10 to Remember: 2013-14 Finals

July 10, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Every championship leaves a lasting impression with the athletes and coaches who achieved it and the communities that cheered them on. 

That makes picking the 10 most notable finishes from this school year's MHSAA Finals a no-win scenario. But here's one person's carefully-considered opinion:

10. Unranked Eaton Rapids finishes No. 1 for the first time

The Greyhounds capped this year’s Girls Basketball Finals with a 51-38 win over Grand Rapids South Christian in the Class B title game that closed the weekend. But that statement alone barely scratches the surface of the story. The championship was the first for Eaton Rapids, which started five seniors and entered the tournament unranked but eliminated No. 6 Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, No. 8 Flint Powers Catholic and then the top-ranked Sailors during the season’s final week.

9. Western sweeps first Finals at Michigan State

The Baseball and Softball Finals moved to Michigan State University this spring, and the Bay City Western baseball and softball teams both took home championship trophies. The Warriors baseball team, after winning its first title in 2013, became the first in Class A or Division 1 to repeat in defeating Grosse Pointe South 6-2. The softball team won its first MHSAA championship by defeating Portage Central 4-2 after also making – and leading late – in the 2013 Final before losing by a run to Mattawan.

8. Sacred Heart overcomes, comes back for first title

Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart couldn’t have been favored by many in this season’s Class D Girls Basketball Final with one senior, making only its second championship game appearance and going up against Crystal Falls Forest Park and recently-crowned Miss Basketball Lexi Gussert. But the unranked Irish finished on a 14-3 run over the final three minutes to get past the top-ranked Trojans 56-53 and win their first MHSAA title.

7. Canton gymnastics finishes long championship journey

The Canton gymnastics team claimed its first MHSAA title by edging Grand Ledge by 2.4 points after finishing runner-up to the Comets each of the last three seasons. The Chiefs also had finished Finals runner-up in 1996 under coach John Cunningham, who took over the program in 1979 and has coached the sport since 1968. Grand Ledge had won 106 straight competitions including the last six MHSAA Finals.

6. Big Reds regain top spot in Class A hoops

With Mr. Basketball Deshaun Thrower and 2015 candidate Deyonta Davis setting the pace, Muskegon finished only the second perfect season in Class A in the last 24 seasons with a 91-67 Final win over Bloomfield Hills that earned the Big Reds their first MHSAA championship since 1937. Thrower had 21 points, and Davis had 26 and 13 rebounds.

5. Brother Rice sends Fracassa out as champion once more

The Warriors made coach Al Fracassa a back-to-back MHSAA football champion for the first time with a 38-21 victory over Muskegon in a rematch of the 2013 Division 2 Final. Brother Rice also finished 14-0 as Fracassa finished a career during which he built a 430-117-7 record dating to 1969. His wins rank first in MHSAA football history.

4. New Lothrop wrestlers end Hudson’s reign

The Hornets won their first MHSAA title since 2004 by edging Hudson 32-22 in the Division 4 Final at Kellogg Arena. New Lothrop’s title win also ended an MHSAA-record five-season championship run by the Tigers, who tied the Davison teams of 2002-06 for the longest string of consecutive titles.

3. Stars finish final title runs with 4

A pair of mid-Michigan athletes capped four-year varsity careers by joining the elite champions in their respective sports. Breckenridge runner Kirsten Olling became the fifth girl in MHSAA history to win four Lower Peninsula individual championships, claiming her latest and last in an LP Division 4 Final record 17:44.9. St. Johns senior Zac Hall became the third wrestler in three seasons and 18th in MHSAA history to finish with four individual championships. He defeated Greenville’s Alec Ward 12-2 in the Division 2 140-pound championship match to close this season 52-0 and his career 198-2.

2. St. Philip adds to all-time accolades

The Battle Creek St. Philip volleyball program ranks first in MHSAA Final appearances (27) and championships (19), but further cemented itself among the all-time elite by winning its eighth straight MHSAA title – good to tie Marysville’s 1997-2004 teams for the longest championship streak in MHSAA history. The Tigers did so this season by defeating Waterford Our Lady in three games in Class D, and despite graduating seven from its 2012 championship team.

1. Trenton wins one more for Turner

Trenton’s hockey team defeated Hartland 8-3 in the Division 2 Final to earn the program’s 14th MHSAA championship and first since 2010 – and send out coach Mike Turner with one more crowning achievement on the most notable career in MHSAA hockey history. Earlier this winter, Turner set the record for coaching wins. He finished 628-126-52 over 28 seasons stretching across two tenures.  

PHOTO: Trenton hockey players celebrate during this season's Division 2 championship trophy.

Hollenbaugh Surpasses Older Sister to Net Quincy's Goal-Scoring Record

By Scott Hassinger
Special for MHSAA.com

May 28, 2024

QUINCY – Sami Hollenbaugh aspires to become a successful realtor one day, and has the next steps toward that goal mapped out.

Southwest CorridorBut she already has made a big impact in the world of high school girls soccer as Quincy's striker the last four years.

Entering last week's 8-0 Division 3 District Quarterfinal win over Springport, Hollenbaugh had scored a school-record 89 career goals. Sami's older sister Emily Hollenbaugh, a 2020 graduate, previously held the mark.

Hollenbaugh's exposure to soccer began as a 5-year-old in the local AYSO programs in Quincy and Coldwater. A year ago, Sami joined the Jackson Jaguars, a travel soccer team, to prepare for her senior year.

"My mom put all us kids into AYSO when I was younger. That's where it all started, and I was also playing softball back then. After a while, I decided just to play soccer, and I've stuck with it ever since,” Sami Hollenbaugh said. “I just like scoring goals,"

Another of her favorite aspects is getting her teammates involved.

"I enjoy other girls who don't have as many opportunities to get chances to shoot and score. I just always want to do what's best for my team," Hollenbaugh said.

Hollenbaugh's two biggest influences are her older sister and her mother Melanie Hollenbaugh.

Hollenbaugh (1) brings the ball upfield during a match."In my freshman and sophomore years, I compared myself a lot to Emily, but then I realized I didn't have to do (that) and just went out to be as competitive as I could,” Sami Hollenbaugh said. “My mom also keeps our stat book, and she's real good about keeping me upbeat and not letting me get down on myself during a match.”

Quincy (14-4-1) won the Independent Soccer League and looks to capture a second-straight District championship later this week. The Orioles' 2023 season ended with a 7-0 loss to Williamston in the Regional Semifinals.  

Hollenbaugh is one of four seniors on an 18-player roster dominated by underclassmen. Piper Eby, Grace Lindsley and Tessa Henry are the Orioles' other seniors.

"This year we have a lot of juniors, new girls and freshmen. It took us a little while to get where we are now, and we've improved a lot,” Hollenbaugh said. “Our midfield is very strong, and offensively we're getting more free balls. We spend an incredible amount of time working on shooting at the goal. I try to get as many reps at practice and at home as possible.”

After graduation, Hollenbaugh plans to study interior design at Michigan State University. Collegiate soccer is not on the radar, but she does plan on playing at the intramural level.

The real estate field has always interested her.

"I've just always enjoyed looking at homes. I go on the Zillow app a lot and have always pictured my family or myself living in a particular home," Hollenbaugh said.

Outside of soccer, Hollenbaugh is involved with National Honor Society, student council and is a member of Quincy's Varsity Club.

Olivet (14-3-3) squares off against Battle Creek Pennfield (13-5-1) in Thursday's other District Semifinal match. Winners will meet in Saturday's 10 a.m. title game with the champion advancing to the Williamston Regional.

"We had some early struggles while some of our younger players learned our system. If we can clean a few things up, I feel we have a good shot to keep advancing," said Quincy's eighth-year head coach Ivan Swift, who had been Hollenbaugh's only coach since she began playing the sport.

Eighth-year Quincy varsity girls soccer coach Ivan Swift has been Hollenbaugh's coach since she began playing soccer at age 5. "I started coaching AYSO soccer and have been Sami's coach through the various levels. About a year ago, I reached out and suggested to her that she should play travel soccer to get another coach's perspective. That experience has really helped her grow as a player. You can really see the improvement she's made this spring.”

Andy Hosmer, also head women's coach at Jackson Community College and Brooklyn Columbia Central, coached Hollenbaugh with the Jackson Jaguars.

"Sami is a very driven person. Records are meant to be broken, and I've tried to let her know all season just where she is at to accomplish those,” Swift said. “After she has graduated, I'll do the same for the other girls. Those kinds of situations help motivate your players to improve.”

Even a leg injury hasn't deterred Hollenbaugh from reaching her goals.

"Sami has battled a pulled right quad most of this season, but has only missed one match. It’s benefited her because now she's developed a good shot with her left leg when she needs to and continues to score. I think that just shows her level of determination," Swift said.

Freshman forward/midfield Laura Bostic is second in scoring for the Orioles with 22 goals, to go with 10 assists. "Laura will be a bright spot for years to come," Swift said.

Makenzie Maynard has 13 goals and four assists, Abby Hinds has nine goals and eight assists, and Sade Harges has scored six goals with three assists. Other Quincy standouts include Mackenzie Maynard, Ciaira Paul, Claire Robertson, Danica Swift, Adriana Welch and Ella Bartell.

"We call Abby 'Big Time' because she's got a real strong leg and distributes the ball very well. She takes most of our free and corner kicks and is kind've our point guard in the middle of the field," Ivan Swift said.

The Orioles are experienced on the defensive backline with three juniors playing key roles. Danica Swift, daughter of the head coach, is in her third varsity season as Quincy's starting goalkeeper.

Quincy's biggest wins this season came over Adrian Lenawee Christian 3-1 in conference play, along with a 4-1 victory over Brooklyn Columbia Central.

Scott HassingerScott Hassinger is a contributing sportswriter for Leader Publications and previously served as the sports editor for the Three Rivers Commercial-News from 1994-2022. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Quincy senior striker Sami Hollenbaugh, far right, celebrates with a teammate after scoring this season. (Middle) Hollenbaugh (1) brings the ball upfield during a match. (Below) Eighth-year Quincy varsity girls soccer coach Ivan Swift has been Hollenbaugh's coach since she began playing soccer at age 5. (Action photos by Troy Tennyson/Coldwater Daily Reporter; Swift headshot by Scott Hassinger.)