Manistique Earns First Title Since 1960

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 2, 2013

KINGSFORD — John F. Kennedy was running for President and gasoline was selling for less than 30 cents a gallon when the Manistique boys last were crowned Upper Peninsula track champions.

The year was 1960, and the Emeralds earned their first Class A-B crown.
Manistique ended that drought Saturday by scoring 102 points to capture the Division 2 title. The Emeralds were followed by Ishpeming with 96 and West Iron County with 75.

The Emeralds held a 92-88 edge over Ishpeming heading into the 1,600 relay, which was delayed roughly an hour by a thunderstorm.

Manistique, however, placed an exclamation point at the end of its season by winning the day's final race. Ishpeming placed second and West Iron was third in the closing event.

"I was getting a little worried about having to come back and run after that long of a delay," said Emeralds' coach Mary Lou Lund. "But the guys found a way to get it done."

Manistique was trailing Ishpeming by approximately 20 yards when junior Ryan Ramey got the baton. He responded with a 48.2-second anchor leg, enabling the Emeralds to slip past the Hematites for the win.

"It feels great to finally win this (U.P. Finals)," said Manistique senior Kenner Broullire, who led off the 1,600 relay. "Ishpeming definitely wanted to run, and we wanted to run. We didn't want the last race to get cancelled. We wanted to win this meet fair and square. Ryan had a lot of ground to make up, but nobody will ever doubt Ryan. He just finds another gear."

Ramey also won the 200-meter dash in 23.82 seconds, the 400 in a school-record 51.12 and anchored the winning 3,200 relay.

Ishpeming sophomore Nate Meyer, who beat Ramey in the 400 in the Mid-Peninsula Conference meet May 23 at Norway, was runner-up this time (51.68).

"I slipped out of the blocks in the 200," Ramey said. "I knew I had to find another gear in the first 100 and use the home stretch for my kick. I also knew I had to take Meyer early in the 400. I was more relaxed and got out of the blocks faster than in the M-PCs."

Broullire, who will run track at West Point next season, set the U.P. meet record in the 300 hurdles (39.35), topping the previous mark (41.0) by Munising's Lee Denman run in 2004.

Broullire also won the 100 (11.37), followed by West Iron's Tyler Stafford (11.43).

"I didn't get a great start in the 100, but decided to go for it in about the final 15 meters," Broullire said. "I was hoping to run in the 38s in the 300 hurdles, but you can't complain about a title. I'm excited about our team winning. Deep down I knew we had the potential to win it. This is a great way to end a high school career."

Ishpeming took the 400 relay in a U.P. meet record 45.16, topping the previous mark (45.35) by St. Ignace in 2008.

Newberry senior James Sutton set the high jump record (6-4), an inch higher than the previous record holder Rick St. Amour of Munising from 2001.

"I seem to jump better in the cold," said Sutton, who cleared 6-8 in the Straits Area Conference meet at Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday. "I'm happy with the U.P. record, but I'm a little disappointed I didn't go higher. I like this track and its nice, soft surface. Some of the kids said they didn't like the pits, but I didn't have a problem with it."
Iron Mountain senior Dan Kulas was a double winner, taking the 1,600 (4:42.03) and 3,200 (10:15.4).

St. Ignace, which won D-2 the past three seasons, competed in D-3 this year.

Click for full results.


PHOTOS: (Top) Manistique's Kenner Broullire carries the baton for his team during a relay Saturday. (Middle) The Emeralds pose with their first MHSAA boys track and field championship trophy since 1960. (Photos courtesy of Manistique High School.)


Lawrence's Schuman Sets Example for Well-Rounded Success

By Pam Shebest
Special for

December 14, 2022

LAWRENCE — If redshirting was a thing in high school, at least two coaches at Lawrence would stick that label on senior John Schuman.

Southwest Corridor“We don’t want to lose this kid ever,” said Derek Gribler, the Tigers’ first-year varsity football and baseball coach.

“If we could put a red shirt on this kid every year, we would.”

Athletic director John Guillean, who also coaches varsity basketball, agreed.

“He is what we strive to have all our student-athletes achieve: high GPAs, multi-sport athletes, good, overall well-rounded human beings,” Guillean said.

Schuman has participated in five of the seven boys sports Lawrence sponsors.

As a freshman and sophomore, Schuman played football, wrestled, ran track and played baseball.

He had wrestled since he was 4, and went from the 119-pound weight class as a freshman to 145 the following year. That sophomore season he qualified for his Individual Regional. But as a junior, he traded wrestling for basketball.

“My older brother wrestled at Lawrence, so I would come to practices,” he said. “I quit for a couple years (in middle school) because I liked basketball, too. It was hard to do both. Obviously, in high school, I still struggled with choosing,” he added, laughing.

John GuilleanGuillean is thrilled Schuman made the switch.

“He’s 6-(foot-)4, he’s super athletic, defensively he’s a hawk, offensively he can put the ball in the bucket. But really, aside from his skills, just that positive attitude and that positive outlook, not just in a game, but in life in general, is invaluable,” the coach said.

Last season, Schuman earned honorable mention all-league honors in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference, averaging 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Lawrence left the BCS for the Southwest 10 Conference this year, joining Bangor, Bloomingdale, Hartford, Decatur, Comstock, Marcellus, Mendon, Centreville, White Pigeon and Cassopolis. Schuman and senior Tim Coombs will co-captain the Tigers, with Guillean rotating in a third captain.

At a school of fewer than 200 students, Schuman will help lead a varsity team with just nine – joined by seniors Andy Bowen and Gabe Gonzalez, juniors Christian Smith, Noel Saldana, Ben McCaw and Zander Payment, and sophomore Jose Hernandez, who will see time with the junior varsity as well using the fifth-quarter rule.

“I attribute a lot of (last year’s successful transition) to my coach, helping me get ready because it wasn’t so pretty,” the senior said. “But we got into it, got going, and my teammates helped me out a lot.”

Great anticipation

Gribler is one coach already looking ahead to spring sports after seeing what Schuman did during football season.

In spite of missing 2½ games with an injury, the wide receiver caught 50 receptions for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“I just like the ability to run free, get to hit people, let out some anger,” Schuman laughed.

Derek GriblerGribler said the senior is “an insane athlete.

“On top of his athletic ability, how smart he is in the classroom (3.88 GPA), he helped mold the culture we wanted this year for football. He got our underclassmen the way we wanted them. He was a big asset in many ways.”

Schuman earned all-conference honors for his on-field performance in football as well.

“I would say that my main sport is football,” the senior said. “That’s the one I like the most, spend the most time on.”

In the spring, Schuman competed in both track and baseball, earning all-conference honors in both.

“Doing both is tough,” he said. “I have to say my coaches make it a lot easier for me. They help me a lot and give me the ability to do both, so I really appreciate that.

“Throughout the week you’re traveling every day, it seems like. Baseball twice a week and track, but it’s worth it.”

Schuman’s commitment is so strong that he made a special effort not to let his teammates down last spring.

“He qualified for state in the long jump and did his jumps up in Grand Rapids, then he drove all the way to Kalamazoo to play in the District baseball game,” Guillean said. “That speaks volumes about who this kid is. He did his jumps at 9 a.m. (but did not advance) and made it back to Kalamazoo for a 12:15 game.”

Big shoes to fill

As the youngest of four children of Mark and Gretchen Schuman, the senior was following a family tradition in sports.

Oldest brother Matthew played football, basketball and baseball as well as competed in pole vault and wrestling.

Middle bother Christopher competed in football, wrestling and baseball.

Sister Stephanie played basketball, volleyball and softball.

“I like to say they blazed a pretty good trail for me at this high school,” Schuman said.

As for feeling pressure to live up to his siblings, “I used to when I was younger, but now I feel like I’ve made my own way and done enough things to be proud of that I’m happy with it.”

His own way led him to achieve something none of the others did.

He was named the Tigers’ Male Athlete of the Year, just the third junior to earn the boys honor over the last 25 years.

“I was very honored to win that as a junior,” Schuman said. “There were good athletes in the grade above me. I guess hard work pays off.”

Guillean said while Schuman is “darn good at every sport here,” an athlete does not have to be a “top dog” in every sport.

“Learn how to take a back seat,” he said. “Learn how to be a role player. That will make you a better teammate and a well-rounded human being.

“Johnny has that work ethic, in the classroom, on the field, on the court, on the track. It doesn’t go unnoticed and, obviously, he’s reaping the benefits now.”

Pam ShebestPam Shebest served as a sportswriter at the Kalamazoo Gazette from 1985-2009 after 11 years part-time with the Gazette while teaching French and English at White Pigeon High School. She can be reached at with story ideas for Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Lawrence’s John Schuman has participated in five varsity sports during his first 3½ years of high school. (Middle) Lawrence athletic director John Guillean. (Below) Lawrence football and baseball coach Derek Gribler. (Action photos courtesy of John Schuman; head shots by Pam Shebest.)