Bucs salute their brightest stars

Grand Haven High School honored its best and brightest in athletics on Wednesday during the school's Senior Athletic Awards banquet, held inside the Grand Haven High School auditorium.
Nate Thompson
May 24, 2012


The winners of the school’s top athletic honor, the Steve Sluka Award, were Jordan Keefe and Danny Cotter.

Despite standing just 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Keefe established herself as a force by springing to new heights — in the pole vault. The school record holder in the event at 11 feet, 9 inches, Keefe narrowly missed out on winning the state title at the Division 1 finals last year but settled for runner-up. She’ll have another crack at a title in the event next weekend at the state finals at East Kentwood High School.

In basketball, Keefe earned a reputation as a defensive force for the Bucs and took over a starting guard position early on the season. She continued to play a pivotal role on a squad that won the program’s first-ever Class A state title.

Keefe has signed to compete on the Michigan State University track and field team next season.

Cotter, who stands 6-2 and weighs 180 pounds, re-wrote the Grand Haven record books for receiving this fall. He hauled in 62 catches for 1,099 yards and 14 touchdowns — each which were single-season records.

He also contributed 31 unassisted tackles, two interceptions and six pass deflections as a defensive back, and returned seven punts for 67 yards.

For his efforts, Cotter was also named first-team all-state by the Associated Press.

Cotter will continue his gridiron college at the college level at Butler University.

In basketball, Cotter was a versatile wing for the Bucs, as they captured a Class A district championship. He’ll also hoping to lead Grand Haven’s baseball team to back-to-back district titles. He’s one of the Bucs’ top pitchers and also near the top in batting average.

The Todd Chittenden Award, given to team-oriented athletes who exhibit hard work and good sportsmanship, was presented to distance runner Priscilla VanHeest and wrestler Allen Torres.

Other award winners from Wednesday:

Ken Ranta Sportsmanship Award: Jenna George and Jeremy Lattig

O-K Conference Athlete of the Year Award: Alex Law and Will VerDuin

William Louiselle Golf Award: Kristen Carlson and John Morehouse

U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete: Morgan Hawver and Ethan Beswick

U.S. Army Reserve Scholar Athlete: Julia Stock and Scott Staal

Muskegon Hall of Fame Nominee: Megan Newhouse and Doug Zelenka

State Coach of the Year: James Richardson, wrestling

High School Male Coach of the Year: Aaron Dean, boys soccer

High School Female Coach of the Year: Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer, girls basketball

High School Assistant Coach the Year: Tom Foley, wrestling

Middle School Coaches of the Year: John Fickes and Mark Londot



Congratulations, All! Well done, and well deserved!


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