School is back in session, and MHSAA teams should be hitting their best strides as league competition gets underway in most sports.
Here's a look at some of the highlights from the first full week of September, with links to additional coverage.
Spikes under the sun: Muskegon Mona Shores finished 3-0 in its home invitational Wednesday against a strong field of Grand Haven, Fruitport and Spring Lake. That's reason to celebrate on its own. But the best part of this story is where the Sailors did their damage -- on two portable courts stretched across the school's football field. (Muskegon Chronicle)
St. Philip takes Cereal City: Despite being one of the smallest schools in the state, it's rare that Battle Creek St. Philip doesn't leave a tournament as champion -- especially in its home town. But the Tigers hadn't won the Cereal City Invitational since 2007, until it did so with a two-set win over Class A honorable mention Temperance-Bedford this weekend. (Battle Creek Enquirer)
FHE is No. 1: Ada Forest Hills Eastern more than justified its ranking as best in the state in Class B by besting many of the best from the Grand Rapids area at the East Kentwood Invitational. Among others in the field were Class A No. 8 East Grand Rapids and reigning MHSAA Class A champion Rockford. (Grand Rapids Press)
Put them in the book: Johannesburg-Lewiston swept Gaylord St. Mary on Tuesday, thanks in part to 10 aces by junior Brittany Cherwinski, a total which will qualify for the MHSAA record book once documentation is submitted. In the team's previous match, junior Julia Nieman qualified for most assists in a match. (Gaylord Herald Times)
Harbor Springs rules the mud: Both the Harbor Springs boys and girls teams won their Charlevoix Classic Mud Runs on Saturday on a course that featured standing water and hay bales among other obstacles. It was the 21st year of the race. (Charlevoix Courier)
Running to records: Sault Ste. Marie has a freshman to watch in Parker Scott, who won his school's Bill Lynn Trails race Saturday in a time of 16:36 -- at least 26 seconds faster than any of the three first-place times from last season's MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals. The time was a school record. (Soo Evening News)
Swimming and Diving
West Ottawa wins West Michigan: Facing many of the biggest and best from that side of the state, Holland West Ottawa won the West Michigan Relays after finishing third in the event each of the last three seasons. Among those also in the field was reigning MHSAA Division 2 champion Holland. (Holland Sentinel)
Dow rises again: The Division 2 top-ranked Midland Dow tennis team remained perfect this season by winning its third tournament of the fall, at Grosse Pointe North. Among others in the field were No. 2-ranked Portage Central and No. 3 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (Midland Daily News)
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.