By Geoff Kimmerly
Special for Second Half
Senior setter Lexi Mort and junior hitter Elizabeth Norris led Corunna’s varsity volleyball team to its first MHSAA Semifinals this fall with record book-caliber contributions.
Mort had 1,529 assists (10th all-time) to go with 1,429 as a junior and to finish her career with 4,322, which ranks sixth all-time. She also made the single-match assist list with 54 against Mount Morris, when Norris had 33 kills.
Norris had 879 kills this season, 13th-most on that list. Freshman Ellie Toney was added for 11 aces in a match against Burton Genesee Christian. The Cavaliers finished the fall 50-7-5, with District and Regional titles in Division 2. Mort will run collegiate track at Saginaw Valley State University.
See below for more recent record book additions in volleyball, football and boys soccer, and click on the headings to see those sports’ record books in full.
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s Division 1 championship season this fall included a number of record-setting performances. David Ellis returned four kickoffs for touchdowns, good for second most all-time. Niko Kepi made the season extra point list with 73 and the career list with 104 in 109 attempts over the last three seasons. Quarterback Tommy Schuster threw 26 touchdown passes for the second straight season and made career lists with 4,960 passing yards, 509 attempts, 330 completions and 67 scores through the air over the last three seasons. As a team, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley made lists with 546 points and 76 touchdowns over 14 games. Ellis will continue his career at Indiana University. Also, Jeff Deliz was added for a 93-yard punt return in 2003 and Chris Lomasney for six rushing touchdowns in a game in 2000. Deliz went on to play at Navy and Lomasney at Michigan Tech.
Sanford Meridian’s Kyle Stockford found his way to the end zone in multiple record-setting ways over the last two seasons. This fall, he made the record book for two kickoff return touchdowns in one game, against Lake City, scoring from 87 and 85 yards out. He also made the season kickoff return touchdown list with four despite playing only six games. The senior also returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a game this fall against Houghton Lake – after accomplishing the same feat as a junior against Farwell.
Among highlights of Hudsonville Unity Christian’s Division 5 championship run this season was a 57-20 win over Hamilton on Oct. 5, when Unity totaled 637 yards – which sits fifth all-time. Its 629 rushing yards, on 39 carries, is one of two totals on the list for most rushing yards in one game.
Quanelle Pritchett had a solid senior season receiving for Warren Fitzgerald in the fall – augmented by a record book-worthy accomplishment against Sterling Heights on Sept. 14. Pritchett caught seven passes for 239 yards in the 52-13 win to make the single-game receiving yardage list.
Jack Vezmar had 17 shutouts this fall in leading Marshall to a 23-1-1 record and Division 2 District title. Those shutouts tied for 11th-most in one season and helped him make the career shutout list with 28 over the last two seasons.
For the second straight fall, Midland Dow made the team record lists for total shutouts and consecutive shutouts, this time with 18 overall in 24 games and nine straight from Aug. 18-Sept. 12. Dow also tied for ninth all-time by giving up only eight goals on the way to finishing 20-1-3 on the season.
Longtime southwest Michigan coach Tony Hooley has reached the 500-win plateau, actually doing so in 2017 at Marcellus and adding to his total this fall leading Dowagiac to a 25-15-2 finish. Hooley has coached at Centreville and White Pigeon as well plus two seasons at Glen Oaks Community College, and his high school record stands at 538-311-92 over 18 seasons.
After two seasons of varsity volleyball, Vermontville Maple Valley sophomore Keilyn Carpenter has four record book entries. She’s been added three times for kills in a match – twice reaching 32 – and for this fall totaling 623 kills over 126 games.
Bronson’s fourth straight MHSAA championship – this one in Division 3 in the fall – included, predictably, a number of outstanding individual performances. Sophomore Meagan Lasky had 1,775 assists this past season to rank third on that list, while senior sister Kiera Lasky added to her career aces total to finish with 454 – fifth most all-time. Senior Ashton Wronikowski made the season aces list with 137, and junior Keona Salesman did as well with 122 to go with her entry for 766 kills. She’s also on the career kills list with 1,679 over three seasons and with one to play. Kiera Lasky will continue her career at Davenport University, and Wronikowski will continue at West Liberty University in West Virginia.
PHOTO: Lexi Mort cheers on her Corunna teammates during their Division 2 Semifinal against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in November.
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.