Hackett Reaches Champion's Expectation

October 18, 2014

By Dean Holzwarth
Special to Second Half

ALLENDALE – Members of Kalamazoo Hackett’s girls golf team noticed the winter hats right away Friday night while shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Grandville.

“We all wanted to match,” senior Carrie Radomsky said. “We sprinted toward them when we saw them.”

The stylish hats were needed on a frigid afternoon at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University, and they coincided with the Fighting Irish’s balanced play on the course.

Kalamazoo Hackett claimed its first MHSAA Finals title on Saturday with a dominating showing at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 championship tournament.

The Fighting Irish tallied a two-round score of 690 and defeated runner-up Harbor Springs (724) by 34 strokes.

Macomb Lutheran North placed third at 728.

“It means a lot,” fourth-year Kalamazoo Hackett coach Alan Radomsky said. “I was lucky when I came in four years ago that it already was a strong program. The players made the decision not only to be a good program, but they wanted to be great and do the best that they could.

“I believe if you set high expectations for kids, they love that, and these girls basically accepted that challenge. They practice hard every day, and they have fun every day. These girls have earned everything because of the amount of effort and work they put in.”

The Fighting Irish, who closed with a 341 in the final round, had two girls finish among the individual top 10.

Carrie Radomsky (87-82-169) tied for seventh, while junior Lizzie Stull (87-84-171) tied for ninth.

“This is so special,” Carrie Radomsky said. “I’m so happy to be able to win with my team, and this is the best team I could ask for to win a state championship with.

“At the beginning of the year we knew that we had a good chance to win state, and that has made it that much more special.”

Stull, the team’s No. 1 player, struggled on the front nine Saturday, but turned it around by shooting 1-over on the back.

“I realized that I needed to pull it together for my team because I wanted to make them proud, and I wanted to win a state championship,” Stull said. “I was playing for them and not myself. I know that it was hard conditions, but I’m so proud of everyone and everyone played really well.”

The remainder of the squad consisted of junior Rebecca Radomsky, senior Erinn Scott and sophomore Naomi Keyte.

Alan Radomsky was thrilled to share the feat with his two daughters on the squad.

“It’s incredibly special,” he said. “When the job came open, I didn’t want to coach. I thought they could learn more from someone else, and I could just be a parent.

“But I took (the job), and it ended up being the best experience I’ve ever had with anything I’ve done.”

Harbor Springs recorded its best Finals finish in school history. Senior Abbey Detmar made a fantastic comeback from a first-round 90 and carded a tournament-low 75 to place third overall.

“We strongly felt that we had a shot at it,” Harbor Springs coach Pete Kelbel said. “Coming out of regionals we had the lowest score of all the teams, so I thought coming down here that we were a legitimate contender for the title.

“We knew the history of Kalamazoo Hackett, so we’re not disappointed to lose to them. I’m very proud of the girls for runner-up and very happy.”

Maple City Glen Lake sophomore Nichole Cox captured individual honors.

Cox earned medalist with a 159 after rounds of 83 and 76. She edged Farwell’s Bria Colosky (83-77-160) by one stroke.

“I just wanted to do better than Friday and stay focused,” Cox said. “My goal coming in was to win, and when I looked at everyone who was playing, I thought I had a chance.”

Cox registered three birdies in her final round, and her only hiccup was a double-bogey on the last hole.

“That stunk, but I was still OK,” Cox said. “I was a little worried after that because I didn’t know how far ahead I was.”

Cox said an improved putting stroke and consistency from the fairway helped propel her to the top of the leader board.

“All of my putts were going in until that last hole, and I was getting on the greens in regulation,” she said. “I also hit my driver straighter. 

“I don’t think I’ve comprehended all of this yet, but I’m very happy.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Kalamazoo Hackett had been a contender in the past, but claimed its first MHSAA title Saturday. (Middle) Maple City Glen Lake sophomore Nichole Cox follows through on a putt on the way to winning the individual title. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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