Talented Multiples Multiplying Success at Elk Rapids, Petoskey

By Tom Spencer
Special for MHSAA.com

March 4, 2022

Big North and Lake Michigan Conference girls basketball players have been suffering from double and triple vision the last couple of years.

It’s not a medical condition. There’s no need to see a doctor for treatment. Players, coaches, referees and announcers just need to focus on the numbers.

No more double vision is anticipated in the Lake Michigan Conference when Elk Rapids steps on the court next winter a third-straight league championship. But there will be triple vision in the Big North Conference though as Petoskey seeks a second-straight title. And, the double and triple vision may continue this spring on the soccer pitch.

The double vision caused by the Elks stems from numbers 4 and 5. The triple vision some suffer further north is the results of numbers 11, 20 and 23.

Twin seniors Monika and Mary Gregorski wore the 4 and 5, respectively, as Elk Rapids picked up its second-straight LMC championship this winter. The Big North champion, Petoskey, had junior triplets Grayson, Eva and Caroline sporting the 11, 20 and 23, respectively.

The soccer rosters this spring may make opponents believe they have vision problems.  The twins and the triplets helped their squads make strong showings in the league and postseason last spring.

At one point this basketball season the Gregorskis and the Guys were playing together on the same court as the Elks slipped past the Northmen 41-39 at home.

“It was kind of cool that when Mary and I were on the court at the same time and they (Caroline, Eva and Grayson) were all on the court at the same time, half of the players on the court were twins or triplets,” said Monika Gregorski, who was the Elks’ 3-point specialist. “It was two different families but it made up half of the teams.”

Elk Rapids basketballFans and opponents looking closely at the Elks on the court may be able to differentiate between the twins by their playing. Monika buried 24 3-point shots during the regular season. Mary is the defensive stalwart, earnings an all-conference honor last year with her tenacity.

“They are different players on the floor and different off the floor,” said Elks coach Mike Brown, who had the twins all four years on the varsity. “But they have their togetherness. 

“Every shooting drill they’re attached at the hip,” he continued. “They’re both such good two-way players, and they do everything whether it’s rebounding or steals.”

Elk Rapids’ season ended Wednesday night with a loss to Traverse City St. Francis in a Division 3 District Semifinal. The Elks finished 18-3. They were 16-2 last year, falling to powerhouse Glen Lake in the District Final.

Petoskey saw its championship season end Monday night with a loss to league rival Traverse City West. The Guy triplets, who moved from Ohio to Petoskey at the start of the 2020-21 school year, played a huge role in the Northmen’s 14-7 season.

Petoskey coach Bryan Shaw benefitted from the triplets’ move north last season, along with then-senior sister Gabriella.

“It is something to have a transfer or two, but four is a whole different story,” the seventh-year coach said. “Coaching the triplets has been fun.

“As close as they are, they are all their own individual,” he continued. “They have fit right in with teammates, and while coaching we don't really see them as triplets but try to maximize the skill each brings to the game.”

Caroline contributed eight points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this season. Grayson added 5.5 points and four rebounds, while Eva averaged nearly three points and more than two rebounds per game.

Elk Rapids basketball“All of them are competitive and work hard,” Shaw said of the Guy triplets. “Carol is more of a perimeter player, handles the ball well and shoots it well.

“Grayson is more of the swing-type player from the baseline or wing, but can also post up,” he continued. “Eva is steady. … She handles it when we need her to, defends well and hits open shots.”

Eva is turning her attention to soccer as she prepares for another season as a midfielder for the Northmen. Caroline and Grayson may not play soccer, perhaps choosing to focus on offseason basketball opportunities and conditioning.

The triplets don’t play a high school fall sport, and all list basketball as their favorite.  

“It’s a lot of fun because we have that bond and connection,” said Eva. “We have been playing together literally since birth. Like right when we picked up a basketball, we all wanted to play and pursue our dreams together.”

With the Guy triplets on the soccer pitch a year ago, the Northmen dropped a tough decision to TC West in their final regular-season game. A win would have given Petoskey the league title. The score was 0-0 at halftime.

“I have been fortunate to not only have had the opportunity to work with all the girls on the soccer field, but also in my economics courses,” said Zach Jonker, veteran Petoskey boys and girls soccer coach and teacher. “The leadership qualities they have developed in their athletic endeavors are also on display in the classroom.

“They each epitomize what it means to be a student-athlete,” Jonker continued. “Each of the sisters has a distinct positive personality, and collectively they have elevated both the culture of our program and the school climate.”

Petoskey basketballElk Rapids girls soccer and boys tennis coach Andrea Krakow, like Brown, also had the pleasure of coaching the twins’ older sisters, Megan and Molly. Megan is the current JV girls basketball coach.

Krakow said she takes the same approach with the twins as she does with any soccer player.

“As far as coaching twins, I have coached them as I would any other players — as individuals,” she said. “Soccer and doubles tennis are both team sports, so all players need to work together.”

“They each have their own personality and are different in several ways, thus I treated them and coached them as individuals.”

Regardless of sport, the twins and triplets believe having siblings on the team is an advantage as they know their teammates’ games inside and out. They all indicate a special joy from playing with their sisters.

“It is really fun playing with her (Monica) because we have, I want to say, is twin telepathy,” Mary Gregorski said. “We always know where each other are on the court.”

Grayson Guy believes it boosts team chemistry.

“I feel like a lot of troubles on teams is chemistry,” she said. “With the three of us going in, we automatically have so much chemistry. 

“We saw each other grow as players and as people,” she continued. “It is super nice to get on the court and see a familiar face.”

Caroline Guy points to personal and team growth over the past seasons coming from having triplets on the team.

“It definitely made us connect a lot more over the years – especially this last year,” she said. “Our connection together — and everyone around us on our team — has definitely grown. 

“Getting that closer relationship really helps us both inside and outside the sport.”

Elk Rapids and Petoskey are slated to meet on the Northmen’s soccer field April 7. The Elks won 2-0 at home last spring.

Tom 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 (1) From left, Grayson, Eva and Caroline Guy with Petoskey girls basketball coach Bryan Shaw. (2) From left, Monika Gregorski, Elks soccer and tennis coach Andrea Krakow, Megan and Mary Gregorski. (3) Monika and Mary chat with Elk Rapids basketball coach Mike Brown. (4) From left, Caroline, Eva and Grayson Guy exit the bus for a basketball game at Traverse City West. (Photos by Tom Spencer.)

Record-Setting Viney Gained Lifelong Confidence at Marine City

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

July 17, 2024

Olivia Viney didn’t have to look far for inspiration while taking on the challenge of applying to veterinary school.

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosThe 2015 Marine City graduate and record-setting placekicker simply drew from her own experience as a high school athlete.

“It just really taught me that I could do hard things,” Viney said. “I was very involved when I was in school. I did soccer, theater, travel soccer and then football. Especially with football, I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do it. That helped me to excel in undergrad. When it came time to get accepted to vet school, it was like, ‘This is what I have to do,’ and I did it. That was very confidence-building. It taught me that I really can do hard things.”

Viney, who graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2019 and Michigan State Veterinary School in 2023, is now working as an associate veterinarian at Deporre Veterinary Hospital in West Bloomfield. 

Accomplishing her goals is nothing new to Viney, and not at all a surprise to those who watched her come through the Mariners athletic program.

“She was very serious, she was focused and she was dialed in,” said Dave Frendt, who coached Viney in both football and soccer at Marine City. “She knew what she wanted to accomplish, and she set out to do that. She was a fierce competitor and very driven. She was a good leader in that way where she was kind of feisty, but the team would follow that.”

Viney was an all-state soccer player for the Mariners, leading them to a pair of District titles and a Macomb Area Conference Gold title during her four years as a varsity player. It’s the sport she grew up playing, but the one she was most known for after graduation was football. American football.

The 5-foot-1-ish center attacking midfielder found herself in the MHSAA football record book after hitting all seven of her extra point attempts in the Mariners’ 2013 Division 4 Final victory against Grand Rapids South Christian.

“I think it makes sense,” she said. “There were lots of great soccer players, even that I played with. Great players that had gone through school, so I don’t think it’s weird that people remember me for that. When I talk with people, they’ll connect the dots – ‘Oh, you played football.’

“I was more accomplished as a soccer player and had more accolades. But I’m prouder of my football accomplishments, because it was really setting a pathway for girls that wanted to get into that. It’s so much more common now, or accepted. Even though it’s been almost 11 years since we won at Ford Field, I’m so proud of high school Olivia and what she did, the courage she had. She wasn’t scared of anything.”

Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. Viney joined Marine City’s football program as a sophomore, playing on the junior varsity squad. While she was there only to kick, she was all in when it came to practicing.

“Coach (Joe) Fregetto made me do tackling drills and drills in the mud – I really did earn my spot on the team,” Viney said. “I think it was mostly because he didn’t know what to do with me, so I guess just do everything that the guys do.”

She handled varsity kicking duties the next two years, setting the school record in 2013 for most extra points made during a single season – a record that still stands. Former Mariners coach Ron Glodich said that Viney actually never missed an extra point that season, as the four failed attempts were never even kicked.

It was her performance in the Division 4 Final that gained her statewide acclaim, as she hit 7 of 7 attempts, tying a record for most extra points made in a Finals game. It stood until a pair of kickers hit eight in 2022.

One record that never will be broken, however, is Viney becoming the first female to score a point at the Finals.

“Everything was so surreal, I was so nervous,” Viney said. “One of my most vivid memories was that day, or maybe the day before, Coach Glodich said, ‘Just so you know, when you get to the field, the goal posts are two feet narrower on each side. But that doesn’t matter if you kick it in the middle.’

“We got there and watched the team before us so we could get used to it, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so narrow.’ … Seeing myself up on the big screen was kind of almost a little embarrassing, because I knew people were talking about me being the girl. But once we were in the game, it was a lot like any other game. I was just waiting for my turn to go on the field and do my job.”

Viney later was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” – ironically, right below current U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh – but she wasn’t looked at any differently by her teammates, and she wouldn’t have wanted to be.

“That team was all about sacrifice for the team,” Frendt said. “For them to realize, ‘None of us can do what she does, so we better embrace it, because no one else can do it.’ They really made her feel like part of the team. They wanted to protect her, too. But she was tough. She wasn’t going to take anything.”

Viney went to SVSU to study biology and played for its club soccer team. During her time there, she volunteered at an animal shelter and made the decision she wanted to help animals in her career. She works in general practice at Deporre, and would eventually like to work in shelter medicine.

She and her husband Matt, who were married in May, live with their three dogs. She’s not far from home, and in the spring of 2023 she visited Frendt’s college and career readiness class to speak with students at her alma mater. Her presentation and the attention to detail and hard work she put into it, Frendt said, blew his students away. Not that it surprised him.

“That’s poured into her life after sports,” he said of her work ethic. “She just kept plugging away. She’s awesome.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Marine City’s Olivia Viney kicks at the 2013 11-Player Football Finals, also during her spring soccer season, and cares for one of her patients as an associate veterinarian. (Middle) Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Olivia Viney.)