By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Saginaw Swan Valley’s Alex Grace opened the 2014 football season two weeks ago with what has become a typical performance – 195 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Vikings’ senior running back already tops one MHSAA record book list, and could sit atop a few more when this fall is done.
Grace set the MHSAA single-season rushing record in 2013 with 2,962 yards on only 295 carries – an average of 10 yards per carry. Adding in his 2,163 yards rushing as a sophomore, Grace entered this fall with 5,125 total – good for 15th on the career list, and he’s already jumped to 10th with 324 yards he’s gained in two games this fall.
Grace also scored 36 rushing touchdowns in 2013 – 12th most for one season – and with his 27 as a sophomore has 63 total. He’s committed to sign with Western Michigan University for after graduation.
Those are just some recent additions to the MHSAA record listings; read on for more, and click each heading below for the complete records listing for that sport.
- Logan Huff’s incredible Friday night (Sept. 5) – six touchdowns in Johannesburg-Lewiston’s 75-14 win over Pellston – included a pair of interception returns for scores to make him the latest of 15 players to accomplish that feat. He also scored on two rushes, a reception and a punt return, will all six TDs coming during the first half.
- Zach Fish’s reputation as one of the top high school power hitters in MHSAA history got a boost with the addition of career numbers from his two seasons each at Kalamazoo Central (2008-09) and Richland Gull Lake (2010-11). Fish ranks second for most career home runs (47) and RBI (203) in MHSAA history, eighth for career runs scored (184) and fifth for hits (204). He also made the lists with three home runs and 10 RBI in a game against Portage Northern his senior season. Fish was named Big 12 Player of the Year this spring playing for Oklahoma State University, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 11th round of the June Major League Baseball amateur draft, and just finished his first season as an outfielder with the franchise’s short-season rookie level team in Great Falls, Montana.
- Wyoming West Michigan Lutheran 6-foot-4 forward Jeffrey Hilliard finished his high school career averaging a double-double – 19.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per game – and grabbed 314 boards total to make the MHSAA records in that single-season category. He just missed the single-game category, grabbing 29 in an 85-45 win over Holland Black River. He’ll continue his career at Concordia University-Ann Arbor.
- Crystal Falls Forest Park’s Lexi Gussert finished her career in March with a Miss Basketball trophy and having carried the Trojans to the Class D Final at the Breslin Center. She also appears 14 times in the MHSAA girls hoops record book: most notably, she finished fourth in career scoring with 2,630 points, set the record as a senior for single-season 3-pointers (105) and finished second with 274 career 3-pointers, finished eighth as a senior on the single-season assist (193) list and is ninth on the career rebounds list with 1,108. She also tied for sixth with 104 varsity games played during her career, and will continue at Michigan State University.
- Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern’s run to the Division 2 Semifinals this spring included outstanding offensive performances from a pair of field players and strong play in net by a junior goalie. Bob Pelton tallied the third-most assists in one season, 64, and finished with the eighth-most points, 110. Teammate Luke Malec also made the single-season points list with 89, and both made a number of single-game lists. Goalie Grant Lardieri posted three of the top nine single-game saves totals, topped by 23 against Detroit Catholic Central on May 17, and also has posted three of the top eight season saves totals – his 232 this spring were the third-most. He has 657 career saves – 62 from tying the MHSAA record – with a season left in his high school career.
- Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard’s Matt Kolevar finished a solid career in 2010 with 57 goals and 38 assists – with his 95 points making that single-season list. He also made the career points list with 200, including 137 goals.
- Connor Flynn graduated from Rockford in 2012 with 715 career saves in goal, which now ranks second in MHSAA history. He had 24 in a 2012 games against South Lyon, with that total tying for third-most in a game. He’s now playing at the University of Detroit Mercy.
- Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Taylor Timko scored more than 30 goals twice and 124 during a four-year career that finished this spring. Her career goals rank 21st in MHSAA history, and her 176 total points (including 52 assists) rank 14th on that career list. Timko, who also was a track standout and the football team’s kicker and was crowned Homecoming queen last fall while in uniform, is starting for the University of Michigan women’s soccer team this fall.
- Gladwin sophomore Lauren Mose achieved a top-10 spot in the MHSAA softball record listings, scoring 71 runs this spring – good to tie for eighth-most in one season. She also hit .496 in 137 at bats. Sophomore teammate Dayna Fennell made the MHSAA single-season doubles list with 16 and hit a team-best .514 in a team-high 138 at bats.
PHOTO: Saginaw Swan Valley's Alex Grace (9) carries the ball during this season's opener against Saginaw Nouvel. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)