By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Grand Rapids West Catholic went a combined 34-8 over the last three seasons with back-to-back MHSAA Division 5 championships and a runner-up finish – and quarterback Travis Russell had two of the largest hands in that success.
He threw for at least 2,400 yards and 22 touchdowns all three of those seasons; his career passing yardage of 7,634 ranks fifth in MHSAA history, with his 435 attempts in 2012 second on that single-season list, his 987 career attempts also ranking second, his 224 completions in 2012 ranking seventh and his 546 career completions third on that list.
Russell’s 80 touchdown passes in 43 games tie for third on that career list, and he also ran for 2,269 yards and 32 scores during three full seasons plus four games as a freshman. He has signed with Ferris State University.
Click the football heading below to see the record book in full and read on for more of this week's additions in five sports.
- Russell's three-season teammate at West Catholic, Bryce Witham, was added for his 16 touchdown catches this fall and 22 for his career, and running back Andy Corey made the single-season carries list with 336 (for 1,682 yards) in 2012. Witham signed with the University of Minnesota, and Corey plays at Saginaw Valley State University.
- The four-year career of Coleman quarterback Adam Stremlow coincided with the most successful four-season run for the Comets in two decades. Coleman finished 26-14 and made the playoffs three times from 2011-14, with Stremlow playing in 30 games including all 10 this fall as the team finished 7-3. He finished with 18 entries in the MHSAA football records, including for 2,438 passing yards and 274 attempts in his final season. His 6,780 passing yards rank 10th on that career list, and his 735 career attempts are 17th. He also threw for five touchdowns in a half this fall and for six in two games, with his 78 career scoring passes are fifth all-time on that list. Teammate Mitch Franklin was added for a 99-yard touchdown run against Charlevoix on Sept. 13 and for 1,119 receiving yards this fall.
- Record-listing performances recent and old were added for Lansing Catholic and two now-closed Catholic schools in the city. Junior quarterback Tony Poljan led the Cougars to the Division 5 Final in the fall throwing 263 times, completing 171, for 2,802 yards and 35 touchdowns. His career yardage total, 4,373, also makes that list with a season to play. Zac Baker had 13 interceptions as Lansing Catholic made the team list in that category with 30 total, and kicker Jon Foy made lists with 58 extra points and nine in a game. Mario Villarreal (1987), Paul Rashid (1977) and Marty Castellon (1989) all were added for carrying at least 40 times in a game, and Don Blair of Lansing St. Mary Cathedral was added for his two 1958 interception return touchdowns against Bath and three total that season. Lansing O’Rafferty was added for three straight and four ties total in 1958, when it finished 2-2-4. Also, longtime Ithaca and current Lansing Catholic coach Jim Ahern was added for his 249-128-7 career record, including a 13-1 finish with the Cougars in 2014.
- Erik Pohlmann added to Menominee’s strong recent kicking tradition, making 82 of 85 extra points in the fall to rank fourth for most made in one season. That run included a streak of 41 straight and 10 in a game against Milwaukee Morse-Marshall.
- New Lothrop’s Logan VanSumeren joined a list of only 13 with kick return touchdowns listed when he ran 95 yards for a score in his team’s 60-26 loss to Detroit Loyola in a Division 7 Regional Final in the fall. He has signed with Stetson University in Florida.
- Macomb Lutheran North graduate J.J. McGrath already had three listings in the MHSAA records for longest field goals (his 57-yarder in 2012 is third), but was added for his 22 career field goals (tied for 11th-most) and 85 extra points from 2009-12. McGrath is on the Grand Valley State University football roster after previous stops at Mississippi State University and the University of Michigan.
- Grand Ledge had another fine season in 2014, finishing 30-8, and ranked as a team with 305 strikeouts. Pitchers Tyler Waldrop (0.69) and Nick Kamrada (0.81) also were added for single-season ERA. Keefer Johnson was added for getting hit by a pitch 13 times in 2013.
- Imlay City’s Ashton Combs made two record book lists after making 17 straight free throws Dec. 6, 2013, in a 53-50 win over North Branch. Her 17 were among the most made in one game, and she made 17 in a row to make another listing, missing only her final free-throw attempt of the night. Combs ended with 33 points total, including 17 during the second quarter. She was a freshman at the time and currently is a junior.
- St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic’s Danny McEachen capped his career in the fall with six listings in the MHSAA boys soccer records after scoring 41 goals and tallying 54 points in his final season. Both of those numbers made respective single-season lists, with his 144 goals over four seasons ranking ninth on for a career and his 197 career points ranking eighth.
- This spring, Marlette sophomore Hannah Kady became the latest of six players to knock in at least nine runs in one game, tallying nine RBI against Memphis on April 14. She had a three-run home run, plus three doubles – and each double brought home two runs in the 15-5, five-inning victory.
PHOTO: Travis Russell celebrates a Grand Rapids West Catholic touchdown during last season’s Division 5 Final win over Lansing Catholic.
William Dunn finished his career in 2020 among the best to play at Quincy, having made career MHSAA record book lists in three categories.
Dunn, now a 6-foot-8 forward at Youngstown State, ended his prep career with record entries for 788 rebounds, 203 blocked shots and 336 free throws made in 503 attempts over 90 games and four seasons. He played in 25 games and started 13 as a sophomore this past winter for the Penguins.
See below for more recent record book entries for boys basketball.
Additionally for Quincy, 2016-17 teammate Nathan Karney was added to the MHSAA records for scoring 22 of his 37 points against Jonesville on March 6, 2017, during the second quarter.
Painesdale Jeffers, despite playing only 20 games during the abbreviated 2020-21 season, made 223 3-pointers, good for eighth-most in one season. The Jets made the single-game 3-pointers list four times, with a high of 22 in a March 11, 2021, game against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Then-junior John Schutz was part of the surge, and his 11 3-pointers in that game are tied for 11th-most on the individual single-game list. Freshman Levi Frahm was added for scoring 21 points during the second quarter of a Feb. 23, 2021, game against Watersmeet.
More than 40 years after concluding his career at Cadillac, Harold Falan has been added to the career rebounding list for grabbing 756 over 64 games and three seasons from 1974-76. The 6-foot-4 Falan reportedly was the second player in Cadillac history to score 1,000 points, and made the Class B all-state team as a senior, according to the Ludington Daily News report March 24, 1976.
Another standout has been recognized more than 40 years after his accomplishment. Cass City senior Clare Trischler scored 22 points during the first quarter of his team’s 102-58 win over Marlette on Dec. 8, 1978. He made the individual single-quarter scoring list, and Cass City made the team list with 42 points total that first period.
Concord’s Jan. 22 win over Springport saw both teams enter the record book among 3-pointer entries. Concord made 20 of 41 attempts from beyond the arc, tying for the eighth-most made 3-pointers in a game. Adding in Springport’s six 3-pointers, the teams’ combined 26 tied for third-most by two teams in a game.
Similarly, Bridgman made the record book with 18 3-pointers (in 27 attempts) against St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran on Feb. 4. Adding in Michigan Lutheran’s three 3-pointers, the teams together made the combined list for one game with 21 total.
Onaway broke a 56-year-old record Feb. 3 when it scored 49 points during the first quarter of a win over Fife Lake Forest Area. The previous record had been 48 scored by Engadine during a game in 1966.
Roscommon senior Joel Ewald scored 33 points Feb. 16 against Evart, all of them coming on 11 3-pointers. He tied for 11th-most 3-pointers made in one game. Additionally, 2009 graduate Mike Alden was added for 3-point achievements twice – for 82 over 22 games as a senior in 2008-09, and 199 over three seasons and 53 games. Ewald will continue at Eureka College in Illinois, and Alden played at Alpena Community College.
Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice was among the state’s elite throughout the 2021-22 season, and shooting skill was a big contributor. The Warriors made the single-season 3-pointers list with 178 (on 491 attempts over 22 games) and with a single-game high of 15. They also made the consecutive free throws list as a team with 33 consecutive over three games from Feb. 5-11. Junior Xavier Thomas made the single-game consecutive free throws record list connecting on all 18 attempts in an opening-night win over eventual Division 1 runner-up Grand Blanc. Thomas is tied for fifth on that list.
Buckley’s 80-64 win over the Traverse City Homeschoolers on Feb. 12 included long-distance shooting that earned two record book entries. Buckley made 16 3-pointers to make the single-game list for one team, and with Traverse City’s six added in also made the listing for most 3-pointers (22) by two teams during one matchup.
PHOTO Quincy’s William Dunn throws down a dunk during a Dec. 9, 2018, game against Jonesville. (Photo by Expressions Photography Design.)