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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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This week in high school hockey

I had a chance to take in Friday night's St. Mary's-Cranbrook game over at Wallace Arena, a matchup of two of the best teams in the state. Unfortunately for the Cranes, it was their worst performance of the season.
St. Mary's scored three special-teams goals - two shorthanded - and killed off all nine of Cranbrook's power-play opportunities. There were 16 penalties called in the game. That's not exactly what either Cranbrook coach Andy Weidenbach or St. Mary's coach Brian Klanow had in mind when the game started.
Klanow wasn't exactly happy with the way the game was officiated, but showed no displeasure with the way his team responded and the two big points that accompanied the victory. In a league that includes all three of the state's No. 1 ranked teams, and two of its No. 2s, every win counts.
- Walled Lake Northern took care of business this past week, beating up on Kettering and edging Mott to move into a first-place tie with the Corsairs - with three games in hand - in the KLAA North. It's a two-team race there, with the Knights looking pretty good heading into the home stretch.
- Despite a number of losses to graduation - and star senior Brad Pizzey to the NAHL - Clarkston is back where it seems to be year in and year out, near the top of the OAA Red. The Wolves and arch-rival Lake Orion are tied at the top of the standings with identical 5-0-1 records. The two will square off this Saturday night (8 p.m.) at the Detroit Skating Club.

Top performances from this past week:
- Kevin Lechner, Lakeland: Netted his first career hat trick in the Eagles' 5-3 loss to Pinckney
- Nick Carbone, Orchard Lake St. Mary's: Scored a pair of goals in the Eaglets' 4-1 win over Cranbrook Friday night
- Austin Lukaschewski, Madison Heights Bishop Foley: Scored twice in his team's 4-1 win over rival Royal Oak Shrine
- Alex Day, Madison Heights Bishop Foley: Stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Warriors' victory over the Knights
- Mitch Harvey, Stoney Creek: Scored two goals to help lead the Cougars over cross-town rival Rochester United, 5-2
- Nicholas Ferrara, Milford: Had a hat trick in a 6-3 win over Lakeland Saturday night

Here are the updated MIHL, OAA, CHSL and KLAA league standings as of Tuesday (Jan. 24)

MIHL Standings
Team                    GP    W   L  T  OL  Pts.
Catholic Central     14    12   2   0   0     24
Cranbrook             11     8    2   0   1     17
Trenton                  11     8    2   0   1     17    
St. Mary's              10    7    3   0   0     14
Brother Rice          10     6    4    0   0    12
PH Northern          11     4   6    0   1     9
GP North               10     4   6    0    0    8
Wyandotte             10     2   7    0    1    5
De La Salle            11     2   9    0    0    4
U-D Jesuit             10     1   8    0    1    3

Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Lake Orion              5  0   1   11
Clarkston                 5  0   1   11
Farmington               4  3   0    8
Farmington U.          2  2   1    5
Rochester U.            2  4  0    4
Birmingham U.         1  3   2    4
Oxford                     1  3  1    3
Stoney Creek           1  6  0    2

OAA White
Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Berkley-Ferndale     6   0   1   13
Avondale                 6   3   0   12
West Bloomfield      4   3   0    8
Bloom. Hills United  4   4   0   8
Royal Oak               3   3   1   7
Troy                        3   6   0   6
Troy Athens             0   6   0   0

KLAA Central
Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Brighton                   6   1   1   13
Livonia Stevenson*   5   3   0   11
Novi                        4   3   1    9
Northville*                3  3   1    8
South Lyon              3   4   0   6

KLAA North
Team                       W  L  T  Pts.
WL Northern            6   1   0    12
Waterford Mott        6   4   0    12
Lakeland                  2   6   0     4
WL Central              2   5   0     4
Waterford Kettering  1   6   0    2

Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Howell                     8   1   1   17
Grand Blanc*           4   1   2   11
Pinckney                  4   3   2   10
Milford*                   4   3   0   9
Hartland                   3   2   1    7
WL Western             1   7   0   2
* one OT loss

CHSL Division 1 - Group A
Team                      W  L  T
Catholic Central        5   1  0
Cranbrook                1   1  0
Brother Rice             0   2  0
U-D Jesuit                0   2  0

CHSL Intersectional
Team                           W  L  T
AA Gabriel Richard       6   1   0
Riv. Gabriel Richard   3   1   0
Bishop Foley                3   2   0
Cabrini                         2   2   1
RO Shrine                    1   4  1
Lutheran North           0   4   1

Milford 6, Lakeland 3
Stoney Creek 5, Rochester United 2
Bishop Foley 4, Shrine 1
St. Mary's 4, Cranbrook 1
Pinckney 5, Lakeland 3
Farmington Hills Unified 4, Grosse Ile 2


Monday, January 23, 2012

Oakland County crowns boys, girls champions

The boys and girls Oakland County bowling tournaments took place this past weekend and were a huge success.
The Lake Orion girls edged rival Clarkston in the championship match Saturday at Fairlanes Bowl in Madison Heights. A day later, Waterford Mott rallied to knock off Oxford in a thrilling finish to the boys tournament at Thunderbird Lanes in Troy. In both matches, the winning team's anchor bowler rolled three strikes in the 10th frame to pull out the victory. That's like someone hitting a walk-off home run to end the All-Star Game. Or someone scoring a touchdown in overtime to send their team to the playoffs.
Bowling can be an exciting sport. And the action over the weekend proved it. Anyone who thinks bowling isn't an intense team sport, try to take in a regional tournament in a few weeks, or better yet, go to the state finals next month. It'll be worth your time.
The Oakland Press was out in full force for this weekend's tournaments. Keith Dunlap was there to live tweet, provide coverage for the newspaper and MIPrepZone and also shoot video for our website. Larry McKee got some great action photos to go with our coverage. And myself, along with our interns Patrick McIntyre and Denis Karic, were there working on a segment for this upcoming week's MIPrepZone Weekly.
So stay tuned. Our coverage is not done. Click HERE for more bowling coverage on MIPrepZone.

And a special thank you goes out to tournament directors Rob Arney of Berkley (boys) and Matt Milazzo of Royal Oak (girls), who were more than gracious hosts to us at the paper. It's guys like these that help us promote the sport, and more importantly, the kids.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's talk some high school hockey

They play late and they play on a lot of off-days (Wednesday and Saturday nights). All in all, high school hockey always seems to be under the radar as far as publicity and coverage by the local media goes. A lot of time our phones have been shut off (to gather and get the night's roundup together for the paper) by the time games end and coaches have a chance to call us with results.
I encourage coaches and or team representatives to email us those results to We still might be able to get it online at MIPrepZone that night or the next morning. I just want to see more hockey in the paper and especially online.

This past weekend, there was a pretty big home-and-home series in the MIHL, as first-place Catholic Central and second-place Cranbrook squared off for the first time this season. The two teams split the series, each winning on the other team's home ice. CC beat the Cranes, 4-3, in overtime Friday night at Wallace Arena. Matt Sorisho scored the game winner six minutes in off a pass from Ryan Wandzel.
On Saturday, Cranbrook bit back, taking a 2-1 victory. Cameron Heath scored the game winner midway through the second period. Aaron Alkema stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced to get the win for the Cranes. The night before, teammate Justin Kirk made 44 saves in the OT loss. That's some great goaltending.

Top performances from this past week:
- Pete Halash, Catholic Central: Scored two goals and had an assist in the Shamrock's 7-1 win over De La Sallle
- Tyler VanNorman, Catholic Central: Scored two goals in CC's 7-1 win over De La Salle
- Trevor Kalinowski, Lakeland: Stopped 42 shots in goal to lead the Eagles to a 2-0 shutout win over Waterford Mott
- Zach Massa, Farmington: Scored a pair of goals in the Falcons' 4-1 win over Rochester United
- Jack Bergmann, Country Day: Bergmann scored twice and assisted on another in the Yellowjackets 4-2 win over Royal Oak
- Adam Larkin, Clarkston: His goal and two assists helped the Wolves to a 4-1 win over Farmington
- Sebastian Stankiewicz, Country Day: Scored a hat trick to lead his team to a dominating 8-0 win over Notre Dame Prep
- Gabe Comos, Clarkston: Comos scored a pair of goals and had an assist to lead the Wolves to a 6-3 win over Stoney Creek
- Mackenzie MacEachern, Brother Rice: The senior had a pair of goals and assists in a 5-3 win over TC Central and two more goals in a 6-0 win over TC Western the night before
- Chris Wilberding, Brother Rice: Scored two goals in his team's win over TC Central Saturday night
- Thomas Ebbing, Brother Rice: His goal and two assists helped his team top TC Central
- Cooper Anstett, St. Mary's: Had a pair of goals in Eaglets' 3-1 win over Port Huron Northern
- Austin Julvezan, St. Mary's: Stopped 27 of 28 shots in his team's win over the Huskies

Here are the updated MIHL, OAA and KLAA league standings as of Tuesday (Jan. 17)

MIHL Standings
Team                    GP    W   L  T  OL  Pts.
Catholic Central     14    12   2   0   0     24
Cranbrook              9      7    1   0   1     15
Trenton                  10     7    2   0   0     15    
St. Mary's               8      5    3   0   0     10
Brother Rice           9      5    4    0   0    10
PH Northern          10     4   5    0    0     9
GP North                8      3   5    0    0     6
Wyandotte              9      2   6    0    1     5
De La Salle             9      2   7    0    0     4
U-D Jesuit               8      0   8    0    0     0

Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Lake Orion              5  0   1   11
Clarkston                 4  0   1    9
Farmington               3  3   0    6
Farmington U.          2  2   1    5
Birmingham U.         1  2   2    4
Oxford                     1  1  1    3
Rochester U.            1  3  0    2
Stoney Creek           0  6  0   0

OAA White
Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Berkley-Ferndale     6   0   0   12
Avondale                 4   3   0    8
West Bloomfield      4   3   0    8
Royal Oak               3   3   0   6
Bloom. Hills United  3   3   0   6
Troy                         2   5   0   4
Troy Athens             0   5   0   0

KLAA Central
Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Brighton                   6   1   1   13
Livonia Stevenson    5   2   0   11
Novi                        3   3   1    7
South Lyon              3   4   0    6
Northville                 3   3   1    7

KLAA North
Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Waterford Mott        6   3   0   12
WL Northern           4   1   0     8
Lakeland                  2   4   0     4
Waterford Kettering  1   4   0    2
WL Central              1   5   0    2

Team                      W  L  T  Pts.
Howell                     7   1   1   15
Grand Blanc*           4   1   2   11
Pinckney                  3   3   2    8
Hartland                   3   1   1    7
Milford*                   2   3   0   5
WL Western             1   6   0   2
* one OT loss

Davison 5, Lakeland 4
Farmington 4, Rochester United 1
Lakeland 2, Waterford Mott 0
Grosse Pointe South 8, Notre Dame Prep 0
Catholic Central 7, De La Salle 1
Oxford 2, Birmingham United 2

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

St. Johns, Catholic Central lived up to the hype

People drove from all over the state to get a chance to catch the most-anticipated wrestling match of the season between St. Johns and Catholic Central. And it certainly did not disappoint.
As I told our wrestling beat writer here at The Oakland Press Marvin Goodwin, Saturday's battle between the Redwings and Shamrocks felt like it should have been in Battle Creek. The stands were packed on both sides of the gymnasium at CC.
Catholic Central led for the first 11 matches, only to see that lead dissipate and crumble as Jordan Wohlfert and Taylor Massa, St. Johns Michigan State-Michigan bound seniors pinned, back-to-back, to give them the victory.
CC jumped out to a 12-0 early lead thanks to wins by Kevin Beazley (pin), Jay Peterson and Trevor Zdebski. But as is most oftentimes the case, it was the "good losses" that kept the Shamrocks afloat and in charge of the match.
Myles Amine, giving up just four points to Zac Hall at 112; T.J. Fagan giving up just three to Logan Massa at 119; and Riley Hanson giving up just four to nationally-ranked Ben Whitford at 145. All three were Shamrock losses. But it could have been a lot worse for CC. Instead, they helped give the Shamrocks a chance at the end.
Ken Bade's 4-3 win over Jacob Schmitt at 125 was the highlight of the day for CC. Schmitt came in as the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state (all divisions). Bade was No. 2. Like their teams, both will be favorites to win individual titles come March.
As much as CC did its best early to build and maintain a solid lead, I thought the turning point actually came during a win for the Shamrocks. At 152 pounds, I'm sure CC was hoping for more than a 1-0 win from senior stud Alec Mooradian. But St. Johns' Travis Curley, ranked just behind the No. 2 Mooradian, didn't give up much, falling 1-0.
Bonus points would have given CC as much as a nine-point lead heading into the last three matches. Wohlfert's ensuing pin at 160 was also key for the Redwings, who were expecting six from Massa, the nation's top senior wrestler. Payne Hayden's 7-2 win over Drew Garcia wrapped up the match, which again, lived up to the hype.
I learned today that the St. Ed's (Ohio) tournament in two weeks is a team tournament and these two teams are expected to see each other again. I'm not sure the outcome will be any different, but just to get a chance to see a rematch would be worth the trip south.

For a complete match story, CLICK HERE.

103 — Trevor Zdebski (CC) d. Drew Wixson 9-2; 112 — Zac Hall (SJ) d. Myles Amine 16-8; 119 — Logan Massa (SJ) d. T.J. Fagan 6-0; 125 — Ken Bade (CC) d. Jacob Schmitt 4-3; 130 — Malik Amine (CC) d. Rory Bender 4-2; 135 — Brant Schafer (SJ) d. Andrew Thompson 8-3; 140 — Josh Pennell (SJ) d. Logan Marcicki 6-2; 145 — Ben Whitford (SJ) d. Riley Hanson 22-14; 152 — Alec Mooradian (CC) d. Travis Curley 1-0; 160 — Jordan Wohlfert (SJ) p. Nick Mason 1:10; 171 — Taylor Massa (SJ) pinned Nick Giese :40; 189 — Payne Hayden (SJ) d. Drew Garcia 7-2; 215 — Kevin Beazley (CC) p. Blake Cooper :34; 285 — Jay Peterson (CC) d. Ben Proctor 2-0.
RECORDS — St. Johns 13-0; Catholic Central 13-1

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Catholic Central's Super Dual schedule for tomorrow

There are very few, if any, team wrestling tournaments in Michigan with as much talent as Saturday's Detroit Catholic Central Super Duals. The host Shamrocks, ranked No. 1 in Division 1, welcome in a loaded field for the tournament.
Among the participating teams are St. Johns, which is ranked No. 1 in Division 2, and No. 3 in the country, Richmond (No. 1 in Division 3), Dundee (No. 2 in Division 3), Temperance Bedford (No. 6 in Division 1), Clarkston (No. 10 in Division 1) and Solon (OH).
St. Johns boasts a star-studded lineup which includes nationally-ranked wrestlers Taylor Massa (No. 1 at 170 pounds), Ben Whitford (No. 2 at 145), Zac Hall (No. 14 at 113) and Jordan Wohlfert (No. 20 at 160), according to InterMat Wrestling. All four are ranked No. 1 overall at their weights among all divisions in Michigan, according to The Redwings also have seven other wrestlers ranked in the Top-10 at their weight classes, including Jacob Schmitt (125) and Brant Schafer (135), who are also ranked No. 1 like their teammates.
Catholic Central, led by senior Alec Mooradian, who is ranked No. 19 nationally at 145 pounds, will square off against St. Johns in Round 2. That will be the premiere match among a number of premiere matches on the day. It's expected to begin around 11:45 a.m.. Along with Mooradian, who is ranked No. 2 overall at 152 pounds, the Shamrocks also have six other wrestlers in the Top-10, including Trevor Zdebski (103), Ken Bade (125), Logan Marcicki (145) and Drew Garcia (171), who are all ranked No. 2 among all divisions.
There are a handful of tremendous individual matchups between these two teams, highlighted by perhaps Bade and Schmitt at 125, a matchup of Nos. 1 and 2 in the state. Marcicki, either at 140 (vs. No. 4-ranked Josh Pennell) or at 145 (vs. Whitford) would also provide a great match.
Same goes for Mooradian (vs. Travis Curley, No. 3 at 152), Garcia (vs. either Wohlfert or Massa) and CC's Kevin Beazley, ranked No. 5 at 189, vs. Payne Hayden (No. 6).
This is the unofficial state championship match - because both teams will go their separate ways in the state tournament - so there is a lot of pride on the line. Both are loaded and deep, but the Redwings have a little more "star power" and I feel will back up last year's 29-25 win over the Shamrocks at this same tournament with an even-more impressive victory on Saturday.
MY PREDICTION: St. Johns 31, CC 23

The tournament schedule is as follows:

ROUND 1 (at 10 a.m.)
Solon (OH) vs. St. Johns
Catholic Central vs. Temperance Bedford
Richmond vs. Clarkston
Dundee (bye)

ROUND 2 (approximately 11:45 a.m.)
Solon (OH) vs. Temperance Bedford
Catholic Central vs. St. Johns
Richmond vs. Dundee
Clarkston (bye)

ROUND 3 (approximately 1:30 p.m.)
Temperance Bedford vs. Richmond
Catholic Central vs. Solon (OH)
Clarkston vs. Dundee
St. Johns (bye)

ROUND 4 (approximately 3:15 p.m.)
Clarkston vs. Temperance Bedford
Catholic Central vs. Richmond
St. Johns vs. Dundee
Solon (OH) (bye)

ROUND 5 (approximately 5 p.m.)
Solon (OH) vs. Dundee
St. Johns vs. Clarkston
CC, Richmond, Temperance Bedford (byes)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

MIPrepZone workshop coming up on Monday

Want to be a sports writer? Want to get a chance to cover your favorite team, interview the players and coaches? Want to see your kids receive more recognition for their efforts on the court, in the pool, on the mat or ice?
We here at The Oakland Press want to see all those things, too. We'd love to be able to cover every school and every sport. But we simply can't be everywhere, every day. To do that, we need help. And for about a year now, we've been holding workshops to help people help themselves.
On Monday (Jan. 9), we'll be once again hosting a sports writers workshop here at The Oakland Press. Generally, the workshops have a good mix of people attending. There are the first timers looking to see what we do and how they can perhaps help out by covering their own favorite teams. It's very low-pressured and a great chance to see if you've got what it takes to take a stab at sports writing.
We get prospective sports writers currently in college pursuing a degree in journalism or english and looking for additional writing experience at a daily newspaper.
And we also get professional writers, photographers and bloggers looking to contribute their work to the paper on a regular basis.
Point is, we welcome all to check it out. The workshop starts at 6 p.m. and will last about an hour. Click HERE to learn more or contact sports editor Jeff Kuehn at ASAP to reserve your spot. We do host these workshops every month, so if you cannot make it tonight, you can check with Kuehn to see when the next one will be held.