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.)
Hemlock and Rockford's drives to their first Girls Basketball Finals championships in March were paced in part by some of the strongest 3-point shooting in MHSAA history.
The Division 1 title-winning Rams connected on 243 3-pointers – third-most all-time – over 29 games in tying the single-season wins record while finishing 28-1. Grace Lyons, a senior this fall, made the single-season individual list with 70 3-pointers.
The Huskies won in Division 3 having connected on 229 3-pointers over 29 games, seventh-most in MHSAA history, on 678 attempts, which ranks 12th on that list. Chloe Watson made the single-season list with 75 3-pointers, and Regan Finkbeiner did as well connecting on 67.
Watson also made the career 3-pointers list with 224 and Finkbeiner with 194, and 2017 Hemlock graduate Samantha Krauss was added for 65 3-pointers as a junior in 2015-16 and 188 for her career. Additionally, past Hemlock standout Karli Herrington was added for her 317 rebounds in 2012-13, and Peyton Apsey was added for 144 steals in 2010-11.
Watson is continuing her career at Mid-Michigan College, and Finkbeiner is playing softball at Madonna. Herrington went on to play at Central Michigan and Northwood, Krauss played at Ferris State and Apsey played at Oakland.
Read on for more recent record book additions for girls basketball:
Hudsonville’s Maddie Petroelje joined the list of top 3-point shooters in MHSAA history as a junior in 2021-22, when she connected on 70 (in just 147 attempts) to make the single-season list. She graduated this spring 16th on the career list as well with 226 3-pointers in 512 attempts over 92 games and four seasons. She is continuing at Loyola (Ill.).
Byron Center’s Avery Zeinstra also finished her career among those top 3-point shooters. She also made the single-season list with 70 in 147 attempts as a freshman in 2018-19, and she capped her career in 2021-22 with 206 3-pointers (tied for 20th-most) in 502 attempts over four seasons and 80 career games. She is continuing at Grand Valley State.
Hannah Thompson was best known for her soccer scoring at Schoolcraft. But she’s made a second MHSAA record book for her 15 steals in a Jan. 28, 2022, basketball win over Galesburg-Augusta. She’s continuing her soccer career at Eastern Michigan.
Baraga’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals in 2022 received big boosts from Corina Jahfetson’s 3-point shooting and Reide Osterman’s defense. Jahfetson was added to the record book with 66 3-pointers over 25 games, including nine in a game against Carney Nadeau – when Baraga as a team made the record book with 14 3-pointers total. Osterman made the record book with 153 steals. Jahfetson graduated this spring, and Osterman is playing at Northern Michigan.
Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy’s Audrey Mileski had one of the busiest games at the free throw line in MHSAA history Dec. 14, 2021. She made 23 free throws – third-most in a single game – against Wyoming Kelloggsville. Mileski graduated this spring.
Sophia Bussell had set Monroe’s single-game 3-pointers record of eight as a freshman two seasons ago, and she bettered it last Dec. 13 by tying for the 10th-most in MHSAA history. She made 10-pointers including the game-winner of a 58-56 victory over Ypsilanti Lincoln. A little less than 10 months earlier, Adrian Lenawee Christian then-senior Kylie Summer also made 10, on 17 attempts, during a 57-34 win over Lansing Christian on Feb. 24, 2022.
Lydia Meredith enjoyed a memorable senior season for Portland St. Patrick in 2021-22, finishing her four-year varsity career with 453 steals over just 80 games. She also was added for drilling 17 free throws in 22 attempts against Fowler. She plays now at Saginaw Valley State.
Gabby Piepho got off to a fast start at Howell as a freshman last season, and at a record-setting pace at the free-throw line. She made 93 of 107 attempts over 25 games, for an .869 percentage that made the single-season list. That included a string of 47 straight free throws that ranks as the second-longest in MHSAA history. As a team, Howell tied for sixth all-time with 301 free throws over 25 games, on 439 attempts.
Kent City’s Lexie Bowers reached the single-season 3-pointers list for the second time last season, connecting on 72 of 233 tries over 26 games (after making 77 as a junior), and finished her four-season varsity career 16th on that 3-pointers list with 225 in 693 attempts over 99 games. She’s continuing her career at Northwood. Kent City as a team also reached the single-season 3-pointers made and attempted lists again, ranking fourth with 753 attempts and tying for eighth all-time by connecting on 202.
Posen then-junior Faith Cousins earned a par of record book entries during 2021-22 for assists. Her 16 in a District Final win on March 4, 2022, remain tied for fifth-most in one game, and she finished with 165 over 22 games for the season. She’s set to begin her softball career at Alma College.
Niles Brandywine went over 20 wins again this past season, finishing 21-3, and again the 3-pointer was a key tool in that pursuit. Brandywine made the record book with back-to-back games of 13 3-pointers to close the regular season, and finished with 175 3-pointers in 592 attempts over 23 games (with one won by forfeit).
Greenville’s Megan Leslie averaged more than two 3-pointers a game during her four-season varsity career, making the record list with 153 total over 76 games through graduation this spring. She’s continuing her career at Alma College.
Successful 3-point shooting played a major role in Saline finishing 21-4 with league and District titles last winter. The Hornets attempted 704 3-pointers – ninth-most all-time for one season – and connected on 191, which is 12th on that list. They made a season-high 14 against Ypsilanti Lincoln on Nov. 29 to make the single-game list.
Marcellus senior Brooklyn VanTilburg enjoyed a big finish to her high school career last winter, making the record book with 16 blocked shots in a game against Centreville and 135 blocks total for the season. She’ll continue at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Kennedy Gustafson made headlines last winter as a sophomore and earned a pair of record listings for her rebounding. She grabbed 26 in a March 3 District Final win over Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, and she finished with 376 rebounds over 25 games for the season.
PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner, left, follows through on a free throw attempt during last season's Division 3 Final, and Rockford's Grace Lyons launches the game-winning 3-pointer in Division 1.