Big-Play Power Produces Memorable Moments for Chippewa Valley
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
June 8, 2021
Big-play talent has been a major contributor to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s all-around football success the last many seasons – and a pair of highlight reel producers were among latest additions to the MHSAA 11-player record book.
Soon-to-be senior Cephus Harris III this past fall became one of the latest of 13 to return a kickoff 99 yards, doing so during his team’s 21-20 loss to Utica Eisenhower on Oct. 16. He also ran for a 48-yard score in the game.
Additionally, David Ellis was added for a 99-yard run in a 2018 win over Dearborn Fordson. He is playing currently at Indiana and is one of 12 listed on the 99-yard run list.
Also for Chippewa Valley, Stefan Clairborne (seven in 2014) and Jacob Rybicki (five in 2016) were added to the blocked extra point/field goal attempt list. Clairborne plays at Western Michigan, and Rybicki plays at Northwood.
Click to see the 11-player football record book in full, and read below for more recent additions.
Erie Mason receiver Tanner Herrera tied for the eighth-most receptions in one game Oct. 18 when he pulled in 16 for 188 yards in a 38-24 loss to Dundee. Herrera will be a senior this fall.
A number of records were added from Frankenmuth’s success over the last 60 years, both as a team and individually. Among them, then-junior Mike Holzei was added for six rushing touchdowns in a 1990 win over Caro, and then-senior Hunter Schluckebier for two kickoff return touchdowns in a 2017 game against Almont. Kevin Heinzman was added for kicking 47 extra points in 56 attempts as a senior also in 2017, and then-seniors Pat Walderzak and Justin Meyer were added for 31 and 25 tackles for loss, respectively, in 1997. As a team, Frankenmuth totaled 716 yards in a 1983 win over Midland Bullock Creek to rank second on that all-time list, and scored 71 touchdowns as a team in 2005. The Eagles also were added a number of times for fewest first downs allowed in a season, including 33 in eight games in 1965. Walderzak went on to compete in track & field at Central Michigan.
Longtime coach Bob Buckel was added to the career coaching wins list after concluding his career 214-114 after the 2015 season. Buckel led Birch Run from 1983-90, Flushing from 1991-2009, Otisville-LakeVille Memorial in 2010 and then Flint Powers Catholic from 2011-15. Under his guidance, Powers won the Division 5 championship in 2011.
Lansing Catholic’s 2019 Division 5 championship season included record-book accomplishments from a pair of standouts. Senior Zach Gillespie made the records with 2,698 yards and 27 touchdowns passing, and also a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against Grand Rapids West Catholic in Week 2. Then-sophomore kicker Jonah Richards was added for making 72 extra points (in 75 attempts) including all nine against Eaton Rapids in a Week 3 win, plus 62 straight. Gillespie is continuing at Michigan State.
Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central’s Trey Conner is one of 18 players who have intercepted four or more passes in a game. He made the list with four against Kalamazoo Christian on Sept. 30, 2005.
Coleman’s Spencer Pnacek has joined the list of stat-stacking passers with 323 completions in 681 attempts for 4,499 yards over 32 games from 2015-18 – all three totals making career lists. He also made the single-game passing list with 464 yards in a 2017 contest. Teammate Jason Beckner was added for his 1,902 career receiving yards over 27 games from 2015-17.
A week after Chippewa Valley’s Harris, Belding senior Kyle Prosser became the 13th with a 99-yard kickoff return, bringing his back against Eaton Rapids during a 46-3 win.
Reed City won’t soon forget its 70-40 win over Newaygo on Oct. 9. Not only did it make the list for games that saw two teams combine for the most points (with the losing team scoring at least 40), but Reed City gained 646 yards all rushing to make both the total offense and single-game rushing yards lists. Reed City also made the single-game rushing attempts list with 67 and touchdowns list with eight.
The pass/catch combo of quarterback Carson Roose and receiver Ryan Jones put up some massive single-game numbers for Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett during the fall. Roose made the single-game passing yardage list three times, the completion list twice and attempts list once – with his 536 yards against Carson City-Crystal on Oct. 17 ranking ninth all-time. His seven touchdown passes against Mount Clemens on Sept. 26 tied for eighth-most in one game. Jones caught 18 passes for 234 yards against Carson City-Crystal – the receptions tying for third on that single-game list. Roose is a junior and Jones a sophomore this school year.
PHOTO: David Ellis is hoisted into the air by a teammate after scoring on a 94-yard kickoff return during Chippewa Valley’s 2018 Division 1 championship game win over Clarkston at Ford Field.