Reigning Champs Retain Titles in D4

October 17, 2015

By Mark Meyer
Special for Second Half

EAST LANSING – A pair of twos were wild Saturday afternoon at Forest Akers East golf course.

Twos as in two straight Lower Peninsula Division 4 girls golf titles for Kalamazoo Hackett and two straight individual medalist honors for Maple City Glen Lake junior Nichole Cox. 

Hackett held off Macomb Lutheran North to win the team title by nine strokes (684-693) while Cox carded a 74 to go with her 76 on Friday for a two-day total of 150, six strokes better than Frankenmuth runner-up Meg Watkins.

Hackett coach Alan Radomsky stood off to the side of the scoreboard as the team totals were being tabulated. He was comfortable in knowing that his team was prepared to play its best golf, despite the blustery, 45-degree weather. 

“I don’t do a lot of coaching when the girls are on the course,” said Radomsky, whose team led by three strokes after Friday’s opening round. “I was confident in knowing that they were prepared to make the shots that would keep us in contention.

“Even though we won by a lot last year (33 strokes), I felt just as good going into the final round this year because I knew the girls would bring their best. That’s the kind of team they are.” 

Junior Naomi Keyte led Hackett with a 76, and finished third overall at 158. Teammates Lizzie Stull (78-90) and Becca Radomsky (88-80) tied for sixth overall at 168.

“Lizzie didn’t quite have the round she was hoping for but Naomi and Becca were there to back her up,” Radomsky said, “and that’s pretty much how it’s been throughout the season. They pick each other up, support one another and refuse to let anything get them down.

“This team, more than any other I’ve coached (at Hackett) has truly exemplified what it means to be a team.” 

Molly Clark (102-94) and Savannah Madden (96-105) completed the scoring for Hackett, which held a 344-347 lead over Lutheran North after 18 holes.

Lutheran North placed three individuals in the top 10. Sophomore Serena Nguyen shot 82-80 to finish fourth at 162 while teammates Sydney Martens (85-85) and Kaity Rittner (85-86) finished ninth and 10th, respectively. 

Watkins’ 75 on Saturday helped Frankenmuth secure third place at 722 while Livonia Ladywood (725) and Lansing Catholic (761) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cox – who traveled nearly 200 miles from her home in Leelanau County’s Kasson Township (population of approximately 1,500) – felt right at home amid the stiff wind and cold temperature. 

“I’m used to it, almost to the point where I look forward to it,” Cox said. “I think I do have an advantage in that the cooler temperatures really don’t bother me.”

Cox said she had a feeling it might be a good day after draining a long birdie putt on the opening hole. 

“It started poorly (on hole No. 5) because I pulled my drive under a tree and then had to punch out,” Cox said. “I end up on the back side of the green, a long ways away. Then somehow I manage to sink this impossible, twisty-turning putt for a birdie. I had a feeling some more good things were going to happen.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Kalamazoo Hackett repeated as LP Division 4 champion, this time winning at Forest Akers East. (Middle) Maple City Glen Lake's Nichole Cox, left, and Frankenmuth's Meg Watkins claimed the top two spots in the individual standings. (Click for 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