Parkway Runs Away for 1st Championship

June 18, 2016

By Andy Sneddon
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Sterling Heights Parkway Christian baseball coach Rich Koch worried heading into the MHSAA tournament about run production. 

His concerns were clearly unfounded.

The Eagles collected 13 hits Saturday in rolling past Portland St. Patrick, 10-3, in the Division 4 championship game at Michigan State University’s McLane Stadium. 

It was the first MHSAA title for the Eagles (23-11-1), who outscored their opponents, 64-9, in seven tournament games. In five of those victories, Parkway scored at least 10 runs.

“One-through-nine, you don’t get any relief in our lineup, and that’s been a huge part of our success the last couple of weeks,” Koch said. “Looking at the last seven games, and it sounds kind of foolish, but offense was our biggest question mark. 

“We knew pitching was going to be there, and we’re comfortable with our defense, but these guys, to their credit, they’ve taken an aggressive approach and they’ve hit some pretty good pitching. We got hot at the right time, and that’s our goal every year, peak at the right time and we did that.”

St. Patrick, playing in its first title game since 1993, finished 23-8. Parkway's only other championship game appearance came when it finished Division 4 runner-up in 2009.

The top seven hitters in Parkway’s lineup had at least one hit each. Pierce Banks, Andrew Manier, Austin Fuller, Alex Julio and Jacob Bambrick had two apiece.

Parkway jumped to a 5-0 lead with a five-run second inning and was never seriously threatened, though St. Patrick scored a run and left the bases loaded in the top of the third. 

Banks came on to get the final out of the inning on a strikeout. Parkway starter Riley McManus walked six over 2 2/3 innings. He forced in St. Patrick’s third-inning run with a walk.

“Riley didn’t have his best stuff, but he still worked hard, grinded it out, and I guess I just did what Coach needed me to do and that was throw strikes and get outs,” said Banks, who surrendered two runs on six hits while striking out three over 4 1/3 innings for the victory. 

Banks threw a complete game in Parkway’s 10-1 Quarterfinal victory over Unionville-Sebewaing on Tuesday. The Eagles’ top three pitchers, Manier (Spring Arbor), McManus (Eastern Michigan), and Banks (Adrian College) are all seniors who will play in college next year.

“Pitching is always huge in the playoffs,” Koch said. “If you have pitching, you have a chance to win no matter what. We have three guys who are pitching at the next level next year. You don’t get that very often at any school, let alone a Division 4 school. 

“Having three guys this week was huge … we have three dominant pitchers.”

Brendan Schrauben had two hits for St. Patrick.

Click for the full box score

PHOTOS: (Top) Montana Essian (9) greets Parkway Christian teammate Andrew Manier at the plate Saturday. (Middle) Portland St. Patrick’s Graham Smith beats a throw to first as Manier stretches for the throw.

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.