D2 Baseball: Memories Pay Off in Motivation

June 15, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

BATTLE CREEK – Grand Rapids Christian’s line-up returned nearly intact this season after finishing runner-up in Division 2 a year ago.

And every player on the field after that 4-1 loss remembers St. Clair piling on each other in celebration of the ultimate championship.

On Saturday, the Eagles will get another chance to do the same.

Junior Alex VandeVusse and senior Kurt Hoekstra combined for a three-hitter Friday as Grand Rapids Christian advanced again with a 4-0 Semifinal win over Dearborn Divine Child at Bailey Park.  

“This was always our goal,” VandeVusse said. “Last year, we remember looking and seeing St. Clair partying on the field and enjoying it, and we knew we wanted that. We were looking forward to this. We knew our goal, knew we could do it, and we came to this game ready.”

Grand Rapids Christian (35-5), ranked No. 2, will take on No. 3 Bay City John Glenn in Saturday’s 3:30 Final. Neither has won an MHSAA title; the Eagles have finished runners-up twice, and John Glenn will be making its first Final appearance.

The Eagles patiently chipped away at Divine Child (22-16), scoring one run each in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Falcons senior Justin Chandler struck out four and gave up only six hits, but they were spread among five Grand Rapids Christian hitters. Senior infielder Taylor Pruis had two and scored a run.

VandeVusse gave up three hits and struck out two before Hoekstra came on to get the final four outs on 14 pitches. Click for a full box score.

“We’re one away,” Eagles coach Brent Gates said. “We didn’t want to come here for this game. We’re here to win this whole thing.”

Bay City John Glenn 6, St. Joseph 5 (8 innings)

Senior centerfielder Aaron Martin scored on junior Zach Olszewski’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Bobcats in a championship game for the first time.

John Glenn (35-7) also needed an earlier rally after falling behind 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Senior third baseman Brendan Seymour had three RBI and drove in a run, and senior leftfielder Jack Frederick had three hits. Olszewski went the distance on the mound to get the win, striking out eight.

Senior centerfielder Joseph Fratzke and sophomore third baseman Anthony Montoya each had two hits for St. Joseph (32-10). Both were among five pitchers used by the Bears. Click for a full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Grand Rapids Christian's Kurt Hoekstra fires a pitch as he closes out the Eagles' win over Dearborn Divine Child. (Middle) Bay City John Glenn's Zach Olszewski threw all eight innings of his team's Semifinal win over St. Joseph.

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.