Record-Tying Champ Drives Marian Repeat

October 17, 2020

By‌ ‌Jason‌ ‌Schmitt‌ ‌
Special for Second Half 

EAST LANSING ‌—‌ ‌Shannon Kennedy is one of the most accomplished high school golfers the state of Michigan has ever seen.

She’s also one heck of a basketball player.

So when she stared down perhaps the most important putt of her high school career Saturday afternoon at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 3 Girls Golf Final, she had just one thing on her mind.

“I got up to that putt and, honestly, it looked like a basketball hoop,” said Kennedy, a senior at Bloomfield Hills Marian. “I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m missing this. I had the feeling it was going in.”

Without a doubt, Kennedy made the birdie putt on the 16th hole, which forced a playoff with Grand Rapids Christian senior Ryann Breslin. Kennedy then went on to defeat Breslin in a one-hole playoff, ripping her tee shot nearly 300 yards and tapping in for a championship-clinching par putt.

The title was Kennedy’s third, tying her with five others for most Lower Peninsula girls golf championships won during a career.

“I love this hole,” said Kennedy, speaking of the 319-yard par-4 first hole at Forest Akers East. “It kind of fits my eye. I planned on drawing it off that tree back there, and that’s exactly what I did.”

In addition to adding to her individual hardware, Kennedy helped her Marian team claim its second-consecutive team championship. The Mustangs shot 312 as a team and had four golfers shoot 82 or better, all finishing among the top 20.

Kennedy’s 2-under 70 led the way.

“That’s how you have to win these,” Marian assistant coach Dave Sass said. “You can have a really good player like Shannon Kennedy, but if you don’t have four other supporting cast members, then you’re not going to win it. Everyone did a great job. I’m proud of them.”

Senior Lauren Sass just missed medaling, firing a 79 and finishing 12th overall for Marian. Senior Sarah Kuredjian had an 81, and junior Ashley Carroll was close behind with her round of 82.

Breslin was at or near the top of the leaderboard all day long. She finished with a pair of birdies to card a 70. That gave her a 1-stroke lead in the clubhouse.

But Kennedy had one hole to play. And she made the most of it. Her drive on No. 16 just missed the fairway, and her approach shot missed deep right and landed on the cart path. After receiving relief, she hit a pitch to within 20 feet before sinking the putt.

 “It was the best up and down I’ve ever had in my life,” she said.

Macomb Lutheran North posted a team score of 327 to finish runner-up. The Mustangs finished second to Marian at the Catholic High School League championships as well, and struggled to a third-place finish in their region.

“We played great all season, and then at the Regional we had our worst day,” Lutheran North head coach John Bergmann said. “So we bore down this past week and said, ‘You know what, we deserve better than this.’ We put a lot of work in over the last 8-9 days. I’m very happy with their performance today.”

Freshman Lauren Timpf led her team with a 1-under 71. She narrowly missed joining Kennedy and Breslin in the playoff. Sophomore Taylor Elias had a 76, and sophomore Aileen Cosentino and senior Julia Zauel added an 88 and 92, respectively, to cap the scoring for Lutheran North.

Grand Rapids South Christian, led by freshman Ashley Thomasma’s 75, finished third overall at 330. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood was fourth with a 340, followed by Flint Powers Catholic (346).

Frankenmuth’s Ella Smith also shot a 76 and tied for fifth among individuals. Grosse Ile’s Lily Bargamian and Whitehall’s Karli Vanduinen each shot 77 to tie for seventh overall, and Cranbrook’s Ashley Cong, Powers Catholic’s Jolie Brochu and Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s Hailey Curry all had 78s to round out the top 10.

Click for full results

PHOTOS: (Top) Bloomfield Hills Marian’s Shannon Kennedy putts for the win on the playoff hole at the Division 3 Final on Saturday. (Middle) East Grand Rapids’ Ryann Breslin chips onto the green during the playoff. (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