By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Ottawa Lake Whiteford’s perfect season last fall concluded with its first MHSAA title.
The Division 8 champion also finished with a number of lasting record book accomplishments.
Whiteford set MHSAA 11-player records with 6,570 total yards and 5,167 rushing yards, and also set the record with 103 total touchdowns. The Bobcats also were added recently for a record 672 rushing attempts from 2016, when they finished Division 8 runners-up.
Read on for more recent additions to the MHSAA football record book, and click the heading to view those listings in full.
Bloomfield Hills senior receiver Ty Slazinski made the record book with 14 catches twice during the early weeks of the 2017 season, but that was just the start. Slazinski set the single-game record for receptions with 22 in a 58-39 win over Oak Park on Oct. 20. Slazinski also made the record book with 224 yards receiving on Sept. 1 against West Bloomfield.
As Ionia completed the biggest comeback in MHSAA history Oct. 13, coming back from a 32-0 deficit at halftime to defeat McBain 41-40, John Meyer did his share to move the Bulldogs down the field. The senior quarterback completed 29 of 65 passes for 406 yards, making single-game lists in all three categories – the 65 attempts are tied for fifth-most in one game.
Suriya “Susu” Davenport Jr. quarterbacked Wyoming Godwin Heights to the playoffs as both a junior and then a senior last fall, making the MHSAA records with 2,414 yards and 25 touchdowns passing in 2016 and 2,173 yards passing last season. He also made the career passing yardage listing with 4,846 yards, with 259 more from his sophomore campaign. Teammate MarShawn Kneeland, a junior, was added to the records for 16 sacks and 26 tackles for loss this past season as well. Davenport will continue his career at Davenport University.
Reed City’s rush to its first Semifinal this past fall came in large part on the legs of junior Phillip Jones. His 266 total points ranked 11th for one season, and his 42 touchdowns tied for 11th. Jones also ran for 2,335 yards and 37 of those scores (tied for 11th-most rushing touchdowns), including six TDs in a game against Stanton Central Montcalm.
Milan’s Hunter Aeschbacker returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in his team’s 51-45 win over Carleton Airport on Oct. 13. The junior’s scoring sprints both came in the fourth quarter.
Dakota Knieper joined eight others who have recorded 99-yard rushing touchdowns, adding his against Hanover-Horton on Oct. 13. The Addison senior scored after an interception gave his team the ball inside its 1-yard line, and his sprint contributed to a 38-3 win that helped Addison clinch its first Cascades Conference title since 2008.
A trio of Homer quarterbacks from this decade were added in multiple categories. Alex White was added for 2,333 yards and 30 touchdown passes over 13 games in 2013, while Caleb Drumm was added for 2,400 yards and 33 TDs in 11 games in 2015 and Jordan Sherman was added for 2,237 yards and 30 TDs as well over 10 games this fall. White went on to play football and golf at Kalamazoo College.
Lawrence has been one of the top 8-player programs in Michigan since the sport began at the start of this decade, and a number of standouts were added for passing game accomplishments. Among throwers, Connor Murney now has the records for single-game (521) and single-season (3,236) passing yards, single-game (66) and single-season (276) passing attempts, single-game (40) and single-season (176) passing completions and he sits tied for the single-season passing touchdowns record of 45. Derek Gribler and Hunter Coombs also were added in multiple passing categories, Gribler most notably for 2,607 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2014 and Coombs for 2,179 yards and 33 TDs in 2015. Matthew Cammire, the go-to receiver in 2013 and 2014, moved to the top for career receiving yardage (2,832), career receptions (126) and career touchdowns (53) among other entries. Gribler and Jacob Alburtus also were added for single-game receiving accomplishments. Murney went on to play baseball at Olivet College, and Gribler plays baseball at Lake Michigan College.
Mayville senior Jackson Schenk earned the first entry for tackles for loss in the 8-player record book with 26 in the fall. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end had six in a Sept. 22 win over Burton Madison Academy to make the single-game list as well.
PHOTO: Ottawa Lake Whiteford lines up for a snap during last fall’s Division 8 Final at Ford Field.
Na’ja Stokes was part of history as Detroit Cass Tech played its first two seasons of girls lacrosse over the last two years. And her historic achievements as a senior this spring provided the Technicians with their first two entries in the MHSAA record book for her sport.
Stokes made 30 saves – the second-most for a single game in MHSAA history – against Clinton Township Chippewa Valley during a 9-7 overtime win May 10. She finished the season with 207 saves – tying for third-most all-time – in just 14 games played.
Cass Tech as a team, meanwhile, improved from 2-10 its inaugural season to 6-8 this year, with a notable three wins and three one-goal losses over its final six games. Stokes was named to the Division 1 all-state first team.
See below for more recent record book additions in girls lacrosse and 11-player football.
Saline’s Erin Melcher quickly made an impact on the record book this past season, registering nine goals twice in two games over three days – April 11 vs. Novi, and then April 13 vs. Lansing Catholic. She was a senior this spring.
Hudsonville senior Anna Lobbezoo also got on the record board early this season with nine goals April 27 against Lowell. She will continue next season at University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.
Belleville’s Brayden Lane became the third kicker from his school to be listed, making the single-season list with 52 extra points over 14 games in 2021 and the single-game list with 10 in a win over Wayne Memorial. He’ll be a sophomore this fall.
Despite a 43-28 defeat to Sterling Heights Stevenson last Sept. 2, Utica senior quarterback Darren Welch enjoyed a memorable performance. He made record book lists with 34 completions, 54 attempts and 410 passing yards. He will continue his career at Hillsdale College.
Bloomfield Hills’ Andrew Siepierski became one of 19 players with at least four interceptions in a game when he snagged four against Troy on Oct. 11. The then-senior also scored the go-ahead touchdown that ended up the game-winner in the 21-10 victory.
Schoolcraft quarterback Alex Thole was entered into the record book eight times for accomplishments over his 35 varsity games from 2018-20. Among highlights, his 7,318 career passing yards rank 11th in state history, and his 93 touchdown passes are fifth on that list. He is playing at Tarleton State in Texas.
Morenci’s 60-41 win over Stockbridge last Sept. 2 made the record book for total points scored between two teams – and a few more times for the Bulldogs’ substantial offensive output. Morenci was added for its 630 total yards (just missing the single-game rushing list with 596) and 61 rushing attempts. Senior Carsyn Varga made the single-game rushing TDs list with six.
Quinn Fracassi and Aidan Vaughan opened their senior seasons last fall in big ways by becoming the first of the 2021 season to return kickoffs 99 yards for a touchdown – and against each other’s teams. Fracassi, for South Lyon, and Walled Lake Western’s Vaughan achieved the feat with their teams facing off last Aug. 26. Vaughan is continuing at Wisconsin, and Fracassi at Eastern Michigan.
Frankfort’s Adam Mills also joined the 99-yard kickoff return list, scoring last Oct. 1 against Maple City Glen Lake. He was a senior and will continue at Albion College.
PHOTO Cass Tech goalie Na’ja Stokes makes a save this past season. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit Cass Tech girls lacrosse program.)