A Game for Every Fan: Week 2

August 29, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

It's part of the intrigue of high school football: At no other level of the sport is there as much roster turnover from year to year, or so many teams with the potential to shine when August begins.   

The latest proof? Last season's MHSAA finalists (11 and 8-player) went a combined 9-9 last weekend in their first games of this fall.

Not that those results will mean much by the time November rolls around. But this week, we'll find out a little bit more about which could be in the mix as league races ramp up in September.

Remember to visit the MHSAA Score Center early and often on game nights for updated scores and standings, and eventually playoff points as soon as results come in.

These are the games you should go see first – something within somewhat close proximity, no matter where in Michigan you call home.

(All are tonight unless noted. Go to Score Center for additional dates and kickoff times.)

West Michigan

Zeeland West (0-1) at Zeeland East (1-0)

West leads this rivalry 5-2 since the schools split in 2005, with a 26-21 win last season on the way to winning the MHSAA Division 4 title. But the Dux lost Friday for the first time since 2010, 59-58 to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, and the Chix appear to have another high-powered offense after putting up 64 points in an opening-night win over Holland Christian.

Others that caught my eye: Grand Rapids Catholic Central at Muskegon Catholic Central, East Grand Rapids at East Kentwood, Comstock Park at Grand Rapids West Catholic (Fri.), Grand Rapids Christian at Cincinnati (OH) Moeller (Sat.)

Southwest and Border

Schoolcraft (1-0) at Constantine (1-0)

These former St. Joseph Valley rivals came to the Kalamazoo Valley Association together in 2008, and Constantine has continued to own this matchup with seven straight wins including two last season – both by seven points, in the regular-season finale and then the District Final on the way to finishing Division 6 runner-up. But the Eagles’ Benny Clark III made some of the largest waves in the state last week with 215 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a win over Parchment, and he should be tough to stop.

Others that caught my eye: Sturgis at Mattawan, Kalamazoo Central at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Fenton at Adrian, Battle Creek Harper Creek at Stevensville Lakeshore.


DeWitt (1-0) at Lansing Everett (1-0)

These are arguably the top two teams in the Greater Lansing area, and this should be much closer than last season’s 48-7 Panthers win. DeWitt’s newest group of standouts – led by sophomore quarterback Jacob Johnson – showed they’re up to the usual tasks last week with a 38-14 win over reigning Division 3 runner-up Mount Pleasant. But the majority of Everett’s lineup has started for three seasons and appears ready to shine, led by quarterback Lucas Barner, receiver Jaleel Canty (Cincinnati University prospect) and linebacker James Mills.

Others that caught my eye: Rockford at Holt, Chelsea at East Lansing, Laingsburg at Fowler, Haslett at Okemos, Jackson Lumen Christi at Jackson (Fri.), Flint Powers at Mount Pleasant (Fri).

Greater Detroit

Detroit East English (0-1) at Detroit Martin Luther King (0-1) (Fri.)

These two lost by a combined eight points in their games at last weekend’s Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University, but both should finish among the best in the Detroit Public School League. East English is a new school replacing Crockett and Finney, and the former especially had been a strong playoff contender of late. King fell last week by a point to a solid Southfield team, but might rival Cass Tech again to be called best in the city led by standout quarterback Da'Vaun Williams. Winning tonight will go a long way toward giving the Crusaders that opportunity.

Others that caught my eye: Brighton at Canton, Dearborn Fordson at Redford Thurston, Oxford at North Farmington (Fri.), Farmington at Southfield (Fri.), Detroit Catholic Central at Toledo Whitmer (Fri.).

Bay and Thumb

Davison (1-0) at Midland (1-0)

Both needed overtime last week to start with a win – Davison against Lapeer West and Midland against Canton – but both also stand as potential favorites in their divisions of the newly-split Saginaw Valley League. Davison’s opening-night victory avenged one of its six 2011 losses, and the SVL South stacks up well for the Cardinals to get back to their usual playoff ways. Midland will likely have a little tougher road in the North, but set the tone by beating the frequently highly-ranked Chiefs. A win in this one would provide another boost of momentum.

Others that caught my eye: Cedarville at Deckerville, Midland Dow at Flushing, Croswell-Lexington at Richmond, Lansing Catholic at Saginaw Nouvel.

Upper Peninsula

Newberry (1-0) at Iron Mountain North Dickinson (1-0)

Newberry made this the game to watch with last week’s 34-6 rumbling over Rudyard, which hadn’t lost on opening night since 2003. The Indians are in their first season in the Mid-Eastern Conference after previously playing in the Straits Area Conference, and can make a strong impression by beating the reigning MEC champ Nordics. This is the first of a tough three-game string for North Dickinson, which next faces 2011 league third-place Munising and runner-up Stephenson over the following two weeks, respectively.

Others that caught my eye: Mancelona at Rudyard, Negaunee at Calumet, Traverse City Central at Escanaba, Lake Linden-Hubbell at Hurley (WI) (Fri.).

Lower Up North

Marquette (1-0) at Cheboygan (1-0)

These teams have met five times over the last 13 seasons, including in each of the last three. The three times Cheboygan won, it made the playoffs, and the two times the Chiefs lost to the Redmen, they didn’t qualify. That’s probably just an odd coincidence. But Cheboygan can start 2-0 for the first time since 2009, its last playoff year. That won’t be easy, as Marquette is coming off a solid 34-12 win over Detroit Denby.

Others that caught my eye: Pellston at Gaylord St. Mary, Kent City at Boyne City, Bay City John Glenn at Cadillac, Kingsley at Elk Rapids.

PHOTO: Detroit Martin Luther King quarterback Da'Vaun Williams (14) prepares to hand off during last week's 21-20 overtime loss to Southfield. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Record-Setting Viney Gained Lifelong Confidence at Marine City

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

July 17, 2024

Olivia Viney didn’t have to look far for inspiration while taking on the challenge of applying to veterinary school.

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosThe 2015 Marine City graduate and record-setting placekicker simply drew from her own experience as a high school athlete.

“It just really taught me that I could do hard things,” Viney said. “I was very involved when I was in school. I did soccer, theater, travel soccer and then football. Especially with football, I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do it. That helped me to excel in undergrad. When it came time to get accepted to vet school, it was like, ‘This is what I have to do,’ and I did it. That was very confidence-building. It taught me that I really can do hard things.”

Viney, who graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2019 and Michigan State Veterinary School in 2023, is now working as an associate veterinarian at Deporre Veterinary Hospital in West Bloomfield. 

Accomplishing her goals is nothing new to Viney, and not at all a surprise to those who watched her come through the Mariners athletic program.

“She was very serious, she was focused and she was dialed in,” said Dave Frendt, who coached Viney in both football and soccer at Marine City. “She knew what she wanted to accomplish, and she set out to do that. She was a fierce competitor and very driven. She was a good leader in that way where she was kind of feisty, but the team would follow that.”

Viney was an all-state soccer player for the Mariners, leading them to a pair of District titles and a Macomb Area Conference Gold title during her four years as a varsity player. It’s the sport she grew up playing, but the one she was most known for after graduation was football. American football.

The 5-foot-1-ish center attacking midfielder found herself in the MHSAA football record book after hitting all seven of her extra point attempts in the Mariners’ 2013 Division 4 Final victory against Grand Rapids South Christian.

“I think it makes sense,” she said. “There were lots of great soccer players, even that I played with. Great players that had gone through school, so I don’t think it’s weird that people remember me for that. When I talk with people, they’ll connect the dots – ‘Oh, you played football.’

“I was more accomplished as a soccer player and had more accolades. But I’m prouder of my football accomplishments, because it was really setting a pathway for girls that wanted to get into that. It’s so much more common now, or accepted. Even though it’s been almost 11 years since we won at Ford Field, I’m so proud of high school Olivia and what she did, the courage she had. She wasn’t scared of anything.”

Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. Viney joined Marine City’s football program as a sophomore, playing on the junior varsity squad. While she was there only to kick, she was all in when it came to practicing.

“Coach (Joe) Fregetto made me do tackling drills and drills in the mud – I really did earn my spot on the team,” Viney said. “I think it was mostly because he didn’t know what to do with me, so I guess just do everything that the guys do.”

She handled varsity kicking duties the next two years, setting the school record in 2013 for most extra points made during a single season – a record that still stands. Former Mariners coach Ron Glodich said that Viney actually never missed an extra point that season, as the four failed attempts were never even kicked.

It was her performance in the Division 4 Final that gained her statewide acclaim, as she hit 7 of 7 attempts, tying a record for most extra points made in a Finals game. It stood until a pair of kickers hit eight in 2022.

One record that never will be broken, however, is Viney becoming the first female to score a point at the Finals.

“Everything was so surreal, I was so nervous,” Viney said. “One of my most vivid memories was that day, or maybe the day before, Coach Glodich said, ‘Just so you know, when you get to the field, the goal posts are two feet narrower on each side. But that doesn’t matter if you kick it in the middle.’

“We got there and watched the team before us so we could get used to it, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so narrow.’ … Seeing myself up on the big screen was kind of almost a little embarrassing, because I knew people were talking about me being the girl. But once we were in the game, it was a lot like any other game. I was just waiting for my turn to go on the field and do my job.”

Viney later was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” – ironically, right below current U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh – but she wasn’t looked at any differently by her teammates, and she wouldn’t have wanted to be.

“That team was all about sacrifice for the team,” Frendt said. “For them to realize, ‘None of us can do what she does, so we better embrace it, because no one else can do it.’ They really made her feel like part of the team. They wanted to protect her, too. But she was tough. She wasn’t going to take anything.”

Viney went to SVSU to study biology and played for its club soccer team. During her time there, she volunteered at an animal shelter and made the decision she wanted to help animals in her career. She works in general practice at Deporre, and would eventually like to work in shelter medicine.

She and her husband Matt, who were married in May, live with their three dogs. She’s not far from home, and in the spring of 2023 she visited Frendt’s college and career readiness class to speak with students at her alma mater. Her presentation and the attention to detail and hard work she put into it, Frendt said, blew his students away. Not that it surprised him.

“That’s poured into her life after sports,” he said of her work ethic. “She just kept plugging away. She’s awesome.”

2024 Made In Michigan

July 11: High School 'Hoop Squad' Close to Heart as Hughes Continues Coaching Climb - Read
July 10: 
Nightingale Embarking on 1st Season as College Football Head Coach - Read
June 28:
 E-TC's Witt Bulldozing Path from Small Town to Football's Biggest Stage - Read

PHOTOS (Top) Marine City’s Olivia Viney kicks at the 2013 11-Player Football Finals, also during her spring soccer season, and cares for one of her patients as an associate veterinarian. (Middle) Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Olivia Viney.)