Powers Rises, NDP Star Claims 3rd Title

October 20, 2018

By Jason Schmitt
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – Jack Snow was a longtime fixture with the Flint Powers Catholic golf program – a mainstay who helped build the girls program into one of the best in the state of Michigan.

He wasn’t at Forest Akers East in East Lansing on Saturday as the Chargers captured the Lower Peninsula Division 3 championship. But somewhere from up above he was smiling down as his younger brother, Jim, was leading his team to another MHSAA Finals title.

Jack passed away two summers ago. He started the girls golf program at the school and won three championships during his nearly-20 year tenure. The Chargers’ championship on Saturday was Jim Snow’s third with the program – matching his oldest brother’s total.

“He was the one who got me into the program to begin with, when the boys needed a JV coach,” said Jim, who took over the program from his wife, Michelle, back in 2006. “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to match (his three championships). He always joked with me, saying, ‘When you get three, come talk to me.’”

Jim won the first two of his titles in back-to-back years (2007-08). Jack won his in 1989 and again in 1993-94. Jack is in the Michigan Coaches’ Hall of Fame.

Snow’s team finished fifth at last year’s Finals, but returned four of five starters this season – so expectations were high for the top-ranked Chargers. Over the weekend that experience overwhelmed the rest of the field. Powers shot a 328 on Friday and followed it up with a 331 on Saturday, good for a two-day total of 659. Those scores were the two best the Chargers have shot this season.

Sophomore Jolie Brochu led the way with her 152, which landed her atop the leaderboard at the end of the tournament, along with Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Danielle Staskowski. The Irish senior bested Brochu in the first hole of the playoff.

Junior Maggie Knight’s 156 was fourth best, while senior Gina Canavesio (176), junior Olivia Canaday and freshman Allie Sexton all contributed to their team’s season-best performances. Canavesio’s 80 on Day 1 was a career-best, while Canaday’s 86 on Saturday was her best round of the year.

“This was a fantastic team effort,” Snow said. “I’ve never been happier for Gina. She played the round of her life on Friday. It really helped us build a solid lead. I’m going to miss her because she was my sidekick out there on the golf course.

“Everybody kind of gelled this week as a team, and it was fantastic.”

The Chargers had a 21-shot lead over Freeland after Friday’s first round. The two teams tied at last week’s Regional tournament, where Powers won the tie-breaker with the fifth golfer’s score. Freeland, led by senior Olivia Pumford’s 163, finished third this weekend. Grand Rapids South Christian shot a 333 on Saturday to slide into second place. Junior Maddie Wieringa (161) and senior Natalie Samdal (166) finished fifth and eighth, respectively, to lead the Sailors.

Detroit Country Day finished fourth (714), and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep tied for fifth (725).

Staskowski won her third consecutive individual title, beating out Brochu in the playoff. Staskowski, who also won in 2016 in a playoff, came from two strokes down after Day 1 to force the playoff with Brochu.

In the playoff, the two golfers returned to the first hole, where Staskowski hit the back of the green with her approach and parred the hole to win it.

By winning her third straight individual title, Staskowski joined some rare company. She became the fifth Lower Peninsula girl to win three Finals championships, joining Traverse City West’s Anika Dy, who won her third straight Division 1 title earlier Saturday, along with Maple City Glen Lake’s Nichole Cox (2014-16), Okemos’ Elle Nichols (2011-13) and Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Kate Loy (1993-95).

Country Day senior Kristina Roberts was third overall with a 154. Marshall’s Karlee Malone was fifth (161), while Wieringa, Pumford, Samdal, Spring Lake’s Hannah Klein (166), Carleton Airport’s Kristen Reed (168), Marysville’s Madeline Blum (168) and Big Rapids’ Hope Thebo (168) rounded out the top 10.

All golfers battled extreme weather conditions over the weekend, particularly on Saturday.

“We’ve probably had worse weather, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen what we did on Saturday,” said Snow, speaking of the below-40 temperatures and periods of sleet, which halted play on two occasions. “In that weather, to hang in there. The scores that we had were absolutely phenomenal in those conditions.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Flint Powers Catholic freshman Alexandra Sexton tees off during the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals. (Middle) Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Danielle Staskowski sends a drive during Saturday’s second round. (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