Howell Puts Heart Into Memorial Meet
August 29, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
An online tribute to Mackenzie Watts describes how she “made the people and world around her better.”
The Howell swimming and diving community continues to work so that her memory makes those who come after her safer as well.
Watts died in 2005 after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia. She was a 15-year-old sophomore and key cog on her high school team.
This past weekend, for the sixth straight season, the Highlanders hosted the Kenzie Classic, an invitational that served as a fundraiser for the Howell program and annual Mackenzie Watts scholarship – plus served to promote heart screenings by local National Diagnostic Services in their “HeartMobile” parked outside the pool.
NDS, which also has held screening events at Northville, Canton and Middleville Thornapple Kellogg schools among others, screened 20 students during this Kenzie Classic, said Wellness Director Heidi Enders.
Tests are ultrasound-based and non-invasive, and include an EKG to examine the heart’s electrical system for arrhythmias and an echocardiogram to examine the heart’s structure in case there is a thickening of the muscle (known as hyperthrophic cardiomyopathy). Adults were charged $199 and students $75, with discounted rates for adults in groups and children.
Click to check out coverage of the event from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.
While tracking down 660 football schedules (give or take a few) took up most of the summer, there still was time for a few additions to the MHSAA record book – with more to come.
Track and field fans will notice records from retired yardage events (pre-1982 or earlier depending on the MHSAA class) have been added to the online records here for boys and here for girls.
Cross country fans should check out our lists of top MHSAA Finals times for every division and every class, plus overall top 10 lists for both boys and girls since the race was set to five kilometers in 1980. Click here for girls and here for boys.
Also added or updated were team championship counts for both cross countries, volleyball and girls golf. Click to check out girls golf here and volleyball here.
Fond Football Memories
It has been 30 years since former Genesee all-state running back Don Robinson became the fourth player in Genesee County history to run for more than 300 yards in one game – which he did in gaining 317 on Sept. 23, 1983.
High school football and those memories remain close to his heart even after going on to play at Eastern Michigan University, a stint in the U.S. Navy and a move to Georgia.
He’s paid attention over the years as that “300 club” has grown to 22 players including current New Orleans Saints back Mark Ingram, Jr., and the University of Michigan’s Thomas Rawls.
He’s also a regular reader of Second Half, and asked to send along some words of wisdom to those who will be taking the field to begin the season this weekend:
“When you run out onto the field this season, do me a favor. At least once, pause.
“Look around you. Look at the lights in the sky. See the faces of those that have come to see you play. Listen to the band and the cheerleaders. Look into the eyes of your teammates ...
“Take it all in. When you’re older and miss this amazing game that you are playing, you’ll be glad you did.”
PHOTOS: (Top) A swimmer takes the lead during a race at Saturday's Kenzie Klassic at Howell High School. (Photo courtesy of Howell High School.) (Middle) Genesee graduate Don Robinson runs the ball during the 1983 season. (Photo courtesy of Don Robinson.)
Potent Pair Lead Cedarville/DeTour Girls to Repeat; Ontonagon Ace Paces Field
By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com
June 1, 2023
HYDE – Cedarville and DeTour have been golfing together for just two years as a co-op – and they already have two Upper Peninsula Girls Golf Finals titles.
The Islanders repeated in Division 3 with a score of 420 on Thursday at Highland Golf Club near Escanaba. That was eight strokes better than runner-up Big Bay de Noc and 16 fewer than third-place Ontonagon.
“It’s nice,” Islanders coach Jeff Autore said. “These girls worked hard. They knew they had a chance to be defending champions. We knew we had a pretty good chance coming in. This was our goal. The girls knew it, they were determined. This is why we practice in the rain and in the snow and in the cold.
“We expected this and we worked hard for this, and they deserve it.”
For Hayley Kohlmann, who shot a 94, and Taylor Williams, who carded a 107, it was their third-straight team title. Cedarville also won as a standalone team in 2021.
“They’ve had a pretty good run,” Autore said. “And then we co-opped with DeTour, and Lily Plowman has been our best player all year long. She finished in the top five last year.”
Plowman also shot a 94 on Thursday. She and Kohlmann were two of just three golfers in the field to shoot under 100.
The other was medalist Emmy Bobula of Ontonagon; she shot a 90. All three were over 100 at last year’s Final, held at the same course.
Bobula shot a 113 last year.
“So I really improved this season a lot,” she said. “It was crazy, that was my PR (personal record), so yeah, pretty bonkers.”
It was definitely a good time for such a good performance. She likes playing in tournaments and doesn’t get nervous for them. There’s no bigger tournament than this one for U.P. high school golfers.
“It’s crazy, it’s kind of surreal,” Bobula said. “I shed a few tears because it’s my senior season. It feels pretty good.”
Her coach Jim Jessup said Bobula wanted to have a big year – and she did.
“She’s a senior, she had drive, she wanted to do things this year and she did them,” Jessup said.
It all started for her Thursday off the tee.
“Probably my drives really saved me,” she said. “I had good drives today, which is probably the best thing and chipping, I did pretty well in chipping today actually.”
Ontonagon’s Madyson Pantti shot a 102 and Camryn Pederson of Big Bay de Noc a 105.
PHOTOS (Top) Cedarville/DeTour’s Lily Plowman hits out of the sand during Thursday’s UPD3 Final. (Middle) Ontonagon’s Emmy Bobula tees off during her championship round. (Below) Mackinac Island’s Isabella Nitzschke hits out of a tough spot beside a tree. (Photos by Jason Juno.)