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Wolverine Conference honors local scholar-athletes

Issac Veen (left) and Olivia Perrin were the 2024 Wolverine Conference Scholar-Athletes from Plainwell. (Photo provided)
Ben Ernstes (left) and Chad Goodrich were Otsego’s Wolverine Conference Scholar-Athlete honorees. (Photo provided)

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

Each year, the Wolverine Conference honors two senior student-athletes from each of the league’s eight member schools with the Scholar-Athlete Award.
Recognized from Otsego High School were Ben Ernstes and Chad Goodrich, while Issac Veen and Olivia Perrin were selected as the representatives from Plainwell High School.
The Wolverine Conference Board of Governors—which is comprised of the conference athletic directors and principals—determine the award recipients based on the specified criteria.
That criteria includes the student’s grade point average and SAT scores along with the earning a mimimum number of varsity letters.
All four of the local honorees earned varsity letters in at least two sports during their prep athletic careers.
Ernstes actually lettered in three sports, doing so in football, wrestling and track & field, where he was part of Otsego’s contingent of throwers.
Ernstes, who also played basketball during the early part of his high school career, will continue his athletic career at Calvin University. He will be part of that school’s inaugural football team.
At Calvin, Ernstes plans to study nursing.
Goodrich was teammates with Ernstes on the football and track & field team.
Next fall, Goodrich will head to Western Michigan University to study engineering.
Otsego athletic director John Kubiak said Ernstes and Goodrich are both excellent representatives for the Otsego High School athletic department.
“Both of these young men are bright kids that have worked hard in the sports they played and in the classroom in their four-year career,” Kubiak said. “They are great examples of good character and hard work.”
For Plainwell, Veen was a four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track & field, as he carried on his family’s tradition of strong runners.
Perrin, meanwhile, was a member of the school’s girls swim & dive team as well as the softball team.
Plainwell athletic director Melissa Preston praised the pair for the determination they showed academically and athletically.
“Issac and Olivia were selected because of their hard work in the classroom and on the track, field and swimming pool,” Preston said. “They’re outstanding students and individuals in so many ways.”
According to Preston, Veen is “leaning toward” attending the University of Michigan. He plans to study electrical engineering.
Perrin will be attending U of M, with plans to major in political science.

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