By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Ludington’s run to the Class B championship game last winter was the result of a number of contributions – including senior Sam LaDuke’s on defense.
The now-graduated guard finished last season with 141 steals, third-most in MHSAA history, and with two games of 11 steals apiece (against Traverse City Central and Cadillac) that made the single-game record book list in that category.
LaDuke, who is continuing his career at Calvin College, also averaged 10.4 points per game as Ludington advanced to an MHSAA Finals for the first time since 1953.
Click to see the boys basketball record book in full and read on for more recent additions in football, girls and boys soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.
Austin Brown set an MHSAA record on the first night of this recently-completed season, throwing eight touchdown passes for Madison Heights Madison during the first half of a 54-7 win over Warren Lincoln on Aug. 24. His six TD tosses in the second quarter tied another record, and those eight total also tied for second-most in one game. The junior quarterback finished the night 18 of 20 passing for 352 yards despite not playing during the second half.
Mesick senior Ethan Humphreys became the first entry on the list for longest fumble recovery touchdown in 8-player history when he snagged a Baldwin handoff and returned it 97 yards for a score on Sept. 8. It was one of Humphreys’ many contributions on the night – he also threw for two touchdowns, ran for two more scores and grabbed an interception in the 54-8 victory.
Kelly Bertera was a freshman on the first Southgate Anderson girls soccer team in 1996. Her nine goals in an 11-0 win over Taylor Truman that spring are tied for second-most in one game; she also had two assists in the victory.
Ithaca’s Cavun Beck scored eight goals in an Aug. 22 win over Durand, tying for the third-most scored in one game. The Yellowjackets senior also became the first to score at least that many in one contest since 2004, and he also assisted on the ninth goal as his team won 9-5.
Richland Gull Lake then-sophomore Lauren Esman was one of three players across the state to break the previous MHSAA record for home runs in a season last spring, and she ranks third on the list after knocking 21 (two others hit 22). She also has been added to the record book for 74 runs scored, 81 hits, 24 doubles, 91 RBI and a .675 batting average last season – her RBI rank fourth and her doubles tied for eighth on those lists. Esman has 25 home runs over her career so far and also was added seven times for single-game homers or RBI. Teammate Ashton Whitman (now a senior) also made the records with 20 doubles last season and six RBI in a game, and Shelby Martell (also now a senior) was added for six RBI in a game as well. Esman already has committed to sign with University of Michigan.
Utica Ford’s Meagan VerVaecke finished her career in the spring with a couple of notable accomplishments. Her 17 doubles over 37 games made the single-season list in that category, and her two third-inning home runs against Almont in a May 6 win were added to lists for two consecutive homers and in the same inning. VerVaecke is continuing her career at Saginaw Valley State.
Recent Sterling Heights graduate Shelby Segar earned a spot in the record book with eight RBI in her team’s 19-16 loss to New Haven on May 17. She finished 5 for 5 in the game with pair of doubles. Segar was a four-year varsity player.
Ludington senior Mackenzie Luce dominated a three-set win over Muskegon Heights Academy on Sept. 19, setting a pair of serving records with 20 aces in one game and 32 over the best-of-five match as her team won 25-5, 25-0, 25-7. Luce’s single-game record broke that of another Ludington athlete, Madisyn Brockelbank, who had 17 aces in one game during a 2013 match.
Connor Charping became the latest four-year standout to be added for more than 200 wins, finishing last winter with a career record of 204-24. He also made the career pins list with 119 over those 228 matches. In addition, freshman teammate Sam Rickman was added to the records for tying the fastest pin at 112 pounds, earning a victory in six seconds on Dec. 10, 2016. An MHSAA Finals runner-up in 2016, Charping is continuing his athletic career as part of the Western Michigan baseball program.
PHOTO: Ludington’s Sam LaDuke (10) applies defensive pressure during last season’s Class B Semifinal win over River Rouge.