By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Grand Rapids South Christian quarterback Jon Wassink capped his high school career this fall by leading the Sailors to the Division 4 championship – after taking his team to a runner-up finish in 2013 and watching injured from the sidelines as South Christian won the 2012 title.
For the second straight week, we lead "Records Report" with a history-making quarterback among recent submissions to the MHSAA record books for five sports – football, boys and girls soccer, volleyball and wrestling.
Wassink will graduate as one of the most accomplished passers in state history despite playing only three seasons as the varsity starter. His name appears 17 times in the MHSAA football record book including second all-time with 8,124 passing yards, third with 884 career passing attempts, second with 584 career completions and fifth with 76 career touchdown passes. Over those three seasons he completed 66 percent of those pass attempts and also ran for 3,252 yards and 50 scores. He is expected to sign with Western Michigan University next month.
Click the football heading below to see the entire record book in full, and read on for more of the recent additions.
- Ithaca’s fifth straight drive to the MHSAA Finals this fall again featured a number of record-book performances. Quarterback Jake Smith made the listings with 2,134 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, while receiver Spence DeMull qualified with 66 catches, 1,193 yards and 16 TD grabs including four in a win over St. Louis. The Yellowjackets scored 591 points total this season and saw their consecutive wins streak end at 69, second-longest in MHSAA history; it was the longest active 11-player winning streak nationally when it ended.
- Lowell football coach Noel Dean reached the 200-win milestone during the 2013 season and sits at 211-61 after coaching Burton Bendle from 1991-95 and the Red Arrows beginning in 1996. Lowell finished 10-2 in 2014, its 12th season over the last 15 with at least 10 victories.
- Brighton junior Joey Clifford scored six rushing touchdowns in a 49-27 win over Waterford Kettering on Oct. 17, becoming the 18th to run for six or more scores in a game. Total, he ran 23 times for 232 yards that evening.
- New Haven’s Dolan Bonkowski, a senior midfielder, earned his school’s first entries into this MHSAA record book. He had six goals (plus two assists) in a game against Madison Heights Madison in September, 43 goals this season and a total of 65 points in 20 games.
- Battle Creek Pennfield’s Elizabeth Jarrard is the latest to be listed and first from Battle Creek among those who scored more than 100 goals during their varsity careers. The 2013 graduate scored 106 over her four seasons including 35 as a freshman. She went on to play at Kellogg Community College.
- A trio of Cheboygan athletes were added for their accomplishments over the first half of this decade. Molly Warren made lists for five aces in a three-game match win over Rudyard in 2010, her aces total of 135 that season and 1,272 assists also that fall; teammate Darcie Melching was added for her 168 blocks in 2010. Kaitlyn Dobrowolski made lists for her 1,270 assists this fall and 3,680 over four seasons, which ranks 10th in MHSAA history. Warren has gone on to play for Division II Tiffin University and just finished her junior season. Dobrowolski led her team to a 50-13-3 record with its second-most victories in program history.
- DeWitt sophomore Lexi Nordmann finished this fall with 239 blocks – third on the MHSAA single-season list since the beginning of the rally scoring era in 2004-05. She helped the Panthers to a Class A District championship.
- Goodrich’s CC Weber made headlines as a senior in 2009 as the highest-placing girl ever at the MHSAA Individual Finals when she took fourth in Division 3 at 103 pounds. Her 58 wins (with five losses) also was good enough to tie for sixth-most in school history and make the MHSAA single-season statewide record list. She finished 162-34 over her four-year varsity career.
- Retired longtime Yale coach Jim Peltier made the all-time coaching list for wrestling, which includes those who have led programs to at least 400 dual wins. He coached in 1984-85, then returned for 1988-89 and retired after the 2012-13 season with a record of 448-259.
PHOTO: Grand Rapids South Christian quarterback Jon Wassink prepares to unload a pass during November’s Division 4 Final against Lansing Sexton. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).
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.