Bubacz Sets Whiteford Up for Success

October 22, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Ottawa Lake-Whiteford senior Jessica Bubacz has helped the Bobcats to three straight Tri-County Conference championships and 41 straight league victories, after Whiteford’s wins Tuesday against Clinton.

This fall has been a continuation of her strong play as a junior that sees her now listed in the MHSAA record book in two assists categories – including as the co-record holder for assists in a match.

Bubacz had 65 assists in a 3-2 win over Clinton on Oct. 22, 2013, good to tie for the single-match record during the rally scoring era, which began during the 2004-05 season. She finished 2013 with 1,460 assists, fourth-most for one season since the start of rally scoring.

She’s continued with 810 assists over 86 games so far this fall, an average of 9.4 per game. She had 80 assists over seven sets Tuesday. Whiteford, a Class C team, is 29-7-1 overall.

For more on Whiteford and all things Tri-County Conference, click for the league’s blog by historian and journalist Doug Donnelly. Also, click to view the MHSAA volleyball record book in full, and see more recent submissions to other sports’ listings below (click each sport heading for that record book).  

Girls Basketball

  • Madison Heights Bishop Foley coach Dave Joseph has joined the list of coaches with at least 300 victories, with a 322-271 record dating to 1987. He coached at Pontiac and Oakland Catholic from 1987-93, then at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep from 1994-2003 and has coached Bishop Foley since 2005, including to a 15-9 finish in 2013-14.


  • Don Robinson capped Genesee’s 1983 season and his three-year varsity career with three touchdowns in a 33-19 win over Flint Academy. His final score came on a 95-yard kickoff return, one of now 11 of that distance or longer listed in the MHSAA football records.

  • Brendon Fitch put up “video-game numbers” as the Flint Journal reported Sept. 14, 2013, of his previous evening’s performance. Fitch threw for a then-record 603 yards, completing 26 of 41 passes, as Swartz Creek edged Flint Kearsley 77-61. Six of those completions went for touchdowns. Fitch died unexpectedly Dec. 10.

  • Dylan Walker and Jeff Mainhardt entered the record book at the end of September as one of six pairs on record to complete a 99-yard pass – Walker to Mainhardt for a touchdown in Fraser’s 42-25 win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay. Walker threw for 242 yards for the game.

Boys Lacrosse

  • Jason Alessi’s senior season was one of the finest in the MHSAA’s decade-long history of boys lacrosse. The Birmingham Brother Rice standout finished with 85 goals – tied for third most in MHSAA history for one season – to go with 46 assists, and his 131 points rank third for one season. Also a standout kicker and defensive back during the fall, Alessi is playing his first season of football at Yale University.


  • Wayland’s run to the Division 2 Semifinals this spring featured outstanding performances from a number of contributors – including one of the best run-producers in MHSAA history. Shortstop Sierra Mutschler not only scored 71 runs (tied for ninth for one season) but drove in 86, fourth most for one season. Her 81 hits also were ninth-most in that category. She finished her four-year varsity career with 229 RBI, second-most all-time, 184 runs, 51 doubles and 30 home runs (tied for 14th). Teammate Britt McLain scored 80 runs this season, second-most in MHSAA history, and Mallory Teunissen made the season pitching wins list with 35. Other Wayland standouts past and present added to record lists included Autumn Anderson, Samantha Merren, Macy Merchant, Hailey Houck, Abby Phillips, Nina DeCesare, Becca Phillips, Kaitlin Graczyk and Heidi Warmelink, whose 78 shutouts from 2007-10 tied for fifth-most on that list.

  • Hudsonville Unity Christian’s Madeline DeGroot had a game for the record books – literally – against Byron Center on May 1. She hit three home runs, including a pair in consecutive at bats, and drove in seven runs total in her team’s 14-6 victory. The team’s leadoff hitter, she also had a single to finish 4 for 4.

Boys Tennis

  • Kalamazoo Loy Norrix’s Jake Gumbleton didn’t lose a match over his final three seasons before graduating this spring, an MHSAA-record string of 84 straight wins. He played No. 2 singles almost exclusively and finished with a 96-4 high school career record, slotting again last season in the second spot behind eventual Mr. Tennis winner Davis Crocker. The previous consecutive wins record was 80.


  • Longtime Gaylord coach Jeff LaJoie has been added to the growing list of wrestling coaches with at least 500 match wins. LaJoie, who took over the program for 1993-94, took a season off and then returned for 1995-96, has a 519-125-2 record after leading Gaylord to a 30-2 finish last winter.

PHOTO: Ottawa Lake Whiteford's Jessica Bubacz (10) finishes a block during her team's victories Tuesday against Clinton. (Photo courtesy of Tri-County Conference blog by Doug Donnelly.)

Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 26, 2023

Mendon’s run to the Division 2 Final last fall included some of the strongest rushing performances over the history of 8-player football.

The Hornets ran for 4,317 yards, second-most all-time, on the second-most attempts (520) and with a record-setting 682 yards Oct. 14 against Marcellus. Mendon also set the record for total offense with 692 total in that game, and made the single-season touchdowns list with 76 including 66 rushing (also second on that list).

Junior Jack McCaw made the single-season scoring list with 212 points, most coming on 29 touchdowns, and Evan Lukeman made the single-game rushing list with 401 yards against Marcellus. Mendon’s defense also earned praise, twice making the fewest-first-downs-allowed list with a low of three.

See below for more recent additions to the 8-player portion of the football record book:

8-Player Football

Athens’ Landon Bennett earned a pair of record book entries after reaching the end zone seven times during his team’s 72-0 win over Burr Oak on Sept. 8. His seven scores are tied for third-most in 8-player history and included three rushing, three on punt returns and one on an interception return. The three punt return touchdowns are a record. Bennett is a junior.

On the night Powers North Central broke its 8-player record for consecutive wins, claiming its 28th straight, senior Luke Gorzinski tied Jets great Jason Whitens for the record for interception touchdowns in a game with two, scoring on returns during the second and fourth quarters. Gorzinski has signed with Michigan Tech, and North Central’s winning streak is 37 games and counting.

A pair of Atlanta offensive playmakers and a top defensive lineman earned a total of seven entries in the record book for achievements last fall. Senior quarterback Tyler Currie threw for 30 touchdowns over eight games, and also made the records for six touchdowns and 419 passing yards against Whittemore-Prescott on Sept. 23; the passing yards are second-most for one 8-player game. Sophomore Landon Galea was added for 263 yards and five of those touchdowns against the Cardinals, and also for 1,418 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns over nine games. Junior teammate Tucker Kendrick made the tackles for loss list with five against Hillman on Oct. 6.

Adrian Lenawee Christian senior Brady McKelvey became the first to make the career extra points list in 8-player football this past fall. He bettered his previous single-season record making 64 of 66 extra-point attempts over 11 games and finishing his two-year varsity career with 123 extra points in 127 tries.

Sam McKissack reached the record book showcasing multiple skills for Crystal Falls Forest Park during the 2021 season – twice for rushing attempts in a game including with a record 59 against Ontonagon that Sept. 10, and then with a record 70-yard punt Oct. 30, 2021, against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Teammate Devon Basirico also made the record book with six fumble recoveries over 11 games that season. As a team, Forest Park was added twice for single-game rushing attempts – including 73 total in that Ontonagon game – and for 424 rushes over 11 games for the season. McKissack and Basirico are seniors this spring.

Nikolaus Lewis tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns in an 8-player game when he reached the end zone six times for Carsonville-Port Sanilac in its win over Caseville on Oct. 7. He’s a senior this spring.

Bridgman has won 24 straight games over the last three seasons, and an exceptional offense – and exceptional offensive star – have played major roles. The Bees were added for 658 total yards in a win over Lawrence last season, that total ranking third all-time, and also 613 yards in a win over Eau Claire. Those included totals of 575 and 547 rushing yards, respectively, and Bridgman was added for 3,598 rushing yards (sixth on the list), 59 rushing touchdowns (fourth) and 76 total touchdowns (seventh). Senior Reid Haskins capped his four-year, 32-game varsity career with 13 record book entries, including for 254 points last season over nine games (tied for fifth all-time) and a record 620 career points, 41 touchdowns last season (fifth) and a record 95 for his career, 2,344 rushing yards last season (third) and a record 5,206 for his career, and 41 rushing touchdowns last season (third) and a record 94 for his career. Senior teammate Tanner Peters made the records three times including for 50 extra points last season (fourth) and 99 over 26 games and three seasons (second on the career list).

Mio's Austin Fox rewrote the 8-player passing record book this past fall, with his 621 yards in a game against Whittemore-Prescott setting a single-game record as he totaled four of the five-highest passing yardage totals. He also set a record with 3,516 over nine games for the season, another record with 289 passing attempts over those nine games and a third record for nine touchdown passes in that game against the Cardinals. His 41 touchdown passes total rank fourth. Teammates Gage Long and Nathan Hurst also earned several record book entries on the receiving end of those passes. Long’s 297 receiving yards against Whittemore-Prescott were tied for third most, and Hurst’s 266 against Alcona rank eighth. Long set a single-season record with 1,739 receiving yards, with Hurst sixth all-time at 1,321, and Long’s 14 receptions against the Cardinals and 70 for the season also rank second on those respective lists. Hurst set a record for longest 8-player kickoff return with a 99-yarder against St. Helen Charlton Heston. All three are seniors.

Peck was one of the first MHSAA 8-player champions, claiming the title in 2013, and Cody Abrego one of the state’s first 8-player stars. The Pirates were added to the MHSAA record book 52 times, and Abrego 14 times individually. Among the most notable entries for the 2015 graduate were for 462 points scored over his two-season career (ranking sixth all-time), 74 career touchdowns (sixth), 2,202 rushing yards in 2013 (fifth) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (sixth). Current senior Caleb Lentner was one of the stars statewide this past season, and he was added eight times including for 50 points scored in a game (ranking second), 272 points for a season last fall (fifth), eight touchdowns in a game (tied for second), 42 touchdowns in a season (fifth), an 8-player record of 2,694 rushing yards from last season, and 38 rushing touchdowns also last fall (fourth). Others to make the individual lists were Nathan Robar, Caleb Dudley, Steven VanConant, Kyle Abrego and Nathan Neihaus, Dudley for a record 20 career interceptions over two seasons and VanConant for a record 12 tackles for loss in a 2022 game and 36 tackles for loss for the season last fall. The Pirates also are all over the 8-player team record book, including for a record 97 touchdowns in 2013, a record 5,895 yards of total offense that season, 528 carries, 4,346 rushing yards and 73 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (all ranking second); and 24 interceptions in 2014, which ranks second on that list.

Senior quarterback JR Hildebrand was one of the most dynamic players in 8-player football in the fall in leading Martin to the Division 1 title. He had one of his most exciting nights in a playoff opener against Tekonsha, making the single-game touchdown pass list with six in a 68-6 victory.

PHOTO Mendon’s Jack McCaw (21) eludes a tackle during the 8-Player Division 2 Final in November at Northern Michigan University. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)