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.
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.