Wise Choice Nets Championship Return

October 24, 2018

By Keith Dunlap
Special for Second Half

There are a lot of emotions winning an MHSAA Finals tennis championship as an underclassmen can produce, but wanting to give up the sport entirely usually is not one of them.

But that’s something that was on the mind of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis player Lucas Bosch.

Last year as a sophomore, Bosch won the Division 3 flight title at No. 2 singles, which figured to be a great springboard into this season since he was going to take over at No. 1.

However, there was one problem.

Bosch didn’t know whether he wanted to come back at all.

“I actually took three months off just to refocus, see where my head was at and see what my goals for tennis really were,” Bosch said.

But while considering giving up the sport, there was one carrot dangling in front of Bosch that he couldn’t resist.

“I love the team atmosphere of varsity tennis,” Bosch said. “I definitely knew I wanted to come back for that.”

Because of that camaraderie, Bosch said he was excited and ready for the season to start in August, and Saturday was validation that he made the right decision.

Bosch and his teammates were on the court at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield celebrating their fourth straight Division 3 championship, and Bosch himself had another Finals flight medal.

This time it did come at No. 1 singles, as he came back after losing the first set to top rival Nikolas Gruskin of Detroit Country Day, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Bosch entered as the top seed, while Gruskin was seeded second.

The match capped off a season that saw Bosch go 19-8 while playing some of the best competition in the state.

Cranbrook might be Division 3, but it always plays a loaded schedule against Division 1 and 2 powers.

One big win for Bosch came over Gabe Liss of Birmingham Groves, who was a semifinalist at No. 1 singles in the Division 2 tournament.

“I think it was exciting to see all that come together for him,” Cranbrook head coach Steve Herdoiza said. “Obviously the No. 1 singles spot in this area is very difficult. You are playing strong competition every time you are playing a match. He had well above a winning record and was competitive with some of the best guys in the state. It was a great moment for him to play at the level he did.”

During the season, the big adjustment Bosch made to his game had nothing to do with technique or physical components.

It had everything to do with the mental side, and more specifically, just having fun playing the game.

“I feel like in the past years, I would overthink sometimes,” Bosch said. “I was really trying to focus less on my strokes and techniques, and more on having fun and enjoying the atmosphere instead of technical things, because I struggled with that.”

It certainly worked, and now Bosch is looking forward to a busier offseason playing tennis than the last one.

Bosch said he is not certain he wants to play tennis in college, but he is looking forward to playing in more summer tournaments.

He already can’t wait to be out there with his teammates next fall as a senior when Cranbrook will go for its fifth Finals team title in a row.

It’s certainly a different mindset than at this time last year, when Bosch couldn’t even imagine playing, let alone celebrating another Division 3 title and a terrific individual season.

“Definitely not,” he said. “I think over the season, I definitely improved and gained confidence. This moment is surreal."

PHOTO: Cranbrook Kingswood’s Lucas Bosch returns a volley during Friday’s first day of competition at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals at Novi. (Photo courtesy of C&G Newspapers.)

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