and put in so much time. To come out regional champions is just phenomenal.”<br /> <br /> “We made some mistakes in the first half that kind of hurt us offensively. Defensively, we hung in there,” noted Dunn. “We just keep grinding and keep working hard.<br /> <br /> “We made some adjustments to get Ethan (Colton) loose. He responded.”<br /> <br /> The 2010 season is a marked improvement over past Indian efforts, including enduring a gut-wrenching 42 consecutive game losing streak that stretched four years from 2000-2003.<br /> <br /> Earning credit for the incredible turnaround is Coach Dunn who brought a regimen of respect, hard work and talent to the school, demanding excellence from each and every player week in and week out.<br /> <br /> Football experts around the state say they are stunned by the victorious Indians this year, saying a team with no history of winning and with only two seniors should have fallen by the wayside weeks ago.<br /> <br /> For now, the next battle awaits this Saturday as the Tribe will have to get past Fulton, as the Pirates won at Deckerville last Saturday, 20- 13, to clinch their semifinal spot against Saugatuck.<br /> <br /> Dunn and his gridiron greats are hoping this Thanksgiving will be filled with turkey, dressing and a pre-state championship day game workout before they head off to Detroit and into the history books with a final season win at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Sps Parade, Pep Rally For Football & X-Country Teams This Friday

A parade to celebrate the SPS state regional cross-country champions and their individual allstate winners and to cheer on the SPS football team in its upcoming state semifinal contest will be held Friday at 6 p.m. starting at the high school parking lot.<br /> <br /> A pep rally and tailgate party at the school’s Jarvis Memorial Field will begin after the parade winds its way through downtown Saugatuck.<br /> <br /> The team members will be riding on the Dune Schooners and the high school band will be marching and leading the way for this exciting event.<br /> <br /> Organizers are asking everyone to decorate their cars, Gators, golf carts, etc., and participate in the celebratory parade.<br /> <br /> The tailgate party – following the pep rally – will be held in the school’s Dan Wilson Plaza. A large grill will be on hand so everyone is invited to bring their own meat to grill and bring a dish to pass.<br /> <br /> Everyone is invited to come on out and celebrate the victorious SPS Cross-Country Team and cheer the Indian gridiron greats onto victory this weekend as they take on the Fulton Pirates at Grand Rapids Christian High School.<br /> <br /> Kick-off time is 1 p.m. for those planning to attend.

Sps Board, Teachers Approve New Two-Year Labor Agreement

<b>Efrain Sandoval<br /> Correspondent</b><br /> <br /> A new two-year teacher labor agreement switching health care insurance will yield a savings of $3,800 per teacher for the Saugatuck Public Schools (SPS) district, the SPS board announced Monday evening.<br /> <br /> The deal became official when the Board of Education ratified the teachers’ contract.<br /> <br /> The board said the cost savings brought about by changing health care providers - from MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) to Priority Health - means the 53 full-time SPS teachers will retain the same level of benefits even while providing for a 2.75% salary increase the first year and 2. 25% increase the second year.<br /> <br /> “This has been a significant step forward for our district, staff, students and community,” said SPS Board President Mike Van Loon. “It is truly a collaborative effort to keep highly qualified teachers in front of our students and contain health cost during these difficult times.”<br /> <br /> SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman said, “We were able to effectively maintain the same level of benefits, but through the competitive bid process lower our costs.”<br /> <br /> That process of settling on Priority Health has been an extensive and exhaustive one, entailing a fullblown bid process where the district Looked at 70 different health care programs, according to SPS Business Director Elizabeth Broderick.<br /> <br /> SPS is the first district in West Michigan to drop MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) as its health care provider, said the SPS board. A midyear change will result in about half of the savings during the fist year of implementation. Teachers are expected to convert to the Priority Plan on January 1, 2011.<br /> <br /> In other business, the school board approved a public hearing concerning a proposal to change the district’s election date, resulting in the term of office of current school board members being extended to fit the November election cycle. By Holding board elections in November instead of May, SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman said the district could save up to $9,000.<br /> <br /> The public hearing was set for December 13 at the Saugatuck High School Media Center, 401 Elizabeth Street, at 6 p.m.<br /> <br /> Additionally, school board officials called out to all of the local community to come and celebrate and honor the successes of the Saugatuck football and cross-country teams this season.<br /> <br /> This Friday, SPS will hold a parade, pep rally and tailgate party for the whole community to honor the Regional Cross-Country Champs and get the football team ready for its state semifinal game against Grand Rapids Christian High School which kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday.<br /> <br /> The Friday parade organization will start at 6 p.m. at the student parking lot at the high school.

Local Consolidated Government Committee Retains Law Firm, Engineering Co.

<b>Special To The Observer</b><br /> <br /> Government and a long-standing local engineering firm have been retained by the Consolidated Government Committee (CGC) to prepare the petition and maps needed to start the consolidation process among the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck and Saugatuck Township.<br /> <br /> The Cunningham Dalman law firm and Holland Engineering have been contracted by the CGC to develop the specific language and mapping descriptions required under Michigan law for the State Boundary Commission to consider the consolidation of the three adjacent governments.<br /> <br /> “Since February, the CGC has been digging into the specifics of the consolidation process and the savings identified by two independent studies if the three governments became one,” said CGC chairman Travis Randolph.<br /> <br /> The studies and CGC’s validation of the studies determined consolidation will offer significant reductions in property taxes in the two cities and no increase in Saugatuck Township.<br /> <br /> “We have concluded the direct tax savings are real, at least $1 million every year,” said Randolph.<br /> <br /> “Those plus the improved service and efficiencies make it imperative that the voters of these three governmental units have their say as soon possible,” he added.<br /> <br /> The CGC was formed earlier this year by citizen-volunteers of the three governmental units to validate studies completed by the accounting firm Plante & Moran and the MSU Extension Service for the Douglas-Saugatuck Chamber of Commerce.<br /> <br /> The committee concluded the savings were indisputable and required pursuit in a consolidation process.<br /> <br /> Members and 34 community residents have donated funds to support the committee’s work.<br /> <br /> The fundraising will continue to ensure the consolidation proposal reaches voters.<br /> <br /> “Once Cunningham Dalman and Holland Engineering have obtained state approval for the wording and format of the petitions and the map, the Committee will circulate the petitions among residents of the three jurisdictions,” Randolph explained.<br /> <br /> Petitions must bear the signatures of at least five percent of the registered voters in each jurisdiction for the boundary commission to consider the consolidation.<br /> <br /> “Our goal is today what it’s always been: to allow the voters of the three jurisdictions to decide whether this one community should be united under one government,” Randolph said.<br /> <br /> In addition to Randolph of Saugatuck Township, the committee includes Bobbie Gaunt and Catherine Simon of Saugatuck; Frank Lamb, Steve Hutchins, and Max Mattison of Douglas and R.J. Peterson and Jim Jeltema of Saugatuck Township.

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