West Michigan Stars Set High Bars
July 18, 2019
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Grand Rapids area was loaded with star senior girls lacrosse players this spring, with Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s Erin Kloostra and Grand Rapids Christian’s Kate DeYoung among those closing impressive careers.
Playing for Forest Hills United, Kloostra capped her four seasons with 58 goals and 76 assists and career totals of 212 goals, 276 assists and 488 points over 92 games. She had set the single-season assists record of 99 in 2018 and now owns the career assists record. She had 14 points in an April 29 game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, which tied for second-most points in one game, and her career points currently also rank second. Kloostra will continue at University of Vermont.
DeYoung finished a four-year varsity career among the all-time leading scorers. She made the records with 81 goals this season – her third entry for single-season goals – and finished with 252 for her career, which are tied for ninth most. Her 337 career points also rank ninth. She will continue at University of Detroit Mercy.
See below for more recent record book additions in girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, boys tennis and volleyball, and click on the headings to see those record books in full.
A pair of Caledonia standouts were added, one for offense and the other for goal play. Another west Michigan senior Kendall Schneider made the single-season goals list with 63 and also had seven in a game against Grand Haven. Junior goalie Grace DeRidder was added for 153 saves on the season and 16 against Holland West Ottawa. Schneider will continue at Niagara University in New York.
Additionally for Forest Hills United, senior Molly Mullett – a student at Forest Hills Northern – was added for 67 goals this spring.
West Bloomfield senior Nick Long earned a pair of entries May 13 against Bay City Central. He had nine goals, plus an assist for 10 total points, to lead his team to a 15-1 win. The nine goals tied for seventh most in one game.
Jenison sophomore Michael Care put himself in the record book five times this spring, most notably with 71 goals and 107 points over 19 games. Care also was added for single-game totals of seven goals, five assists and 10 points.
Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s march to a Division 2 runner-up finish was led in part by a handful of underclassmen, including sophomore attack John Morgan. Morgan was added to the record book 13 times for accomplishments over his first two seasons, including for 83 goals and 124 points this spring, eight goals in a game three times and 41 assists both years. He’s also already made the career points list with 205 after two seasons. Sophomore Sam Bowen earned three record book entries including for six assists and 11 points during a single game against Chelsea and 93 points total for the season. Sophomore Kevin Sprague made the records for games of seven goals against East Grand Rapids and five assists against Ovid-Elsie. Senior Brandon Pham closed his career with a pair of saves entries – he had 22 against Detroit Catholic Central on April 25 and 184 on the season, the latter ranking 18th all-time.
Reese Ruhlman capped a stellar four-year career by leading North Branch to its first Semifinals this spring, and she ended with 13 record book entries. She made career lists with 196 runs scored, 257 hits (tied for 10th all-time), 58 doubles (tied for 18th), 43 home runs (tied for 12th) and 194 RBI (tied for 16th) over 149 games. Her 76 runs scored as a junior tied for 11th most, while her 19 doubles in 2018 tied for eighth and her 73 RBI that season tied for 16th. She will continue her career at University of Detroit Mercy.
Three Rivers has enjoyed one of the most impressive two-year runs of offense in MHSAA history, making the record book 12 times as a team during either 2018 or this spring. The 2018 team finished 37-4 with 499 hits (eighth all-time), 112 doubles (second), 53 home runs (third), 392 RBI (second) and a .431 batting average (11th). This spring’s most notable achievements were 57 homers (second) and 368 RBI (sixth). Sophomore Kali Heivilin has led the way; she set the runs scored record this spring with 88, two more than Rogers City’s Logan Fleming scored in 2015. Heivilin’s 19 home runs this spring are tied for eighth most and her 37 over two seasons put her on the career list already in that category, while her 72 RBI as a freshman are tied for 18th most for one season. Four more Three Rivers players also earned record book accolades over the last two seasons: Erin Brady for 21 doubles in 2019 and Kylee Nash and Halle Carpenter both with 18 doubles in 2018, and Amy Jo Tavernier with 11 homers that spring. Brady was a senior this season, Nash was a junior, Carpenter graduated in 2018 and plays at Hope College and Tavernier also was a senior in 2018 and plays at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Additionally, Libby Judsen now sits atop the record list for most hit-by-pitches in one game with four against Marshall when she was a senior in 2017.
The retirement of longtime Allegan coach Gary Ellis after 45 seasons during the winter was accompanied by a number of additions to the MHSAA record book from his tenure, swelling the number of Allegan individual entries to 111. Among the most notable of recent additions was Kody Harrington for 37 wins last fall and 131 for his career – the latter ranking fourth all-time. He also finished with 45 wins by scores of 6-0, 6-0, to rank fourth in that category. Zach Lang built a 38-2 doubles record last fall and Zach Sisson came in at 37-2, with Korbin Sisson and Lukas Vlietstra both coming in with 36 wins. Zach Sisson graduated with a 131-16 record over four seasons, ranking fifth all-time on the doubles wins list, and Curt Woodhams and Matt Nooney took over the 10th spot going 105-16 from 2001-04. Vlietstra also became the first listing for doubles wins by 6-0, 6-0, with 21 of those victories, and Sisson was added to the career tournaments won list with 19, as was Mark Chappell (1986-89). Harrington, Lang and Vlietstra also were seniors last season, joining Zach Sisson, and Korbin Sisson will be a junior this fall.
Muskegon Catholic Central setter Amelia Heminger finished her three-year varsity run last fall making the career assists list with 2,524. She also was added for 51 assists in a five-game match against Big Rapids Crossroads in 2017, and she tied for third on the single-match aces list with 20 against Fruitport Calvary Christian over three games also that season.
PHOTOS: Forest Hills' Erin Kloostra, left, and Grand Rapids Christian's Kate DeYoung were among lacrosse standouts from the Grand Rapids area over the last four seasons. (Submitted photos.)