St Patrick Return Ends in 1st-Time Celebration

June 17, 2017

By Andy Sneddon
Special for Second Half 

EAST LANSING – A team that took a year to complete the journey against one that could be starting down the same path. 

A year ago, Portland St. Patrick lost in the Division 4 Final. On Saturday, the Shamrocks delivered.

Dan Mackowiak had four hits and Devin Fedewa and Graham Smith combined to hold the fort on the mound as St. Patrick won its first MHSAA baseball championship, completing an undefeated season with a 6-2 victory over Hudson at McLane Stadium on the campus of Michigan State University.

“It’s indescribable,” said Bryan Scheurer, who is in his 13th year as the Shamrocks’ coach. “I’m so proud of them. Lot of hard work, and they let us ride them all year long. We’re very particular in the way we coach, and they’re coachable. That’s all you can ask for.”

A year ago, the Shamrocks fell, 10-3, to Sterling Heights Parkway Christian in the title game. On Saturday, they took advantage of some shaky Hudson defense – the Tigers committed three errors, all during the first two innings – in seizing an early 4-0 lead.

“I think (experience) was calming, but I also think it was motivating that we had done the runner-up thing before,” Scheurer said. “They wanted to go one step farther.”

Neither team was necessarily expected to go as far as it did in the tournament. The Shamrocks returned several players from last year’s runner-up squad but graduated some significant contributors, while Hudson’s 18-player roster featured just two seniors and 14 underclassmen.

“We wanted to win 20 games and just keep moving the program forward,” Scheurer said. “We wanted to win the league title, we wanted to compete for a District. Maybe the smartest thing I did was I didn’t tell (the players) that. They thought we were supposed to be really good.”

The Shamrocks (34-3-1) drew on the experience of having been there just 12 months prior, senior catcher and leadoff hitter Brendan Schrauben said.

“Watching the seniors go out last year like they went out, that’s not how I wanted to go out,” said Schrauben, who singled, tripled and scored three runs. “But they really paved the way for us. I’m glad we got the win. That’s how I wanted to go out.”

Fedewa, a freshman, struck out three, walked five and surrendered seven hits over five innings for the win. Smith struck out three over the final two innings for the save.

“That’s big,” Schrauben said. “It definitely relaxed us when we got out to an early lead. When we’ve got a freshman on the mound, that kind of eases his game. He was able to pitch aggressively.”

Sophomore Isaac Davis had two hits for Hudson (27-17), while Josh Heistan started and took the loss.

The Tigers, who were playing in a Final for the first time in school history, were unranked and finished sixth in the Lenawee County Athletic Association.

“If we show up and put the work in, then it’s a launching pad,” Hudson coach Jeremy Beal said. “If we’re content with it, then it was just a great run. As far as being a program definer, that’ll depend on this group of kids, if they want to put the work in.

“I think it was just a matter of making plays and not making plays. It was really that simple. We didn’t make a couple (early); we’re trailing 4-0 as a result of it. We had a couple opportunities to score runs and we hit balls at people or didn’t execute. If we do those things we’re in the game, and we’re one swing away.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) Portland St. Patrick celebrates its first MHSAA title Saturday at McLane Stadium. (Middle) The Shamrocks' Dan Mackowiak slides into second base as the tag is applied.

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.