Tribune Top 5 Female Athletes of 2016-17: Honorable Mention

Tribune Staff • Jul 4, 2017 at 2:30 AM

With so many talented prep athletes in the area, it’s difficult to narrow a list down to just five athletes when many more deserve recognition for their accomplishments. Spring Lake’s Reiko Johnson and Fruitport’s Emily Winicki have been staples of their respective sports’ programs over the last four years. 

Here’s a look at what they’ve been able to accomplish in their varsity careers and how their career numbers stack up against the best of the best.

Honorable Mention

Reiko Johnson, Spring Lake

As a four-year starter for the Spring Lake girls varsity basketball team, Reiko Johnson has been the foundation for some of the most successful seasons the program has ever seen, including an undefeated regular season her sophomore campaign.

After wrapping up her prep career this winter, Johnson has rewritten the record books at the school with new high marks for career points scored (1,484), career assists (376), career steals (231), career three pointers made (175), career free throws made (257) and career points per game (17.1).

She also finished with program bests in career 3-point percentage (35), career free throw percentage (72.1), career 20-point games (26) and career 30-point games (five).

Johnson was named honorable mention Class B All-State for three consecutive seasons by the Associated Press and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

“Players like Reiko don’t come along very often, and I wish I had one in the hopper for next year,” said Spring Lake head coach Cavin Mohrhardt after the team’s district finals loss. “There’s nothing I can say that encapsulates what she’s done here and what she’s done for the program.

“She’s made my job easy. Anybody could have done it. You just have to make sure you have five people out on the court sometimes. It’s helped me a lot as a coach, obviously, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Johnson also dove into the lacrosse ranks this spring and showcased her athleticism as a key defensive player for the Lakers.

Johnson recorded 30 ground balls, caused 17 turnovers and netted nine goals in her first season with the team.

"Reiko picked up the sport of lacrosse faster than anyone I've ever seen,” said Spring Lake head coach Jason Vinkemulder. “She contributed as a first-year player, and that’s not an easy thing to do in this sport. We were really happy to have her join the team, and wish we could have her around for another season or two.”

Johnson will continue her basketball career at the New York University with her eyes on degrees in computer science and business.

Emily Winicki, Fruitport

Emily Winicki has been a fearless competitor for the Fruitport Trojans throughout her varsity career in both soccer and basketball. Despite rarely having a size advantage over her competitors, Winicki was almost always the one winning races (and sometimes collisions) to the ball.

As she wrapped up her varsity soccer career this spring, Winicki walked away from the Fruitport program with new records for most goals scored in a single season (35, 2017) and most career assists (33). She also tied her senior teammate Jensyn Stanberry for the program record for goals scored in a single game (six).

The program hasn’t seen such a prolific playmaker since 2001, when recent Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame inductee Sarah Reed was gracing the pitch for the Trojans.

Winicki finished right behind Reed in career marks for goals scored (67, record: 70) and career points scored (167, record: 187).

Winicki was also a three-year starter on the Fruitport varsity basketball team.

She finished her senior season averaging 7.2 points per game, 2.4 assists per game and 2.4 steals per game. However, her contributions to the team went beyond the stat sheet.

“Emily's great gifts to our team were not always seen in game stats,” said Fruitport head coach Bob German. “It was her all out effort at practice and during games that made her teammates better. She always ran our offense from her point guard position, taking the pressure off Iyana (Brown) and helping facilitate the ball to her and our other scorers.

“Her greatest assets are her work ethic and her aggressive defense that made it difficult on opposing teams to run their offense against us. She is fearless for her size and a competitor in every sense of the word.”

Emily will continue her soccer career at Muskegon Community College next year.

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