AD Inducted to National Hall of Fame

May 7, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor 

Winter gets hectic so quickly that we’re forced to save some intriguing items that come our way for a sunnier day – and that day is today.

Following are news, notes and a few key links collected over the last few months, including the national Hall of Fame induction of a longtime Michigan athletic director, local recognition for another and statewide acclaim for a group of students putting their video production equipment to good use benefiting all.

Ann Arbor AD Honored Nationally

Former Ann Arbor Huron athletic director Jane Bennett was among five inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame in December.

Bennett served 26 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director and assistant principal in Michigan before spending the last decade as a principal at two schools in Montana. She served as athletic director at Huron for 15 years through 2002-03. The NIAAA reported that during her final decade in that position, participation in athletics doubled. 

Bennett, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, began her career at Huron in 1977 as varsity softball coach and became a math teacher and the co-director of athletics a year later. She coached the softball team 14 seasons before moving into the full-time athletic director position. Bennett was co-founder of the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association and served as MHSSCA president from 1982-87.

Among other achievements at Huron, Bennett was a leader in a successful campaign to gain voter approval of a $60 million bond package, which included $20 million to improve and expand athletic facilities. She also developed curriculum for an annual varsity captains/head coaches leadership training program and composed handbooks/guidebooks for coaches, athletes and parents.

Bennett also was a valuable contributor to the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the NIAAA. She was president of the MIAAA in 1993-94 and a state conference speaker on several occasions. Bennett also served in various NIAAA leadership positions including on the committee that developed the Leadership Training Institute in 1996.

Bennett was named MIAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 1998 and received its State Award of Merit in 1997. She received the MHSAA’s Women in Sports Leadership Award in 1995 and was inducted into the MHSSCA Hall of Fame in 1995. Prior to her selection to the NIAAA Hall of Fame, Bennett was honored with the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and the NIAAA Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence in 2000. In 2005, she was inducted into the National Council of Secondary School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, having served as its president in 2003 and been selected as its Athletic Director of the Year in 1998.

PSL's Ward: 'Pillar' of Detroit Athletics

Alvin Ward, the executive director of athletics for the Detroit Public School League and a member of the MHSAA Representative Council, received a 2014 Pillar in the Community Award in April from the Coast II Coast All-Stars, a Detroit-based pro basketball team that plays in the American Basketball Association.

Ward has served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal as well for Detroit Public Schools, and directs programs with a combined 500 coaches and 4,500 athletes.

Linked up

  • This winter, the MHSAA Representative Council adopted a number of football practice rules changes aimed at improving player acclimatization at the start of fall and reducing head trauma and injuries. The Adrian Daily Telegram’s Doug Donnelly got responses from a number of coaches from that area of the state; click to find out why they feel these changes are important.

  • Port Huron Times Herald writer Paul Costanzo let people know about our Student Advisory Council through the experience of Marlette’s Connor Thomas, one of our juniors and a great contributor this school year.

Power of Awareness 

The Kimberly Anne Gillary Foundation works to educate Michigan schools on sudden cardiac arrest and train personnel in CPR and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator). The video below teaches us again about the importance of awareness.

Saginaw Heritage was awarded $5,000 in April as the winner of the Gillary Foundation’s High School AED Contest. Students were asked to create a 3-minute video emphasizing the importance of Michigan high schools being adequately prepared to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest or related event on school property.

Randy and Sue Gillary created the foundation after their 15-year-old daughter Kimberly – an athlete at Troy Athens – died after suffering sudden cardiac arrest in 2000. The contest judges were Kimberly’s sisters Emily Kucinich, Jennifer Gregroy and Katie Gillary.

As of April 1, the Gillary Foundation had raised $1.2 million and donated 650 AEDs to schools – with three lives having been saved with donated AEDs. For more, click

Record-Setting Saving, Historic Scoring Send Grosse Ile to 2018 Boys Soccer Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 17, 2024

Grosse Ile’s Division 3 runner-up season in 2018 included multiple MHSAA team records for defensive and offensive success.

The Red Devils set a record with 21 straight shutouts and 24 total over 29 games, and also finished third all-time scoring 158 goals.

Their 23-game winning streak that season remains tied for seventh-longest as Grosse Ile finished 27-2.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA boys soccer record book, and click the heading to see the record book in full.

Boys Soccer

Keeper Ethan DeJager and Grandville Calvin Christian were nearly unbeatable in 2020, finishing 19-1-2 and runner-up in Division 4. They set a record allowing only four goals for the season, while DeJager is fourth on the season shutouts list with 19 over those 22 games and tied for the second-longest shutout streak at 13. DeJager was a senior that season.

Seth Davidson capped his four-year varsity career this past fall on three records lists for shutouts – 15 over 22 games this past season, 26 for his career and nine straight as a senior. Berkley as a team also made the fewest goals allowed list, giving up only 11 in finishing 18-2-2.

Caden Saxton capped a memorable four-year Flint Kearsley varsity career in the fall with four entries in the record book. He made the assists list with 27 over 21 games as a senior and also the single-season points list with 65, and made career lists in those categories with 63 assists and 149 points, respectively, over 71 games.

Jonesville advanced in its District this past season with an 8-5 overtime win over Blissfield on Oct. 12, and Warrick Elder played a big part scoring six goals. He’s a senior.

Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals saw contributions from several players, and junior James Whiting was among those leading the way. He made the assists list with 30 over 22 games, and also the total points list with 49. He also sits on the career assists list after three seasons with 66 and one more season to play.

Holland Christian made the team list for 12 straight shutouts from Sept. 8-Oct. 19, and 15 shutouts total over 20 games this past season. Junior Adam Bergman was in goal for all 15 including the 12 consecutive.

Muskegon Oakridge senior Arturo Romero-Serrano capped his career in the fall with his second season reaching 40 goals, netting 42 total to finish his four-year career with 105 and also on the MHSAA career points list with 125. He also added a second six-goal game, against Muskegon Catholic Central on Aug. 25.

Monroe Jefferson’s season came to an end Oct. 11 in a District game against Riverview, but senior Gabe Gelso finished with a state record. He made 49 saves in the 9-0 defeat as the Bears had only eight players total.

Ian Klenk added eight more shutouts in goal this past fall to finish his three-season varsity career with 25 in 60 games and make the career list in that category. He’ll continue his career at Kuyper College.

PHOTO Grosse Ile's keeper Brendan Ebler (1) gathers the ball and charts his next move during the 2018 Division 3 Final.