Moment: Lake Orion Clinches on Walk-Off

April 27, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

When Nick Dunstan singled up the middle to drive in Joe Barnes in the bottom of the seventh inning of the 2007 Division 1 Final, he sent Lake Orion past Farmington 4-3 to clinch what remains the Dragons’ only MHSAA championship in the sport.

That alone makes for a good story. But there’s another little hook as well.

Lake Orion had come back from a 3-1 deficit, tying the score in the fifth inning as Barnes crossed the plate for the second of his three runs on the day. After giving up three runs over the first three innings, Dragons pitcher Josh Deeg held Farmington scoreless over the final four, setting up his teammates to score the walk-off winner.

As for another good story, here’s the rest. That game-winning single came off Farmington reliever Cam Fowler, who moved over from shortstop to start the sixth inning. Dunstan’s single was the only hit Fowler gave up over the final two innings.

The ending surely stung for Farmington, which was making its first and still only Finals appearance in the sport. But Fowler, just a sophomore that season, bounced back in a big way although that afternoon marked his last high school baseball game.

Three years later, Fowler was a first-round pick by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, and he made his debut as an 18-year-old the next season. He’s played a decade with the Ducks, making the NHL All-Star Game in 2017 and also playing on the U.S. Olympic team in 2014.

Barnes went on to play baseball at Grand Rapids Community College and South Carolina-Upstate, and Deeg played at Xavier and then Madonna.

Click for coverage of the game from the Lake Orion Review and watch the game winner below from the MHSAA Network. 

PHOTO: Lake Orion's Nick Dunstan fires a throw across the infield from his spot at third base during the 2007 Finals weekend. 

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.