Standouts Finish on Record Kicks
April 11, 2014
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.)
Owosso Ace's Strikeout Total Stacks Up with State's All-Time Best
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
January 4, 2023
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.