D3 Baseball: All Eyes on Saturday

June 15, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

BATTLE CREEK – As Lansing Catholic finished off its 8-1 MHSAA Semifinal win over Mancelona on Friday, the Cougars quietly shook hands, congratulated each other, and moved on.

A more boisterous celebration might’ve been expected, given the team advanced to its first championship game since 1996.

But this group of Lansing Catholic athletes is used to winning and being around champions – the Cougars boys track and field and girls golf teams won MHSAA titles this school year along with a boys individual cross country championship, and the football team played in the Division 5 Final at Ford Field.

“It’s a very calm team. For the most part, they stay pretty even-keel,” Lansing Catholic baseball coach Mike Scott said. “They gave themselves the opportunity to get to the state finals, and they were just shaking hands after the game and wondering who we had in the next game.”

That said, expect a much more emotional reaction if the Cougars can beat reigning champion Madison Heights Bishop Foley in Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. championship game.

Lansing Catholic will enter that contest with innings left for both of their top pitchers. Junior Dillon Rush will be fresh after last throwing in Tuesday’s Quarterfinal, and senior Mike DeClarke has four innings left after striking out five and giving up five hits against the Ironmen (29-6).

DeClarke also had the hot bat Friday, with three hits and two RBI. But eight Cougars hit safely and five drove in runs as the team extended its lead in workmanlike fashion.

Lansing Catholic (31-6) has had high hopes quite a few seasons recently – this is the third time in eight it has reached the final week of the tournament, although this was the first Semifinal appearance since 1997.

“(The difference is) the confidence we’re going to do well when we go out there,” DeClarke said. “We have confidence in every one of these 15 guys who step on the field. We all trust each other no matter who’s out there.”

Mancelona, ranked No. 10 and a return guest at the Semifinals, pushed its run across in the sixth inning. Junior Kevin Schepperley had two hits to lead the Ironmen. Click for a full box score.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley 6, Saginaw Nouvel Catholic 2

Top-ranked Bishop Foley (37-3) rode a five-run second inning into the championship game.

Five Ventures had multiple hits, with sophomore Garrett Schilling also driving in three runs and striking out seven while tossing all seven innings.

Senior pitcher Josh Buchalski and junior centerfielder Alex Valasek both had two hits and an RBI for Nouvel (29-10). Click for a complete box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Lansing Catholic junior Eric Plaehn drives a pitch during Friday's Semifinal win over Mancelona. (Middle) Bishop Foley pitcher Garrett Schilling threw a complete game in beating Saginaw Nouvel.

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.