Brother Rice Comes Back, Adds to Streak

June 8, 2013

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for Second Half

EAST GRAND RAPIDS – Few players get the opportunity to end a season with an MHSAA championship.

After Saturday’s 14-10 win over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern, Birmingham Brother Rice senior Sergio Perkovic has done it six times.

Yes, six times.

Brother Rice claimed its ninth MHSAA Finals title in a row with the victory at East Grand Rapids’ Memorial Field, and Perkovic has been a part of the last four.

He also won a pair of titles in football as a junior and this past fall. He played defensive end and tight end.  

“There’s no better way of ending a season than winning a state championship,” said Perkovic, who scored three goals against FHN/E. “And since I’ve been at Brother Rice, I’ve been fortunate in more than one sport. To just end my career with a win, there’s no better feeling.”

While the Warriors have dominated the landscape since boys lacrosse became an MHSAA sport, coach Robert Ambrose said each team makes its own mark on the program.

“Every year is different, I think, and it’s not about anything behind us or in the past,” he said. “It’s all about the future, and we don’t take anything for granted. We are very humble in our approach to the game, and on any given day, especially in lacrosse, anything can happen.

“We were fortunate to come out on top, and they played passionate and they played great. We played a very hard-fought game.”

Perkovic said the team doesn’t feel the pressure of continuing the program’s successful tradition each year.

Brother Rice is solely fixated on the present.

“We don’t think about that, and we try to work as hard as we can in the offseason and play a good season,” he said. “If we put our work in, then we’ll have a good chance of doing it again. We just get prepared for each season.”

The Warriors started slowly in Saturday’s Final and fell behind 3-0 in the first period.

They recovered with a superb second period, and tallied four answered goals in the final six minutes of the first half to turn a one-goal deficit into a 9-6 lead at the half.

“It’s always a tough match, especially in the state finals, and it doesn’t matter who we are playing,” Perkovic said. “Forest Hills came out flying, but we brought it back and came together offensively as a senior group.”

FHN/E was hoping to become the first team from Michigan to defeat Brother Rice.  

“We had two goals for the whole season,” FHN/E coach Mark Lardieri said. “One was to be the first team in Michigan to beat Brother Rice in 11 years, and one was to win a state championship. We had it lined up perfectly today to do it, but we couldn’t close the door.”

FHN/E kept the game close throughout the second half, but never regained the advantage.

“I’m extremely proud of how far we came to get here,” said FHN/E senior Connor Sullivan, who scored two goals. “We had a lot of injuries and a lot of things going on this season, but we just pulled together in the playoffs and got it done to get here.”

Junior Jason Alessi led Brother Rice with six goals and six assists.

“This was a home game for them, so we knew they were going to come out firing and they got up 3-0,” Alessi said. “But then we began to move around and get shots. I was trying to get open, and my teammates were looking for me.”

Sophomore keeper Grant Lardieri stopped 12 shots for FHN/E, which ended the season with a 15-8 record.

Sean Scadron had nine saves for Brother Rice, which finished 18-5 with all five of its losses coming against out-of-state teams.

Click for a full box score. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Brother Rice's James Crowe (14) works to get around Forest Hills Northern/Eastern's Bennett Dipzinski on Saturday. (Middle) Joe Dudley (9) attempts to block FHN/E goalie Grant Lardieri as he looks to pass.

Representative Council Approves Limited Regional Seeding in Girls Lacrosse at Fall Meeting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 9, 2022

The addition of limited seeding at the Regional level of the Girls Lacrosse Tournament headlined actions taken by the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association during its Fall Meeting on Dec. 2 in East Lansing.

Generally, the Council takes only a few actions during its Fall Meeting, with topics often introduced for additional consideration and action during its meetings in winter and spring. This Fall Meeting saw the Council take only three actions, with additional discussion centered on topics expected to receive more specific consideration at MHSAA sport committee meetings this winter and the Council’s meetings in March and May.

The Council approved a Girls Lacrosse Committee proposal to seed the top two teams in every Regional, and place those top seeds on opposite sides of the bracket beginning with the 2023 season. The two teams to be seeded will be determined by using the MHSAA’s Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) formula, which takes into account success and strength of schedule and is used currently to provide seeding information in boys lacrosse, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, and ice hockey. Only the top two teams in girls lacrosse will be seeded and separated; the other teams in each Regional will be placed on their brackets by random draw.

The Council also approved a Boys Lacrosse Committee recommendation that will allow athletes to participate in up to five quarters per day between teams at multiple levels – for example, varsity and junior varsity – also beginning with the 2023 season. For boys lacrosse multi-team tournaments, if two school teams (for example, the varsity and junior varsity) are at the same event, athletes may play in no more halves or quarters than what is being played by the school’s highest-level team that day. (Example: if the varsity team is playing three 30-minute half games for a total of six halves, a player playing both varsity and JV on the same day can play in six total halves that day.) The “fifth quarter” rule, by allowing athletes to compete on two levels on the same day, is intended to help programs that are otherwise lacking enough participants to field teams at multiple levels.

Taking into account the wintery weather conditions experienced by athletes during the MHSAA alpine ski season, the Council approved a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommendation to adopt the “MHSAA Competition and Practice Guidelines for Cold Weather,” which are specific to alpine skiing. The guidelines include a windchill chart and cold standards for ambient temperature. This proposal also was supported by the Ski Committee and will go into effect for the 2022-23 season.

Remaining discussions focused on results from this fall’s Update Meeting survey completed by administrators during the MHSAA’s annual presentations across the state. The Council considered survey data including on questions related to the out-of-season travel rule. The Council also discussed results of a fall survey completed by member school athletic directors and head varsity football coaches concerning ongoing conversations about scheduling and playoff format. Following the Football Committee meeting in January 2023, an ad hoc committee comprised of members of the MHSAA staff, Representative Council, Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) and Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will be convened for further discussion on these topics, with their report to be provided to the Council during its March 2023 meeting.

The Fall Meeting saw the appointment of Westland John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy for a first-two-year term to the 19-person Council, and the re-appointment of Bay City Western principal Judy Cox for a second two-year term. Malloy previously was appointed to finish a partial term as one of the two representatives of member junior high/middle schools.

The Council reelected Scott Grimes, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, as its president; and Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, as secretary-treasurer. Brighton High School athletic director John Thompson was elected Council vice president.

The Representative Council is the legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.