Paying Tribute with Diamond Donation

May 14, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Rochester Adams and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood baseball players and coaches both had loved ones on their minds when they took the field at Comerica Park earlier this month.

And they paid tribute to those loved ones over their hearts and across the backs of their jerseys.

Together, the teams raised more than $3,500 for the Coaches vs. Cancer research initiative.

Instead of its usual brown and yellow, Adams wore jerseys of light blue with a green ribbon as the middle “A” in its name across the front in honor of those suffering with lymphoma, including 2011 graduate and former standout Matt Williams.

Cranbrook-Kingswood wore dark blue jerseys with a pink ribbon as the “A” in Cranbrook and with lime green writing on the back as the Cranes remembered longtime coach Jack Sanders, who died in 2012 after also battling lymphoma.

Sanders’ was among names adorning the backs of jerseys, along with other cancer victims the players and coaches knew.

Adams won the May 1 game, 18-3. Click to read more from the Oakland Press’ Keith Dunlap, who leading up to the game detailed both Williams’ fight and Sanders’ longtime contributions.

Net finder

Lake Fenton’s Jordan Newman will finish her high school soccer career later this spring as the top goal-scorer in MHSAA girls soccer history.

The Blue Devils’ senior forward broke the career record on April 28, scoring her 169th goal against Perry to pass the mark set by Newaygo’s Jaleen Dingledine from 2004-07. Newman also is a four-year varsity player.

Click to read more on her record run from the Flint Journal's Eric Woodyard.

5 K, 1 IP

The MHSAA doesn't keep a record for most strikeouts in an inning. But if it did, there’s a great chance Brighton’s Garrett Russell would top the list.

Against Ann Arbor Pioneer on April 5, Russell struck out five batters in an inning. 

Yes, five.  

Here’s how:

Russell struck out the first two batters of the inning swinging, leaving one out to get. He then struck out that third batter as well, but that batter reached first base because the third strike turned into a wild pitch.

The fourth batter of the inning was the only one to not strike out – he walked, putting runners on first and second base with two outs. Those runners advanced to second and third base, respectively, on a wild pitch thrown to the fifth batter of the inning.

That fifth batter then struck out swinging (which made it four strikeouts in the inning), but that third strike turned into a passed ball – and that batter ended up on first base, loading them for the sixth hitter of the inning.

But Russell found enough for one more K, striking out that sixth hitter swinging on a 2-2 pitch.

His line for the inning: 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 bases on balls, 5 strikeouts.

Brighton went on to sweep the doubleheader 12-4 and 11-1.

Family ties

Basketball clearly runs in a pair of families who have come through Corunna High School.

This winter, brothers M.J. and Mikhail Myles both scored their 1,000th career points – M.J., a senior, on Jan. 3 and Mikhail, a junior, in the team’s District Semifinal on March 5. 

On Feb. 18, senior Payton Birchmeier became the fifth player in girls program history to score her 1,000th point – despite scoring only four points as a freshman before suffering a season-ending knee injury in her first high school game. She became the first Corunna girl to score 1,000 since her sister Megan finished accomplishing the feat in 2010.

Payton Birchmeier went on to play her final three seasons also on varsity, and M.J. Myles also was a four-year varsity player. Mykhail Myles has played three on varsity with next season still to play. The Myles' stepsister Klarissa Bell this winter finished an outstanding career at Michigan State University and won the Miss Basketball Award as a senior at East Lansing High School in 2010, and stepbrother Devlin Bell also was a Trojans standout.

PHOTOS: (Top) Rochester Adams players congratulate each other during their May 1 game at Comerica Park. (Middle) The Adams' first baseman and a Cranbrook-Kingswood base runner await the next pitch. (Photos courtesy of Rochester Adams baseball.)

Performance of the Week: Escanaba's Sophia Wagner

December 8, 2023

Sophia WagnerSophia Wagner ♦ Escanaba
Senior ♦ Gymnastics

In just her team’s second competition this season, Wagner set program records with a 9.8 on floor exercise and 37.380 all-around to finish first in both at the Escanaba Elks Invitational. The floor exercise record topped the previous Escanaba-best 9.7 scored by current senior teammate Sophie Lehto last season.

Escanaba’s gymnastics program has made major statewide strides over the last half-decade, and Wagner reached the Finals podium last season tying for fifth on Division 2 balance beam with a score of 9.025 while also tying for 22nd on vault. The week before, Wagner helped lead Escanaba to a sixth-place Regional finish against a field that included the last two Finals team champions. She also played tennis and was part of the No. 3 doubles runner-up as Escanaba shared the Upper Peninsula Division 1 team title this fall, and she finished second in pole vault and ran on the seventh-place 400-meter relay in the spring as Escanaba finished third at the UPD1 Girls Track & Field Finals.

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Sophia Wagner #gymnastics #letsgo #team #escanaba #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🤸POW: Sophia Wagner #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #simonebiles #gymnastics #letsgo #proposal #hearthands #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.'s "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

Dec. 1: Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

(Photos courtesy of Victory Video and Photography.)