Thanksgiving week means a short one for most -- and more time for family, shopping, relaxation, watching the MHSAA Football Finals and hopefully a little additional reading.
Here are some suggestions from the last week and as we get ready to leave the fall and jump into the winter sports season.
Remember, if you find something high school sports-related that you think others would find useful or inspiring, send me a link at [email protected] and I'll check it out.
We believe high school sports are about community. While not high school-related, this is a story about community and its power to do great things. Joe Rexrode tells us about 11-year-old Paige Duren and her battle against brain cancer – with the support of her community including big assists from the Michigan State football and basketball teams. She’s a two-sport athlete herself – playing soccer and basketball – and an inspiration to those who’ve come to know her. Rexrode makes it easy to understand why.
That the Grunch sisters are excellent volleyball coaches isn’t a coincidence, Charlevoix people surely would say. But it’s a neat one that Liz (Grunch) Shaw and Christine (Grunch) Halberg both led their teams to their best finishes since 1989 (Halberg) or ever (Shaw). Shaw coaches their alma mater, while Halberg coaches 2,300 miles away in Washington. Steve Foley fills us in on how this worked out.
Clarkston coach Kelly Avenal was part of some great teams as a player, but until this past weekend Clarkston had never reached an MHSAA Finals weekend. Dan Stickradt tells us how she’s taken the program to the elite level while also giving a brief history lesson on how it got rolling toward that trip to Battle Creek.
A few of us spent Friday night at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome, and count me among those who will look forward to making a return trip. Here’s some of the story behind the MHSAA’s selection of the Superior Dome as home of the inaugural 8-Player Football Final, as well as Semifinals most years.
The Red Arrows are headed back to Ford Field on Friday for the Division 2 Final, but Dean also will be scheduling a January trip to San Antonio, Texas, to receive this prestigious award from the American Football Coaches Association and American Football Coaches Foundation. Dean started his head coaching career at Bendle in 1991 before heading to Lowell in 1996. He's led teams to three MHSAA championships, and also the fundraising of $425,000 for cancer support through the "Pink Arrow Project."
1. HOCKEY Goalie Ryan Nickerson was among standouts as Division 1 No. 2 Brighton defeated No. 3 Clarkston 3-1 – Livingston Daily Press & Argus
2. GIRLS BASKETBALL Braylin Johnson’s basket with 5.2 seconds to play was the difference in Mason County Eastern’s 36-34 win over Bear Lake – Ludington Daily News
3. BOYS BASKETBALL Saginaw followed TJ Stevenson Jr. to a 78-70 win over Davison – Mid-Michigan Now
4. BOYS BASKETBALL Center Line earned another close win, 60-57 over Eastpointe – Detroit News
5. GIRLS BASKETBALL Kalamazoo Central earned its first victory, downing rival Battle Creek Central 62-42 – WWMT
6. BOYS BASKETBALL Evart came back from a six-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to defeat Lake City 47-37 – Cadillac News
7. GIRLS BASKETBALL Ishpeming went on the road and defeated Gladstone 41-26 – Escanaba Daily Press
8. BOYS BASKETBALL Macomb Dakota also earned its first victory, 61-44 over Romeo – Macomb Daily
9. GIRLS BASKETBALL Riverview earned a notable nonleague victory 61-46 over Trenton – Southgate News-Herald
10. BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING Midland Dow – No. 10 in Lower Peninsula Division 2 – earned nine first places in defeating Lapeer 142-43 – Midland Daily News