TC West Edges Packed Field for 1st Title

October 17, 2015

By Tom Kendra
Special for Second Half

ALLENDALE – It was extremely close going into Saturday’s final round of the Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final, with the only question being which Detroit-area girls golf powerhouse would prevail.

But unranked Traverse City West had other ideas.

Perhaps benefiting from its northerly location during the occasional snow flurries – and definitely benefiting from freshman standout Anika Dy – the Titans stunned the state by nipping Rochester on the fifth player tie-breaker to claim the championship at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. 

“My attitude coming in is that I would be ecstatic if we could make the top five,” said sixth-year Traverse City West coach Kristen Nolan. “When we won it, it kind of blew me away.”

Traverse City West won its first-ever MHSAA girls golf championship the old-fashioned way, with all four of its top players improving on their score from Friday’s opening round.

That improvement allowed the Titans, who were in fourth after the opening round, to move past Bloomfield Hills and last year’s runner-up, Lake Orion, and into a tie with tournament favorite and first-day leader Rochester.

The tie-breaker is the combined two-day score of each team’s fifth player, and that’s where TC West junior Grace Warren made her huge contribution, as her rounds of 94 and 99 were enough to give her team the championship.

The leader of the Titans was Dy, a 14-year-old freshman, who was the only player in the field to shoot two rounds in the 70s. Dy’s rounds of 79 and 77 gave her a two-day total of 156, putting her second overall and one shot behind junior medalist Julia Dean of Brighton.

“We are all shocked and these are tears of joy on my face,” said Dy, the freshman leader of a Titans’ top five with no seniors, but also three juniors and one sophomore. “I think it does help that we play in a lot of bad weather; that didn’t bother us too much. I didn’t putt very good at all. If I had made a few more putts, it wouldn’t have come down to a tie-breaker.”

Temperatures were in the mid-40s during Saturday’s final round, but steady winds of 12 mph out of the north (gusting as high as 25 mph), made it feel closer to freezing at times on the par-73 course. Both rounds were dry for the most part, except for a few stray raindrops on Friday and a brief blast of snow showers late in Saturday’s round.

Those conditions produced bloated scores up and down the board, and it was the most northern of the 15 teams which plodded through the difficult conditions the best.

In addition to Dy’s terrific performance in her first MHSAA Final, TC West got solid efforts from juniors Hunter Kehoe (87-80) and Grace Ellul (88-87) and sophomore Madison McCall (97-93).

“It’s not like we came out of nowhere,” said Nolan, the Traverse City West coach and former player at Troy Athens. “We won six tournaments in a row earlier this year, then we took a second, then we won a couple of more. But we’re from up north, so sometimes people don’t hear about us.” 

Rochester, which was looking to win its first MHSAA championship since back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009, received consistent performances from its top two players, juniors Veronica Haque (80-80) and Brooke Busse (85-85). Like Traverse City West, Rochester had no seniors in its top five.

TC West and Rochester emerged from a bunched pack in perhaps the closest overall team competition in girls golf finals history, with eight teams within 15 shots. Bloomfield Hills (692) placed third, followed by Troy (695), Novi (696), Saline (697) and Lake Orion and Farmington Hills Mercy (tied at 700).

The photo finishes weren’t confined to the battle for the team title.

Brighton’s Dean shot a remarkable even-par 73 in Saturday’s wintery weather to win individual medalist honors by one shot.

“I started making some putts today,” said Dean, who shot an 82 in Friday’s opening round, making her two-day total of 155 a shot better than TC West’s Dy. “My goal was to try and get every putt two feet past, and a few of them went in.”

The highlights of Dean’s round were birdies on holes 6, 9 and 14.

Rounding out the top five individuals after Dean and Dy were Lake Orion’s Moyea Russell (158), Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s Lauren Ingle (158), Rochester’s Haque (160) and Saline’s Samantha Kellstrom (160).

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Traverse City West golfers hold up their championship trophy Saturday at The Meadows. (Middle) Snow began to fall as this Northville golfer lines up a putt. (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