Country Day Claims First Championship

October 19, 2013

By Dean Holzwarth
Special to Second Half

ALLENDALE – It was a case of mixed emotions for Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood's Cordelia Chan.

The junior standout was elated to become the individual champion at Saturday's MHSAA Division 3 Final, but also heartbroken by her team's runner-up finish.

Chan posted a two-day total of 157 at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University to win medalist honors.

She was three shots better than teammate Greer Clausen, who finished runner-up with a 160.

Chan was the only player in the field to break 80 in both rounds. She fired a 5-over 78 Friday and closed with a 6-over 79 Saturday.

“I'm feeling kind of upset because my team didn't win, and then I kind of feel regret because I tripled the last hole and there were some putts that I did leave out there,” Chan said. “But I do feel happy that I won. I wish I could've had both.”

In the closest team competition in recent Finals history, a fifth score tiebreaker was needed to decide the champion.

Top-ranked Detroit Country Day and second-ranked Cranbrook-Kingswood were knotted up with identical scores of 707 after 36 holes, but the Yellowjackets won based on the combined aggregate of the fifth score from both days.

It was the first MHSAA Finals title for Country Day in girls golf. The program has been in existence since 2002.

“Oh my gosh, it was too close for comfort,” said Yellowjackets coach Peggy Steffan, whose team placed third last year by three strokes to Ada Forest Hills Eastern.

“We've always been rivals with Cranbrook, a friendly rivalry, and we didn't play our best today and they played really well. It's just a good thing we had a good day yesterday (Friday), and it couldn't be any closer coming down to that fifth score.”

Senior Ellie Miller led Country Day with a 162 total and was third overall following rounds of 82 and 80.

Junior Nicole Junn finished at 179, while sophomore Simran Brar and senior Monika Hedni came in at 183 and 184, respectively.

“We're just so happy right now,” said Miller, who finished among the individual top 10 for the second straight season. “We didn't think this would be a reality and now it is. We really worked together this season and we're all really close friends.”

Hedni thought her team had won by a single stroke before she was corrected by her coach.

“We're in a little bit of shock, and thank God we all pulled through,” Hedni said. “We're really happy and excited, and we really wanted to improve this year and play well.”

Country Day opened with a 347 and took a commanding 13-stroke lead into Saturday's final round.

However, Cranbrook-Kingswood stormed back with its own 347 to even the score.

The Yellowjackets edged the Cranes by one stroke at Regionals.

“They told us coaches that with the possibility of bad weather, if they couldn't get 18 holes in the second day, then the first day scores would stand,” Steffan said. “We talked about having to come out strong in case we didn't play (Saturday), and I think the girls were nervous today because they knew they were ahead.

“When you're in second place, you have nothing to lose. When you're in first place, you just have to hold on. They scared me a little bit.”

It was the second consecutive runner-up finish at the Finals for Cranbrook-Kingswood, which finished two strokes back last season.

Cranes coach Mark Moyer commended his team for improving by 13 strokes from Friday, but he was disappointed by the final outcome.

“It's real tough,” he said. “I knew it would go to the fifth position, but I didn't know it was the aggregate of both days. The girls are obviously disappointed with the what if, what if, but everybody can do the what ifs, so you have to let it go.

“With the group that played today, there was only one senior, so we have a lot of girls coming back and we'll use this as a learning experience to move forward. I congratulate Country Day on the job they did.”

Moyer was thrilled by the play of Chan, who placed runner-up in last year's Finals.

“It's tremendous, and she has worked so hard, not only during the season, but starting back to early spring,” Moyer said. “It's really impressive to see a young lady that can pull it together, and she's only a junior. It's exciting to know we have her coming back next year.”

Chan said she wasn't motivated by coming close last year.

“It was more about the team,” she said. “I wanted to play well for my team because I know I'm one of the leaders, but winning first is kind of cool, too.

“I knew it was going to be close because the players before me were playing well, too. I just wanted to wait and not get too excited.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Country Day's Monika Hedni follows through on a putt during Saturday's Division 3 Final. (Middle) Eventual individual champion Cordelia Chan of Cranbrook-Kingswood fires a chip out of the rough at The Meadows. Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.)

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