1661 ramblewood drive · east lansing, mi 48823 · 517.332.5046 · fax - 517.332.4071 · e-mail - mhsaa@aol.com


Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford 517.332.5046 or mhsaa@aol.com

1997-98 Parade of Champions

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- June 17 – One word can describe the 1997-98 school year with regard to Michigan High School Athletic Association tournaments. Parity.

Eighty-seven different schools won titles in the recently completed school year, 21 more than the 66 in 1996-97. The increase may be partially due to the MHSAA creating equal divisions of play in six more sports last year: baseball, softball, boys and girls Lower Peninsula tennis, and boys and girls soccer, which has created a more competitive environment for high school teams throughout the state.

The 1997-98 school year saw a total of 110 team champions crowned, an all-time high, which is an increase of one from a year ago. Next year, the minimum number of titles will increase to 111, when a third division of competition is added in Lower Peninsula girls golf.

The schools which won their first MHSAA titles in any sport were: Elk Rapids in boys soccer, Muskegon Oakridge in football, Novi in Lower Peninsula girls gymnastics, Plainwell in Lower Peninsula boys swimming and diving, Quincy in baseball, Traverse City Central in boys and girls skiing, and West Branch Ogemaw Heights in football and wrestling. In addition, there were 36 schools which won tournament titles in a given sport for the first time.

Eighteen of the 87 schools winning in 1997-98 took more than one crown, led by Calumet and Marquette, which won four championships apiece. One of Calumet’s crowns came in ice hockey, a unified tournament. Menominee was next with three championships; while fifteen schools each won at least two. Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Southgate Aquinas, Traverse City Central and West Branch Ogemaw Heights all won two titles in unified tournaments. Eleven of the MHSAA’s 24 championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine titlists in both Peninsulas is conducted in the other 13 sports.

The most unique occurrence in 1997-98 came with the cooperative girls gymnastics program from Northville and Novi winning the Lower Peninsula crown. It’s the first time a cooperative team has won an MHSAA championship since the program began in 1987.

The following is a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 1997-98: 

NOTE: Those tournaments in which competition is conducted in separate Peninsulas will have their class/division designated as UP for Upper Peninsula; LP for Lower Peninsula. Unified tournaments, involving schools from both peninsulas, will only list the letter/Roman numerial of the class/division in which the competition was conducted.


Sport Class/Division Winning School (Coach)

Titles Won


BASEBALL I Midland (Terry Wilczek) 3 --
(28th annual) II Orchard Lake St. Mary (Greg Kolb) 1 --
  III Quincy (Lonney Evon) 1 --
  IV Southgate Aquinas (Doug Sombatti) 3 --
BASKETBALL (Boys)        
(73rd annual) A Detroit Central (Oronde Taliaferro) 1 --
  B River Rouge (Ben Pierce) 13 --
  C Detroit St. Martin dePorres (Derrick Owens) 6 --
  D Southgate Aquinas (Ernie Price) 2 --
BASKETBALL (Girls)        
(25th annual) A Grand Rapids Christian (Al VanDenBosch) 1 --
  B Detroit Country Day (Frank Orlando) 3 --
  C Redford Bishop Borgess (Dave Mann) 3 --
  D Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher (Ron Biotti) 1 --
(5th annual) A Grandville (Julie Smith-Boyd) 2 2
  B Chesaning (Lisa Maike) 2 2
  C-D Flat Rock (Jann Stahr) 1 --
CROSS COUNTRY (Boys)        
(71st annual) LP A White Lake Lakeland (Randy Wilkins) 3 2
  LP B Corunna (Gordon Aldrich) 1 --
  LP C Benzie County Central (Eldon Moss) 5 --
  LP D Grass Lake (Pat Richardson) 4 3
(52nd annual) UP A-B Menominee (Randy Verkerke) 15 5
  UP C Calumet (Bruce Hannula) 3 2
  UP D Carney-Nadeau (Pauline Poupore) 1 --
CROSS COUNTRY (Girls)        
(20th annual) LP A Ann Arbor Pioneer (Bryan Westfield) 3 --
  LP B Fremont (Herb Lindsay) 1 --
  LP C Kalamazoo Hackett (Lowie Van Straveren) 1 --
  LP D Mendon (Art Bombrys) 1 --
  UP A-B Menominee (Randy Verkerke) 1 --
  UP C Ironwood (Bruce Beckman) 2 2
  UP D Republic-Michigamme (Vicki Holsworth) 1 --
(23rd annual) AA Detroit Catholic Central (Thomas Mach) 5 --
  A Farmington Hills Harrison (John Herrington) 8 --
  BB West Branch Ogemaw Heights (Larry Bellor) 1 --
  B Belding (Irv Sigler) 2 --
  CC Muskegon Oakridge (Jack Schugars) 1 --
  C Ravenna (Dusty Fairfield) 3 2
  DD Lawrence (Jim Coady) 1 --
  D Lake Linden-Hubbell (Ronald Warner) 2 --
GOLF (Boys)        
(69th annual) LP A Hartland (Bill Taylor) 1 --
  LP B Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (Ed VanDam) 2 --
  LP C North Muskegon (Scott Chandonnet) 3 --
  LP D Waterford Our Lady (Phil Dawson) 4 --
(54th annual) UP A-B Marquette (Jim Acocks) 5 --
  UP C Calumet (Scott Boddy) 2 2
  UP D Crystal Falls Forest Park (George Stockero) 5 --
GOLF (Girls)        
(26th annual) LP A Grandville (Tom Peddie) 2 2
  LP B-C-D Grosse Ile (Richard Spratt) 3 3
  UP A-B Escanaba (C. Marty Oslund) 9 --
  UP C Ishpeming Westwood (Irvin Dieterle) 2 --
  UP D Ontonagon (Dennis Morin) 15 5
GYMNASTICS (Girls)        
(27th annual) LP Open Northville/Novi (Laura Moyers) 1 --
  UP Open Marquette (Melinda Andrews) 9 3
ICE HOCKEY        
(24th annual) A Trenton (Mike Turner) 8 --
  B-C-D Calumet (Jim Crawford) 4 --
SKIING (Boys)        
(24th annual) A Traverse City Central (Jerry Stanek) 1 --
  B-C-D Petoskey (Brewster McVicker) 3 --
SKIING (Girls)        
(24th annual) A Traverse City Central (Jerry Stanek) 1 *
  B-C-D Maple City-Glen Lake (Mark Fisher) 1 --
SOCCER (Boys)        
(16th annual) I Troy Athens (Tim Storch) 4 --
  II Mason (John Gillengerten) 3 --
  III Madison Heights Bishop Foley (Kris Galczyk) 2 --
  IV Elk Rapids (Al Gredlien) 1 --
SOCCER (Girls)        
(16th annual) I Livonia Stevenson (Jim Kimble) 5 2
  II Birmingham Groves (Derek Williford) 1 --
  III Madison Heights Bishop Foley (Rick Larson) 7 2
(24th annual) I Waterford Kettering (Joe Alsup) 2 --
  II Stevensville-Lakeshore (Denny Dock) 3 2
  III Kalamazoo Christian (Marty DeJong) 3 3
  IV Burr Oak (Denny Gray) 2 2
SWIMMING & DIVING (Boys)        
(74th annual) LP A Birmingham Brother Rice (Ron Richards) 5 5
  LP B-C-D Plainwell (John Dubois) 1 --
  UP Open Marquette (Matt Williams) 12 8
SWIMMING & DIVING (Girls)        
(26th annual) LP A Birmingham Seaholm (Dennis Carter) 3 3
  LP B-C-D Albion (Mary Egnatuk) 1 --
(19th annual) UP Open Houghton (John Vincent) 2 --
TENNIS (Boys)        
(70th annual) LP I Birmingham Brother Rice (Keith Cullen) 4 --
  LP II Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (Elliott Pearce) 1 --
  LP III Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (Dave Sukup) 2 --
  LP IV Detroit Country Day (Carole Russell) 7 3
(54th annual) UP A-B Menominee (Joe Noha) 2 2
  UP C-D Iron Mountain (Phyllis Laurila) 14 2
TENNIS (Girls)        
(26th annual) LP I Port Huron Northern (Al Wright) 2 2
  LP II East Lansing (Alexandra Wiesner) 2 --
  LP III East Grand Rapids (Mia Bertsch) 10 4
  LP IV Grosse Pte. Woods Univ. Liggett (Chuck Wright) 14 4
  UP A-B Kingsford (Sue Trischel) 2 2
  UP C-D Stambaugh West Iron County (Brook Smith) 6 2
TRACK & FIELD (Boys)        
(73rd annual) LP A East Lansing (Jeff Smith) 1 --
  LP B Corunna (Chris Curtiss) 1 --
  LP C Detroit St. Martin dePorres (Tony Taylor) 8 2
  LP D Centreville (Bob Critz) 5 --
  UP A-B Negaunee (Kevin Bell) 2 --
  UP C Calumet (John Croze) 4 2
  UP D St. Ignace (Marty Spencer) 2 --
TRACK & FIELD (Girls)        
(26th annual) LP A Ann Arbor Pioneer (Bryan Westfield) 10 3
  LP B Detroit Renaissance (Rick Miotke) 2 2
  LP C Kingsley (Robert Glover) 2 2
  LP D Fowler (Mark Ulman) 5 --
  UP A-B Marquette (Dale Phillips) 11 6
  UP C Ironwood (Dave Davis) 5 5
  UP D St. Ignace (Lynwood Leightner) 1 --
VOLLEYBALL (Girls)        
(23rd annual) LP A Temperance Bedford (Jodi Manore) 1 --
  LP B Marysville (John Knuth) 2 2
  LP C Lake Fenton (Will Stanton) 1 --
  LP D Mendon (Kathy Trenary) 1 --
(18th annual) UP A-B-C Houghton (John Christianson) 1 --
  UP D Bessemer (Tracy Rowe) 1 --
(10th annual) I Rochester Adams (Pat Milkovich) 1 --
  II West Branch Ogemaw Heights (Frank Dame) 1 --
  III Montrose (Dave Beazley) 2 2
  IV Dundee (Jim Wittibslager) 4 4


NOTES -- Repeat champions from 1996-97 are in bold face. The overall and consecutive title won figures are taken from the 1996-97 Book of Champions. If you find some of the overall and consecutive titles in error because of consolidations, schools changing names, etc., please contact John Johnson at the MHSAA office.

*Traverse City High School won three consecutive Girls Skiing Class A titles before being split into two schools, Traverse City Central and West, in 1997-98.