Multi-Skilled Hines Sparks Milan Charge

September 14, 2018

By Doug Donnelly
Special for Second Half

MILAN – It’s a good thing Tristen Hines doesn’t get tired.

“Tristen doesn’t want to come off the field, and we don’t want him to come off the field,” said Milan football coach Jesse Hoskins. “He’s that type of player.”

Hines is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior already in his third season on the varsity football team for Milan, which is off to a 3-0 start and tied atop the Huron League standings. During the past couple of seasons, he’s played running back, wide receiver and quarterback on offense as well as cornerback and strong safety on defense. He also returns kickoffs and punts.

No matter where he plays, he’s electric.

“The cool thing about Tristen is he doesn’t know how to be lazy,” Hoskins said. “He plays hard and enjoys it. He could play just about any offensive position. He’s a legitimate Division I recruit.”

Early in his career, Hines played mainly just defense for Milan. As a freshman, he made an impact on the Big Reds defense, intercepting seven passes and joining in on 76 tackles. As a sophomore, he moved into more of an offensive role. When the season began he was a wide receiver, but an injury to starting Milan quarterback Dyllan Jones forced Hoskins to put the athletic Hines into the QB spot.

“Our system fits a mobile type of quarterback and Tristen is just that, plus he passes the ball well,” Hoskins said. “This year, with D.J. (Dyllan Jones) returning and Hunter Aeschbacker at running back, we decided to keep Tristen at wide receiver.”

Hines was happy with the move back to wide receiver.

“I think for the team, that is the best position for me,” he said. “I like it better there. I like to go one-on-one with the defender and get out into space. If the defense must pay attention to me, that opens things up for the other guys.”

Hoskins said there are various plays in the Big Reds’ playbook to get the ball into Hines’ hands.

“We have a few wrinkles,” the seventh-year Milan coach said with a smile.

The performance Hines had last week in Milan’s 46-24 win over Flat Rock made Hoskins and the Milan coaches look like geniuses. Hines caught six passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns from his wideout spot, ran for a touchdown and returned a blocked field goal 80 yards for a fifth score.

In three games this season, Hines has 102 yards rushing, 323 receiving, 448 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns. In Week 2, Hines rushed for one touchdown and had more than 100 receiving yards against Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central. It was a thrilling Milan victory, with the final touchdown coming with less than a minute left in the game.

Milan’s Evan Furtney caught the game-winner from Jones. Hines couldn’t believe the finish.

“We got the ball with four or five minutes left, which seemed like plenty of time,” he said. “In the huddle, I was like ‘All right, let’s get this down the field.’ But, we kept getting penalties and moving back. Finally, it was fourth down and it was like, ‘somebody has got to make a play.’ … I knew the ball wasn’t coming to me. When D.J. threw it up and Evan came down with it, I just started jumping up and down. That was crazy. I’ve never been in a game like that, where it came down to the final seconds.”

Hines and Furtney are best friends.

“I knew one of us was going to have to make a catch or make a play,” he said. “I was happy for him.”

The Big Reds host Riverview (2-1) tonight in Milan’s first home game of the season.

“It should be pretty exciting,” Hines said. “This year feels a lot like 2016 when we won the league. Last year, we were sort of expecting to be the best team in the league, but with injuries and everything, it didn’t work out.”

Milan did finish 5-5 last year and made the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Big Reds have a long and prosperous football tradition. They have made the playoffs 17 times over the years and have had some outstanding football players, dating back to University of Michigan and American Football League standout Joe O’Donnell, for whom the Milan football stadium is named.

Hines looks like the next Big Red to play Division I college football. He’s received interest from several Mid-American Conference schools, from the University of Toledo to Eastern Michigan University. The University of Cincinnati has stayed in contact, and recently Indiana and Michigan State University assistant coaches have reached out to him. There are no offers yet, but Hines isn’t worried about that for now.

“I know that will happen eventually,” he said. “I don’t dwell on it. I am focused on my team right now.”

Hines said he’ll probably end up playing cornerback in college.

“That’s where I want to play,” he said. “When I first started football, back in the third grade, I was always on defense. I loved to hit. I think defense is where I’ll be in college.”

Hoskins thinks once one school puts an offer on the table for Hines, there will be a domino effect and other teams will follow. Hines just wants to keep his Big Reds in contention for a Huron League title and a playoff berth.

“I’m just focused on playing football for Milan and winning,” Hines said. “That’s what it is all about. That is what makes football fun, to win.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Milan’s Tristen Hines pushes forward for another yard during last week’s win over Flat Rock. (Middle) Hines breaks for the end zone during a Week 1 victory at Bridgeport. (Photos courtesy of the Milan football program.)

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.