By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
A total of 98 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during 2017-18, including one school that won both its first and then second Finals titles of all time.
Hart’s girls cross country team celebrated its first MHSAA Finals championship by winning the Lower Peninsula Division 3 meet in the fall, and then doubled up its number of titles both this school year and in school history with a first place at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Track & Field Finals this spring.
A total of 22 schools won two or more championships this school year. Marquette claimed the most, four, winning in Division 1 girls and boys skiing, Upper Peninsula Division 1 girls cross country and Upper Peninsula Division 1 boys track & field.
Seven schools won three MHSAA Finals championships: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Detroit Catholic Central, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Powers Catholic, Houghton and Negaunee. Joining Hart with two titles during 2017-18 were Bronson, Clarkston, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, East Grand Rapids, Grosse Pointe South, Hanover-Horton, Hudson, Iron River West Iron County, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart, Novi, Ontonagon, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and St. Ignace.
Bessemer also was part of two championships, winning the Upper Peninsula Division 3 boys track & field title and then as the secondary school in a cooperative program with Wakefield-Marenisco that finished first in Upper Peninsula Division 2 boys cross country.
A total of 33 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 45 champions were repeat winners from 2016-17 – and 18 of those won for at least the third straight season, while nine extended title streaks to at least four consecutive years.
The Petoskey boys skiing team took over the longest title streak at eight seasons, while the Marquette boys skiing and Rockford girls lacrosse teams share the second-longest streak at six straight championships.
Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine titlists in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.
For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2017-18 - Click Here (PDF)
PHOTO: Grosse Pointe South's baseball team rushes the field after clinching the Division 1 baseball championship Saturday at McLane Stadium.