Every Tuesday, Second Half honors 2-4 athletes and a team for its accomplishments during the current season.
Have a suggestion for a future High 5? Please offer suggestions by e-mail to [email protected]. Candidates often will have accomplished great things on the field of play -- but also will be recognized for other less obvious contributions to their teams, schools or the mission of high school athletics as a whole.
Sault Ste. Marie senior
Swimming and Diving
Mayer won his second straight Upper Peninsula Finals diving championship Saturday in his home pool with a score of 226.55. He finished no worse than fourth at the Finals during his high school career, and set a school record this season with a six-dive score of 236.00. He also runs track and has a black belt in Kuk sool wan, a form of Korean martial arts.
"I have strived for the past four years to break the team diving record. This year I was finally able to break the team record, and then continued to break it through the season for a total of five times before the end of the season. Being the U.P. diving champion for the second year in a row was pretty awesome too!"
Up next: Mayer will attend either Michigan State University or Lake Superior State University, and hopes to dive if he attends MSU. He plans to major in fire science and paramedic studies. "I would like to work as a flight paramedic for a level one trauma center."
I learned the most about diving from: MSU diving coach Eric Best and Sault Ste. Marie coaches Ray Groeke and Kelli Vander Baan.
I look up to: "... the university divers I learned from at the MSU diving camp each year. They are amazing divers with a lot of knowledge to share."
I like most about diving: "From a competitive standpoint, I like the feeling of nailing a dive. From a recreational standpoint, I enjoy the thrill of trying new things."
I'm motivated by: "The new records on the record board, my family and my teammates."
Hartman bowled the first and one of only three 300 games in the state this season, on Jan. 4, according to listings maintained by the Michigan High School Interscholastic Bowling Coaches Association. Her high series of 524 is third-best in the state this winter, and she's carrying a 201 game average this season. She qualified for last season's MHSAA Division 3 Final and made the all-state third team. She also played volleyball and softball at the start of high school, but has focused on bowling the last two years.
"My first 300 game was the most memorable because other coaches announced my game at other tournaments, and my name was on a neon sign at 300 Bowl in Alma. It gave me a feeling of accomplishment"
Up next: Hartman is considering Alma College because of its strong art program and bowling team. She plans to spend her first year of college deciding between a major in fine arts and accounting. She could also compete on the Michigan Junior Masters or Junior Gold circuits. Among her goals: bowl an 800 series and sell her art.
I learned the most about bowling from: “Mike Braun. He is the instructor at Lansing Community College. He teaches bowling and he has been helping me achieve better bowling techniques. But before him, it was my mom Sherri Hartman and dad Don Hartman."
I look up to: "My mom, because she is the one person who is strong enough to take on life. And my dad, who has helped me with my bowling since the beginning. Then I look up to Pete Weber and Norm Duke, who are, in my opinion, the best PBA bowlers to ever set a foot on the lanes."
I love bowling because: "I have a lot of stress built into my life, and it is hard for me to stay focused. But when I bowl, it is the one time I feel like a genius. I want to continue bowling becuase I feel like there is nothing better than the feeling of your first 300 game, and all the fans who are cheering for you to win.
I'm driven by: "... when I walk into a bowling alley and I run into my fans who are cheering me on every step of the way, and the applause whenever I hear my name announced. It makes me feel proud of myself when others cheer when they hear my name."
Coon is seeking his third MHSAA individual championship. He won both his District and Regional and enters next weekend's Finals with a 46-0 record this season and 153-3 record over his three-year high school career. He won his first two MHSAA championships at 215 pounds and moved to 285 this winter. He also is a three-year starter on the Gladiators' football team, playing linebacker and on the offensive line, and placed sixth in shot put in Division 2 at last spring's track and field Finals.
Up next: Coon is just a junior, but would like to wrestle or play football at the next level and study aerospace engineering, with his sights set on the space program. "I'd love to go to space. It's always been a dream."\
I learned the most about wrestling from: "My dad, Dan Coon. He is the (Fowlerville) coach, and he continues to push me and teaches me the most."
I look up to: "Dan Coon. He teaches me a lot about life and wrestling, and he's just a great guy to look up to."
I love most about wrestling: "The aggressiveness, the contact and necessary skill. The strategy behind it. The technical skill. It tests you mental wit and brute strength."
I get ready for my match by: "I warm up five matches previous. With one match left, I slap myself, then take off my sweats and go to town."
Most shining moment: "My most memorable win was in summer wrestling, in Hungary (at the Cadet World Championships) . I won the Finals match there. after being down 4-0, and came back and ended up body locking him and winning the match."
Detroit Martin Luther King boys basketball
The Crusaders avenged earlier losses to both Detroit Crockett and then Detroit Pershing to win the Detroit Public School League championship, downing the Doughboys in the final 76-69.
The PSL championship was King's first since 1999. The Crusaders are 15-4 heading into next week's Operation Friendship game against the Detroit Catholic High School League A-B champion, which will be decided Saturday. Click to see all of Detroit King's scores this season.
Over the last decade, media days have begun to emerge as a way for some of the state’s largest leagues to kick off their sports seasons. The Kensington Lakes Activities Association, for example, hosts them in a variety of sports.
To get this winter rolling, the KLAA for the first time added bowling to the list – highlighting one of its strongest but often less visible sports by welcoming bowlers and coaches from all 16 of the league’s schools Nov. 8 to Westland John Glenn.
The KLAA is one of the top bowling conferences in the state – a combined five teams made the MHSAA Team Finals last season for girls and boys, and Wayne Memorial’s boys won the Division 1 championship. That actually was the third season in a row that a KLAA team won Division 1 boys – Livonia Franklin was the champ in 2022 and Salem in 2021 – and Belleville’s girls finished Division 1 runners-up in 2021. Franklin and John Glenn both have produced a Division 1 singles champion over the last three seasons as well.
The media day celebrated that success – while looking ahead to possibilities for more to come this winter.
The event was organized by John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy, the league’s commissioner for that sport (and also a member of the MHSAA Representative Council). Interviews and the video below were compiled by Westland John Glenn senior Lizzy Fall. Photos are by Olivia B. Photography.