West Michigan Stars Set High Bars
July 18, 2019
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Grand Rapids area was loaded with star senior girls lacrosse players this spring, with Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s Erin Kloostra and Grand Rapids Christian’s Kate DeYoung among those closing impressive careers.
Playing for Forest Hills United, Kloostra capped her four seasons with 58 goals and 76 assists and career totals of 212 goals, 276 assists and 488 points over 92 games. She had set the single-season assists record of 99 in 2018 and now owns the career assists record. She had 14 points in an April 29 game against Grand Rapids Catholic Central, which tied for second-most points in one game, and her career points currently also rank second. Kloostra will continue at University of Vermont.
DeYoung finished a four-year varsity career among the all-time leading scorers. She made the records with 81 goals this season – her third entry for single-season goals – and finished with 252 for her career, which are tied for ninth most. Her 337 career points also rank ninth. She will continue at University of Detroit Mercy.
See below for more recent record book additions in girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, boys tennis and volleyball, and click on the headings to see those record books in full.
A pair of Caledonia standouts were added, one for offense and the other for goal play. Another west Michigan senior Kendall Schneider made the single-season goals list with 63 and also had seven in a game against Grand Haven. Junior goalie Grace DeRidder was added for 153 saves on the season and 16 against Holland West Ottawa. Schneider will continue at Niagara University in New York.
Additionally for Forest Hills United, senior Molly Mullett – a student at Forest Hills Northern – was added for 67 goals this spring.
West Bloomfield senior Nick Long earned a pair of entries May 13 against Bay City Central. He had nine goals, plus an assist for 10 total points, to lead his team to a 15-1 win. The nine goals tied for seventh most in one game.
Jenison sophomore Michael Care put himself in the record book five times this spring, most notably with 71 goals and 107 points over 19 games. Care also was added for single-game totals of seven goals, five assists and 10 points.
Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s march to a Division 2 runner-up finish was led in part by a handful of underclassmen, including sophomore attack John Morgan. Morgan was added to the record book 13 times for accomplishments over his first two seasons, including for 83 goals and 124 points this spring, eight goals in a game three times and 41 assists both years. He’s also already made the career points list with 205 after two seasons. Sophomore Sam Bowen earned three record book entries including for six assists and 11 points during a single game against Chelsea and 93 points total for the season. Sophomore Kevin Sprague made the records for games of seven goals against East Grand Rapids and five assists against Ovid-Elsie. Senior Brandon Pham closed his career with a pair of saves entries – he had 22 against Detroit Catholic Central on April 25 and 184 on the season, the latter ranking 18th all-time.
Reese Ruhlman capped a stellar four-year career by leading North Branch to its first Semifinals this spring, and she ended with 13 record book entries. She made career lists with 196 runs scored, 257 hits (tied for 10th all-time), 58 doubles (tied for 18th), 43 home runs (tied for 12th) and 194 RBI (tied for 16th) over 149 games. Her 76 runs scored as a junior tied for 11th most, while her 19 doubles in 2018 tied for eighth and her 73 RBI that season tied for 16th. She will continue her career at University of Detroit Mercy.
Three Rivers has enjoyed one of the most impressive two-year runs of offense in MHSAA history, making the record book 12 times as a team during either 2018 or this spring. The 2018 team finished 37-4 with 499 hits (eighth all-time), 112 doubles (second), 53 home runs (third), 392 RBI (second) and a .431 batting average (11th). This spring’s most notable achievements were 57 homers (second) and 368 RBI (sixth). Sophomore Kali Heivilin has led the way; she set the runs scored record this spring with 88, two more than Rogers City’s Logan Fleming scored in 2015. Heivilin’s 19 home runs this spring are tied for eighth most and her 37 over two seasons put her on the career list already in that category, while her 72 RBI as a freshman are tied for 18th most for one season. Four more Three Rivers players also earned record book accolades over the last two seasons: Erin Brady for 21 doubles in 2019 and Kylee Nash and Halle Carpenter both with 18 doubles in 2018, and Amy Jo Tavernier with 11 homers that spring. Brady was a senior this season, Nash was a junior, Carpenter graduated in 2018 and plays at Hope College and Tavernier also was a senior in 2018 and plays at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Additionally, Libby Judsen now sits atop the record list for most hit-by-pitches in one game with four against Marshall when she was a senior in 2017.
The retirement of longtime Allegan coach Gary Ellis after 45 seasons during the winter was accompanied by a number of additions to the MHSAA record book from his tenure, swelling the number of Allegan individual entries to 111. Among the most notable of recent additions was Kody Harrington for 37 wins last fall and 131 for his career – the latter ranking fourth all-time. He also finished with 45 wins by scores of 6-0, 6-0, to rank fourth in that category. Zach Lang built a 38-2 doubles record last fall and Zach Sisson came in at 37-2, with Korbin Sisson and Lukas Vlietstra both coming in with 36 wins. Zach Sisson graduated with a 131-16 record over four seasons, ranking fifth all-time on the doubles wins list, and Curt Woodhams and Matt Nooney took over the 10th spot going 105-16 from 2001-04. Vlietstra also became the first listing for doubles wins by 6-0, 6-0, with 21 of those victories, and Sisson was added to the career tournaments won list with 19, as was Mark Chappell (1986-89). Harrington, Lang and Vlietstra also were seniors last season, joining Zach Sisson, and Korbin Sisson will be a junior this fall.
Muskegon Catholic Central setter Amelia Heminger finished her three-year varsity run last fall making the career assists list with 2,524. She also was added for 51 assists in a five-game match against Big Rapids Crossroads in 2017, and she tied for third on the single-match aces list with 20 against Fruitport Calvary Christian over three games also that season.
PHOTOS: Forest Hills' Erin Kloostra, left, and Grand Rapids Christian's Kate DeYoung were among lacrosse standouts from the Grand Rapids area over the last four seasons. (Submitted photos.)
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.