We're kicking off the 2011-12 school year with a newly-crowned MHSAA soccer goals leader, arguably the top female cross country runner in the state, and a boys tennis team that's risen from two wins two seasons ago to two wins over top-10 teams this past Saturday.
Each week, Second Half recognizes two athletes and a team for their successes during the current season. To nominate a candidate, email editor Geoff Kimmerly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are this week's honorees. Check back later this week for details plus links to stories on each.
Grand Rapids Christian senior
Bos, the reigning Division 2 individual champion, is again dominating. Chief among her wins this season was a first place in the elite race at the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State, where she edged reigning MHSAA Division 1 champion Erin Finn of West Bloomfield. Bos finished in a time of 17:20, 15 seconds ahead of the field.
Up next: Bos isn't sure where yet, but she'd like to run next season at a Division I or II college. But she's set to major in biology and eventually go pre-med and become a surgeon. "I really just like science. I like anatomy and physiology. I like doing small detail things with my hands, I'm hands-on, and surgery sounds like a great career."
I look up to: "I don't know too many runners that well. But what I like about (West Bloomfield's) Erin Finn, she just seems to be really good at dealing with the pressure of fame and being on the top, being expected to win. She seems to have a good handle on that."
My favorite course: "I might have to say at the Foot Locker Midwest in (Kenosha) Wisconsin. It had a lot of hills, and I pr'd on that course. (Bos ran a personal record 17:14 and finished second.)
Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian senior
Chatfield eclipsed the career goals record of Dearborn great Soony Saad by scoring his 173rd high school goal last week, and now has 178 and 267 points overall during his four-year varsity career. He's the youngest of five brothers who all played soccer at the school, including two more who rank on the all-time goals list and one who is first for career points -- but with only five more than Aaron has totaled heading into this weekend. His father Rusty was the team's longtime coach and taught him the fundamentals, and Aaron now plays for his older brother Lee, a former standout at the school.
Ready for any competition: “We have a high school with 35 students, and we play high schools with 200 or 300. We play the toughest schedule we can. We have really hard games and not so hard games. I know I can play with the best of them.”
Moves like Chatfield: "This year I've gotten a lot better with my scissor, or double scissor. Mainly, I'm a lot quicker than everybody. If somebody is back-peddling, I'll just push by them and run by them. But the easiest, I touch inside, then touch outside, then take a shot."
Up next: Chatfield is considering a variety of college programs including Division I Liberty and George Mason, NAIA Olivet Nazarene and Northland International (Wis.). He is considering an occupation in sports and ministry. "I would like to go to a Christian school, a school with a spiritual aspect to it. And I want to go to a school that plays good competition. If you want to play (soccer) at the next level, going to a big college is not a huge deal."
Go F.C.: Chatfield joins his brother Paul in rooting for Manchester City, but also enjoys watching Barcelona. His favorite player, like for many, is Messi. "Just how he can go so incredibly fast, even with the ball at his feet, it is so incredible."
Ludington Boys Tennis
The Orioles have improved from two wins two seasons ago to a 15th-place finish at the Division 4 Final in 2011, to defeating two top-10 teams at Saturday's Almont Invitational. Ludington, now ranked No. 6 by the coaches association, beat then-No. 2 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 5-3 and No. 10 Almont 6-2. The Orioles also beat Division 3 No. 9 Spring Lake on Thursday, and head into next week with a chance to finish the dual season 9-0 and win the Coastal Conference title.