BATTLE CREEK – Dansville’s three MHSAA Semifinal games over the last four seasons included a nine-run loss to Petersburg-Summerfield in 2010, the first of two straight seasons the Bulldogs went on to win the Division 4 title.
It was fair to expect a similar result in Saturday’s championship game, with Petersburg-Summerfield again the top-ranked team heading into this tournament.
But the Aggies, a day after their first Semifinal win ever, capped this spring with the best ending of all.
Thanks to a two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, Dansville claimed its first championship with a 3-2 win in the final game for seniors Rebekah Guy, Addie Price and Alison Schlicker, who as freshmen all helped the 2009 team get to Battle Creek for the first time.
The Aggies entered this year’s tournament ranked No. 9.
Sophomore centerfielder Hailey Mays started off the sixth inning rally with a single, and she eventually scored on a single by junior leftfielder Paige Galbreath. Sophomore third baseman Taylor Hoefling doubled Galbreath home.
Junior first baseman Evy Lobdel had two hits for the Aggies (31-5) and drove in the first run. Sophomore pitcher Meagan Kelly struck out only two Bulldogs, but didn’t walk any and gave up just one earned run.
Senior catcher Taylor Goodin led Petersburg-Summerfield (34-4) with two hits and an RBI. Senior pitcher Emily Puterbaugh ended a stellar career by striking out six over six innings.
PHOTO: Dansville pitcher Meagan Kelley won both games as the Aggies won their first Semifinal and Final ever this weekend at Bailey Park.
The MHSAA and Holly school communities are grieving this week after the sudden loss of Tony Coggins, a shining light in his educational community and an enthusiastic supporter of school sports as a public address announcer for several of our largest championship events.
But while that cheerful tone has been quieted, it surely will not be forgotten by the many fortunate to enjoy an event in the presence of that voice and the joyfulness he brought into every arena, press box and classroom.
Coggins, 51, died Saturday. He is survived by his wife Kristy and children Emma and Bradlee, among several family and friends from his local and greater sports communities.
His career as a PA announcer began during his freshman year of high school in 1985, when his father Dale Coggins – Flushing’s athletic director at the time – couldn’t find anyone else to announce middle school football games. That was 39 years ago, and this fall Tony Coggins was in his 24th announcing at Holly, where he taught and served as an administrator in addition to his role as “Voice of the Holly Bronchos” for football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, competitive cheer and swimming & diving over the years.
Coggins has been a mainstay among MHSAA Finals PA announcers over the last decade in football, basketball, softball and most recently volleyball. He lent his voice to college sports at University of Michigan as well. “Tony was a huge part of our Finals events. It’s hard to imagine it being the same without him,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said.
As part of the run-up to the MHSAA public address announcers clinic in 2018, Coggins said this about what drew him to the microphone:
“I have zero athletic ability whatsoever, which is interesting because my father was an all-state running back. But I enjoy being involved, and I've always been the one for history and statistics and knowing what's going on,” Coggins said. “This is a way for me to be involved. It's a way for me to use a talent I've been given; public speaking has always come pretty naturally for me.
“So I worked at my craft to get better. I got better from watching the people around me, from studying the people I like, and the people – if I saw someone I didn’t care for – I'd make a note and say to myself, ‘Don't do that.’ I take feedback from people very personally, and I mean that in a good way. If somebody takes the time to come up and say, ‘You did this well; I think you should change this,’ that means they care about the program also. We all have the same goal in mind, and that's to make the experience good for the high school student and the parents, the fans, that come there.”
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at St. John Vianney, 2415 Bagley Street in Flint. There will be visitation from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at the Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road, and at the church from 10 a.m. Saturday until the time of the Mass.
The Holly volleyball team played for something bigger tonight
Beloved PA announcer Anthony Coggins died on Friday night from a heart attack
— Brandon Green🍀 (@BGreenReports) October 24, 2023