Bridgman Bats Earn Homes in History
July 25, 2017
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
A pair of Bridgman underclassmen helped the Bees to their first MHSAA team record book listing for softball this spring, while also earning individual entries as well.
Sophomore Sydney Payne had seven RBI during a win over Benton Harbor, and freshman Madelyn Oman had six in a win over New Buffalo as Bridgman made the team RBI record list with 275 over 39 games. Payne and Oman’s record entries also were firsts for the school on the sport’s individual lists.
The Bees finished 25-14 this season and advanced to their Division 3 District Final.
Click the heading below to see where they rank in the softball record book as a whole and also for more recent record additions in that sport and baseball.
Canton became the 21st team to make the all-time best ERA list for clearing 1.70, posting a 1.69 in going 34-6 this spring. Seth Marano led the way with a 0.66 ERA in going 7-1, while Dean Dawson and Turner Donlin also were 7-1 on the mound.
Pellston senior Maxwell Cleaver entered a May 15 game against Boyne Falls and hit a home run, and then hit home runs in his first two at bats May 17 against Newberry. His three straight homers made the list for most in consecutive at bats.
Holt tied for 12th in MHSAA history with a 1.48 team ERA this spring in finishing 30-8. The Rams were led by senior Jesse Heikkinen (who will play at Michigan State and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers), who finished 8-1 with a 0.97 ERA.
Potterville’s Sam Traver finished his four-season career in 2015 among all-time leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts. For his career he was added for 34 victories (against 14 losses), a 1.16 ERA, 531 strikeouts over 311 2/3 innings pitched and 11 shutouts – the strikeouts rank seventh on that list and the shutouts tied for 10th most. He also was added for ERAs of 0.28 in 2015 and 0.82 in 2014, 178 strikeouts in 2015 and six shutouts that season. He recently finished his second season at Grand Rapids Community College.
Madison Jones finished her Romeo career this spring among the MHSAA’s all-time great power hitters, adding 15 home runs to individual records listings of 18 in 2015 and 11 last year. She finished with 47 home runs, tied for fifth most all-time, and also tied for second with 10 RBI in a game this season against Howell. She also earned listings for a .528 career average and 170 career RBI. She’ll continue her career at Oakland University.
Audrey Petoskey also finished off a four-season slugging career this spring, coming in seventh all-time with 43 home runs for Milford. She added 13 this season and also was listed for 10 in 2016 and 12 in 2015, plus for hitting back-to-back home runs three times during her career. Petoskey will continue her career at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.
Lauren Kanai and Alex Herold helped Ada Forest Hills Eastern to a 28-10 record this season especially with their bats. Kanai was added for 10 home runs and 20 doubles, while Herold was added for 72 hits, 21 doubles and a 20-game hitting streak. Herold also made the doubles career list with 34, while Kanai made career lists with 52 doubles, 155 RBI and 202 hits. Kanai will continue her career at Taylor University in Indiana.
Howell posted one of the strongest offensive seasons in MHSAA history in 2017, and a number of record book entries have followed. The Highlanders finished 38-3, scoring 466 runs (fourth all-time) with 513 hits (third), 102 doubles (third), 38 triples (fourth), 388 RBI (third) and a team .441 batting average (sixth all-time). Veronica Pezzoni capped her three-season varsity career making single-season lists with 67 runs, 76 hits and 15 triples and career lists with 187 runs, 207 hits, 25 triples, a .542 batting average and for streaks of 84 straight stolen bases and hits in 38 consecutive games. Teammate Emma Johnson earned entries this spring with 69 runs and 71 hits and career listings for 172 runs and 34 doubles over her four-year career. Maddie Gillett (23) and AJ Militello (16) were added to the single-season doubles list for their work this spring. Pezzoni will continue at University of Tennesee-Martin, while Johnson will play at Hillsdale College.
Byron earned a number of record book listings for offensive production this spring, scoring 406 runs with 437 hits, 95 doubles, 293 RBI and with a .437 batting average. Junior Alexis Andrews finished her season on a 31-game hitting streak and hit 10 home runs, while sophomore Greta L’Esperance enjoyed a 28-game streak and batted .691 while scoring 74 runs. Parker Viele hit 18 doubles this season and finished her four-year career with 911 strikeouts; she’ll continue at Lake Erie College in Ohio.
PHOTOS: Sydney Payne (left) and Madelyn Oman both made the single-game RBI list in helping Bridgman to a team record book listing. (Photos courtesy of Bridgman High School.)
Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
May 26, 2023
Mendon’s run to the Division 2 Final last fall included some of the strongest rushing performances over the history of 8-player football.
The Hornets ran for 4,317 yards, second-most all-time, on the second-most attempts (520) and with a record-setting 682 yards Oct. 14 against Marcellus. Mendon also set the record for total offense with 692 total in that game, and made the single-season touchdowns list with 76 including 66 rushing (also second on that list).
Junior Jack McCaw made the single-season scoring list with 212 points, most coming on 29 touchdowns, and Evan Lukeman made the single-game rushing list with 401 yards against Marcellus. Mendon’s defense also earned praise, twice making the fewest-first-downs-allowed list with a low of three.
See below for more recent additions to the 8-player portion of the football record book:
Athens’ Landon Bennett earned a pair of record book entries after reaching the end zone seven times during his team’s 72-0 win over Burr Oak on Sept. 8. His seven scores are tied for third-most in 8-player history and included three rushing, three on punt returns and one on an interception return. The three punt return touchdowns are a record. Bennett is a junior.
On the night Powers North Central broke its 8-player record for consecutive wins, claiming its 28th straight, senior Luke Gorzinski tied Jets great Jason Whitens for the record for interception touchdowns in a game with two, scoring on returns during the second and fourth quarters. Gorzinski has signed with Michigan Tech, and North Central’s winning streak is 37 games and counting.
A pair of Atlanta offensive playmakers and a top defensive lineman earned a total of seven entries in the record book for achievements last fall. Senior quarterback Tyler Currie threw for 30 touchdowns over eight games, and also made the records for six touchdowns and 419 passing yards against Whittemore-Prescott on Sept. 23; the passing yards are second-most for one 8-player game. Sophomore Landon Galea was added for 263 yards and five of those touchdowns against the Cardinals, and also for 1,418 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns over nine games. Junior teammate Tucker Kendrick made the tackles for loss list with five against Hillman on Oct. 6.
Adrian Lenawee Christian senior Brady McKelvey became the first to make the career extra points list in 8-player football this past fall. He bettered his previous single-season record making 64 of 66 extra-point attempts over 11 games and finishing his two-year varsity career with 123 extra points in 127 tries.
Sam McKissack reached the record book showcasing multiple skills for Crystal Falls Forest Park during the 2021 season – twice for rushing attempts in a game including with a record 59 against Ontonagon that Sept. 10, and then with a record 70-yard punt Oct. 30, 2021, against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Teammate Devon Basirico also made the record book with six fumble recoveries over 11 games that season. As a team, Forest Park was added twice for single-game rushing attempts – including 73 total in that Ontonagon game – and for 424 rushes over 11 games for the season. McKissack and Basirico are seniors this spring.
Nikolaus Lewis tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns in an 8-player game when he reached the end zone six times for Carsonville-Port Sanilac in its win over Caseville on Oct. 7. He’s a senior this spring.
Bridgman has won 24 straight games over the last three seasons, and an exceptional offense – and exceptional offensive star – have played major roles. The Bees were added for 658 total yards in a win over Lawrence last season, that total ranking third all-time, and also 613 yards in a win over Eau Claire. Those included totals of 575 and 547 rushing yards, respectively, and Bridgman was added for 3,598 rushing yards (sixth on the list), 59 rushing touchdowns (fourth) and 76 total touchdowns (seventh). Senior Reid Haskins capped his four-year, 32-game varsity career with 13 record book entries, including for 254 points last season over nine games (tied for fifth all-time) and a record 620 career points, 41 touchdowns last season (fifth) and a record 95 for his career, 2,344 rushing yards last season (third) and a record 5,206 for his career, and 41 rushing touchdowns last season (third) and a record 94 for his career. Senior teammate Tanner Peters made the records three times including for 50 extra points last season (fourth) and 99 over 26 games and three seasons (second on the career list).
Mio's Austin Fox rewrote the 8-player passing record book this past fall, with his 621 yards in a game against Whittemore-Prescott setting a single-game record as he totaled four of the five-highest passing yardage totals. He also set a record with 3,516 over nine games for the season, another record with 289 passing attempts over those nine games and a third record for nine touchdown passes in that game against the Cardinals. His 41 touchdown passes total rank fourth. Teammates Gage Long and Nathan Hurst also earned several record book entries on the receiving end of those passes. Long’s 297 receiving yards against Whittemore-Prescott were tied for third most, and Hurst’s 266 against Alcona rank eighth. Long set a single-season record with 1,739 receiving yards, with Hurst sixth all-time at 1,321, and Long’s 14 receptions against the Cardinals and 70 for the season also rank second on those respective lists. Hurst set a record for longest 8-player kickoff return with a 99-yarder against St. Helen Charlton Heston. All three are seniors.
Peck was one of the first MHSAA 8-player champions, claiming the title in 2013, and Cody Abrego one of the state’s first 8-player stars. The Pirates were added to the MHSAA record book 52 times, and Abrego 14 times individually. Among the most notable entries for the 2015 graduate were for 462 points scored over his two-season career (ranking sixth all-time), 74 career touchdowns (sixth), 2,202 rushing yards in 2013 (fifth) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (sixth). Current senior Caleb Lentner was one of the stars statewide this past season, and he was added eight times including for 50 points scored in a game (ranking second), 272 points for a season last fall (fifth), eight touchdowns in a game (tied for second), 42 touchdowns in a season (fifth), an 8-player record of 2,694 rushing yards from last season, and 38 rushing touchdowns also last fall (fourth). Others to make the individual lists were Nathan Robar, Caleb Dudley, Steven VanConant, Kyle Abrego and Nathan Neihaus, Dudley for a record 20 career interceptions over two seasons and VanConant for a record 12 tackles for loss in a 2022 game and 36 tackles for loss for the season last fall. The Pirates also are all over the 8-player team record book, including for a record 97 touchdowns in 2013, a record 5,895 yards of total offense that season, 528 carries, 4,346 rushing yards and 73 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (all ranking second); and 24 interceptions in 2014, which ranks second on that list.
Senior quarterback JR Hildebrand was one of the most dynamic players in 8-player football in the fall in leading Martin to the Division 1 title. He had one of his most exciting nights in a playoff opener against Tekonsha, making the single-game touchdown pass list with six in a 68-6 victory.
PHOTO Mendon’s Jack McCaw (21) eludes a tackle during the 8-Player Division 2 Final in November at Northern Michigan University. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)