Record-Setting Slugger Powers Mercy
August 15, 2016
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Farmington Hills Mercy softball team enjoyed one of the winningest seasons in MHSAA history this spring bolstered by one of most accomplished hitters ever to step into the batter’s box in this state.
The Marlins finished 43-2 – tying for third-most wins in a season – and won their first MHSAA title, clinching in Division 1. Meanwhile, senior Abby Krzywiecki hit a single-season record 20 home runs to go with 18 more listings in the MHSAA record book as she finished her high school career.
Her 82 runs this spring are tied for eighth-most, her 48 career home runs are second on that list, her 94 RBI this season sit third most and her 238 career RBI place second on that list. She was named Miss Softball as the top position player in 2016 and will continue her career at South Alabama.
Two teammates also made the MHSAA records this spring; junior Sophie Van Acker with 82 hits and sophomore Anna Dixon with 72. The team’s 510 hits were second-most in MHSAA history and only two off the record.
Click to see where all three rank in the MHSAA softball record book, and see below for other recent additions in softball, baseball, girls soccer and boys lacrosse. (Click on the sport heading to see those record books in full.)
Traverse City West celebrated its most successful season this spring, including its first trip to the MHSAA Semifinals, and tied for seventh-most wins in a season in MHSAA history with a final 41-3 record. The Titans also made the team record lists with 431 hits, 427 runs, 361 RBI and a .369 team average, and their 70 times hit by pitch were second-most for one season. Individually, senior Alex Strickland was added for 74 RBI this spring and senior Nick Brzezinski for 73 hits, 68 runs and eight triples. Brzezinski will continue at Aquinas College this fall.
Austin Putman earned two record book entries with three home runs against Suttons Bay on May 12. The Charlevoix senior not only made the list for most homers in one game, but also for most in consecutive at bats tying for eighth on that list by hitting them in three straight plate appearances as his team won 7-4.
Dearborn Fordson senior Hassan Jaafar made his way around the bases quite a bit during a 13-12 win over Dearborn Henry Ford Academy on April 13. Jaafar stole seven bases, tying for second most in one game and ending up just one shy of tying the MHSAA record.
Detroit Country Day’s back-to-back MHSAA Semifinal runs the last two seasons were led by a foursome of standouts who are now all over the MHSAA record book for the sport. Emilio Sosa graduated in 2015 and now has five entries including 181 goals, seventh most. Cooper Belanger was a senior this spring and is listed 10 times, most notably for 317 career points, which rank sixth on that list, and 149 career assists, which rank fourth. David Pohl’s three entries before graduating in 2015 included tying for second-most assists in a game, nine, against East Grand Rapids his senior season, and 116 career assists that tie for eighth. And goalie Jackson White finished up this spring with 11 entries including four seasons on the single-season saves list – his 257 in 2015 rank second – and 872 career saves, which also rank second. Sosa played this spring at Kenyon College in Ohio, and Belanger is slated to begin his collegiate career this fall at Colgate in New York.
New Baltimore Anchor Bay’s William Moses joined the single-game scoring list in April. The recent graduate netted eight goals in a 16-1 win over Warren Mott to break his school’s record by two goals.
Fenton goalkeeper Abby Quesnelle earned her second entry for shutouts in one season with 13 this spring as a junior in 24 games to go with 15 shutouts as a sophomore in 2015. Fenton reached the Regional Final in Division 2 before falling to eventual MHSAA champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Her team may have fallen 3-0, but Jennifer Gutierrez did her part to keep Caro close to Millington on May 4. The recently-graduated keeper had an MHSAA record 50 saves for the Tigers as the Cardinals put 53 shots on goal.
Lauren Kanai was perfect in her team’s 17-0 five-inning win over Greenville on May 19 – the Ada Forest Hills Eastern junior pitcher tossed the perfect game in part by striking out 14 of 15 batters faced to make the MHSAA list for most strikeouts in a five-inning game. She also had two RBI.
Howell’s Veronica Pezzoni is a perfect 75 of 75 on stolen base attempts over the last two seasons, good for the fourth-longest streak in MHSAA history. The senior-to-be needs only 25 more without getting caught to set the MHSAA record. Junior teammate Jordan Humitz also made the MHSAA records with 13 home runs this spring. Howell as a team made lists in multiple categories over the last two seasons – with 454 hits, 93 doubles, 339 RBI and a .400 team batting average in 2015 when it finished 32-9-1; and for 493 hits, 93 doubles, a .415 average and 330 RBI this spring in finishing 30-11.
PHOTO: Farmington Hills Mercy's Abby Krzywiecki steps in against Macomb Dakota during this spring's Division 1 Final.
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.)