Preview: Power-Packed Rematches to Decide 2022 Boys Lacrosse Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 10, 2022

There can’t be many secrets left between opponents competing for MHSAA boys lacrosse championships Saturday.

The Division 1 Final is a rematch of last season’s title-deciding game, won by Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 14-9 over Hartland. Those two faced off again this spring with Brother Rice winning 15-11.

In Division 2, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and Detroit Country Day have faced each other the last three regular seasons. The Rangers have won all three of those recent matchups, including 18-10 this March 30.

Below is a glance at all four teams playing at Howell Parker Middle School. Statistics are through Regional Finals unless noted. Rankings are based on the Michigan Power Rating formula used for postseason seeding. The Division 2 Final is set for 2 p.m., with Division 1 following at 5 p.m. Tickets cost $11 and are good for both games, and may be purchased online only at GoFan.

Both games will be broadcast and available with subscription from, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network.

Division 1

Record/ranking: 15-6, No. 1
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League Central
Coach: Ajay Chawla, ninth season (139-34)
Championship history: 15 Division 1 titles (most recent 2021), one runner-up finish.
Best wins: 13-6 over No. 10 Grandville in Semifinal, 15-11 over No. 4 Hartland, 14-11 and 10-5 over No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central, 15-12 over Dublin Jerome (Ohio).  
Players to watch: Ben Eck, jr. M (28 goals, 11 assists); Christian McNulty, jr. A (54 goals, 11 assists); Luke Washe, sr. M (34 goals, 6 assists); Sam Klein, jr. M (32 goals, 19 assists). (Statistics through 17 games.)
Outlook: Brother Rice is seeking its third-straight Division 1 championship (not counting the COVID-canceled 2020 season), and lost only one game in-state this spring, its regular-season finale against East Grand Rapids. The Warriors were 4-5 playing top out-of-state competition, but won their other 11 games against Michigan teams. Total, nine players had either double-digit goals or assists through 17 games; in addition to those listed above, freshman attack Hansen Polonkey (12 goals, 20 assists) also starts. Junior goalie Cam Sims helps key a defense that has given up five or fewer goals in eight games. Senior long stick midfielder Nate Schultz made the all-state second team last season.

Record/ranking: 18-4, No. 4
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association West
Coach: Nick Levanti, third season (39-5)
Championship history: Division 1 runner-up 2021.
Best wins: 8-7 over No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central in Semifinal, 18-8 over No. 9 Brighton, 18-7 over No. 6 Midland, 17-16 over Division 2 No. 2 Detroit Country Day.
Players to watch: Bo Lockwood, sr. A; Luke Bulloch, jr. D; Joey Mattord, jr. M; Sam Ralston, jr. D. (Statistics not submitted.)
Outlook: Hartland is making its second-straight Division 1 championship game appearance, with three of its losses by two goals apiece and its only in-state defeats among them to Brother Rice and Division 2 top-ranked Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. Lockwood and Bulloch made the all-state first team last season; Lockwood’s career stats will have him listed all over the MHSAA and national record books after this season concludes. Mattord and Ralston made the all-state second team last season, and junior goalie Evan Phillips made the third team. The Eagles have five shutouts this season and didn’t give up a goal during their three Regional games. Total, they have held teams to five or fewer goals in 13 games.

Division 2

Record/ranking: 19-2, No. 2
League finish: Does not play in a conference.
Coach: Chris Garland, third season (42-16)
Championship history: Three Division 2 championships (most recent 2014), one runner-up finish.
Best wins: 12-10 (Semifinal) and 13-6 over No. 4 East Grand Rapids, 18-1 over No. 7 Okemos in Quarterfinal, 17-5 over No. 10 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood in Regional Final, 18-7 over Division 1 No. 10 Grandville, 18-5 over Division 1 No. 9 Brighton, 21-5 over Division 1 No. 8 Saline.
Players to watch: Parker Yearego, sr. A (89 goals, 47 assists); Caiden Ramos, soph. M (45 goals, 45 assists); Caden Dailey, soph. A/M (62 goals, 22 assists); Cormac Scane, fr. A (57 goals, 28 assists).
Outlook: Garland brought two decades of coaching experience to Country Day when he took over the program in 2019, and he’s brought the Yellowjackets from 10-10 that first season to a combined 32-6 over the last two. Country Day twice defeated East Grand Rapids, the only in-state team to defeat Brother Rice this season, and the Yellowjackets’ only losses were to Forest Hills Central and Hartland – the latter by just a goal. Yearego and senior defenders Ryan Lyngklip and Luke Grove (33 goals, 44 assists) all made the all-state first team last season, Grove at midfield, while Ramos made the second team. Junior Talon Garn and sophomores Will Thompson and Oliver Aaron all have at least 20 goals as well, and senior goalie Max Kunnath is giving up only 5.9 per game.

Record/ranking: 20-0, No. 1
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference Tier 1
Coach: Andy Shira, fifth season (77-7)
Championship history: Four Division 2 titles (most recent 2019), four runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 20-7 (Semifinal) and 15-7 over No. 5 Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 19-2 over No. 6 Portage Northern in Quarterfinal, 21-12 over No. 7 Okemos, 12-5 over No. 4 East Grand Rapids, 18-10 over No. 2 Detroit Country Day, 15-2 over No. 8 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 9-6 over Division 1 No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central, 16-3 over Division 1 No. 2 Clarkston, 10-8 over Division 1 No. 4 Hartland, 16-6 over Division 1 No. 9 Brighton, 10-9 over Division 1 No. 6 Midland.
Players to watch: John Tomscheck, sr. A (72 goals, 48 assists); Jonah McConnell, jr. A (75 goals, 20 assists); Miles Duiven, sr. A (30 goals, 1 assist); Crandall Quinn, jr. G (5.2 goals-against average, .690 save %).
Outlook: A scheduled game against Brother Rice was canceled, but Forest Hills Central has defeated the next three ranked teams in Division 1 in addition to six of seven teams ranked between Nos. 2-8 in Division 2. Tomscheck, Quinn and junior long stick midfielder Sam Sneider made the all-state first team last season. The defense has been incredible; only Country Day and Okemos scored double-digit goals on the Rangers. Five more Forest Hills Central players have scored double-digit goals, including sophomore Nolan Hartl (16, 18 assists), seniors Jack McNamara (14/12) and Nathan Sarjeant (11/9), and juniors Jake Koning (14/9) and Magnus Salmon (16/3).

PHOTO Brother Rice and Hartland face off during last season’s Division 1 Final.

Future Has Arrived as Port Huron United Continues Impressive Climb

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

May 8, 2024

Brad McDougal knew when he returned to the Port Huron United lacrosse program in 2019 that in order to grow it to what he thought it could be, he’d have to build for the future.

Bay & ThumbHis plan was simple and time-tested: Start a youth program that would get players within the school system playing together more frequently and against better competition, preparing them to one day be varsity players.

It didn’t take long to see that it could work, and perhaps better and faster than he had hoped.

“We’ve known for a while (this was the year),” McDougal said. “Basically, when I started with that youth team, my ambition was if I can get four or five kids that have been coached, then build around them for the varsity program, that would be great. It turned out to be 15 of them.”

Behind 15 seniors, the majority of whom were part of McDougal’s original youth team, Port Huron United is competing at a level it never has before. United is ranked No. 9 in the Division 1 MPR following a 10-3 start, and won the Macomb Area Conference Red title for the first time in program history.

It’s a history that McDougal is plenty familiar with, having been a high school junior when the program began in 2006. McDougals have been part of the program ever since, whether it was him as a coach fresh out of high school and now, his brother Ben as a player, or his father Brian as a coach at various levels throughout all of it.

“Being around it as long as I have, that has sunk in,” he said. “The amount of teams that are reaching out to us now that never would have before – teams reaching out for film, ‘How were you able to defend this?’ Teams reaching out for scheduling that I think would have just ignored the email a couple years back. It’s definitely not lost on me.”

It’s also not lost on the players, who have heard McDougal talk about the program’s beginnings and have also seen first-hand a quick ascent.

As freshmen, this current group of seniors were a major part of a varsity team that played in the MAC Blue – the MAC’s divisions are based on performance, with Red being the highest – dominating it and earning promotion to the MAC White the following season. Another unbeaten league season put United into the MAC Red in 2023, and while there were some growing pains in going 2-3 against higher-level competition, there were signs of better things to come.

Matt Graham (12) maintains possession against the Cougars. “The second my class joined, we just dominated our leagues,” senior goalie Danny Moore said. “We went from Blue to White to Red in three years. Last year in the Red, we went 2-3, but it wasn’t without close games. I think (the rise) definitely stunned us a little bit. Not a week goes by that I don’t think about the giant leap we took. It’s like a world record long jump.”

Moore said the team started this season “like a cannonball out of the cannon with too much gun powder” as this group of seniors knew it was their last opportunity to play with one another.

United was dominant in its MAC Red season, going 5-0 and out-scoring opponents 61-12, not allowing more than three goals in any single game.

On the season, it has outscored opponents 136-50, led by senior goal-scoring threats Silas Klink, Jacob O’Hare, Nate DeLand, Matt Graham and Tim Monaghan. Moore is stopping more than 80 percent of the shots he’s faced, behind the defense of seniors Jack Bennett and Max Williams, and junior Parker Quinn, among others.

That’s despite a beefed-up nonconference schedule, which McDougal put together to better prepare his team for the upcoming postseason.

“We have a way harder schedule this year,” Klink said. “We haven’t ever made it to the Regional Final in all the program’s history, so that’s a big goal. I think scheduling all these teams, Coach McDougal knew what he was doing to get us battle-tested.”

Boys Lacrosse Regionals open May 16, and Lake Orion – which defeated Port Huron 11-4 in the season opener – is the host of United’s bracket.

Winning a Regional is the next goal for Port Huron, and McDougal repeatedly tells his team he wants a Michigan trophy. They’re ready to do all they can to make that happen, but also aren’t shying away from the possibility of blowing away his expectations once again.

“State champs,” said Bennett, who has committed to play lacrosse at Albion College along with Moore. “We want to go all the way. It would just be like – I don’t even know how to describe it. For the program, it would further push lacrosse at my high school and Port Huron. Twenty years ago, we didn’t even have a lacrosse team, so I think it would really push lacrosse in Port Huron.”

Paul CostanzoPaul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Port Huron United’s Silas Klink (1) makes a run at the goal against Macomb Dakota. (Middle) Matt Graham (12) maintains possession against the Cougars. (Photos by Margaret Quinn.)