We love to recognize first-time accomplishments (or first time in a long while), and this week's High 5s go out to some of the best this season in swimming, tennis and football.
Each week, Second Half recognizes two athletes and a team for their successes during the current season. To nominate a candidate, email editor Geoff Kimmerly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are this week's honorees.
Zeeland West freshman
Bullock, swimming in her first high school MISCA Meet, posted winning times in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly that would've placed at last season's MHSAA Division 1 Final. She won the 200 in 1:51.97 and the butterfly in 56.37 seconds. Her 200 time would've been the third best at last season's Final, and her butterfly time would've placed her fifth, just behind older sister Jordan Bullock, who graduated this spring. Zeeland West and East combine for one team, and Morgan already has team records in the 50 and 100 freestyles and 100 butterfly. Those three records formerly belonged to her sister.
All about the training: Bullock lives near the pool, so she wakes up school day mornings at 5:24 a.m. and gets to the pool at 5:32 for 5:45 practices. The team then has breakfast together before classes begin. "I love the feel when you touch that wall, when you see your best times. You know that all the hard work, waking up so early in the morning for practice, it all pays off."
Be like Dana: "Mostly I look up to Dana Vollmer. Just for the Olympics this year, her 100 butterfly, she had an amazing time. I'm close to the Olympic trial cut for that, and (I admire) a huge amount how fast she's gotten."
Already thinking ahead: "The next Olympic trials, I want to make that. I probably won't get in the top two, so I'll wait four years, and that's when I want to go to the Olympics. I think I'll be 20-something. And I want to go into dentistry. My dad and my grandparents, they always ask what I want to be when I grow up. They'll always throw out some stuff, like my grandma will throw out being a lawyer. But when I watched the Olympic trials in Omaha (Neb.), I was watching it and thinking I definitely want to do this next time."
Best advice from big sis: "That's a hard one. Probably just try your best."
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Portage Central senior
Heckman, the runner-up at No. 2 singles at last season's MHSAA Division 2 Final, downed reigning No. 1 singles champion Davis Crocker of Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 7-6 (5), 6-1 to win last week's Regional championship at Portage Northern. Crocker was 26-0 this season heading into the event. The two had never met during the high school season, but Heckman had fallen to Crocker once previously at a USTA event.
Up next: Heckman isn't sure where yet, but he'd like to play Division I college tennis. He does know he'll study business. "I'm good with people, and I just like doing business stuff. A lot of people think I'm an entrepreneur just because I like to work on things. I used to buy things and then fix them up and sell them on eBay ... make some extra cash."
The apprentice: "With tennis, I just know how to set up points pretty well, and maybe that can apply to business somehow. We have senior mock elections. ... (People) call me the next Steve Jobs, the next billionaire."
A different kind of ball player: Heckman's father Victor Heckman was a baseball fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1985. "Obviously, he wanted me to play. But those are some pretty big shoes to fill. I played every kind of sport when I was a kid. Tennis just seemed to stick with me."
My favorite player is: "Lleyton Hewitt. I always liked how competitive he is. I used to grow my hair out to be like him. He has a great serve. It's not all about power. He has great placement."
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Lansing Everett football
The Vikings downed rival Lansing Sexton 32-0 to clinch a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue championship, their first league title since 1986. Everett is 8-0 after winning a combined six games over the last three seasons, and can finish with a perfect regular season for the first time since 1954 by beating winless Jackson on Friday. The Vikings trail only Muskegon in playoff point average among teams expected to fall into Division 2 when pairings are determined Sunday.
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Previous 2012-13 honorees: