A bumper crop: CHSL produces 16 state championships in a dozen sports

(Note: The following article is an updated, corrected version of the original posting on June 21.)

DETROIT — The Catholic League produced a bumper crop of state champions in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Ten schools brought home a total of 16 trophies in a dozen sports for the most profitable year since the CHSL had 19 champs in 2009-2010 and 2014-2015. Since 1927 when Detroit U-D Jesuit golf team won a state title, the CHSL has had 490 champions recognized by the Michigan  High School Athletic Association.

Three schools who are neighbors in Bloomfield Hills accounted for nine of the championships. Brother Rice won golf, hockey and lacrosse. Marian won golf, soccer and volleyball. Cranbrook Kingswood captured hockey, boys tennis and girls swimming.

Dearborn Divine Child was a first-time winner in boys bowling.

Cranbrook Kingswood’s taking Division 3 gave the CHSL a sweep of the MHSAA hockey divisions. Novi Detroit Catholic Central won Division 1 and Brother Rice Division 2.

Seven teams successfully defended their titles from the year earlier. Bloomfield Hills Marian maintained its grip on girls soccer, having won the title four years in a row.

On the winning side of the ledger:

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s dominated the high school baseball scene in Michigan. Their 43 victories tied a state record. Some 13 players have signed or committed to play on the collegiate level.

Divine Child boys bowlers had their mettle tested in a three-pin victory in a semi-final match to advance to the finals.

The Catholic Central varsity was sidelined due to the coronavirus a month earlier, but the junior varsity stepped up to the challenge beating Berkley and Troy in the regionals before the varsity was cleared to return for the Quarterfinal and continue its crusade to the title. 

Talk about dominance. That describes the Brother Rice lacrosse team which has captured 15 of 16 trophies since the MHSAA sanctioned the sport in 2005.

Shannon Kennedy was medalist for the third time in four years in leading Bloomfield Hills Marian to its third golf championship.

More dominance. Coach Barry Brodsky’s Marian squad won its fourth soccer championship in a row. The Mustangs did not allow a goal throughout the postseason, outscoring its opponents 26-0 over six matches. 

Marian’s volleyballers won their championship with heavy hearts. Two days earlier, the school’s beloved Athletic Director Dave Feldman had died. “It was just about resilience,” one of the players said. 

On the other side of the ledger:

Marine City Cardinal Mooney’s baseball team more than exceeded its pre-season aspirations. 

“We were young, but athletic,” said fifth-year coach Mike Rice. “We expected to compete on a high level.” He counted on three seniors for leadership: pitcher Tom Gill, first baseman Rocco Comito, and outfielder Anthony DiGiuseppe.

The Cardinals, ranked among the top three in Division 4, did that, and more. They won their CHSL intersectional league. After a crushing 2-1 loss to Division 3-leading GPW University Liggett for the CHSL Cardinal trophy, they rebounded to reach the state finals, the furthest any Mooney team advanced since the quarterfinal stage in 1997.

Against Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic for the Division 4 state crown, Mooney’s bats went absent, stranding 10 runners on base, and the defense committed four errors, resulting in a 9-2 defeat.

“We have some unfinished business for next year,” Rice said.

Team Champions

BOYS BASEBALL (2) – 2-repeat: D2 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep (5th in school history); D3 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (6th in history).

BOYS BOWLING (1) – D2 Dearborn Divine Child (1st in history).

BOYS GOLF (1) – D2: Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (9th in history)        

BOYS HOCKEY (3) – 2-repeat: D1 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (15th in history); D2 Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (6th in history); D3 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (16th in history).

BOYS LACROSSE (1) – 2-repeat: D1: Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (15th in history).

BOYS SOCCER (1) – D1: Novi Detroit Catholic Central (2nd in history).

BOYS TENNIS (2) – 2-repeat: D3: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (23rd in history); D4: Ann Arbor Greenhills (11th in history).

GIRLS GOLF (1) – 3-repeat: D3 Bloomfield Hills Marian (3rd in history).

GIRLS SOCCER (1) – 4-repeat: D3 Bloomfield Hills Marian (9th in history).

GIRLS SWIM & DIVE (1) – D3: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (4th in history)

GIRLS TENNIS (1) – 2-repeat: D4: Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart (7th in history).

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL (1) – D1: Bloomfield Hills Marian (3rd in history). 

Individual champions

BOYS GOLF – D4 medalist: Sophomore Remy Stalcup (Clarkston Everest Collegiate).

BOYS TENNIS – D3 Singles: Mert Oral (Ann Arbor Greenhills). D4 Singles: William Cooksey (GPW University Liggett).

BOYS SWIM & DIVE – D2 Detroit U-D Jesuit: Drew Collins (200 medley relay, 100 backstroke). Andres Borrego (200 medley relay). Charlie Bruce (200 medley relay, 50 freestyle). Christian Bouchillon (200 medley relay).

BOYS TRACK & FIELD – D1: Udodi Onwuzurike (BH Brother Rice) 100 Dash, 200 Dash. D2: Edward Watkins (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) 400 Dash. D3: Asher Cousino (Riverview Gabriel Richard) 300 hurdles.

BOYS WRESTLING – D1 Detroit Catholic Central: Drew Heethuis 112 weight class, Cory Thomas 125, Dylan Gilcher 135, Tatum Bunn 140, Camden Trupp 145, John Browning 189; Manuel Rojas 215.

GIRLS GOLF – D3 Marian: 2-repeat: Shannon Kennedy.

GIRLS SWIM & DIVE – D1 Mercy: Greta Gidley (200 Individual medley, 500 free style). Ciara McCliment (1 meter diving). D3 Cranbrook: Justine Murdock (200 medley relay, 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 400 freestyle relay). Serena Hao (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay). Hale Oal (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay). Allison O'Donnell (200 medley relay). Gwen Woodbury (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay). Charlotte DeSantos (200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay). Charlotte Trunsky (200 freestyle relay,  400 freestyle relay). D3 GPW University Liggett: Ginger McMahon (100 breaststroke).

GIRLS TENNIS – D4 Singles: Moorea McNalley (Clarkston Everest Collegiate). D4 Doubles: Marisa Nafso & Kayla Nafso, Noor Simon & Angelina Kakos (Sacred Heart).

GIRLS TRACK & FIELD – D2 400 relay: (Dearborn Divine Child: Samantha Black,  Lianna Shakoor, Kirsten Koss, Gianna Hicks). D2 Long jump: (BH Cranbrook: Kaya Freeman). 


BOYS BASEBALL – D4: Marine City Cardinal Mooney. The season ended with a 28-7 record.

BOYS FOOTBALL – D2: Warren DeLaSalle. Lost by a TD to Muskegon Mona Shores.

BOYS WRESTLING – D1: Novi Detroit Catholic Central. The Shamrocks were trying to become just the second Division 1 school to win five team titles in a row.

GIRLS LACROSSE – D3: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The Cranes last won state titles in 2017 and 2018.           

GIRLS SOCCER – D4: Royal Oak Shrine. The Knights, the defending Division 4 champ, finished 14-4-1 and lost its first game since April.

GIRLS SWIM&DIVE – D1: Farmington Hills Mercy. Ann Arbor Pioneer dunks Mercy by 204 points to avenge a half-point loss to the Marlins in 2019.

Non-CHSL schools within the Archdiocese of Detroit

GIRLS SKI – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep won Division 3 for the third year in a row, fourth in school history. Sidney Schulte was an individual winner in slalom.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central won Division 3 for the second year in a row, and the seventh title in school history.

BOYS GOLF – Senior Brockton English, of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, was the medalist in Division 2 shooting 67-67 134.

BOYS SKI – Jack Lintol of Notre Dame Prep won the giant slalom.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].