The crowning of a new MHSAA soccer scoring champion and some statewide showdowns in golf and volleyball headline the best of the week that was Sept. 17-23.
Chatfield fills it up: Senior Aaron Chatfield, a forward for Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian, scored both of his team's goals in a 7-2 loss Friday to Elk Lake, but in doing so set the MHSAA career scoring record. He now has 174 goals, two more than former record holder Soony Saad of Dearborn. (Petoskey News)
Cougars edge Bulldogs: Two-time reigning MHSAA Division 4 champion Lansing Catholic edged Brighton 327-336 at the East Lansing Invitational on Sept. 17 at Walnut Hills Country Club. There were nine ranked teams in the 17-team field. Brighton is ranked No. 2 in Division 1. Lansing Catholic's Jacqueline Setas shot a 70 to take the individual medalist honor, and two of her teammates tied for second.
Blue streak: Richland Gull Lake downed Portage Central in three sets to win the Portage Central Invitational's gold division and a tournament the featured four teams ranked in Class A plus reigning champion Rockford and reigning Class B champion Fruitport (in A this season). Gull Lake moved up to No. 2 in Class A from No. 4 after the weekend, and Portage Central is No. 6. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
Ludington on the move: The Orioles have moved up from No. 8 to No. 6 in the Division 4 rankings after downing formerly-No. 2 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and No. 10 Almont at Saturday's Almont Invitational. (Mlive.com)
Flivver flies on: Kingsford's Dan Kulas claimed the individual championship at the Stephenson Invitational on Saturday in 16:58. He's won four straight races. (Iron Mountain Daily News)
Pershing coach steps down: Detroit Pershing boys basketball coach A.W. Canada has resigned, but will remain with the program as an assistant. The Doughboys are regularly in contention in Class A, last winning the MHSAA title in 2009 after also making the Final in 2008. (Detroit News)
Story of the Week
Spring Lake setter lifts Lakers: It's been a little more than a year since Emily Blahnik's mother Brenda suffered a horrific fall that left her with a skull fracture, brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. But with her teammates and community in continuous support, Blahnik has remained a big part of Spring Lake's volleyball program. The Grand Haven Tribune has been covering this story throughout, and Nate Thompson provides us with this update. (Grand Haven Tribune)
Sophia Wagner ♦ Escanaba
Senior ♦ Gymnastics
In just her team’s second competition this season, Wagner set program records with a 9.8 on floor exercise and 37.380 all-around to finish first in both at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. The floor exercise record topped the previous Escanaba-best 9.7 scored by current senior teammate Sophie Lehto last season.
Escanaba’s gymnastics program has made major statewide strides over the last half-decade, and Wagner reached the Finals podium last season tying for fifth on Division 2 balance beam with a score of 9.025 while also tying for 22nd on vault. The week before, Wagner helped lead Escanaba to a sixth-place Regional finish against a field that included the last two Finals team champions. She also played tennis and was part of the No. 3 doubles runner-up as Escanaba shared the Upper Peninsula Division 1 team title this fall, and she finished second in pole vault and ran on the seventh-place 400-meter relay in the spring as Escanaba finished third at the UPD1 Girls Track & Field Finals.
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Past 2023-24 Honorees
Dec. 1: Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24: Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17: Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10: Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27: Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20: Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13: Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5: Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29: MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22: Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15: Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8: Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1: Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report
(Photos courtesy of Victory Video and Photography.)