Performance: St Mary's Meghan Beaubien

June 22, 2017

Meghan Beaubien
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central senior – Softball

One of the most successful careers in MHSAA softball history came to a close Saturday with one last major feat extending an incredible list. Beaubien pitched St. Mary to a third straight Division 3 championship, striking out 16 and allowing two hits and just one walk in a 13-1 win over Napoleon to earn the final Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week” for the 2016-17 school year.

Beaubien, also the team's lead-off hitter, was 3 for 3 from the plate as well, scoring three runs and driving in two. To get the Kestrels back to the title game, she shut out Shepherd 1-0 in Friday's Semifinal, striking out 15 without a walk while giving up two hits. Over 40 innings and three Finals weekends at Michigan State University’s Secchia Stadium – home of the championships the last three seasons – Beaubien gave up just one run and six hits, and that run was unearned. She also continued to surge in the championship game last weekend despite losing her all-state catcher, senior Kenna Garst, to an injury during the third inning against the Pirates.

Beaubien finished this season 23-1 with a 0.34 ERA and 341 strikeouts with only 11 walks, plus a .458 batting average. While her career numbers are being confirmed for record book purposes, unofficially she went 100-14 and struck out 1,445 batters over four seasons – those career strikeouts would rank eighth in MHSAA history. Beaubien also finished high school with a 4.7 grade-point average and will study and play softball at University of Michigan. She plans to major in biochemical engineering on the way to eventually becoming a doctor.

Coach John Morningstar said: “She’s the most durable, dominating, resilient, tough, strong – all the attributes that you look for in an athlete, she has them. And she doesn’t falter. Even in adversity she stands in there, and I think she actually kinda likes it.”

Performance Point: “Obviously, you don’t want to go down early,” Beaubien said of working out of a first-inning jam against Napoleon, when she stranded two runners with two strikeouts to end a potential rally. “We definitely wanted to prevent them from scoring. Being able to get those strikeouts and keep them from scoring kept us mentally in the game. … (The three championships) have all been different. This one was by the largest margin. It’s just as exciting as the others.’’ 

Switching up: “When (Garst) first got hurt and she stayed in, I was a little concerned. I kept throwing all my pitches. When she went out, our second catcher Brooke (Angerer) did a great job calling pitches and catching the ball. It didn’t affect me greatly because she did a great job.’’

Setting the standard: “Honestly, as a freshman I wasn’t even thinking state championship. I was just thinking league and Districts. I did not have my goals set that high. Sophomore year we thought ‘OK, we’re good enough. We could maybe do it.’ And we did it. Since then we have this standard, and this is our goal every year.’’

Leaving a legacy: “To come into the program and leave it with three straight championships … to know that we (she and senior Grace Mikesell) made a mark. … We’re leaving the program better than we found it. I think that means a lot to both of us.’’

Next level: “Four years of high school were great. The three state championships were great. But every good thing comes to an end. I’m ready for the next level and to go after some championships up there.’’

- Perry A. Farrell, Second Half correspondent; 
Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2016-17 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard recognized 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:
June 15: Isabelle Scane, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood lacrosse – Read
June 8: Hunter Eichhorn, Carney-Nadeau golf Read
June 1: Grace Stark, White Lake Lakeland track & field Read
May 25: Brendon Gouin, Gaylord golf Read
May 18: Hannah Ducolon, Bay City All Saints softball – Read
May 11: Mason Phillips, Salem track & field Read
May 4: Lillian Albaugh, Farwell track & field Read
April 27: Amber Gall, Shepherd track & field  Read
April 20: Sloane Teske, East Grand Rapids tennis Read
March 30: Romeo Weems, New Haven basketball Read
March 23: Jaycie Burger and Maddie Clark, Pittsford basketball Read
March 16: Camden Murphy, Novi swimming & diving Read
March 9: Ben Freeman, Walled Lake Central wrestling Read
March 2: Joey Mangner, Chelsea swimming & diving Read
Feb. 23: Isabelle Nguyen, Grosse Pointe North gymnastics – Read
Feb. 16: Dakota Hurbis, Saline swimming & diving – Read
Feb. 2: Foster Loyer, Clarkston basketball Read
Jan. 26: Nick Jenkins, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling – Read
Jan. 19: Eileene Naniseni, Mancelona basketball Read
Jan. 12: Rory Anderson, Calumet hockey – Read
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

PHOTO: (Top) Monroe St. Mary's Meghan Beaubien prepares to unload a pitch during Saturday's Division 3 Final. (Middle) Beaubien swings at a pitch against Napoleon; she was 3 for 3 from the plate.

In Memoriam: Tony Coggins (1971-2023)

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

October 24, 2023

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.

Tony CogginsHis 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.