By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Never underestimate the value of a talented kicker on a high school football team.
This season’s MHSAA Finals showed again just how much that unheralded player can contribute to a championship effort.
Birmingham Brother Rice senior Jason Alessi helped his team win its third straight Division 2 championship, tying the MHSAA single-season record with 16 field goals – on 18 attempts – and finishing second on the career list with 32 on 37 tries. He also made all 59 of his extra point attempts this fall and finished his career with 135 extra points total – good for sixth on that career list – including 122 straight, which is the second-longest streak of makes.
In Division 8, Muskegon Catholic Central junior Griffin Seymour helped his team to a championship season as well. He finished on a 72-straight extra point streak (fourth longest), with his 75 extra points total tied for the sixth-most for one season.
Theirs are among recent additions to the MHSAA online record books. Read on for details on more in football, baseball, boys basketball and volleyball.
- Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone made single-season lists for completing 190 of 281 passes for 2,782 yards and 25 touchdowns, and receiver Corey Lacanaria made single-season (65 catches/1,111 yards) and career (115/1,883 from 2011-13) lists in those categories. Defensive end Jack Dunaway made the single-season sacks list with 15, and Alessi also joined a list of 10 who have returned a kick at least 95 yards for a touchdown, doing so from that distance against Toledo St. John’s Jesuit on Sept. 6. (Former Warriors Anthony Jackson, Joey Henry and Devin Church also were added to the longest kick return touchdown list).
- It took more than 50 years to find its way into the MHSAA record books, but Bob Bentley’s 99-yard kickoff return touchdown for Corunna against Elsie on Oct. 5, 1962, has been added and is the oldest listing for this record-setting distance.
- A number of Holland Christian offensive standouts were added in a variety of categories. Among highlights: Quarterback Ross Schreur was added to four single-season lists after completing 195 of 319 passes for 2,752 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2012, and Caleb VanderLugt was added after throwing six touchdown passes against Holland last season. Schreur also completed 32 of 45 passes against Zeeland West in a 2012 game for 497 yards – eighth on the single-game passing list. Kyle Steigenga had seasons with 18 and 17 touchdown receptions, and finished his career with those 35 scores in addition to 112 catches (and 2,048 yards) total.
- Grayling is on a run for five straight playoff appearances with three straight seasons of nine wins, and much of that success can attributed to a high-powered passing attack. Quarterback Jake Swander was added for his 2012, 2013 and career totals in four categories – he finished his career last fall with 392 completions in 720 attempts for 5,281 yards and 51 touchdown passes in two seasons. Zane Tobin completed 194 of 365 attempts for 2,664 yards and 28 TDs in 2011, and Zach Wolcott threw for 2,404 yards in 2009. Tyler McClanahan finished his three-year receiving career with 160 catches for 2,378 yards and 25 touchdowns, and Cody Myers had 144 catches for 2,140 yards from 2008-10.
- Hale’s Kaydon Reimer is on his way to finishing his career this spring as one of the most hit batsmen in MHSAA history. He entered this season tied for 15th on the career hit-by-pitch list with 30. He made the single-season list in 2013 after getting hit by 15 pitches.
- Jackson High School ran like almost no team has before in MHSAA history, totaling the third-most stolen bases, 196, in 2013. The Vikings were led by Trevor Polewka, who had 46 steals to make the individual single-season list.
- Ann Arbor Rudolf Steiner and Adrian Lenawee Christian combined to make the second-most 3-pointers in a game in MHSAA history – 27 – on Feb. 24, 2012. Rudolf Steiner connected on 13 of its 17 3-point tries, and Lenawee Christian connected on 14 of 24 from behind the arc in going on to win the game 91-62.
- Teagan Reeves will graduate this spring as one of the top blockers in MHSAA history. The Three Rivers senior followed up her 236 blocks as a junior (third-most for a season during the rally scoring era) with 177 this fall. She finished with 622 blocks, third most on the rally-scoring career list.
- Onaway’s Mariah Ehrke will graduate as well this spring with multiple entries for kills. She made the single-season list with 592 this fall and finished on the career list with 1,419 over four seasons. Teammate Devin Bristley added 132 aces this fall to finish her three-season career with 310.
PHOTOS: Birmingham Brother Rice’s Jason Alessi (left) and Muskegon Catholic Central’s Griffin Seymour put up some of the most impressive kicking performances in MHSAA history in 2013. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.)
Jackson Northwest standout Campbell Kloack reached the MHSAA record book for single-season doubles for the second time this spring, hitting 18 for the second season in a row. But she’s also now on the career list with one more season to play.
The now-senior has 51 doubles over her first three seasons. She’s committed to sign with Saginaw Valley State to continue her softball career after she’s done at Northwest.
See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA softball record book.
Rylee Scheurer made a significant impact on Portland St. Patrick as a sophomore in 2022, making record book lists with 70 runs and 70 hits both over 36 games as the Shamrocks as a team made the records with 399 hits, 88 doubles, 308 RBI and a .407 team batting average. Senior teammate Lydia Meredith also was added after being hit by three pitches in one game that May 31, 2022, against Ionia. Scheurer then earned another entry this spring, for RBI in one game, while eighth-grade teammate Graceyn Rockey earned listings for home runs in her first two varsity at bats and 11 home runs for the season. St. Patrick as a team again was added as well, this time for 278 RBI and a .446 team average over 28 games – the team average ranking fifth all-time.
Olivia Turner’s big numbers as a Grass Lake sophomore in 2022 earned her three more individual record book entries and put her on three career lists as well. Turner’s 27 doubles over 42 games tied for fifth-most in one season, and she also hit 12 home runs and totaled 84 RBI – the latter ranking 11th for one spring. She’s on those career lists as well with 50 doubles, 28 homers and 176 RBI over 78 games before this past season.
Edwardsburg’s Caitlin Tighe will be playing her senior year of softball next spring, but has been added for several achievements from her freshman season. On April 22, 2021, she had three home runs, in consecutive at bats, and eight RBI in her team’s win over Niles, and she also was added for 17 doubles and 10 homers total that season. Teammate Abby Bossler was added for back-to-back homers in the same inning during the second game that day against Niles – as the Eddies made the team record book with five homers total that contest – and then 16 doubles the following spring in 2022. As a team, Edwardsburg also was added for 394 hits, 81 doubles and 293 RBI over 37 games in 2021 and 418 hits, 83 doubles, 34 home runs and 276 RBI over 37 games in 2022. Bossler graduated this spring and is continuing at Radford University in Virginia, and Tighe is committed to Western Michigan.
Hillman senior Nicole Barbeau earned her school’s first softball record book individual entry as a sophomore in 2022. She hit 12 home runs over 35 games to make the single-season list in that category.
Parchment’s Kassidy Butler put together one of the most impressive careers over the last quarter century of MHSAA softball, and it’s reflected with 13 record book entries. Among the most notable, Butler tied for 10th on the single-season doubles list with 25 as a freshman in 2012 and is tied for seventh with 69 for her four-season career; her 20 home runs as a senior in 2015 are tied for 12th on that list, while her 243 RBI are third-most for a career and her .581 batting average ranks 13th. She went on to play at Kellogg Community College.
Kinde North Huron enjoyed a power-packed 2022 season, making the team record list with 34 home runs over 28 games and with Brooke Gordon and Maggie Koroleski both making the individual homers list with 12. Gordon was a senior and signed with Northwood, and Koroleski was a senior this spring and signed with Cleary.
Algonac’s Kenna Bommarito became the fifth pitcher to record all 18 outs of a six-inning game by strikeout, doing so during a no-hitter April 11 against Algonac. She also just missed the single-game RBI list with five. She’s a senior this school year.
Abby Fowler was a catalyst for Holton’s lineup during its 22-3 win over Grand Rapids Covenant Christian on April 26. The senior drove in 10 runs, tying for third on the single-game RBI list.
Niles Brandywine’s Chloe Parker added four more record book entries this spring as a junior to her sophomore listing for doubles. She bested that 2022 total by one with 21 doubles and now has 54 for her career with a season to play. She also made lists for back-to-back home runs and seven RBI in a game. Teammate Adelyn Drotoz also was added for a seven-RBI game this spring as a sophomore.
Petoskey’s Andi Gasco tied the single-game extra-innings strikeout record on June 1, 2009, when she struck out 32 batters during a 21-inning Quarterfinal loss to Clio. She also has been added to the record book for 409 strikeouts that season and 1,364 for her career – which ranks 11th on that list. She went on to star at Trine. More recently, Kenzie Bromley turned a powerful senior season into a pair of record book entries in the spring. The Petoskey senior hit 18 home runs over 33 games to make the single-season list in that category, and also made the career list with 34 over three seasons. She’s continuing at Kent State.
A pair of Holt standouts were added for offensive contributions over the last two seasons. Jadyn Joseph, a 2022 graduate, was added for scoring 73 runs over 39 games as a senior. Marlie Rehm, now a sophomore, was added for 16 doubles over 36 games in the spring as a freshman. Joseph plays at Ferris State.
Three decades later, Susie Ritums has been added for her back-to-back no-hitters as a Comstock senior on May 5 and May 7, 1993. Ritums struck out 22 hitters over the 11 innings needed to earn that pair of victories.
PHOTO Jackson Northwest’s Campbell Kloack owns three record book listings for doubles as she prepares for her senior season next spring. (Photo courtesy of the Jackson Northwest softball program.)