Algonac senior – Track & Field
Beadlescomb will finish his high school career next month all over the Algonac record books and MHSAA champions lists as well. He won the Lower Peninsula Division 2 cross country championship each of the last two seasons and also won the LP Division 2 track title in the 1,600 last spring. His time in the 1,600 that day set a school record of 4:13.58, and he added his school’s 3,200 record of 9:03.68 in finishing first at the prestigious Saline Golden Triangle Invitational on May 6, earning him the Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week for May 2-8.
The 9:03 was thought to be the fastest time in the state in the 3,200 this season – but was matched by a 9:03 the same night by Corunna’s Noah Jacobs at the Cavalier Classic True Team Invitational. Beadlescomb finished fifth in the 3,200 at last year’s MHSAA LP Division 2 Final, as Jacobs won the race, and he intends to run against Jacobs in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at this season’s Final, June 4 at Zeeland.
Beadlescomb also has run the 400 in 51.8 seconds this season and the 800 in 157.7; that 800 time would’ve finished seventh in LP Division 2 in 2015. His improvement during high school was impressive, especially in cross country; Beadlescomb finished 138th in LP Division 2 as a freshman before jumping to 12th as a sophomore and then winning his final two seasons. Boasting a 3.3 grade-point average, Beadlescomb will study and run next at Michigan State University, where he’ll major in mechanical engineering. He also recently was one of 12 finalists statewide for the Detroit Athletic Club’s annual Michigan High School Athlete of the Year awards, which are given to one female and male to recognize both athletic and academic achievement.
Coach Mark Simms said: “Morgan has a tremendous drive and work ethic. He does not accept finishing second and drives to be the best he can be. Morgan is the most talented track athlete that I have been associated with in my 22-year career. Morgan has left his mark here at Algonac High School. His track records will probably stand for years to come.”
Performance Point: “I remember I took the race out too fast, and that made the entire race difficult. It was hard to hang in there the whole time. But my coaches were there the whole time cheering me on and motivating me, some kids from Michigan State were there watching old teammates and cheering me on, and my parents were too. (The atmosphere) helped motivate me while I was running, for sure. There never really was a silent part of the track.”
Leaving a legacy: “I’m hoping people will remember my work ethic. I worked hard to get where I am. I’m not a naturally talented athlete, and I’ve not always been at the front of the pack … so I hope people will remember me for that.”
Finish strong: “I’m hoping to place top in the nation in the mile or 2-mile; I’m leaning more toward the 2-mile. I’ve got more national goals than I have had in the past. The state meet is going to be difficult because I’m going for the mile/2-mile double. In the mile (1,600) there are two kids under 4:20, but if I play it smart I think I can win that. The 2-mile (3,200) is really difficult (because of) Noah Jacobs. He’s so smart, he knows how to run, he doesn’t get too excited. It’s a battle against him, but I always look forward to it.”
Racing Jacobs: “It’s nice because we’re not at each other’s throats. We like each other, we’re friends, and it’s nice to race against him. It’s a healthy competition. Every sport, I think most kids are like that, especially in high school. Most sports, I've found, kids get along with the other athletes, especially when they get more toward the top, the elite teams. It’s nice to share experiences. We learn from each other.”
Morgan in motion: “I’ve always loved working on moving things. I grew up racing motocross, and I love not only riding but working on the motorcycles. I love learning about cars. If it has a motor, it’s my thing.”
– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor
Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.
The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
Previous 2015-16 honorees
May 4: Abby Krzywiecki, Farmington Hills Mercy softball - Read
April 27: Mike Mokma, Holland Christian baseball - Read
April 20: Abby Divozzo, Cadillac girls soccer - Read
March 30: Cassius Winston, Detroit U-D Jesuit boys basketball - Read
March 23: Kierra Fletcher, Warren Cousino girls basketball - Read
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read
PHOTOS: (Top) Algonac's Morgan Beadlescomb leads during the final stretch of the Division 2 Cross Country Final last fall at Michigan International Speedway. (Middle) Beadlescomb (far right) prepares to make his move on the way to winning the 1,600 at last season's MHSAA LP Division 2 Track & Field Final. (Photos by Ike Lea and Carter Sherline, RunMichigan.com.)
LAWRENCE — If redshirting was a thing in high school, at least two coaches at Lawrence would stick that label on senior John Schuman.
“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.
Guillean 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.”
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.
Gribler 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 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 email@example.com 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.)