By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
A total of 105 schools won one or more of the 128 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during 2018-19, with two teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.
Ypsilanti Lincoln celebrated its first MHSAA Finals championship by winning the Division 1 boys basketball title in the winter, and Millington claimed its first by earning the Division 3 softball championship this spring.
A total of 19 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by two schools winning four: Pewamo-Westphalia won in boys basketball, girls basketball, competitive cheer and girls track & field; and Marquette won in boys skiing, girls skiing, girls swimming & diving and girls track & field. Five schools won three MHSAA Finals championships: Bronson, Detroit Country Day, East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern and Hudsonville Unity Christian.
Winning two titles in 2018-19 were Chassell, Detroit Catholic Central, Houghton, Ishpeming, Ishpeming Westwood, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep, Lake Orion, Negaunee, Ontonagon, Sault Ste. Marie and West Iron County. Farmington Hills Harrison – in its final school year before closing this summer – also was part of two championships, winning the Division 1 boys bowling title and then as a secondary school in a cooperative program with Farmington and North Farmington that finished first in girls gymnastics.
A total of 28 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 53 champions were repeat winners from 2017-18 – and 22 of those won for at least the third straight season, while 12 extended title streaks to at least four consecutive years.
The Rockford girls lacrosse and Marquette boys skiing programs own the longest title streaks at seven seasons, while Lowell wrestling and Flint Kearsley girls bowling both have won 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.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.