'Sudden Victory' takes 7 overtimes

April 13, 2012

Okemos boys lacrosse coach Shawn Grady has joked that he gave so many pep talks March 24, he pushed into his material for the Chieftains’ end-of-season Senior Night.

He needed every word in what stands today as the longest lacrosse game in MHSAA's short history of the sport.

Okemos played nearly seven overtimes before edging host Saline 9-8. Extra periods are four minutes long, meaning the teams played a little more than three halves – or 25 minutes and 25 seconds on top of the game’s regulation 48 minutes.

“I just said, let’s make sure we don’t do anything stupid on defense. We don’t want any penalties. That’s the big thing,” Grady remembered Friday of his six between-overtime talks. “I also told them, we don’t need anything outstanding. Don’t do anything that’s not you. It’s an old cliché, but play within yourself. You don’t have to be an all-star.”

Lacrosse has been an MHSAA sport only since 2005, and the record book is in its earliest stages of development. The seven-overtime game is the lone entry for such a contest.

The Chieftains (1-2) led the entire game until Saline took its first advantage, 8-7, a little more than four minutes into the fourth period. Okemos tied it up soon after. And the score stayed 8-8 until Peter Nichols dodged a defender and scored a little more than a minute into the seventh overtime.

“(My players) went nuts. They all stormed the field. In the rule book for lacrosse, it’s called ‘sudden victory,’ which I think is pretty cool,” Grady said. “That in itself shows how positive it is.

“While I felt great for us, at the end of it I was feeling for (Saline).”

Teams also get one timeout during an overtime, and both coaches made sure to use his. Grady said if one was called while his team was on the defensive, he’d try to put the six freshest defenders into the game – and vice versa if a timeout was called when Okemos was on the attack.

The Chieftains had four shots hit goal posts during the overtimes – and Saline goalkeeper Austin Burd made a number of tough stops to keep the game going.

“We don’t even go to overtime is Austin Burd doesn’t stand on his head,” Saline coach Matt Ceo told the Saline Reporter. “Austin responded the whole day. He was our MVP today; there’s no doubt about it.”

Saline is 2-3 overall, but 2-1 since the marathon effort. 

This wasn’t the first time extra time has come into play between these teams. Okemos also outlasted Saline, in just one overtime, in 2010.

The seven-overtime win was the 100th career victory for Grady, who has led the Chieftains program for 10 seasons.

Click to check out the MHSAA boys lacrosse record book

PHOTO courtesy of Saline boys lacrosse program.Saline (in white) and Okemos players battle for the ball during the March 24 game.

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.