Other Sports

Published June 15, 2011

West Bloomfield High throwing coach Rick Mickley remembers seeing Taylor Gunn and Louis Daranda walk into his clinic when they were just in middle school.

“They were both strong, very eager and wanted to learn,” Mickley remembered. “The three of us hit it off immediately. What is it exactly that I saw was more so the desire.”

That desire has taken the duo from interested kids to being among the best throwers the state has to offer as seniors.

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Published June 14, 2011

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Several local track and field athletes left the west side of the state with a solid impression of the east side after schools in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties made their mark across the four state finals June 4.

There were plenty of record-setting accomplishments and All-State finishes throughout the finals — Division 1 was held at Rockford, D-2 at Houseman Field, D-3 at Comstock Park and D-4 at Jenison.

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Published June 7, 2011

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The best of the best met on the track and in the field to decide bragging rights.

The Oakland County Championships took place May 27 at Highland Milford. Novi Detroit Catholic Central won the boys competition, while Novi High won the girls title.
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day, meanwhile, placed second in both the boys and the girls competitions.

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Published June 7, 2011

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The weather report said it all.

“Rainy and cold, then hot and windy.”

It took two days with two very different forecasts, but eventually all the medals were handed out at the Macomb County boys and girls track and field championships.

Inclement weather on May 26 forced some field events to be pushed back to May 31. When it was all said and done, Macomb Lutheran North’s boys and Warren Regina’s girls scored the most points.

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Published June 2, 2011

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The sun was shining, and so were some of the best local athletes at the MHSAA boys and girls track and field regional competitions May 20-21.

The top finishers claimed spots in the upcoming state finals on June 4 at Rockford for Division 1, at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids for D-2, at Comstock Park for D-3 and at Jenison for D-4.

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Published June 1, 2011

It’s fair to say Grosse Pointe South’s girls track and field season has already been a great one up to this point, and the state finals are still a few days away.

The Blue Devils, which as a program has enjoyed many successes over the years, have set new school records in 15 of 17 events this season, several times over.

“I am extremely proud of our team,” coach Steve Zaranek said. “We set numerous lofty goals and have accomplished them all.”

And the team isn’t done yet.

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Published May 25, 2011

The most spectacular part of Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Kelly Hartigan playing for the boys golf team is how seemingly unspectacular she’s made it.

It’s not that Hartigan’s game isn’t spectacular — she’ll continue her career with the Grand Valley State University golf team next fall — it’s how seamlessly she’s assimilated to competing in the boys golf season.

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Published May 25, 2011

A strong singles performance is just what the Utica Ford II girls tennis team needed to lead it to a divisional title during the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division tournament May 10.

The Falcons, who won three of the four singles flights, finished with 27 points. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse was second with 25, followed by tournament host Fraser High at 23, Warren Cousino and Utica Stevenson tied with 19, and Fair Haven Anchor Bay with seven points.

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Published May 17, 2011

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Despite losing seven seniors from last year’s team, Grosse Pointe South girls tennis hasn’t missed a beat.

The Blue Devils were ranked No. 6 in Division 1 by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association’s May 9 poll and are playing some of their best tennis of the season as regionals approach.

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Published May 17, 2011

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse golf coach Scott Opalewski has to like what he’s seen from his team this season, and it might get even better.

The Lancers took home top-10 finishes at the Evans Gill Tournament April 26 at Romeo Golf Club and at the Macomb County Invitational May 2, and did so without some of their best golfers.

“Going in, I thought we’d be a top-five team this year,” Opalewski said.

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Published May 11, 2011

TROY — For Troy High boys golf coach Towbey Kassa, the record doesn’t reflect the talent his team possesses.

The Colts were 3-8 at press time, but three of the losses were by three goals or less, and none of them were by double digits.

“These kids are playing really, really well right now,” Kassa said. “We just need to execute in the later stages of the game, and we’ll be fine. This is probably one of the best Troy teams since 2005.”

The execution Kassa refers to is simply scoring goals.

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Published May 11, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Sometimes it’s tough for athletes or teams to recover after coming up just short of winning a title.

But Southfield-Lathrup senior Jewel Thomas isn’t bitter about finishing in second place of the 100-meter dash at the MHSAA Division 1 girls track and field state finals last year — even if it was by less than a second.

“It feels good to know that I was up there,” Thomas said recently. “It makes me want to try harder.”

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Published May 11, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — They call him “freshman.”

“Pretty original, huh?” Southfield High golf coach Eric Ostdiek joked May 3 before practice began.

But Jordan Bohannon is playing like he’s been on the prep golf scene for more than just a few months.

Bohannon won the Oakland Activities Association Gold Division tournament after firing a 75. In the Oakland County Division 2 tournament, he finished ninth after carding a 76.

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Published May 10, 2011

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Grosse Pointe South boys golf coaches Rob McIntyre and Steve Tafflinger are leaving nothing to chance as they get ready for the 2011 Division 1 state tournament.

The Blue Devils’ mentors are putting their golfers to the test in some of the most elite tournament fields available.

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Published May 11, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — Ken Stocker knew he had his work cut out for him coming into the 2011 campaign.

Despite welcoming back eight varsity players — including five seniors — Farmington Hills Mercy, which finished sixth at last year’s Division 2 girls tennis state finals, returned to the court without two of its top players.

Junior Margaux Kabodian, one of Oakland County’s top singles players, was lost due to an ACL injury, and Anna Hinrichs, who played No. 1 doubles, moved out of the state.

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Published May 10, 2011

DETROIT — They’re young and inexperienced, but Ferndale High junior golfer Noah Keener sees the improvement.

“I think we’re playing really well,” he said May 5 before his squad teed off at Palmer Park Golf Course in Detroit. “Our scores are improving each week, and it’s gotten a lot better.”

Ferndale was 0-2 at press time. Coach Dave Garlow said part of the problem is the weather, which hasn’t allowed for much practice time.

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Published May 4, 2011

There’s something different about the Troy Athens girls tennis team.

At 3-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division and 5-1 overall, there’s a little bit of swagger and a quiet confidence that’s making the Red Hawks virtually unbeatable.

“As a team, they’re believing in each other more,” coach Andrew Shipp said. “As a team, they also feel that everyone is capable of winning. They feel it’s a shared responsibility to come away with the victories.

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Published April 26, 2011

For the first time in 26 years, the Eastpointe East Detroit tennis team has a new face at the helm.

The Shamrocks found the perfect replacement for longtime coach Carol Gray, who retired in the fall from her coaching and counseling position at the high school, in Phil Morey.

Morey coached the JV boys and girls teams and was an assistant under Gray for the past three years.

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Published April 26, 2011

Despite more than 15 years of experience leading the Warren De La Salle golf program, coach Doug McKay is in uncharted territory in 2011.

After three years leading veteran squads that won Macomb County and MHSAA postseason titles, McKay is adjusting to a new lineup and getting no help from Mother Nature.

“For three years, we’ve been really good, but this year we’re going to struggle with inexperience because we have guys that had to sit behind that lineup,” McKay said.

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Published April 26, 2011

MOUNT CLEMENS — The Mount Clemens High girls tennis team has seen an influx of new players this year.

After losing seven key players to graduation — including standouts Tiffany Baldridge and Jennifer Berggren — the Battling Bathers welcomed 11 newcomers to varsity, eight of whom are new to the game.

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