Preview: Power-Packed Rematches to Decide 2022 Boys Lacrosse Champions
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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 MHSAA.tv, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS BROTHER RICE
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.
DETROIT COUNTRY DAY
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.
GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS CENTRAL
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.
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.