Performance: Camden-Frontier's Jordan Stump

November 2, 2018

Jordan Stump
Camden-Frontier junior – Volleyball

Stump did a lot of many things well in leading Camden-Frontier on Saturday to clinch its first league championship in more than a decade, filling the stat sheet with 36 kills, 46 assists, six aces and 38 digs during the Southern Central Athletic Association Tournament. The Redskins, then ranked No. 5 in Division 4, beat rival North Adams-Jerome in the semifinal and No. 3 Battle Creek St. Philip in the championship match, earning Stump the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

The 5-foot-6 junior joins sophomore Heather Shaw as a setter in Camden-Frontier’s 6-2 alignment, allowing both to direct the offense and pile up kills as well. Stump is averaging 4.8 assists and 3.1 kills per game with a .322 hitting efficiency and .897 serving percentage. The win over St. Philip avenged an earlier sweep by the Tigers at the start of October, when the Redskins were ranked No. 1 in Division 4 by the state coaches association. Saturday’s win and the league title are just the latest highlights from an impressive run for a team that started this season with eight players and has seen three, including Stump, work through ankle injuries. Camden-Frontier is 38-5-4 heading into tonight’s District Final against Pittsford, and moved up to No. 3 in the Division 4 rankings heading into the postseason.

Stump is a second-generation player for longtime Redskins coach Dawn Follis. Jordan’s mother Heather played for Follis and came back for a second run as junior varsity coach this fall, and she stepped in to guide the team during Saturday’s SCAA championship run. It was the first time Jordan had played for her mom – Jordan has been on varsity all three years of high school and is a three-time all-league first-team selection. She also has begun coaching, at the club level, and spends much of her off-court time and energy raising and showing livestock at the statewide level with her family. Stump is considering studying agri-nutrition or criminal justice after high school – but has plenty of time to decide and plenty of volleyball left to play with this season’s run and high expectations for next fall as well.

Coach Dawn Follis said: “Jordan, as well as many of her teammates, have put in endless years of extra work and dedication to make this year possible, and it has been such a joy to see all of their work come full round. Jordan started in the third grade playing club ball as well as managing my varsity team. Ironically, her mother was my first setter when I came to Camden-Frontier 29 years ago, so setting runs in her blood. Jordan not only has very good volleyball skills, but she has a high IQ of the game. She will come off the court often with great suggestions of how to beat the defense or score against the blockers. She doesn't power the ball through, but has a great court sense and knows where the holes are and can place the ball in those areas. Jordan not only sets and hits well, but many times has turned games around for us at the serving line. She is my floor general and has led her team this year to an unforgettable season.”

Performance Point: “Our team is really small, and I really enjoy that because we'll walk into a gym and everyone underestimates us. Our coach wasn't there on Saturday because her daughter's Senior Night was that night (Kasey Follis plays at Spring Arbor University), so as a team it was cool because we all just stepped up because we knew what needed to be done. And it was kind’ve a now-or-never situation. As a manager, I've always watched the older girls almost beat St. Phil, and they’ve come up just a little bit short. So I was like, you know, it's our time to do it. And when we played, it never crossed my mind, ‘What happens if we don't win this?’ It was just pure determination, and I think my adrenaline was so high. We just kept going, and it was a blast.”

‘Coolest mom of all-time’: “It was pretty cool to have my mom alongside and experience that with her. She's what got me into (volleyball). When I was littler – we live in a log cabin that has a tall ceiling – she kinda started me in the house, and we played there. Then she became the (JV) coach my eighth grade year, so it's just been really fun to watch her grow. We've kinda grown together – she'll bounce drills off of me, be like what do you think about this, and I'll go to her and be like, how do you think we should run this? It's just been really fun to experience that with my mom. … Passing, setting, and then it got to the point because our ceiling comes together at an arch, and I'd be jump-serving at the ceiling. Many broken blinds ... but she says, ‘Oh well.’ – it's made me a better player. It was just fun growing up. She started me in the third grade, just peppering back and forth. … We didn’t really tell my dad. It actually taught me a lot of control, because I didn't want to break stuff, so that's where I think I got a lot of my ball control from – so I didn't break things in the house.”

Building for something big: “It’s just been a great experience, coming from a small school, and having all the support behind us, and just watching us grow. I think that's one cool thing about volleyball, is watching the team and watching them grow and improve as time goes on. It's just been really fun, especially bringing up newer players and getting them into the group. When it all comes together, it's just a great experience. I love it. … Our overall goal is just to go as far as we can and work as hard as we can. Initially yes, it would be great to go all the way, but we're just going to keep on doing what we're doing and work every day and work super hard and see how far that takes us.”

Making the offense go: “I love setting, because when you get that perfect set, and your hitter puts it in, it's just a great feeling. Hitting is kinda secondary (for me), I'd say, because I'm not super tall. So I do have to find my way around the court and be smart about where I place the balls, because I can't go up and just go out swinging. But I still enjoy both very much.”

Family show: “We have a small farm; it's kinda my farm. I really want to raise show cattle when I get older, so when I turned 9 we started buying some cows and grew that little farm. We have 11 commercial cows that calve every year and we raise them and we sell them. My parents are a big help with everything that I do. My sister is involved. … We're big on family help and doing it together. My parents enjoy it do, so they support me in whatever I want to do, and that's pretty great.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2018-19 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize 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. 

Past 2018-19 honorees

October 25: Danielle Staskowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep golf - Read
October 18:
Adam Bruce, Gladstone cross country - Read
October 11: Ericka VanderLende, Rockford cross country - Read
October 4:
Kobe Clark, Schoolcraft football - Read
September 27: Jonathan Kliewer, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern soccer - Read
September 20: Kiera Lasky, Bronson volleyball - Read
September 13: Judy Rector, Hanover-Horton cross country - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Camden-Frontier’s Jordan Stump prepares to serve during a match this season. (Middle) Stump, right, works to put the ball past a block. (Photos courtesy of the Camden-Frontier athletic department.)

JoBurg 3-Sport Great Capping Career Filled with All-State Honors, Team Trophies

By Tom Spencer
Special for

April 5, 2024

It won’t be hard for Jayden Marlatt to remember opening day on the softball field from any of her four years at Johannesburg-Lewiston.

Northern Lower PeninsulaAs a freshman, she missed the opener due to needing to quarantine. Her sophomore and junior years started on the road because the Cardinals’ field was under construction.  

This season the Cardinals will open up — weather permitting — on their brand-new field, hosting Mio on Monday, April 8.  Marlatt is slated to be the starting pitcher again and add to her school record collection.

While Johannesburg-Lewiston is looking forward to playing on the new diamond, Marlatt and her teammates have high hopes of finishing the season almost 200 miles south. They’re looking to get back to Michigan State University – the site of the Division 4 Semifinals and Final.

The Cards have had their sites on that goal since they fell 4-2 to Mendon in last year’s Semifinal at Secchia Stadium. The loss ended a 30-4-1 campaign that saw the Cardinals play every game on the road for a second consecutive year, but come up only one victory short of a first championship game appearance.

The trip to East Lansing also came after the Cards won the program’s first District title since 2008 and advanced to the Semifinals for the first time since 1981.

“It has been a long two seasons on the road,” said eighth-year head coach Kim Marlatt, noting the team utilized a Little League field for practices during the stretch. “They’ve been putting in a lot of work in the offseason, so it is excited to get going.”

Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. The new field isn’t the only new things this spring. The Cardinals will have a junior varsity team for the first time during the Marlatt’s tenure. The JV squad is coached by Ryan Marlatt, who has been serving the program the past eight years as assistant coach. He also has been the head girls basketball coach at JoBurg the past two seasons.

The Marlatt coaches are the proud parents of Jayden, who continues to garner recognition as perhaps the greatest athlete in Johannesburg-Lewiston’s history. 

The three-sport star had a huge hand in all that JoBurg accomplished last season leading the team in batting average (.670), home runs (13) and runs batted in (61). As the team’s ace pitcher, she collected 249 strikeouts and compiled a 1.32 ERA.

“Jayden has put in the hard work,” Kim pointed out.  “She is a very humble athlete. ‘She doesn’t like to talk about herself. She likes to compete, and she likes to be on the top of her game for her teammates.”

Jayden has been named all-conference and all-state in softball, basketball and volleyball nearly every season over her four years at JoBurg. She’s led her teams to Ski Valley Conference, District and Regional titles along the way.

She’s also been named Player of the Year by multiple publications. And she’s a front runner to be voted the Most Valuable Player of the Ski Valley Conference in softball. Earlier this year, league coaches voted her the MVP for both basketball and volleyball.  

“The Ski Valley never used to vote on an MVP,” Ryan Marlatt said. “Hopefully she can add the triple crown and get softball this year.”

Jayden Marlatt, who has played all three sports all four years, acknowledged softball is perhaps her most treasured, and she’ll continue in that sport at Ferris State. Her career total of more than 500 strikeouts, and her 14 home runs last season, are both JoBurg school records. "I like them all but probably softball,” she confirmed when asked to name her favorite sport.

She averaged 12 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and four steals per game this winter helping the Cards basketball team to a conference runner-up finish. She was key to JoBurg's ability to put a 12-game winning streak together, and she topped the 1,000-point career mark along the way.

Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season.Her outstanding senior year on the basketball court and this spring’s possibilities nearly vanished as the volleyball season ended.

She suffered what looked to be a serious lower-leg injury in the final game of the JoBurg volleyball season. “She finished in the emergency room,” Kim Marlatt said.  

Diagnosed a high ankle sprain, it was an aggravation to an injury from her junior year in basketball. She wasn’t quite at 100 percent on the basketball court this season until the holiday break. She’s starting the softball season healthy, though.

Before the injury, Jayden led the Cards to their third volleyball conference championship over the last four years. After becoming JoBurg's all-time kills leader during her junior season, and with many of her teammates from her first three seasons graduating, Jayden had to fill a variety of roles while anchoring the offense from her outside hitter spot.

She ended up leading the team in both kills with 421 and digs, with 431, in her final season on the volleyball court. And she is listed among MHSAA’s all-time leaders in kills for a single match and career.

It’s more than Marlatt’s stats that stand out for Kristine Peppin, the school’s volleyball coach the past 15 years.

“It is not about the size of the school or the size of the player, it’s the heart that they have inside,” she proclaimed. “This girl would be a successful player on whatever team she was on. 

“Yes we’re a small school, small town,” she continued. “That kind of leadership and heart and drive to be the best is what’s given her that success.”

Marlatt’s work ethic is second to none, Peppin noted. She never saw Jayden give less than a “1,000” percent in practice or games in her career. 

Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt.“She’s a super hard worker and extremely modest for the kind of skill she possesses and the success she’s had,” Peppin said. “Her teammates think it’s amazing to be on her team.”

Marlatt’s volleyball skills caught the eye of at least one of her conference opponents’ coaches back in junior high. Ron Stremlow was performing one of his many coaching duties for Fife Lake Forest Area when he first saw Jayden on the volleyball court.

“I could tell then this girl was somebody special,” said Stremlow, who became one of the winningest coaches in state volleyball history with the Warriors. “When she got in high school, it just took off.

“She puts the time into it, and she works hard,” Stremlow continued. “Kids like that get what they deserve – they work for it.”

Stremlow, now retired, also acknowledged he’s enjoyed being able to watch the hard-throwing Marlatt on the softball field the last couple of seasons as Forest Area hosted the Cardinals consecutively due to JoBurg’s lack of a home field.

It’s something he’ll have to travel to do this year though, as JoBurg is scheduled to host the Warriors on April 15.

The Cardinals also will host a Regional on their new field June 8. The winners of District play at Rogers City, Harbor Springs, St. Ignace and Gaylord St. Mary will participate.

To play in the Regional, the Cards will have to emerge from the Rogers City District featuring the host Hurons, Atlanta, Hillman, Onaway, and Posen.

Tom SpencerTom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Jayden Marlatt drives a pitch during softball season. (2) Cardinals’ 1,000-point scorer Marlatt sets up for a free throw attempt. (3) Also a standout in the fall, Marlatt prepares to connect during volleyball season. (4) Marlatt celebrates a trophy win during last season’s Semifinals softball run with parents (and coaches) Kim and Ryan Marlatt. (Action shots by Dylan Jespersen/Petoskey News-Review; family photo by Breya Domke.)