Title IX at 50: Jaeger's 2004 Winter Run Created Lasting Connection

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 15, 2022

“Just like sports, life will not always result in triumph. We must learn from these losses. Thus sports have provided the fundamentals and experiences for how to deal with life. In the end it's not how much you have won or lost but the journey you took and the people you met along the way.”

Every February, the announcement of the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award winners include brief bios of the honorees and excerpts from essays they’ve written on sportsmanship.

The above passage was pulled from the essay written by 2004 Livonia Ladywood senior Sarah Jaeger, as she became the first from her sport to receive one of these prestigious awards. Less than a month later, she’d also become one of her sport's first MHSAA champions.

The Class B Bowling Finals championship she won March 5, 2004 – capping the singles portion of the first bowling season in MHSAA history – remains something that resonates with the now-mother of two small children and 13-year veteran of TV news along the I-75 corridor.

“It was just kind of a culmination of those four years,” Jaeger, now Sarah Dorow, recalled Tuesday. “From going to Ladywood and Dad starting the team from literally nothing my freshman year to seeing the sport officially a sport my senior year.

“Honestly,” she added, “I don’t think there could have been a better ending to the season and my high school bowling career.”

That 2003-04 season was the first for bowling as an MHSAA-sponsored sport, and Jaeger became one of its first state champions representing the program her father Dennis had started and her mother Judy took over after his death in 2001.

After qualifying 12th of 16 for Class B singles match play at Sterling Heights’ Sunnybrook Lanes, Sarah torched the bracket with four match wins, taking the decider against Montrose’s Anna Haggerty 231-183, 192-208, 264-244.

But her MHSAA Finals experience that winter wasn’t done just yet. Jaeger would be recognized with 26 other Scholar-Athlete Award winners on the Breslin Center floor during the Boys Basketball Finals later that March.

She went on to earn bachelor’s degrees in communications and criminal justice at University of Detroit Mercy, and then earned a master’s at Michigan State University in journalism and another master’s from Mercy in intelligence analysis. She also bowled on the Spartans’ club team during her time in East Lansing – and made time to stay in high school bowling as well.

Judy Jaeger continued to coach the Ladywood bowling program for a number of years, and Sarah assisted the Blazers from 2005-16. Judy also continues to serve as a tournament manager annually for one of the four MHSAA Finals sites, and Sarah has provided major assists at those events as well.

Near the end of her masters’ studies, Dorow began 13 years in TV news as an anchor, reporter and producer, most recently at multiple stations in the Saginaw/Flint/Bay City/Midland market before stepping aside from the camera to be home with her two children ages 6 and 3. But her stories continue – she blogs at “The TV Mommy” and “Mid-Michigan Moms” – and she can still bowl with the best of them.

She’s set to compete in the Michigan Women’s State Championship this weekend in Muskegon, and recently she shot a personal-record 777 series. She took a brief break while her kids were younger, but is back up to bowling in one league a week and one tournament a month. Her 6-year-old son has started bowling as well, and she likes to say he’s already rolled a 300 – because she did so when she was pregnant with him.

Judy Jaeger will be managing this season’s Division 2 Finals, and Sarah will try to make it over to Super Bowl in Canton. She brought her son to the 2019 Finals and they crowned that year’s champions together. That part is among the experiences she always enjoys, something of a handing down from a past champion to the next.

“It’s something I’ll definitely never forget,” Dorow said of her 2004 title run. “It’s stayed with me.”

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

Feb. 8: Marian's Cicerone to Finish Among All-Time Elite - Read
Feb. 1: WISL Award Honors Builders of State's Girls Sports Tradition - Read
Jan. 25: Decades Later, Edwards' Legend Continues to Grow - Read
Jan. 18: Iron Mountain Completes Championship Climb - Read
Jan. 11: Harrold's Achievement Heralds Growth of Girls Wrestling - Read
Dec. 20: Competitive Cheer Gives Michigan Plenty to Cheer About - Read
Dec. 14: 
Evelyn's Game Had Plenty of Magic - Read
Dec. 7: 
Council Term Ends, But Leinaar Leaves Lasting Impact - Read
Nov. 30: 
Basketball Season Ready to Add to Rich Tradition - Read
Nov. 23: 
Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read

PHOTOS (Top left) Sarah Jaeger and her mother and coach Judy Jaeger celebrate Sarah's 2004 Class B bowling championship. (Top right) Jaeger today is a mother of two, veteran TV reporter,  writer, and recently bowled her personal-high series. (2004 photo courtesy of Sarah Dorow; current photo by Amanda Shaffer Photography.)

Gobles' Brunner Closes with 3rd Title, Nouvel's McCarthy Locks Up No. 1

By Tim Robinson
Special for MHSAA.com

March 4, 2023

BATTLE CREEK — A few minutes after making history, Gobles senior Morgan Brunner was calm.

No loud celebration, just smiles all around Saturday after becoming the first competitor in the 20-year history of MHSAA girls bowling to win three Singles Finals titles in a row.

“She’s very even-keeled,” said her mother and coach, Karrie Brunner. “She knows she’s got a job to do, and she comes to do it. But she comes to have fun. That was a big part of today. She relaxed and had fun.”

Morgan Brunner rolled to the title, taking first in qualifying and defeating Traverse City Christian’s Brooke Smith 415-303 in the Division 4 final.

But that’s not to say she was expecting an easy time of it.

“I clinched it early, but I was definitely nervous,” she said. “I was nervous all day.”

Brunner dealt with the nerves by concentrating on the task at hand.

“I just tried to stay calm and make my best shots,” she said.

Brunner helped organize the Gobles program, and Saturday’s third-straight title was the latest achievement in a journey that began when she was 2 years old.

“As soon as she could walk,” Karrie Brunner said. "She was pushing the ball down there. I don’t know how many strikes she threw, but she was knocking pins down.”

Morgan hasn’t stopped since.

In the moments after the feat was accomplished, she said it felt like a weight off her shoulders.

“I don’t think it’s going to set in for a while,” she said of her accomplishment. “But it's nice to win.”

Saginaw Nouvel sophomore Alex McCarthy, meanwhile, jumped for joy as he threw the final ball of his boys match.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said afterward. “It’s hard to put it into words right now.”

McCarthy defeated Bryce Cadaret of Allen Park Cabrini, another sophomore, 433-393 in the final.

McCarthy finished 10th in qualifying, then won two matches before meeting Cadaret in the championship.

Cadaret came out hot, starting the match by rolling three strikes in a row.

“It got me back in the match mentally,” McCarthy said.

After a conversation with coach Brian Montini, McCarthy found his groove and never looked back, right through the final ball, which knocked down six pins as he celebrated.

“I had all these thoughts of my coach and all the other coaches and all the hard work I put in through the years,” he said.

Montini, for his part. wasn’t entirely surprised.

“The experience last year helped him,” Montini said, noting McCarthy’s quarterfinal run as a freshman. “We had it in our minds that he was going to do this. And he pulled through.”

Division 4 Final Results - Boys | Girls