P-W's Smith Breaks Away for Records
April 1, 2016
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Jared Smith has a season to play for the Pewamo-Westphalia football team.
But he had an incredible season to remember as a junior last fall in literally carrying the Pirates’ offense to Ford Field.
Smith set MHSAA records with 3,250 yards rushing (on 315 carries; 10.3 yards per carry), total touchdowns in a season with 53 and rushing touchdowns in a season as all 53 came on the ground. His 22 2-point conversions helped give him a season total of 364 points, good for second on the MHSAA list for that category. He also earned a records entry with six rushing touchdowns in a playoff win over Carson City-Crystal on Oct. 30.
The 6-foot, 195-pound running back also ran for more than 2,100 yards as a sophomore and should push into the career rushing leaders by the time this fall is complete – especially if P-W replicates its team finish of 2015, when it was runner-up in Division 7 after a 22-16 loss to Ishpeming in the MHSAA Final.
See below for more recent record entries for football, boys soccer, softball and volleyball, and click each sport heading to see that record book in full.
Of 186 passes Jondell Jones completed for Bangor over 28 high school games the last four seasons, 57 went for touchdowns including a high of 21 in eight games as a sophomore. Jones started the final two games of his freshman season and then through senior year last fall.
Quarterback Tony Poljan and receiver Tony Palmer played leading roles in Lansing Catholic’s combined record of 30-8 over the last three seasons and trip to the Division 5 championship game in 2014. Poljan finished his career in the fall placing in the MHSAA records with 390 completions, 682 attempts, 6,179 yards and 59 touchdowns passing over mostly three seasons as quarterback. Palmer ranked with 134 receptions, 2,036 yards and 21 touchdowns receiving over his three seasons. Poljan will play next at Central Michigan University, and Palmer has signed with Northern Michigan University. Also added for Lansing Catholic was Jack Swain for a 99-yard scoring run against Albion in 2010, and Demond Winston, Bob Fata and Brent Nakfoor for tackles for losses during seasons in the mid-1980s. Winston went on to play for Vanderbilt and then the New Orleans Saints, while Fata played collegiately at Michigan State.
Simon Roennecke was limited to only nine games in the fall for Birmingham Roeper. But he still tallied 29 goals and two assists to join the career goals list with 98 and move up the career assists (56) and points (154) lists with a season to play. His 154 career points are tied for 17th-most in MHSAA history.
Midland’s softball team made the doubles listing with 64 in 2015 on the way to a Regional title, and Maya Kipfmiller led the way with 17 doubles to make the individual record book. Kipfmiller was a sophomore last season, hitting .504 as an outfielder and first baseman and pitching to a 1.17 ERA according to a report by the Saginaw News.
Katie Kish finished a fine four-year varsity career for Grosse Pointe South last spring ranking 13th in MHSAA history with a career batting average of .547. She hit .605 as a senior, with her 66 stolen bases tying for 10th in one season, her 78 hits tying for 14th and her 208 career hits and 39 career doubles also making records lists. She’s continuing her softball career at Hillsdale College.
Coleman’s run to a Division 4 Quarterfinal last season saw the Comets score nearly 10 runs per game – 408 total, led by junior Carley Starnes’ 68. Both totals made MHSAA records lists, as did Cassidy Tucker’s seven RBI in a 20-5 win over Merrill. Coleman finished the season 33-8.
Meredith Norris bettered one of her MHSAA records and continued climbing toward a few others, while Corunna teammate Skylar Napier also put list-worthy touches on her high school career in the fall. Norris’ 56 kills against Goodrich on Nov. 7 set an MHSAA record by three over the 53 kills she had against Goodrich nearly a year to the day prior. Norris also made the single-season kills list for the third time with 836 and ranks seventh on the career kills list with 2,287 and a season to play. Napier finished on the career assists list with 2,912 over three seasons and on the single-match assists list three times including with a last-season high 52 in that Goodrich match.
South Lyon’s Hannah Barton tied for the sixth-most assists during the rally scoring era in a Nov. 10 match against Farmington Hills Mercy. She had 59 over five games, only eight shy of the record, in her team's 3-2 loss.
Saginaw Swan Valley’s run to a record 58 wins and a Class B Regional Final berth in the fall was keyed by a number of strong individual performances. Lauren Huebner made the MHSAA records with 32 kills in a three-game match against Chesaning, 813 kills for the season and 2,109 for her four-year varsity career; the single-season kills rank 15th and the career kills 10th during the rally scoring era. Senior Larissa Crook is listed with 16 aces in a match against Saginaw, 51 assists in a four-game match against Belding, and 129 aces and 1,439 assists both for one season last fall – her assists rank 11th on that list. Senior Noelle Champagne also made the single-match aces list with 15 against Saginaw.
PHOTO: Pewamo-Westphalia's Jared Smith looks for an opening during last season's Division 7 Final against Ishpeming at Ford Field.
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.)