Cougars' Third Title 'A Lot More Special'

October 20, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Every championship effort is not created equal.

The last two seasons, Lansing Catholic cruised to MHSAA Finals wins of 38 and 63 strokes, respectively. In 2010, the Cougars placed all five players among the top eight individuals, and last year they put four among the top 10.

But only three of those high placers remained this season. And that made Saturday’s third-straight Division 4 title special for additional reasons.

Lansing Catholic shot a two-day 658 at Michigan State’s Forest Akers West to finish 64 strokes ahead of runner-up Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central. Those three players again placed among the top 10 – junior Jacqueline Setas second, senior Janie Fineis third and senior Dani Crilley tied for fourth. Lansing Catholic also got a score each from fourth player Mary Beth Maddalena and fifth player Lauren Burnett, both juniors.

“Last year, we had four players who could all shoot in the 70s. This year, we had to have a (number) four that really needed to work hard and count her score,” Setas said. “That made (winning) a lot more special.

“We just had to make sure they worked hard day in and day out. I just like to have fun at practice, (so) it was just easy.”

After dominating the last two regular seasons as well, Lansing Catholic loaded its schedule this fall with tough opponents from every division – and nearly dominated in the same fashion.

Only Division 1 champion Plymouth and 2011 Division 1 champion Grosse Pointe South finished ahead of the Cougars in events this season.

Lansing Catholic led by 37 strokes after Friday's round, but that didn't allow coach Mary Schafer any relief. Only at the end did it come pouring out.

“I’m not a crier, believe it or not, but something just took over,” a tearful Schafer said. “It’s very tough to be the target of everybody.

“I think I was pacing out there at 17. I think I wore a line into the mud. And then with the playoff, I thought it was one of the longest 18 holes I’ve ever had.”

Before the Cougars could claim that third MHSAA team trophy, their best had to play one more hole.

Setas and Muskegon Catholic Central senior Aya Johnson both shot 153 over the two rounds, Johnson with a 73 after firing an 80 on Friday. The two close friends and frequent summer opponents had to face off once more in a sudden-death tie-breaker.

Both hit their drives off West’s No. 1 into a group of trees on the right. But Johnson’s shot found a friendlier tree, and she ended up with a clean approach that she finished for par. Setas ended with a bogey and finished second.

“I was really nervous because I had a playoff hole sophomore year too, and I totally blew it,” said Johnson, who fell in a playoff to Caro’s Bailey Cockerill at the 2010 Final. “I hit my tee shot right and I was thinking, ‘Oh no, now I have to punch out.’ But I guess I hit a tree and it ended up in the middle of the fairway, so that was kinda good.

"I was excited because I had a tough day (Friday) and I needed to come back, and I did.”

Frankenmuth senior Kaitlyn Watkins, first individually after Friday’s round, finished tied with Crilley for fourth. Hackett junior Abby Jasiak shot a 180 to miss the top 10 by four strokes, and senior Abby Radomsky missed by six. But all five of the Fighting Irish shot 198 or lower for the tournament, and that balance allowed them to edge third-place Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian by three strokes.

All three top finishers graduate top players and significant chunks of their line-ups. But Setas didn’t take more than a few minutes to start thinking ahead to 2013.

“Three straight, it’s great, but I want to win one more if possible,” Setas said. “It’ll be hard because we’ll have a ton of new people from the junior varsity. But we’ll overcome it, hopefully.”

Also of note, Imlay City's Hannah Campbell scored a hole-in-one on No. 7. An individual qualifier, she finished the tournament with a two-day 216. 

Click for full results.

PHOTO: (Top) Lansing Catholic's Jacqueline Setas (left) and Kalamazoo Hackett's Abby Radomsky line up a putt during Saturday's final round. The Cougars finished first and the Fighting Irish runner-up. (Middle) Muskegon Catholic Central's Aya Johnson finished as the individual champion after defeating Setas in a one-hole tie-breaker. (Below) Hannah Campbell views her scorecard, which includes a notation for her hole-in-one. (Click to see more from

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1