Upton Hoists Beal City Back to Top of D4

June 16, 2018

By Jason Schmitt
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Don’t get Beal City senior Brett Upton wrong. He wants all the attention on himself – in the biggest of moments.

But he’s the first to deflect the credit to his teammates.

Take for example Saturday afternoon at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium. Upton pitched a gem, completely dominating Unionville-Sebewaing during a 10-0, six-inning victory in the MHSAA Division 4 championship game.

He deserved the lion’s share of the credit. No one could dispute that.

“It’s awesome. I embraced it. I feed off stuff like that,” said Upton, who struck out eight while walking just a pair. “I love big games, I love being the guy in situations like that. All the credit to my teammates, though, making me look a lot better than I really am. That’s for sure.”

The championship is the fourth in Beal City baseball history. The Aggies also won titles in 1993, 2009 and 2010. They were runners-up in 2013-14.

“I’m so happy for these kids,” Beal City coach Steve Pickens said. “This is what baseball is all about. When I see my kids do well, it’s like you put a dollar in and two dollars come out.

“They’ve been dedicated all year, and they work hard and that’s paid off.”

Beal City scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Kollin Sharrar reached on a bunt single and scored on an RBI double by junior Keegan Haynes. The Aggies added another run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by junior Colby Berryhill, scoring Lucas Schumacher.

But the Aggies broke the game open – and closed it out – with eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Haynes and freshman Cameron Lynch each singled to center to get things rolling for their team. After junior Nate Wilson was intentionally walked to load the bases, senior Aaron Schafer drove in a pair to make it 4-0. 

That was just the beginning for Beal City. One batter later, with the bases loaded, Berryhill drove in two more with a double. Upton then had a double of his own, scoring senior Lucas Schumacher to give his team a 7-0 lead. Haynes’ RBI single made it 9-0, and Wilson closed things out with an RBI single.

“I can’t even describe it right now. Four years, four years it took us to get here,” Upton said. “To finally finish it, oh my God. All the hours we’ve put in all winter, this senior corps as a group. It’s all paid off. We won our last high school game ever, can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Haynes finished 3 for 4 scoring twice and driving in a pair for Beal City (23-8). Schumacher also had three hits, scoring twice, while Berryhill finished with two hits and three RBI.

Pickens, in just his second year as head coach of the Aggies, spoke about the state of the baseball program in Beal City.

“The kids want to play baseball out there. That’s half the battle, getting them to play,” Pickens said. “I don’t have to do that, so now I can start at 202 instead of 101. By the time we get to the state tournament, here we are.”

Beal City beat Gaylord St. Mary, 7-3, in their Semifinal matchup Friday.

Unionville-Sebewaing (22-16) bested St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic, 5-1, to advance to Saturday’s championship game.

“When you get beat, you get beat. At the end of the day, it’s going to sting but you can live with that knowing you got beat by a good team. They’re a great team,” USA coach Tyler Bader said. “They pitched well, they defended well, they bunted well. I think we could have done some other things that would have made it a little tougher (for them). Anytime you get just one hit, it’s tough to win a game.”

Despite the loss, Bader said he was proud of his team.

“When you get this far into the tournament, you know the team in that other dugout is no slouch. We just couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities when we had guys in scoring position, to put a little pressure on them,” Bader said. “I told them before we went up on stage (to receive the runner-up trophy), ‘I know we’re bummed, we’re mad, but try and enjoy this because in a couple days we’re going to look back on this moment.’

“I know there are a lot of other schools and players out there that would love to swap places with us and be the loser in the state championship game.”

Click for the full box score.

VIDEO: Maybe the defensive play of the weekend was this diving catch by Beal City's Colby Berryhill in the sixth inning of the Division 4 Baseball Final against Unionville-Sebewaing.

PHOTOS: (Top) Beal City raises its championship trophy Saturday. (Middle) Brett Upton delivers a pitch for the Aggies.

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.