Hanover-Horton Ties Up 1st Title Since '93

June 9, 2018

By Keith Dunlap
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – It was fitting that the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Boys Golf Finals took place on the same day as the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, because Hanover-Horton and Big Rapids had a photo finish.

The two were tied after Friday’s first day at Forest Akers West with identical scores of 321, and then walked in from the course after Saturday’s second round having each shot scores of 330 to finish with a final total of 651.

So the figurative photo finish was the fifth-golfer tiebreaker, and that went the way of Hanover-Horton, which won its first MHSAA boys golf title since 1993.

“Mother Nature had a lot to say about today,” Hanover-Horton coach Mike Brockie said after watching his team survive a day full of rain, adding that what helped his team was that it played in a tournament at Forest Akers West about a month under weather conditions that were just as poor with a steady rain all day.

“You had casual water on the greens,” Brockie said. “My boys are somewhat mudders. I have a couple mudders, and I have a couple that would prefer not to play in this. But I tell my kids that you have to turn this weather into an asset, and I had three kids that did.”

Leading the way for Hanover-Horton was senior Brody Spink, who shot a two-day total of 159 (76-83).

Senior Garret Spink was right behind with a 161 (82-79), sophomore Brogan Brockie had a 164 (83-81), sophomore Jack Brockie shot a 167 (85-82) and freshman Kyler Rod finished at 182 (93-89).

Ultimately, it was Rod’s 89 that proved the difference, as that total was two shots better than the 91 shot by Big Rapids’ fifth golfer.

The Cardinals were led by junior Pierce Morrissey, a Michigan State-committed recruit who won the medalist honor with a final total of 147 (70-77).

“I struggled a little bit, and I wasn’t able to execute on a couple of shots that I hit real well,” Morrissey said. “The weather came into effect a little bit, and I finished out with the game I had today.”

Junior Owen Seay shot a 156 (74-82), senior Fletcher Boida had a 167 (85-82) and senior Benjamin Faith shot a 181 (92-89) additionally for Big Rapids.

In 2008, Big Rapids won the Division 3 title via the fifth-golfer tiebreaker, but was on the other side 10 years later.

“We played (Hanover-Horton) a couple of different times, and it has always been tight,” Big Rapids coach Mark Posey said. “You play in tournaments like this, and you know every stroke is going to count.”

Posey said there were no weather-related instructions that needed to be given to his team before Saturday’s play started.

“You are playing Michigan golf, and you get that experience playing in all sorts of weather, especially being from Northern Michigan. “My boys were prepared and ready to go. They knew they had to take their time and be patient. I’m really proud of the way that they hung in there today. They really fought their way through out there and didn’t give away any strokes. They kept at it.”

Grosse Ile was third with a 660, Grand Rapids South Christian shot a 669 to finish fourth, and Jackson Lumen Christi and Grand Rapids West Catholic tied for fifth with a 673.

Individually, Grand Rapids West Catholic senior Anderson Ryan finished second with a 150 (76-74), and Jackson Lumen Christi junior Tanner Schnell was third with a 153 (75-78).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Hanover-Horton’s Brody Spink watches one of his drives during Friday’s first round of the LP Division 3 Final. (Middle) Big Rapids’ Pierce Morrissey pumps a fist after making a putt. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1