Benzie Star Receives Record Recognition

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 30, 2020

Despite missing the majority of his senior season in 2003 with an injury, John Plumstead graduated from Benzie Central the following spring among the top rushers and scorers in Michigan high school football history – and those accomplishments now are reflected in the MHSAA record book.

Plumstead ran for 5,595 yards over 40 games and four seasons, and also scored 72 touchdowns. The career rushing yardage still ranks 15th all-time. He went on to play linebacker for Army at West Point.

See below for more recent additions to the football record book, and click the heading to see the listings in full.


Berrien Springs senior Faith Kittleson drilled all nine of her extra-point attempts in her team’s 63-0 win over Parchment on Oct. 4. While that missed the list for most extra points in one game, it made the list for most consecutive extra points made in one contest. Kittleson also has been a standout on the school’s girls soccer team.

Mattawan senior Noah Janssen became the sixth player to return at least two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game Sept. 28, when he scored on a pair against Portage Northern. Both run-backs also made the list for longest kickoff return touchdown, at 98 and 96 yards.

A pair of impressive defensive performances earned Breckenridge’s first football record book entries last fall. Sophomore Luke Saunders had four interceptions during a 49-0 win over Muskegon Heights Academy on Sept. 6, including tying a record with three in one quarter. Breckenridge as a team also was added for holding Coleman to only two first downs during a 56-0 victory Sept. 20.

Warren Fitzgerald sophomore Trey West showed in the fall he was capable of scoring offensively, defensively and on special teams – and his kickoff return prowess especially stood out. He became the latest to tie the record for longest kickoff return when he scored on a 99-yarder Oct. 25 against Port Huron Northern. He tied for second-most kickoff return touchdowns in one game with two against Warren Woods-Tower on Oct. 12, and also tied for second-most kickoff return TDs for a season with four total in 2019.

Eastpointe senior Davion Watkins also joined that list for longest kickoff return, bringing one back 99 yards against Warren Fitzgerald on Oct. 18.

Quarterback Vaughn VanTil led the way for Coopersville against Fruitport during a 62-50 win Oct. 12, 2018. The then-senior made the MHSAA record book in multiple categories with seven rushing touchdowns, and was part of 431 of the 607 total yards that earned Coopersville an entry in the team record book. The seven rushing touchdowns are tied for third-most on the rushing scoring list.

Pewamo-Westphalia has had a number of individual standouts in winning MHSAA Finals titles three of the last four seasons, and not to be forgotten was kicker Alec Thelen. He made the single-season extra point list twice with 55 in 2017 and 71 in 2018, and his 154 (in 171 attempts over 31 games from 2016-18) are tied for 10th most on the career list. He’s playing at Siena Heights University.

Griffin Milovanski kicked the last two seasons on Saugatuck’s varsity and finished on the career extra point list with 83 made in 86 attempts. He also made the single-season PAT list as a junior.

Ogemaw Heights advanced as far as the Regional Finals during the last decade, doing so in Division 4 in 2012. A powerful rushing offense led the way – and led to four record book entries. The Falcons were added for 4,220 rushing yards and 5,604 yards of total offense that fall, plus 631 total yards in a Week 9 win over Alpena and 74 rushing attempts in a District Final win over Remus Chippewa Hills.

PHOTO: Benzie Central running back John Plumstead turns the corner on the way to some of his 5,500 career rushing yards. (Photo courtesy of the Benzie Central Gridiron Club.)

Owosso Ace's Strikeout Total Stacks Up with State's All-Time Best

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.