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June 25, 2014

Macomb Area Conference recognizes best baseball players

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Macomb Area Conference recognizes best baseball players
Photo by Donna Agusti Madison Heights Lamphere’s baseball team won the Sportsmanship Award in the MAC Gold Division. Individually, seniors Ian Dimitrie, Mike Kapala and Zach Chambers received All-Conference honors.

Another season has come to a close for the 35 baseball teams in the Macomb Area Conference.

Almost half (17) finished at .500 or above in league play, as the Michigan High School Athletic Association made a format change that saw Michigan prep baseball teams play 15 divisional games for the first time after playing 10 league games in the past.

Four teams repeated as champions of their respective divisions. Two MAC teams (Sterling Heights Stevenson, Grosse Pointe South) were among the final eight teams standing in the state playoffs. The Blue Devils made a run all the way to the Division 1 state championship game, going 20-6 in their last 26 games after starting 1-5 and 7-12.

League officials have once again honored the best players and coaches in the MAC with MVP and Coach of the Year awards, along with naming All-League teams for each of the MAC’s six divisions. Sportsmanship Awards have been handed out, as well.

Now that the season has concluded, it’s time to take a look back at the divisional races and honor the players the coaches felt deserved special recognition by being selected All-Conference in the various divisions of the MAC.

Red Division
Sterling Heights Stevenson senior Zach McGuire won his second straight league MVP award, while Titans coach Joe Emanuele earned another Coach of the Year nod. Clinton Township Chippewa Valley received the Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are McGuire and seniors Brandon Hughes, Dean Emanuele and Joe Wolf, Stevenson; junior Cole Sanderson, sophomore Zach Zabonic and senior Brendan Mangan, Macomb Dakota; senior Ron Williams, and juniors Ryan Liagre and Justin McMann, Grosse Pointe South; seniors Danny Kerr and Jake Chattinger, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North; junior Danny Quinn and senior Jeff Mizwa, Chippewa Valley; and senior Dan Chmielewski, Utica Eisenhower.

Stevenson went 15-0 in league play to claim its fifth straight MAC Red title. Dakota finished 9-6 to finish in second place, followed by Grosse Pointe South (7-8), L’Anse Creuse North (6-9), Chippewa Valley (4-11) and Eisenhower (4-11).

White Division
St. Clair High senior Jared Tobey was named league MVP, while his coach, Bill McElreath, took league Coach of the Year honors. Warren Mott won the league Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are Tobey, and seniors Blake Meldrum, Nolan Young and Josh Barnes, St. Clair; seniors Jordan Luzod and Evan Trout, and sophomore Pierce Banks, Utica Ford II; seniors Sal Ciaravino and Jacob Zacharias, and junior Daniel Robinson, Grosse Pointe North; seniors Dan Bailey and Andrew Courtemanche, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse; junior Tommy Schneider and sophomore Zack Niesluchowski, Romeo; and senior Pierson Heythaler, Warren Mott.

St. Clair finished divisional play at 10-5 to win a second straight league title. Ford II went 9-6 to finish second, followed by Grosse Pointe North (8-7), L’Anse Creuse (7-7), Romeo (6-8) and Mott (4-11).

Blue Division
Anchor Bay’s Brandon Vires earned league MVP honors, while his coach, John Graybill, was tabbed as MAC Blue Coach of the Year. Port Huron Northern took home the league Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are Vires, Gary Landless, Nathan Bolota and Ryan Murphy, Anchor Bay; seniors Jack Trimble, Shane Velazquez and Sam Wagner, Port Huron Northern; juniors Ravin Randall and Tahson Winters, Port Huron High; seniors Josh Smith, Cole Pawson and Jordan Dietz, Marysville; seniors Jon Brown and Hunter Holcomb, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; and senior Thomas Sledzinski, Utica High.

Anchor Bay (11-4) won its first league title in more than a decade. Port Huron Northern went 10-5 to place second, followed by Marysville (8-7), Port Huron High (6-9), Lake Shore (6-9) and Utica (4-11).

Gold Division
Warren Cousino senior Sean Petroski was named league MVP, while Patriots coach Justin Newcomb earned his second straight Coach of the Year award. Madison Heights Lamphere received the Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are Petroski, senior P.J. Zocharski, and juniors Adam Freiman and Chris Stewart, Cousino; juniors Zach Zombo, Dylan Walker and Mike Quello, Fraser High; seniors Ian Dimitrie, Mike Kapala and Zach Chambers, Lamphere; senior Kevin Frost and freshman Andrew Capone, Warren Woods Tower; seniors Ben Shaw and Matt Brand, St. Clair Shores Lakeview; and junior Jarrett Mathison, Marine City.

Cousino finished league play 11-4 to claim its second consecutive division championship. Fraser and Lamphere tied for second at 9-6, followed by Tower (7-8), Lakeview (5-10) and Marine City (4-11).

Silver Division
Center Line senior Kyle Lugar was named league MVP, while Roseville High coach Keith Marzec earned league Coach of the Year honors. Center Line High also won the Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are Lugar, and sophomores Troy Jones and Jared Ward, Center Line; senior Tyler Petrone, juniors Ryan Diciacca and Austin Morrow, and sophomore Matt Fowler, Roseville; seniors Chad Sikorski, Tyler Grabowski and Anthony Merlo, East Detroit High; seniors David Harlukowicz and Matt Pike, Clawson High; junior Joseph Erickson and senior Chuck Grade, Sterling Heights High; and sophomore Stephen Gregersen, Warren Fitzgerald.

Roseville High went 11-4 in league play to win its first division title since 2010. Center Line and East Detroit finished 9-6 to tie for second place, followed by Clawson (7-8), Sterling Heights (6-9) and Fitzgerald (3-12).

Gold Division
St. Clair Shores South Lake senior Tyler Baatz earned league MVP honors, while New Haven coach Joel Schmitt was named league Coach of the Year. South Lake also won the Sportsmanship Award.

All-Conference honorees are Baatz, senior Kevin McClain, sophomore Devlin Ryan and freshman Justin Baatz, South Lake; junior Brandon Gonzalez, seniors Mike Kincaid and Dillon Peyerek, and junior Josh Walker, New Haven; sophomore Jerryl Thompson and junior Jordan Edwards, Clinton Township Clintondale; freshman Ryan Crews and sophomore Trevor Barndollar, Madison Heights Madison; and senior Mithcell Blanchard, and juniors Brandon Hingle and Robert LaFrance, Warren Lincoln.

New Haven finished 10-2 in league play to win its second straight division title. South Lake came in second at 9-3, followed by Lincoln (5-7) and Clintondale (5-7), and Madison (1-11).

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.