Vote for the best Hawkeyes athlete from 2001-22

Editor’s note: Did you catch those 22s in Hamilton? The Holland Sentinel has published its list of the best athletes of the last 22 years from each school. Check out each athlete below and vote for the top athlete. The best boys and girls who will vote will be announced at the end of the series. Remember, the series is from 2001-2022. Vote in the story at hollandsentinel.com.

Blood of Rayah

Class of 2020

In completely different sports, Rayah Blood turned out to be one of the best athletes in the state. She finished third in the state in diving and third in the state in the 100 meters during her career. She earned several all-state accolades in diving and athletics before earning a Division I scholarship to dive at Bowling Green.

Michael Bosch

Michael Bosch

Class of 2005

One of the best on the field, Mitch Bosch was an all-state football player who dominated at the line of scrimmage. He was hard to stop and stalled Hamilton on a record year on the pitch. He was also an all-state wrestler and a track and field athlete for the Hawkeyes.

Cody Buresh

Cody Buresh

Class of 2011

A dominating linebacker, Cody Buresh was an all-state performer in Hamilton before becoming an All-American linebacker at Wabash College. His speed and explosiveness allowed him to fly to the ball.

Nick Carlson

Nick Carlson

Class of 2015

The greatest golfer in the history of the region, Nick Carlson was dominant from his first season in high school. As a freshman, he won the state championship. He finished second in the state as a sophomore and junior before winning the state championship again as a senior. He then golfed in Michigan and made the US amateur semifinals before turning professional.

Sara (DeWeerdt) Mulder

Sara DeWeerdt

Class of 2007

A tri-sport athlete, Sara DeWeerdt has played basketball, volleyball and track and field for the Hawkeyes. She was an all-state performer in volleyball and track and field, helping the Hawkeyes to the Volleyball Regional Finals. She then played volleyball at Hope and was an All-MIAA selection on Flying Dutch’s Final Four team.

Hamilton's AJ Ediger.

AJ Ediger

Class of 2021

One of the most dominant athletes in the region’s history, the 6-foot-3 AJ Ediger was a force in basketball and volleyball. She won all-state honors twice in basketball and volleyball twice, leading both teams to the state quarterfinals twice (the basketball team also reached the semi-finals once there). She also competed in athletics before earning a basketball scholarship to the University of Iowa.

Rileigh Eding

Rileigh Eding

Class of 2016

In the pool, Rileigh Eding proved to be an inspiration to Hamilton, overcoming a brain tumor to win multiple state championships. She won the 100m backstroke for juniors and the 50m freestyle for seniors. She then swam in Oakland and then Albion where she was an MIAA and All-American champion.

Austin Fatman

Austin Fatman

Class of 2011

In the fast lane his entire career, Austin Fathman has made his mark in sprints. He helped Hamilton become a state champion swim program, along the way earning individual state title honors in the 50m freestyle. He went to MIT where he became an All-American.

Hannah Fathman won the state championship in the 50 freestyle.

Hannah Fatman

Class of 2021

Following in her brother’s footsteps a decade later, Hannah Fathman won the state championship in the 50 freestyle. She won multiple state finals and was the state relay champion for the Hawkeyes, earning multiple finishes in every state. She then swam at Albion and was MIAA Champion and NCAA Qualifier.

Erika Freyhof then raced in Nebraska.

Erika Freyhof

Class of 2017

One of the best runners in history, Erika Freyhof made her mark in both cross country and track and field. She won the Division 2 state championship in cross country as a junior and finished third as a senior. On the track, she won several state titles in distance races and competed in several events. She continued to run in Nebraska and scored at the Big Ten Championships and qualified for the NCAA.

Zach Heerspink

Zach Heerspink

Class of 2009

With incredible jumping ability, Zach Heerspink won the state long jump championship as a junior and finished all state in multiple events as a senior to lead Hamilton to the state team title. He went to North Central where he won the NCAA Division III national title in the long jump.

Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson

Class of 2015

One of the top sprinters of her time, Stephanie Johnston won multiple state championships in the water and was an all-state performer for several years for the Hawkeyes. She then swam at the Division I level at Eastern Michigan.

Jamie Kraker

Jamie Kraker

Class of 2006

An elite and versatile athlete, Jamie Kraker came within an eyelash of winning the state title in the 100 meters. She was multiple all-state in track and field and was also an all-state outside hitter in volleyball, leading the Hawkeyes to the Regional Finals.

Emily Oren competed in the US Olympic track and field trials.

Emilie Oren

Class of 2012

MHSAA Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year Emily Oren was on the run. She earned multiple all-state finishes in cross country, helping the Hawkeyes finish second in the state. She has also been in every state for several years in several track and field events. She then raced in Hillsdale where she won multiple NCAA championships in the steeplechase and qualified for multiple Olympic Trials and US National Meets in the event.

Molly Oren

Molly Oren

Class of 2013

Running alongside her sister, Molly Oren earned multiple all-state finishes in cross country and track and field. She helped the Hawkeyes finish second in cross country before heading to Belmont and then Hillsdale to run, where she was a three-time All-American in the steeplechase, finishing as high as an NCAA runner-up.

Ashley Overbeek

Ashley Overbeek

Class of 2014

One of the fastest and most talented basketball players in history, Ashley Overbeek made her mark by scoring 1,400 points and earning all-state honors. She launched the resurgence of the Hamilton program. Plus, she was an all-state football player, using that same quickness to get to the goal.

Jordan Pikaart was an all-state volleyball player.

Jordan Pikaart

Class of 2015

A versatile threat on the volleyball court, Jordan Pikaart could do it all. The outside hitter was an all-state volleyball player as a junior and senior. She was a dominant hitter and balanced that ability with her defense as a blocker and running back in the rotation. She then played volleyball at Saginaw Valley State.

Shawn Pitsch

Shawn Pitsch

Class of 2006

Perhaps the most talented athlete in the state to not win a state championship, Shawn Pitch was dominant on the wrestling mat. He finished fourth in the state as a senior despite a serious playoff injury. He finished with a stunning 207 wins, the most in the region’s history, before struggling in Heidelberg.

Bria Schrotenboer

Bria Schrotenboer

Class of 2019

One of the best football players in the history of the Netherlands region, Bria Schrotenboer played in football before moving on to senior club teams and landed a place in the USA team before playing at Michigan State then to Duke. She was also an all-state basketball player, leading the Hawkeyes to the state semifinals.

Dustin Smith

Dustin Smith

Class of 2007

Whether on the field or on the court, Dustin Smith was going to beat you. He was an all-state football player as a running back and linebacker and also played guard for the basketball team, earning all-state honors. He then played football at Hope College before transferring to Calvin to play basketball.

Kara VandeGuchte was All-American in two sports at Hope.

Kara Vande Guchte

Class of 2007

One of the most versatile and elite athletes in the region’s history, Kara VandeGuchte was a three-sport star. She played basketball, but was even better at volleyball and on the track. She played in all-state volleyball twice, leading the Hawkeyes to the Regional Finals. She also won all-state honors in track and field, one of the best hurdlers in area history. She then played volleyball and ran track in Hope. She was all over volleyball, helping Hope to the Final Four. She also earned All-American honors in the heptathlon.

Grant Wolfram reacts during a game for the Hickory Crawdads last season.

Grant Wolfram

Class of 2015

A three-sport star, Grant Wolfram has been in every conference in basketball and every state in tennis, going 30-1 for first place in doubles as a senior. But his best sport was baseball. He was a multi-state performer and hosted one of the most dominant seasons in state history as a senior. He then played at CMU and Davenport before being drafted by the Texas Rangers.

– Contact sportswriter Dan D’Addona at Dan.D’[email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDAddona and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.

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