Mendon reaches historic 500th win on gridiron

MENDON — When the scoreboard read all zeros last week at Cassopolis’ Ross Beatty High School, Mendon’s football team left the field with its 500th victory in the history of its program.
The Hornets’ Wyatt Cool intercepted a Cassopolis pass and returned it 99 yards for a Mendon touchdown last week for a 34-24 win over the Rangers and the historic feat.
Mendon officially began playing tackle football as a sport in 1925.
The Hornets started out competing in 8-man football and went back and forth for the first few years of the program’s existence between the 11-man and 8-man formats.
Mendon captured its first league championship in the St. Joseph Valley League back in 1955 and won its first-ever state championship in 1968 when they were voted No. 1 at the end of the season by the Michigan Associated Press. All championships were mythical before the Michigan High School Athletic Association started sponsoring a state tournament beginning in 1975.
After the SJV dissolved in 2013, Mendon joined the BCS League before departing at the end of the 2017 school year. The Hornets are now members of the Southwest 10 Conference, which is in its inaugural year.
Mendon has appeared in the MHSAA playoffs 29 out of the last 31 years, including 11 consecutive appearances.
Throughout the history of its program Mendon has been fortunate to have had several outstanding coaches during its history, including Bob Critz, Morley Fraser Jr., Roger Smith, John Schwartz and the Hornets are currently coached by Bobby Kretschman, a former all-state linebacker for the Hornets.
Critz, Fraser, Smith and Schwartz are all honorary members of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

Please see Thursday's print or e-edition for full article.

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