Holland Courts Honor Program Builder

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

October 5, 2016

A few days after he stood in front of a group of admirers including friends, fellow coaches and former players – including some from his first Holland High School tennis team in 1972 – Dwayne “Tiger” Teusink drove past the courts that now bear his name.

It’s a welcoming sight honoring someone who has welcomed thousands though the sport over more than a half century as a coach and administrator.

Teusink, a 1954 graduate of Holland High and later Hope College, coached high school tennis at Jackson for seven years and then Holland for 35 while also lending a significant behind-the-scenes voice in the formation of high school tennis as it’s played in Michigan today.

He was recognized for those and many more contributions during the Dutch’s Homecoming weekend Sept. 24 as reportedly more than 200 attendees cheered the renaming of the 5-year-old Holland High facility as the “Tiger Teusink Courts” in honor of the longtime teacher, athletic director and coach.  

“The whole experience was overwhelming,” Teusink said Tuesday. “Our facility is a first-rate facility. Holland has always had a great tennis program. The community supports tennis, and this facility obviously belongs to the community, but it makes me really proud that my name is associated with it.”

He’s been associated with most of the foundation-setting of the sport both locally and statewide over the last five decades.

After his time at Jackson High, Teusink returned home to Holland in 1972 and continued as a teacher until 1989 and coach until 1998. He led high school teams to a 453-176-4 record with 13 conference and 16 MHSAA Regional titles, and his Holland boys team was a runner-up at the 1976 Class A Final. He also coached at Hope College from 1994-2009.

At a statewide level, Teusink’s work has affected thousands more. He was on the committee that in 1976 introduced the flighted MHSAA tournament structure developed to promote a team format that remains the standard today. While at Holland, Teusink managed 63 Regional and 17 MHSAA Finals tournaments, and he served on the Finals seeding committee from 1980-2011.

He continues to serve on the MHSAA tennis committee that annually considers rules changes and other business that pertains to the sport. He also has played a major role in the development of the Michigan Interscholastic Tennis Coaches Association, and held offices of president, vice president and secretary/treasurer over a 32-year span.

“He was a mentor to me on how to not only to teach the game, but more importantly teach kids the right way to compete and to enjoy the sport,” said Grand Haven Lakeshore Middle School principal Kevin Polston, who coached tennis at DeWitt from 1999-2002 and then both Buccaneers varsities from 2003-08, and served with Teusink on the MHSTeCA board. “I respected that he always stood for what was right, even if it wasn't easy. You always knew where Tiger stood on something, and he could clearly explain why he came to the conclusions he did. Quite simply, when Tiger spoke, people listened.”

Kevin O’Keefe played four seasons for Teusink before graduating in 1986 and has heard from a number of other alums how their coach was ahead of his time.

As the current Dutch coach since 2008, O’Keefe inherited the “big binder bible” of Teusink’s lesson and practice plans that also contains his mentor’s thoughts on everything from conducting challenge matches to motivating players and working with parents.

“He’d come every day with a plan in mind and with an agenda,” O’Keefe said. “The logistics of how it works still work. A lot of it is still quite relevant.”

Other ways Teusink has become memorable and respected over the years are not known by many. His players always knew that being on time meant being five minutes early, and Teusink would have practices start at odd times like 3:14 or buses leave at 6:54 so his players wouldn’t forget. Polston received the mentor’s help one year running Grand Haven’s league tournament – and marveled at how Teusink allowed players to pick on which court they played, and then also kept track to make sure each school got to pick a court the same number of times.

A more significant philosophy surely benefited hundreds who have played for him. Teusink’s was a no-cut program; his teams regularly numbered 45-50 athletes. “That simply enhanced the things we did to teach teamwork, team discipline, belonging to a team and so on,” Teusink said.

Teusink earned induction into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1986, the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003. He was named National High School Coach of the Year by the United States Tennis Association in 2005, receiving his award at the U.S. Open.

Teusink captained the Hope College men’s basketball team during the 1957-58 season for Russ DeVette, who taught Teusink much about "simply coaching, how to deal with people." Teusink’s first mentor was Joe Moran, who preceded Teusink as Holland’s tennis coaching legend and is the namesake of one of the city’s public parks and tennis courts.

And just as Teusink drove by the sign bearing his name last week, he’ll surely visit more in the future as he remains a sounding board both for his former player and many tennis decision-makers in our state.

“He comes to probably 2-4 matches a year. We stay in touch. I still call him for things,” O’Keefe said. “He’s always there, always ready to answer a question, give advice.” 

PHOTO: Tiger Teusink stands with the plaque presented to him Sept. 24, when the Holland High School tennis courts were renamed in his honor. (Photo courtesy of the Holland athletic department.) 

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1