Finals Preview: Champs Again Favorites
June 7, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Michigan has known only one MHSAA Division 1 boys lacrosse champion, Birmingham Brother Rice. And Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central is the Division 2 power of late, with two titles in three seasons and the possibility of adding another this weekend.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern will attempt to break the Warriors' eight-season championship in the Division 1 Final at East Grand Rapids. And Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood should provide a formidable foe to Forest Hills Central as it looks to avenge a regular-season finale loss to the Rangers.
The Division 1 Final begins at 2 p.m., followed by the Division 2 Final at 4:30. Click for more information including all results from this season's tournament. Both finals also will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv and broadcast on MHSAANetwork.com, and shown next week on Comcast.
Here's a brief look at the four teams vying for titles (player statistics do not include Semifinals):
BIRMINGHAM BROTHER RICE
Record/rank: 17-5, No. 1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League Division I
Coach: Rob Ambrose, 20th season (373-45)
Championship history: Eight MHSAA championships (most recent 2012).
Best wins: 19-0 over No. 4 Detroit U-D Jesuit, 14-13 and 16-10 over No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central, 22-9 over No. 2 Clarkston in Semifinal, 13-5 over Division 2 No. 1 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.
Players to watch: J.P. Forester, sr. A (66 goals, 19 assists); Graham Macko, sr. A (45 goals, 17 assists); Sergio Perkovic, sr. A/M (49 goals, 26 assists), Jason Alessi, jr. A/M (30 goals, 47 assists).
Outlook: Brother Rice has won all eight titles since the MHSAA began sponsoring boys lacrosse and had only one scare, against rival DCC, in-state this season. The Warriors finished 3-5 against out-of-state competition facing top teams from Ohio, Indiana and Ontario.
GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS NORTHERN/EASTERN
Record/rank: 15-7, No. 6 at end of regular season
League finish: Third in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Mark Lardieri, first season (15-7)
Championship history: Division 1 runner-up in 2011.
Best wins: 10-8 over No. 7 Grand Haven, 14-8 over No. 8 Holland West Ottawa, 13-11 over No. 4 Detroit U-D Jesuit in Regional Final, 11-10 (OT) over No. 5 South Lyon in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Bobby Pelton, soph. M; Connor Sullivan, sr. A/M; Bennett Dipzinski, sr. D. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: Northern/Eastern closed with two losses (including one to Division 2 finalist Cranbrook-Kingswood), but has advanced with three straight wins of two or fewer goals. Northern/Eastern also avenged two of its regular-season losses – coming back to beat both West Ottawa and Division 2 No. 4 East Grand Rapids in their second meetings.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK-KINGSWOOD
Record/rank: 16-6, No. 2 at end of regular season
League finish: Second in Detroit Catholic High School League Division II
Coach: Mat Wilson, second season (31-13)
Championship history: Division 2 champion 2006, runner-up 2007.
Best wins: 16-8 over No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 10-8 and 8-6 (Semifinal) over No. 4 East Grand Rapids, 13-10 over No. 3 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Regional Final), 17-5 over Division 1 No. 9 Brighton, 13-8 over Division 1 No. 6 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern/Eastern.
Players to watch: Matthew Giampetroni, sr. M (67 goals, 38 assists); Taylor Ghesquiere, jr. A (54 goals, 15 assists); Johnny Wagner, soph. A (50 goals, 23 assists), Michael Langdon, soph. D.
Outlook: Half of Cranbrook-Kingswood’s losses came against top-four Division 1 teams, and another was against Norte Dame Prep – a loss the Cranes then avenged in the Regional. They’ll try to do the same now against Forest Hills Central, which beat Cranbrook-Kingswood 15-5 in the regular-season finale.
GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS CENTRAL
Record/rank: 17-3, No.1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Tony Quinn, seventh season (115-31)
Championship history: Division 2 champions 2012, 2010; runner-up 2008.
Best wins: 17-2 over No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 15-5 over No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 22-2 over No. 10 Portage Central in Regional Semifinal, 17-4 over No. 8 Haslett/Williamston in Regional Final, 11-8 over No. 5 Detroit Country Day in Semifinal.
Players to watch: Neil Cunningham, sr. A (39 goals, 19 assists); Andrew Kransberger, jr. A (63 goals, 52 assists); Luke Gerard, sr. A (42 goals, 24 assists); Chris Bosscher, sr. D (44 ground balls).
Outlook: In addition to beating half the top 10 in Division 2, Forest Hills Central also owns five wins over teams ranked in Division 1 at the end of the regular season – including two over Division 1 finalist Forest Hills Northern/Eastern. Those few losses came against No. 4 East Grand Rapids, Division 1 No. 1 Brother Rice and Indiana power Culver Academy. The Rangers have won 12 straight.
PHOTO: Forest Hills Central's Neil Cunningham (left) looks to pass to a teammate during last season's Division 2 Final. He'll be among key players as his team plays for a repeat championship Saturday.
Representative Council Approves Limited Regional Seeding in Girls Lacrosse at Fall Meeting
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.