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Girls track & field leads 2013

December 26, 2013
By Bob St. John

Sports Editor

Grosse Pointe South enjoyed a very successful 2013, which included a state championship and a near miss.

Last winter, the girls’ basketball team played in its second straight Class A state championship game against the squad which beat it in 2012, Grand Haven.

Head coach Kevin Richards and the Blue Devils lost 60-54 in overtime. The Blue Devils finished 25-2 and were led by Cierra Rice with 24 points, followed by Claire DeBoer and Bre Andrews with 10 apiece.

Senior Gretchen Shirar also played a vital role, hitting a couple of huge three-pointers during the come back.

They trailed by double digits in the third quarter before making a huge comeback. They even had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but a Grand Haven defender got a finger on a backdoor pass aimed at Rice.

South beat Dexter 48-29 in the semifinals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing and edged Birmingham Marian 63-58 in the quarterfinal game at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

In the regionals, the Blue Devils beat Macomb Area Conference Red Division nemesis Macomb Dakota 59-48 in the final and crushed Warren Cousino 56-34 in the semifinal. Those games were also played at Lake Shore.

In the districts, South had no trouble disposing of city rival Grosse Pointe North in the title game.

This year’s squad will be led by junior guards Lezza Brown and Rice, as well as Andrews, a senior forward/guard.

South’s girls’ hockey team had another successful season under third-year head coach Joe Provenzano. The squad was trying to win its third straight state championship, but lost to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in overtime in the state championship game.

The Blue Devils finished 19-2-1 overall and won the regular season title of the Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League Division 1.

The seniors on the squad were Lindsey Makos, Alex Golden, Lauren Schaller, Kate Wacker, Samantha Taylor, Meghan Polack, Darian Dempsey, Gabby Hartman, Yasmin Sanders and Anastasia Diamond.

Head coach Eric Gunderson and the boys’ swimming and diving team had a nice season.

The Blue Devils won another MAC Red Division dual meet and league meet title, plus ended the season winning 11 of 15 meets.

Leading the charge were a plethora of underclassmen who competed in the Division 2 state title meet.

The boys’ hockey team was under the tutelage of first-year head coach Bobby McKillop. After a slow start, the Blue Devils picked up the pace and played solid hockey.

They finished 15-12-1 overall and dropped a 4-3 decision to Port Huron Northern in a Division 2 state quarterfinal game.

The team’s seniors were Max Corden, Ryley Maher, Jeff Craig, Blake Reece, Tommy McShane, Jake Corden, Brad Kohut, Shane Sparkman and Will Newell.

Courtney Law and her Grosse Pointe Unified gymnastics team, which has girls from both Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South, enjoyed a ton of success.

The girls won their division and league meet, plus performed well in the regional meet. One of the top gymnasts was South senior Aubryn Samaroo.

Head coach Dave Grauzer endured a long season as the Blue Devils finished 5-16 overall.

A five- and six-game losing streak were instrumental in the lackluster record.

Seniors Josh Mays, George Duffield, Daniel Handilah, Gerard Smith, Joe Becker and Neal Fleming graduated, leaving a good stock of underclassmen to lead the way this winter.

Greg Snider has put in a ton of effort in coaching the wrestling team, as did Grauzer before he left the program in the spring.

Low numbers and inexperience left the Blue Devils in the middle of the pack of the MAC Silver Division.

In the spring season, head coach Steve Zaranek and the girls’ track and field team won a third consecutive Division 1 state championship.

This was the highlight of the year for the school.

South cruised to a 21-point victory, earning 76 points to Saline’s 55.

Earning All-State honors were Samaroo in the high jump, 3,200-meter relay (state champ foursome of Christina Firl, Ersula Farrow, Haley Meier and Hannah Meier), Jasmine Brathwaite in the 100-meter dash, Hannah Meier in the 1,600-meter run (state champ), Hannah Meier in the 800-meter run (state champ), and 1,600-meter relay (state champ foursome of Lily Pendy, Farrow, Haley Meier and Hannah Meier).

The ladies won another division dual meet and league meet title, plus easily took the top honor in the regional meet.

The boys earned three points in the state finals and had some success under head coach Werner Schienke.

The girls’ tennis team continued its great seasons under head coach Mark Sobieralski.

They didn’t quite defend their 2012 state title, but still finished third in the Division 1 state finals.

He didn’t have a senior on the roster, consisting of Kelly Beardslee, Madeleine Flournoy, Morgane Flournoy, Carmella Goree, Ruth Hayden, Angelica Kalogeridis, Sydney Keller, Katie Krueger, Jennifer Moy, Margaret Sweeney and Brooke Willard.

The ladies ended the season 13-1 overall and champions of the MAC Red Division regular season championship.

Head coach Robert McIntyre and the boys’ golf team took second in the MAC Red Division with a 5-3 mark, but came back to win a district title by only two strokes over Warren DeLaSalle.

Becker led the way with a 76, followed by Craig with a 78, sophomore Reis Becker with a 78, sophomore David Szymanski with a 79 and freshman Jonathan Theros with a 92.

The team made the state finals with a third-place finish in the regional tournament and placed ninth in the finals.

The girls’ soccer team, under head coach Gene Harkins, won a district title with a 3-1 victory over Grosse Pointe North in the title game.

The Blue Devils finished 14-7-1 overall and ended the season with a 3-1 loss to Anchor Bay in a regional semifinal.

Seniors were Diamond, Elizabeth Clevenger, Makos, Gabrielle Nguyen and Chelsea Marsh.

Don Wolford’s boys’ lacrosse team won 11 of 18 games. The season ended with a 17-8 loss to Troy Athens in the regionals.

Seniors Josh Gall, Nicholas Flowers, James Champane, Liam McIlroy, Hampden Maxwell and Conor Voiles were the upperclassmen.

The boys’ baseball team, under long-time headman Dan Griesbaum, finished 20-16-1.

The Blue Devils won another district title by beating Grosse Pointe North 6-2 in the semifinals and St. Clair Shores Lakeview 11-1 in the finals.

They lost 4-3 to U-D Jesuit in the regionals to end seniors’ Jacob Yglesias, David Wittwer, Stephenson Brengman, Ed Champane, Carmen Benedetti, Jack Doyle, George Fishback and Avery Duncan season.

Head coach Taylor Barczyk and her girls’ lacrosse team finished 7-5, losing to Troy 15-12 in the regionals.

The Blue Devils gelled throughout the season with a young squad led by seniors Amanda Heidt and Lilly Sterr.

The girls’ softball team, under head coach Nicole Crane, struggled at the end of the season to finish 9-16.

They battled Grosse Pointe North to the final out in the district semifinals before losing 15-11.

Seniors Jaya Telang and Carly Reno were the only upperclassmen on the roster. They have a good squad returning this spring and a freshman pitcher who throws 60 mph.

The highlight this fall was the girls’ cross country team, which finished seventh in the Division 1 state championship meet at Michigan International Speedway.

Zaranek’s squad finished in the top 10 for a fifth straight year, thanks to the All-State performances of junior Ersula Farrow, seventh with a time of 18:12.5 and senior Kelsie Schwartz, 24th with a time of 18:37.2.

The boys had only one representative, Nicholas DeBrunner, who competed in the state finals.

Head coach Tim Brandon’s football team started slow, 1-3, but picked up the pace and made the state playoffs after winning its final five regular season games.

The Blue Devils beat Roseville 49-7, Port Huron Northern 51-14, Grosse Pointe North 21-10, L’Anse Creuse 36-7 and St. Clair Shores Lakeview 31-0 to get a spot in the Division 1 playoffs with a 6-3 mark.

The season ended with a first-round 35-0 loss to two-time state champ Detroit Cass Tech.

Head coach Mike Rennell and the girls’ golf team had another successful autumn, finishing first in the MAC Red Division at 8-0, first in the league tournament and made the state finals once again.

The Blue Devils, behind senior co-captains Lily Pendy and Tenley Shield, finished fourth behind Plymouth, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Troy.

Pendy won the individual state championship, firing a two-day total of 150 and Shield was fourth with a 159.

Both made All-State for their accomplishment.

The soccer team, under head coach Stefan Harris, finished 7-8-3.

The squad bowed out of the state playoffs with a hard-fought 1-0 loss to state power Warren DeLaSalle in the first round. Leading the way were senior tri-captains Murray Sales, Robert Durand and Andrew Cornwall.

Head coach John Willar and the boys’ tennis team enjoyed a ton of success, finishing first in the MAC Red Division and finishing with a 7-3-2 overall record.

The Blue Devils made the state finals by taking second in their regional and placed in the top 10 in the state finals on the heels of solid performances from Nicholas Paolucci, Doug Kubek, Patrick Willard, Isaac Piecuch, Victor Flynn, Will Norris, Stephen VanWalleghem, Mikey Schaller, Brendan Clune, Nick Costakis, Brian L’Heureux and Tomas Garberding.

Eric Gunderson and his girls’ swimming and diving team put together another strong season, winning another MAC Red Division dual meet and league meet championship.

Several swimmers made the state finals and helped the Blue Devils to a great finish. All-State performances were turned in by the medley relay team of Alex Hughes, Claire Young, Amy Krausmann and Anne Crowley, plus Young made All-State in an individual event, as did Hughes.

The girls’ field hockey team, under head coach Millie Tompkins, struggled to score goals this season and a 3-12-2 record was indicative of this.

The Blue Devils scored only seven goals in the 17 games.

Last, but not least, the girls’ volleyball team had a new head coach, Kevin Nugent, and the usual results — winning a lot of matches and contending for a division title.

The division title eluded the Blue Devils after a three-match losing streak in the final two weeks derailed the train.

In the state district playoffs, the Blue Devils played poorly in a three-game loss to archrival Grosse Pointe North in the title match.

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