By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
HOWELL – The chain remains intact for another year at Birmingham Brother Rice.
But adding a 13th straight Division 1 championship took a gallant effort over the final 14 minutes Saturday against an opponent that couldn’t be more familiar – or dangerous after a couple of close meetings earlier this spring.
Detroit Catholic Central too leads twice during the third quarter of the Division 1 Final at Howell’s Parker Middle School. But Brother Rice scored the equalizer with 1:01 to go in the third, and senior Cameron Gould netted the game-winner with 4:27 to play for an 8-7 win over the Detroit Catholic League rival Shamrocks, who finished runners-up for the fourth straight season.
“They’re always going to be a tough team. They’re always going to be our competition in the state,” Gould said of his DCC counterparts.
“(Our) streak’s a huge deal. No one wants to break the chain, but at the same time I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I’m just very happy for my team and all of my brothers.”
Brother Rice has won every Division 1 title since boys and girls lacrosse became MHSAA-sponsored sports in 2005.
The Warriors (20-4) had beaten DCC by one and five goals in their previous matchups this season after downing the Shamrocks 10-8 in last season’s Final. This was the third time during Brother Rice’s run that it was pushed to within a goal in a championship game – Catholic League mate Detroit U-D Jesuit played the Warriors to 12-11 scores in both 2005 and 2009.
For obvious reasons, it’s become expected for Brother Rice to be playing on the last day of the season. But earlier this week it had to survive an 8-6 Semifinal against Rockford – and DCC was as poised as could be to end the streak.
The Shamrocks scored first, a little more than three minutes into the game on a Peter Thompson shot. Rice twice built two-goal leads but never broke further away.
DCC scored the first three goals after halftime, with sophomore Joey Kamish delivering the first and senior Brennan Kamish the next two.
“We only have five seniors, but they work so hard,” DCC coach Dave Wilson said. “We were just trying to give them some reminders: Why are you here? What is your goal? And there was no fear. They wanted to win.”
Rice didn’t lose to an in-state opponent this season, but did go 5-4 again out-of-state competition. Seasoned seniors took over Saturday when it counted – Jack Kelly broke the DCC scoring run with a goal with 8:21 left in the third quarter and had the equalizer seven minutes later. Neither team scored during the fourth quarter until Gould netted his game winner.
The eight goals tied for Rice's second fewest in a win this season. DCC's seven goals were its second fewest in a win or loss.
“If you would’ve told me we were going to get held to eight I would’ve told you Dave (Wilson) would’ve won too,” Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “Our defense came up big. We’ve been waiting for that game from them for a while. That’s why we go out and play tough teams, so when we get in these situations, we can bear down.
“We play tough opponents every day, whether in practice or games. That’s why we go out of town to play, so for games like this when it comes down to, barrels down to the last quarter or last goal, they’ve seen it before. They’re not afraid. They know how to handle it.”
Gould had a game-high four goals, and Kelly had three. Senior Daniel Reaume had Rice’s first goal and two assists.
DCC finished 15-6 this spring, with its only other in-state loss to East Grand Rapids.
Thompson had two goals Saturday to match Brennan Kamish’s team-leading total.
PHOTOS: (Top) Brother Rice's Daniel Reaume winds up for a shot during Saturday's Division 1 Final. (Middle) Detroit Catholic Central's defense including Liam Cunningham (12) and Brennan Kamish (9) close a gap.
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.