Three MHSAA fall sports came to an end over the weekend, and the tournament for a fourth has begun. Those finishes highlight the non-football best from the week that was Oct. 15-21.
Rankings play out: The Lower Peninsula girls season came to a close with all four top-ranked teams claiming championships. Plymouth won its first MHSAA title in any sport in Division 1, while Mona Shores became the first Lower Peninsula girls golf team to win four straight by doing so in Division 2. Ada Forest Hills Eastern made it two titles in three seasons by winning Division 3, and Lansing Catholic won its third straight in Division 4. Second Half covered them all. (Division 1) (Division 2) (Division 3) (Division 4)
Dynasties continue: Three of four top-ranked teams also won MHSAA Lower Peninsula Boys Tennis Finals over the weekend, with the other champion hardly unfamiliar with first place. Ann Arbor Huron was ranked only No. 3 before winning Division 1 for the third time in five seasons. Midland Dow won its fourth straight Division 2 title and Ann Arbor Greenhills won its fifth straight in Division 4. But the biggest headline goes to Detroit Country Day, which tied Ann Arbor Pioneers’ dominance in 2002 with 39 points in claiming the Division 3 title. Second Half also covered all four of these Finals.(Division 1) (Division 2) (Division 3) (Division 4)
One streak ends, another begins: The Upper Peninsula season came to an end with its Finals for three divisions. Calumet’s Tara Kiilunen led her team to the Division 1 girls title by winning the individual championship for the fourth consecutive season. On the boys side, Sault Ste. Marie won its first title in 11 years thanks to the individual Division 1 championship of freshman Parker Scott, who finished this season undefeated. Second Half covered all the races. (Girls Finals) (Boys Finals)
Powers emerge in Division 1: Lower Peninsula Districts whittled the number of teams still alive down to 64 – 16 in each of four divisions. And the two toughest Districts to navigate were arguably in Division 1. Top-ranked East Kentwood beat Caledonia 6-0 to win that District, but only after the Falcons knocked out No. 2 Rockford in a semifinal and the Rams did the same to No. 7 Okemos in an opener. Rochester Stoney Creek, ranked No. 4, emerged from a district at Rochester that included No. 9 Utica Eisenhower and honorable mention Troy Athens by beating Rochester Adams 2-1 in the title game – after Adams upset Eisenhower in a semi. (Grand Rapids Press) (Oakland Press)
Over the last decade, media days have begun to emerge as a way for some of the state’s largest leagues to kick off their sports seasons. The Kensington Lakes Activities Association, for example, hosts them in a variety of sports.
To get this winter rolling, the KLAA for the first time added bowling to the list – highlighting one of its strongest but often less visible sports by welcoming bowlers and coaches from all 16 of the league’s schools Nov. 8 to Westland John Glenn.
The KLAA is one of the top bowling conferences in the state – a combined five teams made the MHSAA Team Finals last season for girls and boys, and Wayne Memorial’s boys won the Division 1 championship. That actually was the third season in a row that a KLAA team won Division 1 boys – Livonia Franklin was the champ in 2022 and Salem in 2021 – and Belleville’s girls finished Division 1 runners-up in 2021. Franklin and John Glenn both have produced a Division 1 singles champion over the last three seasons as well.
The media day celebrated that success – while looking ahead to possibilities for more to come this winter.
The event was organized by John Glenn athletic director Jason Malloy, the league’s commissioner for that sport (and also a member of the MHSAA Representative Council). Interviews and the video below were compiled by Westland John Glenn senior Lizzy Fall. Photos are by Olivia B. Photography.