'Football Guys' Play Big Roles for Big Reds

February 6, 2020

By Tom Kendra
Special for Second Half

Cameron Martinez is not done having fun in high school.

Martinez, MLive’s two-time Michigan High School Football Player of the Year, signed his national letter of intent to play football at Ohio State during a midday event Wednesday at Muskegon High School.

But unlike the rest of the Buckeyes’ incoming class, who are either specializing in only football or have already left their high schools and early-enrolled in Columbus, Martinez is playing a key role for the Big Reds’ state-ranked basketball team.

“I want to enjoy being a high school kid as long as I can,” said Martinez, who rushed for 6,491 yards and 145 touchdowns during his four-year varsity football career, with his first two years at Muskegon Catholic Central and the last two at Muskegon High.

“I really do enjoy playing basketball, and we want to make a long run. We still haven’t played our best game yet.”

Martinez is not the only Division I football signee who chose to honor his commitment on the hardcourt for Muskegon.

Billie Roberts and Jordan Porter, who both will play defensive line at Bowling Green, provide valuable muscle inside for the Big Reds, who are ranked No. 7 in Division 1 in the latest Associated Press poll.

Muskegon is 10-1, with its only loss coming Jan. 4 against visiting Chicago Curie, the top-ranked team in Illinois. In addition to being perfect in Ottawa-Kent Conference Black play, the Big Reds have pulled out tight nonleague wins over Rockford, East Kentwood, Ferndale and, most recently, Saginaw on Saturday at the Redhawk Showcase in Grand Rapids.

Muskegon coach Keith Guy, who also happens to be the stepfather of Martinez, shudders at the thought of not having the three Division I football recruits on his team.

“We do things a little different around here,” said Guy, explaining the symbiotic relationship between the Big Reds’ football and basketball programs. “I am thankful that these guys play football. They bring physical toughness, leadership and just an expectation of winning.”

Martinez, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound guard, averages 3.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, but his big contribution is as the team’s defensive stopper. While in football he electrified the crowd with his offense (Exhibit A: His seven rushing touchdowns in this year’s playoff opener against Marquette), in basketball he brings the fans to their feet by locking down on the opponent’s best player.

“It’s a lot like playing defensive back, where you are guarding someone 1-on-1,” explained Martinez, who is projected as a defensive back and kick returner at Ohio State.

Roberts, a 6-5, 270-pound post player, has been slowed and often sidelined by a lingering stress reaction in his fibula, and is averaging just one point and one rebound per game.

Guy, who led Muskegon to the Class A championship in 2014, said his big man is starting to get healthier, which will be critical as the team chases its ultimate goal of another Finals title.

Porter, a 6-4, 240-pound forward, brings size and versatility off the bench. He averages 2.5 points and four rebounds per game.

“Basketball helps me so much,” said Porter, who is projected as a defensive end and hybrid lineman/linebacker at Bowling Green. “Obviously, it helps me conditioning-wise. But it really helps with footwork and moves.”

Muskegon High School gets more than its fair share of visits from college football coaches, and many ask to watch basketball practice to get better looks at their prospects’ athletic abilities. Those coaches especially like to see how well linemen prospects like Roberts and Porter can move.

“I got my first offer from Indiana in my sophomore year because of basketball,” said Roberts, who went 52-4 during his four-year varsity football career and played in four MHSAA championship games at Ford Field. “They knew I had good size, but they saw that I could run and move and I think that’s why they offered me.”

Roberts is starting to move better every day, according to Guy, and Guy said that’s a big reason for his team’s improved play of late. After a narrow win at Ferndale on Jan. 20, the Big Reds blew out four straight conference opponents before Saturday’s dramatic win over Saginaw.

Guy sported an Ohio State football T-shirt during Wednesday’s signing event, but his mind was on this weekend’s big back-to-back games – Friday at Grand Rapids Union and Saturday at home against Grand Blanc.

He expects Muskegon’s historic Redmond-Potter Gymnasium to be rocking and rolling Saturday, when Grand Blanc, 10-3 and an honorable mention in Division 1, rolls in with standout 6-5 sophomore Ty Rodgers.

Muskegon will counter Rodgers with a veteran team, including five senior starters and one of the state’s best backcourt duos in Jarvis Walker and Vernon Nash III. Walker, a Mr. Basketball candidate, averages 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while Nash averages 14.8 points.

The X-factor in Saturday’s showdown might be the Big Reds’ “football guys,” who Guy hopes will give his team a physical and mental edge.

Roberts can’t wait.

“There’s nothing like high school,” explained Roberts, flashing a big grin. “I could have early enrolled, but I didn’t want to miss my senior basketball season and prom and all that. I want to stay a kid a little bit longer.”

Tom Kendra worked 23 years at The Muskegon Chronicle, including five as assistant sports editor and the final six as sports editor through 2011. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Lake, Oceola, Mecosta and Newaygo counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Muskegon’s Cameron Martinez, right, walls off a Chicago Curie ball handler during their teams’ Jan. 4 matchup. (Middle) The Big Reds’ Billie Roberts works to gather a loose ball. (Below) Jordan Porter makes a move to the basket. (Photos by Tim Reilly.)

Clarkston's Loyer Leaves All-Time Legacy with 25 Record Book Listings

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

September 22, 2023

Foster Loyer’s four-season career at Clarkston from 2014-15 through 2017-18 certainly must be considered among the most accomplished in state history as he led the Wolves to back-to-back Class A championships in 2017 and 2018 and is listed in the record book 25 times.

Among Loyer’s most notable entries were 2,325 career points (12th most), 272 career 3-pointers (tied for ninth), records of 119 consecutive free throws and 634 career free throws, a .921 free-throw percentage as a junior (tied for fourth) and .900 career percentage (second), 589 career assists (sixth), 278 career steals (15th) and 102 games played (tied for sixth).

Loyer went on to play at Michigan State and then Davidson.

See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.

Boys Basketball

Four Onaway standouts were added for single-season and/or career records. Jager Mix, who graduated in 2022, was added for 92 steals last season and 225 over his four-season career. Kevin Pearson, a 2021 grad, was added for 81 steals as a senior and 247 over his career. Joe Sigsby, a 2016 grad, was added for 127 steals, and Jadin Mix was added for 124 in 2021-22. Their totals rank ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, on that all-time list. Jager Mix also was added for 967 career rebounds, and Onaway as a team was added for tying the record for most points in a quarter with 49 during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area on Feb. 3, 2022. Jager Mix is playing at Alpena Community College, and Jadin Mix is a senior this school year.

Uchenna Amene was added for 11 steals in a March 7, 2022, game against West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and for 97 steals total over 25 games. He was a sophomore at Southfield Christian that season and now is a senior at Detroit Catholic Central.

Owen Franklin graduated from Oscoda in 2021 as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and nearly 44 percent of those 1,477 points came on 3-pointers. Franklin made the state career 3-pointers list with 216 over four seasons. He’s playing baseball at Northwood.

Traverse City Christian sophomore Reece Broderick became one of the state’s most accomplished long-distance shooters in just his second year of high school this past winter, drilling 104 3-pointers – good for third-most for one season all-time – over 23 games. He connected on 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

A pair of Rudyard four-year varsity standouts entered the record book after their graduations in 2022. Tate Besteman made the career rebounds list with 762 over 89 games, and EJ Suggitt made the career 3-pointers list with 215 over the same 89 contests. Besteman played this past season for Mid Michigan College, and Suggitt is playing baseball at Spring Arbor.

Success from 3-point range played a significant role in Mesick finishing 21-1 in 2021-22, as the team made 195 of its 578 attempts – with game highs of 15 twice in wins over Baldwin and Pentwater.

Then-senior Tristan McFolley earned the first listing under single-game rebounds since 2013 with 30 in Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy’s game with Hope of Detroit Academy on Dec. 8, 2022.

Tawas found its groove from long range Jan. 10 against Oscoda, drilling 22 3-pointers in an 86-31 win. The total tied for fifth-most in one game.

Although Norway felt just short, 40-37, in its District loss to Crystal Falls Forest Park on March 8, Alex Ortman kept the Knights close scoring 20 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to make the single-quarter scoring list. He’s now a senior.

Kobe Clark has listings in two MHSAA record books, with three for boys basketball joining those he earned for football during his Schoolcraft career. He was added in hoops for 531 career assists and 290 career steals over 94 games from 2016-17 through 2019-20, and also for 82 steals as a senior. Tyler DeGroote also was added to the record book, for scoring 20 points during the first quarter against Delton Kellogg during Schoolcraft’s Jan. 11, 2022, victory. Clark began at Saginaw Valley State for football and now plays basketball and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and DeGroote is continuing at Rockhurst (Mo.).

Past Detroit Cooley star Larry Fogle has added a seventh record book listing a half-century later. Fogle grabbed 33 rebounds on Jan. 18, 1972, during a win over Detroit Mackenzie. He went on to play at Louisiana and Canisius, and then briefly with the New York Knicks.

Trevon Gunter scored 42 points in Kalamazoo Central’s 84-56 win over Richland Gull Lake on Jan. 17, 2020, including 31 during the third quarter – second-most and just one shy of the record for points during one period. A senior that season, Gunter plays currently at Grand Valley State.

Mark Wittbrodt held the record for consecutive free throws at 70 until 2008, and that entry in the record book has been joined by several others from the Bay City Western star. He was added for his 192 3-pointers, 436 free throws, .842 free-throw percentage and 266 career steals over three seasons from 1991-93, as well as for six single-season accomplishments. He went on to play at Michigan Tech.

Ellsworth’s Jacob Jenuwine tied for 12th on the single-game 3-pointers list when he connected on 11 as part of scoring 39 points total in his team’s Feb. 14 win over Alanson. Jenuwine graduated this spring.

Bellevue senior Dawson Wing capped his three-season varsity career last winter with three entries in the record. He was added for 12 blocked shots in a 2021-22 game against Colon, 107 for the season last winter and 203 blocks over his career. Teammate Caleb Betz, a senior this fall, was added for 12 steals in a game against Athens.

Logan Mansfield capped his Morenci career in a big way last winter. The senior drilled 90 3-pointers over 24 games to earn his school’s first individual record book entry in boys hoops since the 1987-88 season, when John Craig had 132 blocked shots that would have been the second-most recorded at that time. They currently rank 13th.

New Haven earned a pair of record book entries during its March 10 win over Memphis. The Rockets bested their previous single-quarter school record with 41 points during the opening period, and they also made the statewide single-game 3-pointers list with 16.

Whitehall’s Camden Thompson, a junior this fall, earned his first record book entry last winter – and the first for his school in boys basketball. He grabbed 303 rebounds over 21 games.

Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep junior Zeekeal Jackson earned his school's first boys basketball record book entry this past season as well. He made the single-season steals list with 106, over 22 games, and just missed the single-game list with a high of 10.

Jonesville’s Brady Wright was among his team’s leading scorers during his three varsity seasons ending this past winter, but he also was a major contributor defensively. He made the records with a season-high 101 steals over 25 games as a senior, and made the career list with 232 steals over 61 games.

Sophomore Christopher McLavish Jr. made a memorable impact last season with a pair of record book entries. He made the single-quarter points list with 20 in a Feb. 21 game against Flint Powers Catholic, but even more memorable were his 97 3-pointers over 25 games for the season – tying him for 11th all-time on that list.

PHOTO Foster Loyer directs Clarkston's offense during its 2018 Class A Semifinal.