Preview: Leagues of Champions, Part II

June 9, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Familiarity is the name of the games to be played Saturday at Howell’s Parker Middle School.

For the second straight season, both MHSAA Boys Lacrosse Finals will feature rematches of league rivals.

Detroit Catholic League rivals Birmingham Brother Rice and Detroit Catholic Central will face off at 2 p.m. in the Division 1 championship game for the third straight season. Ottawa-Kent Conference foes East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central will play at 4:30 p.m. for the Division 2 title for the second straight year and after facing off twice already this spring.

Both Finals will be broadcast on, available with subscription, with audio available on Click for more information, including all tournament results.

Below is a look at all four contenders, with player statistics through Regional Finals.

Division 1

Record/rank: 19-4, No. 1 at end of regular-season
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic High School League A
Coach: Ajay Chawla, fourth season (74-14) 
Championship history: 12 MHSAA championships (most recent 2016). 
Best wins: 8-6 over No. 4 Rockford in a Semifinal, 15-14 and 15-10 over No. 2 Detroit Catholic Central, 17-1 and 25-6 over Division 2 No. 6 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 17-1 over Division 2 No. 3 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, 14-7 over Division 2 No. 5 Warren DeLaSalle, 15-5 over Division 2 No. 4 Detroit Country Day, 14-9 over Division 2 No. 2 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 10-9 over Victor, N.Y.
Players to watch: Erik Schmidt, sr. A (27 goals, 12 assists); Daniel Reaume, sr. M (38 goals, 22 assists); Jack Kelly, sr. M (70 goals, 25 assists); Nick Dudley, sr. A (44 goals, 11 assists).
Outlook: Brother Rice continues to be the only Division 1 champion in the history of boys lacrosse as an MHSAA-sponsored sport. But it’s had to survive a few close calls this spring and will need to be at its best in this next rematch with DCC. All four losses were to out-of-state teams, but the win over Victor was especially significant – it broke Victor’s 50-game winning streak, which reportedly was the longest active streak nationally. Schmidt, Reaume, Kelly and senior defenseman Carson Cochran all were all-staters last season.

Record/rank: 14-5, No. 2 at end of regular season
League finish: Second in Detroit Catholic High School League A
Coach: Dave Wilson, 12th season (164-76) 
Championship history: Division 1 runner-up six times (most recent 2016).
Best wins: 12-11 (OT) over No. 3 Hartland in a Semifinal, 14-5 over No. 6 Troy Athens in a Regional Final, 13-10 over No. 5 Northville in a Regional Semifinal, 14-8 over Division 2 No. 6 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 16-5 over Division 2 No. 4 Detroit Country Day, 15-9 over Division 2 No. 5 Warren DeLaSalle, 15-10 and 14-11 over Division 2 No. 3 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.
Players to watch: Peter Thompson, jr. A; Brennan Kamish, sr. M; Hunter Braun, sr. G. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: DCC will play in its fourth straight Final, again trying to break Brother Rice’s grip on Division 1, but got within one and five goals in their two earlier meetings this season. Braun made the all-state second team last season – Thompson and Kamish made the first team – and DCC has held opponents to single-digit goals in 11 games this spring. Its in-state losses were twice to the Warriors and once to Division 2 top-ranked East Grand Rapids, by two goals early this season.

Division 2

17-1, No. 1 at end of regular season
League finish: First in O-K Conference Tier 1
Coach: Rick DeBlasio, fifth season (69-26)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2009), four runner-up finishes. 
Best wins: 17-7 (Semifinal) and 21-4 over No. 3 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, 16-6 over No. 7 Vicksburg in a Regional Semifinal, 15-13 and 16-9 over No. 2 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 13-8 and 16-4 over No. 9 Ada Forest Hills Eastern, 14-8 over No. 5 Detroit Country Day, 17-15 over Division 1 No. 2 Detroit Catholic Central, 16-7 over Division 1 No. 7 Brighton.
Players to watch: Hub Hejna, sr. A (82 goals, 56 assists); Ben Keller, sr. A (48 goals, 22 assists); Luke Elder, sr. A (54 goals, 11 assists); Nick Milanowski, jr G (8.65 goals-against average).
Outlook: The Pioneers are hoping to avenge last season’s 10-6 championship game loss to Forest Hills Central after sweeping their rival during the regular season. A one-goal loss to Division 1 No. 4 Rockford is all that’s kept East Grand Rapids from a perfect run this spring. Hejna, Keller and Milanowski all made the all-state first team last season, and senior mid Joe Bolea (17 goals, 12 assists) made the second team.

Record/rank: 15-6, No. 2 at end of regular season
League finish: Second in Ottawa-Kent Conference Tier 1
Coach: Patrick Clay, first season (15-6)
Championship history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2016), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 11-10 OT (Semifinal) and 16-6 over No. 5 Detroit Country Day, 18-7 over No. 9 Ada Forest Hills Eastern, 21-8 over No. 3 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, 17-10 and 13-10 over Division 1 No. 4 Rockford, 19-12 over Division 1 No. 5 Northville.
Players to watch: Bryce Clay, jr. A (93 goals, 61 assists); Tanner Hallock, sr. A (41 goals, 44 assists); Drew Bailey, sr. A (45 goals, 25 assists); Nick Carter, sr. D.
Outlook: Patrick Clay took over the program this season and inherited eight returning first-team all-staters: Bryce Clay, Bailey, Clark, senior Tate Bond, junior Patrick English, sophomore Logan Wedder, senior Jake Prinz and senior Jack Uecker. Hallock also was a top scorer on last season’s team – and with all of that talent and experience, the Rangers can’t be overlooked in this Final despite two and seven-goal losses to East Grand Rapids during the regular season.

PHOTO: East Grand Rapids’ Hub Hejna works to elude a Forest Hills Central defender during last season’s Division 2 Final.

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.