Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Boys, girls hockey rule at North

by Bob St. John Sports Editor

January 03, 2013

Grosse Pointe North endured mixed results during its 2012 athletic year.

Athletic director Ben Bandfield finished his first year at the school with only a couple of the Norsemen teams enjoying success.

Last winter was the best for the school.

The girls’ and boys’ hockey team had great endings, playing in their respective state championship games.

Head coach Scott Lock led the boys’ team to a spot in the Division 1 title game, which turned out to be a disappointing one-goal loss to Brighton. Despite outplaying them, the Norsemen had a couple of bad breaks go against them in the defeat.

The Norsemen went into the state tournament with a sub-par record, but roared through the playoffs with big win after big win.

The next thing they knew, the Norsemen won a regional title.

Another big quarterfinal victory, 3-0 over Livonia Churchill, put the Norsemen in the Final Four and the magical run continued all the way to the state championship game.

Lock was proud of his players who never wavered with their confidence. Even in defeat, the Norsemen enjoyed a season to remember. The Norsemen beat East Kentwood 6-3 in the semifinal before falling to Brighton.

Head coach Joe Lucchese also led his girls’ hockey team to the state championship game. After losing in the state semifinals the past three seasons, the Norsemen rose to the occasion and won the Final Four contest.

They led city rival Grosse Pointe South 1-0 in the title game before coming up short, 4-1.

The rest of North’s winter sports teams bowed out in district competition. The boys’ basketball team, under head coach Matt Lockhart, and the girls, under long-time coach Gary Bennett, played well, but went down to defeat.

Eric Julien finished his first year at the helm of the wrestling team. The numbers were low, so winning dual meets was nearly impossible. However, Julien brought in a winning attitude.

The boys’ swimming and diving team achieved some success, especially in the state finals when several veterans helped the Norsemen earn nearly 100 points.

In the spring the softball team, behind the outstanding battery of senior pitcher Amy Zaranek and junior catcher Sarah Richardson, helped the Norsemen win a district championship.

They lost in the regionals, but the team behind first-year head coach Ron Smith excelled during the second half.

Head coach Frank Sumbera and the boys’ baseball team lost to city rival Grosse Pointe South in the districts and Chris Alston’s girls’ soccer team came up short in the state playoffs.

Both track and field teams enjoyed dual meet success and each sent a handful of runners to the state finals in June. Each finished 3-2 in dual meets before earning a fair share of points in the regional meet.

The lacrosse teams struggled at times and fell short in the early rounds of the state playoffs, but that wasn’t the case with John Van Alst’s girls’ tennis team. He rallied his players to enjoy their most success late in the season.

As a reward for the hard work, the Norsemen made another trip to the Division 2 state finals after playing very good tennis in a regional tournament. The Norsemen earned five points in the state finals.

This fall, the girls’ volleyball team, under head coach Kim Lockhart, had a nice season that ended abruptly with a five-game loss to city rival Grosse Pointe South in a district semifinal match.

The Norsemen easily won the first two games and had five shots to end the match in the third game, but they couldn’t win the big point when it counted the most.

Leading the way were seniors Breann Reveley, Kim Cusmano, Julia Guest and JoJo Beedy.

The football team, under Sumbera, finished 5-4, but lost out on a state playoff spot after losing its regular season finale to St. Clair.

Scott Cooper’s girls’ cross-country team was solid from start to finish, but just missed making the state finals. Allison Francis had a great senior season.

Diane Montgomery led the boys’ cross-country team to a middle-of-the-pack finish in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division. The team fell short in the regionals, but Daniel Ciaravino made the finals as an individual.

Skip Mukhtar came in to lead the boys’ soccer team. It struggled, but improved throughout the season. They lost in the districts.

The girls’ swimming and diving team won half of their meets and sent a few kids to the state finals under legendary head coach Mike O’Connor.

The girls’ golf team had success this fall, winning a MAC White Division dual meet and tournament title without a defeat.

Head coach Brian Stackpoole watched Madison Vens, Paige Micks, Ali Scoggin, Jenna Paglino and Jordyn Parent excel and enjoy the season.

The girls’ field hockey team struggled to win games and it bowed out early in the state playoffs under head coach Melissa Carron.

North also had success in boys’ tennis with Van Alst leading the way. His patience and encouragement allowed his players to do well in the regionals.

They made the state finals, earning six points.