Playoff Berth Adds to Lincoln Park Surge

By Tom Markowski
Special for Second Half

October 28, 2015

LINCOLN PARK – Steve Glenn has played baseball since he was 10 years old. It’s always been his favorite sport.

Not anymore. This football season changed things.

Glenn is the starting quarterback at Lincoln Park. Though he doesn’t look like one. At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Glenn is taller and weighs more than any of the starting offensive linemen. He started last season, too, as junior. It wasn’t as much fun then. Lincoln Park was 3-6 in 2014, the program’s 12th consecutive losing season.

This season, Glenn is having a blast. Last Friday, Lincoln Park (6-3) clinched it first playoff appearance since 2002 when the Railsplitters defeated a team also in search of a playoff spot, Downriver League rival Gibraltar Carlson, 21-19.

Lincoln Park will play another Downriver League team, Wyandotte Roosevelt (7-2), at 7 p.m. Friday in a Division 2 Pre-District game. On Sept. 18, Lincoln Park shocked Roosevelt and the rest of their league with an 18-15 victory.

This is the same program that set the state record for consecutive losses (66) from 2006-13, but this Lincoln Park team is different. This team has grit. It has determination.

“We did it differently,” Glenn said. “We communicate with our teammates. We are always positive. We have a no-lose attitude.”

In half of its victories this season, Lincoln Park trailed during the second half. Against Wyandotte Roosevelt, it scored on its final possession to win. Lincoln Park trailed Melvindale by 13 points with six minutes left before coming back to win, 38-35. And against Taylor Truman, it trailed by seven points before winning in double overtime, 40-34.

The turnaround began in 2013 when Jamie Grignon returned to the program as head coach. Grignon coached Lincoln Park from 1994-99 before leaving to become the offensive coordinator at Dearborn. His son, Alex, attended Dearborn, played football for coach Dave Mifsud, and Grignon was to be a part of his son’s development.

Lincoln Park ended its losing streak in Grignon’s first season back with a 34-20 win over Taylor Kennedy that Oct. 4, and changes started to happen. The players didn’t have to give excuses. No longer did they have to listen to the negatively that resonated in the halls and community.

Perceptions changed, too.

“After we broke that streak,” Grignon said. “I said my biggest challenge was to keep Lincoln Park kids in the program. Now we’re reaping the benefits.

“After we beat a team this year that had three Lincoln Park kids, some of my kids said it was tough to see Lincoln Park kids on the other team crying, saying they wished they had stayed.”

Open enrollment contributed to Lincoln Park’s downturn. Students who attended middle school and junior high and played football often would go elsewhere to play and avoid being a part of a program seeking respect.

That thought never occurred to Glenn.

Without naming names, Glenn pointed to four players, two each at two other schools, who were teammates with him in middle school.

“Growing up, I was raised where I wouldn’t leave the city I grew up in,” he said.

He’s one of 12 seniors on the team of 32 players total, and one of three captains. The other two are two-way back Trevor Anderson and center Kalani Kapiko. Lincoln Park runs the read option to take advantage of Glenn’s size and surprisingly good speed for that size (4.7 second in the 40-yard dash). He’s rushed for nine touchdowns and passed for 10 more.

But those three are the only returning starters from a year ago. This is still a young team. Four starting offensive linemen and seven defensive starters are underclassmen. But it’s a team that’s athletic and likes to plays fast.

Still, it’s the seniors who lead the way.

“For the first time, Lincoln Park has that,” Grignon said. “Before they were afraid to motivate others by saying something.

“We had an OK four-way (preseason scrimmage), and once we beat Woodhaven in the opener that started it. 

“We’re excited about being in the playoffs. We’re excited about the program. I don’t see us being a one-time team and going backwards.”

Tom Markowski is a columnist and directs website coverage for the State Champs! Sports Network. He previously covered primarily high school sports for the The Detroit News from 1984-2014, focusing on the Detroit area and contributing to statewide coverage of football and basketball. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Lincoln Park’s Elijah Cross (23) breaks away from a would-be tackler during his team’s Homecoming game against Southgate Anderson. (Middle) The Railsplitters prepare to run a play during that 25-13 loss. (Photos courtesy of Lynsey Schweizer.)

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.