Wingfield's Fame as Gamebreaker Grows after Record-Setting Junior Season

By Doug Donnelly
Special for

August 30, 2023

Mekhi Wingfield’s journey to becoming one of the most dynamic football players in all of 8-player football in Michigan began in Detroit and is continuing today at Jackson County’s Concord High School.  

Southeast & BorderWingfield moved to the Concord area when he was in the sixth grade. He was still two years away from playing football for the first time. Basketball was his thing. And meeting people.   

“The first day of school I made friends,” Wingfield said. “I’m one of those guys who like to talk. I’ll go up to anybody and try and talk to them. I like to hear different perspectives in life.”  

Wingfield doesn’t need any introduction in 8-player football. Last season, the 6-foot-3 receiver had a record-setting season for the Yellow Jackets, making a name for himself across the state.

In nine games, he had 76 catches for 1,035 yards and 16 touchdowns. He set an 8-player record with 17 receptions in a game and moved to the top or close to the top of the charts in numerous other categories, including career touchdowns (26) and career receptions (139).   

Britton Deerfield head coach Erik Johnson saw firsthand what Wingfield can do on the football field.  

“He is a very talented football player,” said Johnson, who competes against Concord in the Tri-River 8 Conference. “Last year he almost singlehandedly beat us with big play after big play.  

“They run a lot of jet sweep action with him where they toss it to him … but he has the size, speed, and athletic ability to hurt your defense with the short passing game and then just running right by you for the deep ball.”  

Johnson has watched Wingfield for a couple of seasons now. This year, BD plays Concord twice.  

“In the 8-player game, it is really tough to dedicate two defensive players to one offensive player, but Mekhi's ability almost makes you have to that,” he said.   

Wingfield says his best game came against BD.  

“There is a small little rivalry with them,” he said. “When they came to our place last year, I had like three touchdowns on them. That was so fun. Best game of my high school career.”  

Wingfield’s family moved to south central Michigan to help care for his grandmother, who lived in Albion, when he was about 10. His older siblings went to Marshall, but he enrolled at Concord.  

He and his twin sister are the youngest of seven in the family.  

Wingfield is a senior this fall.He was introduced to football in the eighth grade and played some that season, but not the full year. By his freshman year, his athletic ability blossomed.   

“When I got to the ninth grade is when I got into Coach (Max) Clark’s program, and I started being dedicated to football and sports,” Wingfield said. “I got in the weight room and just became a field rat.”  

Clark has had an impact on his life, Wingfield noted: “Football with Coach Clark – I can’t say it was always easy, but he’s helped me and guided me and took me under his wing. I had to work for my spot. I was the underdog coming in. I didn’t have football under my belt. I had to learn. I sat back and learned until it was my time to shine.”  

Wingfield, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, picked up football rather quickly.  

“I used to watch it on TV, but I never played it,” he said. “When I got onto the field, it was like second nature. My coach loved me, so he got me the ball so much. It was just a lot of fun to me.”  

Wingfield’s athletic ability is why he touches the ball so much.  

“I like to classify myself as a route runner,” he said. “I can run routes, I can get open, I can create space and catch those 50-50 balls. I’m hoping the defensive backs have a long night when they face me.”  

Clark said Wingfield was a great athlete even as a freshman.  

“He’s a relentless worker,” Clark said. “You can tell he wants to be good. We took him to Albion, and he was learning some track technique, long jump. Even on his warm-up laps, he had to be first.”  

Last season’s surge in receptions, yards, and touchdowns surprised Wingfield.  

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “We had a new quarterback. We had played basketball together, but I didn’t even know he could sling it like that. We just went out and had fun. My goal was to have a better year than my sophomore year. I didn’t know I was going to go quote-unquote ‘crazy’ like that.”  

While Wingfield said basketball is still his favorite sport, football is gaining ground. He spent much of this past summer at football camps, fine-tuning his game. He received an offer to play football at Grand Valley State University.  

He’s also an outstanding track athlete. Last season he helped Concord’s 400 relay win a Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals title. The relay units he was on also finished second in the 800 and 1,600, and he was second in the long jump.   

Concord opened the season last week with a loss to Bridgman. Wingfield said the team has already moved on from that defeat and is geared up for a chance to make the playoffs. Concord wasn’t eligible last season due to its enrollment but is under the threshold this season and could qualify.   

“We’re just moving forward week by week,” he said. “I think that helped us to see a good team early. We know how to handle getting punched in the mouth. That is a good team we played. We’ve got to just keep on going. This is like the first year that we could get to go to the playoffs. I’m very excited about that.”  

Clark is a social studies teacher at Concord and has Wingfield in one of his classes.  

“This week we were doing an activity where we asked the students if they would rather live in a city or the country,” Clark said. “Mekhi said country. I was surprised, knowing he grew up in a big city. He just said, ‘I’d rather live in the country, because that’s where Concord is.’” 

“It was huge difference coming here,” Wingfield noted. “Culture shock, you might say. I went to Concord and have loved it ever since. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” 

Doug DonnellyDoug 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 Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Concord’s Mekhi Wingfield breaks away from a Britton Deerfield defender during last season’s matchup. (Middle) Wingfield is a senior this fall. (Action photo by Madisyn Barrett/Concord Chronicle. Posed photo courtesy of the Concord athletic department.)

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.