Catholic League celebrates 16 state championships this year, 517 in its history

Shrine won its second Division 4 girls soccer state championship 1-0 against Kalamazoo Christian, one of 16 state titles won by CHSL teams this past academic year. (Photo by Wright Wilson | Special to Detroit Catholic)

DETROIT — The Catholic League celebrated 16 state championships in the just-concluded 2021-22 school year.

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood was a triple winner in boys tennis, girls golf and girls tennis.

Warren De La Salle (basketball and football), Novi Detroit Catholic Central (golf and hockey), and Ann Arbor Greenhills (boys golf and girls tennis) added two trophies to their showcases.

For the third year in a row, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep won boys baseball and Catholic Central won ice hockey.

Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (golf), Cranbrook Kingswood (boys tennis) and Bloomfield Hills Marian (volleyball) successfully defended their titles for a second consecutive year.

Totaled, the CHSL has won 517 state championships dating back to the 1926-27 academic year, when the Catholic League came into existence.

Boys baseball (2 titlists) — No CHSL team gained more national notoriety than did St. Mary’s Prep in winning the Division 1 crown and third consecutive title. The nation’s and the state’s No. 1-ranked Eaglets, coached by Matt Petry, prevailed over Grosse Pointe North in a tense 1-0 finale to keep their 44-0 record perfect, the first team in state history to win that many games in a season.

Unranked Riverview Gabriel Richard, coached by Mike Magier, won the Division 4 championship on a game-ending double play, 4-3, over top-rated Beal City. It was the Pioneers' second state title.

Boys basketball (1) — Warren De La Salle (coach Gjon Djokaj) pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat 2021 champion Grand Blanc, 67-58, for the Division 1 crown for the Pilots’ first basketball title.

Boys football (1) — Warren De La Salle, combining a suffocating defense and a balanced offense, coached by Dan Rohn, cruised to a 41-14 victory against Traverse City Central for the Division 2 title, the fourth in school history.

Boys golf (3) — Trailing by 10 strokes with four holes to play, Catholic Central, coached by Mike Anderson, rallied for a two-stroke win over defending champ Ann Arbor Skyline for its sixth Division 1 title in school history. Senior Peter Stassinopoulos led the comeback firing a run of 5-under par on the last four holes (birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie).

Brother Rice, coached by Leon Braisted, led by only four strokes entering the final round, pulled away for a 17-stroke victory over Richland Gull Lake for its second Division 2 title in a row, its 10th in school history.

Ann Arbor Greenhills (coach Michael Karr) won the Division 3 championship by 20 shots ahead of runner-up Grand Rapids Catholic Central, their first state championship in boys golf since winning the Class D title in 1994.

Boys hockey (1) — Catholic Central, coached by Brandon Kaleniecki, won its third straight Division 1 championship (and 16th in school history) with a 5-1 victory over Brighton.

Boys tennis (1) — Cranbrook Kingswood, strong in singles and doubles, edged both Greenhills and Detroit Country Day to repeat as Division 3 champs. Cranbrook, coached by Steve Herdoiza, won with 32 points, while Country Day had 27 and Greenhills 25.

Boys track (1) — University of Detroit Jesuit’s 1,600-meter relay team of Cameron Hendrix, Bryson Wade, Nick Johnson and Devin Grantham — confirming coach Carl Brock’s confidence in them — won its heat to win the Cubs’ first Division 1 championship by 10 points over runner-up Farmington. The Cubs last won a state title in Class B in 1993.

Girls golf (2) — Dearborn Divine Child, coached by Dan Berry, overcame a six-stroke deficit after the first round for a nine-stroke victory and the school’s first state Division 2 golf championship.

Cranbrook Kingswood (coach John Minnich), in its fourth straight trip to the finals, won by six strokes over Grosse Ile for the Division 3 title.

Girls soccer (1) — Royal Oak Shrine, coached by Mark Soma and making its third straight appearance in the final, scored 25 seconds into the second half, then relied on its defense and goaltending for a 1-0 victory against Kalamazoo Christian for the Division 4 championship.

Girls tennis (2) — Cranbrook Kingswood (coach Grant Asher) swept singles and scored 37 points to far beat its nearest rival for the Division 3 title.

Greenhills (coach Mark Randolph) won four singles flights and a pair of doubles to easily win the Division 4 crown with 35 points compared to 26 for runner-up Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Girls volleyball (1) — Bloomfield Hills Marian, coached by Mayssa Cook, did what was expected all season long and repeated as Division 2 champ, a 3-1 conquest of Ann Arbor Skyline.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected]