High 5s: 11/14/12

November 19, 2012

All three of this week's honorees have achieved some sort of first-time stardom this fall, either individually or as a team. And both Carli Snyder and Alex Grace will be back next fall to continue building on these accomplishments. 

Carli Snyder
Macomb Dakota junior

(UPDATED 11/19) Snyder, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, was an all-stater her first two seasons of high school. But she will be remembered even more for leading Macomb Dakota this fall to its first MHSAA championship in any girls sport. The Cougars defeated Temperance Bedford in three games in Saturday's Class A Final at Kellogg Arena. Snyder unofficially finished this season with 913 kills, good for seventh in the MHSAA record book since the beginning of the rally scoring era in 2004-05. Her 31 kills against Bedford were third-most for a Final during that time. Snyder already has committed to sign with the University of Florida next year. She likely will be among frontrunners for next fall's Miss Volleyball award. 

Title talk: "We wanted this thing so bad. Every girl on this team wanted it so badly. Megan (Manierski) was setting the ball perfectly. She made it very easy to get kills. ... Just talking about this moment, this gym, it makes you just want to play harder than you ever have."

Winning recipe: "We've been a competitive team in practice and in games all year, so I think that helped us at that moment (in three close Finals games) when we just didn't want to lose. We refused to lose. ... We support each other no matter what. And we hustled so hard."

Shake it up: "We have some secret handshakes with other people, but mine are very complex. I don't know how we went about that. Megan and mine is from "Parent Trap," and then Megan Downey and mine, we just made it up at team dinner. We make it a bit more complex than it needs to be, but it's fun. And it's a great thing to calm us down for a game when we've played a bad one before."

Had to be a Gator: "I like warm weather. I love the coaches. I actually called Florida for my recruiting phone call because I was kinda bored one day at home and I was like, 'I got a letter from them.' I fell in love with the coaching staff, and I told my mom that I needed to go on a visit down there. It's incredible, and when I went down there I was even more in love. Even on the phone, I knew this is where I would end up. It's just that feeling. You know when you get that feeling, and it's incredible."

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Alex Grace
Saginaw Swan Valley sophomore

The Vikings' leading rusher is also one of the leading rushers in the state this season heading into Saturday's Division 4 Semifinal against Detroit Country Day. Grace has gained 2,091 yards plus run for 27 touchdowns, and needs only 109 yards and three more scores to make the MHSAA record book in both categories. He ran for 182 yards and three scores in the Vikings' Regional Final win over Croswell-Lexington. Grace took over as Swan Valley's running back this season after the graduation of his brother Johnathan, who rushed for 1,790 yards last season and now plays at Michigan Tech. Both brothers ran on Swan Valley's 400-meter relay that finished runner-up at the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Track and Field Final in the spring. Alex is 6-0 and 185 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

I'd like to run like: "Even my brother. I like to look at myself as close to him. Professionally, (Minnesota Vikings back) Adrian Peterson. He's a tough runner, fast. He's strong."

Underdogs again: "The last game against Croswell, they were the No. 2 team and we were predicted to lose. But we came back and beat them. I use that underdog feeling to work harder each day."

Best brotherly advice: "Work hard, and if there are doubters, don't let them get you down."

Science and math: (My favorite classes are) biology and economics. They just come easy to me. I enjoy it."

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Flint Beecher football

The Buccaneers, coached by former Michigan State and NFL standout Courtney Hawkins, were one of the final teams selected for the playoffs, at 5-4 after a 3-4 start. But Beecher advanced to this week's Division 7 Semifinal against Detroit Loyola by eliminating reigning champion Saginaw Nouvel, 19-15, in last week's Regional championship game. Beecher, now 8-4, has made the playoffs six straight years. The first of that run came in Hawkins' second as coach and after 12 straight losing seasons. 

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Previous 2012-13 honorees:

Today in the MHSAA: 6/2/23

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

June 2, 2023

1. GOLF Cedarville/DeTour’s girls repeated as Upper Peninsula Division 3 champions, and Rock Mid Peninsula’s boys won their first Finals championship – MHSAA.com Girls | Boys

2. GIRLS SOCCER No. 12 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central scored the lone goal in its Division 1 District Final against No. 3 Forest Hills Northern – Grand Rapids Press

3. GIRLS SOCCER No. 11 Plainwell clinched a Division 2 District title with a 3-0 win over No. 8 Stevensville Lakeshore – WWMT

4. GIRLS SOCCER Pinckney defeated Jackson 2-0 to claim a Division 1 District title, its first in girls soccer – Livingston Daily Press & Argus

5. GIRLS SOCCER Sam Johnson’s courageous effort helped No. 2 North Muskegon to a Division 4 District title win over No. 11 Muskegon Western Michigan Christian – CatchMark SportsNet

6. GIRLS SOCCER No. 3 Elk Rapids advanced with a Division 3 District Final win over No. 13 Boyne City – Up North Live

7. GIRLS SOCCER No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Marian clinched a Division 2 District title with a 2-0 win over No. 7 Cranbrook Kingswood – Oakland Press

8. GIRLS SOCCER Unranked DeWitt scored the game’s lone goal in overtime to get past No. 13 Mason and claim a Division 2 District title – Lansing State Journal

9. BOYS GOLF No. 6 Rochester Adams shot a 306 to win its LPD1 Regional with No. 13 Lake Orion second and Bloomfield Hills third – Macomb Daily

10. GIRLS SOCCER Bay City Western advanced in Division 2 with a District-clinching shootout win over Mount Pleasant – Bay City Times