Breslin Bound: Girls Report Week 11

February 13, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

If the conclusion of league races this winter is an indication of what we should expect when the MHSAA Tournament begins in two weeks, fans will be on the edges of their respective seats. 

Just this past week we had Norway downing Ishpeming and Carleton Airport edging Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central both by a point with titles on the line. Hamilton got past Holland Christian by a mere basket in another matchup of league contenders, and Hartland and Blissfield won only more comfortably by five apiece to secure championships.

And those are just five more scores in addition to those occupying the usual spot below kicking off our Breslin Bound report, powered by MI Student Aid.

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results: 

1. Midland Dow 46, Saginaw Heritage 44 – Revenge surely was sweet for the Chargers, who moved into a first-place tie in the Saginaw Valley League North by handing the Hawks their first loss this season and after losing to Heritage 50-47 in overtime Jan. 17.

2. Birch Run 56, Frankenmuth 49 – The Panthers still trail the Eagles by a win in the Tri-Valley Conference East, but they did break Frankenmuth’s 105-game league winning streak.

3. Houghton 46, Marquette 40 (2OT) – No league title was on the line in this one, but perhaps the status as top team in the Upper Peninsula with the undefeated Gremlins making another strong claim. 

4. DeWitt 55, Lansing Waverly 52 – The Panthers avenged their lone loss of this season, which came 55-47 to the Warriors on Jan. 6, to hold onto first alone in the Capital Area Activities Conference Red.

5. Sandusky 38, Reese 23 – The Redskins can claim to be the best of a strong group of Class C teams in the Thumb with wins over the two-loss Rockets and two-loss Harbor Beach as well.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:


Flushing (14-2) – The Raiders have won 13 straight since back-to-back early losses to Heritage and Dow and should clinch a share of the Flint Metro League title Tuesday against Linden. It’s been nearly a repeat of the 2015-16 regular season, when Flushing came back from the same losses to finish 19-3.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview (16-1) – The Huskies dominated the Macomb Area Conference Blue, and that lone loss came just two weeks ago by a point in overtime to second-place Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. Not a bad way to add to last season’s District title and 14-9 overall finish.


Fowlerville (12-5) – With two more wins, the Gladiators will guarantee their best finish this decade, with last season’s 13 victories coming after seasons of four and one, respectively. The attention-grabber was last week’s upset of 2016 Class B semifinalist Bay City John Glenn, 60-48.

Detroit Mumford (12-5) – The Mustangs have earned a berth in Saturday’s Detroit Public School League championship game against Detroit Martin Luther King. Mumford could be a team to watch in Class B again with four losses this winter to Class A teams (including twice to King) and after making the MHSAA Quarterfinals a year ago.


Springport (13-2) – The Spartans may need to win out to secure the Big 8 Conference championship, but set themselves up over the last 10 days with wins over second-place Jonesville, third-place Homer and in overtime over Quincy. The win over also-reigning league champion Homer avenged Springport’s only Big 8 loss. 

Leroy Pine River (14-2) – Three teams are tied for first place in the Highland Conference with three league games to play, and Pine River is among them after avenging an earlier loss last week to co-leader McBain. The Bucks have won outright or shared the last two titles and also are tied with Manton this time.


St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran (15-2) – The Titans can clinch the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference White title with a win Saturday against Three Oaks River Valley. The championship would be Michigan Lutheran’s third straight, and its only losses this winter are to league leaders – Class A St. Joseph and Class B Buchanan. 

Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner (13-1) – The Storm hasn’t lost a Mid-South Conference game since the start of the 2011-12 season and can clinch another league title this week. Rudolf Steiner also could improve on last season’s 18-3 overall finish, with its only loss this winter to Class C Whitmore Lake.

Can't-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:  

Tuesday – Clarkston (14-3) at Bloomfield Hills (14-1) – The Black Hawks are a win away from securing the Oakland Activities Association White title, but first can add to a great season by downing the second-place team in the Red.

Tuesday – Traverse City St. Francis (14-1) at Kalkaska (12-2) – Kalkaska has the lead in the Lake Michigan Conference because it dealt St. Francis’ only loss Jan. 14.

Thursday – Marquette (15-2) at Houghton (17-0) – Ten days after the game mentioned at the top of the report, these two will meet again.

Saturday – Detroit Martin Luther King (16-1) vs. Detroit Mumford (12-5) at University of Detroit Mercy – The PSL championship game features a matchup King has won twice already, but an opportunity for Mumford to send a shockwave throughout the state. 

Saturday – Detroit Country Day (15-0) at Saginaw Heritage (15-1) – Consider this a little pre-postseason tune-up for contenders in Class B and A, respectively.

PHOTO: Flushing’s 14-2 start this season included a win over Flint Hamady on Feb. 7. (Click to see more from Varsity Monthly.)

JoBurg 3-Sport Great Capping Career Filled with All-State Honors, Team Trophies

By Tom Spencer
Special for

April 5, 2024

It won’t be hard for Jayden Marlatt to remember opening day on the softball field from any of her four years at Johannesburg-Lewiston.

Northern Lower PeninsulaAs a freshman, she missed the opener due to needing to quarantine. Her sophomore and junior years started on the road because the Cardinals’ field was under construction.  

This season the Cardinals will open up — weather permitting — on their brand-new field, hosting Mio on Monday, April 8.  Marlatt is slated to be the starting pitcher again and add to her school record collection.

While Johannesburg-Lewiston is looking forward to playing on the new diamond, Marlatt and her teammates have high hopes of finishing the season almost 200 miles south. They’re looking to get back to Michigan State University – the site of the Division 4 Semifinals and Final.

The Cards have had their sites on that goal since they fell 4-2 to Mendon in last year’s Semifinal at Secchia Stadium. The loss ended a 30-4-1 campaign that saw the Cardinals play every game on the road for a second consecutive year, but come up only one victory short of a first championship game appearance.

The trip to East Lansing also came after the Cards won the program’s first District title since 2008 and advanced to the Semifinals for the first time since 1981.

“It has been a long two seasons on the road,” said eighth-year head coach Kim Marlatt, noting the team utilized a Little League field for practices during the stretch. “They’ve been putting in a lot of work in the offseason, so it is excited to get going.”

Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. The new field isn’t the only new things this spring. The Cardinals will have a junior varsity team for the first time during the Marlatt’s tenure. The JV squad is coached by Ryan Marlatt, who has been serving the program the past eight years as assistant coach. He also has been the head girls basketball coach at JoBurg the past two seasons.

The Marlatt coaches are the proud parents of Jayden, who continues to garner recognition as perhaps the greatest athlete in Johannesburg-Lewiston’s history. 

The three-sport star had a huge hand in all that JoBurg accomplished last season leading the team in batting average (.670), home runs (13) and runs batted in (61). As the team’s ace pitcher, she collected 249 strikeouts and compiled a 1.32 ERA.

“Jayden has put in the hard work,” Kim pointed out.  “She is a very humble athlete. ‘She doesn’t like to talk about herself. She likes to compete, and she likes to be on the top of her game for her teammates.”

Jayden has been named all-conference and all-state in softball, basketball and volleyball nearly every season over her four years at JoBurg. She’s led her teams to Ski Valley Conference, District and Regional titles along the way.

She’s also been named Player of the Year by multiple publications. And she’s a front runner to be voted the Most Valuable Player of the Ski Valley Conference in softball. Earlier this year, league coaches voted her the MVP for both basketball and volleyball.  

“The Ski Valley never used to vote on an MVP,” Ryan Marlatt said. “Hopefully she can add the triple crown and get softball this year.”

Jayden Marlatt, who has played all three sports all four years, acknowledged softball is perhaps her most treasured, and she’ll continue in that sport at Ferris State. Her career total of more than 500 strikeouts, and her 14 home runs last season, are both JoBurg school records. "I like them all but probably softball,” she confirmed when asked to name her favorite sport.

She averaged 12 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and four steals per game this winter helping the Cards basketball team to a conference runner-up finish. She was key to JoBurg's ability to put a 12-game winning streak together, and she topped the 1,000-point career mark along the way.

Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season.Her outstanding senior year on the basketball court and this spring’s possibilities nearly vanished as the volleyball season ended.

She suffered what looked to be a serious lower-leg injury in the final game of the JoBurg volleyball season. “She finished in the emergency room,” Kim Marlatt said.  

Diagnosed a high ankle sprain, it was an aggravation to an injury from her junior year in basketball. She wasn’t quite at 100 percent on the basketball court this season until the holiday break. She’s starting the softball season healthy, though.

Before the injury, Jayden led the Cards to their third volleyball conference championship over the last four years. After becoming JoBurg's all-time kills leader during her junior season, and with many of her teammates from her first three seasons graduating, Jayden had to fill a variety of roles while anchoring the offense from her outside hitter spot.

She ended up leading the team in both kills with 421 and digs, with 431, in her final season on the volleyball court. And she is listed among MHSAA’s all-time leaders in kills for a single match and career.

It’s more than Marlatt’s stats that stand out for Kristine Peppin, the school’s volleyball coach the past 15 years.

“It is not about the size of the school or the size of the player, it’s the heart that they have inside,” she proclaimed. “This girl would be a successful player on whatever team she was on. 

“Yes we’re a small school, small town,” she continued. “That kind of leadership and heart and drive to be the best is what’s given her that success.”

Marlatt’s work ethic is second to none, Peppin noted. She never saw Jayden give less than a “1,000” percent in practice or games in her career. 

Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt.“She’s a super hard worker and extremely modest for the kind of skill she possesses and the success she’s had,” Peppin said. “Her teammates think it’s amazing to be on her team.”

Marlatt’s volleyball skills caught the eye of at least one of her conference opponents’ coaches back in junior high. Ron Stremlow was performing one of his many coaching duties for Fife Lake Forest Area when he first saw Jayden on the volleyball court.

“I could tell then this girl was somebody special,” said Stremlow, who became one of the winningest coaches in state volleyball history with the Warriors. “When she got in high school, it just took off.

“She puts the time into it, and she works hard,” Stremlow continued. “Kids like that get what they deserve – they work for it.”

Stremlow, now retired, also acknowledged he’s enjoyed being able to watch the hard-throwing Marlatt on the softball field the last couple of seasons as Forest Area hosted the Cardinals consecutively due to JoBurg’s lack of a home field.

It’s something he’ll have to travel to do this year though, as JoBurg is scheduled to host the Warriors on April 15.

The Cardinals also will host a Regional on their new field June 8. The winners of District play at Rogers City, Harbor Springs, St. Ignace and Gaylord St. Mary will participate.

To play in the Regional, the Cards will have to emerge from the Rogers City District featuring the host Hurons, Atlanta, Hillman, Onaway, and Posen.

Tom SpencerTom 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 [email protected] 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) Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Jayden Marlatt drives a pitch during softball season. (2) Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. (3) Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season. (4) Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt. (Action shots by Dylan Jespersen/Petoskey News-Review; family photo by Breya Domke.)