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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Storch sendoff draws a crowd

Spending 30 years coaching soccer at one place is impressive, especially if you coach both the boys and girls programs. 
On Thursday night, Troy Athens celebrated longtime coach Tim Storch's last home game coaching the Red Hawks, as a number of former players endured horrendous weather conditions for a chance to honor the coach who has won a combined nine state championships with his boys and girls teams.
Athens cruised past Bloomfield Hills Lahser, 6-0. Click HERE to read the game story.

Storch, the consummate professional, let down his guard a bit and enjoyed the moment, oftentimes leaving the bench before, during and of course after the game to welcome the large number of former players who came to pay homage to their former mentor. 
Among those in attendance were members from all his boys (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989 and 1997) and girls (1989, 1991, 1993 and 2000), including Marty Hagen, Paul Shields and Mark Noffert from his first boys state championship team. Noffert, a three-time state champion under Storch and the 1984 Mr. Soccer recipient, came all the way from Chicago, where he now lives, to honor his former coach.
Lisa Grace-Carruthers, a 1992 grad and four-year starter who won two state titles as a Red Hawk, was also on hand. Both Noffert and Grace-Carruthers were interviewed for a segment on Sunday's upcoming MIPrepZone Weekly show (at So check back Sunday for a video feature on Thursday night's festivities.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The rankings speak for themselves

My final regular-season girls tennis rankings for Oakland County looked like this:

 Oakland County's Top 10
1. Clarkston
2. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
3. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
4. Birmingham Marian
5. Birmingham Seaholm
6. Bloomfield Hills Andover
7. Farmington Hills Mercy
8. Rochester
9. Bloomfield Hills Lahser
10. Troy

And at regional competition last weekend, many of those teams proved that their rankings were well deserved. Nine of these teams qualified for the state tournament, with the lone exception, Farmington Hills Mercy, finishing third behind Andover and Lahser.
Those moving on to their respective state finals include: No. 1 Clarkston (regional champion), No. 2 Cranbrook (regional champion), No. 3 Country Day (regional runner-up to Cranbrook), No. 4 Birmingham Marian (regional runner-up to Seaholm), No. 5 Seaholm (regional champion), No. 6 Andover (regional champion), No. 8 Rochester (regional runner-up to Clarkston), No. 9 Lahser (regional runner-up to Andover) and No. 10 Troy (regional champion).

Still the best
Many of the county's top teams saw each other at some point during the regular season. The lone exception at the top was that Clarkston and Country Day had not squared off.
Well, on Wednesday, the two got together for an informal scrimmage. And the Wolves erased any doubts as to who the best team in the county is. Clarkston beat Country Day 6-1 (they didn't play a fourth singles match). In a battle of the county's top two singles lineups, Clarkston swept, convincingly.
If it weren't for a certain player up in Rochester ... Kelsey Dieters ... Clarkston's Gabriella Spindler would be a favorite to win the No. 1 singles title in Division 1. She's beaten everyone else she's seen this year. And her singles mates have been just as successful. No. 2 Lexi Baylis and No. 3 Katie Brozovich are unbeaten this season, and No. 4, Kristina Lucas, has lost just once.