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By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

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March 24, 2011

Going for goals in A2
The season hasn’t even started yet, but the lacrosse teams in Ann Arbor have already accomplished something they have never done before. On Saturday, Father Gabriel Richard High School hosted the city’s four other lacrosse teams for a spring scrimmage. Teams from Huron, Greenhills, Pioneer and Skyline joined the Fighting Irish on the turf field at Gabriel Richard to shake off the winter rust and take the first shots of the lacrosse season. Despite the fact that lacrosse has had a significant presence in Ann Arbor for several years, this is the first time ever that

Gabriel Richard hosts all Ann Arbor lacrosse teams for first time
all five of the city’s high school teams have been able to play together on the same field. Although most of the area’s coaches said the event had been discussed before, it wasn’t until Richard coach Jim Carl got involved that it became a reality. “It just seemed like a lot of fun,” Carl said. “As a Catholic school, a lot of these kids have grown up together. They’ve competed in other sports, whether it’s hockey or soccer, everybody wants to play against some of their friends. There are friendships that exist and I just think it’s great for the whole Ann Arbor community.” In addition to players getPLEASE SEE GOALS/3-D

MIKE LARSON

Chin up, UM fans, it only gets better
isten. I know you’re upset and I know a lot of you are probably inconsolable right now. I know it hurts. I saw it too. I watched Saturday as the University Michigan basketball team lost a painfully close game to Duke. I watched the Wolverines snarl, snap and claw their way back into a game that Duke had pretty much closed out in the first several minutes of the second half. Michigan was down 15 points with about 10 minutes left in the game, but the team refused to roll over. Instead, I watched the Wolverines come alive, close the gap and cut the lead to just a field goal. Down two points with just seconds left in the game, the Wolverines put the ball into the hands of Darius Morris, who drove the lane and put up a floater. The ball went up, and then clanged unceremoniously off the heel of the rim. Michigan lost and was denied a spot in the Sweet 16. But you already knew all that. Michigan’s loss on Saturday was the latest kick in the stomach for UM basketball fans. It was the kind of close-butno-cigar moment that has the Wolverine faithful starting to feel like fans of the Chicago Cubs. But at least the Cubs fans have Old Style and Wrigleyville. Michigan basketball fans seem to have nothing but disappointment these days. But I’m here to let you all in on a little secret. You shouldn’t be upset. Think about it.

L

Photos by Mike Larson/A2 JOURNAL

Gabriel Richard lacrosse coach Jim Carl discusses strategy with his team on Saturday. The coach organized a round-robin scrimmage that included all the lacrosse teams from Ann Arbor. Pioneer, Huron, Greenhills, Gabriel Richard and Skyline all participated.

Hardwood heaven
Ann Arbor is becoming a bastion of high school basketball success
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

While there isn’t a single Ann Arbor high school basketball team left alive in the MHSAA postseason tournaments, it’s hard to argue the impact that prep basketball has had on the city. A quick look back over the last few weeks gives a pretty PLEASE SEE LARSON/3-D clear picture of where Ann Arbor stands in the landscape We’re more than just of high school basketball, and it’s a very pretty picture.

a sports section

In boys’ basketball, the schools of Ann Arbor took Brighton by storm, dominating the district tournament in the city of the Bulldogs. Huron, Pioneer and Skyline took part in the district tournament and were the last three teams standing. Skyline ousted Pinckney and Dexter while Pioneer took down Brighton. After a first round bye, Huron then beat Pioneer in the semifinals and then Skyline in the finals.

“Basketball in Ann Arbor is as strong as it’s ever been,” Huron coach Waleed Samaha said. “That Pioneer team is a good team. Skyline is a good team. We’ve got a good team.” In addition to the Class A boys’ teams, the city has a powerful presence in Class B from the Catholic High School League’s Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. After having a rough stretch in which the team played a host of larger schools, Richard won just five games during the regular season in 2010-11. However the Fighting Irish proved that they are still a force
PLEASE SEE HARDWOOD/3-D

In addition to all of the sports stories and information found in these pages, the A2 Journal sports section offers even more media online. Check us out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ A2JournalSports) for stories, photo albums video and more. Follow us out on Twitter to get up to the minute scores from your favorite high school teams and get updates game cancelations or time changes.

File Photo

Pioneer senior Kamilah Carter goes up for a layup. Carter was recently named to the AP’s Class A All-State First Team.

Carter named to All-State list
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

You can also become facebook friends with sports writer Mike Larson (www.facebook.com/ A2SportsGuy) and follow him in realtime as he updates his location using Foursquare. Track him down in and around Ann Arbor to get the scoop on local sports happenings.

File Photo

Huron senior A.J. Mathew drives during a game against Dayton Dunbar earlier this season. Ann Arbor is quickly becoming one of the most successful basketball cities in the state.

Kamilah Carter spent her entire high school career wowing fans of the Pioneer girls’ basketball team. This year, she celebrated her senior season by helping the Pioneers win their first district championship in 10 years. Now, she can celebrate again. Recently, Carter was named

to the Associated Press Girls Basketball Class A All-State First Team. She was the area’s only pick. Huron players Kelcy Barott and Devin Talley of Ann Arbor Huron were tapped as Class A honorable mentions. Carter was a force all season for the Pioneers, averaging 19.1 points per game.
PLEASE SEE CARTER/3-D

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Thursday, March 24, 2011 • HERITAGE MEDIA/A2 JOURNAL

2011 LACROSSE PREVIEW

Shooting for success
By Mike Larson
A2 Journal

Team: Father Gabriel Richard Coach: Jim Carl, 2nd year Conference: Catholic High School League Record last year: 14-6 Top returners: Colin McMahon, Adam Kolevar, Michael Ramos, Mark Tanski, Carl Pressprich, Max Yoas Tom newcomers: Nick Bierley, Andrew Marino, Steven Ramos Strength: Leadership. The Gabriel Richard lacrosse team is packed with experience this season. The team has a stud senior in Colin McMahon, who is a four-year varsity player for the Fighting Irish. Other strong seniors are Carl Pressprich and Max Yoas. The team also has a strong core of juniors who are going to get more and more experience as the season wears on. Drawback: Lost a lot of talent last year. Although the Irish will have plenty of experience back, there is no denying the hole that graduation left in the roster. Gabriel Richard last 13 seniors from last year, and will need players to step up in order to compete in the competitive Catholic High School Team: Pioneer League. Coach: James Corey, Outlook: Coach Jim 1st year Carl said he fully expectConference: ed his team to compete Southeastern Conference for a CHSL title, despite Red Division a difficult schedule. Record last year: 12-6 “This is the toughest Top returners: Nick schedule we’ve ever had Mrjoian, Kevin Groupe, here,” he said. “Of our Mike Jones 18 games, 10 of them Top newcomers: are against top 10 oppoHarry Hadden, Kyle nents.” Waitz, Jesse Fernandez The Irish will play a Strength: Midfield. pair of games against The Pioneers return 14 both Cranbrook and seniors to its midfield Notre Dame Prep, as from last season. The well as games against experience will help the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s team as it moves forand Okemos. ward. The road is going to Weakness: Defense. be long and hard for Pioneer lost 2/3 of its the Irish, but McMahon defensive squad from last and Adam Kolevar can year and only returns rise to the occasion two starters. The defense and if goalie Michael will need to step up early Ramos can continue in the season if Pioneer to improve, there is no wants to remain competireason Gabriel Richard tive. shouldn’t be able to have Outlook: Pioneer a chance at that coveted coach James Corey said Photo by Mike Larson/A2 JOURNAL CHSL title. his team’s goal was to Pioneer first year head coach James Corey talks with his team Saturday during a scrimmage at Gabriel make it to the Michigan Richard. Pioneer, as well as the other four Ann Arbor lacrosse teams, is hoping for a successful seaTeam: Huron High School Athletic Coach: Joe Koengeter, son. Association playoffs, and 3rd year make it to the final four. Conference: Southeastern Conference Red Division With a strong group of seniors and plenty of experience, it’s a very attainable Record last year: 9-8 goal. Top returners: Henry Upton, Chris Welch, Zak Hilfinger, Gabe Ruel, Shaun Greco Team: Skyline Top newcomers: Nick Sorscher, Kyle Aaronson Coach: Nick Zoroya, 3rd year Strength: Communication. The River Rats have found a knack for talking to Conference: Southeastern Conference Red Division one another while on the field, a skill that coach Joe Koengeter said will serve Record last year: 4-4 (varsity teams), 7-3 (JV teams) them well. Top returners: Don Weidner, Ben Brinkerhoff, Sam Olson, Eric Guldberg “It’s so important right now,” the coach said of his team’s communication. Top newcomers: Seth Bear, Aaron Dziubinski “It’s so hard to be successful if you aren’t talking.” Strength: Athleticism The coach also said the squad’s defense will be a strength this season. Weakness: Experience. The Eagles have no seniors yet and are still working Weakness: Clearing the ball. Huron has struggled early getting the ball out on mastering their offense. of its own zone and limiting opponents’ scoring chances. Outlook: This season will be the first in which the Skyline team will play a Outlook: Koengeter said he hoped his team would be atop the Southeastern full varsity schedule. Conference standings at the end of the year. Despite that, coach Nick Zoroya has high aspirations for his team. “This is the start of my third year,” he said. “And I think right now we are at “Realistically, I think we can win 12 games,” Zoroya said. “And I think we can a point to contend for a conference title.” win a playoff game or two.” Mike Larson can be reached by email at Mlarson@A2Journal.com. Check out his page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/A2SportsGuy and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/A2JournalSports.

Team: Greenhills Coach: Mike Costello, 2nd year Conference: Independent Record last year: 7-9 Top returners: Kyle Wozniak, John Lazaserfeld, Henry Aspergren, Jon Saltzman, Mike Szocik, Alex Wozniak Top newcomers: Greenhills coach Mike Costello said he had a lot of new players who could make an impact. “We have a bunch,” he said. “There is a buzz about this team around the school. We have 14 to 15 new guys.” Strength: Experience. The Greenhills team has another year under its belt, and Costello is hoping that translates into success. Weakness: Communication. “All good team communicate at a really high level,” Costello said. “We aren’t doing that right now. We really need to bring that up.” Outlook: The Greenhills team has a goal to win more games that it loses, and Costello thinks that’s possible. Improvement is also a big ambition for the Gryphons. “We just want to get better and better every day,” Costello said.

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