By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Birmingham Brother Rice’s Alex Malzone and Grant Perry finished up careers this fall that leave them among the most accomplished pass catch duo in MHSAA history.
Malzone, the quarterback, was added recently to 12 MHSAA record book listings; he was 29 of 42 for 419 yards in an 28-20 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on Oct. 3 and finished this season 211 of 325 for 2,998 yards and 38 touchdowns (the touchdowns tying for eighth-most for one season). Malzone played only one game and didn’t attempt a pass on varsity as a freshman, but over the following three seasons completed 428 of 641 attempts for 6,254 yards and 69 touchdowns – his touchdowns again tied for eighth over a career.
Perry set an MHSAA record with 105 receptions in 12 games this fall, finishing with 1,727 yards and 20 touchdowns including 14 catches for 247 yards in that Oct. 3 victory. He played two games without a catch as a freshman, but over his final three seasons caught 176 passes for 2,771 yards and 27 touchdowns. His catches and yards both rank among the top five in MHSAA history.
Malzone has committed to sign with the University of Michigan and Perry with Northwestern University.
See below for more recent additions to MHSAA record books. Click each heading to view that record book in full.
- Longtime Shepherd coach Jack Nartker was added as one of 21 who have led teams to at least 600 wins, with a 605-257-6 record since taking over in 1990. The Bluejays finished 23-13-1 this spring.
- In addition to Malzone and Perry, former Warriors standout Tony Gioutsos was added for five sacks in a game against Sterling Heights Stevenson in 1999. He went on to play at Western Michigan University.
- Pewamo-Westphalia’s Colin Smith became the latest of four to tie an MHSAA record with a 99-yard kickoff return, bringing his back for a score against Detroit Loyola in their Division 7 Semifinal on Nov. 22.
- It took some digging in a scrapbook, but Calumet’s Korey Rowe, Marc Pomroy and their teammates have been credited with setting (now since tied) the record for fastest two goals by the same team in an MHSAA game. In a 4-0 win over Hancock on Jan. 23, 1993, Rowe scored at 4:36 in the third period, with Pomroy putting a shot under the cross bar six seconds later. Rowe scored again five minutes later.
- Tecumseh sophomore Josh Nowak became the first from his school to be listed in the MHSAA soccer record book after tallying 30 assists this fall to go with 15 goals. His assist total is tied for 16th for one season.
- Saline’s defensive prowess the last two seasons was key in its pair of District titles and run to the Division 1 Semifinals this fall. The Hornets set an MHSAA record giving up only five goals (in 21 games) in 2013, and had 18 shutouts that season. They followed up with 14 shutouts this season, all by keeper Noah Taritas.
- Plymouth Christian’s Lucas Albrecht capped his career with 88 goals, including 48 this fall in leading the Eagles to 14-5-1 record and appearance in their Division 4 District Final. Albrecht also had 15 assists to make the total points single-season list with 63.
- Saline’s girls team also kept the majority of its opponents out of the net in 2014, with 18 shutouts in 25 games on the way to playing in a Division 1 Regional Final. Keeper Sofia Sweier had 16 shutouts in 21 games and has committed to play at Grand Valley State University after graduation this spring.
- Wyoming Lee’s Amanda Emelander had one of the most powerful hitting days in MHSAA history May 21 against Hastings. She hit home runs in five straight at bats over the doubleheader, the last homer a grand slam as Lee claimed a share of the O-K Silver championship. Emelander finished the afternoon with 12 RBI, including eight in the second game, and got both pitching wins. She will play next season at Spring Arbor University.
- Midland Bullock Creek catcher Maison Kalina capped her stellar high school career with seven entries in the MHSAA record book, including 82 hits this spring to tie for seventh-most in one season. She graduated with 231 hits, 50 doubles and 158 RBI over her four-year career that saw her hit .483 in 469 at bats. She’s continuing her career at Central Michigan University.
PHOTO: Birmingham Brother Rice's Alex Malzone, carrying the ball during the 2013 Division 2 Final at Ford Field, ended his career among MHSAA elite in a number of passing categories.
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.