Performance: Wayne's Camree' Clegg

March 2, 2018

Camree’ Clegg
Wayne Memorial senior – Basketball

The 5-foot-5 senior guard has led her team to an 18-4 record heading into tonight’s Class A District Final against Dearborn Heights Crestwood. She scored 31 points in Wayne’s 50-46 win over Howell in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship game Feb. 22 to earn the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

Clegg recently was announced as one of four finalists for this season’s Miss Basketball Award, and she brings plenty of impressive credentials – Clegg is averaging 23.7 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game this season and has scored more than 1,000 points for her career. She’s making 46 percent of her shots from the field and 39 percent of her 3-point attempts. Wayne finished 0-21 in 2014-15, but since Clegg joined the program as a sophomore (after transferring from Detroit Country Day) the Zebras have won two KLAA division titles, two overall league titles and a District championship.

Also a strong student, Clegg carries a 4.5 grade-point average and is dually enrolled at Schoolcraft College. She will graduate with nearly 30 college credits and has signed to continue her academic and basketball careers at Clemson University. She’ll major in sports communications with hopes of someday becoming a TV sportscaster, following a lengthy professional hoops career.

Coach Jarvis Mitchell said: “Camree’ embodies the structure of a progressive student-athlete. Not only is she a standout on the court, but she scored 1200 on the SAT test and currently carries a 4.5 GPA. She is a great kid with an unparalleled passion for competing. In my 14 years of coaching, I have never coached a player that competes every possession of a game or practice the way Camree’ does. She scores the ball well, and has a "follow me" like aggression towards the game of basketball. Not only has she propelled herself into an elite company, she has also been the nucleus of Wayne Memorial's plunge into relevancy. As a coach, she provides relief because I know I will get the extent of her effort each contest.”

Performance Point: “We were plagued by foul trouble … so I took it upon myself to carry the team,” Clegg said of the Howell win last week. “That’s kinda something I’ve been doing for the past three years, so it wasn’t anything new to me. Whenever we find ourselves in potentially a dire situation, I take it upon myself like, ‘OK, we’ve got to get this going. I try to get my team going as well as myself going, and usually it ends up working in our favor." 

Fear and encouragement: "I just put some energy into them, like ‘Come on guys, let’s go.’ Nobody wants to lose, so I try to put a little bit of fear into them like, ‘Do you guys want to lose? Come on, now. You guys gotta pick this up.’ And usually it ends up working – they end up getting fired up, they become more confident in themselves, they start hitting shots, they start making the right decisions. ... I think my team, you have to use psychology with them. Like say they miss a shot, they'll get into their own heads: 'I can't seem to make a shot.' You've just got to be like, 'No, you’re OK. Just come on. Just pick it up.' And usually they get the confidence back.”

Program builder: “It’s really a great feeling because I’ve been able to see everything turn around (at Wayne). To know I’ve been a trailblazer, a pioneer in this, it’s a great honor. And I hope it continues to get even better. … The easiest part has definitely been my coach has made it super easy for me – it’s easy to play for him because he has so much trust in me. The hardest part was probably going through the trials and tribulations, trying to make everyone better around me. Making them smarter because most of them came in as freshmen, (and) especially trying to play varsity as a freshman … just getting their minds right, making sure they get better, making sure they know the game is faster and adjusting them to the game. Just being that leader and trying to guide them in the right direction.”

This can be our year: “Everybody’s pretty much locked in. I believe last year we probably could’ve won it. We were definitely set back by injuries. But this year, everybody’s healthy, everybody’s doing good. Everybody’s getting so much better throughout the year, throughout all the preseason workouts. We feel like we’ve worked harder than anybody else, and we feel like we can definitely win it this year.”

Always working: “I have to excel in all facets of my life. I just try to balance it. I have somewhat of a short (class) schedule, so I have some time to do homework before practice, and after practice if I have a little bit left I just do it. I find myself extremely tired at the end of the day, but it’s all paying off. … My Plan A is I definitely want to become a pro basketball player, whether that’s here in the WNBA or potentially overseas, or potentially both. At the end of my career or if I don’t make it, I want to go into (becoming) potentially an analyst or a journalist within sports. My dream is to potentially end up on ESPN one day, so we’ll see if I can make that happen.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2017-18 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2017-18 honorees:
February 23: Aliah Robertson, Sault Ste. Marie swimming - Read
February 16: Austin O'Hearon, Eaton Rapids wrestling - Read
February 9: Sophia Wiard, Muskegon Oakridge basketball - Read
February 2: Brenden Tulpa, Hartland hockey - Read
January 25: Brandon Whitman, Dundee wrestling - Read
January 18: Derek Maas, Holland West Ottawa swimming - Read
January 11: Lexi Niepoth, Bellaire basketball - Read
November 30: La'Darius Jefferson, Muskegon football - Read
November 23: Ashley Turak, Farmington Hills Harrison swimming - Read
November 16: Bryce Veasley, West Bloomfield football - Read 
November 9: Jose Penaloza, Holland soccer - Read
November 2: Karenna Duffey, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North cross country - Read
October 26: Anika Dy, Traverse City Central golf - Read
October 19: Andrew Zhang, Bloomfield Hills tennis - Read
October 12: Nolan Fugate, Grand Rapids Catholic Central football - Read
October 5: Marissa Ackerman, Munising tennis - Read
September 28: Minh Le, Portage Central soccer - Read
September 21: Olivia Theis, Lansing Catholic cross country - Read
September 14: Maddy Chinn, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Wayne Memorial guard Camree' Clegg splits a pair of Novi defenders. (Middle) Clegg fires a no-look pass. (Photos courtesy of the Wayne Memorial girls basketball program.)

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.)