By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Crystal Falls Forest Park ran away, literally, with its first 8-player football championship this past fall.
The Trojans set the MHSAA 8-player records for 5,327 total yards, 77 total touchdowns, 686 rushing attempts, 4,350 rushing yards and 65 rushing touchdowns on the way to claiming the 8-player Division 2 title. Forest Park also played just 12 games, with an open date during the regular season.
Individually, senior Connor Bortolini was added for a record 54 carries, 402 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and seven total touchdowns against Powers North Central on Sept. 1. Senior teammate Peter Ropiak was added for five tackles for a loss against Eben Junction Superior Central on Sept. 15 and a record 28 total in just nine games for the season. Sophomore Noah Gilner earned the record for tackles for loss in a game with seven against Phillips, Wis., on Sept. 22.
Bortolini will continue his career this fall at Finlandia University.
See below for more recent record book additions in football, plus baseball, girls and boys basketball and boys lacrosse. Click on the headings to view those record books in full.
Grand Ledge was added for 420 hits, 87 doubles, 337 RBI, a .389 average and 1.62 ERA as a team in 2017, over 41 games. Senior Wyatt Rush was added for 0.69 ERA over 70 2/3 innings pitched; he now plays for Lansing Community College.
Jesus Becerra did not get a hit during his record-book worthy performance last season. But the Stephenson now-senior did reach four times on errors against Peshtigo, Wis., and turned those opportunities into seven stolen bases – tying for second most steals in one game in MHSAA history.
After giving up two singles to start a May 9 game against Warren Fitzgerald, Madison Heights Madison junior pitcher Austin Brown struck out 20 of the next 21 hitters. He’s tied for seventh most strikeouts in a seven-inning game.
Sophomore Kelynn Kujat made 66 3-pointers this past season to set a Frankenmuth record. She scored a team-leading 332 points for the Eagles.
Clinton Township Clintondale’s Richard Washington was added to the single-season steals list with 111 over 21 games this winter. The junior also averaged 20.3 points per game and made 63 3-pointers.
Hunter Spence capped a two-season varsity career at Comstock Park in the fall with six record book entries, with his 18 catches against Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Oct. 6 tied for third-most in one game. Spence finished with 136 catches and 1,948 receiving yards over the past two seasons. Senior Logan Serba was added for 245 yards receiving and four touchdowns in one game against Belding. Junior quarterback Chase Brown is up to 18 entries in the record book after two seasons and with one more to play – he ranks on career lists already with 592 passing attempts, 373 completions and 5,126 yards. Senior kicker Nathan Hughes also was added for making 56 extra points in 58 attempts this past season. Hughes will play baseball after graduation at Aquinas College.
Jacob Witt finished his career in the fall with 12 entries in the 8-player record book while playing for Ewen-Trout Creek in 2016 and then a co-op of E-TC and Ontonagon last season. Witt added 31 receptions for 759 yards and 14 touchdowns to finish with two-season career totals of 102 catches, 2,457 yards and 39 scores. Witt will play basketball next season at Michigan Tech University.
Eben Junction Superior Central added to its list of accomplishments in the 8-player record book, including for 643 total yards and 635 rushing against Felch North Dickinson on Oct. 6. The Cougars’ latest listings also include 72 rushing attempts against Rapid River on Aug. 31 and 3,301 total rushing yards last season. Junior Beau Rondeau was added for 41 carries and six rushing touchdowns against Rapid River.
Howell senior Jack Radzville scored more than half of his team’s goals in a 20-15 loss to Brighton on April 19, tallying nine to tie for sixth most in one game in MHSAA history. He added two assists, and his 11 points total also made that single-game list.
PHOTO: Crystal Falls Forest Park's Connor Bortolini high fives a teammate after scoring during last season's 8-player Division 2 Final at the Superior Dome. (Photo by John Johnson.)