Moment: Fee Sets Stage with Record Kick

November 5, 2020

By John Johnson
MHSAA Director of Broadcast Properties

In keeping with the theme of 50-yard field goals written in this space earlier this week by MHSAA historian Ron Pesch, let’s take this week’s "Moment" to remember the longest field goal ever in an MHSAA Playoff Championship.

No one has ever gone over 50 yards. Heck, no one has ever tired a field goal over 50 yards that I can remember. But Ben Fee came as close as you could in the 2016 Division 3 Final for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s against Muskegon with a 49-yard boot in the Eaglets’ 29-28 victory.

The call on FOX Sports Detroit was cute – Fee was wearing Number 50, and while his holder straddled the 40-yard line, giving the appearance of a 50-yard attempt – the kicking block was a good half-foot in front of the 40, and by rule making it a 49-yard attempt. The kick broke a record set in the previous game of 47 yards by Liam Putz of Grand Rapids West Catholic and tied a record for most field goals in the final game with three also set by Jake Townsley from Warren DeLaSalle in 2014. Fee also had field goals of 32 and 35 yards in the contest.

The kick gave St. Mary’s a 23-21 lead with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for one of the most dramatic finishes in playoff history. Muskegon would return the ensuing kickoff to near midfield and then score six plays later, on a La’Darius Jefferson three-yard run, with the extra point making it a 28-23 game in favor of the Big Reds with 1:55 to play.

Starting on its own 20-yard line, St. Mary’s got three runs from Rashawn Allen for 37 yards and reeled off a total of nine plays in 1:51, culminating with Caden Prieskorn’s 18-yard pass to Ky'ren Cunningham for the game-winning score with four ticks left on the clock.

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.