Richard Pitchers Rise to Occasion Versus High-Scoring Beal City in D4 Clincher

By Tim Robinson
Special for

June 18, 2022

EAST LANSING – Riverview Gabriel Richard baseball coach Mike Magier admitted he was a little nervous while preparing to put in a freshman at a crucial point in Saturday’s Division 4 championship game.

“You talk to him in the dugout, we’re going back and forth and he doesn’t seem fazed,” Magier said,  chuckling. “I don’t know if he knows the situation or not. But he says, ‘I'm ready Coach.’ He throws a lot of strikes, and we had our best defense behind him when he’s on the mound.”

Drew Everingham entered in relief with a runner on and one out in the seventh inning. He hit his first batter, gave up an RBI single, then got a game-ending double play as Gabriel Richard edged Beal City, 4-3, for its second Finals title in five years. The Pioneers also won the Division 3 title in 2018. 

The pitching victory went to senior Ashton Nowak, who started and went 6 1/3 innings before having to leave the game due to the pitch count rule. He was in center field when the final outs were recorded. 

“That’s exactly what we needed,” he said. “It feels amazing. It took everyone, even the entire school coming out to watch us, to get that win.”

Gabriel Richard/Beal City baseballThe Pioneers (17-12) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Brendan Hills doubled and scored on a single by Connor Silka. Richard added two more runs on a double to the left-center field gap off the bat of catcher Bryan Tuttle. 

Beal City, which finished the season having averaged an MHSAA-record 12.5 runs per game, scored twice in the sixth inning on a bases-clearing triple by Jack Fussman to make the score 3-2. But Richard added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single by Nick Wisniewki.

The Aggies (30-3) had one more comeback try, trailing by two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Jake Gauthier walked to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a single by Brayden Haynes. But the rally fell short.  

“Like I told them after the game, they battled,” Beal City coach Steve Pickens said. “They battled all year. They’re a great group of guys. I’d go to war with them. It bounced a little different today than it usually does, but that’s baseball.”

For the Pioneers, a season of ups and downs ended at the pinnacle.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Tuttle, who was behind the plate for all but three innings this season for the Pioneers. “This is what we’ve dreamed of since the beginning of the season, and now that it’s come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Brenden Hills crosses the plate for Riverview Gabriel Richard on Saturday at McLane Stadium. (Middle) Pioneers catcher Bryan Tuttle puts a tag on Beal City’s Konnor Wilson during the third inning.

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.