Girls' Basketball - Grosse Pointe North
Depth is a key issue for the Grosse Pointe North
girls' basketball team this season. Then again, coach
Gary Bennett's team is used to running with a short
rotation — in last year's Class A state championship
game, the team won despite using just one player off
the bench. Although two of his starters have since
graduated, there is plenty of talent on the floor for this
year's team — the question is how the Norsemen use it.
"This team has to get to the point where they play hard
for one another," Bennett says. "If we can match what
we had last year, we're going to be pretty darn good."
Talent-wise, the high expectations start with the
tremendous play of junior forward Ariel Braker, who
tore her ACL in the spring but should be near 100 percent
for the start of the season. "She doesn't just shine
in any one thing," Bennett says. "She's a great competitor.
She plays with an urgency to get the job done."
Braker, an ESPN RISE All-Area first team selection, will
team with junior Kayla Womack, a point guard, who
earns plenty of praise from her coach. "I'm very enthusiastic
about her," he says. "I have all the confidence in
the world in her." Senior Olivia Stander, better known
for her soccer prowess — she has a scholarship to play
on the pitch at Michigan State — is a defensive whiz.
Seniors Jasmine Kennedy and Madie Kent should also
contribute this season for the defending champs.
Boys' Skiing - Brother Rice
The Warriors have quickly become one of the more dominant ski programs in Michigan, even despite
stiff competition from teams in the Upper Peninsula. Much of the team's success traces back to senior
Zach Novak, who finished third last year at the Division 1 state tournament while helping his team to a
state runner-up finish. This season, senior Joey Lunghamer joins Novak as the Warriors push for a return
to state title glory.
Girls' Bowling - Tecumseh
The Arrows powered their way to a Division 2 state championship last year thanks to the brilliant
efforts of two outstanding bowlers, Kara Richard and Tawnie Vollmer. Led by the team's two high rollers,
Tecumseh posted the highest score of any team in the state final, topping Coldwater by 101 points.
Richard, now a junior, and Vollmer, a sophomore, will hope for a similar effort in an attempt to lead the
team back to glory this season.
Boys' Basketball - Pershing
In a thrilling overtime contest, Pershing edged Romulus by two points in the Class A semifinals before
eventually falling to Saginaw in the state final. Whether or not the Doughboys return to the state title
game will depend on the team's depth and chemistry. But based on talent, the team is off to a good start.
Senior center Derrick Nix, an ESPN RISE All-Area first team selection, and junior guard Keith Appling, a
third team pick, will lead the way for the Doughboys this season.
BREAK OUT TEAMS
GIRLS' SKIING – ROCHESTER ADAMS
Calli Stencel, a junior, has been one of the state's best since her freshman year.
BOYS' SWIMMING – CRANBROOK KINGSWOOD
Senior Matt Hogan may be the state's fastest sprint swimmer.
GYMNASTICS – TROY ATHENS
Led by senior Michelle Mather, the Hawks have the roster to improve at state.
BOYS' BOWLING – HEMLOCK
All-State senior bowler Justin Maher will look to rise to the top of Division 3.