Baker-to-Watters Sets Record Book Pace for Lansing Catholic Football
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
May 6, 2022
Lansing Catholic finished the 2021 football season as 11-player Division 6 champion at Ford Field, and the Cougars offense was paced the last two seasons by a standout quarterback and receiver who both made the MHSAA record book for single-season and career accomplishments.
Joey Baker was added for 2,536 yards passing this past season, with 162 completions on 294 attempts and 28 touchdowns through the air. He made the career passing lists with 4,153 yards over 13 games.
Senior receiver Alex Watters was added for 1,193 yards receiving on 77 catches; his 2,949 yards receiving over 40 games ranks sixth for a career, his 161 catches are ninth on that stat list and his 38 TD receptions rank ninth as well.
Senior kicker Jonah Richards was added for making 49 extra points and he finished his career with 156 (in 167 tries), good for 12th on that list. Additionally, junior Brandon Lewis was added for his 262 receiving yards in a Sept. 2 game against Williamston.
Baker will continue at Hope College and Watters will be a preferred walk-on at Michigan State.
See below for more recent additions to the 11-player football record book.
DeWitt’s run to the Division 3 championship game for the second-straight season this past fall came again with big numbers from senior quarterback Tyler Holtz, senior receiver Tommy McIntosh and senior kicker Brandon Soltis. Holtz threw for 2,885 yards to finish his two-season varsity career with 5,311, and he tossed 41 touchdown passes to finish with 76 over 25 varsity games. The 41 TD passes tied for eighth-most in one season. McIntosh had 1,328 yards and 22 TDs receiving and finished his three-season varsity career with 140 catches, 2,696 yards and 44 receiving touchdowns. His career yardage is 11th on that list, his 22 touchdowns last fall tied for fourth-most for a single season and his career receiving scores rank second. Soltis connected on 74 more extra points to finish with 152 in 163 attempts over three seasons; both totals rank among the top 15 on their respective lists. As a team, DeWitt was added for scoring 635 points and piling up 6,055 total yards and 89 total touchdowns over 14 games. Holtz will continue at Brown, and McIntosh will play next at Wisconsin.
A pair of Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice athletes have been added for tying the records for longest kick and interception returns. Rocco Milia brought back an interception from deep in the end zone – officially 100 yards – against Detroit Country Day on Oct. 23, 2020. Cole Lacanaria returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown last Oct. 15 against Traverse City Central. Milia was a senior in 2020-21 and now plays at Columbia in New York, and Lacanaria has signed with Lawrence Tech.
Gladwin’s perfect regular season in the fall included three performances that made the records. Junior Anna Seebeck made the single-season extra points list, connecting on 60 of 69 tries over 10 games. The Flying Gs also twice made the total offense list as a team, with 611 yards against Clare and 603 against Shepherd, both in victories.
On Sept. 10, Belding’s Owen Meinke pulled in a deflected Wyoming Kelloggsville pass deep into his team’s end zone and ran down the right sideline the length of the field for a 100-yard interception return touchdown to also tie the MHSAA record. Meinke is a junior.
Ottawa Lake Whiteford senior Cole Giesige also returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, on Oct. 15 against Petersburg Summerfield.
Ethan Schumaker got all of a punt during a Nov. 7, 2020, playoff game against Traverse City St. Francis. The Harbor Springs then-senior sent it 71 yards, including nearly 60 in the air, as the Gladiators took over possession from their 6-yard-line. Schumaker is punting at Michigan Tech.
Senior Bryce Stanley got off to a fast start last fall, catching 11 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns in Carson City-Crystal’s win over Fowler. The yardage and TDs made single-game lists.
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s Cephus Harris and Grosse Pointe South’s Will Johnson both put up record book performances in Chippewa Valley’s 49-37 win Oct. 8. Harris made the record book scoring seven touchdowns – four rushing, two receiving and one on a kickoff return. Johnson made the receiving yardage list with 238. Harris ended up putting together one of the highest-scoring seasons in 11-player history, scoring 36 touchdowns with one two-point conversion for 218 points – making the lists for both single-season points and TDs. A senior, he’s signed with Youngstown State and Johnson signed with Michigan. Additionally for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, it has submitted the game with the fewest first downs given up in 2021, allowing only two to Troy on Oct. 29.
Charlotte’s Braden Hill scored the first points of his team’s 60-21 win over Lake Odessa Lakewood on a 77-yard kickoff return Oct. 15, and he was just getting started. Hill also returned two more kickoffs for touchdowns, both 80 yards, to tie the record for kickoff return touchdowns in one game. Hill is a junior.
PHOTO Lansing Catholic’s Alex Watters surges forward as a Warren Michigan Collegiate defender brings him down during November’s Division 6 Final. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
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.