Calumet senior – Hockey
Calumet may be Michigan’s northernmost high school, but its hockey program is known well from Lake Superior to the Ohio and Indiana borders – and earned plenty of respect again by downing Division 2 No. 5 Novi 5-1 last Friday and Division 1’s formerly top-ranked Brighton 4-1 on Saturday. Copper Kings captain Anderson led the way with a goal in both games plus a combined three assists and some valuable checking to earn the Michigan National Guard “Performance of the Week.”
Anderson is a returning all-stater and his team’s leading scorer for the second straight season, this winter with nine goals and 13 assists and a +5 rating (his team has scored five more goals than it’s given up with him on the ice) over 12 games. He had 49 points as a junior and 27 as a sophomore and for his career has 40 goals and 58 assists over 63 games. Neither Brighton nor Novi’s top lines scored during his time on the ice over the weekend, and as a result of those wins the Copper Kings moved up from No. 10 in Division 3 to No. 7 and improved to 6-5-1 after starting this season 0-4.
A three-sport athlete, Anderson will play shortstop, catcher and do some pitching this spring for the baseball team, and also made the media-selected all-Upper Peninsula Dream Team in football this fall helping Calumet set a school record for wins in finishing 10-2. He ran for 741 yards and 16 touchdowns and also averaged 34.3 yards per kick return with two more scores. He’s undecided what he’ll do after high school but would be interested in continuing his athletic career; first though, Anderson is focused on carrying the hockey team deep into the postseason after his Copper Kings fell in the postseason's first round last winter to Houghton and then watched neighbor Hancock emerge from their Regional to win its first MHSAA championship since 1999.
Coach Dan Giachino said: “Rory is important to our team for many reasons. Not only has he been our leading scorer for the past two seasons, but he has been one of our best defensive forwards. Rory's line is consistently matched up against the opposing team's top line, and he continually does an excellent job keeping the opposing top line off the scoresheet. Rory's work ethic is always apparent at practice, and he has learned over the past two years that he has the ability to push his linemates with his hard work. … Off the ice, Rory is 3.0 student and has a great presence in the locker room. As a junior, he was named assistant captain, and this year, he was a natural fit to be our captain. Our coaching staff is always pushing kids to be 'quietly confident' in their abilities, and Rory has been a player that brings that to the locker room each day.”
Performance Point: “It was all around a good weekend,” Anderson said. “Everyone was playing hard … it wasn’t just me doing everything, but my players around me, my teammates helping me out and me helping them out. (The highlight) I think was making the play for the go-ahead goal against Brighton, to make us go ahead 2-1, passing it over to Scotty Loukus. I got the puck in the defensive zone, and I thought to myself that I needed to get it out. I chipped it to Scotty, he gave it back to me, and I saw the open ice. I was patiently waiting on the side boards, and then I gave it back to him.”
Handing off success: “There’s quite a few guys who also played football, and after the season we had there on the football team we carried a lot of momentum going into hockey season. It's just the things we do in football, the leadership and everything, that carries over and that’s what we want. To be honest, some of us players didn’t really (expect the football success) at the beginning of the season, but once we started going, we got a good idea we could go far, and that’s what we did. I think we could have a really good (hockey) run, for my last year. We have a good team.”
Captain Anderson: “It’s a big role to fill. With all the guys there, all the seniors there, and a new (captain) that’s picked, it’s tough. But it’s fun too. I keep all the guys together, just being vocal on the benches and in the locker room and during practice. (It’s) just talking, helping the kids who it might be their first year there.”
Bigger, faster, smarter: “During the offseason, I put in a lot of work lifting, and I think I’ve gotten a lot faster and smarter. Just watching other people, watching what they do at higher levels, and carrying that to my level, I think it’s made me smarter – what to do without the puck, moving around to get open so other people can get me the puck, and then when I have the puck where to skate and what to do with it. I really like watching (the Washington Capitals’) T.J. Oshie. The things he does, he’s a big hitter, he can play the body and he also does a lot of stuff with the puck.”
If Hancock can do it: “After watching them go on their state run, we just kinda figured if they can do it, we can do it. Watching them go to the Finals, it’s a local team and you’re always paying attention to what other teams around the area are doing. I know just about every single one of them, and I think most people wanted to see them go far.
- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor
Every week during the 2016-17 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.
The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster.
Previous 2016-17 honorees:
Dec. 15: Demetri Martin, Big Rapids basketball – Read
Dec. 1: Rodney Hall, Detroit Cass Tech football – Read
Nov. 24: Ally Cummings, Novi volleyball – Read
Nov. 17: Chloe Idoni, Fenton volleyball – Read
Nov. 10: Adelyn Ackley, Hart cross country – Read
Nov. 3: Casey Kirkbride, Mattawan soccer – Read
Oct. 27: Colton Yesney, Negaunee cross country – Read
Oct. 20: Varun Shanker, Midland Dow tennis – Read
Oct. 13: Anne Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country – Read
Oct. 6: Shuaib Aljabaly, Coldwater cross country – Read
Sept. 29: Taylor Seaman, Brighton swimming & diving – Read
Sept. 22: Maggie Farrell, Battle Creek Lakeview cross country – Read
Sept. 15: Franki Strefling, Buchanan volleyball – Read
Sept. 8: Noah Jacobs, Corunna cross country – Read
PHOTOS: (Top) Calumet's Rory Anderson prepares to receive the puck during a game last season. (Middle) Anderson looks for an opening after taking a hand-off during football season this fall. (Photos courtesy of the Calumet athletic department.)
Twenty years ago, Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy were teammates on an MHSAA Quarterfinal-qualifying hockey team.
Guy even scored the winning goal in the Regional Final for Bay Area Reps, which topped Traverse City West 2-1.
This summer’s accomplishment, though, will go deeper in the history books.
Guy and Morris teamed up with Joe Lorenz to complete a dream that started a decade ago. They crossed all five of the Great Lakes on paddle boards while raising awareness and funds for water quality.
They put their balance, endurance and stick-handling skills together for the cause.
‘After 10 years and over one hundred grand raised for the lakes, it feels amazing,” Morris said. “I think the best part is knowing my kids will grow up knowing their old man did something cool for the environment in a unique way.”
It all started at a December social event in Traverse City. Guy, a financial adviser, and Morris, a middle school science teacher, had just gotten into paddle boarding when they began to wonder if they could cross Lake Michigan.
Lorenz, a personal trainer, promptly gave assurances they could — and joined them — even though he had never been on a paddle board prior to the holiday gathering.
Morris, Guy and Lorenz successfully crossed Lake Michigan in 2015, pausing in the cold of the night to look at the Northern Lights. They finished the nearly 100-kilometer journey in just under 25 hours. That accomplishment convinced them to launch Stand Up for Great Lakes, a non-profit organization to raise money and awareness for the protection of the lakes.
The trio also is supporting the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, a non-profit housed at the University of Michigan.
“It feels amazing to have finished crossing all five lakes and complete a lifelong goal,” Guy acknowledged. “The dollars and awareness we have raised is incredible, and hopefully it continues to grow.”
Lake Huron was the toughest to cross by far, the former Reps noted. The 90-mile, 29-hour paddle brought seven hours of rain and high waves.
“Plus Joe knocked me in and Jeff fell in after catching a fish,” Morris observed.
Ontario was the team’s second-hardest challenge and the shortest paddle. Huge waves from the side all day took quite a toll on the paddlers, who were accompanied by safety boats on each crossing.
Lake Superior featured glassy water, a spectacular sunset and the paddlers pausing to conduct a ceremony over the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck. The northernmost Great Lake ranks as the group’s favorite.
Guy graduated from Kalkaska High School in 2003 and went on to play hockey at Hope College. He also played football, baseball and golf for the Blazers. He and his wife, Melissa, have a daughter, Emma.
Morris graduated in 2005 from Elk Rapids High School, where he also played baseball. He went on to get a teaching degree from Western Michigan University. He and his wife, Megan, have two children, Fitz and Knox. He now works for his former school district, teaching science.
The pair played for the Reps through a co-op hosted by Traverse City St. Francis that included athletes from Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Kalkaska, Kingsley, Lake Leelanau St Mary, Mancelona and Suttons Bay. The Reps’ first coach was Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee Rex Luxton. He coached through 2008.
Morris and Guy look back at their high school playing days and coach with fondness.
“We had some great teams, and I think I still have the career goal record there,” Guy recalled. “Also, our coach on the Reps Rex Luxton was highly motivational to me while playing for him and later in life.”
Morris echoed Guy.
“I loved the whole experience,” Morris said. “Playing for my high school … Friday night games … school rivalries … playing for Rex Luxton … amazing friends and teammates — almost surreal that it will have been 20 years.”
The former coaching staff of the Reps are not at all surprised Morris and Guy challenged themselves to make a difference for the Great Lakes.
The coaching staff remembers Guy as a natural scorer coming through with big goals, and Morris as a strong two-way player who scored five goals in one period in Sault Ste. Marie. The past coaches also remember all the traveling the two did for practice and games because of the geographic nature of the squad.
“I had no idea they had any interest in the water kind of stuff,” Luxton said of his former players’ feat. “When I started following their bid to raise awareness, it didn’t surprise me they would attempt something like this.
“I think it illustrates how much determination they have and how much hard work they were willing to put in,” he continued. “It is just outstanding, particularly with the cold weather in the Great Lakes.”
Cody Inglis, a senior assistant director for the MHSAA, was an assistant coach for the Reps during all of Morris and Guy’s time with the co-op. He finds himself beaming with pride and happiness knowing these former players are giving back and making it a better world.
“What Jeff and Kwin have done physically and mentally to cross all of the Great Lakes on stand-up paddle boards is remarkable in itself,” Inglis pointed out. “When you add in the fact that they have put in charitable causes and the preservation of the Great Lakes as a reason for doing it – it makes it even more special.
“It’s not surprising given my recollection and remembrances of Jeff and Kwin, as they were really good hockey players and better people.”
High school hockey is where Morris and Guy’ friendship blossomed. Spending 24 or more hours together — and with Lorenz — has forged a greater lifetime bond that already had included being a part of each other’s weddings.
But they admit they had no inkling of this type of accomplishment back in high school.
“Sports were the most important thing in my life in high school,” Guy revealed. “Working really hard to win as many games as possible was the main goal – along with getting good grades and trying to get into a good college.”
But teamwork, learned on the ice and through other high school sports, can make anything possible.
“Any sport where you have to work as a team helps push yourself out of your comfort zone,” Morris concluded. “That's where the best things in life happen.”
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PHOTOS (Top) Clockwise from top left: Jeff Guy celebrates a goal while playing for Traverse Bay Reps with Kwin Morris to his left, Guy (left) and Morris (right) take a photo after one of their paddle board trips, and Morris bringing the puck up the ice for the Reps. (Middle) Guy, Morris and Joe Lorenz take a photo together on the lake shore. (Below) Morris accepts a medal during the 2004-05 season. (Photos courtesy of Jeff Guy, Kwin and Jo Morris.)