By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Ithaca, and quarterback Travis Smith in particular, are all over the MHSAA football record book after extending the program’s winning streak to 56 straight games in 2013.
The streak is the second-longest in MHSAA history and longest that's taken place entirely during the playoff era. And three of those four straight perfect seasons came with Smith running the offense.
He finished his career with 468 completions in 691 attempts for 8,044 yards and 104 touchdowns passing. The TDs are an MHSAA record and the yards rank second. He threw for 42 touchdowns in 2013, which ranked fourth for one season, and 3,278 yards, good for ninth-most. He will play his college football at Wake Forest University.
Teammate Logan Hessbrook caught 19 touchdown passes in 2013 to tie for ninth-most in a season. Kickers Sage DeMull and Alex Vanderploeg also were added after both connected on more than 70 extra-point kicks the last two years, respectively, and Markes Gadlen was added after tying the record for longest kickoff-return touchdown with a 99-yarder against Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary in 2012.
Click to see the MHSAA football record book, and read on for more recent entries for other sports.
- Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy quarterback Omar Salih threw a lot of passes last fall – 428, second most in MHSAA history for one season. He made the single-game attempts list five times, with a high of 60 throws against Dearborn Heights Annapolis, and completed a high of 30 passes (in 51 attempts) against Dearborn Heights Star International. He finished with 3,293 yards passing and 32 touchdowns, both in only nine games. Teammate Nate Drew finished with 69 catches last fall for 1,376 yards and 19 TDs. His 2,748 receiving yards over four seasons rank seventh on the MHSAA career list.
- Monroe Jefferson’s Tyler Castiglione got nearly around the bases more than anyone else in MHSAA history in 2013, with a record 15 triples that also helped him set the career triples record of 25. Both will make national record book lists, with the 15 last season ranking fourth in NFHS history. Castiglione also graduated with a .482 career batting average and 1.63 career ERA. He now plays for Spring Arbor University.
- Richland Gull Lake won more than 70 games over the 2011-12 seasons, and the MHSAA records reflect a few more performances that drove the run. Colton Bradley was added for 66 hits and 21 doubles in 2012, while Connor Owen made the single-season (19) and career (29) hit-by-pitch lists. The 2012 Gull Lake team moved to the top of the team hit-by-pitch list with 72, and Patrick Gaudard finished his career that spring with 38 over three seasons. Nate Stegman was added for his 1.34 ERA over two varsity seasons, as was Bob Cole for his 1.27 over 1980-81.
- A trio of Manistique players was added for accomplishments from a few decades ago. Bill Pistulka made the single-season rebounds list with 316 in 1974-75, and brother John Pistulka made the career list with 722 from 1975-78. Rob Ryan made the season free throw percentage list by hitting 87.7 percent of his attempts during the 1988-89 season.
- DeWitt’s Jackson Iciek just missed tying the MHSAA record for goalie saves in a 10-7 loss to Okemos last season. He tallied 23 saves, one shy of tying the record.
- With a season to play, Saginaw Heritage’s Lacy Tolfree has the sixth-highest career batting average (.580) in MHSAA history and also makes career lists with 181 runs and 43 doubles. She also was added for a 22-game hitting streak that ended last May and back-to-back grand slams that led to nine RBI total on April 22 of last year.
- Perry’s Lauren Aldrich joined an elite group who have hit at least 10 home runs in a season, doing so last spring in 81 at bats. She hit .531 for the season.
- Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central’s Meika Ashby finished her high school career last season with her third MHSAA singles championship – and second at No. 1 – a final record of 94-1 after going 25-0 last spring, and the MHSAA record with 71 matches won 6-0, 6-0, during her career. Ashby is playing now at Western Michigan University.
- A pair of Onaway athletes were added for successes during the 2012 season. Megan Estep had 14 aces in a three-game match against Wolverine and 50 assists in four games against Fife Lake Forest Area to make those single-match lists. Teammate Devin Bristley had 112 aces to make the season listing.
PHOTO: Ithaca quarterback Travis Smith rolls out during his team’s Semifinal win over Montrose in November. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.)
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.