Beal City Primed to Make History Again

June 14, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

BATTLE CREEK – About three weeks into this season, Beal City coach Brad Antcliff began noticing strong similarities between this team and those that won MHSAA titles in 2009 and 2010.

It started with the speedy outfield of senior Joseph Rau, junior Carson Salisbury and freshman Chase Rollin – a pair of running backs and a tight end during football season – who range far and wide to take away what would be hits against many other defenses.

Of course, there are differences as well – but not in focus. These Aggies fully understand the historical significance of the opportunity at hand and how they can become part of the program's recent run of success.

Beal City earned another championship opportunity with a 15-0 Semifinal win over Maple City Glen Lake on Friday. 

“It’s funny, because every spring our goal is to win the Highland (Conference) and make a long tournament run. And the kids understand that,” Antcliff said. “It’s great winning 35 games. Butt with our schedule, we want to play the Grosse Pointes, we want to play bigger schools. If we lose 10-12 games, we’re fine. It gets us ready for this.”

Beal City has lost only twice this season, against 35 wins. But consider the No. 3 Aggies ready for No. 1 University Liggett, their opponent in Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. Final.

They sure appeared primed after the fifth inning Friday. Beal City, up 1-0, put up five more runs and then added nine in the sixth inning to end the game.

Senior Ryan Marshall gave up only two hits and struck out eight for the Aggies. He also scored two runs, drove in a third and had one of the team’s seven stolen bases.

Beal City had 10 hits, but only junior Ryan Tilmann had more than one; he finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, three RBI and two stolen bases.

Glen Lake, making its first Semifinal appearance since 2001, got three innings of one-run pitching and one of its two hits from sophomore Austin Odziana. The Lakers finished 28-8.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 1, New Lothrop 0

The top-ranked Knights didn’t score the game’s lone run until the sixth inning. But pitcher Connor Fannon needed only that one to get University Liggett back to the Final for the third straight season.

Fannon, a senior, gave up only two hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.

He out-dueled also-solid Mitch Perizzolo, who gave up only five hits, didn’t walk a batter and stuck out four for New Lothrop. Perizzolo also had one of the Hornets’ two hits.

The Knights scored that lone run when shortstop Nicholas Azar hit a sacrifice fly to score centerfielder Mark Evan Auk from third base. Auk had reached on a bunt single. Catcher Nathan Gaggin was the only player, from either team, with more than a hit; he finished 2-for-3.

New Lothrop, making its first Semifinal appearance since 1998, finished 25-6. University Liggett improved to 30-4.

Click for full box scores.

PHOTOS: (Top) Beal City junior Ryan Tilmann gets in safe under the throw in the Aggies' win over Maple City Glen Lake. (Middle) A University Liggett hitter drives a pitch in the Knights' Semifinal win over New Lothrop. (Click to see more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

Longtime Chelsea High School Administrator, Coach Bush to Join MHSAA Staff as Assistant Director

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 21, 2022

Brad Bush, a highly-respected educator, administrator and coach over the last three decades, has been selected to serve in the position of assistant director for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, beginning Jan. 17.

Brad BushBush, 52, taught and coached at East Kentwood High School for four years before beginning a tenure at Chelsea High School in 1997 that has included teaching, then serving as athletic director and later also assistant principal and leading the football program as varsity coach from 1997-2002 and again from 2004-18.

He also has served as a statewide delegate on the MHSAA Representative Council during the last year and provided leadership in multiple roles, including president, for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) since 2005.

Bush will serve as the MHSAA’s lead administrator for baseball and also among lead administrators for the officials program, which includes more than 8,000 registered officials in all sports. Bush also will be assigned additional duties in other sports based on his vast experiences. He was selected from a pool of 34 applicants.

“I’m incredibly excited to have Brad join our team,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. "He’s been an outstanding athletic director and coach who is highly-respected by those who know him.”

As Chelsea athletic director, Bush annually has supervised a staff of 110 coaches across 31 programs, with nearly 70 percent of the high school’s 800 students participating in athletics. As a teacher and assistant principal, he has served on Chelsea’s School Improvement Team and on multiple committees that provided instructional leadership including in the development of the district’s new trimester schedule. In his roles with the MHSFCA, Bush helped direct an organization with more than 2,200 members and also served as the association’s treasurer and liaison to the MHSAA.

Bush is perhaps best known, however, for his coaching success. Over 22 seasons, he led Chelsea’s varsity football team to a 169-60 record, 13 league championships, 18 playoff appearances, seven District titles and a Division 3 runner-up finish in 2015. During his break in tenure as Chelsea coach, Bush served as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator for Eastern Michigan University during the 2003-04 school year, and he has served as an assistant coach at Albion College the last four seasons contributing to the team’s two league titles and appearance in the 2021 NCAA Division III Playoffs.

“I feel like joining the team at the MHSAA is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Bush said. “The 26 years I spent at Chelsea were some of the best times of my life. It’s a professional transition that in the back of my mind, if this opportunity came, was something I needed to do.

“Over time, I’ve grown to care about the bigger picture of athletics and appreciate the role of the MHSAA in protecting high school athletics in Michigan.”

Bush is a 1988 graduate of Ypsilanti High School. He studied and played quarterback at Cornell University before returning and graduating from EMU after majoring in history and minoring in social studies. He earned his physical education endorsement from EMU in 2000 and his master’s in physical education and sports management from EMU in 2002. He has earned continuing education credits in sports management from Drake University and completed the Path to Leadership program from the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP). 

Bush was inducted into MHSFCA Hall of Fame and Ypsilanti High School Hall of Fame both in 2019. He and his wife Laura have three adult children, two daughters and a son.

PHOTO Chelsea coach Brad Bush directs his team during the 2015 Division 3 Final at Ford Field.