Also making the list was the Grand Haven football team, which claimed a share of the O-K Red Conference championship, and the Buccaneers’ girls basketball team, which put together the most successful season in program history.
GH GETS ITS TITLE
Grand Haven High School waited a long time to win a team state championship. The Buccaneers hadn’t won one in over 50 years before coach Greg Russick’s squad bested the field at the Division 1 state meet at Michigan International Speedway back on Nov. 6.
The Bucs’ Claire Borchers, Laura Addison, Julia Stock, Cristina Perez, Kristi King, Priscilla Vanheest and Natalie Myers led the way for coach Greg Russick’s team, which edged out Traverse City Central and Rockford to win the state title.
WARRIORS WIN ANOTHER CROWN
On the same day, about 125 miles away, Western Michigan Christian’s boys soccer team was winning its fourth in the past eight years.
Collin Breit’s goal in the 75th minute gave the Warriors the state title with a 2-1 win over Ann Arbor Greenhills in a game played at East Kentwood. Jason Prince also scored, assisted by Breit, as WMC wrapped up a memorable 22-2-1 season under coach David Hulings.
TROJANS STUN BRONCOS
Two weeks later, Fruitport made it three state titles for local teams as the Trojans used a stunning comeback to defeat North Branch in the Class B championship match at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
The Trojans won the opening game, 25-23, then lost the next two, 25-21, 25-22, and were on their heels in the fourth game when they stormed back to win the state crown in dramatic fashion.
Lauren Hazekamp, Bre Geile, Sam Geile, Beka German and Brandie Jones all provided key plays for the Trojans as they won their second volleyball state title. The first came in 2005.
BUCS RIP RIVALS
Grand Haven’s football team continued its remarkable run under head coach Mike Farley by claiming a share of the O-K Red Conference championship this past fall — the first league title for the Buccaneers since 1999.
Along the way, Grand Haven scored wins over two of its biggest rivals. They stunned Rockford, 26-23, on Sept. 17, the program’s first win over the Rams since 1999. Later in the year, the Buccaneers wrapped up the league title with a 41-25 victory over Muskegon at Hackley Field. Grand Haven has now beaten Muskegon in back-to-back seasons after going winless against the Big Reds from 1982-2008.
The momentum from the historic win at Hackley Field didn’t last, however, as Grand Haven suffered a crushing loss to West Ottawa in the opening round of the state playoffs the following Friday.
BEST SEASON EVER FOR GH GIRLS
The Buccaneer girls basketball team put together the most successful season in program history, winning its first 26 games before falling a single point short against Detroit Renaissance in the Class A state semifinals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
Grand Haven put together a flawless 20-0 regular season, winning many games by 30-plus points despite its starters playing limited minutes in most of those games. District and regional championships followed, and a thrilling quarterfinal win over East Lansing. The semifinal game is one that Buccaneer fans won’t soon forget. The Bucs battled back to tie the game in the closing minute, only to see Renaissance win the game at the free throw line with just 2.6 seconds remaining on the clock.