House's Letters Spell R-E-C-O-R-D

By Pam Shebest
Special for

December 18, 2018

COMSTOCK — As a freshman, Abby House could not decide whether to play volleyball or golf, so she compromised and did both.

Little did she know that first dual-sport fall season would put her on track to Comstock High School history.

She will graduate in May with a school-record 22 varsity letters — 21 for sports and one for band.

The previous record, set by Robert Bellisle in 1943, was 17. Bellisle was inducted into the Comstock Hall of Fame in 2011.

“I just really like sports and starting freshman year with five, I didn’t really know there was a record for it,” House said.

She has four letters each in bowling, golf, basketball and softball, three in volleyball, two in soccer and one in band.

The school supports dual-sport athletes under specific conditions, athletic director Justin Ansel said.

 “Primary and secondary coaches have to agree on the details before it can happen,” he said. “If we don't have their agreement along with the player understanding of expectations, we don't allow it.

“I think it's important to just give the kids opportunity. It works best with picking a team sport as the primary sport and then an individual sport as secondary.”

House’s father, Rich House, said he and his wife have no problem with their daughter playing six sports a school year.

“It wasn’t really ever a plan; it just kinda happened,” he said. “She was always good at it and has always been a good student.

“We always told her as long as she could handle it and keep up – the school work is most important. She always seemed to do a good job at that.”

Schoolwork has not been a problem for House, who carries a 3.88 grade-point average.

This year, she has just one class at Comstock – band – but took psychology, physics and accounting at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Next semester, she will study sociology, chemistry and medical terminology at KVCC, working toward a degree in nursing.

Although House plays sports for fun, her dad said his daughter is a high-level competitor in all of them.

“She has multiple conference titles, qualified for state twice in golf, once in bowling, all-District catcher two years in a row,” Rich House said.

This year, she was Comstock’s top golfer and is the team’s top female bowler, carrying a 150 average.

Decisions, decisions

As a freshman, House earned varsity letters in golf, basketball, bowling and softball.

She played the same sports the next year, but also was moved up to varsity in volleyball, giving her five letters.

Her junior year, House added soccer, and is continuing to play six sports her senior year.

She chose volleyball because “I played (volleyball) with my teammates since middle school and I’ve enjoyed it when I played in season,” House said.

Golf is a family affair for the House family, including her brother, Mason.

“My parents are big golfers and we’re a big golf family and the coach was really into wanting me to golf, so she talked me into it and I thought it would be fun to try,” Abby House said.

Since she started playing basketball in elementary school; it was a no-brainer to continue in high school. She was called up to varsity after a month during her freshman year.

The bowling coach had an inside track to recruiting her – it’s her dad.

Softball was her only spring sport until her junior year.

“When I was younger, I played softball and soccer, but I chose softball because I liked it more,” House said.

“We had a softball coach who wanted us to concentrate only on softball, so I didn’t play soccer.”

Her junior year, the softball coach left and House decided to add soccer, giving her two sports in each of the three seasons.

Everything falls into place

House is an expert at time management.

“In school, whenever teachers get done with notes and we have homework I try to do it,” she said. “Or with any free time I’ll do it and what’s left, I do after practices.

“Freshman, sophomore year I did a lot on the bus.”

Choosing a favorite sport is not possible.

“Everybody asks me that,” she said. “I can choose one per season, but not one overall.

“Basketball, golf, softball have always been my top.”

House has stepped up this year, helping lead the basketball team to a 3-0 overall record, 2-0 in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference Red as a point guard, her fourth position in four years.

As a freshman she was a post player, as a sophomore she shifted to forward, and then to shooting guard last winter.

Last season, she averaged seven points and seven rebounds per game. This year, it’s 18 points, eight rebounds and nearly six assists on average, she said.

“Abby has always been a solid player even since fourth grade when (she and Daisy Ansel) started playing some travel ball together,” said Justin Ansel, who also coaches the girls basketball team.

“I think Abby has always been a very coordinated athlete, and it doesn't surprise me that she does so well in so many different things. She has contributed at a high level in a lot of sports.”

Ansel said he thinks House could be extremely good if she focused on a particular sport, but “I think she just loves competing so much that she would rather play all kinds of sports all the time.” 

Ansel said House complements leading scorer Daisy Ansel well.

“Abby's start to this season from an offensive standpoint has been tremendous,” he said. “Both girls are shooting very well from the outside, and both girls are able to attack so defenses can't just key on one of them – which is amazing for Daisy.”

House will not go into sports withdrawal once she graduates.

She hopes to continue to play in college, but just one sport, either basketball or golf, she said.

Pam Shebest served as a sportswriter at the Kalamazoo Gazette from 1985-2009 after 11 years part-time with the Gazette while teaching French and English at White Pigeon High School. She can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Abby House’s varsity letter jacket shows off many of her accomplishments over her first three-plus years of high school. (Middle) Abby House and her father Rich House. (Below) Abby House takes part in some of her sports – with her dad at the bowling center, golfing, and hitting in softball and volleyball. (Action photos courtesy of the House family. Head shots by Pam Shebest.)

Jahfetson Makes History from 3-Point Range in Taking Baraga to 2023 Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 23, 2024

Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson graduated in 2023 as one of the most accomplished 3-point shooters in MHSAA history and coming off one of the most impressive single seasons from beyond the arc.

Her 103 3-pointers as a senior over 29 games were the second-most for one season and included eight in a Quarterfinal win over Mackinaw City – the second-most in an MHSAA Quarterfinal, Semifinal or Final.

She finished with 236 3-pointers over 96 games and four seasons, ranking 12th on that career list, and Baraga finished the season as Division 4 runner-up. She’s continuing her career at Northern Michigan.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click the heading to view the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Alma junior Bailey Walkington earned her school’s first single-season individual record book entry for girls basketball in 2022-23. She made the steals list with 143 over 23 games.

Dalton DeBoer became the latest Midland Dow long-range shooting ace to make the records after she drained 70 of 206 3-point attempts over 24 games in 2022-23. DeBoer is a junior this school year.

Durand senior Jordyn Lawrence earned her school’s first girls basketball individual record book entry with 15 steals in her team’s 44-31 win over Flint Kearsley on Dec. 2, 2022. She’s continuing at Mid-Michigan College.

Leah French finished her Engadine career in 2023 with a series of game, season and career record book entries detailing her scoring and defensive skills. She earned single-game listings for 54 points and 19 free throws against St. Ignace on Feb. 6, 2023, and nine 3-pointers against Manistique that Jan. 9. She made the single-season list with 81 3-pointers, 177 free throws and 168 steals over 25 games as a senior. And she made the career lists with 171 3-pointers, 354 free throws and 405 steals over 85 games and four seasons. She’s continuing her career at Aquinas College.

Arieonna Ware earned Battle Creek Central's first girls basketball record book entry with 51 points in a Feb. 11, 2020, win over Portage Northern. She actually finished with a triple-double, adding 12 rebounds and 12 steals. Ware also was added for 47 points in a March 6, 2019, District game against Sturgis.

Mesick senior Kayla McCoy made the MHSAA record in 2022-23 as a junior, totaling 144 steals over 23 games. It was Mesick’s first individual entry in the girls basketball record book.

Coldwater’s Carlee Crabtree made a career-high 52 3-pointers during her senior season of 2019-20 on the way to making the MHSAA career list for long-distance shots with 163, in 469 attempts, over four seasons and 88 games total. She went on to play at Central Michigan and Hope College.

Battle Creek Pennfield’s Kaylee Glidden capped her three-year varsity career in 2023 among the most accurate free-throw shooters in MHSAA history – and also among top 3-point aces. She made 90.6 percent of her free-throw attempts as a senior, good for fifth-highest percentage all-time for one season, and her 84.4-percent success rate ranks fourth on the career list. She also made the single-season 3-pointers list with 67 that winter and the career list with 168. She continued at Kellogg Community College and has committed to Great Lakes Christian College.

Larissa Huffman made a pair of career lists upon completing her four-year varsity career in 2023 at Mackinaw City. She was added for 468 assists and 411 steals, both over 92 games, and she’s continuing her career at St. Norbert (Wis.). Additionally, Mackinaw City was added to the single-game field goals list as a team for making at least 39 in a game six times over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, with a high of 45.

Lansing Christian earned a listing on the team 3-pointers list when it sank 14 on 32 attempts against Webberville on Jan. 20, 2023. Seven players drained at least one of the long-distance shots.  

Grayling’s 66-49 win over Houghton Lake on Dec. 19 included one of the most impressive defensive performances of all-time as senior Makayla Watkins had 19 steals – tying for third-most in one game.

Brooklyn Columbia Central’s Zoandria Bamm grabbed 28 rebounds during a Feb. 14, 2023, game against Clinton to make the single-game list in that category and on the way to finishing her senior season with 380 rebounds over 25 games – tying for 13th most on that list. She’s playing at Jackson College.

Riley Abney became the first player to be listed for points scored in a quarter of a girls basketball game when she sank 21 of her 36 total during the fourth quarter of a 64-47 loss to Linden on Jan. 16. The Ortonville Brandon senior has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Oakland.

A pair of Paw Paw standouts earned single-game accomplishments within three days of each other in January. On Jan. 26 against Sturgis, junior AJ Rickli grabbed 31 rebounds, tied for seventh-most for one game. On Jan. 29 against Three Rivers, sophomore Stella Shaefer made the single-game assists list with 14.

Keira Maki joined the single-game points list on Feb. 22 when she scored 47 in Escanaba’s 64-49 win over Sault Ste. Marie. The senior will continue at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

PHOTO Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson (22) brings the ball upcourt during the 2023 Division 4 Final against Glen Lake at Breslin Center.