10 to Remember: 2012-13 Finals

June 27, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Championships are culminations of season-long journeys, concluding with the most exciting competitions of the year but steeped in back stories that make those crowning achievements mean so much more.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association awards 127 team championships each school year. Anyone picking 10 favorites could come up with at least 13 different lists.

So the list that follows likely won’t agree with many others. But here’s one person’s take on the 10 most incredible MHSAA Finals performances – focusing mostly on the final competition but with some back story built in – from the 2012-13 school year. (Click on headings for full stories.)

10. Special teams lead to special accomplishment for Brother Rice

Birmingham Brother Rice and Muskegon had combined for 12 MHSAA football championships entering the Finals. But in winning their eighth, the Warriors also accomplished a first in 44 seasons under coach Al Fracassa – their first back-to-back titles. They went ahead in the eventual 35-28 win on a cross-field lateral that turned into a 91-yard kickoff return with 2:13 to play.

9. Lakewood volleyball ends championship wait ...

Lake Odessa Lakewood coach Kellie Rowland has won 787 matches during her 15 seasons over two tenures leading the program, and frequently had brought the Vikings to the cusp of their first MHSAA title. They finally got it by defeating perennial power North Branch in three games in the Class B championship match.  

8. ... and so does Bay City Western baseball

The Warriors earned coach Tim McDonald his first MHSAA championship game victory to go with 562 more wins over 21 seasons. Bay City Western won 1-0 in both the Semifinal and then Final over Brother Rice to secure its first baseball title and a 42-2 finish.

7. “Core 4” leave Mona Shores with four more

Seniors Hailey Hrynewich, Morgan Smith, Britni Gielow and Kelsey McKinley finished their high school careers as starters on four MHSAA championship teams, including the one that won the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Final this school year by 41 strokes. Hrynewich and Smith both posted top-five individual finishes as Mona Shores shot a two-day 666 at their final championship tournament.

6. Grand Ledge gymnastics sets the bar

Number six on this list makes sense for the Comets, who won their sixth straight MHSAA team championship to set the all-time longest title streak in the sport. They did so with the fifth-highest score in MHSAA Finals history – 149.350 – and despite graduating the Division 1 all-around champion the spring before.

5. Seniors say good-bye at LP Division 1 Final

Grosse Pointe South’s Hannah Meier and West Bloomfield’s Erin Finn brought national acclaim to the Detroit suburbs over the last two years with dominating performances in track and cross country. They finished their careers at the LP Division 1 Track & Field Final, where Meier set all-MHSAA Finals records in the 800 and 1,600 and Finn set an all-Finals record in the 3,200. In the fall, Finn and Meier finished first and second, respectively, at the LP Division 1 Cross Country Final.

4. Fowlerville standout reaches the stars

Gladiators senior Adam Coon, once an aspiring astronaut now turned aspiring aerospace engineer, became the 17th wrestler in MHSAA history to win four individual Finals championships. And he became the first to do so at the two heaviest weights, earning his titles at 215 and 285 pounds. He graduated with a career record of 211-3 and a 194-match winning streak.

3. Swimming with speed in Saline

Saline also won its fourth straight MHSAA title, in Lower Peninsula Division 1, anchored by seniors David Boland, Josh Ehrman, Michael Bundas and Adam Whitener. Combined, they hold four Finals individual and two relay records, and Ehrman graduated with all-Finals records in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Those four also leave with the 200 medley relay all-Finals record – with their time of 1:30.01 good for third-best in the national record book.

2. Michell sits atop MHSAA medal count

Reed City’s Sami Michell is one of two girls in MHSAA history to win four events at a Track & Field Final – a feat she accomplished both this season and last. And she finished her career this month with 12 individual titles overall, two more than the previous Lower Peninsula record. She graduated with LP Division 3 Finals records in both hurdles races and the long jump, and her 300 hurdles time of 42.23 is an all-Finals record.

1. Football Finals end in overtime classic

The most exciting MHSAA Football Final likely was the last of Thanksgiving weekend – a 40-37 overtime win by Grand Rapids Christian over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s that gave the Eagles the Division 3 title. And at least on this list, it counts as the most exciting of all the buzzer-beating, one-point, by one millimeter endings to the MHSAA’s 127 Finals this school year.

The Saturday night crowd at Ford Field was treated to an incredible performance by Eagles receiver Drake Harris, who had eight catches for a record 243 yards and touchdown and was nearly unstoppable as Grand Rapids Christian drove down the stretch. Quarterback Alex VanDeVusse threw for 307 yards, fourth-most in MHSAA Finals history, as the frazzled nerves of fans, players and coaches alike hung on every play. St. Mary’s ran for 459 of the single-team Finals record 579 yards of total offense; the teams combined for another record of 1,033 total yards between them. And at the end, the game was decided on a 27-yard field goal by Joel Schipper, who had connected on a 28-yarder with four seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

PHOTO:Saline swimmers take a celebratory dip after claiming their fourth straight Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship.

Bloomfield Hills JV Golfer Adds Rare Highlight to Strong Spring with Par-4 Hole-In-One

By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com

May 24, 2024

Freshman Lucas Dostal was just aiming for a drive down the middle of the par-4 17th fairway.

Just seconds later, he finished the hole at Hudson Mills Metro Park in that one swing with the driver.

The Bloomfield Hills junior varsity player didn’t see from the tee his ace on the 329-yard hole drop in the cup, so the reaction was delayed – but still refreshing.

“I hit a draw, so the ball started right, then went left and it was kinda going toward the pin but it was too hard to see,” he said in an email. “The ground was firm, and there was some down wind.

“I didn’t see the ball at all go in, but once I realized it, I was in shock. It helped me shoot a really good 71, but I tripled bogeyed (4-putt) the last hole so that kinda ruined it.”

Spoken like a true competitive golfer.

That 71 was good for medalist at the tournament April 20 versus other JV teams like Detroit Catholic Central, Novi and Grand Blanc, and brought way more attention to his game than he’d like.

The program’s junior varsity coach David Lumsden, a North Hills middle school teacher, said a lot of people assumed he’d be bumped up to varsity very soon; even local media talked that way. After all, it was the first tournament of the season, and Dostal comes into the clubhouse with an albatross and a win.

Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. “He is a good golfer, and the first thing I did was email the varsity coach and said I think this kid has got the goods to be on varsity,” Lumsden said. “We had purposefully left two varsity spots open because we have so many young kids who are good golfers; we didn’t know who to choose and left two spots (flexible). I suggested Lucas, but we agreed since he was a freshman to give him a couple more events and see how he does.

“I think he shot in the high 70s the next tournament and the 80s after that. And Lucas came to me after that and said, ‘Coach, can you put me on the B team?’ I think the pressure was getting to him being No. 1 on the A team. So, me and the varsity coach agreed he needs a year on JV to play in some more matches and tournaments and grow into that varsity position.”

The JV team went 9-0 this spring in dual meets and finished in the top 10 in five of six tournaments.

“He’s going to be a great golfer,” Lumsden said. “There’s no part of his game that is lacking. He’s got a great short game. Off the tee he’s amazing. And I’ve watched him make really great recovery shots with his irons. He’s going to be really good; we’re just taking it slow. Don’t want to put all this pressure on him and end up having him quit golf too early.

“Lucas is very mild-mannered. He doesn’t talk a lot. He loves golf and has a brother (Domonic) playing on the varsity team who’s really good too. They are both golf fanatics and love the game. It’s very enjoyable to watch him getting into it and getting used to being a good golfer and getting this kind of recognition. He’s not been bragging about anything, and he’s just a solid golfer.”

If Dostal does make varsity in 2025, he should be joining his brother for that one year together on the team.

“The awareness (of his game) is there,” Lumsden said. “He’s really got the temperament to be somebody that’s going to be a top golfer.

“Many of the top golfers in the state are here in Southeast Michigan, so he’s got a lot of good competition. He might be used to going out with his buddies and beating them by 10 strokes with no problem; now he’s going against kids who are just as good as he is, or better.

“And this is just JV golf. Once you go to varsity, those kids go really low.”

PHOTOS (Top) Bloomfield Hills’ Lucas Dostal shows the ball he drove into the hole next to him for a par-4 hole-in-one April 20 at Hudson Mills Metro Park. (Middle) Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. (Photos courtesy of the Bloomfield Hills JV golf program.)