Northville, West's Dy Cap Remarkable Runs

October 20, 2018

By Matt Schoch
Special for Second Half

BATTLE CREEK – Mother Nature kept extending the illustrious high school golf career of Traverse City West’s Anika Dy on Saturday.

But all good things must come to an end.

More than eight hours after teeing up at Bedford Valley Golf Course, Dy sank the final putt of her even-par 72 round to earn her third straight MHSAA Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals Division 1 title by six strokes.

It came on a blustery and rainy fall Michigan day that tested the resolve of golfers across the state and caused more than two hours of delays in Battle Creek.

“You can’t complain about it or whine about it. You just take it for what it is and be positive,” Dy said. “It was hard, not going to lie. It was a mental grind more than anything.

“Yeah, it was rainy, cold, windy, snowy, whatever, but It’s up (in your head) where it’s the hardest.”

Dy finished at 4-under 140 for the two-day event, which was weather delayed twice Saturday.

Northville dominated the team competition, closing an undefeated season by topping Kensington Lakes Activities Association rival Plymouth by 31 strokes.

Northville shot 312 on Saturday, combining with a 318 from Friday for 630.

In the week leading up to the tournament, Northville coach Chris Cronin asked the Mustangs to share a reason for why they were playing in the Finals.

“Every girl that’s playing on the state team sent back the note that they’re playing for their teammates,” Cronin said. “That was huge. I knew at that point we couldn’t lose because that’s what you shoot for as a high school coach.

“They’ve been close like that all year. That’s what made it really just extraordinarily special.”

Northville was led by sophomore Nicole Whatley, who took fourth as an individual after shooting even-par 72 despite the conditions, tying Dy for the day while playing alongside her in the final group.

“We’re definitely really close,” Whatley said about her team after carding four birdies on Saturday. “We’ve been so close together, non-stop, every single day. We just fell in love with the game and each other.”

The title was the Mustangs' first. But Northville will be the team to beat next year, as Mariella Simoncini is the lone graduating senior.

Simoncini, who said she will sign next month with Oakland University, took 13th with 163. Junior Sufna Gill tied for fifth at 155, sophomore Katelyn Tokarz tied for 20th at 168, and junior Sedona Shipka tied for 25th at 170.

Led by Dy, TC West, the reigning champion and winner of two of the previous three championships, took third at 664, three shots behind Plymouth.

Meanwhile, Dy joins four other Michigan high school golfers to win three individual Finals championships since the MHSAA began sponsoring the sport in 1973. The others are Maple City Glen Lake’s Nichole Cox (2014-16), Okemos’ Elle Nichols (2011-13) and Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Kate Loy (1993-95) – and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Danielle Staskowski won her third Division 3 championship Saturday.

The final round for the University of Michigan commit, who plans to sign with the Wolverines next month, was not without its tough moments.

On hole seven, Dy aggressively went for the par-5 green on her second shot, ending in a greenside bunker.

Dy then went up and down from there, nailing a 15-foot putt for her second of two birdies on the day and seventh for the tournament.

“I hit that clutch putt,” Dy said. “It was not a day for birdies, so I really treasured that one.

“I think that was one of those moments to keep the momentum going.”

Then, after the second weather delay, Dy had trouble finding her ball among the leaves on the 16th hole, although she eventually tracked it down – on the fairway, of course.

She managed to par, then did the same on 17 and 18 to close her career and a season where she won every event but one, a tournament in Alpena where she was nudged by her younger sister, Anci Dy.

“The one on 18 I’m going to remember for a while, because I knew it was my last hole as a high schooler,” Anika Dy said. “It was like 8 feet, it wasn’t an easy putt, and I made it and it just felt really good.”

Dy, the two-time reigning Miss Golf recipient by the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association, could become the first player to win the honor three times. 

After missing out on a Finals title as a freshman by one shot, Dy won by two shots in 2016, eight shots last season and topped second-place Mikaela Schulz, a senior from Bloomfield Hills, by six shots Saturday.

Utica Eisenhower sophomore Ariel Chang, who shot 1-under 71 on Friday, took third at 148. Whatley was fourth at 149, and her teammate Gill, a junior, tied Anci Dy – Anika’s sophomore sister from TC West – for fifth at 155.

“It’s been so much fun,” Anci Dy said of playing with her sister. “I’m going to miss her.

“I don’t think she has a bad bone against anybody here, ever. She’s just so supportive. She’s very humble, which is something a lot of us just admire her for.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Northville’s Nicole Whatley watches an approach during Saturday’s second round of the Division 1 Final at Bedford Valley. (Middle) Anika Dy follows through on a shot on the way to claiming her third individual Finals title. (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