Performance: Stevenson's Seth Lause
January 9, 2020
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.)
Hockey Players Transferring Winter Puck Skills to Spring Golf Swings
By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com
May 26, 2023
When the Michigan seasons shift from winter to spring, some high school golf teams are a little more eager than others for the hockey season to officially end.
This is especially true for the school golf programs in Brighton, Hartland and Muskegon Mona Shores – examples of boys teams that love having hockey players transition from the indoor frozen ice to play golf outdoors on the lush green grass.
“I would take a golf team full of hockey players any day,” said Hartland golf coach Nathan Oake. “I love them.”
We can tell, because his program is full of them.
Hartland and Brighton each have eight hockey players on their 16-golfer varsity and JV rosters.
Mona Shores has three hockey players this year, but usually has more. In 2023 it’s Oliver MacDonald (all-state honorable mention in hockey), Nathan McNarland and Nicholas Taylor, who was voted Division 1 all-state golf last spring, then leading his team to fifth place at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final.
Brighton golfer Winston Lerch was also Division 1 all-state last year in golf and an assistant captain on the hockey team this winter that finished Division 1 runner-up to Detroit Catholic Central. Here in 2023, he shot a 65 to open the season at Oakland University for medalist and has committed to Grand Valley State for golf with his 72-stroke average.
Joining Lerch in the Bulldogs boys golf program are hockey players like Levi Pennala, winner of hockey’s Wall Award sponsored by State Champs as the top high school goalie. Pennala – who recently shot 72 at the Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship tournament, his career low for high school golf – finished in the top 30 last year at the LPD1 Final. Then early this spring when he was away at a high-level junior hockey tournament, freshman hockey player Adam Forcier stepped in and shot a school record 18-hole round for a freshman at 73. Jacob Daavetilla also works into the starting lineup at times.
Forcier tied the record of Davis Codd – who, as a pro hockey player on leave from the Saginaw Spirit OHL hockey team when COVID-19 shut down the league, won the LPD1 Final in 2021 for Brighton.
Brighton golf coach Jimmy Dewling said Codd was one of the earliest to prove to others you can play both hockey and golf and excel. In fact, that June in 2021, Codd went to an NHL scouting camp in Pennsylvania before the Golf Finals, drove overnight back to Forest Akers to play the two championship rounds, won the title, then immediately returned to Pennsylvania to resume the hockey camp.
“On our team, we believe, and TBone (Codd) was a perfect example of it, if there’s any time you have the opportunity to be competitive, it is going to make you a more well-rounded competitor and therefore better at your particular sport,” Dewling said.
“We like hockey players. In the winter, they have to think to where the puck is going, be smart enough to react, and understand how that emotion is going to carry over from one play to the next. When it’s your shift you have to forget about the last shift, or take something from the last shift and put it into the next shift, to have consistent play.
“It’s the same on the golf course,” Dewling continued. “It’s one hole to the next, one shot at a time, being tough, and that’s only going to come from competition reps. We love the athletic ability more so than anything; the toughness and competitiveness all year.”
In addition to Lerch and Pennala starting on varsity golf, they are joined by traditional golfers Matt Doyle, Riley Morton and Andrew Daily, who is committed to Wayne State and finished LPD1 runner-up last spring.
Going into the 2023 golf postseason, Brighton is ranked No. 2 in Division 1. The Bulldogs have won the Next Tee Invite at Oakland Hills, the North Star Invite at Plum Hollow and the KLAA Conference Championship – earning Brighton’s first conference title since 2007. The Bulldogs also were runners-up at The Meadows Invite at Grand Valley State University. The team is averaging 297 for 18 holes.
Oake admitted this is a rebuilding year for Hartland’s golf program. The varsity lineup has only two returning players with varsity golf experience – Keller King and Brady Betteley.
“So, we opted to keep a group of tough competitors with a solid combination of speed and strength – and who are not concerned about the cold conditions that we play in,” Oake quipped.
Five others rotate into the Eagles’ golf starting lineup with King and Betteley: Isaac Frantti is an all-state hockey defensemen playing his first season of golf but shot a career-low 79 at American Dunes recently. He just signed a United State Premier Hockey League tender to play in Connecticut next year. Ian Kastamo scored the winning goal in Hartland’s Division 2 hockey championship victory in 2022, and LJ Sabala is a varsity hockey player as well.
Then there are two non-hockey freshmen getting shots to start occasionally – Dallas Korponic, who finished third at his weight at the Individual Wrestling Finals, and Michael Maurin. Five more sophomores and juniors are hockey players on the JV golf team.
“We hope to be competitive with (Brighton) again soon, but they have the talent to make a big splash this year,” Oake said. “I also play golf at the same club as many Brighton players, so I see them quite a bit and we are friendly. When the Brighton team walked by our team on a recent Monday and all said hello to me and our guys, one of my players looked at me and said that this was the biggest difference between hockey and golf. In hockey, the small talk would be (traded) for the ice, and it would not be very nice out there.
“Either way, I believe both sports are filled with fierce competitors and respect, but when the game is over a handshake and a golf hat tip are offered to the victor.”
This story was updated and reposted with permission of MIGolfJournal.com.
PHOTOS (Top) Brighton takes a team photo after finishing third at last season’s LPD1 Final, and all five golfers are back this season including hockey players Levi Pennala (second from left) and Winston Lerch (second from right.) (Middle) Hartland’s Ian Kastamo (16) takes a faceoff against Brighton this winter. (Below) Mona Shores’ Nicholas Taylor fires an iron shot. (Photos courtesy of High School Sports Scene, Sapshots Photography and Mona Shores’ athletic department, respectively.)