Two of this week's honorees finished their MHSAA careers over the weekend with Finals championships. The third hopes to accomplish the same on the first Saturday in November.
Murphy, who finished third individually at the 2011 MHSAA Division 1 Final after leading deep into the second day, claimed this season's championship with a two-day 178 at Michigan State's Forest Akers East. Her rounds of 73 and 75 helped Plymouth to its first MHSAA team championship in any sport. She made two birdies during her second round and edged Utica senior Taylor Clark by a stroke. Murphy made the all-state Super Team as a junior and is among favorites to win the Miss Golf award to be announced later this month.
Drive time: Murphy's favorite club is her Titleist 910 driver. "That's one of my most consistent clubs. When I need to put a good shot out there, I rely on my driver to help me out."
I look up to: "Rory McIlroy. He's always willing to go out there and play a new round each day, and I admire his etiquette on the course. He's not one of those players that shows frustration a lot. He keeps it internal, and that's a good thing to have on the golf course."
Up next: Murphy will sign with Eastern Michigan University and study nursing. "I knew the coach (Sandy Wagner) before because she was the first swing coach I ever had, and I admired the way she acts as a coach. Plus it has a great nurshing program and it's close to home, so it all worked out. I had a few surgeries when I was little, and I had nurses who were really well-trained and they helped calm me down before. I wanted to do that, at a children's hospital."
Sister act: Murphy's sophomore sister Sydney beat her for the first time this fall, at the DeWitt Invitational at Hudson Mills. Sydney shot a 74 to share medalist honors, while Kelsey shot a 77 to tie for third. "I was proud of her for that. She's going to be a really great golfer. I was getting updates throughout the round, and she was playing a really good round. So I knew she probably was going to beat me."
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Sienko capped a 28-0 run this fall by beating rival Chance Conley of Portland in the MHSAA Division 4 No. 1 Singles Final, 6-1 and 6-0. Conley defeated Sienko in the championship match last season, and both along with third-seeded Matt Heeder of Lansing Catholic all played in the Capital Area Activities Conference White. Sienko won the Division 4 No. 2 singles championship as a freshman and will graduate with a career record of 102-8.
Sign me up: Sienko hopes to choose between Army and Air Force for after high school, and he plans to continue his tennis career. His father Dean is a Major General in the Army and his brother Peter currently is a sophomore on Army's tennis team. Their sister Carolyn is in the Navy.
Taking a Chance: Michael Sienko and Conley have matched up a number of times over the years, but have become friends in the process. Sienko said Conley was his toughest opponent this season. "He hits a good ball. It's hard, and he's a really good competitor too. ... A lot of people think we hate each other, but I think we're good friends. On the court, it's a different thing, but off the court we're nice."
Born to lead: "I'm leaning toward business management or finance or something in there would be interesting. I like numbers, and I'd say math is maybe my best subject, and I kinda like to run things. To be the boss would be interesting."
Right on, Rafa: Sienko's favorite player is Rafael Nadal. "I read his book, and he talked about all the hard work he's done. He talks about the focus and dedication he puts into the sport, and I thought it was amazing that he did that. And the stories he told were just insane."
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Grand Blanc soccer
(Updated Oct. 29.) The Bobcats have advanced to their third Division 1 Semifinal in five seasons, and did so last week with a 1-0 win over Walled Lake Central after falling to Central in a shootout in a Regional Semifinal last season. Grand Blanc scored only 32 goals during its 18 regular-season games, but has scored 18 during five games in the postseason. The Bobcats are 15-6-2.
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Previous 2012-13 honorees: