Thursday, November 27, 2008


As many of you know, one of my favorite things about the holiday ended a number of years ago. Detroit's legendary sportswriter Joe Falls - would write an article each Thanksgiving, offering public thanks for those people, places and things in his life. I loved those articles, and though I'd bring it up again. Sadly, I can't point you to a sample on the internet. Closest I can get it this link about Joe's passing in the New York Times. (Hey, my visit to the Times offered up a recipe for Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup Ummm. I think I'll pass.)

In my eyes, Joe was a wonderful guy. He appreciated talent. He cherished those people who helped him do his job. He seemed to have a soft spot for the hard-working guy who went to work every day, doing what he was paid to do. Handling those things that we often take for granted

Despite what he might say, he had some ego. He had high expectations of those he worked with and around. He had high expectations for those in the profession. Respect was earned. He was unimpressed with titles or those who thought that they desired special treatment. He loved sports, writing, and the fans. He loved to offer his opinion, and it was heard nationally.

In my original blog, I once recalled one of Joe's stories.

I remember the story he told about how he got involved with Special Olympics and why they were so important to him. He told the tale of a Special Olympian who was competing in a swimming event. Suddenly, in the heat a race, in the middle of the pool, the boy stopped swimming. A volunteer swam out to talk to him and to coax him to continue.

As he told the story, Joe reminded me that he had covered some of the greatest sporting events in the world, and had witnesses some classic sports moments during his years as a reporter.

"The crowd erupted as he began to swim. Never have I been so touched or have I heard such applause,"

Joe reminded me that he had watched Super Bowls, World Series games, Stanley Cup finals, Kentucky Derby races. He stated that, in his eyes, it was the greatest sports event he had ever witnessed. I believe that.

(Hey - here's a bit more on Joe)

Joe's Thanksgiving Day articles were a thank you to life's simple pleasures, as well as a salute to those who had touched his life.

So - in honor of Joe - I'm offering up some of those things that I'm grateful to have in my life. I hope you take time to do the same.

To my ex-wife Pam: Thank you for our sons, Jamie and Evan.They continue to bring joy, love, and laughter to my life. They continue to help me grow. Thanks for bringing them into this world, and for giving me the chance to raise them.

Thanks to my parents for everything they have provided me, including the opportunity to raise those sons. Mom got them off to school every morning following the divorce. She allowed me to earn a living. This woman guided me through childhood, and now was assisting with parenthood.Thanks to my father, who now insures they return safely, takes care of Mom, and adds to my education on life with his stories of days gone by, and his shards of wisdom.Thanks to the two of them for remaining together through thick and thin, and for their sacrifices to raise me and my two sisters and two brothers when we were kids, and still, now that our age states that we are adults.

Have I ever mentioned Bo, my Mom and Dad's Boston Terrier? Funny dog. She'll play fetch for ever. Sculpted like an athlete, she brings joy and laughter to us all. So, thanks to Bo. And while we're at it, a nod should go out to my oldest sister's dogs, "Poe", a pug, and Riley, the family's bulldog. Another one who's mastered catch. And to Laura, Greg, Camry and Cayla, for taking care of the kids during the summer months as well!

Thanks to the Kishpaugh's for embracing me during my days at college, and for never letting go. I think of them nearly every day, and about the passionate way they lived life. Thank you Shirley, for passing along "The Kishpaugh Collection," and for sharing your husband with me and so many others.It was a life that was long, but still too short.It was wonderful to speak with you the other night.I hope to see you soon.

(Now there is nothing like your cousin appearing in the pages of a national publication, or appearing on national television, when you're growing up!

Long before I ever met Joe, I knew of his writing. Because of certain event out of my control, Joe was well known to my family as he once played host to a cousin of mine, Bob "Ma" Pesch on a visit to Detroit.

Thanks to the writing skills of his friend, Tim Sullivan, and my cousin's taste for the delicacies available at a ballpark, "Ma" earned national acclaim in Sport magazine for his efforts eating Brats at Milwaukee County Stadium. Sullivan's entertaining piece was followed up with another - this time to The Sporting News.

Hailing from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Sullivan wrote TSN columnist Joe Falls about the Art of Catching Foul Balls. In the piece, Sullivan detailed the "three man team" approach that he and his friends, "Ma" Pesch and Randy Wievel. The trio had developed a set of "Do's" and "Don't", then shared their knowledge with Joe's national audience in a March 1972 edition of the publication. Among the tips - use a blocker, who can seal off an aisle allowing the other members of the team to chase down the ball.

In an "only in America" moment, the article landed the three friends a trip to Detroit's Tiger Stadium courtesy of Joe Garagiola and NBC. Appearing on "The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola" on a Monday night, they demonstrated their skill in one of Garagiola's classic pre-game clips. Their host, of course, outdid them, scoring a home run ball hit to a section at "The Corner" that he had bought in whole.

"Garagiola got mad at me when I ordered two lobster dinners at the Hotel Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit prior to our filming," recalled Sullivan years later. "He smiled, however, when Ma Pesch ordered a double cheeseburger.

Ron LeFlore of the Tigers wasn't too pleased with us either when Ma and Wievel ran over his tomatoes in deep center at Tiger Stadium.

What fun we had!"

During their stay, they got to meet Joe. Falls claimed that the three had nearly eaten him out of house and home.)

So - thanks to Ma Pesch
, Shoe and Wievel for being an inspiration!

Continued thanks to the folks at Warner Brother's for those classic cartoons. Thanks for restoring them, and for six editions of the Golden Collection on DVD. So, this is the end the series, but not the end of the restorations and releases, huh? Please keep your promises...I've seen more than one series abandoned.

Speaking of which, I'm still thankful to the powers that be for FINALLY releasing those two seasons of "Leave it to Beaver". (Turn down the speakers before following that LITB link!) Now where are the rest!!! Do I have to subscribe to NetFlicks?

And thanks, whoever, for that first season of WKRP. Even if you would license the original music. The characters were the best! Might have to watch the Turkey episode today. Now - how about Season Two.

Thanks for online shopping, and to DeepDiscount, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and all those other shopping sites. Thanks for all those wonderful sales, and for making the world a little flatter! The Orbison Box set, (This one's a steal right now!), Dylan's Bootleg series (as is the latest - Tell Tale Signs, as is Rare and Unreleased), Keaton discs, The Inspector cartoons... Shopping is fun again.

Now, about my needs for an addition to the house so I can store all this stuff....

Potbelly's Sandwich Works
- "They must be good," said the instructor. "There is always a line out the door at lunchtime." She was right - check 'em out yourself! But Ann Arbor, Chicago, East Lansing and Troy are too far away to reach on my lunch hour. When are you coming to Muskegon?

Thanks to those Muskegon Community College teachers for giving me a C minus on term paper covering Muskegon Big Red Football. They couldn't understand the effort.

Now my version of heaven (should that be a capital H?) has a great sound system. The music you hear is played loud, and includes all your favorite tunes. For me, that's one very long playlist. The best part is that you can still hold conversations without issue. And, once you arrive, of course you can check in and hang out with whomever (or is that whoever?) you please. Past, Present, Future. Plus, you get to check out ALL the answers to the questions you have. Find out the answers to all those nagging questions that you've always wondered about. What would have happened if I had chosen MSU over WMU for my college education. Did drinking all that Pepsi shave years off my life? Did Oswald really act alone? Which Black Crowes 45 had the live version of She Talks to Angels that was recorded in Atlanta? You know, the important stuff!

What's this have to do with Thanksgiving? I'm not sure, other than I'm thankful for curiosity and imagination.

While I'm doling out appreciation, I need to send a nod to the Damfinos, who continue to preach the gospel according to Buster Keaton. What better than an agenda that focuses on laughter?

And thanks to the folks at the Frauenthal Theater (AKA, the Bill Bodell Theater) for saving, then caring for such a beautiful place, and allowing us to show Keaton films in an over sized 1920's movie theater that is tough to fill! They belong there.

Thanks to the residents of Bluffton, for letting me lead tours though their amazing neighborhood, and for busting out their font doors to share their wealth of knowledge. An Actors Colony in Muskegon - WOW!

I'm thankful and thrilled to have the chance to watch Muskegon area high school football - where the quality of the game is reflected in this weekend's Football finals. Thanks to WMRR for broadcasts from Jim Moyes, Gene Young and Joe Coletta. (Listen to the amazing 4th quarter of the Davison comeback...)

Continued thanks to Sally, Ella, and the rest of the waitresses at Glenside Pub. The Pepperoni, Sausage and Ham Pizza is the best. But the Monday night special is pretty close.

More kudos to my sister Terri and the staff of Mercy Hospital for saving my live on that summer morning. Thanks to Dr Leonard Kurello for resolving the issue, and checking in on me yearly (how's Alaska?), and to "Mookie" aka Robin Boersma for making the journey amusing...

My extreme gratitude to Outback Steakhouse for the always-crisp salads and the Outback Special. Oh - and for variety on their kids''s another When are you coming to Muskegon?

To Western Michigan University for the degree, as well as teaching me that colleges are a business designed to make money... I wonder if any of that little yellow plastic ammo is still wedged in the "rugs" at Burnham from the battles that I used to wage with my friends on their visits. Sorry, Kelly's Mom, for that shot to the forehead!

Thank you Paul Reid for the opportunities that you have provided me, and the two days off at Turkey Day. And to the entire staff of the MHSAA for everything that you have done for me. J.J., Rob, Nate, Jack, Andy, and the rest of the crew. It is always a treat to work with you wonderful folks! Special thanks for taking care of my sons!

Once again, thanks to Jack, Doug, Matt and the rest of the Parchment gang for inviting me over after for the football finals for wonderful conversation. And, of course to Bo, for baking those wonderful Apple, Banana Cream, and Chocolate pies! See you Friday in Detroit!

And finally thanks to Jessie, Cleda, Kenny B, Donna, Julie, Chris, Carol, Skip, Eric, Albert, Doug, Frank, Todd, Mark, Mark, Tom, Tom, Bill, Jill, Dave, Sally, Cheryl, Lisa, Ann, and Beth; Theron, Donelda, Bob . My school days were great thanks to you.

To Eric - You're right. I still don't know what you mean. I didn't know you long, but your impact was huge. I trust Heaven is wonderful and includes baseball cards.

To Gail, Shelly, Betsy, Julie, Becky and Robin...thanks for the diamond memories.

To Kerry for some of the finest memories of my life: Shake races, teaching me to drive a stick (I'll go over, you go under), roadtrips, "Screech, Slam, and Scream", Stripes matinees, a 21st birthday celebration, Rocky Horror, postgames at the beach, and all those late-night calls and crisp green salads. You, too, altered my life. I had no idea it could be so fun!

To Jamie, helping me understand, expect and accept more from life. Your sermon at Our Savior's that Christmas Day was amazing.

So, that means I need to acknowledge Griz, Kay, Kathy, and Karla; Jim, Sue, Jeff, and Johnny - thank you for sharing.

To Barb, Becky and Mark, Renee, Jim, and Chip - thanks for grabbing me and the typewriter. To Linda, Barb, Sue, and Kelly - thanks adopting me, the flowers and a night I'll never forget.

I wonder what you're up to.

To Valerie Ann, for doing her best in trying to help me forget it.

To Bruce, Bruce, and John - thanks for sharing the room, the car and the laughter.

I sincerely hope each and every one of your lives are grand!

My love to Angela, Scott, Laura, MaryAnne, Michelle and Simone, Brooke, Evan and Sherry (you're still one of the funniest and caring people I've ever met - best of luck in your new life!), and Brenda - thanks for sharing my life after.

To Brenna, Elijah, Sharon, Roger and his family; to Scott, Mike, Muggs, Markus, Ramone, Binz, Git, Lynn, Sherry, Julie, and Mary for the friendships through all these years.

To Ron and Elsa, Clyde and Janet, Laura, Greg, Terri, Steve, Kurt, Liz, Pete, Camry, Kayla, Leigha, Josh, and Sean - thanks for being family. I couldn't have picked a better one. My eternal gratitude to each of you.

To the Koski side: Lucy and Arne, Uno, Jim, Bette, Karl, Sylvia, A.J., Peggy, Abi, Maija, Amy, Ben, Sara, Matt, Andrew, Allison, Lyyli, and Aaron. To the Pesch Family: Henry, Mary, Forrie, Charlotte, Pete, Estelle, Bob, Norbert, Adeline, Margurett and Elmore, Bud and Margret, Steve, Jim, Sue, Brian, Terry, Carol, and Eloise.

In some way, every one of you has been a guardian angel. I've been lucky.

Thanksgiving is the day set aside to express gratitude for all that we have. I still like to think that we do this everyday. I know I try.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! Enjoy the day and may the Football Gods shine kindly on the Lions!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was there, and I still don't believe it!

Muskegon's comeback from 22-points down is, without question, the most amazing comebacks that I've ever seen. In 1985, I watched Traverse City beat the Big Reds 22-21 at Hackley Stadium on a perfectly executed flea flicker, after falling behind with less than 40 seconds remain in the contest. The touchdown negated a 95-yard interception by Muskegon's Donald Banks that had broken a 14-14 deadlock. The two-point conversion was all but a given as Muskegon fans and players were in shock at the turn of events.

I witnessed Mill Coleman of Farmington Hills Harrison engineer a classic comeback in the final two minutes against DeWitt in the 1989 Class B final. Coleman's passes and runs cut through DeWitt defense were really no surprise. His skills on the gridiron were incredible. In 1994, Belding and their deceptive wing-T offense overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to defeat Detroit Country Day, 50-41, in on the the wildest contests of the state championships ever.

Not exactly the infamous Harvard beats Yale 29-29 game of 1968, but...

Trailing by 16 with less than five minutes to play, this one appeared to be over. Down to a single time out, the Big Reds, it appeared, were through. Davison was controlling the ball. Muskegon could do little right on this afternoon at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

And then the tables turned.

Check out the various versions of coverage from the Muskegon Chronicle, The Flint Journal
the Detroit Free Press, as well as the Free Press Photo Gallery for the emotion of the game.

Watch Michigan Sports Radio for the archive of the broadcast, or better yet, listen to the amazing 4th quarter of the Davison comeback by local broadcasting legends Jim Moyes and Gene Young.

The MHSAA semifinal found of of the annual tournament have hosted some of the state's most thrilling contests. Check out this article from a few years back.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nick Ens of Grand Rapids Catholic sets new TD mark

Nick Ens (184 of 301 passes for 2,850 yards) tossed five touchdown passes, including three to favorite target Michael Penny, to up his season total to 39 the season in Grand Rapids Catholic Centrals 42-35 double OT win over Kingsford. According to Burt Angeli of the Iron Mountain Daily

The Ens-to-Penny combination clicked for 75 and 60-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars a 28-21 lead.

Kingsford sent the game into overtime when Ryan Kleisner plunged four yards in the end zone with 30 seconds remaining.

In the second overtime, Penny hauled in a 10-yard slant pass for the game-winner.

Ens wound up with 372 yards passing and five touchdowns.

Penny made seven catches for 199 yards.

Ens' total eclipses the previous total of 37, set by Josh Brehm of Ithaca in 2001. Brehm signed in early 2008 to play ball for the Hamburg Blue Devils of the GermanFootball League.

With the win, the stage is set for a Saturday showdown between Holland Christian at East Kentwood High School. Christian's QB A.J. Westendorp, has tossed thrown for 33 touchdowns this season.

The Maroons were 53-25 victors over South Haven on Friday in the Division 4 regional finals. Coached by former NFL player Willie Snead III, a varsity coach in Florida before taking the reigns at Christian this season.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Muskegon vs. Lowell - Time for turf

The last time these two squared off it was a classic.

Hard to say if it will happen again, but there's little doubt this Saturday's Muskegon vs Lowell game is big in the eyes of fans, players, and coaches alike.

Thanks to Mother Nature - the game is headed to Grand Haven.

After hosting a season of football, plus two post-season contests, historic Hackley Field has had enough.

The field took a beating in last week's Hudsonville war. Worse, Muskegon's practice field, adjacent to the stadium did not fair well. Wilson field serves as parking for Muskegon's home games during the season. The ruts are deep, thanks to the wintery mix of rain and tire tracks.

So the decision was made to make the move, and host the contest on field turf at one-year old Gene Rothi Memorial Field at Buccaneer Stadium.

Muskegon Chronicle sports editor Tom Kendra notes that it's time that the school make the move to field turf.

What it takes to make the field playable on game day - namely keeping everybody off of it all week long -- is exactly the reason why Muskegon needs field turf more than any other school in the area.

Many MLive chat room folks are making an issue of the fact that Hackley does not have enough seating for Saturday's 1 p.m. regional championship showdown, which is true, but the stadium is plenty big for 99 percent of the events that it hosts. For those one or two mega-games every year, fans are just going to have to pack in and stand around the perimeter.

One thing that Muskegon can realistically do is ensure perfect field conditions and double the practice space for its football teams (not to mention allow unlimited band practices, soccer games and youth games) by putting field turf in Hackley Stadium.

You can take this for what it's worth, but last fall the crew from NFL Films laughed when we pulled up to Muskegon's practice field.

"This is where they practice?" one of the producers asked increduously, looking down at the tire grooves and mud on tiny Wilson Field, the practice site for Muskegon's varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams.

There's been talk. This should illustrate the need for action.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Glendening - Seven touchdowns - IN THE FIRST HALF!?!?


Is that a typo?

Sounds like one of my classic cut-and-past errors!

OK - I watched East Grand Rapids tailback Joe Glendening a couple of times last year. You had to be impressed with his four touchdown performance against Orchard Lake St. Mary in last year's classic five-overtime affair, hosted late on a Saturday night in Detroit's Ford Field. You remember, that one that ended three hours and 25 minutes after kickoff. The one that decided the Division 3 state championship. Truly one of the state's all-time classics!

Well - I have to admit that I thought I might have had my contacts in backward when I read about Glendening's latest exploits in this past Saturday's Grand Rapids Press.

Until Friday night, the only time Joe Glendening scored seven touchdowns in a game was on his PlayStation.

Glendening, East Grand Rapids' 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior tailback rushed for 398 yards and seven touchdowns against Mount Pleasant Friday night - all in the first half. The Pioneers beat the Oilers 61-19 in the Division 3 district final at Memorial Field.

Guess it's time for a new category in the MHSAA State Record book.

Touchdowns Scored
Quarter (Minimum 5)

5 - Chris Zablocki, Lake Linden-Hubbell vs. Baraga (1st Qtr.) (10-10-1997)
5 - Marcus Ewing, Johannesburg-Lewiston vs. Bellaire (1st Qtr.) (9-17-1999)
5 - Lawrence Kimble, Muskegon Mona Shores vs. Zeeland East (1st Qtr.) (10-7-2005)
Game (Minimum 7)
11 - Cecil Hardy, Flint Central (Flint Central 106, Lapeer 0) (9-26-1914)
10 - Herb Dunphy, Lansing Central (Lansing Central 111, Lapeer 0) (1917)
10 - Floyd Brown, Saginaw (Saginaw 82, Alma 0) (1918)
10 - Duke Christie, Escanaba (Escanaba 102, Ishpeming 0) (1920)
9 - Fred Jacks, Muskegon (Muskegon 216, Hastings 0) (1912)
9 - Francis Tallent, Menominee (Menominee 150, Kingsford 0) (1929)
8 - Earl O'Shaughnessy, Keego Harbor (Keego Harbor 55, Saginaw SS Peter & Paul 19) (11-1950)
8 - Mike Golden, Frankenmuth (Frankenmuth 62, North Branch 6) (9-1-2005)
7 - Paul Smith, Saginaw (Saginaw 77, Marquette 0) (11-18-1922)
7 - Jim Mishler, Chesaning (Chesaning 71, St. Charles 0) (11-10-1967)
7 - Tony Ceccacci, Rudyard (Rudyard 62, Newberry 12) (1982)
7 - Tony Ceccacci, Rudyard (Rudyard 52, Cheboygan Catholic 0) (1982)
7 - Jordan Herrick, Birmingham Seaholm (Birmingham Seaholm 49, Birmingham Groves 17) (10-27-1995)
7 - Noel Aleman, East Kentwood (East Kentwood 48, Jenison 34) (10-11-2002)
7 - Charles Stewart, Farmington Hills Harrison, (Farmington Hills Harrison 65, Chelsea 64 2 OT) (11-1-2003)
7 - Trent Way, Midland Bullock Creek (Midland Bullock Creek 70, Bridgeport 32) (10-22-2004)
7 - Jason Plummer, Wyoming Lee (Wyoming Lee 69, Waterford Mt. Zion Christian 24) (10-22-2004)
7 - John Lewis, Three Rivers (Three Rivers 46, Byron Center 33 ) (8-26-2005)
7 - Lawrence Kimble, Muskegon Mona Shores (Mona Shores 49, Zeeland East 16) (10-7-2005)
Looks like we need to add a "Touchdowns scored in a half" entry.

And it might be time to add a Yards Rushing in a half category as well. Glendening's total of 398 yards doesn't crack the list for rushing in a game, which has a minimum of 400.
Now, I didn't catch the Pioneer's 61-19 blowout of Mt. Pleasant, and have yet to see EGR so far this year. With only a single loss to Lowell, it's quite possible I'll be checking them out again in downtown Detroit on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Win number 200 for Hopkins' Rex Weaver.

Congratulation to Rex Weaver on victory number 200!

Those reading the Jane Bos' article in the Grand Rapids Press on Monday learned that Weaver needed one more victory to join the 200 varsity career coaching wins club. Weaver record now stands at 200-83-1 with the team's 46-26 triumph over visiting Berrien Springs Friday night. He joins 45 others coaches on the list, highlighting those that have reached the mark over the years.

Coaching Records
Coaching Victories (Minimum 200) * = Active
374 - * Al Fracassa, Royal Oak Shrine; Birmingham Brother Rice (1960-07, 374-98-7) 8-3-0 in 2007
351 - * John Herrington, Farmington Hills Harrison (1970-07, 351-74-1) 9-3-0 in 2007
324 - * Mike Boyd, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (1965-68, 1970-07; 324-100-1) 9-3-0 in 2007
308 - Leo "Smokey" Boyd, Standish-Sterling; Saginaw SS Peter & Paul; Saginaw Nouvel (1953, 1956-99; 308-116-4)
304 - Jack Pratt, Flint St. Matthew; Grand Blanc; Flint Kearsley; Flint Powers Catholic (1958-76, 1980-06; 304-129-7)
300 - Walt Braun, Marysville (1956-1998, 300-98-2)
293 - Jeff Smith, East Lansing (1966-03, 293-93-2)
283 - * Tom Mach, Detroit Catholic Central (1976-07, 283-68-0) 10-3-0 in 2007
281 - * Ken Hofer, Stephenson; Menominee (1964-71, 1975-07; 281-122-2) 14-0-0 in 2007
273 - Bill Maskill, Sheridan, Galesburg-Augusta (1951-91, 273-84-2)
271 - * Bob Lantzy, Utica Eisenhower (1971-07; 271-102-1) 6-4-0 in 2007
250 - * James Reynolds, Detroit Martin Luther King (1974-2007, 250-106) 14-0-0 in 2007
245 - Mel Skillman, Saginaw MacArthur; Merrill (1963-03, 245-130-6)
243 - Jack Ver Duin, Wyoming Park (1962-01, 243-112-6)
245 - * Herb Brogan, Jackson Lumen Christi (1980-07, 245-58-0) 12-1-0 in 2007
245 - * Rick Bye, Sterling Heights Stevenson (1975-07; 245-91-0) 2-7-0 in 2007
239 - Richard Mettlach, Crystal Falls-Forest Park (1956-89, 239-73-6)
238 - George Barcheski, East Grand Rapids (1970-99, 238-53-3)
234 - Larry Sellers, Traverse City St. Francis (1973-00, 2002, 234-58-0)
234 - Don Lessner, Riverview, Erie-Mason (1967-01, 2004-06, 234-120-1)
233 - * Jack Schugars, Muskegon Oakridge (1979-07, 233-71-0) 11-1-0 in 2007
233 - Ike Muhlenkamp, Albion; St. Joseph (1965-01, 233-113-1)
233 - Dick Soisson, Kalamazoo Hackett (1950-90, 233-124-7)
231 - Jack Castignola, Trenton (1948-51, 1953-85; 231-88-6)
229 - Ron Warner, Lake Linden-Hubbell (1972-00, 229-61-1)
225 - * Ralph Munger, Frankenmuth, Rockford (1980-07, 225-76-0) 9-2-0 in 2007
224 - * Marc Cisco, Monroe Jefferson (1963-69; 1973-07; 224-164-4) 4-5-0 in 2007
223 - * Ernie Ayers, Sand Creek (1979-2007; 223-77-1) 10-3-0 in 2007
219 - Tom Moshimer, Dundee; Plymouth; Plymouth Salem (1959-00, 219-146-6)
216 - Bob Knight, Portage Central (1970-04, 216-108-0)
214 - Larry Ledlow, Schoolcraft (1982-04, 214-37-0)
213 - Bob Staskiewicz, Deckerville; Marine City (1977-04, 213-65-0)
211 - Dick Koski, Ontonagon; Negaunee (1964-66, 1968-99, 211-113-1)
211 - Chuck Gordon, Westland John Glenn (1977-03; 211-64-0)
209 - Oscar Johnson, Mt, Pleasant, Muskegon Heights; Baldwin (1925-63, 1979; 209-106-28)
207 - Bill Murray, Southgate Aquinas, Rawlins, WY, Clarkston (1977-07; 207-87)
206 - Glen "Dutch" Schrotenboer, St. Charles; Flint Central; Alpena; L.C. Bird High of Chesterfield, VA (1963-1991, 206-82-3, 120-55-3 in Michigan)
205 - * Bud Rowley, Oxford (1976-79, 1982-2007, 205-95-1) 8-2-0 in 2007
205 - Joe D'Angelo, Grosse Pointe St. Ambrose; Erie-Mason; Detroit Country Day (1967-69,1971-97, 205-75-4)
205 - Dave Woodcock, Jenison (1962-96, 205-84-0)
204 - * Joe Reddinger, Iron Mountain North Dickinson (1977-2007, 204-106-0) 7-3-0 in 2007
203 - Irv Sigler, Benton Harbor; Cheboygan; Sedrow-Woolley High, WA; Belding; Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (1971-87, 1989-00; 203-81-0)
202 - Art Paddy, Cass City; West Bloomfield; Orchard Lake St. Mary; Ortonville-Brandon (1946-51, 1957-77, 1981-86,1994-96; 202-92-9)
202 - Jack Streidl, Plainwell (1946-50, 1953-84; 202-102-9)
201 - Steve Spicer, Fowler (1971-95, 201-49-1)

From the Grand Rapids Press:

Hopkins' senior running back Cameron Crowe, who rushed for 334 yards in last week's win, finished with 223 yards on 20 carries against Berrien Springs and scored three touchdowns.

"This win was for coach. He's a great coach, he's a legend here," Crowe said. "I feel honored. I think our whole team feels honored to get his 200th win for him."

Hopkins scored 25 unanswered points in the third quarter, including a 71-yard touchdown run by Crowe sprinting around the right end.

Hopkins, now 9-2 on the season, will face top-ranked Muskegon Oakridge (11-0), next Friday at Oakridge.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Well - that was my introduction

Hard to believe that was over two years ago. I had a lot of fun cranking out those entries for mLive. But, when the request came to shorten the entries, but to blog more frequently, well, it was time to give it a rest.

So, I signed out.

Thanks to, you can still access those two years of entries, including my signoff.
I wasn't built to move that fast
Many years ago, a former boss reminded me that it is impossible to serve two masters.

I believe I now have five.

Welcome to today’s special edition of “For the Record”.

Well - after two years of incessant babbling on the beauty of prep sports, I've come to a conclusion.

The time has come for me to step aside.

The realization arrived the other night as I sat on the couch watching Bugs Bunny cartoons with my sons before bedtime. With one on each side, we laughed at the zany antics of my personal animation favorites. Each character is a comic genius. Of course, so were the artists that brought them to life.

In the back of my mind was the knowledge that I needed to dream up a weekly feature for the blog. Something that would keep readers on the edge of their seat, causing them to dash to the site like Ralphie in A Christmas Story did for the latest Little Orphan Annie melodrama on radio.

In the ultra-competitive world of websites, you see, eyeballs mean everything.

As I pondered the thought, I had to confront an issue that I've been wrestling with for some time now.

At what cost do I chase information for my hobby?

Looking across the room, I was reminded that we still hadn't taken down the Christmas tree.

Checking out my waistline, I was reminded that I need more physical activity, and more home-cooked meals.

A glance at the calendar says spring is not far away.

The time had arrived for some good old-fashioned cost-analysis.

A look at my oldest son reminded me that he enters high school next year. Granted, high school now starts in ninth grade, but that tells me I have as little as four years left to continue to try and impact his life in a positive manner on a daily basis.

A look at my youngest son reminded me that he enters middle school next year. His brother is his best friend, and in four years, that friend may trot off to college.

I have work to do. Neurotic Mom - can you offer any advice?

My self-imposed demands for the blog reduce the number of hours that I have available after my day at work. While I'll never be the type to constantly hover over the shoulders of my kids, I still spend far too much time in my struggles to write the perfect incomplete sentence. My pursuit of the proper word in this continued quest to butcher the English language seems endless.

Before you know it, it is 10:00 p.m. Kids should be in bed. My 5:00 a.m. alarm will be going off before I know it.

Did Jamie complete his Algebra 2 homework? Did I sign Evan's journal? Can it really be February?

My hobbies will never pay for my children's college educations. With luck, student loans, academic scholarships and perhaps my day job will provide for that. Maybe, I need to consider writing novels about imaginary visits with long-passed family members.


After two years of scribbling my thoughts, the time has come to step aside. After much consideration, I'm ready to pursuit other opportunities that life has to offer.

Thank you for allowing me free reign in designing what has appeared, and for allowing me the chance to move in a multitude of directions. Thank you for sharing your comments, information and kind words. Thanks for accepting my missteps, missing words and overall imperfections.

I hope that my rambling style has provided an occasional laugh, and a chance to revisit a hero or a moment from the past. Heaven only knows where I would be without Scorsese, Springsteen, Costello, Keaton or Kishpaugh.

As I stated in the beginning, the greatest joy of this hobby comes in the form of the people that I get to meet and converse with about this pageantry and purity known as high school sports.

Ideally, that will never change.

The Record Books are meant to be a place to highlight the amazing accomplishments of the state's extraordinary and ordinary athletes. A place to point to and say, "Remember when..." In my eyes, records should happen naturally - a situation where, in the pursuit of victory, an amazing accomplishment occurs.

It's a philosophy that I will always hold. I hope you will too.

Please keep me updated with additions and of course, corrections. I'll try to post the information in a timely fashion.

With the miracle known as the internet, and search engines like Google, I'm not hard to find.

I hope this is not the last day of our acquaintance.

My name is Ron Pesch. It was very nice to meet you…
In between, I "met" a host of wonderful readers, who took the time to contact me. Mark Behnke (who produced a great documentary on Hamilton's 1984 state basketball champs), Atif Lodhi, Matt DeYoung, Chris Gonzales, Bob Erkkila, Chris Givens, Jim Goebel, Andy Clark - my personal proofreader, of course Tim Barrett - who ranks among my top three all-time favorite employees at UPS, and many, many others.

Websites and connections at newspapers across the state were my "resources" for great information: Doug Donnelly at the Monroe Evening News (who, BTW, put out a GREAT book covering High School Basketball in the Monroe area), Dave Bossick, who is now stationed in Wisconsin, Chris Lau, Tom Lang, and the Son of Swami, Mick McCabe, at the Detroit Free Press, Tom Markowski, Terry Foster, the late Joe Falls, the long forgotten Richard Remington and many others at the Detroit News, mLive staff and their affiliates at the Ann Arbor News (Rich) , the Bay City Times (Bruce Gunther - now in flint, I think), the Flint Journal, (especially Bill Khan), the Grand Rapids Press (thanks Jane and Mary), the Jackson Citizen Patriot (Mike, Gary, and the rest of the staff), the Kalamazoo Gazette, (thank to Jack Moss, and of course the retired but still working Del Newell), the Muskegon Chronicle, (Tom Mike, Cindy, Ron and the as well as a number of fold in the newsroom!) and the Saginaw News, (Hugh, among others!) , the guys at the Lansing State Journal (Geoff) as well as many unknowns at small dailies and weeklies and the staff of the MHSAA.

Well, I guess it's time to stick my toes back in those blogging waters again, abet, this time at my own pace.

There have been many changes since my departure. I'm sure I'll touch on a number of them in upcoming entries.

In the meantime...

My name is Ron Pesch - and I endorse this message.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - Welcome to "For the Record"

As historian for the Michigan High School Athletic Association, one of my tasks is to update the state record books for all sports sponsored by the MHSAA. With some sports, this involves numerous categories; for others, only a few.

In the "perfect" world (as it relates to high school sports history in Michigan) all noteworthy achievements dating back to the dawn of time (or more precisely, starting around the early 1890's) in the Great Lakes state would have been captured for posterity.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Rather, the records books are a work in progress. New accomplishments are added on a regular basis. Upon occasion, statistics are stumbled upon from years past and added to the site.

And sometimes errors are made.

Just the other day, I received an e-mail, pointing out a mistake. It was a problem with a listing in the girls basketball records for career three-point scorers. 158 - Heather Seyfred, Bridgman (73 of 460) (2002-04). I had keyed it in just a few days earlier.

Instantly, I was thrown back to the moment…A tap on the shoulder, accompanied by a little voice who wondered if I could please offer some help in the kitchen.

The most important task I have to accomplish in life is that of parenting. I’m a single Dad with full custody of his sons. Sometimes they need assistance: with homework; with growing up; with suggestions on what to draw. There are other requests. On this day, the need was for assistance with the production of a piece of Peanut Butter Toast. A slice of after-school heaven for an eight-year-old on a cold winter day in Michigan. (And occasionally, a pleasant diversion for a guy my age!)

Now, the statement, “I had keyed it in just a few days earlier” from a couple of paragraphs ago is not entirely correct. The line I had actually keyed in was Heather’s mark of 73 single season treys. Thanks to the miracles of modern point-and click technology, I then copied and pasted that same information into the career area. I then altered the total at the start of the line, changed the year to indicate the span of her prep career, and her total attempts from 210 to 460.

Then came Evan’s tap. And my train of thought was changed. Just like that, an error was made in the state record book. Of course this one was minor and easily corrected. The addition had been submitted by her coach, and was discovered when he checked the site to see if it had been posted. The record was there, but it was not completely accurate. Thanks to the e-mail, the correction was made.

It is a great privilege to record the accomplishments of Michigan’s high school athletes, and an honor to carry on the work of my friend, the late Dick Kishpaugh. A graduate of Battle Creek Central, Western Michigan University, and a longtime resident of Parchment, Dick proudly wore the title of state historian for 50 years. I have handled the honorary duties for 11 seasons now. Thanks to the arrival of the Internet, the record books in their expanded form are now available to the public for inspection.

But maintaining the Record Books is a hobby. It is not my livelihood. And this is not ESPN, where the feats of athletes are updated as they happen, with a scrolling message of details playing out at the bottom of the screen.

Instead, entries to the books appear on the site as they are submitted or discovered, and have been validated by school officials and/or newspaper accounts. Sometimes, they are amazing numbers that baffle logic and boggle the mind. Other times, they are achieved in a less-than-sportsmanship like manner. The purpose is to simply record that they occurred.

The intent of this blog is, I hope, to offer some perspective on what has been achieved in the past, is about to be attained, or was recently accomplished by a team or an athlete. I hope to point out links to interesting articles that I have stumbled upon, items of historical note, and generally discuss high school athletics in the state of Michigan. Along the way, you may learn a little bit more about what I consider to be the last athletic purity in America. Ideally, so will I.

To me, one of the great joys of this hobby comes in the form of the people that I get to meet and converse with about this pageantry and purity. Upon occasion, they are very recognizable names. In general, however, they are usually common men and women, boys and girls achieving uncommon things. The great majority of the time, they are good people with their hearts in the right place and their priorities straight, providing tips, insight and corrections.

Ideally, that will never change.

My name is Ron Pesch. It is very nice to meet you…