By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Sometimes it takes a year or two for records and appropriate documentation to find their way to the MHSAA office in East Lansing.
Sometimes it takes a little bit longer – or in the case of former Ionia receiver Adam Kerr, more than two decades and only after a chance uncovering in a school yearbook.
Kerr’s MHSAA record for receptions in one game set in 1992 is part of an impressive group of football achievements that have been added over the last week. You’ll also find the names Tyree Jackson, Drake Harris, Joel Schipper and Alex VanDeVusse much more prevalent, plus recent additions for boys tennis, baseball, girls basketball, softball and boys soccer. (Click the headings below to see the record books for those sports in full. More record book submissions will be added in weeks to come.)
A pair of Homer standouts finished their careers over the last two seasons with a number of entries. Alex White, a senior in 2014, finished with 178 runs, 187 hits and 118 stolen bases. Nate Sitkiewicz, a graduate this spring, finished with 181 hits, 49 doubles, 160 RBI, 37 times hit by pitches, a .479 career batting average and four career grand slams; he also made the single-season list with 17 hits by pitches as a junior. Teammates Brock Ridgeway (29 HBP from 2013-15) and Dylan Thomas (1.61 ERA from 2011-14) also were added, as was the team for its 37 wins, 307 RBI, .387 average, 45 hits by pitches and 1.52 ERA in 2014 and its 55 hits by pitches this spring. Sitkiewicz now plays at Spring Arbor University, and White plays football at Kalamazoo College. Thomas plays at Jackson College, and Ridgeway is a senior this school year.
Taylor Richards played five seasons of varsity basketball for Fruitport Calvary Christian – allowable because of the school’s small enrollment. But even though those eighth-grade statistics don’t count for these purposes, her totals from her final four seasons placed her all over the MHSAA record book. She qualified with 2,043 career points (22.7 per game) from 2012-15, 468 free throws (ranking eighth) and 1,261 rebounds (ranking seventh). She also made the single-season rebound list three times, with a high of 363 as a junior, and the single-game list with 26 in a win over North Muskegon on Feb. 2. Richards also was part of two of the highest-scoring games in MHSAA history, an 89-72 win over Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian on Jan. 20 and an 89-71 loss to Holton a week later. The 6-foot-1 forward is a freshman on Cornerstone University’s team.
The heroes of Grand Rapids Christian’s 2012 Division 3 title run have their places in the MHSAA record book. Receiver Drake Harris, a junior that fall who ended up not playing a down as a senior because of an injury, set the single-season record of 2,015 receiving yards and also is listed for 243 yards in a game, 3,133 career receiving yards (fourth), 91 receptions in 2012 (fifth for one season), 148 career receptions, 25 touchdown catches in 2012 (second for one season) and 37 career touchdown catches (tied for sixth-most). Quarterback Alex VanDeVusse also is listed seven times: for 413 yards passing in one game, a Semifinal win in 2012 over Zeeland West; for 3,837 yards that season (third-most for one year), 5,043 career passing yards, 359 pass attempts and 205 completions in 2012, 41 touchdown passes that season (tied for fifth) and 56 for his career. Kicker Joel Schipper set records with 173 career extra points, over three seasons, and including a record 145 consecutive. He also is listed for 14 field goals in 2012, tied for seventh-most in a season, 19 over his career, and 72 extra points in 2012. Harris now plays receiver at Michigan, Schipper plays both football and baseball at Grand Valley State and VanDeVusse plays baseball at Davenport.
Muskegon Mona Shores quarterback Tyree Jackson graduated this spring as one of the most accomplished passers in MHSAA history after taking the Sailors to the Division 2 Final in his final season. Jackson made the MHSAA records for 2,338 yards passing in fall 2014, but his career numbers stick out most – his 8,028 yards in 42 games over four seasons rank fourth, his 845 attempts are fifth, his 475 completions sixth and his 85 touchdown passes rank third on that career list. Jackson now is a freshman quarterback at the University of Buffalo.
Research for the school’s Hall of Fame unearthed an MHSAA record for receiver Adam Kerr set in 1992. Kerr had an MHSAA-best 18 receptions for 307 yards (fifth-most for one game) in a 43-37 win over Belding on Oct. 23 of that year. The Bulldogs finished 4-5 that fall.
Muskegon’s Miguel Flores drilled 42 and 53-yard field goals in a 2014 Semifinal win over Zeeland West; the 53-yarder made the MHSAA records. Click to see both via hudl.com. Flores went on to play soccer this fall at Muskegon Community College.
Hunter Edwards became the latest of a number of players tied for third-most assists in one game when he had five for Grand Ledge in a 9-0 win over Lansing Waverly on Aug. 26. Edwards, a senior defender, earned all-league honors in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue this fall.
Romeo blasted past the single-season team record for home runs this spring, bashing 59 in 35 games to break the previous record by eight. Romeo’s Madison Jones made a huge impact as only a sophomore, tying the MHSAA single-season record for home runs with 18 in helping her team to a fifth straight District title. Now-senior Morgan Gardner made the records with 12 home runs including three in a May 26 game against Croswell-Lexington. She’s signed with Central Michigan.
Otsego’s Luke Ford capped a four-year career at No. 1 singles this fall that saw him rise from 20 wins as a freshman to a 37-1 record and MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 championship as a senior. Ford also finished his career with 38 wins by scores of 6-0, 6-0, third most in MHSAA history.
Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central’s back-to-back LP Division 2 championships the last two years (this fall shared with Portage Central) were driven by a number of players who made the MHSAA records for wins in a season. Freshman Jacob Wiltjer won the No. 4 singles championship this fall and made the singles list with a 36-2 record. Tim Spurlin and Jack Ziegler (29-7) won No. 3 doubles and Justin James and Aidan Rynbrandt (29-8) won No. 2 doubles, and both made the records for doubles wins, while No. 4 champion Peyton Herbert and Mike Battiste made it with a 35-1 record. Forest Hills Central won three of four doubles flights at the 2014 Final, and all four doubles pairs made the wins list: No. 1 champion Nico Finelli and Joey McClure at 28-9, No. 2 Andrew Fox and Carson Schmidt at 33-3, No. 3 Humzah Azeem and Ryan Conner also at 33-3 and No. 4 Joey Preston and Reed Aleck at 31-4.
PHOTO: Muskegon Mona Shores’ quarterback Tyree Jackson celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the 2014 Division 2 Final at Ford Field.