Did you see that? (10/29-11/4)

November 5, 2012

We had champions upon champions upon champions last week, whether they were winners of MHSAA Finals in cross country and soccer, Districts in volleyball or league champs in swimming and diving. 

Girls cross country

Favorites make good: Reigning individual champions Erin Finn of West Bloomfield, Julia Bos of Grand Rapids Christian and Kirsten Olling of Breckenridge all repeated Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, with Macomb Lutheran North's Gina Patterson joining the group. Second Half talked to all four. (Division 1) (Division 2) (Division 3) (Division 4)

Boys cross country

Taking two titles: Highland Milford and Concord won both the MHSAA Lower Peninsula team championships in their respective divisions Saturday and also had the top individuals in those races. Second Half provided same-day coverage from every race. (Division 1) (Division 2) (Division 3) (Division 4)

Soccer

Headed west: A year after Detroit-area teams claimed all four MHSAA LP boys soccer championships, Grand Rapids area teams took back three. East Kentwood, Hudsonville Unity Christian and Grand Rapids South Christian won titles, while Hamtramck Freedom International kept one on the east side of the state with its first Finals win. Second Half covered them all. (Division 1) (Division 2) (Division 3) (Division 4)

Volleyball

Hang that banner: Bay City John Glenn won its first volleyball District championship in the 47-year history of the school, beating Essexville-Garber in four sets to claim a Class B title. John Glenn had to come back after dropping the first game. (Bay City Times)

Hang that banner, part II: Three Rivers also won its first volleyball District championship, downing Vicksburg in four games to claim the Class B championship. (Sturgis Journal)

Copper Kings, once again: After finding itself only two points from the District championship in 2011, and then giving up the final five to lose it, Calumet defeated rival Houghton in three games to take back the trophy after two straight Houghton wins. The Copper Kings are ranked No. 4 in Class C. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette)

West Iron ends near-decade of dominance: Iron River West Iron County had last won a District title in 2002, before nine straight by rival Iron Mountain. But the Wykons knocked out the Mountaineers in a Semifinal and came back from match point to score the final five and beat Ironwood for a Class C championship. (Escanaba Daily News)

Swimming and Diving

Holland still rules: Coming off their first MHSAA championship in 2011, the Dutch continue to roll and piled up seven O-K Green records in winning that league championship meet. Cassie Misiewicz and Holly Morren each set two individual marks. (Holland Sentinel)

Double Dow: Midland Dow won the Saginaw Valley League championship meet with 638 points, more than double that of the runner-up. The title was Dow's seventh straight. (Midland Daily News)

Wrestling

Longtime Napoleon coach steps down: Todd Anderson announced his resignation after running the program since 1990-91. His father Don Anderson started the program in 1967. (Jackson Citizen-Patriot)

Tennis

Forman is Mr. Tennis: Troy senior Brett Forman, the MHSAA Division 1 champion at No. 1 singles as a sophomore and runner-up this fall, was named Mr. Tennis by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association. He finished his career with a 77-8 record. (Oakland Press)

Story of the Week

Kirsten fights on: A little more than a year ago, doctors found cancerous tumors throughout Kirsten Longstreth's body, including multiple in her lungs. But the Beaverton senior had fought back to nearly knock the cancer completely out, and while continuing to play sports including volleyball this fall. (Midland Daily News)

Unionville-Sebewaing Softball Ties Finals Record with 5th-Straight Championship

By Tom Kendra
Special for MHSAA.com

June 15, 2024

EAST LANSING – Leave it to standout senior catcher Gabby Crumm to ensure her school’s spot in the state record books.

Unionville-Sebewaing was doing its thing in Saturday’s Division 4 championship game, slowing pulling away from first-time finalist Holton – until Crumm stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning.

Crumm launched one of her signature shots over the centerfield wall, a two-run homer that keyed a six-run inning for the Patriots, who then cruised to an 11-1 victory in six innings at Secchia Stadium.

It was USA’s fifth straight Finals championship, dating back to pre-COVID in 2019, and tying the record for consecutive titles with Kalamazoo Christian, which won five Division 3 titles in a row from 1996 to 2000.

Emma Monette (9) drives a pitch for the Red Devils. “It’s really bittersweet right now,” said Crumm, a four-year starter at catcher who will play at Saginaw Valley State. “USA softball has meant everything to me, and it’s shaped me in so many different ways.

“I’m sad that it’s over, but it couldn’t have ended in a better way.”

USA, which finished 31-11 and was the top-ranked team in Division 4 entering the postseason, showed its experience in the first inning – getting girls on base and putting the pressure on Holton using two hits and two errors to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

The lead would stay that way until the fourth inning, when USA’s tremendous senior class stepped up and put the game away.

Shortstop Ella Neumann ripped a two-run single, which led the Red Devils to change pitchers. Crumm followed up right after Neumann with her long blast over the centerfield wall to effectively put the game out of reach.

“We struggled a little bit in the beginning, but then we cleaned it up,” said 10th-year Holton coach Kirk Younts, whose team did not have an error after the first inning. “They are a great team, and they know how to hit. We tried to mix up our pitching on them, but it just didn’t work.”

Holton (29-13-1), which was playing in its first softball championship game and looking to win the first softball Finals title for a Muskegon County school, managed just three hits against Patriots sophomore Olivia Greene.

Erin Jubar (6) rounds third base while Holton’s infielders await a throw.Greene fooled the Red Devils all game with her rise ball, striking out 10.

Greene also showed her skills at the plate, ending the game with a shot to right-centerfield which actually hit the top of the fence and bounced back into play. Even though it wasn’t a home run, it scored senior Jenna Gremel to give the Patriots a 10-run lead and clinch the title.

Gremel, who with Crumm was a four-year varsity player and four-time champion, finished with two RBIs. Senior leadoff hitter Rylie Benson was 2-for-3, and Neumann had two hits and two RBIs.

USA coach Marc Reinhardt, who finished his second season as head coach but has been around the program for many years, said it never gets old winning a state championship.

“No, it’s always a thrill,” said Reinhardt, who is assisted by Matt Prime, Tommy Betson and Bree Gordon. “I am so glad that this particular group of seniors was able to go out on top. There will be other talented players coming in, but this was a very special group.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) USA teammates welcome Gabriella Crumm (1) after her home run Saturday at Secchia Stadium. (Middle) Emma Monette (9) drives a pitch for the Red Devils. (Below) Erin Jubar (6) rounds third base while Holton’s infielders await a throw.