Harrison Comes Back to Win Classic
August 23, 2016
By John Johnson
MHSAA Communications Director
As a new season of events launches this week on MHSAA.tv, this summer’s 80s Finals Flashback series concludes with one of the classic Football Finals of all time.
Our ninth and final game in the Flashback series is the 1989 Class B Final at the Pontiac Silverdome between Farmington Hills Harrison and DeWitt. Here’s a look at this week’s game, and click the score below to watch:
Week of August 22 – Farmington Hills Harrison 28, DeWitt 27 – 1989 Class B Football Final - In Class B, Farmington Hills Harrison scored a 28-27 victory over DeWitt in what many consider the greatest game of Michigan's 25-year playoff history. The defending Class B champions and top-ranked Hawks had their hands full with the Panthers. Tied 7-7 after one quarter, DeWitt grabbed a two-touchdown lead in the second on 32-yard run by John Tellford and a 35-yard pass play from Tellford to John Cowan. Harrison responded with a Matt Conley 1-yard run to cut the margin to 21-14 at the half. Hawks quarterback Mill Coleman knotted the score at 21 with a dazzling 16-yard run early in the fourth quarter, but DeWitt stormed back again, driving 75 yards on 13 plays. The series was highlighted by tight end Dave Riker's 24-yard, one-handed catch to the Hawks’ 3-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Chris Berkimer slipped over from the 1, and DeWitt again took the lead, 27-21. With 2:12 remaining on the clock and the ball at the Harrison 33, Coleman went to work. Three quick completions moved the ball to the DeWitt 16, then Coleman let his legs do the rest of the work. Following a Hawks timeout, Coleman dashed right for seven more yards to the Panthers’ 9. Facing a 2nd-and-three, Coleman dropped back to pass, escaped the rush at the DeWitt 17, then scampered up the middle and dove into the end zone for the tying points. Steve Hill added his fourth PAT of the game with 1:34 remaining for the final margin, then secured the victory with an interception on the next series. (Watch Coleman’s game-winning touchdown by Clicking Here.)
DVDs may be purchased directly from the MHSAA.tv Website – just click the “Get DVD” button below the player. See the bottom of this screen for the rest of this summer’s “Flashbacks.”
The new season of games produced by members of the School Broadcast Program begins this week with live video of two football games scheduled as of noon Monday. Coming up on Thursday, the SBP at Montrose High School follows its Rams on the road for a game at Byron beginning at 6:40 p.m. At 7 p.m., Marquette High School will cover its home contest against Traverse City St. Francis. Check this release on the MHSAA Website for updates throughout the week as additional games are scheduled.
The NFHS Network has announced new pricing for 2016-17, eliminating the Day Pass and lowering the cost of a Month Pass to $9.95. Subscribers will have access to all live video and streaming statistics across the country. All content becomes available for free, on demand viewing 72 hours after being shown live. Some schools also will be selling Annual Passes at a discounted rate. A portion of every subscription sold by a school goes to benefit its program.
Now in its eighth year, the School Broadcast Program gives members an opportunity to showcase excellence in their schools by creating video programming of athletic and non-athletic events with students gaining skills in announcing, camera operation, directing/producing and graphics. The program also gives schools the opportunity to raise money through advertising and viewing subscriptions.
Schools interested in becoming a part of the School Broadcast Program should contact John Johnson at the MHSAA Office.
August 15: St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 41, Ontonagon 39 – 1988 Class C Girls Basketball Final - Watch
August 8: Grand Rapids South Christian 69, Redford Bishop Borgess 66 – 1988 Class B Boys Basketball Final - Watch
August 1: Dearborn Divine Child 50, Okemos 45 (OT) – 1986 Class B Girls Basketball Final - Watch
July 25: Muskegon 16, Detroit Martin Luther King 13 – 1988 Class A Football Final - Watch
July 19: Northport 80, Beal City 78 – 1988 Class D Boys Basketball Final - Watch
July 12: Detroit Cass Tech 52, Saginaw 51 – 1987 Class A Girls Basketball Final - Watch
July 5: Traverse City 24, Detroit Catholic Central 14 – 1988 Class A Football Final - Watch
June 28: Saginaw Buena Vista 33, Flint Beecher 32 – 1986 Class B Boys Basketball Final - Watch
For Their Teams, For Each Other, St. Mary Seniors Team Up 2 More Times
By Tom Spencer
Special for MHSAA.com
March 17, 2023
Shawn Bramer and Dylan Barnowski, as middle schoolers, attended the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals every year.
Last year, they nearly played in the Division 3 title game – falling in a Semifinal but almost making a dream come true for the then-juniors and their Lake Leelanau St. Mary coach, Matt Barnowski, also Dylan’s father.
That dream began for some when the boys were coached by Matt as third graders, and they made serious strides last season. Before last winter, the last time the Eagles had won a Regional championship was 1950 – and no St. Mary boys basketball team had reached the Semifinals. Bramer and Dylan Barnowski – along with current seniors Jack Glynn, Drew Thompson and Nick Linguar – had high hopes of making more history this winter.
The dream ended Wednesday night with a Regional Final loss to Frankfort, which St. Mary had defeated 54-41 during the regular season. This time, the Eagles were faced with a large number of K-12 students succumbing to illness – with all five of its starters at least somewhat sick – as nearly a third of the school’s tiny enrollment was out of school the day after the loss to the Panthers.
But you won’t hear any of the players or coaches making excuses. They give all the credit to Frankfort, and they’re ready to move on. And many in the LSM family know reaching the Regional Finals this season and Breslin Center in 2022 had absolutely no probability had Bramer and Barnowski not made an iron-clad agreement last summer.
The two friends vowed to help each other despite their personal, opposing challenges.
Barnowski and Bramer, through LSM’s cooperative agreement with Suttons Bay, went 3-for-3 playing in 8-Player Division 1 Football Finals during their first three years of high school. But through last summer Barnowski, who quarterbacked the Norseman, had no interest in football.
Bramer, meanwhile, had been nursing a quad tendon injury since his sophomore football season and battling two bad knees but was thinking he could suffer though football and sit out the basketball season to recover. The all-state running back experienced training difficulties and even had his strength training severely hampered.
Football was king for Bramer, and he also loved basketball too. Basketball is number one to Barnowski. The longtime friends decided cut a deal to help each other — and their teammates — out.
“I was kind of on the edge,” said Bramer, who plays with braces on both knees. “After talking to each other, we both ended up just playing.
“I really shouldn’t be playing sports, but I couldn’t miss out playing with my friends,” he continued. “We just figured it was our last season so we might as well just do it.”
Barnowski had been considering ending his football days immediately after the Norse fell short in their third-straight trip to the Finals, at Superior Dome in Marquette in Fall 2021. That loss was at the hands of Adrian Lenawee Christian 31-20.
The Norseman graduated most of their offensive and defense lines last spring and expected to be small in numbers. Until this fall, they had lost only one regular-season game on their way to three straight title game appearances. This year they finished 3-5.
The big linemen losses — Barnowski’s protection — was forcing him to weigh his injury risk against having a senior basketball season.
“We did it for each other,” Barnowski said. “I talked with Shawn, and we knew we had a big community behind us and it would be hard for them if we just quit.
“I knew we weren’t going to have the same powerhouse team we had,” he continued. “We weren’t very good this year, but we still had a blast.”
This week’s loss put an end to the possible Breslin championship finish, but it left the friends happy with the decision to play both sports. The Eagles finished 20-4.
Barnowski led St. Mary in scoring. He averaged better than 20 points a game with more than seven rebounds and five assists. Bramer averaged just under 15 points per game, and almost 10 rebounds.
The two big men each scored 11 in the season-ending loss. Thompson scored 14. This year’s senior-dominated team likely will be remembered for its basketball success for some time. Barnowski, Bramer and Glynn experienced only one loss in District play over their four seasons.
“It’s a really special groups of kids,” Coach Barnowski said. “These kids kind of transformed St. Mary’s basketball.
“They’ve really built the program,” he continued. “It’s been a roller coaster ride.”
Bramer and Dylan Barnowski also played baseball in the past for the Eagles, but that likely won’t happen this spring. Barnowski plans to golf, and Bramer expects to sit the spring season out and heal.
“We’ll never forget these last four years of varsity we played,” Barnowski said. “I‘ve decided to go a more relaxing route, and I’m going for some golf.”
With their Breslin dream over, the friends are ready to enjoy the St. Mary’s community support and move on. They’re bummed so many were sick in the end but won’t use it as an excuse.
“Hats off to Frankfort,” Barnowski said. “They did an incredible job of shutting us down.”
“They just played their game better than we did,” he said. “They took the lead at the end of the third quarter, and it was a battle from there.”
Tom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.
PHOTOS (Top) St. Mary’s seniors Dylan Barnowski, left, and Shawn Bramer hold up the team’s District championship trophy last week. (2) Eagles coach Matt Barnowski, center, and assistant Sander Scott coach up their team during last week’s Regional Semifinal win over Mesick. (3) Dylan Barnowski and Bramer also teamed up during successful football careers. (4) St. Mary’s seniors, from left: Shawn Bramer, Jack Glynn, Dylan Barnowski, Drew Thompson and Nick Linguar. (Sideline photo by Tom Spencer; player photos by Emmerson Lamb Photography.)