Forest Hills Eastern Rises at D3 Final

October 20, 2012

By Gary Kalahar
Special to Second Half

BATTLE CREEK – The pain in Kelsey Sands’ shoulder Saturday morning had her thinking she would not be playing in the final round of the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 3 golf tournament.

“I was crying,” the Ada Forest Hills Eastern senior said of the injury plaguing her during her warm-up at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek.

Sands not only teed it up, her huge improvement from Friday’s first round typified her team’s comeback as the Hawks emerged from a tight four-team race to win their second state title in three years.

Top-ranked Forest Hills Eastern totaled 710 strokes to nip the 712 of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood and the 713 of both Grosse Ile and Detroit Country Day. Forest Hills Eastern started the final round in fourth place, 18 strokes behind Grosse Ile.

All five Forest Hills Eastern players improved their scores in the second round, played in cold conditions but markedly better than the rain and wind of the first round. Just three other players in the field improved more than Sands, who shot a 94 to come in as the Hawks’ fourth scorer after a first-round 109.

“You need to have all four scores,” Forest Hills Eastern coach Brian Telzerow said. “She wasn’t going to play. We prayed as a team, and she said, ‘Let’s give it a try.’ She played phenomenally.”

Forest Hills Eastern did not have another player in Battle Creek, so without Sands the Hawks would not have the ability to throw out a score.

“It went away maybe a third of the way through the round,” Sands said of the pain she believed came from a pulled muscle and which subsided as she got her round off to a solid start with three bogeys and a par.

Henna Singh’s fifth-place 167 with a second-round 83 led Forest Hills Eastern. Jordan Duvall shot the Hawks’ best score of the round, an 81 that left her at 169 for her third straight top-10 state finish.

“I usually come out and play well in the state finals,” Duvall said. “It’s fun for me. I like the competition at the state level.”

With his team facing a large deficit after the first round, Telzerow channeled some Ben Crenshaw and reminded his team of the U.S. team’s comeback in the Ryder Cup in 1999.

“I said, ‘I’ve got a feeling. That’s all I’m going to say about it,’ ” Telzerow said.

“Coach told us the story about the Ryder Cup, and we took that in perspective and said, ‘Hey, it’s 4½ shots a person, why not come back and make it happen,’ ” Duvall said. “We knew we had the potential. We knew it was going to be tough, but we knew we could do it.”

Anne Parlmer shot an 85 for the Hawks’ other final-round score.

“That was remarkable to come up with those scores, especially in these conditions,” Grosse Ile coach Jim Bennett said after the Hawks stopped his team’s bid for a third title in four years. “They stepped up when they had to.”

Telzerow said being in fourth place after the first round might have aided his team’s rally. Players from the top three teams were paired together for the final round.

“We’re the fourth team, so nobody’s really going to be paying attention to us,” Telzerow said. “Let’s go play our game and not worry about the other teams. There wasn’t any of that nervousness about how any of the other players were doing. They could play their own kind of golf.”

“They really came from out of nowhere and beat us,” Country Day coach Peggy Steffan said after her team posted its best MHSAA Finals finish.

Her fourth trip to the Finals didn’t make handling the nerves any easier for Dearborn Divine Child senior Natalie Blazo.

“(Friday) I was a wreck,” Blazo said.

But Saturday was a lot better, and Blazo shot the round of the tournament to claim medalist honors. Her 76 was four strokes clear of the next-best round and gave her a 157 total.

Blazo was seven strokes ahead of Clio’s Ayla Bogie and Cranbrook-Kingswood’s Cordelia Chan.

“I thought that I had a chance (to be medalist), yes,” Blazo said. “That I could do it, a little iffy. I wanted to get in the top 10 at least.”

Blazo punctuated her round with a tap-in birdie on her last hole, the par-4 No. 3. Blazo and Bogie, playing as individual qualifiers, were tied for the lead after the first round and thus paired together in the second round.

“There were some girls who were close who were playing with their teams, so I always knew there could be somebody shooting lower than me,” Blazo said. “My putting was great. I made some long ones to save par.”

Jackson Northwest took fifth at 743 for its third consecutive finish in the top six.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) The top-10 placers stand together after receiving their medals Saturday. (Middle) Ada Forest Hills Eastern poses with its team trophy at Saturday's Division 3 Final. (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