Livonia Stevenson senior – Hockey
The four-year varsity center accomplished one of the rarest of hockey feats Saturday against No. 3 Hartland, scoring three short-handed goals in No. 2 Stevenson’s 5-2 win to earn the MHSAA “Performance of the Week.” Although the National Federation of State High School Associations does not keep a record for short-handed goals in one game, it is possible that Lause was only the second player nationally to score three at the high school level, following Lucas DeBenedet of International Falls, Minn., in 2011.
Lause is tied for the team lead in goals this winter with eight and ranks second with 12 assists as Stevenson is off to a 9-1-1 start. He made the Division 2 all-state second team last season with five goals and 12 assists over 19 games. The MHSAA also has not previously tracked a record for short-handed goals in one game – but for added perspective, the feat has been achieved only once in NHL history. Lause’s first goal came in the second period, and his second and third scores came during the same power play over 1 minute, 29 seconds, during the third period.
Stevenson has had one of the state’s strongest programs over the last decade, making at least the Quarterfinals five straight seasons, finishing Division 2 runner-up twice and winning the championship in 2013. After helping his team to another title pursuit, Lause hopes to continue playing at the junior level after graduation in the spring. Whether he begins college later or right away, he’s interested in the medical field and particularly psychology – and carries a 4.4 GPA at Stevenson.
Coach David Mitchell said: "Seth is a tireless worker ... both on the ice and in the classroom. He is an extremely high-character student-athlete that works tirelessly on his craft. It's been a real honor and pleasure to watch him grow as a player, as a person and as a leader. The sky's the limit for Seth with regards to his future. He is for sure leaving his mark on Livonia Stevenson hockey."
Performance Point: “The first goal was just a fortunate bounce. I think one of their guys missed a pass, and I ended up being on a line rush 2-on-1 with my teammate Noah (Turner). I was just looking for a shot on the first one, just trying to go low stick, since he had the low stick kinda showing me a little bit of that, and the rebound just came out to me when I shot it there, and I ended up burying it,” Lause said, describing his three goals. “The second one was (Ian) Kimble had a good play with his stick. He poke-checked it around one of their defensemen, came in, and created space for himself in the zone and saw my flying into the net. And so he threw it down into the corner and I picked it up down low, and I came around the net on my backhand side and I was looking around to see where everyone was at. I kinda looked off the goalie, and the goalie I saw was low and he had the high short side open, and so I flipped it up over and went up on the high far side. And then the third one was just a good play by Adam Heard. I was calling for it. I got behind their D at the far blue and he found me and gave me a great pass on my tape, and I just came in and shot it high glove. Honestly I didn’t even know we were still short-handed on my third goal, but everyone told me after the game that it was still short-handed and I’d scored three shorties, and I thought it was pretty cool. At first … I didn’t realize to scale how big of a deal it was.”
Fueled by fun: “It’s just been fun. Last year, I was more focused on just doing as much as I could to win. I still do now, but I don’t put as much pressure on myself now. It’s just a great thing, since it is my last year, just kinda taking a different approach to it this year and just letting everything go and going out and having a blast. This may or may not be my last moments playing; with my friends and for my high school, obviously this is the last year. It’s just been a lot of fun playing with these guys. I think that’s just been the big difference – me letting go mentally and just having a blast doing it. … I’ve always known there’s been something special (with this team), just every year we’ve been here. But this year especially, it’s been just a lot of guys bought in earlier. It just happens quicker with some teams than others. The approach that we’ve had has just been a lot more relaxed, a lot more fun. This group has really connected with one another, and everything’s just clicking right now.”
Play hard, cheer hard: “We usually go to all the other events that we have (at school). So basketball, swimming, volleyball, other sports – we always attend their games. We try to show support that way by going and trying to create a small student section if you will, the whole hockey team. We go to every sport that we can, even tennis we go to. …. Our coach really takes pride in that too, because for everyone who comes to our games, all the peers who come to our games, he likes to give back to them and say thanks, honestly, just for a support they give us. Without them, it’s totally a different environment.”
Stevenson strong: “We just work hard. Our effort is our floor here. We’ve always prided ourselves on being one of the hardest-working teams, both on and off the ice, also involving ourselves in the community (and) we reach out to a lot of teams. We go to a lot of other team events here at our school. We just put a lot of pride in ourselves and the extra stuff we do. It’s just what makes us, us. We’re very involved in development and trusting the process of development and just being a team that works hard. We really just pride ourselves on that.”
The doctor is in: “Anything medical, I’m really interested in. … I’m mostly focused on the brain. I just love how the brain works. There are other organs like the heart that everyone knows about – we know every single little detail about the heart. But the brain is just something that’s so mysterious that a lot of people haven’t figured out yet. So that’s a thing that intrigues me – what is really going on, and something to just figure out because it’s a developing thing right now.”
– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor
Dec. 5: Mareyohn Hrabowski, River Rouge football - Report
Nov. 28: Kathryn Ackerman, Grand Haven swimming - Report
Nov. 21: Emily Van Dyke, Southfield Christian volleyball - Report
Nov. 14: Taylor Wegener, Ida volleyball - Report
Nov. 7: Carter Solomon, Plymouth cross country - Report
Oct. 31: Jameson Goorman, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Oct. 24: Austin Plotkin, Brimley cross country - Report
Oct. 17: Jack Spamer, Brighton cross country - Report
Oct. 10: Kaylee Maat, Hudsonville volleyball - Report
Oct. 3: Emily Paupore, Negaunee cross country - Report
Sept. 26: Josh Mason, South Lyon soccer - Report
Sept. 19: Ariel Chang, Utica Eisenhower golf - Report
Sept. 12: Jordyn Shipps, DeWitt swimming - Report
PHOTOS: (Top) Livonia Stevenson's Seth Lause is a four-year contributor to one of the state's top programs. (Middle) Lause also is serving as a captain this winter. (Photos courtesy of the Livonia Stevenson hockey program.)
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.)