Kraatz' Goal: Set Teammates Up to Score
April 10, 2014
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Allen Park Inter-City Baptist's Evan Kraatz will graduate this spring as the most accomplished passer in MHSAA history.
And that's not just because of Kraatz' publicized accomplishment this winter.
The Chargers' senior made headlines in reportedly breaking the MHSAA career basketball assists record (that milestone will be added to the records upon confirmation). But Kraatz also had a flare for dishing on the soccer field, finishing with 102 career assists on the pitch – second only to his assistant coach Nathan Chatfield’s total of 105 tallied during the latter’s career at Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian.
Kraatz also made the MHSAA single-season assists list three times with a high of 30 during Inter-City Baptist’s Division 4 championship season of 2011. His 185 points total (including 83 goals) rank 12th on the MHSAA career list for that category.
See below for additional recent entries to the MHSAA boys soccer and other record listings, and click on the headines to see all entries for those respective sports.
- As Kraatz led that 2011 Inter-City Baptist team in assists, teammate Steven Fiema was added for his 43 goals and 59 points during the title run. Fiema now plays for NAIA Grace College in Indiana.
- St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic junior Danny McEachen is climbing the career points list as well with 143 over his first three seasons. His 52 goals and 64 points this fall both made the single-season lists for those categories, and total he’s scored 103 goals for Lake Michigan Catholic.
- Bellaire’s Drew Emery also has a talent for setting up teammates, posting a school-record 26 assists this fall and finishing his four-year career with 72 – good for ninth on that list. Teammate Denny Hall was added to the single-game assists list for tallying five in a 6-1 win over Roscommon on Sept. 19. Emery will play at Albion College this fall.
- Jake Daniels ranked 22nd on the single-season free throw percentage list, making 84 of 98 for a .857 success rate for Holly this season. Daniels, a junior, was one of the top scorers in the Flint Metro League.
- A pair of Comstock Park quarterbacks and a receiver they both enjoyed were added for multiple categories. Jake Brown was included additionally to previous listings after finishing his career in 2012 with 368 completions in 646 attempts for 5,189 yards. Pat Naughton, the quarterback last season, completed 153 of 252 passes for 2,282 yards to make those single-season lists. Receiver Jake Bush caught 80 passes – 10th on the single-season receptions list – in 2012, and 141 passes – tied for 15th most in a career – from 2011-13.
- Comstock Park’s Casey Cherry was added to a group of 15 who have thrown back-to-back no-hitters. Cherry held Cedar Springs hitless in both ends of a doubleheader on May 7, 2009, as her team won 10-0 and 8-1. She struck out 13 over the two games.
- New Buffalo’s Jade Madison is finishing off an outstanding three-sport career that’s included all-state recognition in basketball and an MHSAA discus championship in track and field – she’ll continue to compete in that sport at Western Michigan University. Madison also left her mark on the volleyball court with 1,502 career kills, including 579 as a senior.
- Frankenmuth’s Lindsey Mertz had a record-setting performance to finish off her freshman season this fall. She totaled 48 assists in a Class B District match to make that single-match list, although the Eagles fell in four games to Mount Morris.
- Durand’s Roger Wildmo won three MHSAA championships and 118 straight matches before graduating in 2011. He’s listed for various accomplishments, including 59-0 seasons as a junior and senior, a 230-2 career record and 163 career pins. Teammate Evan Lowell made the single-season escapes list with 77 and career list with 152 before also graduating in 2011. Wildmo now wrestles at Michigan State University.
- Imlay City had a pair added to the career record list – Sam Lyscas, who won 209 matches before graduating in 2012, and Kevin Ahrens, who won 192 before graduating in 2009. Ahrens also made the career pins list with 119.
PHOTO: Allen Park Inter-City Baptist's Evan Kraatz (10, in blue) pushes the ball upfield during his four-year career that came to an end this fall. (Photo courtesy of the Inter-City Baptist soccer program.)
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.)