This week's honorees include arguably Michigan's top distance runner, top lacrosse player, and a baseball team looking to assert itself at the top while representing the state's largest city.
East Grand Rapids senior
(Updated May 19) Hooker, who plays attack, led the Pioneers to a 20-0 start. She's scored 101 goals -- already third-most for a single season in the MHSAA record book, and more than 25 percent of her team's total. Add in her 33 assists, and her 134 total points are fifth in MHSAA history for one season. East Grand Rapids is ranked No. 1 both in Division 2 and regardless of division based on the computer rankings supplied by LaxPower.com. Hooker also was the low scorer on the Pioneers golf team that finished eighth at the fall's Division 3 Final, and she missed the individual top 10 by only two strokes. She's signed to play lacrosse at Marquette University next season.
Scoring touch: "I don't try and dodge all the time. I don't like to work my way through people to score. I just try to find an opening."
Up next: "I'm not exactly sure yet (what I'll study), probably something in the sciences. Maybe something like criminology. I always wanted to be an FBI agent when I was growing up."
I learned the most about lacrosse from: "Two of my best friends play for the University of Oregon (Jana and Jess Drummond). And Coach (Jeff) Oates has spent a lot of time with me, talking to me, helping me during the offseason."
Different strokes: "I love the intensity (of lacrosse). I love the team aspect. It's competitive, but fun at the same time. Everyone on our team loves it together. ... In golf, I like how you're still part of the team, but an individual. To help the team, it's on you. It's a good contrast to lacrosse."
White Lake Lakeland senior
Track and Field
Zuk, the reigning MHSAA Division 1 cross country champion, ran career bests of 9:09.2 in the 3,200 meters and 4:16.92 in the 1,600 to take first in the former and second by two hundredths of a second in the latter at Saturday's Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship meet at Pinckney. But his best moment might've come when he finished second on purpose -- to Walled Lake Northern's Devin Kimberlin in the 3,200 last Tuesday after pacing the sophomore through the race to a career-best time, and then letting him win at the end. (Click to read more). Zuk was an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award winner this winter and is the co-salutatorian of his class with a 4.22 grade-point average. He will run this fall at Michigan State University.
"I've done it for kids on my own team. Normally, I'm in a position where things are still hanging in the balance and we need the points to win. But the way this meet was ... there was no way we could win. I saw the kind of effort Devin was trying to put in, and there was no reason not to help out."
Up next: Zuk will run both cross country and track at MSU, as is the norm at the college level. He's planning to study mechanical engineering, with an eye on the aerospace field -- think NASA, Boeing, etc. Not surprisingly, math is his best subject.
I learned the most about running from: Retired longtime Lakeland coach Randy Wilkins and current cross country coach Joe Verellen. "The combination of those two (taught me) a lot of what I know and what I practice in my running.
I look up to: "Every American distance runner has to look up to Steve Prefontaine at one time or another. What Pre stood for, the way he went about running; it's inspiring to everyone."
Detroit Western International baseball
The Cowboys are 22-4 and winners of 11 straight heading into Friday afternoon's Detroit Public School League Tournament semifinal. They are the top seed after finishing the league regular season undefeated, and have their sights set on a trip to Battle Creek this month after coming within an out of the MHSAA Semifinals a year ago. Of 16 players on this spring's team, 14 were on last year's as well. Click to read more.
This spring's previous honorees
- Sarah Appold, Saginaw Valley Lutheran softball
- Katie Brozovich, Clarkston tennis
- Sarita Dotson, Battle Creek Lakeview track and field
- Jake McFadden, Clare track and field
- Mike Nagy, Manistique golf
- Cullen Prena, Walled Lake Central track and field
- Nick Stiles, Bath baseball
- Malloy Weber, Northville soccer
- Grand Rapids West Catholic golf
- Grosse Pointe South girls track and field
- Muskegon Mona Shores golf
- Stevensville Lakeshore softball
Bloomfield Hills advanced to the Division 1 Semifinals this spring with one of the highest-scoring lineups in MHSAA girls lacrosse history, and one of its most accomplished goalies.
The Black Hawks scored 325 goals – sixth-most on the list – in going 19-4. Ella Lucia, then a junior, posted 17 single-game record entries for goals, assists or points, finishing with 125 goals, 59 assists and 184 points and pushing her career numbers to 186 goals, 113 assists and 299 points over three seasons.
Teammate Ilana Watson, a senior this spring, was added eight times for single-game accomplishments and also for 71 goals, 64 assists and 135 points for the season and 102 assists and 205 points over her two-season career. Goalie Sydney Butler, now a senior, made the single-season saves list with 186 and the career list with 466 over her first three seasons. Marlee Watson, who also graduated in the spring, was added for seven goals in a game.
See below for more recent record book updates for girls lacrosse:
On April 25, 2022, Holland West Ottawa then-senior Ella Spooner scored 13 of her team’s 16 goals against Zeeland. Those 13 goals tied for fourth-most in one game and also placed her on the single-game points list. She is playing at Kalamazoo College.
Troy Athens’ Claire Balintfy piled up eight record book entries during her sophomore season in 2022. A goalie, she posted a career-high 22 saves to tie for eighth on the single-game list, on which she appears six more times. Her 231 saves over 18 games that season rank second on that list as well.
Lexie Springman took 12 shots and made eight in Portage’s 19-9 win over Grand Ledge on April 5. She was a senior at Portage Central and is continuing at Regis University in Colorado.
Haslett/Williamston’s Abby Russell opened her high school career March 22 with a record book-worthy performance. The Haslett now-sophomore made the single-game goals list with seven in her team’s 10-9 loss at Portage.
Okemos’ Bridget Cox was a sophomore during the 2021 season when she earned her first four record book entries. She made the single-game saves list three times with a high of 16, and totaled 157 saves over 18 games total.
Holly/Ortonville Brandon tallied three single-game entries this past season. Junior Dakota Pinson made the single-game goals list with 10 against Fenton/Linden on May 4. Junior teammate Lainey Lasky made the same list twice with seven goals both times, against Flushing on May 3 and Lake Fenton/Goodrich on May 16.
Through three seasons, Salem’s Mileena Cotter has earned 35 record book entries – including setting the single-game record with 18 goals April 6 against Saline. Her 123 goals over just 10 games this past season rank seventh, and her 257 goals over 30 career games rank ninth on that list. Her career-high 19 points on April 5 against Dexter rank second for points in a game. She’s committed to sign with Syracuse.
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep junior Emily Szalach earned a record book entry with her 11 goals against Warren Regina on May 15 during a 13-12 triple-overtime win. It was the first entry for NDP for girls lacrosse.
Lake Orion’s Quinn McElroy capped her three-season varsity career this spring with eight record book listings, including for 69 goals and 100 points over 16 games as a senior, and 172 goals and 224 points for her career. Teammate Morgan Vasquez made single-season lists with 66 goals and 81 points, as did Amelia Guccione with 50 goals. Ava Adkins joined McElroy and Vasquez with single-game qualifiers, hers for 15 saves in a game against Troy Athens on April 12. Vasquez is a senior and Guccione a junior this school year, and Adkins also graduated this spring. McElroy is playing at Grand Valley State.
A pair of Detroit Cass Tech senior standouts made single-game and season scoring lists this spring. Taylor Weston made the single-game goals list three times, with a high of eight, and for her 64 goals total over 15 games; she also earned a listing for her 53 goals as a junior in 2022. Teammate Kayla Carroll-Williams made the single-game list twice, both for scoring seven goals, and the single-season list for 62 goals over 15 games.
PHOTO Bloomfield Hills goalie Sydney Butler, center, prepares to stop a shot against Bloomfield Hills Marian on May 11. (Photo by Susan Adams Photography.)