History in the Making - New and Old

October 24, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Last week’s MHSAA Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals marked the 42nd anniversary of the association’s sponsorship of the sport, and we've been researching some of the first and finest performances from the tournament's history – coincidentally, as a current player added a small touch with a big shot Saturday.

Read on to learn more about that feat and the first team to hoist an MHSAA girls golf championship trophy. And speaking of trophies, we've also got the story behind one of the oldest football traveling prizes still making the rounds in the Upper Peninsula.

An Ace Arrives

Fenton’s Madi Shegos finished her 2013 Finals by making history at Michigan State’s University’s Forest Akers East, a frequent MHSAA Finals site over the last two decades.

The course redesigned its 18th hole from a short par-4 to a par-3 this season. And Shegos became the first to score it a hole-in-one, doing so during the second round of the Division 2 Final.

Retired longtime East Lansing coach George Jones, also a longtime assistant at the Finals and the taker of the photo at right, added: “Madi Shegos did something almost every golfer around the world never gets a chance to do or if given the chance, doesn't do.

“Sure, every par three at Forest Akers and nearly every other par three around the world has had an ace, but on Friday Madi was the very first to accomplish this on the newly-constructed 18th hole on the East Course. No one else will ever be the first. This honor goes to Madi Shegos, a sophomore at Fenton High School.”

Shegos improved six strokes during her second round to shoot a 103 on Saturday as Fenton finished fifth in Division 2 for the second straight season.

First to Reign

Although Lower Peninsula girls golf was played during the spring for its first 35 years, and Upper Peninsula girls golf remains in the spring to this day, the first girls MHSAA championship tournament actually took place during the fall of the 1972-73 school year – with Pickford claiming the first title by winning the Upper Peninsula Final by three strokes over Escanaba on an October day at Lake Bluff Country Club.

Thanks to some quick work by Pickford athletic director Chuck Bennin and one of the four players on that championship team who now teaches at the high school, we'll soon be adding results of that tournament to our growing archives at MHSAA.com

Here's a quick flashback from that inaugural 9-hole event: The Panthers were led by Patsy Nayback’s 49, which was good for second place individually. Joni Hamilton and sisters Bonnie and Kathleen MacDonald rounded out the lineup and are pictured above. Ishpeming’s Marge Farley shot a 44 to finish as medalist.

Another fun fact from that October day: The Escanaba Daily Press reported that in the boys MHSAA Final, Pickford’s Kevin Hamilton recorded an eagle on the par-5, 472-yard third hole, with his second shot running through a sand trap, up the green and into the cup.

The Lower Peninsula Girls Finals teed off for the first time the following spring, with Bloomfield Hills Lahser defeating East Grand Rapids by a stroke at Grand Ledge’s Troy Hills Golf Course.

Wanted: More Finals Archives

For the majority of MHSAA sports, we’ve published on MHSAA.com results, box scores, etc., for most of our Finals dating to at least the late 1990s. For years prior, we've begun filling in with what we can gather from our formerly-published Books of Champions and MHSAA Bulletins. 

But realizing there are complete copies of results out there in scrap books, trophy cases, newspaper archives and the like, we’d love to gather as many as possible to add to the site.  

If you’ve got results from an MHSAA Finals in any sport that aren't showing at MHSAA.com or that can augment our current collection, please email me at [email protected].

First of many

Certainly the most prevalent prize awarded for winners of Michigan’s high school football trophy games is some version of a “little brown jug.” And this weekend, the oldest of the jugs will be on the line when Newberry faces Sault Ste. Marie.

They first played for the trophy in 1925, with the original jug replaced by the current version in 1934. Sault Ste. Marie leads the series 58-33-5 including 46-28-5 in games for the Jug.

Below is an excerpt from a brief history of the trophy researched by Ron Pesch:

In the state’s Upper Peninsula, Newberry High School first played Sault Ste. Marie on the gridiron in 1911 and, for the most part, they have squared off annually since 1923. To commemorate the battle between these schools, legend has it that in 1925, a Newberry druggist donated a Jug to serve as a trophy. The prize was to be retained by the winning team until the next meeting would determine ownership. The idea, of course, came from the Michigan-Minnesota rivalry.

In 1934, for reasons unknown, a new jug debuted. Fittingly, that game between the rivals ended in a 7-7 tie.

Over the years, the rivalry has generated many classic contests between the larger school from the Soo and the smaller Newberry district. The series was interrupted in 1940 and 1959, and then went on a five-year hiatus between 1999 and 2003. As school officials recognized the importance of the series to the residents of the area, the rivalry was resumed in 2004 when the Blue Devils joined Newberry in the Straits Area Conference.

PHOTOS: (Background) The members of the 1972 Pickford girls golf team, as they appeared in the January 1973 MHSAA Bulletin. (Foreground and below) Fenton’s Madi Shegos stands with the flag after drilling the first hole-in-one at the redesigned No. 18 at Forest Akers East during last weekend’s Lower Peninsula Division 2 Final.

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