By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Seven schools hoisted Michigan High School Athletic Association team championship trophies for the first time this school year, as 99 schools total won one or more of the 130 Finals championships awarded during 2015-16.
Teams earning the first MHSAA championship in any sport for their schools were Sterling Heights Parkway Christian in baseball, Detroit Henry Ford in boys basketball, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep in girls basketball, Tawas and Clarkston Everest Collegiate in boys golf, Burton Genesee Christian in boys soccer and Bloomfield Hills in boys tennis.
A total of 37 teams won their first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 50 champions were repeat winners from 2014-15 – and 25 of those won for at least the third straight season, up from 16 that accomplished the same feat a year ago. Still, championships were more spread out this school year; the 99 schools winning at least one title were nine more than in 2014-15.
The Birmingham Brother Rice boys lacrosse team has the longest title streak of 12 seasons, while the Ann Arbor Greenhills boys tennis team has won eight straight titles for the second-longest streak overall. The Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer and Marquette girls track & field teams share the longest girls winning streaks with six straight championships apiece.
Marquette again claimed the most MHSAA team titles, six, winning in Division 1 boys skiing and Division 1 girls skiing, Upper Peninsula Division 1 girls cross country, Upper Peninsula boys swimming & diving, and Upper Peninsula Division 1 boys track & field and girls track & field. Ishpeming won five titles, and four more schools won at least three titles – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, Ithaca, Negaunee and Rockford (including the championship won by the combined Rockford/Sparta girls gymnastics team.)
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 2015-16 - Click Here (PDF)
PHOTO: Detroit Henry Ford boys basketball coach Kenneth Flowers hoists his team's Class B championship trophy this winter.