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Presenting 25 of the greatest Grand Rapids area high school sports records

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 6/25/2020 By Steve Kaminski,
a person throwing a baseball during a game: Heidi Warmelink pitched at Cornerstone University after graduating from Wayland. © MLive File Photo/ Heidi Warmelink pitched at Cornerstone University after graduating from Wayland.

One athlete kicked a 55-yard field goal, while another set a state record for a 97-yard punt 72 years ago.

Do you remember the Wyoming Lee softball player who hit five homeruns in a game or the Fennville basketball player who averaged over 44 points in a season?

MLive has scoured the Michigan High School Athletic Association record books and come up with a list of 25 of the greatest Grand Rapids area records, and in some cases, they serve as state records, too.

Let’s count them down:

25. Ron Appledorn

a man wearing a white shirt and smiling at the camera: Belding football player Connor Barker. © Alex McDougall | Belding football player Connor Barker.

Appledorn holds the MHSAA record for longest punt. Appledorn recorded a 97-yard punt for Holland against Benton Harbor on Nov. 5, 1948.

24. Halley Reitsma

Grand Rapids Christian’s Reitsma has the area’s longest hitting streak at 41 games, which was set from 2012-2014. Only Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart’s Sara Hansen has hit in more consecutive games in MHSAA history, hitting in 91-straight from 2011-2014.

23. Ethan Colton

The Saugatuck running back holds the Grand Rapids area record for most consecutive 200-yard rushing games. Colton broke 200 in seven-straight games in 2010, helping the Indians finish runner-up in the state in Division 8. That ties him for second with Isaac Harper of East Lansing (2007), one behind Saginaw Swan Valley’s Alex Grace (2014).

a baseball player taking a swing at a ball: Muskegon Clippers outfielder Blake Dunn slides into home plate during the Muskegon Clippers game against the Saginaw Sugar Beets on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Marsh Field in Muskegon, Michigan. © Mike Krebs/Mike Krebs | Muskegon Clippers outfielder Blake Dunn slides into home plate during the Muskegon Clippers game against the Saginaw Sugar Beets on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Marsh Field in Muskegon, Michigan.

22. Connor Barker

Barker is the only Grand Rapids area player to return two punts for a touchdown in a game, according to Barker, who played at Belding, returned punts of 90 and 88 yards against West Catholic on Oct. 16, 2015.

21. Heidi Warmelink

The Wayland pitcher won 40 games in 2007, which is an area record. Warmelink finished 40-5.

20. Nick Carlson

Carlson of Hamilton shot a two-day score of 134 at the 2015 MHSAA state golf championship. That remains a 36-hole state finals record.

19. Mike Prindle

Grand Rapids Union’s kicker booted a 55-yard field in a 1980 game against Muskegon. It remains the longest field goal in Grand Rapids area history, and he’s tied for sixth all-time in state history. Prindle would go on to kick at Western Michigan.

18. Mackenzie North

According to, Lowell’s North is the only Grand Rapids area softball player to hit two homeruns in the same inning. She homered twice in the first inning on April 11, 2017 against Ottawa Hills.

17. Becky Manson

Rockford’s Manson hit a Grand Rapids area career record .654 for the Rams from 1996-1998. Her average ranks second in the state only to Grand Blanc’s Rebekah Milian’s .679 from 2001-2003.

16. Trevor TerHaar

Zeeland East’s Trevor TerHaar set a state record for most hits in a season in 2017, recording 81.

15. Wilson Wirebaugh

The Holland Christian quarterback threw five touchdown passes in the second quarter in the Maroons’ game versus Unity Christian in 2017. That’s the most touchdown passes in a quarter in Grand Rapids history, and it ties him for second all-time in state history.

14. Courtney Bartholomew

Courtney Bartholomew set four Division 1 state swim records for Holland in 2011 that still stand today. Those records include the 100 backstroke (51.99), the 200 individual medley (2:00.06), the 400 free relay (3:24.46), the 200 medley relay (1:41.01). The 200 medley relay and 100 backstroke records are all class records.

13. Holly VanNoord

The Unity Christian goalkeeper recorded a state-record 24 shutouts during the 2011 season. She also holds the career record with 75 shutouts.

12. Jake Bohn

The East Kentwood wrestler holds the state record for most career takedowns, registering 1,365 from 2005-2008. Bohn’s 526 takedowns in 2007-08 is the state’s single-season record.

11. Josh Busscher

It took the Holland Christian soccer player just four seconds to score a goal in the Maroons’ soccer game against Western Michigan Christian on Oct. 3, 2015. That ties Busscher for the state’s all-time quickest goal with Gerald Schmidt of Dansville in 2016.

10. Tom Essenburg

Essenburg, of Holland, is one of three players in MHSAA to record five interceptions in a game. Essenburg worked his magic on Sept. 21, 1962 in a 21-0 win against Muskegon Heights.

9. Drake Harris

The Grand Rapids Christian wide receiver caught a state-record 2,015 yards in receptions his junior season in 2012, helping the Eagles win the Division 3 state championship. He is the only receiver in MHSAA history to have over 2,000 reception yards in a season.

8. Blake Dunn

Dunn, of Saugatuck, is Michigan’s all-time hitting king when it comes to career batting average. Dunn hit a MHSAA state-record .561 from 2014-2017, collecting 156 hits in 278 at-bats.

7. Jon Brand

The West Ottawa slugger hit four homeruns in four consecutive at-bats in the Panthers’ game against Jenison on May 5, 2009. Only five other players in state history have hit four homers in a game.

6. Nolan Fugate

Fugate, of Catholic Central, rushed for a Grand Rapids record 477 yards on 37 carries in the Cougars’ 57-50 win over Comstock Park on Oct. 6, 2017. That broke the area’s 52-year old record set by Caledonia’s Tom Benedict of 445 yards set on Nov. 12, 1965 against Kalamazoo Hackett. Fugate ranks fourth all-time in state history.

5. Kevin Grady

Grady, who starred at running back for East Grand Rapids from 2001-2004, holds numerous state records. Arguably the most impressive is his career mark of 8,431 yards rushing. He is one of only two running backs to rush for over 8,000 career yards, with Jared Smith of Pewamo-Westphalia finishing with 8,182 from 2013-2016.

4. Amanda Emelander

Wyoming Lee’s Emelander crushed a state-record five consecutive homeruns against Hastings on May 21, 2014. No player in MHSAA history has hit five homers in a game.

3. Dathan Ritzenhein

Ritzenhein won the Division 1 state championship in the 3,200 run with a time 8 minutes, 43.32 seconds in 2001. It remains a state record 19 years later.

2. Richie Jordan

The Fennville basketball great averaged a state-record 44.4 points during the 1964-65 season. Jordan and Dylan Jergens of Howardsville Christian are the only two players in MHSAA history who have averaged over 40 points in a season, with Jergens averaging 40.5 in 2018-19.

1. Joe Koperski

Koperski, of Wayland, was a sophomore southpaw when he struck out 32 hitters in the Wildcats’ 15-inning game against Vermontville-Maple Valley on May 12, 1969. It is the most in state history for an extra-inning game, and under the current rules that prohibit pitchers from throwing more than 10 innings or 105 pitches, it will likely never be broken.


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