Achievements New and Old Uncovered
December 11, 2015
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Sometimes it takes a year or two for records and appropriate documentation to find their way to the MHSAA office in East Lansing.
Sometimes it takes a little bit longer – or in the case of former Ionia receiver Adam Kerr, more than two decades and only after a chance uncovering in a school yearbook.
Kerr’s MHSAA record for receptions in one game set in 1992 is part of an impressive group of football achievements that have been added over the last week. You’ll also find the names Tyree Jackson, Drake Harris, Joel Schipper and Alex VanDeVusse much more prevalent, plus recent additions for boys tennis, baseball, girls basketball, softball and boys soccer. (Click the headings below to see the record books for those sports in full. More record book submissions will be added in weeks to come.)
A pair of Homer standouts finished their careers over the last two seasons with a number of entries. Alex White, a senior in 2014, finished with 178 runs, 187 hits and 118 stolen bases. Nate Sitkiewicz, a graduate this spring, finished with 181 hits, 49 doubles, 160 RBI, 37 times hit by pitches, a .479 career batting average and four career grand slams; he also made the single-season list with 17 hits by pitches as a junior. Teammates Brock Ridgeway (29 HBP from 2013-15) and Dylan Thomas (1.61 ERA from 2011-14) also were added, as was the team for its 37 wins, 307 RBI, .387 average, 45 hits by pitches and 1.52 ERA in 2014 and its 55 hits by pitches this spring. Sitkiewicz now plays at Spring Arbor University, and White plays football at Kalamazoo College. Thomas plays at Jackson College, and Ridgeway is a senior this school year.
Taylor Richards played five seasons of varsity basketball for Fruitport Calvary Christian – allowable because of the school’s small enrollment. But even though those eighth-grade statistics don’t count for these purposes, her totals from her final four seasons placed her all over the MHSAA record book. She qualified with 2,043 career points (22.7 per game) from 2012-15, 468 free throws (ranking eighth) and 1,261 rebounds (ranking seventh). She also made the single-season rebound list three times, with a high of 363 as a junior, and the single-game list with 26 in a win over North Muskegon on Feb. 2. Richards also was part of two of the highest-scoring games in MHSAA history, an 89-72 win over Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian on Jan. 20 and an 89-71 loss to Holton a week later. The 6-foot-1 forward is a freshman on Cornerstone University’s team.
The heroes of Grand Rapids Christian’s 2012 Division 3 title run have their places in the MHSAA record book. Receiver Drake Harris, a junior that fall who ended up not playing a down as a senior because of an injury, set the single-season record of 2,015 receiving yards and also is listed for 243 yards in a game, 3,133 career receiving yards (fourth), 91 receptions in 2012 (fifth for one season), 148 career receptions, 25 touchdown catches in 2012 (second for one season) and 37 career touchdown catches (tied for sixth-most). Quarterback Alex VanDeVusse also is listed seven times: for 413 yards passing in one game, a Semifinal win in 2012 over Zeeland West; for 3,837 yards that season (third-most for one year), 5,043 career passing yards, 359 pass attempts and 205 completions in 2012, 41 touchdown passes that season (tied for fifth) and 56 for his career. Kicker Joel Schipper set records with 173 career extra points, over three seasons, and including a record 145 consecutive. He also is listed for 14 field goals in 2012, tied for seventh-most in a season, 19 over his career, and 72 extra points in 2012. Harris now plays receiver at Michigan, Schipper plays both football and baseball at Grand Valley State and VanDeVusse plays baseball at Davenport.
Muskegon Mona Shores quarterback Tyree Jackson graduated this spring as one of the most accomplished passers in MHSAA history after taking the Sailors to the Division 2 Final in his final season. Jackson made the MHSAA records for 2,338 yards passing in fall 2014, but his career numbers stick out most – his 8,028 yards in 42 games over four seasons rank fourth, his 845 attempts are fifth, his 475 completions sixth and his 85 touchdown passes rank third on that career list. Jackson now is a freshman quarterback at the University of Buffalo.
Research for the school’s Hall of Fame unearthed an MHSAA record for receiver Adam Kerr set in 1992. Kerr had an MHSAA-best 18 receptions for 307 yards (fifth-most for one game) in a 43-37 win over Belding on Oct. 23 of that year. The Bulldogs finished 4-5 that fall.
Muskegon’s Miguel Flores drilled 42 and 53-yard field goals in a 2014 Semifinal win over Zeeland West; the 53-yarder made the MHSAA records. Click to see both via hudl.com. Flores went on to play soccer this fall at Muskegon Community College.
Hunter Edwards became the latest of a number of players tied for third-most assists in one game when he had five for Grand Ledge in a 9-0 win over Lansing Waverly on Aug. 26. Edwards, a senior defender, earned all-league honors in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue this fall.
Romeo blasted past the single-season team record for home runs this spring, bashing 59 in 35 games to break the previous record by eight. Romeo’s Madison Jones made a huge impact as only a sophomore, tying the MHSAA single-season record for home runs with 18 in helping her team to a fifth straight District title. Now-senior Morgan Gardner made the records with 12 home runs including three in a May 26 game against Croswell-Lexington. She’s signed with Central Michigan.
Otsego’s Luke Ford capped a four-year career at No. 1 singles this fall that saw him rise from 20 wins as a freshman to a 37-1 record and MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 championship as a senior. Ford also finished his career with 38 wins by scores of 6-0, 6-0, third most in MHSAA history.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central’s back-to-back LP Division 2 championships the last two years (this fall shared with Portage Central) were driven by a number of players who made the MHSAA records for wins in a season. Freshman Jacob Wiltjer won the No. 4 singles championship this fall and made the singles list with a 36-2 record. Tim Spurlin and Jack Ziegler (29-7) won No. 3 doubles and Justin James and Aidan Rynbrandt (29-8) won No. 2 doubles, and both made the records for doubles wins, while No. 4 champion Peyton Herbert and Mike Battiste made it with a 35-1 record. Forest Hills Central won three of four doubles flights at the 2014 Final, and all four doubles pairs made the wins list: No. 1 champion Nico Finelli and Joey McClure at 28-9, No. 2 Andrew Fox and Carson Schmidt at 33-3, No. 3 Humzah Azeem and Ryan Conner also at 33-3 and No. 4 Joey Preston and Reed Aleck at 31-4.
PHOTO: Muskegon Mona Shores’ quarterback Tyree Jackson celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the 2014 Division 2 Final at Ford Field.
Owosso Ace's Strikeout Total Stacks Up with State's All-Time Best
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
January 4, 2023
Owosso’s Macy Irelan earned 11 entries in the MHSAA record book over her three-year varsity career that came to a close last spring, most notably with her 1,157 strikeouts despite the 2020 season being canceled due to COVID-19.
Irelan’s career strikeouts were the second-most in the state since the pitching distance was lengthened three feet in 2011. She finished 31-7 last spring with a 1.43 ERA and 414 strikeouts in 229 2/3 innings in earning the Miss Softball Award for pitching.
She also hit .551 with 21 doubles last season, and her 55 career doubles over 117 games and three seasons made that category career list. She’s continuing her career at Kent State.
See below for more recent additions to the softball record book:
Unionville-Sebewaing’s dominating run to the 2021 Division 4 championship was filled with seven record book-worthy highlights, including many near the top of all-time lists. In going 40-3, the Patriots tied their season record for wins for the second time. Their 502 runs scored ranked third all-time, with their 493 hits tied for ninth, their 114 doubles second, their 49 home runs also tied for ninth, their 431 RBI also second and their 503 strikeouts thrown ranking third. Senior Brynn Polega completed her career with 13 record book entries despite her junior season being canceled because of COVID-19; she added listings for 71 runs, 79 hits, a third-best 28 doubles, 11 homers, 70 RBI, four perfect games pitching and 365 strikeouts, among others. Then-junior Laci Harris made lists with 77 runs, 83 hits, 22 doubles, 14 homers and 78 RBI, while then-junior Macy Reinhardt was added for 78 runs and then-freshman Gabriella Crumm was added for 16 doubles. Polega, Harris and Reinhardt also posted entries for single-game accomplishments. Polega is playing at Northwood and Harris at Madonna.
Big Rapids set a school record for wins in 2021 in finishing 34-7, a run which included a number of accomplishments that reached the record book. The Cardinals scored 439 runs – tied for 12th on that list – and also as a team were added for 428 hits, 82 doubles and 363 RBI, which tied for 10th all-time. Marissa Warren made the individual hits list with 71, while Hanna Smith earned an entry with 20 doubles and Rylie Haist followed with 19. Josie Cornell was added with 40 walks drawn. Warren, Smith and Haist were added for single-game accomplishments as well, as was Madison Affer from a 2019 game. Haist, Smith and Cornell are seniors this school year, and Warren is a junior. Smith has signed with Ferris State.
A pair of Bad Axe standouts earned record book entries in 2021 with their work at the plate. Haley Newland made the single-season doubles list with 19, and Brooke Messing was added for seven RBI in a game that saw her hit a grand slam and three-run homer. Newland graduated last spring and Messing is a senior this school year.
Montrose then-freshman Lainey Cannon made two record book lists with her performance April 25 against Montrose. She hit three home runs to make the single-game list in that category, and also made the single-game RBI list with eight.
Capac then-sophomore Madalyn Roberson made the record book three times with her performance May 9 against Brown City. She hit two home runs in back-to-back at bats, both during the fifth inning, and also drove in six runs for the game.
Spring Lake standouts now fill the record book after the addition of 55 individual and 23 team entries dating back to the 2000 season. Among listings ranking highest in their respective categories were Madelyn Nelson’s 81 runs in 2018, which tied for seventh all-time; Nelson’s 250 career runs from 2015-18) that rank seventh and Lauren Hellman’s 249 career runs also from 2015-18 that rank eighth on that list; Nelson’s 84 hits in 2018 that are tied for 12th-most all-time and her 264 career hits that rank 11th, Leah Vaughan’s 26 doubles in 2019 that rank seventh, Evie Lorimer’s 16 triples in 2011 that are tied for eighth and her 37 career triples from 2010-12 that are ranked fourth, Vaughan’s 23 career times being hit by pitch from 2016-19 which rank second, and Lorimer’s 92 stolen bases in 2012 that rank second (with all 92 coming consecutively to tie for fifth on that list) and 183 career steals that rank 11th. As a team, Spring Lake in 2017 ranked seventh all-time with 501 hits over 42 games, fourth with 109 doubles and eighth with 34 triples. The 2018 team ranks 11th with 441 runs scored over 41 games, 10th with 497 hits and tied for ninth with 100 doubles. Valerie Alter, Linsey Paggeot, Jenna Core, Molly Poole, Alicia Mumby, Leah Anton, Ann Marie Galloway and Rachael Adams also earned individual entries. Nelson went on to play at Grand Valley State, Vaughan plays at Aquinas College, Lorimer played at Central Michigan, Alter played at Jacksonville University (Fla.), Poole plays at Cornerstone University and Mumby played at Lansing Community College. Core plays volleyball at Hope College.
Freeland’s offense earned five record book entries during the team’s 26-12 season in 2022, including for 412 runs scored, 442 hits, 78 doubles, 336 RBI and a .400 team batting average. Three individuals also earned entries – sophomore Addie Steffen for a 20-game hitting streak and seven RBI in a game, junior Evelynn Rybicki for six RBI in a game and freshman Brynn Jaime for getting hit by a pitch twice in the same inning.
Chloe Parker hit .604 last spring and made the records with 20 doubles over 33 games for Niles Brandywine. She’s a junior this school year.
A series of record book entries were added for past and present Zeeland West standouts. Carly Sleeman was added for 73 runs, 75 hits, 27 doubles and 12 home runs in 2021 as a sophomore, while Lily Brower was added for 72 runs, 17 triples and 11 homers, plus 38 doubles and 29 triples over a four-year varsity career. Sleeman’s 27 doubles are tied for fifth-most in one season, and Brower’s 17 triples are tied for fourth on that list. Haley Hoogenraad was added for 70 hits and 17 doubles as a junior in 2015, 19 doubles as a senior, and 49 doubles and 24 triples over her four-year career from 2013-16. Kenzie Siersma was added for 17 doubles in 2017 and 54 over her career from 2016-19, while Courtney Sleeman made the season home runs list with 15 in 2015 and Sarah VanValkenburg made the career RBI list with 152 from 2014-17. Emily Brands was added for hitting consecutive home runs in the same inning, May 7 against Reese; she graduated this spring. Hoogenraad went on to play at University of Michigan, Courtney Sleeman played at Western Michigan, Siersma plays at West Virginia Tech, Brower played last season at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and Carly Sleeman has signed with Central Michigan.
PHOTO Owosso’s Macy Irelan unloads a pitch during the 2021 Division 2 Final.