LaDuke's Defense Aids Ludington Rise

December 20, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Ludington’s run to the Class B championship game last winter was the result of a number of contributions – including senior Sam LaDuke’s on defense.

The now-graduated guard finished last season with 141 steals, third-most in MHSAA history, and with two games of 11 steals apiece (against Traverse City Central and Cadillac) that made the single-game record book list in that category.

LaDuke, who is continuing his career at Calvin College, also averaged 10.4 points per game as Ludington advanced to an MHSAA Finals for the first time since 1953.

Click to see the boys basketball record book in full and read on for more recent additions in football, girls and boys soccer, softball, volleyball and wrestling.


Austin Brown set an MHSAA record on the first night of this recently-completed season, throwing eight touchdown passes for Madison Heights Madison during the first half of a 54-7 win over Warren Lincoln on Aug. 24. His six TD tosses in the second quarter tied another record, and those eight total also tied for second-most in one game. The junior quarterback finished the night 18 of 20 passing for 352 yards despite not playing during the second half.

Mesick senior Ethan Humphreys became the first entry on the list for longest fumble recovery touchdown in 8-player history when he snagged a Baldwin handoff and returned it 97 yards for a score on Sept. 8. It was one of Humphreys’ many contributions on the night – he also threw for two touchdowns, ran for two more scores and grabbed an interception in the 54-8 victory.

Girls Soccer

Kelly Bertera was a freshman on the first Southgate Anderson girls soccer team in 1996. Her nine goals in an 11-0 win over Taylor Truman that spring are tied for second-most in one game; she also had two assists in the victory.

Boys Soccer

Ithaca’s Cavun Beck scored eight goals in an Aug. 22 win over Durand, tying for the third-most scored in one game. The Yellowjackets senior also became the first to score at least that many in one contest since 2004, and he also assisted on the ninth goal as his team won 9-5.  


Richland Gull Lake then-sophomore Lauren Esman was one of three players across the state to break the previous MHSAA record for home runs in a season last spring, and she ranks third on the list after knocking 21 (two others hit 22). She also has been added to the record book for 74 runs scored, 81 hits, 24 doubles, 91 RBI and a .675 batting average last season – her RBI rank fourth and her doubles tied for eighth on those lists. Esman has 25 home runs over her career so far and also was added seven times for single-game homers or RBI. Teammate Ashton Whitman (now a senior) also made the records with 20 doubles last season and six RBI in a game, and Shelby Martell (also now a senior) was added for six RBI in a game as well. Esman already has committed to sign with University of Michigan.

Utica Ford’s Meagan VerVaecke finished her career in the spring with a couple of notable accomplishments. Her 17 doubles over 37 games made the single-season list in that category, and her two third-inning home runs against Almont in a May 6 win were added to lists for two consecutive homers and in the same inning. VerVaecke is continuing her career at Saginaw Valley State.

Recent Sterling Heights graduate Shelby Segar earned a spot in the record book with eight RBI in her team’s 19-16 loss to New Haven on May 17. She finished 5 for 5 in the game with pair of doubles. Segar was a four-year varsity player.


Ludington senior Mackenzie Luce dominated a three-set win over Muskegon Heights Academy on Sept. 19, setting a pair of serving records with 20 aces in one game and 32 over the best-of-five match as her team won 25-5, 25-0, 25-7. Luce’s single-game record broke that of another Ludington athlete, Madisyn Brockelbank, who had 17 aces in one game during a 2013 match.


Connor Charping became the latest four-year standout to be added for more than 200 wins, finishing last winter with a career record of 204-24. He also made the career pins list with 119 over those 228 matches. In addition, freshman teammate Sam Rickman was added to the records for tying the fastest pin at 112 pounds, earning a victory in six seconds on Dec. 10, 2016. An MHSAA Finals runner-up in 2016, Charping is continuing his athletic career as part of the Western Michigan baseball program.

PHOTO: Ludington’s Sam LaDuke (10) applies defensive pressure during last season’s Class B Semifinal win over River Rouge. 

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.