The 2022 Michigan high school fall sports season was officially completed a few weeks ago, but we’re not quite ready to close the book on it.
It’s not over until the West Michigan Conference Players of the Year are selected.
In seven fall sports, a CatchMark panel consisting of Scott DeCamp, Conner Raeth and Tate Stine selected three finalists for the Player of the Year award. Players of the Year will be determined by fan poll voting, which will open at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and close at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23.
The banquet will be held at the Viking Athletic Center on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Below are the Player of the Year finalists for football, volleyball, boys soccer, girls cross country, boys cross country, girls golf and boys tennis, along with capsules describing each of the finalists.
HUNTER HOGAN, Ravenna: The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior is arguably the MVP of the West Michigan Conference (both divisions) when it comes to importance to his team (7-4). … He literally did it all for the Bulldogs: Starting quarterback and free safety, kicker, punter, returned kickoffs and punts. … Completed 65 of 136 passes for 1,237 yards with 12 TDs and eight interceptions. … Ran 154 times for 938 yards (6.1 per carry) with 16 TDs. … Finished with 71 tackles and a whopping eight interceptions. … Also had two kickoff returns to TDs, one punt return for a TD, went 34-of-40 on PATs and 1-of-2 on field goals. … First-team all-state selection as a defensive back in one publication and specialist in another.
TREVER JONES, Oakridge: The 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior is one rugged player. … Arguably the best player on an Oakridge team that finished 10-2, won a Division 5 district title, lost in the regional finals to eventual state champ Gladwin and took runner-up in the league behind Whitehall. … The workhorse running back finished with 1,545 rushing yards on 218 carries (7.1 per carry) with 22 TDs. … Caught 21 passes for 330 yards (15.7 average) and two TDs. … Finished second on the team in tackles from his linebacker spot with 71, including a whopping 14 for lost yardage with four sacks.
KYLE STRATTON, Whitehall: The 5-foot-8, 165-pound junior was a ringleader for the Vikings, who finished 11-1 with WMC Lakes Division and district titles. They lost a 28-21 heartbreaker in the Division 4 regional finals to eventual state champ Grand Rapids South Christian. … Completed 86 of 141 passes for 1,658 yards with 26 TDs and five interceptions. … Led the Vikings in rushing with 128 carries for 1,008 yards (7.9 per carry) and 17 TDs. … Very limited time on defense, but he did have a pick-6 against Unity Christian in the season opener. … Also handled long-snapping duties despite his smaller frame.
JORDYN ANDERSON, Ludington: The 6-foot-3 sophomore setter/middle hitter finished the season with 677 assists, 192 digs, 131 kills, 95 aces and 92 blocks. … Ludington ran away with the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division title and finished with a 32-9-2 overall record. … Ludington lost in a tough five-setter in the district finals to eventual state finalist Cadillac.
NAVEA GAUTHIER, Shelby: The 6-foot-1 sophomore outside hitter was West Michigan Conference Player of the Year in 2021 and she’s a two-time, first-team all-stater. … This season, Gauthier finished with an eye-popping 987 kills, 518 digs, 136 aces, 59 blocks and 16 assists. … The Division I prospect led Shelby to the outright WMC Rivers Division title as well as Division 3 district and regional crowns. … Shelby (34-9-2) lost a tough five-setter in the state quarterfinals to eventual state finalist Kalamazoo Christian.
MADDY VAARA, Ludington: The 6-foot junior middle hitter/setter/outside hitter finished the season with 486 kills, 232 digs, 61 aces, 50 blocks and 14 assists. … Ludington ran away with the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division title and finished with a 32-9-2 overall record. … Ludington lost in a tough five-setter in the district finals to eventual state finalist Cadillac.
ARTURO ROMERO, Oakridge: The junior forward/midfielder had a season to remember for the Eagles (12-9-1), who captured a Division 3 district title. … Romero shattered Oakridge’s single-season goals record with 40 on the season. He’s also broken the Eagles’ career goal-scoring record with 62. He eclipsed Travis Lucas’ marks in both categories. … In a stretch from the second match of the season through the 10th, Romero netted eight straight hat tricks. In four of those games, he had four or more goals. Against Fremont on Aug. 31, he scored all six of his team’s goals.
BEN SCHLAFF, Manistee: The senior center-back was the glue that held it all together for the Chippewas, who finished with a 16-4-0 record and claimed a Division 3 district championship. … Schlaff did have one assist, but his game was controlling the defensive end of the field. … First-team All-West Michigan Conference selection as well as all-district, all-region and Division 3 all-state honorable mention.
PARKER WENDT, Ludington: The West Michigan Conference champion Orioles (18-2-1) had three players worthy of conference Player of the Year honors, according to coach Kris Anderson, but Wendt is the representative. … The junior forward was a Division 2 third-team all-state performer, as well as first-team All-WMC, all-district and all-region. … Wendt finished with 24 goals and 13 assists.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
SUMMER BROUWER, Ludington: The sophomore finished 18th at the Division 2 state finals to earn all-state accolades, turning in a personal-record time of 19:09.48. … Competed in the MITCA Michigan Meet of Champions, finishing 76th with a time of 19:11.1. … Finished third in the WMC Rivers Division portion of the WMC Mega Jamboree, running with one shoe in terrible conditions when a shoe got stuck in the mud and pulled off her foot. … Finished first in three competitions.
ALYSON ENNS, Hart: If not for Jessica Jazwinski, this Pirates junior would have been Hart’s No. 1 runner. As it were, she was a strong complement to Jazwinski. … Placed fourth in the Division 3 state finals with a time of 18:28.52 to earn all-state accolades again. … Placed 13th in the MITCA Meet of Champions with a time of 18:00.7. … Season-best time was the 17:49.9 she ran in finishing runner-up behind Jazwinski in the Shepherd Bluejay Invite/ … Finished runner-up in 12 events – all 12 coming in behind Jazwinski.
JESSICA JAZWINSKI, Hart: Division 3 individual state champion, running away with the title with a time of 17:36.70 to beat the runner-up finisher by about 40 seconds. … Won the MITCA Meet of Champions, crossing the line first with a personal-record time of 16:47.3 that is a state record for sophomores. … Won every single event she competed in this season with the exception of the big-school West Ottawa Bredeweg Invite, which had several top-flight Division 1 and Division 2 runners there. … Qualified for the Champs Sports Cross Country Championships and finished 11th to earn All-American honors.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
SETH ACKLEY, Hart: The Pirates senior finished 12th in the Division 3 state finals with a time of 16:27.51 to earn all-state accolades. … Top-three runner for Hart, which captured the team state championship. … Placed fifth at the MITCA Meet of Champions with a personal-best time of 16:09.6. … Seven top-three finishes this season, including four runner-up finishes.
CLAYTON ACKLEY, Hart: The Pirates senior finished runner-up in the Division 3 state finals with a time of 15:52.14 to earn all-state accolades again. … Top runner on a Hart squad that won the first boys team state championship in school history. … Ackley took first in 11 events this season and second in three others. … Placed 11th at the MITCA Meet of Champions with a personal-record time of 15:27.7.
ANDRE RICHMOND, Whitehall: Voted West Michigan Conference boys cross country runner of the year last fall. … Placed 59th in the Division 2 state finals with a time of 16:50.9. … Bounced back to finished third in the MITCA Meet of Champions with a time of 16:02.4. … Four first-place finishes this season. … Personal-record time of 15:48.2 en route to a runner-up finish at the GMAA Championships.
MACKENZIE GOUDREAU, Montague: The Wildcats junior was first-team all-state for a second straight year in Division 4. … Finished fourth at the Division 4 state finals. … Broke her own school record with a 75 en route to winning the GMAA title and leading Montague to another first-place finish in the event. … Finished runner-up in the West Michigan Conference individually behind Ludington’s Emma McKinley, … Placed third at the regional.
NATALIE KELLOGG, Montague: The Wildcats senior earned first-team all-state in Division 4. … Finished fifth at the Division 4 state finals. … Shot a personal-best 80 on day one of the state finals. … Finished third in the West Michigan Conference individually behind Ludington’s Emma McKinley and Montague’s McKenzie Goudreau.
EMMA MCKINLEY, Ludington: The Orioles junior earned first-team all-state in Division 3. … Tied for ninth individually at the Division 3 state finals. … West Michigan Conference individual champ and regional medalist, leading team to state finals berth. … Averaged 78.8 this season on 18-hole rounds. … Top-10 medalist in all seven invites in which she competed. … Personal-best 71 at Tullymore. … Won the WMC Championship with a 75.
ROBBY KILLIPS, Ludington: The junior, who played No. 2 singles for the Orioles, finished the season with a 25-4 record. … Did not lose a match from Aug. 19 until falling to the No. 2 seed at the Division 3 state finals. … Conference and regional champ. …. Team was Coastal Conference champion and regional runner-up. … Ludington was the lone team from conference to qualify for the state finals.
CHARLES KOLB, Ludington: The junior, who played No. 1 singles for the Orioles, finished the season with a 19-11 record. … At No. 1 singles, he obviously played the top players. … Conference champion. … Team was Coastal Conference champion and regional runner-up. … Ludington was the lone team from conference to qualify for the state finals.
JACK STIDHAM, Ludington: The junior, who played No. 3 singles for the Orioles, finished the season with a 26-6 record. … He was the conference champion and regional runner-up. … Ludington was Coastal Conference champ and regional runner-up. … The Orioles were the lone team from the conference to qualify for the state finals.
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