By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Girls Basketball Districts begin in three weeks, and contenders are making a few final statements as they finish up league play, compete for league tournament titles and tune up with a little more high-caliber prep before the most urgent time of the season begins.
We take a glance again this week at a number of top matchups from the last few days and preview the next few on the way– but also offer a look at some great stories from programs that might not be in the statewide spotlight.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or fill in scores we’re missing, email me at [email protected].
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Southfield Arts & Technology 60, Royal Oak 47 – Both teams are now 14-1, and Southfield Arts & Technology will carry the Oakland Activities Association Red lead into the Feb. 28 rematch.
2. Detroit Edison 41, Saginaw Heritage 37 – With both teams missing injured standouts, this one lost a little of its luster but still matched up last season’s Class C and A champions, respectively.
3. Hartland 46, Brighton 35 – The Eagles avenged their seven-point Jan. 15 loss, handed Brighton its first defeat of the season and moved into a tie for first with the Bulldogs in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West.
4. Harper Woods Chandler Park 66, Grosse Pointe North 55 – Chandler Park could be one of few that can challenge Edison in Division 2, and this win over a Division 1 contender proves it.
5. St. Ignace 68, Kingsley 37 – The Saints are one of a few obvious teams to beat in Division 4, with this win over two-loss Division 2 Kingsley more evidence.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:
• Detroit Mumford (13-3) – The Mustangs shared the Detroit Public School League West-Town title with Renaissance, and then defeated Renaissance 55-38 on Monday in a PSL Tournament semifinal to advance to Friday’s championship game against Martin Luther King. Mumford is plenty tested with losses to Renaissance, Edison and St. Ignace coming off last season’s Regional Final appearance.
• Midland Dow (13-1) – The Chargers have won 12 straight since falling to Division 3 contender Pewamo-Westphalia on Dec. 8, and a victory Thursday against Bay City Western would clinch Dow’s third league title in four seasons. The big win of course came against rival Saginaw Heritage on Feb. 1, and with a pair of future college guards leading the Chargers could be just getting started.
• Charlotte (12-3) – A win Friday at winless Lansing Sexton would pull the Orioles a step closer to possibly earning at least a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference White title, quite a jump after four straight sub-.500 seasons. Charlotte’s best win was the only loss this winter for league foe Portland, and those two will meet again Feb. 22 potentially tied for first. Both have a loss in league play.
• Muskegon Oakridge (13-2) – Rival Whitehall deservedly earned big headlines by ending Oakridge’s West Michigan Conference 82-game winning streak in triple overtime Jan. 8. But Oakridge took the rematch 42-29 on Friday to take over a slim lead in the league race. The Eagles will meet Whitehall again in their District opener March 4.
• Centreville (13-0) – The Bulldogs improved to 14-0 on Monday and extended their lead atop the Southwest 10 Conference that was earned in part by handing Mendon a 37-33 defeat Friday. Centreville is 30-0 in league play since the SW10 was formed two years ago and has had only one other game in single digits this season – in handing Schoolcraft its only loss, 44-42 on Jan. 18.
• Maple City Glen Lake (13-2) – The Lakers quietly have been building on last season’s second straight march to the Class C Semifinals, falling only in a close game early to Ypsilanti Arbor Prep and then in their first meeting this season with Northwest Conference rival Kingsley. Glen Lake won two games by three points apiece last week over Manton and Benzie Central – which are a combined 20-7 – and have to be eying that Kingsley rematch Feb. 22.
• Bellevue (12-0) – With Monday’s 37-36 double-overtime win over rival Athens, Bellevue is 49-8 over the last three seasons and closing in on a third straight league championship. Monday’s win, which put the Broncos at 13-0, was the only game not decided by double digits so far this winter.
• Gaylord St. Mary (11-1) – A loss to Division 3 Traverse City St. Francis on Monday actually sent St. Mary to 11-2. However, the Snowbirds remain atop the Ski Valley Conference by a comfortable margin and hadn’t lost since a season-opening defeat against Division 2 Escanaba.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Thursday – Detroit Edison (13-1) at Bloomfield Hills Marian (15-0) – The Mustangs will get some final prep for the Detroit Catholic League and Division 1 tournaments against the Division 2 favorite.
Friday – Detroit Mumford (14-3) vs. Detroit Martin Luther King (14-1) at Cass Tech – Mumford’s success is discussed above, and King can add a PSL Tournament title to a successful run that has seen only a two-point loss keep it from perfection.
Friday – East Kentwood (11-3) at Rockford (11-3) – The Rams also have to get past Grand Haven on Tuesday, but by the end of this week the top of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red should be clearer.
Friday – Negaunee (12-2) at Ishpeming Westwood (15-1) – The Miners are the only team to defeat Westwood this winter, and the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Iron title will be on the line in the rematch.
Saturday – Detroit Edison (13-1) at Wayne Memorial (14-1) – The Zebras have locked up the KLAA East title and will get a tournament-caliber test as they start looking toward the postseason.
Second Half’s weekly “Countdown to Calvin” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
The MHSAA and Holly school communities are grieving this week after the sudden loss of Tony Coggins, a shining light in his educational community and an enthusiastic supporter of school sports as a public address announcer for several of our largest championship events.
But while that cheerful tone has been quieted, it surely will not be forgotten by the many fortunate to enjoy an event in the presence of that voice and the joyfulness he brought into every arena, press box and classroom.
Coggins, 51, died Saturday. He is survived by his wife Kristy and children Emma and Bradlee, among several family and friends from his local and greater sports communities.
His career as a PA announcer began during his freshman year of high school in 1985, when his father Dale Coggins – Flushing’s athletic director at the time – couldn’t find anyone else to announce middle school football games. That was 39 years ago, and this fall Tony Coggins was in his 24th announcing at Holly, where he taught and served as an administrator in addition to his role as “Voice of the Holly Bronchos” for football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, competitive cheer and swimming & diving over the years.
Coggins has been a mainstay among MHSAA Finals PA announcers over the last decade in football, basketball, softball and most recently volleyball. He lent his voice to college sports at University of Michigan as well. “Tony was a huge part of our Finals events. It’s hard to imagine it being the same without him,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said.
As part of the run-up to the MHSAA public address announcers clinic in 2018, Coggins said this about what drew him to the microphone:
“I have zero athletic ability whatsoever, which is interesting because my father was an all-state running back. But I enjoy being involved, and I've always been the one for history and statistics and knowing what's going on,” Coggins said. “This is a way for me to be involved. It's a way for me to use a talent I've been given; public speaking has always come pretty naturally for me.
“So I worked at my craft to get better. I got better from watching the people around me, from studying the people I like, and the people – if I saw someone I didn’t care for – I'd make a note and say to myself, ‘Don't do that.’ I take feedback from people very personally, and I mean that in a good way. If somebody takes the time to come up and say, ‘You did this well; I think you should change this,’ that means they care about the program also. We all have the same goal in mind, and that's to make the experience good for the high school student and the parents, the fans, that come there.”
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at St. John Vianney, 2415 Bagley Street in Flint. There will be visitation from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at the Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road, and at the church from 10 a.m. Saturday until the time of the Mass.
The Holly volleyball team played for something bigger tonight
Beloved PA announcer Anthony Coggins died on Friday night from a heart attack
— Brandon Green🍀 (@BGreenReports) October 24, 2023